“A single mum requires the strength of two but is carried on the shoulders of one”.
So, apparently, I’m ‘just a single mum’….. According to a right judgemental ASSHOLE I went to school with 100 years ago!
Lets set the scene
I walked into a local pub with a friend for a rare night out, my first in about a year, I felt nervous. What was once a weekly occurrence for me walking in to this pub, confident, self assured, knowing everyone…. I soon began to realise things had changed, I had changed. I felt out of place, like everyone was staring at me as if I no longer belonged there. I was a bit like a fish out of water. C’mon, I was out of the house at nighttime, I had no baby, no pram, I mean I had heels on for god sake! Now, I was a single mum.
I discreetly walked to the bar letting my much more confident friend strut in front, I hid behind her like a little lost sheep. Waiting patiently asking her to order me a vodka and coke I looked around hoping to see a familiar face to talk to. It was then I saw a group of guys I went to school with. As my friend handed me my drink she also spotted these old school ‘friends’ across the bar and went over to talk as i reluctantly followed. It was then that it happened. That phrase that i’ll never forget for as long as i live.
You see, i was very much aware that everyone knew i had been left alone and pregnant by my not so caring, not so loving boyfriend. I already knew people looked at me with pity, maybe even judgement – that poor girl left on her own with a baby, ditched by a guy and single AGAIN. I tried to come across like i’d dealt with it, like i was rocking this single mum thing but it was hard. It was a slow process. I was anxious, paranoid, self-conscious, scared, embarrassed….Having a new baby and becoming a mum for the first time is hard enough never mind when you’re trying to deal with a break up and your ‘ex’ boyfriend being in a relationship he flaunts all over Facebook (photos and all!) with the 10 year old he left you for (she was 20 but whatever).
So I walked over to where my friend was. Standing sheepishly as she caught up with them all, finding out how they were, what they were all doing with their lives. Then one of them turned to me. And that was it, that was the moment. He looked at me knowing exactly what i had been up to. He knew i’d had a baby because we’d walked past each other several times when i had a bulging baby bump. Plus we had mutual friends. He knew exactly what i had been through and with who for the last year and a half. Then with a smug, ‘Im gonna humiliate you just because i can’ look on his drunk, cocky, ageing face he muttered that sentence…..
“Donna, you’re just a single mum now eh, that’s all you do”……
He was so proud of himself. You see he’d always been a nasty piece of work and this wasn’t the first time he’d said something shitty to me just to put me down and make me feel bad about myself, knocking what little confidence i had right out of me. But this was the fist time it really hurt. My heart sank. I felt the tears well up. We didn’t stay for long and that’s pretty much all I remember from that night.
Now Hold On a Minute! Let me Tell You The Reality of Being a Single Mum
When i woke up the next day that’s all i could think about. But the more i thought about it, the less upset i got and the more angry i became. “Just a single mum. Just a fucking single mum huh”!? As if saying “Just a mum” wasn’t bad enough, he had to add the single part just to really make me feel like a lonely failure who still didn’t have a man.
Well let me tell you, you ignorant, judgemental ass piece, let me tell you what it means to be ‘just a single mum’…..
- Being a mum, single or not is a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week job. You get no sick days and no holidays
- Weekends don’t mean a long lie, a lazy day or a late night. 6.30am is a long lie now – every day!
- I keep my son safe 24 hours a day
- I’m on call 24 hours a day
- I live with constant anxiety and worry that I’m not doing a good enough job, not doing things right
- I live with constant paranoia that people are judging and pitying me because I’m a single mum
- If he’s up all night, no matter how tired I am, I’m up too
- I comfort him when he’s ill and when im ill i still have to take care of him
- I wash him, cloth him, feed him and make sure he has all he needs always
- I teach him how to sit, play, crawl, hold things, feed himself, walk, talk…
- I spend my days encouraging him. I spend my nights checking on him
- I change 6-10 nappies a day, clean up sick, pee, poop, food, mess……
- 3 hours of my day revolves around food – cooking fresh meals, helping him eat, feeding him bottles…
- I live on a strict budget because I get no financial support from anyone else
- I can spend a whole day cooking batches of food which only lasts a week
- I do the housework every day so that my son has a nice home to grow up in
- Piles of washing and ironing build up like a never ending revolver of laundry
- If anything goes wrong around the house – I fix it
- If any decorating needs done – I do it
- I’m still dealing with a break up and an ex / baby daddy who is a twat
- Anything I need I only get if I have money left over from giving Aiden all he needs. My needs and wants come second to my childs’.
- My social life takes a back seat or has to be well planned in advance and can be cancelled at the last minute if Aiden needs me
- And soon I’ll be adding going to work to this almost never ending list, juggling work hours with nursery hours and spending the majority of my pay check on nursery fees just so i can go to work i the first place!
In short – 24/7 a mum is a cook, a cleaner, a comforter, an alarm clock, a councillor, a taxi, a personal assistant, a waitress, a teacher, a nurse, a handyman, a body guard, a bank and god dam superwoman!!! And when she’s ‘single’ she’s doing it
ALL ON HER OWN.
Don’t pity her, applaud her for making it through each and every day raising another human alone! A little boy who is going to grow up strong and confident, with manners and respect for everyone, knowing how to treat others, never feeling the need to belittle anyone to make himself feel better about his own insecurities.
Now tell me Mr i’ve been married twice and divorced once by the age of 30 while spending the majority of my time getting shit-faced in the pub, tell me again what a failure I am? Knob.
Enjoy this post? Why check out I’m (NOT) a Bad Mum
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