Where did 2017 go?!

img_8987-1So my last post was New Years Eve and we are fast approaching the end of November.  I have blinked and nearly a whole year has passed me by!

I have kept myself to myself this year.  It felt like the first year since my divorce was a frenzy of change and adjustment and I was riding the crest of a wave in terms of feeling positive and reading back on my last post, I know I was experiencing delayed reactions to the reality of what had happened.  I felt guilty for feeling upset and confused why I only started to feel that way.

The thing is, I know I felt empowered as a woman to free myself from a relationship that I knew hadn’t been working for a long time and I felt grateful that I had managed to keep a certain status quo for my RugRats by not having to move, but the thing is, I didn’t allow for the reality of everything to hit me when the dust had settled.  I read something recently (the blog fails to come into mind as I type) that it generally takes 2 years for you to come to terms with the after effects of divorce; by looking at the timing, I would say this is pretty accurate.

I have a theory…..when you go through a divorce, you have your core friends who are there to keep you going when the chips are down, then you have your outer circle who dip in and check on you now and then and then you have the rest of your friends, who you realise are just your, dare I use the Stacey Forsey terms from Cheshire Housewives, your “social friends”!  So the social friends are the ones that scamper!  You don’t hear from them and there are those awkward moments in the school playground or the local shop, that you bump into them and you are feeling hurt and they are clearly embarrassed that they haven’t a clue what to say to you……bin those mates!  Just bin them now (obviously I’m not saying be rude and blank them, you can still maintain the pleasantries) as they will be the people who make you anxious and question yourself….stop that now.  Believe in the theory that when this happens, it is about THEM and not YOU and is a clear indicator to their own insecurities.  This has taken me until fairly recently to realise that and it has made me question everything I have done and made we reflect and wonder if I have done something to offend them…..the theory my best friend & I came up with is that they have questioned their own relationship and also my best mate also reckons they think I may hit on their husbands & therefore clearly don’t know the real me!

The outer circle and inner circle friendships are all people I have been friends with for a long time and know me well, but as time goes on, people have their own lives to lead and it starts to become quite awkward when it comes to dinner party invitations or couples nights out and those slowly drift and you begin to feel isolated.  You used to have the “sympathy invitations”, as one of my single mum friends recently referred to, and as a close friend referred to me recently, “showing girl power”, and your married friends or friends in long-term relationships would invite their recent single girlfriends, but the reality of it is, it makes it really awkward when you have hit your mid to late thirties and the new going out, is the new staying in and cooking like you’re all competing for Come Dine With Me. Even the invitations to days out with the kids as a family begin to drop off as it’s just me with the kids on the weekends that I have them, and some girlfriends begin to feel awkward as they want their husbands to join them and think it may make me feel awkward. It doesn’t at all, I value every friendship I have, including those I had in marriage and in reality, it’s not any different to how was back then when I was married!

I’m not trying to sound ungrateful here or play the “my life Is harder than yours” card, as we all have our own issues and I certainly don’t take my friendships for granted and I certainly don’t think life revolves around me, I’m simply saying that there comes a time when it hits you that you are facing the reality of life as the single friend, and to married couples with young families, you are seen to have a different & new reality.

My reality is now juggling a full-time job, my beautiful RugRats and all their social activities and hobbies and running a home and not having someone to sound off to at the end of the day, apart from the dog! In amongst that, I am trying to date!  Yes I said the other “D” word!  God almighty, this raises another topic of discussion that generally includes you but is never spoken in front of you, just that you know it has been discussed, when you get to that long awaited catch up and a few drinks have been had and it is let slip what a mutual friends concerns are that you are dating and your choice of (dare I use this term) partner has been fully discussed & dissected at length.  Again, I hate to sound like I am being ungrateful, & I love my friends dearly, but can you imagine how it feels a little disheartening that somehow you have entered this realm of reality that when you become the divorcee or that single friend, it feels that some people (& this includes family) take it as an invitation to express their opinion on your life choices, as clearly I have made totally shit ones before and in their minds they really are trying to help.

