Parenting solo. The load became lighter in ways l never expected.
It took ... months to see that this would be a pattern.
When I first became a mum, I struggled to adjust to the new dynamics, especially the way it changed things between my partner and I. I wondered whether I set my expectations too high. Take Mother’s Day for example ... Shouldn’t he have got me a card, or organise to do something nice? I had friends whose partners regularly posted lovely things about them. It seemed like they were getting some recognition for the role they were playing. What about me?
It took many more months to see that this would be a pattern. Sliding between a few kinder words here and there, the overall vibe was jealousy. Happy moments were less frequent. The relationship ended and I was utterly exhausted.
To be honest it was a relief when it ended up just being my baby and I. I never anticipated being a single mum, and certainly not with a baby so young. I struggled against that status for a while, I hated being alone, I felt miserable when I rocked up to ‘family’ events in public and was there alone, no one to goof around with. My little dude was too young to have an inside joke at the time.
Life as a single mum is getting a little easier.
But in the midst of all that I was relieved to be out of the line of fire - no longer the recipient of derisive words, of scornful looks, of looking to someone to share the load. I was it, the buck stopped with me. At first that terrified me, I resented it and I had abandonment issues to the eyeballs.
But as I realised I COULD handle it and that I could connect in with parts of myself I thought I’d lost, I found a tonne of joy.
I no longer look to anyone to celebrate with me. Although I am sure this is helped by my son now very clearly articulating that he loves me - let’s be honest! But I think the deeper joy has come from a process of releasing expectations, fears and longing. And that is the gift I have given to myself - lessons learned through becoming Mum.
Thank you Becca for allowing me to share your story.