The Mama Files {I’m a Single Mum}

This week’s Mama File’s post is from the lovely Dorothy of Singular Insanity. She’s sharing her story as a sole parent and how she overcame some serious struggles to successfully come out the other side. Thank you Dorothy for sharing your inspiring story with us. xx
I’m a single mum.
Actually, I prefer to call myself a sole parent. Not so much because of the society’s prejudice towards “single mums”, but because my boys have no contact with their father. Why?

Because it’s not safe.  The man is a lying, cheating psychopath and that’s the official diagnosis, not just my feelings about him.  I was advised by two counsellors and my GP that I should keep him away from my children, because of the psychological damage he could inflict on their impressionable minds.
Never mind the damage he already inflicted on me.  Damage that gave me a completely skewed view of myself, as a crazy, unstable, useless human being and led me to two suicide attempts. I truly believed that my children would be better off without me, a notion I can now see as totally twisted and untrue.

My two boys keep me alive.  Chronic depression means that despite a medical cocktail, my state of mind can be fragile at timesand the only thing that keeps me going is the thought of my children being left alone, or worse still, falling into the clutches of their father.

What’s it like being a sole parent? Bloody hard. There is no time off, no handing over the reins in the evenings, no breaks when somebody else takes the kids to the park, no support when I’m sick. I’m it 24/7, but strangely, I’m used to it. Being a single mum was the single most scary thing for me when I had my children, but when it happened, I had no choice but to get used to it.

There are benefits, too. All the affection and love is mine. There is no other parent to undermine my decisions or do battle with.  No fourth “child” to pick up after or expect to help around the house.  If something doesn’t get done, I don’t get to resent anybody and stew in my own anger. It simply doesn’t get done. 

My expectations of myself are far more realistic these days.  Housework is low on my list of priorities, meals are simple and often shop bought. I cook in bulk at least once a week and keep a freezer full of ready meals.  After-school activities are kept to a minimum and held at the same time for both boys. What once seemed impossible is now my new normal.

Last year, the three of us made a tree change. We left the concrete jungle of the outer suburbs of Melbourne and moved to a big country town.  I love the community here.  Despite its reputation as a very conservative place and hard to “get into”, I’ve been made to feel very welcome by both the school and the business community.  I seem to have made all the right connections and love the social contact that these provide me.
Apart from mothering and blogging, I also own two businesses, which makes me an entrepreneur. Well, at least in my own head. Blogging has led me to start my own freelance writing and content creation business, which is in its infancy, but which fills me with excitement when I do get a client.  My other business provides support to mums in business in the form of networking events, education and one-on-one mentoring. That too, is still only young, but growing, and again, I love the social interaction that I get from it, not to mention the rewards of actually helping mums in their businesses.

I started blogging back in 2008 to record the drama of my marriage break up. I had no-one to talk to, or at least not anyone I could to talk to, so I decided to write it down and tell the internet. For quite a while my blog was soap opera like with all the crazy stuff that went down in my life, but I’m thankful to say that the drama is now over. These days the blog documents our life as a sole parent family, my struggles with mental illness and our travels.

I love the blogging community. I have local blogger friends, as well as those from all around the country, whom I see occasionally at blogger events. Blogging changed my life and helped me to find a new, post-marriage, post-children me. It gave me the confidence to quit my salaried job and launch two businesses, as well as run my blog as a business. Before I discovered blogging and its community, I was too scared to ever try anything new, to take a risk. Blogging took me outside of myself and showed me a brave new world of opportunities. And then it helped me reach out and grab them.
Who knew you could teach an old dog new tricks? 

Dorothy has been blogging for over four years at Singular Insanity.  She blogs to keep herself sane, more or less, writing about sole parenting, mental health and blogging.  A sole parent of two boys, Dorothy is also a freelance writer, thinker and chronic furniture re-arranger. 


If you would like to be a guest poster for The Mama Files, please shoot me an email at buffybrassil{at}hotmail{dot}com.

xx

3 thoughts on “The Mama Files {I’m a Single Mum}

  1. Sammy@Little Pink Lines

    Loving these mama files! Dorothy thanks so much for sharing your story. Truly Fabulous! I am not a sole parent, but I have struggled with depression and anxiety. The most fabulous women are those who are afraid and chose to be brave despite that. Look what you’ve done, it’s nothing short of inspiring. Again, thank you so much.

    Reply

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