It’s not just me though, I have friends who feel exactly the same way who are single and haven’t had kids or been married before. The sad thing is, when I have chatted with these friends, it seems that like me, they yearn for inclusion and it feels quite isolating when you learn of other friends being invited to social events and you haven’t been included as it was deemed as “all couples”.

I get it, I do & I know it comes from a good place generally, but the reality of it is that I am hard on myself as it is……I just feel doubly shit knowing that I am being judged by others too & it only deems to make a friendship feel awkward  & that makes me recoil!  I can honestly say, I would never sit with my friends and judge their relationship choices, let alone voice it.  We are all grown ups and we make our own choices in life and if that is with someone we wouldn’t be with ourselves, then that doesn’t mean it is the wrong choice for them. The same goes for the career paths we take or the decisions on new purchases. Everyone is entitled to make a decision without being judged and measured against the social measures that are constantly being placed, especially now in the age of Facebook and Instagram.

I have watched a lot of friends through the years navigate through their different relationships, whether it be family, romantic, friends or work colleagues and we have had many a deep & meaningful chats over a few G&Ts about the individual complexities each of these can throw in our way, but what I have learnt through my own experiences, is never to assume and try not to judge.  We all have our own shit going on & there will be fall outs and make ups along the way, but I will never ever openly judge or voice a judgement, as to be fair, we all judge, but some do without hesitation and we need to all learn that lives can be so complex at times and everyone is allowed to change their minds otherwise you look at life in black and white and if you do, you never open yourself up for change. Sometimes change may not feel a positive experience at the time, but it will do at some point, as without change, you will never experience new opportunities.

I have always valued the friendships I have & I do not mind admitting that I have been hurt in the past when I have realised that other friends may not hold the same value in our friendship, but as I have blogged before, as I have grown older, I know that friendships ebb and flow and sometimes you may be closer to some over others & then it can change again, but it doesn’t mean I value that person any less.

It may not surprise some of you, but I am one of those people who Google’s the crap out of stuff and I have to admit, I have googled the hell out of divorce and friendships when I have felt any my loneliest and lowest. I came across some brilliant blogs and a lot of on Huffington Post. It would seem I’m not alone in my thoughts and there are pages and pages of blogs where we’re pouring our hearts out on the effects of divorce. In fact the Huffington Post has a whole section on it!

I have also taken great comfort from a blogger called Jackie Pilossoph and she wrote a great article on the issue of divorce and friendships and articulates my experiences much better than I can in her post “Divorce and Friendships: It’s Complicated”. In it she says:

I think that when it comes to divorce and friendships, you lose some friends because of the divorce, but you make new friends, or people you didn’t know very well become good friends. Throughout our lives, friends come in and out of our worlds, and it largely depends on our circumstances and how much we have in common with those people.

So this year, I kept myself out of the world of blogging as I feared I was being judged but I kept a little diary to help me process my feelings whilst I did this and I know that writing makes me feel better and I may not be up there in the heady heights of your published bloggers, but I can’t help but feel it is time to put my toes back into the world of blogging (most people would say feet, but I am incapable of walking on the whole of my feet and choose to tiptoe) and see if I can put the world to rights. Some of you might think I’m moaning and some of you might judge me for publicising my private life but if that makes you sleep at night, go ahead, I don’t judge you, after all, I’m just like you. I am winging it every day like everyone else and trying to be a good mummy, a good daughter, a good friend or a co-worker. Just like you, I’m constantly working on myself, fighting my own demons, sometimes I win them, sometimes I lose, but at the end of the day, I really am just like you so let’s all start being easier on ourselves. If you can’t be then get a dog, I can highly recommend it and they are amazing for boosting your emotional well-being.

xXx TTFN xXx

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Goodbye 2016….Hello 2017

c5ad4eca6a7b625c3a94e42896095537The last 2 months have been busy…..we have a puppy!  He is gorgeous and everything that I wanted from getting him has proven to be the right decision we made in our little family.  He gives the three of us unconditional love and he is a massive help when the RugRats are not around.  It has only been since Christmas that he has been street legal as we have waited for his vaccinations, so the real fun is only just beginning.

