Musings of a Single Mother…

Blogging isn’t something I do often. I use this site mainly to take part in blog tours and lend my support to others…Hell, I haven’t even updated my Twisted graphics and it’s been almost a year since the series began!

I don’t blog because you can see booky stuff on a number of other platforms (and yes, I know I’ve probably got this backwards), and because honestly? My life isn’t nearly thrilling enough to warrant wasting my time writing about it, and your time reading about it.

But today I’m inspired to blog – this thing that, quite frankly, terrifies me – and see what happens, who’s interested in what I’ve got to say, and what you have to say about it. Of course, I invite you to comment on this post; leave your thoughts, tell me your stories, and criticise mine – I don’t mind!

So here goes…

Many of you who follow me on social media know I’m a single mother and the other half of the dynamic duo is Alfie, my four-going-on-eighty-four year old son.
I want to tell you a little bit about our life together, beyond the conversations I post on Facebook because he is the reason why I am the person I’ve become…someone I’m almost proud to be.

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I’ve been a single parent for almost two years and let me tell you, it’s not easy. I’m sure any parents reading this will agree that raising a child is the most difficult but rewarding job in the world. I had Alfie young and after many immature mistakes and stumbles as I fumbled my way through the first couple of years of motherhood, I stepped out on my own. I’m honoured I get to raise Alfie how I see fit and make decisions based on my gut instinct alone, knowing that if I believe in something, I don’t have to justify it to anyone.
But there are two sides to every coin…
For all the happiness my son gives me, there is also regret, shame and fear.
I regret that I’m unable to give him the family I ‘ve always had. I regret that I can’t give the siblings he wants or family holidays, a loving family home, or memories that will last a lifetime.
I’m ashamed of the stigma that comes with being a single mother. I’m ashamed that I failed my relationship and, more than that, I’m ashamed that I failed myself for a long time before the breakdown of it.
And I’m afraid. I’m afraid that years from now, I’ll look back and know I could have done things differently. I’ll know I could have given Alfie a better life.

He has saved me more than I care to admit. There are days when he is the only person I speak to and he’s become my rock. One cuddle from him and I remember why I’m doing things the way I am. When I’m fighting back the tears and he joins me on the sofa and suggests we watch a movie, I feel at my lowest. I should be comforting him but instead, he’s the pillar of support that keeps me going.

Why am I telling you this? Because a question I’m often asked is ‘why do you write?‘ and I never fully elaborate on the answer. I do give the usual generic answers of ‘because it’s all I’ve ever known’ or ‘it’s something I’ve always wanted to do and self-publishing platforms allow me to make my dreams come true’, and both of those answers are true – they are reasons why I write – but they’re not the only reasons, and they’re not the most important…not to me at least.

I write to forget that I’m lonely. I write to escape a life where I constantly ask myself when I’m going to fall next. I write to leave responsibility behind – just for a while – and become someone who believes in happy ever afters. I write to distract myself from the things I want but can’t have.

I write because I have stories to tell, and if no one buys them or reads them, or falls in love with every character the way I do, I know I haven’t failed. I completed something; I worked on something tirelessly until it was the best thing my abilities could produce and I told a tale worth telling. I told a story worth reading. I created a world worth living in, from the first page to the last.

I write because I always have. When my grandfather died, I wrote. When I was bullied at school, I wrote. When I got my first boyfriend, I wrote…and I wrote again when that relationship came to a stagnant end.
When the popular kids in school made fun of me because I liked maths and science, and wanted to go to the library at lunchtime, I wrote. When the boy in my Monday afternoon biology class told me I’d never get married and I’d never be happy because nobody could ever love me, he became my first fictional murder victim.
Writing is how I deal with life. It’s how I make sense of the world around me.
I study psychology so I can understand others, and I write so I can understand myself.
But none of it really helps me understand how to be the best mother Alfie deserves.

I write because I want to find a reason to believe in myself.
I write because I finally want to make myself proud, in a world where people are too busy to stop and look at their accomplishments, fortune and consumption aside.
I write because I want to prove to myself, to the little girl who has never felt good enough, that we are good enough.

I write because I want my son to believe in me…and I want him to believe in himself.
I write because I want Alfie to be proud of me…and I want him to be proud of every choice he makes.
I write because I want my son to believe I’m good enough…and I want him to know that he is always good enough.

I write because I refuse to give up. There are days when I don’t sell a single book…but there is never a day when I don’t write, or think about a story.
I write because I want Alfie to know that whatever he wants to do, he can do it. I want him to know that there will be times when the effort far outweighs the reward, but that quitting isn’t an option.

I don’t know if there’s really a message to take from any of this, or if it’s a stream of words soon to be forgotten.
I don’t really know if any of this makes sense or opens a window on me, Becki – the person, the woman, the mother – but I hope that it allows you to think about your life – the things you might regret or the things you’re proud of.

I was inspired to write something here today, when my son wrapped his arms around me and whispered, “I’m so glad you’re my mummy.”
I couldn’t be more proud to have him as my son.

