SINGLE PARENT – My twins just turned 7 years old!
This will be a brief (OK, maybe, not “brief”), albeit, probably, painful, dialogue (with myself), reflecting, on my twins turning seven years old. My third (and youngest), turns five years old in 2 weeks. I have three, THREE, kids under 7 years old….and I’m raising them pretty much, alone….Where the HELL did time go!?! My Mum warned me about this whole “Youth is wasted on the young” phenomenon. To be fair, I pretty much did everything I wanted to do before I had my babies. I studied, worked hard, travelled, lived, loved, survived….enjoyed my life. THEN…parenthood….
PARENTHOOD. Is this as “wonderful” as everyone talks about, or is it the reason I’m (pretty much) “worn” daily? Have I fallen into the trap of believeing, having children, would fulfil me?
Don’t misunderstand me…before those doing IVF or other treatment, kick off. I HAD IVF. I WANTED to have a family. I now, just question, well….”why”? Please do not interpret what I’m writing as anti-parenting/kids etc. I adore my children. I would do anything, and DO anything for them.
They are my joy, my laughter, my heart walking around, outside my body. Daily. I’m just stating….why, why why….did I feel sooo pressured to have children when, now in hindsight, I sometimes, feel pained by the road ahead. This love you feel for your kids…its never ever ending. I worry constantly for them, cant sleep when they cant, cry when they do, feel happy when they are, sad when they’re sad…its (as a Mother) never ever going to stop.
This level of love….its beyond anything I’ve ever experienced in my life. And the WORRY for them every single day, and guilt if I feel I’ve let them down…well, that’s something I never understood.
I called my Mum recently, crying (as you do as a single mum daily…or NOT, if youre properly “versed” on this way of life, I actually never signed up for, alone), after arguing with my (then) 6 year old about our living situation and where we will eventually live once our old family/marital home sells. The conversation was beyond anything I’ve been able to manage as an adult…. and I felt so sad, for my child, that I didn’t (as I often don’t) have the answer to her questions.
That feeling of wishing you cold have “done better” as a parent…its tough. My Mum told me I often sent her to bed (please NB. my Mum is like the Mafia so if she feels guilt…the whole parenthood is fkd) at night worrying and sad she’d “let me down”. But, she also said, that children need to feel “secure” in order to accept the hard road/rejection ahead. If they are secure, and know their parent/s are there, kids can conquer anything.
Last night, I went through old photos, emails, cards, basically my life, from 7 years ago. Its crazy (almost shocking to me) how different my life now is. Something, and some new era I never ever expected.
However, the one constant, joyously (sometimes painful!) loving and unconditional component, that keeps my feet on the ground solidly, are my three children.
These little people, have shown me, unconditional support and love, beyond anything I’ve ever known in my entire life. And I have been loved, numerous times. And well. But my trio…my entourage…my brood…my crew…my cheeky monkeys….this crew are hilarious.
However, I/we created them. Their father and I were not quiet, shy, meek characters…so why would we ever expect our kids to be different?! If anything, we are trying to manage, a rather “lary” trio of cheeky, kids. When I get a call from the school, or pulled aside by their Teachers to tel me something one of the children did. DO you know what I feel? Pride. Yep. Pride. I LOVE that they have the balls to push boundaries. I LOVE that they trust me (and their Dad) enough to attempt to do stuff you shouldn’t at school knowing full well that we would be informed, yet have no fear. I Love that I (and their Dad) am trusted. I told them when they started “big school” to “enjoy their time, push the boundaries and know Mummy is always there”…..little did I know they would go over and above.
I feel proud and disappointed at the same time. Only disappointed if theres bullying involved. I am never a hater but my kids (our kids) know not to ever allow (or even witness, without stepping in, if safe to do so) bullying. I cant grasp that
They are loud, capable, street-smart, argumentative, kind, non bullying (we are VERY anti bullying in our household), charitable, open, loving, cuddly, talkative (we love a good Chat!!), but more than anything…human. This is my crew.
I am blessed to have these 3 little people who are usually (one or two of them!) in trouble at school, yet the naughty one, (AKA my only son) is placing toys and treats (or 1p coins) under his 4 year old sisters pillow because she wants the “tooth fairy” to come and see her (shes witnessed her older twin siblings getting a treat ONCE from the Tooth Fairy).
