Single Mom

I read an article today about why some men believe they shouldn’t date single moms, to say it was disgusting is an understatement.

This is for all you single moms out there…

Most of us didn’t choose to raise our babies alone, some of us our circumstances meant we had to choose between our babies and our partners. Some of us chose to raise our babies alone because it was a better choice than bringing them up in an angry, scary, negative, dangerous environment.

Some of single moms have had to battle stereotypes and judgemental comments and people since our bumps started showing till our babies started walking, talking, going to nursery, schools. We had to keep a brave face in front of our beautiful babies so they didn’t pick up on the negativity and sadness it bought to us.

Some of us have had to deal with abuse, harassment, threats whilst pretending we were okay when deep down inside we felt scared and helpless. And then fight with every breathe and energy inside of us through legal systems proving that being the only parent in the household and in your child’s life was the best thing for them and their child/children.

Some of us have worked 72hour weeks earning enough money to keep a roof over her and her baby/babies heads,food in their stomachs, clothes on their backs and giving them the opportunity to enjoy life and create memories with no child maintenance only one sole income theirs. And whilst we work all these hours most of the money left is for childcare so we can go to work and not be stereotyped as a scrounger!

Whilst most of us are happy being single parents and doing it alone some aren’t and that’s okay. Everyone wants to be wanted and loved and that’s okay. Just because we are single moms doesn’t not mean we are slags, sluts whatever you want to call us. But for your information a few things we defiantly are;

We are independent, strong, kind, caring, loving, hard working, dedicated, passionate women who wake up every day and care for little people sole handily. We are the women that bring our children up to know what’s right from wrong, to know that coming from a single parent home is not a bad thing but an inspiring thing. We are teaching our children that women don’t need men to raise their children, we are creating good, kind, hardworking, appreciative children that will never want for anything and that will remember their childhood with happy memories and remember their mom did it alone.

So if you don’t want to date a single parent that’s fine but you are missing out on being part of a beautiful family unit that will never need your financial help, your cooking skills, your parental expertise, your help with disciple, your transport to take to and from school and clubs and they’ll never need your presence because we are bloody amazing strong independent warriors!!

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The 5 Year Mark

My baby girl was 5 this month. 5 years old! Time has just flown by since the day I held her in my arms a 7pound8oz baby to now a little girl who is going into year 1 in September. I can’t believe it.

A lot has happened and changed in those years. We’ve moved house three times and wow what a beautiful home we now reside in and have done for the last 3 years. We’ve both been incredibly poorly, both battled with chronic illnesses which ended up in hospital stays and regular visits to see specialists. Thankfully mine has settled and Orla is still receiving outpatient treatment. I left my job in security and now working with vulnerable adults and children within the homeless sector which is just amazing. I love my job and I love the people I work with daily. No day is ever the same. You only really appreciate how lucky you are when you work in this industry it’s heartbreaking, emotional, rewarding and humbling. I worked on a project giving care leavers a voice, an opportunity to change the system to give survivors dignity and the respect they deserve. This helped me too gave me closure what I really needed to be able to move on.

Orla started and finished her first year at primary school. She has done incredibly well she soldiered on despite her illness and her end of year report proved that she didn’t let anything stop her succeeding. She has made some amazing little friends and I’ve gained some pretty awesome mommy friends!

We have been abroad four times. We’ve had created some fabulous memories in the sun and reconnecting with our long lost family in Ireland which was just the highlight of 2018 so far for me personally. Orla has gained so much confidence swimming and socialising with other children which is just utterly fabulous.

I passed my driving test. 4th time lucky. After 2 years of learning and being a nervous wreck and not believing in myself. And now I love getting in the car and driving around, to and from work, to and from school, days out it’s transformed our lives.

We have lost a few people along the way unfortunately sometimes in life things just aren’t meant to be and sometimes in life it’s best to let go and move on. But we have gained so many beautiful people along the way who have bought so much happiness, love and laughter into our world we have never been so happy.

I feel so bloody emotional writing all this down as it’s been a rollercoaster and a half these 5 years at times it felt like a living nightmare that would never end. Sometimes I didn’t believe we would actually get through the heartache and pain. When Orla first became ill I battled everyday against everyone because I knew I could trust my maternal instinct and after 3 years of battling we got the specific help she needed and she’s thriving and fighting everyday. When I was working ridiculous hours in a dead end job that caused me to become severely stresses and depressed I didn’t think I’d ever be able to find the courage to speak up and find something bigger and better. I now know the sleepless nights, the stress, the fear and the sadness was all so worth it!

I have never ever felt proud of myself until now. I never imagined we would be where we are now. My life now is better than I ever expected it to be. Hard work, determination, belief, discipline-and prayers have definitely paid off.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. Don’t let anyone make you feel not worthy. Don’t let anyone break your spirit and don’t let anyone dampener your sparkle. If you believe you’ll achieve!

