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February 22, 2024

My Dear Fellow Single Parents.

*Did you know you can write on Elephant? Here’s how—big changes: How to Write & Make Money or at least Be of Benefit on Elephant. ~ Waylon

~

I never imagined my life as a single parent. I never imagined having my children half of the time.

In fact, that was one of my most said sentences for a long time after the father of my children and I decided our journeys were to go in different directions. “I never wanted this for my children and I never wanted to be a single mum.”

Full disclaimer: not one person was to blame for the end of the relationship. I’m grown enough to emphasise that the events that caused the end of our relationship were the cherry on top of an already tumbling cake. I look back on that time in my life when I had the “perfect” little family life as such a beautiful time filled with so many great memories, so much love, so many lessons, and even more blessings.

There were turbulent times too—life isn’t always supposed to be rainbows and butterflies—but nonetheless, there were a lot of great times. Call me crazy, but the end of my relationship with the father of my children was one of the hardest but best decisions I’ve ever made.

As I lay in bed with my five-year-old tonight and she was dozing off, she said to me with a tinge of sadness to her voice, “I miss you when I’m at dad’s house mum.”

I replied, “I miss you every day you’re at Dad’s house baby.”

She then said, “I always miss you more at bedtime.”

I replied, “I miss you most at bedtime.”

Now, usually those words of hers would sink deep into my core and leave a sick feeling right in the pit of my stomach. However, for the first time in four years, I didn’t feel this massive weight sitting on my shoulders. I didn’t have that massive wave of guilt start to surf its way through every fibre of my body. I didn’t have that negative self-talk of “If I had just stayed in the relationship I wouldn’t feel guilty that my children are growing up from a ‘broken home’.”

No, for the first time, I lay there with my little girl thinking how f*cking lucky she was. Lucky that she gets to see someone who she loves and looks up to begin to love herself so much that she decided to go against the societal norm and leave a relationship that was no longer bringing her, or her father, the love, the joy and the qualities that those people she loves damn well deserve. Lucky that she gets to see her parents co-parent and get along so beautifully.

I felt so f*cking proud that her father and I chose to gift our children a happier and healthier childhood unburdened by the fact that their parents couldn’t seem to work their sh*t out together. I lay there thinking about how much I’ve grown as a person and as a parent, but also how much I’ve learnt about my children, parenting, love, relationships, life, and most importantly, myself.

With unconditional love, I was able to part ways with an angry, insecure, and co-dependent version of myself. With so much confidence, I became a version of myself that I had no idea even existed. A version that came from being able to break free from my co-dependent bonds and venture into the world of the complete unknown, and sometimes difficult, beautiful world of being a single parent. It’s had its moments; that’s for sure. I won’t pretend it’s been easy. What I will safely say is it’s been absolutely worth it.

Tonight I lay there cradling my little girl with a heart full of love and confidence in my decisions and beaming with the utmost pride for exactly how our journey has panned out, with so much excitement for our futures.

To all my single parents out there, I see you.

I feel your struggles and I feel your pain.

There is always a rainbow after the storm; please know that if you’re struggling things will get better.

My hope for you all is that you’re able to look back one day at a time in your life when you felt your whole world might implode and end up being grateful for exactly the way it panned out.

For whatever reason your relationship ended, I hope you find deep healing and comfort in knowing that you or even the other parent did what you/they felt was the right decision for you, them, and your child (or children) because that in itself is something to be so f*cking proud of.

~

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