As I previously mentioned in my ‘About Me’ blog post, my life has changed quite a bit. For all of my blogging life I was married, later becoming a stay at home mum to Savannah who is now six. Since my marriage ended in 2018 however, I have been a working single mum and I get asked quite a lot about which I prefer.
Obviously I loved being at home with Savannah; bringing her up and teaching her those first milestones that babies tackle. I cried the night before her first day of school because I was devastated that our precious time together had come to an end.
Fast forward to today and gone is the mum bun and chocolate fingerprint stained T-shirts, replaced with rushed ‘that’ll do’ make up, messy hair and a pencil skirt. Yes, my life is busier and more stressful, I suffer daily from mum guilt and am sprouting grey hairs at an alarming rate but I am so much happier. I also truly feel this way of life makes me the best possible parent for my little girl.
During my time at home I did also struggle. I didn’t realise how detached from myself I had become and that it really benefits my mental health and wellbeing to feel like I am part of the world and earn my own money. I no longer feel like I am existing purely to serve everybody else’s needs.
While I regularly find myself stressed or worried (or shattered), I thoroughly enjoy being a single mum to Savannah and her happiness makes everything worth it. I also love being able to provide for her and the positive example I am setting too.
I would like to say at this point that I am not hating on stay at home mums. Raising kids and running a household is bloody hard work. I don’t suddenly think less of the role, I have just come to realise that it wasn’t for me. I know plenty of people who love being a stay at home mum and thrive at it. Happiness is different for everyone.
Also just because I am saying I am happier now, it doesn’t mean that single motherhood doesn’t come without its stresses.
It’s non stop from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep and it’s bloody tiring. A normal weekday consists of a stressful morning rush to get to school for 8am so I can get to work. Afternoons are full of homework, housework, reading, trying to fit in time together, (attempting) exercise, making dinner, bath time, bed time, hammer time…It can be relentless.
I am also now fully responsible for this house over my head, the car on the drive and the little person who sleeps across the hall from me. Sometimes the realisation of that hits me and I have a mild panic about it all. Luckily those moments don’t last long and I soon go back to winging it and hoping for the best (a large gin usually helps with that).
I am also always counting pennies and forever panicking about something sending me up shit creek like the washing machine breaking.
All this and I only have one child. My friends who do this with more than one deserve medals, live in masseurs and a free lifetime supply of Prosecco.
It is what it is though. Life is hard. I don’t feel my situation is any more worthy of recognition than the next persons and as long as you’re happy and healthy then that is all that matters. (Be it with a few more greys and wrinkles than last year.)
So yeah, I guess if I had to choose I would say I prefer being a single working mum. But I will treasure my time with Savannah in the first five years of her life forever. Those years with her were the best years of my life.
And I doff my cap to all the parents out there no matter what you’re situation, cos at the end of the day no matter how we are doing it our end goal is just the same; try and keep a small person alive with minimal damage along the way.