My son (the “naughty one“) does this amazingly kind, sweet gesture, nightly…. He puts TREATS under her pillow at night (every night) so she thinks the Tooth Fairy came. Every night that my youngest 3rd child mentiones the Tooth Fairy, her older brother, will place stickers, 20p from his own Money Box, lip balm (hes stolen probably!) …My point is….this son of mine…hes such a good lad. Yet, hes been flagged up at school for “bad behaviour” because my ex said he was acting inappropriately. My Son, is kind, yes, cheeky, but no way near a “problem” like the kids I give lifts to from school on the way home. One boy tried to stick his finger inside my mums bellybutton (not bellybutton but I cant bear to even write where he attempted) on school grounds, yet HE is not being called in for anything. My son? Lets look at the facts.
Thanks to ex Nanny, my son is a child who has been “flagged up” at school for naughty behaviour). Thanks to constant prodding and poking, my own relationship with my OWN SON has been affected. My old Filipino Nanny (and her bullshit, letting my then 3 year old daughter walk out the house, leaving the gas on, not closing the door, letting our 9 month old almost drown….this is a WITNESS) as well as whatever is aired by the ex, has rocked my normal, natural relationship with my child. My son and I feel, almost awkward now, thanks to the bullshit that has been created during my divorce. He has been soo damaged by what has happened because he has been used as an exampleof my alleged lack of “attention”. ATTENTION.
My son, BTW, gets approximately 80% of my attention DAILY. This has been enforced on me/him/us….thanks to a nanny (who my son claimed tried to cut him with a knife/his own flesh and blood).
I had a meeting (with my ex) at my sons schools last year) where I told them they were “ruining my relationship with my child”. These lies and comments….they are maybe not intentional…but they are ruining my relationship with my boy. I adore him. Hes cheeky. Gorgeous. Kind. He adores me. We love spending time together as we are actually very VERY similar. But, he is being pushed into a corner where apparently I give him “no attention”, and he is a “problem” at school. Both untrue.
YET….Both, now, a problem for me. I’ve kept quiet for long enough.
Yep, the same boy who holds his little sisters head when she falls asleep in her car seat so her “neck doesn’t hurt” while I drive us home.
He does this EVERY time my youngest child falls asleep in the car. His twin sister? The “good one” and my “favourite“? She wouldn’t even notice or attend to her younger sister, who has special needs. Yet, my Son, who according to random stories, where in hindsight I cant believe I even accepted being questioned, is sooo kind and looks after her. He did from the moment my youngest came into the world. His words were she looked so cute and he called her “Pookey”. A name that’s (unfortunately for her) Stuck!
But my boy? The one they are “monitoring” at school for bad behaviour because he said “bum” or something along those lines. Its harming him more than helping. My poor boy has had (due to moment at school that would ordinarily be considered “cheeky” ie. saying “you smell”! to another child) has caused Social services/Therapists/Psychologists to stop in. The poor lad is overwhelmed and I’m actually, now, beyond accepting of him being torn down like this. All because of a Nanny and my divorce. All to try and cut monthly maintenance.
MY SON ….holds his 4 year olds sisters head in my car, while I drive home (during my 2 hour round trip), to stop her getting neck ache (because she “falls forward Mummy”) while I drive us home. My SON, whose head and body I used to hold for over 8 hours every night for months because he couldn’t settled in out new environment in my lounge in Hong Kong all night….MY SON….is being torn away from me, bit by bit. I’m a good Mum and I adore my kids. I haven’t changed when it comes to who I am at the core. My kids however, are being destroyed by this stupid divorce game.
My son…hes actually a very good boy. When I hear things hes allegedly done…I’m stunned because, surrounded by love, hes fine. When hes upset….yep….he’ll react. But hes only a child. And that’s not me saying that as a typical Mum protecting her son. I’m pretty strict, yet kind, with my kids. They know they can come to me with anything. ANYTHING. We even laugh about this at dinner time when my 7 year old daughter told me ” Mummy when you come into the playground, please tell X to stop smelling me”. I witnessed (on 2 occasions) my kids being bullied, and had to speak to the Teachers within my reach immediately before I harmed some idiot bullying child’s face, or their IDIOT parent for not stepping in to teach their child that what their kid is doing is UNACCEPTBLE.
