Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Family Week - Doin it alone
Family = Me + Three
Firstly, many thanks to This Girl Loves To Talk for asking me to be a guest blogger on her awesome blog....Yay!
My view on families has always been a rather traditional one – My parents are still together, and when we were growing up Dad worked a lot and Mum worked part time, but they always seemed to be around. I don’t remember coming home from school and mum not being there, or wishing that she was. Although I loved the idea of working and getting an education, I wanted a family of my own more than I wanted a career - so I married before I was 21 and was pregnant with my first child in just 6 months....
Eight & half years and three children later, I am divorced and living with my parents along with Grandma, my brother and until recently another brother and his girlfriend.....ugh – not exactly fitting to my somewhat picket fenced ideals! :/ It’s been two years since the divorce – (six months of that was a complete emotional write off!) and I am nearly finished my second year of a part time Bachelor of Commerce degree, still with my parents but moving into our own place at the end of the year....finally!!
In our particular family, the children’s father is interstate and does not have a lot of contact with them. In some ways, honestly, it’s a blessing, but on the flipside the kids are missing out on him and the distance between them is growing especially with my oldest son and the youngest who doesn’t really know him at all. I see the older one watching families together when we go out, and he tells me how much he misses having a “Dad” around. I miss that too. However, I am SUPER blessed to have an awesome Dad and three awesome brothers as quality male role models in their lives. As challenging as our living situation has been, and the sacrifices that had to be made (for all involved), I think the children and I have benefited immensely from it (and perhaps Mum and Dad too, but maybe it’s too soon to ask them! *wink*)
I freely admit that I am finding the burden of a single parent hard – the responsibility of being the sole provider is terrifying, I haven’t had a proper job since I got married – and I am just a little freaked out! I often feel like I am stumbling my way through the baffling everyday parenting and disciplinary decisions – wracked with guilt and convinced that I am just not doing it right and my kids are going to be emotionally scarred for life! I am, more often than not, aware of everything that I am NOT as a single mum....which can get quite depressing if I dwell on it too much, so I don’t (well mostly – I definitely have my moments!!). Instead I aim to focus on how much I love them, knowing that I am doing the best that I can and that in the long run they will be ok!
This period has definitely redefined what “family” is to me, now the role of uncles, aunts, grandparents, great grandparents and close friends is a central one instead of peripheral – just because we don’t have a “Dad” around does not mean we are incomplete by any means. I am very happy with our little unit.....
Me, three.....and the rest.
This is family week and I chose Tash from Suigeneris Speaks because I think she is one amazing woman who has had a bunch load of trials yet still comes out on top! She was being very kind in the above description of what she has been through. A great mum with a great family.