I’ve had such a crazy, busy, wonderful weekend I haven’t really had time to sit and put fingers to keyboard; sounds really odd compared to pen to paper! But who does that much these days? I’ve also spent a lot of time thinking about whether to write about what’s been on my mind in the last week and a half.
I’ll have to say what you’re going to read isn’t meant to offend or upset anyone; but I realise it may do that; so I apologise ahead. Some of what I’ve been doing with my blog is setting a scene as well as hopefully finding a way to inspire others, give them hope. This ‘episode’ is going to go towards the scene setting side and probably enable me to give my opinions on certain things.
I’ve always listened the the term ‘Single Parent Family’ and thought to myself that really unless a parent has died there really is no such thing as the so called SPF as I myself will now refer to it. I can maybe discount those who choose to go ‘solo’ on the having a baby thing I guess it happens. Other than that it really does take 2 people to have a child, so ideally it should be 2 people who bring that child up. Again I’ll give another rider here; violent absent parents are a different matter too.
A phone call from Jake my son last week got me thinking about how hard it is to be both Mum and Dad at times. I was getting ready for work; Jake leaves the house at stupid o’clock to go to his job (6:30am!); when the ‘Party Rock’ tune went off on my phone; that’s my ring tone for Jake; a nice quiet tune. His words – ‘Mum I’ve got a puncture’ – I did I must confess feel like responding – ‘Who am I the RAC?’ but no of course I didn’t.
I gave the standard – fill your tyre with the gloopy, quite useless stuff that’s in your booth – thing. But the tyre was badly damaged so that was no good. The next snag was that the actual proper RAC didn’t recognise Jake! How rude! Turned out they had the car as being bought in January 2015?!?!? So, that got sorted with a few phone calls and 90 English Pounds paid on my credit card, disaster was averted!
Not a huge drama really but still early morning hassle, so how did I come to be one of those SPF’s – and here comes the contentious, likely to upset part. When I was literally 9 months pregnant I found what was in effect a love letter written to my husband.
I’d clearly been suspicious to have looked for the card, and people always say – ‘be careful what you wish for’ – well in this case look for; because you may find something you don’t like. I did something fairly cold I would say, I called my brother to ask him to come and take Luke and Alex, then I put the card on the mantlepiece and called my husband to say I needed him to come home.
I have no concept of what went through his mind as I – and yes I did swear I think – pointed out the card and asked what on earth was going on? At that time and for a few weeks he did a good job of telling me it was old news, and for a while I allowed myself to believe. Jake was 9 days late and I lost half a stone in that time, it wasn’t the best time of my life but what can you do, I had 2 kids and a baby to give birth to.
He had to go away on business midweek, so Jake was now overdue and left me a contact number if I needed him; it turned out the number belonged to the person who’d written the card i was to find out later. Jake was born – that was a bit ouch I must say – and the pretence carried on. However his Dad had to go on business again 2 days after his birth,the 10th March – the card writers’ birthday it turned out.
I can only imagine that at that time he was looking to try to keep both scenarios going. I know that some people and I mean men and women live a double life for years sometimes, but I wasn’t prepared to be in that situation my eyes were opened and I looked for more.
A hotel bill for a room for 2 six weeks after Jake was born made my mind up for me; I believe the words used were ‘you’d better pack your bleeping bags and leave!’ That was to be the end of a marriage.
There was some detective work to be done in the coming weeks, as he still professed it wasn’t true. I started swimming and he came and babysat for his children- using the phone to call that number time and again. At that time it was amazingly easy to get a name to go with the number.
My wonderful Mum then set about being detective as we’d managed to get the name of a road, she went to the local library and got a specific address; waiting outside to see the man not having an affair leaving early in the morning. How funny really, this respectable last in her early 60’s playing PI.
Affairs happen for many reasons and I won’t say I held no blame; I don’t think we were in an unhappy marriage but after losing 5 babies I’d say I was obsessed with having a family of 3; that was probably damaging. But, and I myself was guilty of the same act in my 2nd marriage, I would say to you if you’re tempted?
Take a good look at what the consequences may be if you are in a family; if you can’t live with the person you have children with; married or not? Split up, divorce if that’s the case, but do it honestly and openly. And most importantly of all, you leave the adult not the kids. Kids need both parents, they can never have enough people to love them. The card sender, telephone number lady later came openly into the kids lives and she loved them and they loved her. How much easier that process would have been if honesty had been there at the start.
So if you’re a parent who’s left make sure you never leave your children, they need you. If you’re the one left behind? Don’t stop your children seeing their absent parent or their new partner. Remember they can never have enough people to love them!
I had spells of being a SP over the years especially when it came to Luke and I will recount them over time. Some of those times were really hard, such as sitting in a custody suite at 1am! Or endless court appearances – not for me! It is hard being a Mum and Dad even sometimes for the trivialities in life. My kids did see their Dad over the years but they have a chasm at the moment. I for one really hope it closes and they rebuild.