I get by with a little help from my friends. 

Sometimes when I’m sat alone on a Saturday night I do question whether I have very many friends. Sad and depressing I know, but being a one parent family can sometimes be a quiet and lonely life. The evenings especially so, as you know that that’s when everyone else is having their family time, or couples time, or some lucky buggers are even free to go out in the evening without having to book a babysitter weeks in advance and you’re stuck at home with a sleeping child upstairs.

However, my perspective changed dramatically this weekend, after Charlotte was admitted to hospital and we had to stay in overnight. I now realise more than ever before that I do have many, many friends.

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With these friends we may not be able to meet up very often, we may have known each other for ever, we may not have actually known each other that long, we may have met because of babies or toddlers, or work or where we live, we may have met through the powers of Facebook, we may not exactly even remember when or how we came to know each other but, that night I had so many offers of genuine help that I could feel this amazing support system around me and, oh my goodness, did I need it right then.

Those who didn’t live close were messaging straight away, checking on me and Charlotte and giving me strength to cope with the situation. Those who were close were offering practical help like phone chargers (life lesson no 1: never go to out of hours with 9% battery), dog walking, popping to the shops for food and drink or a toothbrush or just desperately needed moral support. 

They all had their own stuff going on that evening and they were willing to stop that stuff, even briefly, and help me and that made me feel very honoured.

Luckily we came out of hospital the next day and, despite more tests that still need to be done, lots of things returned quickly to normal. But those 12 hours of hell really made me appreciate those around me and realise that I am really lucky and that I do have my so called ‘village’. 

So, in this season of gratitude, good will and thanksgiving (a bit late I know), I want to thank all my friends, from the bottom of my heart. Because without them I wouldn’t have made it through half the challenges I’ve faced and I’m sure they’ll help me through the next lot too. 

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Morning mopey thoughts.

I woke up today feeling a little bit sorry for myself. I had some quiet time to think whilst Charlotte slept in after a late night last night. This feeling could be because of many things I’m sure as its been a pretty crappy week, including slipping deadlines, fucking Valentine’s Day around the corner, a car parking ticket and worst of all loosing my make up bag last night which I’m utterly devastated by, but I also vocalised something a few days ago that is the crux of most of it…I have no one to talk to. 

Now, that’s not technically true I know, so I’m already making it sound worse than it is. But if you read my blog you know I’m not generally a pessimist. I have lots of friends I talk to and I am very very grateful for that. What I actually mean, however, is I have no one to rant about how crap my day was whilst I take off my coat and they hand me a glass of wine and just listen. I know, I know, this wouldn’t strictly happen either because I have a four year old who starts screaming for ‘Paw Patrol’ as soon as we get in the house but most people do have someone to come home to. Whether it be a flat mate, parents or a partner, they can still play that vital role in your life. It’s usually a two way thing but it just lightens the load of a heavy day and I’ve come to realise that I’m really missing that.

I have a dog to come home to, who has inevitably vomited in the house somewhere whilst I’ve been out or chewed one of charlottes toys so it is no longer usable. That’s not a particularly calming way to start an evening.

I guess I just want someone around to give me a hug and tell me it will all be alright because sometimes that’s all you need.

For now this will have to do.

Emotion overload.

I can entirely see why some single mums decide to stay single now. The emotions and time needed for the whole dating game and the emotions and time needed to be a mum are more emotions and time than one woman has!

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Being a mum, single or not, working or not, is tiring. It is draining, it is also the most joy you can possibly have, seeing your child grow, develop and learn. It takes all your energy to keep going when your child is poorly at 4am and then get up for work, school, nursery or daily chores but you do it because you’re their mum. They can test your patience to limits you never knew you had and it takes restraint, lots of restraint. As a single mum it can also be lonely.

But in order to do the dating thing, in the hope that one day you won’t be sitting in the evenings watching yet another rerun of How I Met Your Mother or the Big Bang Theory with only the dog to keep you company, you need to muster up some energy to act like a normal, interesting individual with whom someone may want to spend time with. If you do get far enough to meet someone and they don’t take one look at the bags under your eyes and run for the hills, you then have to find the time to see them (even harder if they have kids too), still look alive and well put together and not fall asleep whilst watching a film or yawn despite the interesting conversation over dinner. If you get as far as sleeping together this brings on a whole other load of time consuming exercises as hairy legs might just kill the mood a bit and you deserve to feel sexy and wanted so you want to make the effort.

All that time adds up to more than is available for any sane woman who intends to sleep at some point. The ups of the first few dates and then the downs if they decide it’s not working or even worse just stop texting you. It’s all just too much to handle when trying to do all the mum things as well. So I have decided that maybe the dating thing needs to go on hold for a bit. The internet dating apps have been deleted and the email alerts have been stopped. It is a nice confidence boost to get a notification that someone likes the look of you, but I don’t need my life and self worth being decided by complete strangers on a dating app. I need to make sure I have that myself and I have enough time to commit fully to the best relationships I have. The one with my daughter and the one with myself.

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Sending out a signal.

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I think blokes must have a radar that picks up when a woman is feeling slightly lonely and vulnerable, either that or I accidentally sent out my version of a bat signal!

I had pretty much cooled off any conversations with other men whilst trying to work out what was happening between me and my ‘friend’ who we’ll call Mr M for now (or knobhead depending on what mood I’m in!) but once I’d found out he was a complete an utter knob with no knob and I needed to move on and get the hell away from moping about him, messages started coming in. One may have been because I popped on to match.com again to see whether there were any new faces (FYI there weren’t) and I got spotted online by a previous date, but I have had three other men from dates past contact me and I have no idea how their timing is so impeccable! I am, however, being strong and trying to remember why we only had a couple of dates the first time round. See, learning from my mistakes already!

The best timing has to be the Facebook friend request I got from someone I worked with 9 years ago! He was 16 at the time and I was 21!! After a bit of a catch up and chat he confessed he had seen me on tinder and thought he’d get in touch! He said he had always fancied me and remembered the time I’d (probably drunkenly) told him that “if he was older..”!! He used to play rugby at 16 and had always been good looking and a bit charming but 9 years on he had a bit of cheekiness to his repertoire as well. I did keep thinking “you’re 16!!!” as we chatted but he isn’t – he’s a very hot, rugby playing 25 year old. Now what stupid woman wouldn’t investigate the potential there!? In fact I can’t think of a better antidote to knobhead than that!