Posted 18 April 2019
Rachel is a single parent to her three year-old daughter, Faith. She was first signposted to Gingerbread while pregnant and has used many of our services ever since. Here, she writes about her amazing journey...
Posted 28 January 2019
Aneita is a 46 year old single mum to a five (soon to be six) year-old daughter. She was born in Hackney and grew up in London’s East End. She has experienced many different issues growing up, good and bad. Aneita left school with no qualifications so had to work harder in the world of work, she currently works part-time as an administrator.
She and her daughter love travelling and as she is a very resourceful person, they pet sit around the UK. Her daughter wants a dog, but she doesn’t want to commit to a dog at the moment so that solves the issue! Aneita looks at life as an adventure, taking the ups and downs as challenges to better herself for her daughter, siblings and friends. She always lives in hope that everything can be fixed. This is her story of why she is proud to be raising her daughter alone.
It is New Year’s Eve, my beautiful five-year-old daughter is fast asleep in her bed. I asked her if she wanted to stay up with me, but she wanted to go to bed as she is excited that tomorrow, on New Year’s Day, we are going to make packed lunches and go to the park to see the deer. Last time we went they all had their backs to us so we only got to see their rear ends! So, we are hoping to see their faces this time.
I am sitting with our cat Miss Celie waiting to watch the fireworks display on TV.
On the morning of Christmas Eve, my mum, who was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy in 2012, then was diagnosed again in 2017 with breast cancer and bowel cancer, passed away. She passed away in hospital having been taken in due to a massive stroke. I was just about to leave home to go and see her when my brother text me and said she had gone. I sat back down and said to myself out loud “I didn’t make it in time”.
My mum was a single parent, she raised five of us on her own. We had a difficult relationship, most of the time I did not feel it was normal, but what I do know now is she did her best. She kept us together, and through struggle kept us fed. My mum had mental health issues that went undiagnosed, it was only at the end did doctors start to see and ask about what I had seen for most of my life.
There were times in my life where I did not like her but there were also times when she was hilarious and good fun to be around, but I always knew I did not want to be like her, I wanted my life to be different. She once said to me “I wasn’t there for you, was I?”, I could only answer her honestly “No, but I think I understand why” and we left it at that. A few weeks before she passed away, she said to me “I know who you are”, for a moment I thought I was in the Moanna film and we were going to burst into song, but I am glad she knew me because I always felt she didn’t.
None of that matters now. What matters now is how I move forward in my life. When I think about her now, as much as I didn’t want to be like her, I have some traits, my mum loved to go out and walk, she would walk for miles just to do a bit of shopping. She always said, “children are like dogs, they need a good run”, I have picked that up from her because I was out with my daughter the day after she was born, to go to the supermarket!
When I found out I was pregnant (on my return from a trip of a lifetime to Australia) I was so happy. I knew it was a new chapter of my life and I had to have closure on a lot of things (that’s a whole other story) because I was going to be a single mum from the start, I knew I needed to be at peace with myself. I had to face the things that had caused me pain, negativity, and doubt. I put it all to rights and then I moved on. I had a fantastic pregnancy, the birth was not so good but when I held my daughter for the first time, I knew I had done the right thing and I have not looked back since.
I am raising a confident, kind and thoughtful daughter. She is so independent and knows how to stick up for herself; she tries to outsmart me at times, keeping me on my toes! She has never met her dad, but we talk about him all the time. She can contact him and ask him questions; he always gives her an answer and writes to her. One day I will sort out going back to Australia so she can meet him, I work but I don’t earn that much, but one day I will make it happen!
My daughter knows I am there for her, that she is never to worry about anything because I will fix it, and she knows she can talk to me about anything. She is happy, she is safe, and she is loved. She tells me all the time, that when she grows up, she wants to be a police officer and a mum like me. I will encourage and nurture her as much and as best I can.
I am a single mum, I am proud that we are doing okay, and we will always walk forward together.