Life was so much different 3 years ago. We lived in the Midlands. I was stressed out by a job that I had to spend too many hours doing. I worked what was known as a term time contract; this meant I worked full time but did not work school holidays. Sounds good doesn’t it? There were 2 real down sides though. I automatically waved goodbye to a 1/4 of my wages and secondly work allocation did quite stack up with other colleagues. I worked full time so I tended to have a small full time case load. Fine you might say until you got to the school holiday time off. Nobody would do the work for me. I would spend 2/3 weeks on the run up to the 6 weeks school holidays writing out to people asking for things to be collated and then returning everything to me by the first week of September. I worked silly hours those few weeks.
If anyone phoned my office whilst I was off for the six weeks In the Summer, as we all managed our own cases loads, I would sometimes get a phone call. This did annoy me. Annoy me a lot. Then I went back to work in September to face a mounain load of paperwork. You see everybody had repplid to my letters that I had sent out in July and provided me with everything I needed to revew each case. All this work had to be completed in a matter of weeks. Super long, stressful hours stood in front of me until we got to October half term when I would litterally drop and sleep for most of it.
This stress did not help with long term medical conditions I had and eventually in January 2013 I left the Civil Service.
I now run an online and shop based toy shop in Wales. I joke but I did literely run away to the seaside. Things are more relaxed in general here but working for yourself brings a whole new level of stress. I’m no longer out of the house a silly number of hours but I do some form of work every day of the week. I have no support. There is just me and sometime with a house, family, pets and illnesses to deal with there are really not enough hours in the day.
Life is hard. But its now on my terms.
It’s hard bringing up 2 children all on your own whilst working. Being the only source of income to put a roof over their head, feed, clothe them. But no matter what life throws at me I really do love my life.
As a single parent I find it very patronising when people say I don’t know how you manage on your own; I couldn’t do it on my own. Well, guess what? I didn’t go out to be a single parent and a lot of others didn’t either. It’s just the hand we were dealt and we just get on with it. What other choice do we have?
No matter how much Parents with partners try to justify that they have their children 1, 2 nights a week or Monday to Friday’s all on their own you are not single parenting. It’s not the same thing; you will have someone coming back to you a few days to practically and emotionally support you. You are not doing this alone. There is help at the end of a phone. Many single parents don’t have that support.
Last month saw the 5 year split from my children’s Father and he has not supported me one bit , we haven’t seen or heard from him for nearly 4 years now. I could not even tell you where he lived. When the kids did see their Father it was too much hassle picking up the pieces again and again. It was me always taking them him, picking them up, paying for anybactivitybthey did. One day, he did the right thing and we have never seen him since.
He walked away from his children.
No financial support but you could hardly say I had that when were together and most shocking of all no emotional support for his children.
He choose to walk away and never come back.; no phone call, no letters, no cheque in the post. Am I annoyed about this? No. I’m just glad he has gone and we are happy to get on with our lives and be happy. Harsh? No my children deserve a full time fully committed man in their life and nothing else. Nothing less. There can be no compromises on my children’s happiness,
He had his chance with his kids and walked away. Nothing is as hard as telling your 5 and 6 years olds their Daddy doesn’t want to see them and then when they ask why, you don’t know how to say it. Why would anyone not want to see their beautiful faces, look into those eyes and smile through the tears in your eyes.
They soon made the decision that they didn’t want to hear any more excuses as to why he would not visit. A few weeks later they just stopped asking. I take the upper road and try to speak about him in a positive light, ask if they would like to meet him or just facetime or text, each occasion the reply comes back no.
I only hope that they realise that whatever has gone on I have never stopped contact; it was their Father who choose to look the other way. I hope one day they can be the adults and reconcile with him.
Its hard work on your own but I get to have so much fun, so much laughter and so much love in my life. At times I sometimes think it might be nice to share some of the stress with someone else but I’d have to share the good times too and quite frankly I enjoy having them all to myself.
Right now I wouldn’t change a thing.