I never planned on being a single parent. Do many of us, really? I got married in my early twenties to a man who made me weak at the knees, was educated, quiet and dependable. I walked down that aisle thinking that this was FOREVER. When I gave birth to our son a year and a half later, I was overjoyed. I was beginning to make my perfect family. I was surprised by the arrival of our youngest son nearly two years later.
But not as surprised as I was when I realised that, having worked so hard to get the life we had always planned together, we had somehow become strangers. Somewhere along the way the connection broke, and I couldn’t spend the rest of my life with someone who didn’t love me. The children and I deserved better.
It’s been a long hard road over the last year. I got a full time job, and was made redundant from it six months later. I sought treatment for the subsequent depression I fell into after all my losses. I fought hard to build a new life for me and the children: We moved house, moved schools, I found a new job. Now, at the other end of that long dark tunnel I can look back and be proud that I’ve made a new life for the three of us, and I’m learning to be a little bit kinder to myself.
So, no, I didn’t plan to be a single parent. Yet here I am – and society may find me lacking because of my marital status, but I think it makes me a stronger person. A more forgiving person. I don’t expect handouts, I don’t neglect my children, and I don’t plan on having more kids to get a bigger house. No matter what everyone else thinks of me, I can hold my head up high, independently.