These two Boys who bullied my then 5 year old daughter, were swinging my daughter around by her school uniform hood. I was waving goodbye to her at the time before these imbecile, joy riding (to-be), idiot, boys started bullying her. They didn’t know who the fk was in the playground. They prompted me to cooley walk over (try to recall Legal jargon…being an ex lawyer n’ all) and tell these 2 idiots to “GET YOUR HANDS OFF HER NOW!!! WHAT ARE YOUR NAMES AND WHICH CLASSES ARE YOU IN!!” My daughter was trying to push them off her and retrieve her hood. Adults though….?! They were bloody EVERYWHERE. Why didnt they step in? These idiot boys were 5 years old and shit themselves when I walked over and intimidated them as they attempted to do to my daughter. Did this stop their pattern? Nope. Ive seen them STILL BULLY kids in the playground….until they see my joyous face….cowards. I keep telling my kids….”Bullies are cowards. Stand up for yourselves. Tell Mummy if you don’t feel safe!”. they know the drill. They also know, human beings should be kind. Bullies are “ cowards”.
But seeing my son this past week, doing things, no one has told him to do (ie. hold your baby sisters head when she falls asleep so she doesn’t get neck ache)….is pretty…cool. He is genuinely kind. I love that about him. I wish everyone would back off and let him be.
This morning, all three of my kids woke (my youngest has her birthday in 12 days but will be away this year, so I celebrated her birthday today, with her older twin siblings), to balloons, cake, presents, smiles, contentment on the way to school. One of my twins…AKA “Favourite daughter”, did a somersault into my bedroom at 4.30am this morning, smiling (always smiling…to be fair, she DID come out the womb like that), shouting (because she can not, at any point, talk quietly), “ITS MY BIRTHDAY MUMMY!!! MY BIRTHDAY!!! LET ME SEE WHAT YOUVE DONE IN THE KITCHEN!! OR HAVENT YOU DONE ANYTHING?!”
I woke, explained she was approx. 1.5 hours early, to sleep for a bit, and I would wake her when it was “time”. My daughters response? “OK. BUT, please DONT FORGET!!” As if I could…. 7 years ago I had twins. I was married. I was in love with life and what the future could hold. Today, I woke alone (I mean the only adult in my home), and tried to keep it together while I witnessed these little people, I’ve raised alone for 2 years now…get one year older.
I had my twins in St. Marys Hospital in Paddington (Praed st), London. The well known “Lindo Wing” who were beyond amazing with how they cared for me. I had complications during the C Section, and lost a lot of blood. But the Nurses, Doctors and staff generally were beyond incredible. I couldn’t walk without their aid for 2 days. Yet, not once did I feel insecure or judged while attempting to do basic human things like go to the loo…the medical profession (on every level, from juniors to Consultants) were absolutely mindful and instrumental in my recovery.
The Lindo Wing at St. Marys was not some plush, Four Seasons Hotel style room, as you would expect for £6000 (apparently the cost) a birth. I gave birth to my 3rd child in Hong Kong and it was compulsory to remain in the Hospital, known as “Hotel Matilda” for 7 days. To be fair, I had just moved apartment with the twins and ex, tried to fight a legal court case with our old landlords and unpacked, before turning up to voluntarily be put to sleep before giving birth to my 3rd child (I was SHAKING from terror/fear/worry of giving birth the 2nd time round. I was Shaking so much, the Doctor suggested I be put to sleep. I agreed…I was terrified after being advised from 16 weeks that we had an issue with the umbilical cord and Baby no.3 could be stillborn. Imagine a whole pregnancy wondering if your child would be alive when you gave birth? and then your husband emotionally checks out, knowing full well, situation at hand. Oh, and then my Dad died. Cherry on the cake.) I had 3 days to recover from my C Section with my twins. 3 days….then I was on my own. Back home…with 2 babies…I made via IVF (apparently I should be “hush hush” about the IVF for reasons I don’t understand….If I can help anyone through IVF, I bloody will. It is definitely not for the faint hearted and a couple must be strong to survive that shit)….and I was scared to leave the Lindo Wing.
And the aftercare at St. Marys, in Paddington?
Well….again, it was managed and I was looked after beautifully. I felt cared for, despite feeling physically bare at times (someone helping you go to the bathroom or to sit and drink water), and emotionally exposed. This hospital is both private and NHS run. Ive recently read reviews on St. Marys and am stunned by “trip advisor” style comments. The nurses and Doctors I encountered were incredible. The job they perform, is beyond anything I’ve ever experienced. To be fair….the nurses who were there whenever I needed help, we beyond altruistic. I never felt alone knowing they were just around the corner. For a Nurse, to go and help someone go to the bathroom and HELP them physically hold bags of blood/fluid…and STILL smile and be kind to you?! This profession is NOT there to simply serve us. We need to appreciate that these are people, with feelings and senses, going home to their own lives, after a day with you. These amazing Nurses, at the Lindo Wing, who helped me when I couldn’t stand without losing copious amounts of blood (seriously, like a bucket of blood just to brush to stand and brush my teeth), would be so natural, and help me. HELP me. The only other person who would do this, is my Mother. Where was my then-husband? Not there. He was tired.
