I’ve always had so much respect for single parents. It’s hard enough raising kids, let alone doing it on your own. But it wasn’t until five years ago when my life changed dramatically and I was left on my own with four children under 7. It was then that I really understood what it was like.
Because I was left through no choice of my own, I found it very difficult to come to terms with what had happened. But I think even if the situation was different, it still would’ve been just as hard. I went into auto pilot and my parents kept me afloat in those first few weeks. I tried to keep the kids in as normal routine as possible. I remember sitting, playing with them, trying to distract them and myself. After all, they were all so small and couldn’t really understand what was going on either.
There were always friends and family who would visit and were so helpful and of course if I needed someone; I had family and friends that were there for us in a heartbeat. But it was when everyone was doing their own family things or at night when everyone had left that I realised it was just me. There were times when I felt so alone. I had no job, no money and was unsure of what I could actually do to bring any money in to support us. How were we going to survive?
I knew I had to pull myself together. It was either sink or swim and I just couldn’t sink, I don’t think my parents would’ve let me either! And even though there were moments where I felt like I wanted to give up, I thought about my four children that needed me and I wanted us all to have the best life possible and create new happy memories.
So very slowly I began putting my life back together. I created a simple routine for us all and I found when I was more organised everything became easier to manage. Little visits to the coffee shop with my then youngest; Wade was a great distraction. Without fail he would always wander out the back for a large cup of marshmallows! And I felt like a normal person for a little while. I started to listen to my music again which always lifts my spirits.
So even in those darkest moments, when I felt like giving up, there was still a light at the end of the tunnel. There always is. I just had to open my eyes and my heart and let others help me find my way. Slowly it got better and I could see where I was going and I know the kids and I will be stronger for it.