So here I am, an oldish (well fortysomething) "dog" so to speak learning a new trick from my 20 something niece who is a new mum and has introduced me to a whole new world..at last. I am, as the name suggests a single mother - one of the so called "demons" of society, a scrounger, lazy, bringing up children that will of course be a burden on society as am I - well at least that's the portrayal in the media!!! Myths aside - I am indeed a fortysomething single mother - with two beautiful children running a home (including a manic dog and a cat that insists on bringing dead birds to my back door despite the fact that they terrify me!) I was made redundant last year and like many other mothers have taken any job I can find (and believe you me finding one wasn't easy) to fit around my children whilst trying to study (again), fight my way through a court system totally skewed towards abusive ex-partners/husbands, a benefits system that excludes me from it because I get child maintenance of over £60 a week and my contributions over the last 25 years "don't count", and an education system that won't help my dyslexic children because "they are not dyslexic enough"!! And if that wasn't enough to drive anyone nuts I am currently packing up the house to move!! Unlike the myths surrounding us single mothers, my children attend school regularly, are well behaved, well balanced and happy, nor do I go out boozing every night (although the chance would be a fine thing!!), have multiple boyfriends (ditto) or in general live a kind of reckless workshy life. In fact I am simply a mum - like any other - difference being I do all the running, all the fixing, all the house hold stuff, all the childcare and I work and study as well - and am bloody well exhausted most of the time - somehow my life was not meant to be this way!!
Whinging aside I am one of the lucky ones's - I have a home (by the skin of my teeth) and whilst my family are hundreds of miles away I have their support! So why am I writing this blog - maybe to see how many more there are out there like me and to find ways to support each other. The Campaign on Yummy Mammy - "Save One Mammy" has touched a nerve as the mother's story is so similar to my own. Having been helped so much by Womens Aid I can begin to see a future (which is why I am studying again) I want to help other women who have been in abusive situations to help campaign and change the laws applied to contact, residency and divorce in order that they do not allow abusive ex-partners to further their abuse - as well as sound off about all the trials and tribulations of bringing up your children on your own - -whatever age they are - and support each other - as for me isolation - feeling on my own and unable to talk was the biggest hurdle to overcome! On the bnght side - my divorce may finally be through soon (5.5 years and counting) and I may actually be financially stable again - I can't even begin to imagine how that will feel again!!! Even more amazing - imagine not having to deal with the court system for a while....(it come's to something when you're on first name terms with security at court and aren't an employee!). In the meantime, I shall get back to dealing with yet more legal stuff, ignoring the housework and prepare for the deluge of homework due to hit in about three hours!!