Me? I’m celebrating today that my twins are 7 years old. SEVEN. My youngest is about to turn 5. AND, I have been a single mum since they were 2 years old and 4 years old. No Man will ever define me, or my brood. I just hope, I keep up this super busy, hugely emotional (at times) biggest role of my life.
I will go back to work soon. Once all 3 are sorted. Until then?
Despite being under pressure daily (and nightly), I’m owning this amazing, sometimes totally soul destroying, role. This crew of 3, that I gave birth to? I’m actually, beyond impressed with how much they have held ME up. Parenting is harsh. People judging you constantly, is harsh too. But fuck them, and do what you want to do. Those who judge, have zero life, and bullshit input. Good people don’t put others down.
Don’t be a hater. Although the Internet Trolls wont be able to help themselves..
For the single parents out there… You’re doing a FUCKING BEAUTIFUL JOB. And for those smug happy married bastards (I’m not bitter)/coupled up? You too are doing a fab job (we don’t hate you). Parenting is a whole job in itself. I love (& WANT TO MAIM), but LOVE, when people discover I’m a stay at home tortured Mum, then say to me, “oh, so you DONT WORK?!” No you fucker. DONT WORK?!
If you mean “not working” as waking up throughout the night, sleeping on the floor next to your childs bed when theyre unwell, washing thousands of clothes daily (despite them having friggin uniforms!?), being on call 24/7 for ALL your childs needs, having constant bullshit meetings with schools/doctors/therapists/ex husbands/idiots, attending playdates, parties, driving to the moon and back daily, washing toys, filling in projects, doing nightly homework, cooking, cleaning, trying NOT to kill oneself, as NOT a job….well you know what? YOU do my daily and NIGHTLY job. Tell ME HOW YOU FEEL AFTER ONE WEEK IN MY ROLE. Because I am being judged daily for allegedly NOT working. How do I go to work when I have sick kids, waking through the night, calls from school, no family that live locally, and zero support by way of a nanny?! WHAT JOB WILL EMPLOY ME?
I get 4 hours sleep (if I’m lucky) uninterrupted, every night, before one of my kids wakes me, feeling “sad”, or ill, or about something to do with my divorce. I have experienced, ALONE, nearly 2 years of this nightly waking up routine, then doing a WHOLE day of “NON WORK”, then the same Groundhog routine, because of a divorce, I didn’t implement/want. I am alone in managing this situation. I AM A SUPERSTAR. I have to keep telling myself this otherwise I’ll top myself!!!
There is only one proper rule to being a good parent. Be a good, kind human being. Your kids learn what they see. Teach them to be a kinder generation. Surely?
So….onwards and upwards.
My trio are going on holiday with their Dad and I actually get my only annual break (6 days) so I’m going diving, diving, diving.
I just pray my babies are ok, and this horrific, still stressful (despite the divorce) time, will eventually end. I am fed up of waking daily, worried about what the week will produce in pain, ex husband drama and general bullshit.
I want to be happy. I DESERVE to be happy.
I am raising 3 children alone. ALONE. EVERY SINGLE DAY. NOT WEEKENDS. EVERY SINGLE MINUTE. NO NANNIES. JUST ME.
I am almost amazed people attempt to pick a fight with me. But they do. Me. The Mother of 3 kids, who is running around daily, after her children.
What IDIOT picks a fight with a single Mum, who gets 4 hours sleep a night (if you are having a good night), drives her “mummy taxi” daily to cater for 3 little peoples needs, and has zero life?
Tags: bullies, C Section Lindo WIng St. Marys Hospital London, divorce, divorce london, Doctors UK, favourite child, Four Seasons Hotel, Give birth in Hong Kong, holiday as single parent, Hong Kong expat life, Hong Kong Matilda Hospital, Matilda Hospital Hong Kong, Nurses UK, preprep NW london, Private London Hospital to give birth, Schools NW london, single mum, Single Mum London, single parents holidays, St. Marys birth centre UK, St. Marys Hospital London Paddington, St. Marys Lindo Wing, St. Marys Lindo Wing giving birth to twins, St. Marys Paddington Hospital, Twin Mum UK, twins, Twins bullying, UK ex husband
About Sharzad MichaelsA food loving, punk (& chef) wannabe, divorced, single parent of 3 young children. An ex-wife, ex lawyer, ex-hausted Mum. SW15 Londoner born/raised.
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