So, recently I have had friends all asking the same question… “Isn’t it time you settled down?” And let’s not forget dear old Aunt Barbara at the family meals asking why I’m still single. The reason to it all is because, in a warped kinda way, I’m happy being single.
The truth is I don’t have the time for a relationship. I work full time and around caring for Oliver I am left with perhaps 5% free time – split that free time between friends and time to myself (that is 0%), and I am not prepared to sacrifice any of that on a relationship. “You deserve to be happy,” a dear friend said to me recently, and they are right. I DO deserve to be happy, but I replied to her by saying “but what makes you think I’m not happy?“ I love the independence I have being a single mum and the freedom it gives me.
Freedom? Something I never thought that I would say in the same sentence as being a single mum, but the truth of the matter is it has given me insane amounts of freedom. When Oliver is at his Dad’s and I am not working I am able to do what I want, when I want, without having to justify who I am talking to and where I am going. Although, this doesn’t mean going out every Friday night, because sometimes it’s just nice to use that freedom to sit at home and relax.
When I first became a single mum I hated it, I didn’t know how I would cope mentally and physically, and now, nearly half a year later, I am loving it. I feel so independent and accomplished – I wouldn’t change it for the world. I look to when there were times that I was crying to my friends saying I didn’t feel I was strong enough, and had people at the time tell me I wasn’t strong enough, but I have not only proved them wrong, I have proved myself wrong.
I see some of my friends that are single mums putting so much pressure on themselves to be in a relationship, and admittedly that was me at one point. The real happiness of being single is when you find that moment of peace and solidarity, when you achieve something you never thought possible through no strength other than your own…. and that my dears is when you find the true beauty of being single.
One of my favourite film quotes sums it all up perfectly for me..
The thing about being single is, you should cherish it. Because, in a week, or a lifetime, of being alone, you may only get one moment. One moment, when you’re not tied up in a relationship with anyone. A parent, a pet, a sibling, a friend. One moment, when you stand on your own. Really, truly single. And then…. it’s gone.
It took a while initially for me to enjoy being single, it took A LOT of pep talks from Sarah and some of my other friends, not to mention countless late night chats with the mummykind girls. Now I love it. I love being a strong, independent woman. Knowing that whatever I own, I got myself, everything I have achieved, I got there myself. I have nobody snoring in my ear and stealing my duvet, I am under no obligation to watch things I don’t want to (unless it’s Moana or Frozen through Oliver). It is such an empowering feeling to know that I proved all those people wrong, every single one who said I wouldn’t cope and who didn’t want me to. And in the words of Destiny’s Child… ’cause I depend on me if I want it.
I sit late at night and often wonder when I will settle down again, and the reality is that I don’t know when that will be. I am not prepared to settle for the first man that comes into my life. I deserve to be happy, (not to mention that the successful candidate will need to pass Sarah and her husband’s vetting process first)… So maybe months from now, maybe a year from now… I don’t think anyone knows the answer to it. However for now, and for the foreseeable future, my Oliver, friends, family, work and health are my priority…Not chasing after a man.
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