I’m sat in my living room, there is the buzzing of a fly somewhere, the faint sound of the radio coming from the kitchen and the occasional car whizzing past outside.
All I can hear is silence. In a house occupied by five people, silence is rare. 5 days a week it is ringing with laughter, arguments, chatter, always someone shouting ‘MUUUUUUM’, different music in different parts of the house, the sound of toys being played with, a life being lived, memories being made.
So on the days when the kids are all out, and it’s just me, the silence is sometimes a little overwhelming. To be fair, I treasure those few hours a week I get to myself. Most weeks they are just hte right amount – enough for me to fit in some work, maybe sneak in a tattoo, or a coffee out. Enjoy some peaceful yoga, or a half hour read in the garden. Not enough that I start to wander teh house, wondering what on earth to do with myself.
Then there is the occasional day when the silence is defenaing. When I’d give anything to have a house full of squabbling, noise, constant questions… anything to not have to hear the silence. Single motherhood was never something I saw coming, never something I wanted despite the less than great relationship. I put up, soldiered on because I wanted that family life. When finally I could take no more, not just for me, but of the way my children were being treated, I tip-toed into single motherhood.
I get asked lots ‘how I’m coping on my own’ and my honest reply is perfectly well and it’s so flipping hard. Day to day life didn’t change – I was used to doing everything in the home and for the kids, working and homeschooling – I was pratically as single Mama anyway. Life is SO much better alone, just me and the kiddos. Our family of five is so much stronger and happier than we ever been, we’ve created a life and a rythym that really suits us. Yet, there are times I miss the companionship of a relationship. Not him, more just having somebody there at the end of the day, someone to give me a hug, or make me a cup of tea… the little things.
And yet in many ways, I’m loving being solo. I’ve never lived alone as an adult – and while technically I don’t as I have four kids here, I’m loving the freedom of creating my own life, of not having to compromise or do things I don’t want to do. FOr the first time ever, I’m Queen of my own castle and I am relishing every single moment. That isn’t to say there aren’t still moments when I think “If only…”. Last night I was hit with a crippling sense of sadness and loneliness, today it’s still sitting there. Fourteen years of building a life, to have it pulled from under you overnight takes some coming to terms with.
For now, I’m turning up the music to drown out the silence, filling the house with noise, couting down the hours until it’s filled with life again.