I have to say, I have always been anxious around Christmas and New Year…..it always meant upset for me, with one thing or another over the last few years and fills me with trepidation even now.  I hope over the years this changes and I begin to be able to relax…..although when you are a single mum, it brings on a whole new level of anxiety……making sure you can afford the nice things for the RugRats at a special time and please family and friends along the way.

It is also a whole year and a bit that I am classed as officially divorced…..and tonight I find myself looking back on the last year again and wondering if I have done the best for my RugRats.  I only ever want to make sure they are happy and feel safe, first and foremost. I think I have done ok, but time will tell.  I have just waved them off tonight with their Dad; they are off to a party with him and his family.  They looked excited and happy to go….that makes me happy but I would be lying if I pretended I was ok.  I shut the door and an overwhelming sense of sadness came upon me like a sudden wave and from nowhere I found myself crying.  I will miss giving them a happy new year kiss tonight.

My night hasn’t really gone to plan and I am now descending on some friends as they didn’t like the thought of me being on my own.  I feel like a burden sometimes to some friends and that makes me feel uncomfortable.  New Year can be amazing for some people, but for me, I have always struggled with it and the whole awkwardness of midnight and that thing that you should be doing of kissing and hugging your loved ones.  Yes, as someone who finds herself single at 35 with 2 kids, that is awkward.

I think next year might be the year I plan to take the RugRats away so we can concentrate being on holiday rather than all the expectations New Years Eve brings…maybe that should be my plan for 2017!

So as I reflect on the year that has gone by, I realise that we are ok…..I still have a roof over our heads, we have our health and there are already some lovely things I have panned with and without the RugRats for 2017.  I have come to realise that I cannot rely on friends all the time, as they have their own lives and I need to build my own life and meet new people on my own terms as a single mum.  I am not going to make any resolutions, as I think I always reflect and look at what I need to do over the year.

So for now, I wave goodbye to 2016 and wish everyone a happy, healthy and lucky 2017 ahead.  Big shout out to all the single mums who are just trying to keep their shit together and still manage to smile.  I’m off to listen to Jools Holland on the telly and I cannot wait to get the RugRats back to start our 2017 adventures tomorrow.  Checking out for now.

xXxTTFNxXx

 

Love yourself

debccc4a57faa485499e67dc78e646faI am on the heady decent of a good weekend spent with my RugRats and family, rocketing in to a working week that does not include the RugRats.  Half term is upon us and I have mopped up sick, done 50 loads of washing and put in full-time working hours and more, even before it started.

I feared that the weekend gone would be a wash out and I had planned a very exciting weekend at that.  I packed our things and crossed fingers for no more sick…..we went to London baby.  I can’t say it any other way; Austin Powers has a lot to answer.

We had such a busy weekend and it is true when they say “change is as good as a rest”. We trotted round London doing all the touristy things you do.  London Eye…..Shrek tour…..Tower Bridge……..The Monument…….we conquered all the steps and then littlest pronounced she needed “a weeeeeeeeeeeeee”, standard.  We conquered, we saw and I soaked up the look on the RugRats little faces as we ventured London together for their first trip.  Their little faces always make me smile.  I  adore them and I want to cling on to all their sweet innocence,  as these days it never seems to last that long.

We had a little break at Wahaca at the Embankment (highly recommended) and as we sat there with my cousin and her boyfriend, we were revelling in all that we had done that morning and we sat planning the night ahead where more family were joining us for dinner, back at the ranch.  I was asking if my other cousins girlfriend was coming and we got excited as this would be the first time we got to meet her.  The RugRats are very nosey you see and some 2 years they had waited to meet their Uncles girlfriend….so much excitement was displayed at this moment.  The boy suddenly went quiet and I asked him if he was ok as he said…..”oh no……..” and I asked him if he was okay and his response knocked me sideways….”well you’ll be the only one there with no one to love Mummy.”  A mix of emotions were felt in one split second and I had to give my head a little wobble and my response was, “of course Mummy does, I love all of you don’t I, and that makes us very lucky as we will be with people we love”……”But you don’t have a husband or a man to love though mummy”……..you see where I am going with this??  There we so many responses I could have to this and all of them would blow my 8 year olds mind, so for him I settled with “that doesn’t matter to me, I am not missing out at all, anyway, all that matters, is you’re with us, and we don’t need anything more”.  My cousin ensued in her amazing distraction technique and I had chance to make my quick recovery.

