I never thought that I would become a single parent at 19.
I never thought that at age 21 I would still be living at my parents’ house with my toddler.
I never thought that my life could be so perfect.
If you had have told me 5 years ago where I would be now, I would have laughed at you – now I can’t believe how lucky I am.
I have such an amazing support system in the form of my parents, three sisters and my almost brother-in-law.
It really is true when they say that it takes a village to raise a child. Whether it be my mum staying up at night with my daughter so that I could get more than a few hours of uninterrupted sleep; my sister and her partner looking after her during the day so that I could work without having to spend a fortune on childcare fees, or my dad who gave up his days off work to renovate our little garage-turned-flat so that we could have a space of our own. I honestly don’t know where I would be without them.
I can’t be thanking my family for their help without mentioning my two older sisters who travel over 90 minutes one way each week just to see us and hang out with my toddler. They drag me out of the house and help me feel human again for a few hours and it is absolute bliss.
It isn’t everyone’s ideal situation to be still be living at home with their parents while also trying to be a mum, but it has taught me that you should never be afraid to ask for and accept help from others.
When I found myself becoming a single mum overnight I had (and still have) moments where I feel like I am alone in the world with no one to turn to. I ended up in a pretty dark place and was strongly recommended by my MCHN to spend some time at a local residential mother baby unit to try and get my social anxiety and PND under control. It was terrifying and awkward having to talk about myself and my story to a room full of strangers, but now it’s like second nature and it doesn’t even bother me who knows about the ‘dirty details’ surrounding my separation from my daughter’s father.
At first, I was ashamed at what people would think about me – would the blame be placed on me or him and had I done enough to try and keep us together for as long as we were, mainly for the sake of our child.
Now I feel like a lot stronger of a person because of what I have gone through and my relationship with my daughter is wonderful.
So, even if you never thought that your life would turn out this way, it doesn’t mean that it’s a bad thing.