Some thoughts on being a one {wo}man show

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It’s been six months since I took the decision to throw my husband out, six months of being a single parent to four kids. Life has settled back down to a {new} normal, a much better normal. I’ve had lots of messages over the last few months from people asking how I’m coping on my own, how life is etc..

I should precede this post with a little background. Several friends have said to me “Oh well you did everything anyway, so you’ll be fine”. And that’s pretty true. Over the last fourteen years, more often than not it’s felt as though I was a single parent anyway. I did all the housework, the child rearing, the homeschooling, all the nitty gritty things that need doing every single day when you have a family. Add in me being self-employed for the past five years and it paints a pretty good picture. Of course, there was sometimes another adult physically present in the house, but that’s not the same as having someone who wants to be there, who helps out, who is equal.

Motherhood is the hardest job you’ll ever have but without a doubt the most rewarding. I’d never change a thing, not even for a single second. It’s true Motherhood is tough – more so when you’re on your own.  It’s kisses and hugs, laughter, funny pronouncements. It’s sticky fingers, crayoned pictures, little toes, endless “why’s”, a sleeping toddler to crawl in next to at bedtime.

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Doing everything yourself, when there is someone there who should be helping is frustrating. It makes you bitter, it makes you angry, you end up resenting the other person. I never actually minded doing it all – so now that I know it all comes down to me, I just get on with it. Of course, there are days I’m tired, days I wish there was someone to help out, to lighten my load – yet the freedom is worth the workload.

Day to day, nothing really changed when I sent him packing. Life carried on as it always had – which showed me just how little a part of family life he was. There were no gaping holes of jobs that he did. No times I realised he’d watch the kids while I did some work. I’ve spent years perfecting the art of balancing motherhood, running a house, homeschooling my kids and working from home.

Life actually flows smoother because I can build our days around what works best for us, no factoring in another person. I get to create the life I want, totally on my terms. We’ve built new family rules, we’ve added in moe fun times – weekly family movie nights, one-on-one movie nights with each of the girls, we spend more time together as a family than we ever did. With a house that has a happier atmosphere, without the animosity that was there, without the negativity and criticism we had all learned to live on, without the need to walk on eggshells, we are all happier, more relaxed. My biggest two have commented on how much nicer home life is now.

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It’s funny how something you’d try to pretend you didn’t want for years, truly is the best thing that could have happened. For the first time in years, I feel as though I can breathe again, feel as though I can be me again.

Of course, single parenting isn’t all easy. There’s the knowledge that it all comes down to you. Ultimately there is no-one else there to help out. With no family to help out either, it really is just me and the kids. It’s knowing that you’re solely responsible for four little people day in day out. Knowing that the only one bringing in an income is you – life on a tight budget, with no child-support and a large family isn’t always easy. That feeling when you shut the door at night, and there isn’t someone there to unwind with, someone to deconstruct the day, to hug you when it’s been hard, or reassure you you’re doing a good job.

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Ultimately though, I wouldn’t change a thing. Being a one {wo}man show is the best thing that could have happened for the five of us – we’re finally free to create the family life that we really want.

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17 Comments

  1. Sarah
    May 5, 2017 / 11:01

    A very inspiring post Polly, it’s so nice to hear things are looking up for you :-) Please do a post one day about some of your vintage finds that appear in your photos, (crockery, fabrics etc), as a collector of vintage myself I love to see other what other people have found!
    Best wishes, Sarah Xx

    • May 6, 2017 / 09:17

      Thanks Sarah! And I will do – I love vintage hunting!

  2. May 5, 2017 / 17:02

    Doing it all on your own is tough. I think you are doing a really amazing job. You have a beautiful family. Stay strong. xx

    • May 6, 2017 / 09:18

      It is tough, but easier in a way too x

  3. May 5, 2017 / 17:57

    It’s sad when a family unit breaks down but if it isn’t working there’s no point in continuing on. I can’t imagine dealing with four kids by myself as I have enough trouble trying to sort out two!

    • May 6, 2017 / 09:19

      haha! it’s busy with four for sure!!

  4. May 5, 2017 / 23:10

    Awesome going Polly. It’s ace to hear you’re doing so well. I couldn’t be happier either now my son and I have our own house again. I feel so free and liberated. It’s a positive, loving and happy place to be. Lots of luck xx

    • May 6, 2017 / 09:19

      so glad for you lovely! xx

  5. May 6, 2017 / 21:41

    So glad things are going well for you, it must have been a difficult decision. It sounds like you are doing an amazing job.

  6. May 7, 2017 / 07:48

    You are SUCH an amazing woman.
    Thank you for this post, I’m a single mum too but don’t think I could cope without my parents.

    This post has made me realise maybe I could do it on my own, you are such a strong person. Please never ever think any different.

  7. May 7, 2017 / 14:06

    Gosh, you’re a regular Superwoman. I don’t mean that to be patronising, I’m just in awe of everything that you do! I can’t imagine even having to look after my ONE child whilst also running the house and working from home, let alone adding home-schooling into that mix. You must be SUCH an inspiration to your kids. They’re incredibly lucky to have you :)

  8. May 7, 2017 / 20:56

    I think you are amazing and strong and doing such a FAB job with your beautiful family and keeping up with social media and blogging when so many might have hidden a bit but it’s good for others that might be afraid to kick their partners out or think they can’t do it you are their role model and showing them so many can and do do it all the time. My mother was a single mom and I have a lot of siblings too. She was our mother and father for 12 years before my step-dad came into our lives. She was the best of a mother and father too. We even used to buy her a father’s day card. Even when she couldn’t buy us a thing or had to food given to us she held her head up and she loved us and played with us and we didn’t know any different we had an amazing upbringing and fond memories. You keep doing this babes your children will look up to you SO much. Popping over from fb group commenting. :)

  9. May 8, 2017 / 08:29

    Wow, it sounds to me like you’re doing an incredible job. I don’t know how you fit everything in! Your children are so lucky to have you so devoted to them and I’m sure you’ll all become such a tight unit.

  10. E
    May 8, 2017 / 11:51

    Single mum of six months over here two and you summed it up perfectly – it’s hard, but easier in some ways because you don’t have to factor in another person and you can just get on with it. Stay strong x

  11. May 8, 2017 / 15:10

    Doing it all on your own must be such hard work, you are a rock and such a good momma!!

  12. May 8, 2017 / 21:24

    When I was on my own we fell into our own routine just like you and it was nice to not feel resentful or have any of his stress that he brought. It is tough though that overwhelming feeling of responsibility all on your shoulders. X

  13. May 13, 2017 / 22:34

    It sounds like you are doing amazingly. It’s the initial period which is tough but you’ve passed that

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