One simple little remark, one sentence, left me spinning and has had me thinking.  I really don’t want to be one of those mums that portrays the message that you can only be happy if you have a partner.  I am not going to launch into couple bashing, as for one, it is completely negative and it is not what I am about at all, but I have a heightened awareness that my RugRats should not grow up thinking you need a partner to make you happy.  I want them to grow up and be comfortable in their own skin and I want The Boy to know that he doesn’t have to be a knight in shining armour and go off and rescue his Damsel In Distress, and I want my beautiful daughter to be confident and not want to be saved by a man.  I want them to define themselves.

This leaves me in a quandary.  Did I give them this first impression when I allowed them to meet my first boyfriend since my divorce?  I fear I gave them that message.  At the time, I thought I was making the right decision, but I screwed up, but do I feel I screwed up as it ended as quickly as it started?

I know I am questioning myself and I think it is only natural as I need to make sense of it.  I was upset when the relationship ended, more so due to how it happened, but also upset with myself as I had seen it coming and ignored the voice in my head, that I had promised not to after the experience of being with my ex-husband.  To add salt to the wound, things quickly spiralled out of control when the relationship ended with this person and even though he ended it, he begged me to take him back and when he didn’t get the answer he was hoping for, he didn’t stop with the incessant pleas and I feared it would never end as it began to consume each day.  When I look back, I am cross at myself as I feel I wasn’t firmer in my approach.  I have analysed the shit out of it, did I give him reason to think I would take him back, was I not firm enough and that’s why he thought it was ok to keep hounding me???

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I know that at that moment in time, when I had met this man, he came at a time I needed the distraction and what I felt was very real as well.  I was wooed with flowers, his weekly accolades of self professing love for me…….I was blown away by it all, but also found myself becoming too willing to please.  Slowly, his insecurities crept in and I found myself being moulded by his beliefs.  Luckily, that inner Alpha Female in me won the good fight and when it ended, I wasn’t scared that it was over.  I think this took him by surprise, you see, I know I am strong and independent and I know I don’t need a man to define me.  I genuinely believe that, even though I flounder every now and then, this is me, the Alpha Female and I am proud of that.  I think the kids will eventually see this, I hope they do and learn from it.

This leaves me in another quandary I find myself in.  Do I hold back on dating if it comes my way?  Some friends say to me that I need time to find myself and learn to love myself again and that I don’t need to find a man to define this.  I know this……I really do……I thought I did love myself, as if I didn’t, I would still be in a very unhappy marriage.  By actively deciding not to go on a date…..am I again falling into the trap and putting too much emphasis on my relationship status?  Do you see my dilemma now?

Some friends say to you “You need to focus on you first” with the belief that before you can share your life with someone else, you first need to know who you are, what you want, and in what direction you’re headed. Now I buy into this, I do, but I know I am not wanting to look for the next marriage material. I am not sat at home wondering why I am staying single….I know why I am single.  I chose the wrong men and I am not perfect, I make mistakes.  I do know I am not a woman who needs a man, I like to challenge and I am always upfront, but extremely loyal………now this is where I know my sticking point was challenged as I misinterpreted being loyal for allowing myself to weaken.  You see I can still be loyal and challenge or disagree with someone’s point of view and it shouldn’t  have to be the end of the world.

The thing is, I don’t feel like I have this ticking time bomb over me as I have two beautiful kids, therefore I have no biological clock looming over me.  I don’t look at everyone elses relationship statuses and take it as a competition, I don’t fear that all the good men are taken, I know I am not too picky and have learnt not to settle for anything less than I believe I deserve.  I am not looking to rush into a relationship just so i can post on Facebook that I am in a relationship, do you get my drift?  I just want to have fun, whatever form that takes.

