It’s been a weird old Christmas and nothing like the big family affairs I’m used to, feels a bit lonely and quiet… Christmas Eve I was on my own as the kids were doing their turns at their dads. Boxing Day is usually our little Christmas Day and I do the meal and invite friends who never come, so this year I didn’t have the courage or energy let alone money or organisation to invite anybody. So instead, my son is off to his dad’s to see his cousin and My poorly tired daughter has been soundly sleeping on the sofa next to me all day. May as well be on my own, again.
My 89 year old grandad is very poorly and in hospital, I spent most of the day there on Christmas Day with few family. We had a quiet dinner at my mums after and the kids came back.
Visited one of my best friends at about 8pm till 11pm, that was nice. Poor love was exhausted from doing a full dinner for her otherwise lone family. She made some lovely mince pies, they deserve a mention, I had my last one on my own today and savoured every last bite Janie!
I’m babysitting my grandma tomorrow… For 6 hours, giving my mum and my stepdad (still feels mad to say that when I still miss my dad so much) a break, I don’t think I’ve ever been on my own with her for more than an hour and she is so anxious it’s going to be tough to keep her happy. I guess the tv will have to save us.
At least I feel full of food, that’s consistent right?! I’ve been non stop gorging in a lone comfort eating way, grasping at anything that might make me feel full of the warm cheer that we are all supposed to have. Now I’m feeling fatter yay…
Ah Christmas you crazy bastard, what are you all about?
The media forces warmth and togetherness upon you and gives you that fantasy, strays invited in, long lost friends and family huddled together but in reality I’m not surrounded by loved ones, I’m sure I’m having a much better Christmas than a lot of people are but it gets fucking sad being single at this time of year, (and valentines and birthdays ah hell, all of the times!)
I’d apologise for the miserable if I didn’t feel like I needed to share with other sad loners alone at Christmas…or anyone!
What would it feel like to have that special someone on my arm for Christmas? Maybe a family extending love to me, giving me that fuzzy contentment that adverts from November have been selling me.
Got to move on, keep on keeping on, it’s all you can really do, remain hopeful as next year might be a different story altogether, I might get the full house of loved ones I’ve always dreamed of, hell I might even cook the dinner I bought all the ingredients for (and not just for my boy and I, my daughter doesn’t like roasts) and make it go round lots of happy faces that stay over and laugh till dawn with me.
I hope you’ve had a good Christmas or made it as good as you can! Here’s hoping this new year will offer us dreams that come true!
I’m going to eat some Brie now, and possibly wash that down with a glass of port.
Dating as a single mum is a dangerous game, true love where art thou?
I have a lot of things to say about this and I’m not sure where to start, obviously this is written from my own personal experience of being a single mum for a few years (6?) so I think I’ve covered most bases… Not in a sleazy way I just mean I’ve explored most of the crappy options that are available.
My first point is that I’m happy on my own with my awesome kids, I don’t NEED a man it would just be nice to meet someone who wants to love us and be loved and who could fit into our life without anything being affected, moreover my mental health. It’s hard to juggle two kids and hold down a job, keep things washed up, clean, tidy and pay rent, bills, do school runs, 3 meals a day, doctors appointments blah blah blah… So ideally this potential man should be self sufficient, motivated, supportive, respectful, up for a spontaneous adventure and have the music taste and looks of Joshua Homme or the beard of Shia Lebeouf. Jokes, looks aren’t THAT important, well…
So, the weekend is pretty much when you can get out, if you are lucky enough to have a babysitter or the kids are at their dads, which leaves an evening surrounded by drunk men who just want to bang you. Not all the men want to bang me just the ones who may approach are only after said bang.
To be honest at the weekend I just want to let my hair down and have a good dance and a giggle so it’s not somewhere I’d be trying to find a man anyway, (except the kebab man for an unhealthy portion of doner meat chips and cheese with garlic mayo) and it’s not the way to meet a ‘decent’ man. Getting out is a once maybe twice a month thing so it’s sacred and exclusively for footwork and Whiskey.