Here’s to the next 5 years plus! Cheers darlings 🥂🍾💗

Sterotype Single Mom

This will probably cause uproar but here goes…….

To those that gossip about the mom you never see at the playground, she’s at work, working her arse off to be able to pay the bills and provide for her child because that is her only income.

To the boss that disciplines his employee for leaving early one afternoon, that’s because she’s having to take her child to the doctors as she’s the only person her child has.

.

To the shop assistant that judges a young woman buying a microwave meal for two whilst reasoning with their child down the chocolate isle, have you maybe thoughtshe’s exhausted from being up 6am and only having 4 hours sleep so she can’t be arsed to cook a fresh meal from scratch?!

To the group of ‘stay at home yummy mummys’ who live nearby whilst you bitch and spread rumours that woman is actually providing a true example of what hard work is to her child whilst providing a stable and secure future all by herself.

And finally to the ‘married middle aged couples’ that discuss the negatives of teenage pregnancy and tar every teenage parent into the same fucked up sterotype just remember not everyone is the same.

Let me enlighten you that actually she’s a kick arse mom. She brings her child up single handily every night and everyday with hardly ever a beak she’s living off less than 5 hours sleep a night and works nearly 40 hours a week.

You still want to mock, bitch and stereotype?

Be my guest, but I suggest before you do so you step into her shoes. Stop being a bitch and support her, compliment her, help her, learn from her!

5 Years

The Photograph on the Left.

A 16 year old girl. Behind that forced pathetic excuse of a smile was an huge amount of pain and suffering that was never known by the outside world. To look at her you would think she was carefree, wild, rebellious, rude, arrogant, nasty, selfish and just a bloody nightmare. That couldn’t be more further from the truth. She never felt good enough to anyone. She never felt like she was accepted in society, she always felt like an outsider and a failure. Throughout the years she had been labelled and her future had been decided by people she didn’t even know.

Behind the rebellious behaviour, the sarcasm, bad language and carefree attitude she was living a nightmare. Something that nobody should ever have to live through.

Her mind, thoughts, options and feelings were controlled 24/7. Her body was abused, her home was destroyed and her life felt as though it was not worth living.

Everyday was a battle not just behind closed doors but facing the outside world, who judged, mocked and categorised her. No one had any idea what was going on in her life they were quick to speculate and make their own judgments.

Three months after that picture was taken she found the strength god knows how but she found it and she walked away. She left her home, she left someone whom she was lead to believe was the only person that cared and loved her, she found her voice and she spoke up and spoke out.

The photograph on the right.

The woman who is now 21. She has had a baby, she works full time, she lives in her own home.

The woman who has spent 5 years battling judgement, criticism, stereotypes and the world. She has taken every bad experience in her stride and has created a world full of love, joy, safety and happiness.

She is no longer scared, she’s not longer classed as, rude, rebellious, nasty, selfish and a bloody nightmare.

Honestly? She never was any of those things.

She is fragile, she is sensitive, she is reserved, she is opinionated, she’s honest and she’s loyal.

Both those women are me.

5 years apart. A different life and a different world.

helpline@womensaid.org.uk

0808 2000 247

Open Goodbye Letter

Dear, The Person I Used To Know

I’m writing this with a heavy heart, sadness and disappointment. It would have been 10 years of friendship next September. 10 years! 10 years since we met. 10 years since we wore the same school uniform, 10 years since we used to sneak out of school for a cigarette or just for fun! A lot has happened and changed in 10 years. We’ve been in and out of love, we’ve battled our demons, we’ve had horrendous illnesses, we have created memories that will forever been remembered but we’ve lost each other along the way.

Some would say it’s two sided but we both know the truth we both know that you allowed your circumstances to rule your world. We both know the amount of times I bailed you out, I sat up most the night listening to your problems, I was there for you at the drop of a hat and all the times I fort your corner when everyone else was against you.

I have tried and tried tirelessly for the last 12months to rekindled the friendship we once had but there’s only so many times someone can keep offering their hand out without it being taken.

I completely understand and relate to big important changes happening in your life but the one lesson I have learnt throughout the last 4/5 years is never forget your friends. Never forget the ones that are always there but also don’t push them away because eventually they won’t come back.

I have to let go now for my own sake and when times get hard and you feel the world is crashing down around you, this time I won’t be there to pick you up. I won’t be there to wipe your tears away and I won’t be there to fight your corner.

Why?

Because where were you when I was on the verge of a breakdown? Where were you when things were at it’s worst? Where were you when my daughter needed you?

I hope your happy, I pray your okay, I wish you all the happiness and love the world will now offer you now.

