Single Mum shame hit me badly when my marriage suddenly ended.
I was 43 years old and to the outside world, we were happily married. We were financially stable and had a great friendship and were both fully engaged in our children’s lives.
However, this all changed very suddenly when my husband left the family home.
Overnight our world fell apart. The world and security as we knew it were gone!!
My children were now children from a ‘broken home’ …….. (a repulsive term that I now would never consider my children being part of)
I WAS NOW A SINGLE MUM!! AGAIN!! ….
I MIGHT ACTUALLY DIE OF THE SHAME.
It took me several months to come to terms with having this label again…. Actually, I’m lying there…. It took me around a year. I can still occasionally feel myself squirm slightly when I have to say ‘i’m separated’ or the children are ‘at their dads’ or ‘free school meals’ ….or any sort of benefit that single Mums receive.
My husband was the ‘breadwinner’ (another horrendous term) and I was a stay at home Mum that provided my children with the most amazing home life. However, this meant that when my husband trotted off I had to go and make a single parent claim for benefits at the local job centre.
A DAY I WILL NEVER FORGET
I was even embarrassed in front of the security guard on the door when I had to ask him directions to the department I needed. By the time I got to the poor lady I had an interview with I was hysterical.
I almost collapsed on her desk with shame and guilt and was paralysed with fear about the future. I never ever thought I would have to enter into one of those places again as I thought my marriage would last forever and my husband would always look after us being the ‘breadwinning’ type of guy he was!! (makes me cringe even thinking of it now).
Anyway fast forward a few months I decided to scrape myself off the floor of my pity party and sort my sh*t out.
WHAT WAS I THINKING??
I had been a single mum before to my older children and they hadn’t died of neglect and weren’t mass murderers, drug addicts, car thieves, or school dropouts that society predicts the children of single mothers to be. They were all decent humans with good jobs, good morals and were happy.
I could do this again. I just needed to uncover my inner power and recreate my identity. I needed to discover who I was and step into my amazingness (that may not be a true word but I like it).
My youngest children were 4 and 7yrs and they needed me to man the F up and be the best role model I could possibly be to them. They needed to see that life does break you down sometimes and that’s fine but it’s how you get up that matters and YOU MUST GET UP!!!
SO THAT’S WHAT I DID. I GOT UP.
I faced the fear. I grieved my marriage and I accepted and let go.
I am a single Mum and I am proud. I am proud of the woman I have become. The woman I always have been but she needed to be brave enough to come out.
I have a clear vision for my future and it doesn’t depend on anyone else but me. I am owning my own life for once and it is liberating.
My children are all OK and haven’t been put in mental health wards or Young Offender units (just yet) … we are surviving life after separation. We are surviving well.
I have a great relationship with their Father and we are still good friends similar to when we were married but without the added pressure of cohabiting.
All of my single Mum friends are strong, independent, hard-working Mums that had the courage to walk away from relationships that no longer served them and some that were even toxic for them and their children.
Society must support single Mums the same as they do married couples so that there aren’t so many women living in unhappy/abusive relationships because they are so scared of the stigma of being a single parent.
A child growing up in an unhappy, unloving, violent or abusive household will be much more adversely affected than a child that is brought up in a secure, loving and stable one parent family home.
Becoming a single Mum is a scary enough process on its own without having the judgement of society beating them down further.
To all my fellow single Mum Warriors out there I salute you. Please be kind to yourself and cherish your AMAZINGNESS. You are doing a fab job and your babies will thank you for it. I promise.
To all of those Mums who are reading this that are on the verge of becoming a Single Mum or are too scared to leave their current marriage/relationship in the fear of being judged then please be assured that yes it is tough at first and there is a lot to work out but it is worth it and your future self will thank you.
Ps. I am not advocating divorce here I am advocating courage. Listen to your intuition. YOU KNOW WHAT IS RIGHT.
If you require further support on this subject and would like to work with me one to one to help you survive and thrive through the transition into single parenthood or you just want to feel more empowered and step into your more confident self then please connect.
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Lots of Love and Courage