For a short time, I thought I had lost my confidence, I allowed a situation to define me, which in turn made me overthink…..I think I am nearly out of the woods.  Life is for living (yes I really did just use that cliché) so I am going to enjoy all the plans I have and stick with them.  If a hot guy wants to take me out for a drink, then I will accept it if the offer takes my fancy, yet I will not be defined as to whether this makes me happy…..my kids make me happy, my friends make me happy, my family too and I am sure as hell not going to fall into that trap that after a few dates, I am going to post it all over Facebook and have them meet my kids…….who does that (she says tongue in cheek)??!!  Now that is a whole new blog entry to think about.

The RugRats will be good, I know this as they challenge me and as long as they challenge me, then I know they can challenge themselves for the future and hopefully my RugRats can grow into strong, independant people, with the ability to kick ass when they need to.

xXx TTFN xXx

Finding Everything And Realising

11254337_10153577995462419_1081319849480295085_nWell we are on the brink of October nearly turning into November and I can honestly say, I really don’t know where the month has gone.  Half term is nearly here……one more day……I just had one more day before the RugRats finished but we have been hit with that twatting sick bug!  The eldest sobbed into his sick bowl crying that yesterday was the worst day of his life…..bugger, he takes after his mumma for being ill, poor lad.  On a plus side, being sick was related to being the worst day of his life……I’m taking that…….having it big time in fact.  Last time I blogged I spoke of the Mummy guilt that looms over me, well this sort of makes it feel a little better that he has forgotten the day we told him Mummy & Daddy were splitting up, was the worst day of his life.

There has been a sense of doom that has hovered over me the last few days.  Had too much time to think.  I am my own worst critic and boy I have done a lot of beating myself up with the shitty stick of late.  The solid crew sniffed it out a mile though didn’t they.  Thanks you lot.  I have been hiding under a rock for the best part of a week.  I promise I will snap out of it & very grateful for the massive kick up the arse that has been needed this week.

This month has been the anniversary of the hardest point in the divorce I went through. Looking back now, I was so full of optimism but also hiding a huge sadness that lay heavily in my heart.  I don’t like to dwell and as a good friend said to me today, it’s time to close a chapter and go on to the next one.  There have been many chapters that have followed on from the one I refer to and one that I don’t feel I can talk so openly about here as it has lead to me not wanting to date for a long time.

I tried to dip my toe back in the dating scene the other day and I quickly took it out with one huge shudder and since then I haven’t been able to stop beating myself up…..well enough is enough.  I am not even sure why I did it (well I did……a woman has needs don’t you know) but I also don’t have the time or the energy to start donning my sex kitten heels (which cause absolute havoc with the age old bunion) and making the effort to make, let’s face it, that typical wedding chat you do; you know, the one where you grasp around trying to find things in common with someone, just to make the time less awkward, I just cannot be bothered.  The mojo has packed up and left the building.

May be, in time, that feeling will go away & I may be able to enjoy being taken out by a few handsome men, but for now, I want to do the things I want to do, no demands, no ties, just me and the kids and friends having a few fun adventures……………..I just have a fear I may turn into a cougar later in life……I hope to god I don’t turn into a cougar!  One of my good friends gets excited about who I will end up with and I wish I could share in her enthusiasm, but I fear my mojo may not come back.  I thought I had found my forever guy, but that was not to be the case and now I find myself floundering with a lack of confidence…..I actually can see myself recoil in horror when a guy even smiles at me…..even hot guys……..see I am doomed, doomed I tell you!

I have not been sleeping well recently.  The dreams I am having have become more and more disturbing and I have got into the habit of doing a 3am check on the RugRats, just to make sure they are ok.  The times when I don’t have the kids have been filled with trying to stay busy and I am slowly getting the house in order bit by bit.  I have been planning the shit out of the next few months and there are lots of things that we have to be excited about.  One of those things comes in the form of a fluffy little puppy……I know, I must be mental but I know it will be one of the better decisions I have made of late.  We are all excited to get him and we are all madly in love and he isn’t even home yet.  3 weeks and counting…..eeeeekkkkkkk!  So there will be a new man in my life, and this one will be stuck with me for life!  I realised that when the RugRats are not here, I can make the very easy decision to stay in bed a little longer than normal and I have the time to procrastinate more….well the little dude will not allow me to do that and it will also be very good for the kids to have some responsibility too.