I’m sure if I had a regular life and not a crazy upside down whirlwind I could arrange for the worlds to collide and money to be saved to go to a class or activity that I may find my future husband at but right now that seems impossible. Still in the pipeline so watch this space!
What does that leave? How can I communicate with single men that might actually want to date me not just bed me? Yep, you guessed it, online! Every evening I’m alone, my kids are tucked up in bed and I want to be sociable, I want to have a long chat with an intellectual interesting man about the finer points of his dvd collection or the inner workings of Jimmy Page’s mind.
Cue the internet! Tada!
It all started on an O2 chat forum, I met a big tough metalhead guy, we got on so well and I almost dated him but he was up north and my father was very ill down south (here) I couldn’t handle long distance so we stayed friends, drifted apart and now he’s married and settled. (My dream) I then joined a site called mocospace where I met a skinny little reggae fan coincidentally from up north who would come down and visit me and talked about me moving with him away from my family to the north, he got weird in ways I won’t mention so I ended that and gave up for a while. This was about 5 ish years ago.
I met a guy from Djing together, we hit it off but it turned out he was an alcoholic, the kind that gets nasty, so before any harm could come I battened down the hatches, not having that around my kids!!
A recurring ex visits, tries to get into my life, does ‘nice’ things, turns out he just wants sex, I don’t give him sex, he goes away again. (he’ll be back)
I started online dating on specific sites a couple of years ago, I either meet someone (eventually) who ends up being a bit weird (especially in person), we don’t have any chemistry (believe me I need to be attracted to someone to even consider a 3rd date) or I just get despondent for a year then try again.
Every time it goes the same way, wade through inappropriate messages, old fat bald men, verbal abuse if you don’t respond the way they want, lose hope, delete it, feel lonely, try again, get talking to someone who ‘seems’ normal, start to like them, meet them and then when they think you’re hooked, they tell you that they’re really married or live with their mum or have no job or are mentally screwed. Yay.
Real life doesn’t seem to produce much in the way of opportunity, I might get a smile from a stranger but then he’s lost in the nothingness of sainsburys, just a mere hint of attraction…I might hit it off with someone on Facebook but the reality of the actual relationship with someone who spends their time on there seems to follow suit of them coming to rely on me, no job no hope no home no car… It’s too much strain on me, I can only handle a man that will bring his self sufficient ass to my table with a bag of spuds and a bottle of something instead of me scraping up another mouths worth of food out of my rent money funded daily dinners…I’m all for giving and loving but if it ain’t there to give its gonna break.
So yeah… I’ll keep on focusing on my kids, seems guys want mothering and I’ve got my hands full on that front!
Yesterday I was hungover, (the night before was a Christmas party with some lovely people, I even danced) I got up, was visited by a/the recurring ex boyfriend (the type that rock up a year after you tell them it’s never going to work, saying they’ve changed/matured/moved out/have a job/don’t just want sex etc) who wanted to ‘help’ me out with life, aww how sweet! Nope! It ended up being him wanting to leave his caravan on my garden and possibly stay in it, for a bit of money each month for 5 or so months. The whole time he was in my home it felt like there was a dark cloud towering over me at 6ft all gloomy and paranoid, telling of trouble he was in and how he was suffering. I was so meek and my caring side can’t see anyone unhappy, my 5ft frame and I reluctantly agreed, he left to fetch it, I started to clean and scrub my home (subconsciously getting rid of him) and the panic set in, I didn’t want him in my space, he makes me feel negative like one of those soul reavers, sucking my bounce and essence away, making comments about my things, telling me I’m the best mum he knows but then telling me I’m too soft, that I’m the nicest person he knows but I’m too nice, draining my positivity…I couldn’t cope with having him in my home for a couple of hours, no way could I let him invade my personal space daily, having control or feeling like he had control.
It’s kind of scary how he thinks it’s ok to just turn up, after a year, apologise for his past behaviour from the last time he tried to make me his bitch and try and worm his way in my life.
Hopefully he gets it now.
No means no!
