I can’t begin to even understand what it is like being a single mum, let alone a working single mum, whether that has been the case from the moment you had your baby or in the time following, but whatever has led to that situation and this goes to the dads to, I am in absolute awe of you and if you don’t hear it, which I am sure happens very rarely you are amazing and should be very proud of yourselves.
The reason this has really resonated with me this last week and like I said I can’t even begin to appreciate what it is like being a single parent although one of my closest friends is and I have always admired how she has done it, had a career and just been an awesome mum. For me though and I have mentioned this before, but my husband Ryan sometimes has to travel for work and is gone pretty much the whole week. It isn’t all the time so I am lucky on that front, but this week was the first time he has gone away when I have been back at work and I am just absolutely exhausted, emotional and just need to find a bed somewhere and a switch that can turn my brain off from the million of things to do list that constantly goes round in my head.
Ryan travelled several times when I was on maternity leave and each time was really hard but eventually I got used to filling my days and having quiet evenings so I could catch up on as much sleep as possible. Which by the time I went back to work, I had got into quite a good routine with it and also had my family around me to help. Well, with now being back at work this is a whole new ballgame…
By the time I have spent a whole day at work, looking like I am balancing it all and giving off the persona that I can do it all, my real day hasn’t even started. When I think of my colleagues who don’t have children and what their evenings will entail, it feels like a foreign world, a million years ago I can somewhat remember but might also be a dream (much like my hopes for a lottery win). So I then have escaped from the office at 4:30pmish (with the guilt fairy firmly on my shoulder and telling myself a million times over that everyone in the office gets it and no one has even seen me leave). I then do a mad dash through to Clara’s nursery, swearing and cursing anyone who is just about following the speed limit or daring to let someone else in front of them. (I mean come on, we don’t all have to be nice today do we). Finally make it through to the nursery at 5:58pm, to pick up my gorgeous girl, feel guilty that I couldn’t get to her earlier to spend a little bit more time with her. Get home, feed her some of the same pasta dish she has had all week as I am worried she may starve to death (but has already had her dinner at nursery) then have bath, milk and bed.
Finally I can have some me time!! Oh no hold on it’s now 7:30pm, I need to make myself some pathetic excuse for a dinner, tidy up the trail of destruction since I have come in the house with Clara, get her bag ready for the next day, do the washing up, put a wash on and finally sit down at 8:30pm with my dinner. Quickly eat so I can crack on with some work, oh and a pile of personal admin (including spending a bit of time googling if vampires actually exist, as quite like the idea of not needing any sleep again and reminding myself that Twilight isn’t actually real), send apology whatsapps and texts to all my friends and family I have been ignoring and suddenly it’s 10:30pm and I wanted to be in bed for 10pm and can’t say I am feeling very relaxed at all. To only then begin it all again the next day when Clara wakes up at 5:30amish from her 11hour sleep, looking all refreshed and ready to take on the day and I will be lucky if I have had half of that and only wishing like her I could also have an afternoon nap!
I luckily have only had to go through this for a week every now and again but to all the single parents out there, I salute you, I will aim to support you in anyway I can through the parents I may encounter through my working life and just know when you are having a really bad day and think the world is against you, just know there is little old me over here who just thinks you are amazing and well if it was an election, you would get my vote every time.
Lauren – workingmummablog (and massive, huge, gargantuan supporter and fan of single parents)