For Marie, becoming a single parent meant biting the bullet and coming to terms with the end of her relationship with her children’s father. From keeping things amicable with their dad to juggling work and childcare, life’s busy. And at the centre of everything are Marie’s two children, Jack and Chelsey.
I’m 35 with two young ones, Jack who’s six and Chelsey who’s seven. Their dad left the house when they were both younger. It was my decision, as I knew it was time we parted.
We had been together four years. My ex has two children from a previous relationship, which didn’t bother me. I welcomed them with open arms. But our relationship deteriorated as he was working 15 hour days, and although I knew and understood his job as that was how we met, he was even working on what were supposed to be days off. That’s how I knew he was not happy either.
I took it upon myself to bring it up. I sat him down, no TV on, and in a calm manner asked his point of view on the relationship. We both agreed that it was not going to work. The love had gone and there was tension building around our home and the children. I didn’t want to pass that on to the kids.
Around that time I won a holiday, a weekend away to Pontins, so I took it and we all went. It was a nice break, but then when we got home and although we had already agreed to part, the anger started to come out of him and that was when I asked him to leave. I had been in a violent relationship previously and seen my own parents argue and fight on many occasions. I didn’t want any of that for my children.
My ex found himself a place to live – a house share. They welcomed him having the children over for the weekends when he wasn’t working and so he did. It was an arrangement I was little tense about but he was their father and I wanted them to see him. He then moved into somewhere more stable, and the children were happy to see him every three weeks on his weekend off. But then they started to get bored as there was nothing to do and they were not welcomed, so he moved again. This time he ended up living with the person I think he’d been looking to have in his life all along.
I am now happy for him and the kids as I know they will be well looked after and taken out for fun days and activities. As for me, I am their mum and I always will be. I am here to teach them the way through life and to have as much fun as they possibly can. The break-up’s brought out a lot of insecurities in the kids, but we’re getting there. They seem happy with the fact they know they have got me.
I will do it
Both Jack and Chelsey are growing up and understanding very fast about money, pleases and thank yous….and how to wind me up! But I would not change a thing! I now work part-time. I’m tired most of the time as I am working and looking for childcare most of the holidays, but I still look at them and smile and think ‘I will do it.’
I’m quite proud of myself as to what I’ve learnt along the way being a single parent. Sometimes I do get down at night and feel guilty as I don’t have the money to take them to places or on holidays (we haven’t been anywhere since I won that weekend break). I take my hat off to all single parents. We should be proud ourselves.
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