I’m a single mum, I am strong and I’m taking no shit! He arrived and I told him, “I can’t have you in my life, you make me feel negative and I need to protect my mental space.” He didn’t understand, thought he would be helping me. In his mind he would be, I’m ludicrous to refuse him and his help “vulnerable single mum” he called me, but all the money in the world wouldn’t stop me going mad in the head from feeling trapped with him popping in for water and electricity daily! His way of ‘imprinting’ on me?
I may appear vulnerable being on my own and struggling but believe me, I got this!
I am not easy prey!
I’m currently waiting for my man, a nice man who will want to support me in life and see me smile, nurture me and love me like I will do for him…
So yeah please exist!!
I will conclude this, I apologise for the details, for the rambling and tmi but I’m also not sorry, this is life!
Even reading it or saying it probably makes you go “urgg!”
Just give me a minute of your time, this won’t bring you down I promise. (if you’re a quick reader, make it 3 minutes if you aren’t )
It can strike anyone at anytime, it’s such a consuming feeling, in my experience I just want to shut off and sleep, I feel so hopeless that reaching out for help is an almost impossible task, you feel like a burden, a loser, like people don’t want to be around you anymore.
I’ve been to the doctors and they give you antidepressants right there, I know it can be or is in some cases a chemical imbalance but I don’t want to rely on pharmaceuticals.
When my father died nearly 8 years ago I gave in and took them, first fluxotine which made me sleep and feel numb like a zombie, then citralopram which didn’t do much different. I’m a single mum, I need to be ‘here’ so I battle it myself.
It’s a hard long road but I’m doing it, yes most days I want to go back to bed until I have the school run, and some days I do but on the others I force myself to be in the world, I take pleasure where I can get it, I make jokes and talk to people, try my hand at being creative. I found the gym was a great way to beat stress and it picked me up for a while, but gym partners come and go, people get sick or work demands change, I’d love to go on my own but that’s another anxiety story right there! I will go again, it keeps getting put off by life but it’s happening when all the components collide!
I’ll tell you what really works the best for me though, dancing! I don’t do it enough, just like anything in my life I find it hard to stick at things for long, but damn I love to dance, it’s the thing I’ve managed to keep hold of through the years because of my love for music. Now it normally happens at night when the kids are in bed or I’ll rope one of them in (usually my son as he loves any excuse to stay up for 5 minutes extra before sleep) and get a partner in my fun. I am fortunate to live in a detached house, so I can crank the music up and turn down the lights, flick on my disco ball and throw myself about like a wild thing! I love it, I enjoy the music and feeling free, lost in the rhythm, absorbed in the words, my whole body expressionate and loose. I try and dance non stop for at least half an hour and afterwards I feel invigorated hot (sweaty hot) and like I’ve achieved something, I FEEL GOOD!
See I don’t need to organise that, I can do it at anytime day or night on my own to any time frame.
If you can’t turn music up loud like me I’d suggest you put your headphones in and indulge in your favourite tracks, wildly or conservatively, any movement is good movement!
I’m lucky enough that one of my best friends loves dancing as much as I do! We go out every month or so (sometimes weeks if we are lucky) just to dance, our thing is soul and r’n’b but we throw our shapes to just about anything we can if we can’t find our soundtrack. We bounce around and don’t give a fuck who watches us, life is way too short to care! We went to a festival in the summer and worked out that we danced more than we slept! Just a constant flow of Jack Daniels and water keeps us going, (and the occasional snack) no drugs! I’m thinking we could do it sober too, it’s just the alcohol helps to get going and shut off from the starey wall flowers.
If you’re feeling down, sloth like and miserable, find a tune that makes you happy or that makes your little toe wiggle, focus on that movement and treat your toe (or if you’re able, your whole body) to a dance!
I intend to dance myself fit and lose some bloody misery weight while preventing dementia!
But the best reason I’ll do it is because I am starting to love me more, and I want to take me out dancing. I deserve a good time!
You do too!
Thanks for reading, even if it was more than 3 minutes.