One love has been a major theme of the past few weeks, whether it’s the Bob Marley song that dominated my sister’s gorgeous wedding, or me prancing about tennis courts with my uni friend on our staycation in my favourite newbies from New Look, or me trying to take more time for myself (as I mentioned in Learning to love my #selfie), or getting used the challenges and fabulousness over my first year as a mum, or, the big one, preparing myself for single motherhood. Somehow, one love has been the overriding theme. So, this Friday, we’re talking one love as #anFword.
This is the week I officially became a single mum. Phew, that’s a hard one, but I said it! The prospect of single motherhood is one that is currently scaring the cr*p out of me, but a lot of that is feelings of failure and the fear of the unknown. I’ve struggled with it a lot over the past few months and have had some really dark days. I’ve been on my own a lot, but never totally alone with a baby. But, it’s the best decision for us and I know people do it all the time. Heck, my dad did it with two girls, so I just need to be strong. B could not be more loved or wanted and has a great support network around him and that village it takes to raise a child is right with me. His dad is present, very involved and we are committed to co-parenting.
I think the looking for a new place is what hit me hard. Our home was my dream home in a lot of ways. Not just for it as a physical thing, but mainly what it represented in terms of family. We’d only been there for a relatively short time, but we were there for all of B’s life and there are a lot of memories wrapped up in those walls. A lot of firsts. But, I have the memories, the photos, the videos and the imprints to make sure they won’t be forgotten. It’s time to move on.
One to guilt, Love to me.
I can feel guilty about a lot, but I’ve vowed I’m not going to feel guilty about looking after me, too. I have to remember that. In order to be the best mum I can, that’s incredibly important. If that means treating myself here and there, seeing friends and having a few drinks or getting to the gym and working on my fitness and nutrition, I am trying to do them and I am happy to be able to share them too. Motherhood, womanhood and life can be hard, we can be guilty of being too hard on ourselves and not allowing room for you. There are certain things we can control and I’m a big believer in taking control of what’s in your power. I constantly have to remind myself that the things I feel I can’t control are controllable.
By that I mean, I can control my reaction to them. I can try not to be sensitive when people comment or I see negativity on social media. I am human, so yes I will get upset. My message is: Allow yourself that, but don’t let it consume you. Having a child is so life affirming and watching their unbridled joy at life is contagious and that helps lift me every day. Seeing B’s smiley face every morning is a reason I smile every morning and even after a rough day, it’s why I can sleep (?) contented and happy in the knowledge that he is happy.
So, I am writing this as much of a bit of soppy message to myself as it is an update and some words for you. You are important. Your happiness matters. You matter. Life can be hard and life can be wonderful. Continue to smile and continue to live. Bloody hell, continue to have fun! You can control how your story goes from here and you will look back on this time and use it to propel you forward in the future. That’s what makes you the best you you can be.
So, no, I won’t be sharing all the gory details. Yes, I will continue to share the things we love and will hope to inspire and motivate you. Yes, there will be down days and some elements I will share where I think it will help or I just feel like sharing. But, for me personally, I like to focus on the positive and the good, including the frivolous and the fun, with reality and a bit of humour thrown in. Because no matter what, my life is set to change, change is inevitable and change can be good as I said in my first 6 months as a mum. My life is also full of goodness and focussing on that keeps me motivated and happy. Plus, I get to spend it with B, my one true love.
What makes you happy? How do you make time for yourself?