I always wanted a dog.  As a little girl we had a dear beloved dog called Jenny, she was a Bearded Collie and when we lost her to cancer, it was the first time I saw my Dad cry.  The absolute loyalty she showed our family was unfathomable and I always wanted my kids to experience that love from a dog, so here I am doing it and I didn’t have to have a long debate about a family decision, hurrah!!  3 weeks and counting my house will be full of puppy toys, and little surprise packages and little piddles to clean up!  It will keep us on our toes, but boy am I looking forward to a life with a Bearded Collie again and we can stop screaming “Bearded Collie” every time we drive past one, as we’ll have our very own coming on our adventures with us.  The added bonus of having the dog is that it will keep me away from the weird world of dating as I will be busy courting our little fur ball.

I have already booked a nice little break away with our little man & the RugRats so there are lots of things to be excited about & I am looking forward to the fun filled muddy walks and the little places you get to see that you don’t normally when you walk a dog…….although I think the olds think that this dog may walk me towards a new man in my life……not quite so sure about that one right now.

I love having this blog.  It makes me realign and focus on the positives. I had been putting off writing the last few days as I felt all melancholy and what I forgot was, that making myself sit down and take time out to spill my thoughts onto the keyboard, actually does me good.  Why is that??!

I am excited though, I am really excited for Bonfire Night, I am really excited about having my solid crew round for inappropriate games and drinks, I’m excited for the dog, I am excited for Christmas and having the first year of just being me and my family and soaking up the excitement they bring.  They trotted off tonight to their Dads so happy and I closed the door and felt relief, not that they had gone, but I watched them go off happy………my Mum guilt has lightened a little, cos you know what, they are happy and I am more than ok with that. I’m so proud of them, but I am also going to give myself a big pat on the back & you know what, I DESERVE it.  So if anyone out there is exhausted and feeling fed up, just do it, pat yourself on the back if you are a single mum, keeping it real, you deserve it lady, all single parents deserve it.

I’m going to sign off and dance around to this little number (Bridget Jones stylee) whilst I get ready to see some of my crew, so TTFN for now and enjoy this little number:

 

 

 

 

Hello October…..

img_2473-1So it’s been a while…..and October has descended within a blink of an eye!

I love October; for me it symbolises the start of the darker nights, autumn walks, cosy jumpers; but the most important of all, it is the month that I became a mummy. My first little RugRat was born and I know it all sounds so very cliched, I never knew a love like it until I held him in my arms. He was beautiful and came out with a head of dark hair and the moment I locked eyes on him my heart soared. The overwhelming desire to ensure that he knows he is loved and protected stays with me every day.

My boy always manages to surprise me with his ability to blow me away with his little nuggets of wisdom. At nearly 8, he seems to have this insane maturity  that sometimes also makes me choke up.

In my quiet moments, I wonder if the divorce has robbed him a little of his childhood and how it will affect his outlook on relationships. I hope that it does not have the negative affect that I fear. I am constantly being reassured by friends and family that kids are resilient little things, but that mum guilt always sneaks up on you.

There’s been a super amount of mum guilt going on of late…..when I last blogged I was full of optimism and in the middle of what I believed to be the greatest love story. When I read it now, I can’t help but squirm with embarrassment. Yes, you’ve guessed it…..it didn’t work out and I have been on another one of (to quote one of my solid crew) “life’s shifty learning curves”. What it did do though was distract me at a time that I needed to be distracted and for that I am grateful of.

So I find myself standing at the start of my favorite month looking on to what it will bring and wondering if it will bring new symbolism’s for the future.  It is also quite huge for me to look back at what has happened in the last year. In fact my first blog started in October. I was fired up with all the things I had planned, one of them to start writing again, but I didn’t quite finish it all off.

October makes me realise it has a history of new beginnings for me. New beginnings excite me but at the same time give me a feeling of the fear of the unknown. Will I fail?  Will I soar?  Will it bring luck?….well you make your own luck and I know one thing for sure…….I am staying a single mummy.

I need to do all the things I had promised myself we would do as The Three Musketeers.  If I can get through my little wish list and make myself go through some things that I’ve put off doing because of feeling awkward or unsure, then I will feel like I have achieved.  I know that there are two little people that look up to me and that motivates me every day.