Take Care

God Bless x

Grow Old Graciously

Over the last few years becoming a single parent and working class woman there has always been one issue I seem to have never understood or been able to sympathise with.

I’m sure most working class women and men can totally relate and understand where I am coming from with this particular issue, which is of course men and women (especially) who behave in such a horrendous, embarrassing and unacceptable manner which could be actually classed as ‘bullying’ in the workplace. Yes I’ve said it, ‘BULLYING’. What ceases to amaze me is that these individuals are usually from the age range of 40-60!

Now I can understand certain contributing factors that could be used as excuses. For example: the menopause, the fear of growing old and breaking out in wrinkles and grey hair, children leaving home, marriage problems and maybe illness. But seriously is that an excuse? If we were on the subject of young people/ children bullying others the excuses aren’t usually taken into account and those that are responsible for bad behaviour are named and shamed. So why is it more acceptable for the elder members of society to behave in such a manner?

I can guarantee you in every work place across the world you have a scenario exactly like this one…..

‘ The women in the office that is classed as a “manager” whom very rarely smiles, thinks she is something she isn’t, constantly out to be awkward, thinks everyone else is below her, always has a problem with someone and always has to centre of attention. Everyone in the workplace can’t stand the sight of her, everyone shudders when they hear her name or rolls their eyes, when she isn’t around everyone is relaxed and ready to throw a party thinking she’s gone for good when in actual fact she’s on ‘annual leave. (Damn it)’

Surely this behaviour isn’t okay. Surely it’s degrading, intimidating and uncomfortable which for most companies is unacceptable? But the biggest problem is so many people are too scared to say anything because of the ‘title’ they hold and the fact that this person has ‘worked hard to be where they are today’ and then there’s the whole ‘it’s just their personality.’ what a load of BULLSHIT. Speak out, say something if someone makes you feel shit that is not acceptable it doesn’t matter who they are or what they do or their ‘title’ it’s wrong. No one ever has the right to make another human being feel unworthy, uncomfortable or unhappy especially in their place of work! Here’s my guide to dealing with the sad, lonely, spiteful, unkind and embarrassing individuals of the world:

  • Always smile and be polite
  • Always be courteous
  • Always be respectful even though that person never shows you respect
  • Remember everyone is equal regardless of the title they hold
  • Keep a log of anything you are not happy with, this builds a log and paper trail to back yourself up if needs be.
  • Try and never be alone with that person or always have a witness.
  • Feel extremely sorry for that person as they obviously have a very sad and lonely life
  • ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT THEIR BEHAVIOUR IS USUALLY A REFLECTION OF THEIR JEALOUSLY OF YOU!!!!! They are jealous of you that’s why they are unkind.
  • Always stay true to yourself
  • Don’t suffer alone, speak out.

And to the individual that is reading this who is guilty of treating anyone in a unkind, unprofessional and horrible manner you should be ashamed of yourself , I pity you and feel sorry for you.

Just grow old graciously and gracefully

God Bless Rhi x

Childhood PTSD

I haven’t spoken publicly about this particular subject until now but I think it’s so important to educate people.

POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER IN EARLY CHILDHOOD. This is REAL. My beautiful baby girl was diagnosed in 2015 after a turbulent start with certain events that occurred and were unstoppable. As a mother your worst nightmare is to see your child suffer and being unable to do anything to take the pain away. Unfortunately certain events I was unable to stop or have any control over whatsoever. It kills me knowing what happened was completely out of my hands, I tried everything but sometimes it isn’t enough and when certain services are stretched beyond their means some things just have to continue before change happens.

Children that are diagnosed with PTSD aren’t weird, rude, strange, immature or naughty. They are normal children who at times suffer with certain aspects of life. From witnessing these things first hand I can tell you what behaviours some may display:

  1. Difficulty Sleeping /Nightmares
  2. Reduced Attention Span – this may sometimes seem they aren’t listening but in fact they may be having flashbacks or just in their own ‘day dream’
  3. Loss of Trust (Orlas case men)
  4. Scared of loud noises particularly the door being knocked / motorbikes/FIREWORKS
  5. Anxiety
  6. Very clingy
  7. Dislikes large amounts of people at one time
  8. Nervous
  9. Stressed out easily

All these behaviours can be perceived in a completely different light when in fact they are just a coping mechanism for that childIf you believe your child may have some of these symptoms due to suffering or witnessing trauma please seek advice and help. There are many agencies that are available. I would advice contacting your health visitor, doctor but also agencies such as women’s aid. There is no cure for PTSD but what there is available is support, attention, recognition, advice, love, patience and guidance.For those that may come across a child that shows signs of PTSD PLEASE DONT JUDGE OR MOCK. It isn’t funny and it isn’t a reflection on the parents you have no idea what may have happened so who are you to judge? God Bless Rhi x