By Jodie Allport @bonnie_and_mummy
If you’re here reading this then maybe you find yourself in a similar situation to me or perhaps you just want to read about another Mums experience. Either way I hope I can offer help/advice to at least one person out there.
So to start, a bit about me…. My name is Jodie, I’m 29 and mummy to a 4 year old girl. I work full time as a retail manager and returned to work when my daughter was just 8 months old.
Unfortunately, after years of a turbulent relationship with my daughters father, things came to an end when she was 6 months old. This meant I needed to provide for her alone and return to work sooner than I had wanted. I felt a huge amount of guilt that my daughter would be from a broken home but I also knew that she needed a mother who would put her child’s best interests and her own mental health first.
It has been a huge rollercoaster of emotions, unsettled periods of time and generally feeling completely lost, but with the support of family and friends I have arrived at a point where I have learnt so much about myself and have overcome so many obstacles that I hope I may be able to help others in some small way.
As a single parent you may be filled with dread at the idea of returning to work, trust me that feeling of guilt never really goes way but things get easier over time. As you see your child develop immensely in time spent at nursery, they will learn things you may not have even thought about and it will make you unbelievably proud. Although you may miss out on things being at work you will also feel a sense of achievement that you’re providing the best start in life that you can for your child. The most important thing when returning to work is to find a balance (it is difficult and has taken me some time to get it right, but keep hope and you will get there) and secondly would be routine.
Routine and organisation, I think are key as a single parent. It will help with your mental well-being and also create a better environment for your child. Get a note book and calendar, you’ll need it!
Another thing that I find really helps is getting out there and meeting other parents. I was quite a shy person growing up, but since becoming a mother and raising a child alone, my confidence has grown massively. Join a group and just think to yourself “I’m doing this for them”, believe me you’ll be so glad you’ve done it. This attitude will be seen and absorbed by your little ones and only benefit them in their own lives.
The main thing is to take care of yourself, if you’re not in a good place then this will rub off on your child. This is something I’ve really had to battle with, I had become someone I didn’t like and lost me along the way. The best thing you can do is talk, whether it be to a family member, friend or through a support line, being open about how you feel will take a weight off your shoulders. Talk and make time for you, it might be a bubble bath, a morning walk or even a trip to the shop alone, just make that time. A happy mum means a happy child.
I hope this might give one of you some hope and a push for a bright future. It is hard, it’s an uphill climb, we don’t always get it right, but you are most definitely not alone!
Try your best to keep a positive mindset, push yourself to get out of your comfort zone and if you ever want to talk, I’ll be more than happy to listen.
Parenting is hard, parenting alone is even harder but remember it’s ok not be ok, take that time, reach out to others and remind yourself how incredible you are!