So…….here goes……Come on October, let’s be having you.

xX TTFN Xx

 

192 days…..lots change in those days

img_2931So sitting here and reading my first posts has made me realise just how fast things change. When I last blogged, I was on a massive roller coaster of emotions. I was trying to work out how to handle a divorce and how to keep my little rugrats happy, whilst they were experiencing a massive shake up from their mummy and daddy divorcing.

I spent from the hours of 3 to 7 trying to act as if everything was just as normal as it could be. I had to, for the sake of my little rugrats. They needed some form of normality in the midst of a divorce, which turned bitter. My now ex husband (that feels so good) decided he would stay in the house right up until the end of November, whilst we exchanged words of war between solicitors. They say you never know someone truly until you experience divorce…..you really don’t! What he couldn’t see or refused to admit, that no matter how he pretended to be civil in front of our gorgeous creations; the innocent angels saw through this and picked up on the underlying tension between us. That, for my eldest, will take some time to heal from. His main fear now are arguments and runs as fast as he can when he perceives tension.  That, as a mummy, I find hard to process. No child should experience that, if it can be avoided. My ex could have avoided that as he had a bolt hole to go to. Instead, he chose to play the mental war tactics and smoke me out to gain the best financial settlement he could.

To be honest, as long as I was able to keep some continuity for the rugrats, in terms of being able to stay in the family home and do what is fair, I wasn’t that bothered. My priority was and always will be my children. Sadly, this wasn’t the same for my ex. The words “once we have agreed on a financial settlement, my attention will turn to the children” appeared on an email after I was begging him for some feedback on my proposals about co parenting, I was reeling…..to be frank, I still am.

I had made peace with divorcing, I was nervously excited about where life would take me next, but when you realise that you are trying to negotiate and always will have to negotiate with a narcissist, you suddenly get smacked in the face with the difficulty you will always have to face, as you share two children…….that never ever goes away. Now I find myself trying to make peace with this realisation.

For me, sadly, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to have a seamless negotiation when it comes to our children. I can try to change my behaviour in any way which possible to help the situation, but that will mean bugger all if the other person is hell-bent on just trying to be awkward with you and not focus on what is right for 2 small people.
I hold my breath, but I fear it may be pointless. That makes me sad.

What I never saw coming, well not so soon, was meeting someone special…..yes I did!!! When I started this blog, it was after chatting to an old uni friend. I’d shared a few personal fears with him…..one of these was getting back on the saddle!! I realised early on in the process of my divorce, that I’d been so busy losing myself by loving others, I had forgotten what was important to me. He got me questioning myself again….back at uni, I left so sure of what and who I wanted to be. I had a vision of how I saw a relationship being too.

After having a few midnight chats and lots of sleepless nights, I wrote a list of what I would and wouldn’t compromise on within a relationship. This friend encouraged me that to go out dating would help me get back on the saddle.  A few wines later, one night with my cousin, gave me the Dutch courage I needed and I entered the world of online dating!

At first, I was intrigued as this never really was a part of my dating repartee back in the day! Back in my day, we went to bars and nightclubs where we proceeded to get tipsy and flirt outrageously with men we fancy.  Suddenly I had entered the world that seemed to be completely alien to me. I mean has it really come down to this? Swipe left if he’s a minger and swipe right if he’s fit?!! Apparently so!!

A month in and I realised that there were a lot of married men on there who were evidently not bothered to admit they were and were after one thing only……and no, I’m not talking about intellectual chat….some of the things I was sent and saw, still has me wincing now….but oh so funny!

My cousin had been dancing around with the world of online dating for some time and I confided in her that I found it all really daunting…..how on earth were you ever meant to meet a lifelong partner on a site that seemed to be more about physical attraction and one night stands. Being a mum of two, I didn’t have the time for all that…..I also didn’t want to be sleeping around and putting myself in compromising situations as a mum.

