To be a good mother while my heart was breaking was one of the hardest roles to play
There were so many times that I just wasn’t sure I could do this on my own. So many days I looked at the chaos with tears in my eyes not knowing how I was going to make it through another day. So many times I was on the phone to my own Mum saying “I just can’t do this”. So many days I was on the brink – out on the ledge.
That quote is correct. To be a good mother, when you need to be selfish and take care of you, is hard. When you are a single mum there is no time for you. All the time is for them.
The housework piles up, nothing is done. There’s stuff everywhere. It’s too overwhelming to even think about where to start. They have no clean clothes, it’s endless, it’s relentless. Then it occurs to you. You’re all they have. There’s no one to step up. If they don’t have clean clothes it’s because you haven’t washed them. Because rather than putting on a load of washing you were just trying to get out of bed and face the day with them. If there’s toys everywhere, it’s because you didn’t clean up. No one else. Just you.
So you pull yourself together, you put one foot in front of the other. You fake it. You deal with your pain in private, cry in the shower, lay awake at night trying to make sense of everything. You take a baby to therapy with you because there’s no one else. Sometimes your tears fall in front of them and then you worry you’ve damaged them.
You live like this for months.
Then one day you look back and realise you’re not faking it anymore. The house is clean, the washing is done, you’re cooking meals again, you’re going out, you’re taking time for yourself. You’re happy. You’re relaxed. The kids are happy.
You made it!
And your boys made it too. They’re not damaged at all. They’ve seen more realities of life than you’d like but they’re definitely not damaged.
It’s funny, I saw this on Facebook recently
Our “movie days” where we sat in our PJ’s watching movies all day are what they ask to do whenever I say “what do you want to do today boys”. Those days where I couldn’t get them dressed, where I couldn’t entertain them, where we just sat because I was failing – that’s what they want to do in our spare time, that’s their happy place!
So, to the newly single Mum, not knowing which way is up or down. It’s ok if this year you want to give Mother’s Day a miss. Let the kids do something small and fake it. There will come a time when you’re excited about Mother’s Day again. And it won’t be because of anything big or fancy. It’ll be because it’s YOUR day to give yourself a little pat on the back and say “good job Me”. Just breathe – Happy Mother’s Day.
To my single Mum soul sisters. Happy Mother’s Day! We have sooooo got this, we are warriors, we look out for each other, we support each other, we have each others back because only WE know what this journey is like. Pour yourself a glass of wine at the end of the day and relax, just for a moment – you deserve it.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the other Mothers reading this, no matter what your circumstances, no matter how near or far your children are or how old or young. You rock!
To my own Mother. I can’t imagine what it has been like to see your children face challenges like gambling problems, depression, divorce and cancer. I can’t imagine the tears you’ve secretly cried, the nights you’ve laid awake just wanting to magically take all of our problems away. I would’ve thought your “mothering” duties would be over by now and you could relax as Nanny, but we all still need you so much – even as adults. Thank you. For everything. Happy Mother’s Day.
To my 4 beautiful boys. Thank you so much for a wonderful day. Thank you so much for every day. My heart fills with love and pride for each of you. 4 rowdy boys with 4 different personalities who come together in our crazy little home filled with love, laughter, lots of cuddles and our kitty cats. We have highs, we have lows and at the end of each day we have each other – something that will never ever change. I love you boys.
And that, my friends, is Mother’s Day 2018 x