After returning from a nice evening at the pub, followed by an Indian meal, I have been thinking about my days as a single mum and how tough it was sometimes to let my hair down, yet what fun it was when I did. As I say in the book:
It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom…! Make sure to put into practice your new sociable single girl status every once in a while and remember to have fun. I reasoned that even though I was too broke to get a babysitter I would still enjoy my friends’ company every now and then. It is true that I was usually too knackered to even contemplate those prepare-in-advance dinner party menus. However, I figured that my friends knew me well enough to perch on a kitchen stool and chat to me whilst I prepared our meal. And if I hadn’t had time to dust, well hey, I just turned the lights down low and lit a few candles; nobody was any the wiser. I remember one such occasion well. I managed to get the children tucked up in bed and fast sleep by the time my friends arrived. Whilst getting ready, I gave myself a stern talking to. I reminded myself that people said that I was intelligent and bubbly and even quite witty on occasion. But of course when you have been passed over for a younger independent single woman with her own car and flat and you are struggling to wipe baby sick off your shoulder it’s hard to convince anyone, least of all yourself, that you are good company and quite a catch really. I decide that all I could do was to try to hold my head up high, look as gorgeous as possible under the rather trying circumstances and hope that someone would see through my tired and somewhat frazzled exterior to the sophisticated and sexy woman that I hoped might still be lurking somewhere underneath. Anyway, that particular night was fun. Nobody minded that we didn’t eat dinner till ten–the food was delicious and we talked and laughed well into the night. When they had all gone I felt a sudden surge of happiness, bubbling up from under all that grief. I lit some new candles, turned the music up high and danced. I danced for the unexpected joy to be found in passages of sorrow, for the future and for the person I knew I really was. My dance was an affirmation–a mad, giddy moment where I forgot my despair and renewed my faith in myself. If someone were to ask me what the biggest surprise was in my situation I would reply that when you have been down as low as a person can go without giving up altogether, only then can you truly appreciate those precious moments of happiness that arrive from nowhere. Only then can you truly live in the present and fully make the most of the “ups” that come your way.
“THE SINGLE MUM’S SURVIVAL GUIDE – How To Pick Up The Pieces and Build a Happy New Life” is available now to order from Amazon.