I was about to delete my profile after having a little wobble and on my way to refuge in hotter climates with my parents when I spotted a profile…..he had this amazing smile which instantly peaked my interest….I read his bio….sporty, sense of humour….and that all important point that came on my list of priorities when considering who I wanted to date……. A family man! So I thought, sod it…..then swiped right, just to throw that last shake of the dice before I gave up on the alien world of online dating……holy shit…..”YOU HAVE A MATCH” flashed up once more on my screen…..it was the family man…..now this is where it gets tricky in the world of online dating…..who makes that first move of sending a message? So going with the mood I was in at that moment, I decided I had nothing to lose but make that first move; after all, I was off on holiday for a week with the rugrats the next morning, I had nothing to lose.

Well, you know how the saying goes, “and the rest is history”…..well it is!  I find myself in a relationship with a man who has the most beautiful heart, a glowing soul and he ticks all those important things I once set off life from uni hoping I would find in a loving relationship.

Sitting here now, writing this, especially after reading my last blog entries, seems like a lifetime ago and I am still pinching myself.

What I do know is, I have learnt from the breakup of a relationship. I have learnt never to take anything or anyone for granted.  I also believe that sometimes in life, you’re damned if you do and you’re dammed if you don’t, so you may as well do what makes you happy….but not at the cost of others!  I have gone into this relationship with my eyes wide open and with the confidence to start off by being as honest with my hopes and dreams, this in turn with the hope it stands us in good stead for our new future together.

There is so much to catch up on since my last blog and I can’t cover it in one entry…..it would be a huge entry and anyone would lose the will to live reading it all in one go. So this is where I begin again and I’m sure there will be many moments I share…..but for now good night and God bless……I’m off to date my new man via the powers of FaceTime…….the things you do when you juggle dating and children !

The mean reds

Well I have my good and bad days and to be honest with you, I’ve felt very tearful the last few days. Like the feeling I can sort of imagine if you were lost at sea. That’s me, bobbing along, trying to keep my head above water.

I’m hoping it’s the mean reds fault as they have arrived & I’m craving chocolate and have the most horrendous spots. Everything is making me cry! You see I like to feel I have some control over my life & the RugRats lives, it makes me feel better. Don’t worry I’m not a control freak or anything, I just need order and when your soon to be ex won’t budge from the room downstairs and seems to have no plan on leaving any time soon, it gets a bit fraught. You see I’m curious to know how me & the RugRats are going to forge our way into a new routine & family life. I like to plan ahead, but right now I can’t and it panicks me.

I made a really big mistake & went to the cinema tonight….I watched Miss You Already. Big mistake, HUGE mistake. I’m still crying now. I’m now panicking as to what I would do if I ever got terminally ill, what would happen with the RugRats, how would they cope?? You see this bit didn’t really hit me till watching that….realising that you forget your own mortality and how even going through the big D changes things you tentatively thought about as a couple, if ever anything bad happened.  I’m going to have to rethink all that shit.  That stuff gives me the shivers, but I know I’m going to have to face up & sort it out, in case, God forbid, anything did happen.  I love my RugRats so so much. I’m so glad we were lucky enough to have them, I’m glad that they are here & I don’t regret a moment for the fact they are here, loving me, loving them.

Yesterday was a special day though. Yesterday I had happy tears. Part of my rock solid crew became the 2.4 family yesterday. I managed to sneek a little cuddle too. There is something completely magical about babies, they are so tiny and this blank canvas, ready to take on the world with all its life lessons. You just want them to be happy & snuggle them forever don’t you?

This baby was a little gift for my gorgeous friend. Seeing her as I walked in, so content with her newborn daughter all wrapped up & snuggled into her chest was the most beautiful sight. To see them with their new addition to their beautiful family was the best thing ever.

There’s my friend, sat there, completely knackered from the longest labour in the world (I’m not shitting you either) and she still wants to know how I’m doing. The most selfless person I know and the most caring, whitty, sharp, intelligent girl I think I have ever met.

She doesn’t like a fuss, so I won’t embarrass her, but I just hope she knows how thankful I am for all that she does & I hope she enjoys her time finding her feet with her new addition and soaking up all those precious new experiences as a family of 4.

So even though this week is turning into a roller coaster of emotions I’m going to sign off tonight with the following sentiment….