I have to admit. I never wanted to be a single mum.
Not that I thought about it a lot, but when my sister and her son’s father broke up briefly a few years ago, I thanked God I didn’t have to worry about it. Seeing her juggle work, her son, visitation, a social life, and still keep a smile on her face made me admire her more than ever before.
And then it happened to me.
And without warning.
While the situation is not ideal, I’m keeping a positive attitude and trying very hard to see the bright side of this new form of motherhood. One such bright side is the ability to be the kind of mum I always wanted to be without taking another person’s point of view into consideration.
My future ex husband and I had opposite personalities. I’m silly; he’s serious. I’m talkative; he’s quiet. I’m prone to jumping up and dancing; he’s prone to watching in disbelief. Never were our differences more apparent than in how we interact with our kids.
If my son asks his father why the sky is blue, he’ll receive an answer out of a science text book. If he asks me, I’m most likely to tell him that it used to be pink and purple but they got tired and went to bed, leaving blue to take over. Interestingly enough, I’ve always been the rule maker and schedule keeper while their dad is the toy buyer and Lego builder.
Being a single mum has given me the freedom to embrace both roles. To help my son research blue skies while telling him silly stories. To build Lego sets before bedtime. To set up allowances and chore charts and not have to worry about my ideas and attempts being vetoed or ignored.
I have my children in our home four or five days a week. And then, I get a small break to grocery shop, do laundry, see a movie, eat out with friends. I get them back refreshed and ready to face another week.
It’s tough. It’s exhausting. It’s really not my ideal. But when the kids and I jumped up to dance to Single Ladies the other night, I realised that sometimes making do is more than good enough.