What the future holds, who knows?
But I know I’ll keep writing, and I know Alfie will grow up to become an amazing man.

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12 thoughts on “Musings of a Single Mother…

  1. First, you should be commended for baring yourself so openly. Kudos and thank you for sharing your inner most thoughts. I think many of us can relate to you fears, and the reasons you write. I’m not afraid to admit I got a bit teary-eyed reading this. We all look upon our choices with some regret. We are never guaranteed a life without bad choices or mistakes but because you love your son the way you do, you’ll never fail as a parent. You’ll succeed brilliantly. Not just as a parent but as a writer and as a person. I hope this isn’t the last blog we see from you

  2. Wow ….
    Honey, I know we don’t know each other all that well, but I can tell you that after reading this I’m positive we will get to know each other much better in the future. Your words are closer to my own than you might think, complicated and yet so simple in all reality. It’s so easy for us to all zoom through life not giving enough time to the whys, or maybe the why not’s ? And I’m pretty sure every writer, if looking deep enough inside, could hear your words repeating daily to themselves. Is it not why we all write to some degree? To eliminate and escape? I wholeheartedly agree with the above, my eyes are also slightly teary. So be!ieve me when I say you are not alone in your thoughts, and are incredibly brave to bear them here for us to read. And the next time you feel alone in your thoughts remember that we all have a past full of regrets, and a past full of issues to keep dealing with, daily. It’s what we do with the future that s in front of us that really counts, and you, my dear, are doing brilliantly 😘

    1. Emma, you and I need to meet for drinks lol.
      Thank you so much for your comment. It means more to me than I can explain knowing that sharing this today has not only given others something to relate to, but given me a sense of ‘belonging’ that I haven’t felt in a long time, if ever. I’m incredibly humbled that my words have touched you and I’m sitting here blubbing because damn, it’s something we all struggle with.
      Thank you so so much for reading and leaving a comment. I’m sending you a huge virtual hug 😘 xx

  3. You made me cry, you have every right to be proud in what your doing and how you are raising your son. He will grow up to be a lovely young man and its all because he has the love of his mommy. I come from a one parent family, but I was raised by my father which back then wasn’t really heard of. I was terrified when I had my first daughter as I never had a mother figure around and I did think could I be a mommy, the answer was a big fat yes when my baby girl was put into my arms. We all make mistakes but it’s a part of life but Loving your child is something nothing can ever get in the way. What I’m trying to say is whether you are a single parent family or a two parent family it doesn’t matter it’s how the love for your children shape them for adult hood . You are an amazing lady, mother and author and you just keep on doing what your doing. Your son loves you and you love him that’s all that matters.
    Xxx

  4. This is an amazing and moving piece. Thanks for writing it, and being so open. Alfie is lucky to have such a kind and caring mother. You’re an inspiration in what you do every day, through your written words and your actions. I’m honoured to know you, and Alfie will grow to be a great young man indeed with you guiding him.

  5. Reblogged this on Lisa Fulham – Author and commented:
    Please read this wonderful and heartbreaking post from my good friend Rebecca. I grew up with it just being me and my mu from the age of five and I identify with your words rebecca. I saw what you’re feeling from the point of view your wonderful boy see’s you.
    You show your little man kindness, love and respect. You tuck him in at night, always make him feel safe and you do this every day no matter what.
    When a child see’s their parent sad or struggling and they reach out to hold their hand that’s a sign of how your love for them shows them how to love.
    Please don’t ever feel ashamed for a single thing you do as a parent, it’s the hardest thing anyone can do in their life.
    Don’t compare yourself to those who are lucky enough to have a partner to help them parent, we still make mistakes, wish we could do better and question our ability to help make our little people feel as proud of us as we are of them.

    I adore you lady, you rock and Alfie see’s it too xxxx

  6. Rebecca you and Alfie are awesome. You do amazing things, you are an inspiration to all single mums out there and because of who you are and your perspective, Alfie will definitely be an amazing man. Don’t compare, don’t regret, don’t worry about how others see you, just do what you do. Sometimes the best outcomes in life come from our mistakes sometimes they teach us invaluable life lessons, so in essence a mistake can throw up many positives. Things happen for a reason. As someone who has had a stable life partner and a family, and knowing the challenges of rearing a child to become a secure, balanced adult, I’m fortunately to know you and when I watch your relationship with your son I see someone with a wealth of insight on how to ‘parent well’. Being single or married, young or mature doesn’t come into it, Rebecca. It is better for Alfie to have one loving primary care giver than live in a fragmented relationship for the sake of the tag of being a two parent family. You are special Rebecca what you are doing is tough, it takes guts to keep going with the responsibilities all on you, but you get out what you put in to relationships and Alfie is definitely in awe of his mummy!! Life isn’t perfect for anyone, but the challenges you are facing will make you a scary thirty something when you have a young man on your hands and a wealth of independent experience behind you. I’m here…whenever. 😉

  7. A great piece there Rebecca. It certainly made me reflect on decisions that I made many years ago that have affected my life and the lives of my 3 girls.

    Good luck with everything although you’ll do just fine I feel. X

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