Can you really have it all as a single mother??

In February I wrote a post entitled ‘Motherhood vs. Career’ about my optimism at returning to work and being able to climb the career ladder. Nine months later I find myself sat questioning whether I can have it all. Especially as a single mum. My current situation would have you believe I couldn’t. You see, for a long time I’d been ashamed to admit that I’m a single mum because of the negative stigma attached to it. After all single mums don’t have their lives together, right?
They’re always leaving their children with family members because of their promiscuity and need to find a new baby daddy. They raise criminals because their kids don’t have any role models. Being a single mum must be an accident, surely? Firstly, I’m a single mum by choice. Did I plan to be a single mother, no, but after seven years in an on/off relationship I called it quits. My son still has everything he could ask for and more. As for role models my son is always surrounded by plenty of aunts, uncles and his Grandad Boots. Oh, and I’m barely away from my son. I can’t remember the last night (or even day) out I’ve had (I think it was back in March for my birthday). I've never been promiscuous nor am I on the prowl for my next baby daddy (one is enough for now tyvm!) And lets be honest no parent always has it together 1000% of the time. But I try. A lot of those who know me that are reading this didn’t even know I was a single mum and why would you. And even though a part of me is still hesitant about posting this, it’s my truth. I am a single mum. I have been for almost a year and I shouldn’t be ashamed. I’m not half arsing it. I’m doing double the work, with half the credit.

Anyway, back to the point of this post, having it all as a single mum. The career. The big house. The brand new shiny car. The extravagant holidays. And more importantly being able to provide your child with whatever they want and need. I have that last point nailed, always have. I don’t want to gloat but my front room is filled with enough toys to rival his nursery, he has enough clothes that if he wanted to he’d never have to wear the same outfit twice for at least 2 months and he’d never starve. But I want it all and rightly so. I don’t want a hand out, I want to earn it. To be able to say ‘yeah, I earned that’ and I definitely don’t want anybody to be able to turn around and tell me that I wouldn’t have something if it wasn’t for them. As you know I graduated university and have a Public Relations and Advertising degree under my belt but getting a foot in the door so far has been tough. Realistically, I can't take up an internship because many are unpaid and we all know how expensive childcare is (my son currently racks up £77 of fees per day) and I have yet to build up my contacts. 

Keeping that optimism can be so hard at times, now more than ever. Simply put, I’ve had to leave my job and pull my son out of nursery because he’s always picking up some kind of bug and getting poorly and I can’t rely on his dad to look after him while I work because his work schedule is clearly more important than mine/our son. Leaving my job was a no brainer for me – my son needs me so I’m there. It isn’t ideal but what else can I do? It'd be nice to have a mentor or support group in a similar situation or who have even overcome it for guidance. Then again I can be the worlds biggest introvert so I'd probably be overcome with shyness like at most gatherings.

So, what now?
Leaving work feels like a major setback. But I’m trying to see it as an opportunity too. I now have all of this free time (about 3 hours a day when my son sleeps to be exact) to work out where I can go from here. Maybe I should take up an online course.. And lets not forget I have more time to get out and explore with my little’un. I cannot wait to take him back to the zoo now that he’s old enough! And lets not forget that its Christmas soon so Santa’s grotto is calling!! Lemons from lemonade. Making it as a single mum isn't going to be easy but they say nothing great in life ever is.. 

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