Super Single Mum's Blog

Life and all the shananigins!

Lets make a House a Home

I’ve been separated from my ex husband for 4 years now, and have lived where I do now for the last 3, thing is I have never really felt at home here. Last summer I decorated the kids rooms and they loved it! To me though I still didn’t feel fully at home. I guess a part of me never really believed I would stay, I had come home after the break up and needed time with my family but for a long time I felt lost, not sure if I would stay or move somewhere else. I didn’t know it at the time but I see it now, maybe the depression I had before Christmas was part of the whole healing and moving on process to enable me to put down roots. So what made me realise?

Back in January I decided it was time for change, the only thing I had left from my married days was the sofa and so I decided it was time for a new one, not just because it was from when I was married, but it is looking old and tired (I will NEVER buy a beige sofa again!). So I went sofa shopping and was very surprised to find one I fell in love with and was comfy to sit on. Sofa ordered and home I came, to a lounge in a mishmash colour scheme. I had never really noticed before but the green and beige walls and brown floor, the brown rug and black and brown furniture along with the yellow curtains almost made me cry. My newly ordered sofa was black and grey with a hint of purple….I loved the sofa but really, it wasn’t going to look at home here!

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I took the “before” picture as I was packing up to decorate, so ignore the mess, but you get the picture!!

After a number of trips to Homebase, who I really can’t thank enough for their helpfullness, and too much money spent in Dunelm Mill, well, take a look at what I did…….

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I’m pretty proud of myself I have to say. And this is the moment I felt at home, the moment I realised I’d been living on pause for a while, the moment life really does carry on! Oh, and that’s not the new sofa, but that will be arriving in just over a week and then my house really will be my home!

March 19, 2012 Posted by | Home | , , | 2 Comments

Money – the route of all evil?

I have been re-evaluating my finances this week, because I have gone back to work, come off Income Support and all my other benefits, Tax Credits and the like have changed. Even Child Benefit rates changed this month! So instead of just going mad with the new healthier bank balance I have done the sensible adult thing and sat down with a list of my income and outgoings and worked out how much better off I am. Money, it's a crime by kiki99 @ Flickr.comI am also quite lucky in that it all ties in with my divorce too, so my outgoings have reduced due to the settlement we reached. Anyway, as was expected I am much better off being at work. Although I do owe Bank of Mum and Dad for my loan for the car and have to pay for this years holiday too before I start going crazy with the cash.

Anyway, it all got me thinking, what am I actually going to spend the extra money on? Once my debts are taken care of, what then. Yes I can better my children’s lives………..although they already have clean well fitting clothes and shoes and eat a good diet, and get out to places for days out. So we can go out to more places, further afield too now I have my own car. And I can better our home life in that I can buy new matching furniture with the storage we need, buy B her new bed and really organise her room. I can save for gadgets, my iPhone and BluRay DVD player are now within reach. I can get the Wii fixed. Money by AMagill @ Flickr.comI can sort out my long term savings and save more for the girls.

Will all this make me happier though? I mean it’s not that I’m not happy now, but will more material things make me happier – or is it true that money is the route of all evil and the more I get the more I will want. By no means am I going to be rich, but I spent my first 10 years after leaving home in a marriage full of debt. Some months we struggled to even eat properly. Looking back now I don’t know how we kept our heads above water – not only did we have no money but the debts were growing month on month. It did get better and by the end of our time together they were no longer “bad” debts. Since being single I have been on maternity leave and then onto benefits and have been in the black every month, but literally had enough money to pay my bills and live. The difference now is I have the extra. 

I think just knowing that money won’t make me happy is enough to keep me on a level, but if not and I begin to sound like it’s all gone to my head just remind me……….

Money cannot buy happiness, all the money in the world can’t buy you friends who are true, love that is real or a stress free life – be positive about all that you are and that will attract the things that hold true meaning in life!

Money by QuiteLucid @ Flickr.com

April 14, 2010 Posted by | Working Mum | , , , | 6 Comments

The Most Difficult Things in the World!

I have two major things changing in my life right now and they are feeling like the hardest things to deal with right now. So I am opening up in the hope that my lovely readers can help me through it all!

The first is the fact that I have gone back to work after 2 years of being a stay at home single mum. It’s not the job, that’s a challenge, a lot to learn – but I have some fantastic colleagues and my boss is brilliant. It’s the changes at home that I thought I was prepared for but it turns out, I wasn’t! H has been going to nursery 1 afternoon a week for just over a year now. I started her going when I thought I had my old job to go back to after my maternity leave. When that fell through I kept her there for two reasons, firstly for the social aspect. At the time I had no real friends here and it was good for us to have a few hours break from each other and her mix with other young children. I also did it to keep her place there as I knew I would eventually return to work and after being on the waiting list and getting a place I didn’t want to lose that.

Last week I returned to work and H was in nursery for 2 1/2 days. The first day she willingly went in and toddled off without even a second glance to me. Great. It had worked. She already knew the place, the staff and the children. Day two she was a little less willing but still no tears and day 3 was the same. Then she was off for 4 days. She was full of cold for those four days, with a high temperature and just generally not herself. Monday morning came around and although I was on my day off, I took her as her routine needs establishing. She screamed the place down when I passed her over as she refused to walk in herself. She was very clingy when I collected her and it has been the same all week. Tonight she came home and wouldn’t let me go. She is eating, but not like she used to. She is still fighting off the tail end of the cold she had. She won’t eat anything but banana and raisins for breakfast – she was eating weetabix or rice crispies before and breakfast has never been a chore with her. More concerning than that is that she isn’t drinking. She used to drink on average 6 cups of various drinks throughout the day. Now I take her to nursery with a beaker of juice, she comes home and hasn’t finished it. She doesn’t have a full drink with breakfast and today had drunk nothing from 5pm to 7pm. She was screaming for juice but wouldn’t drink it. In the end good old Grandma came round and help me to get her to drink something before bed, without making it a big issue. It’s all so out of character for me and as she has never been a crying baby or toddler I have to admit it really upset me tonight. I seemed unable to give her what she wanted!

I was expecting difficulties with the change of routine but I wasn’t prepared for this! She is teething too and seems to have a sore mouth which doesn’t help. But not only that, I am conscious that with how clingy she has become, B is feeling it too that there is no time for me and her these days. On the plus there though, it is Easter holidays after tomorrow, and both weeks I have made sure I have a day off where it’s just me and B so hopefully that side of things will be better soon.

To top all this off, I am also having to say “Bon Voyage” to my very dear friend Mumtoj who is emigrating to Australia next Wednesday. I met her about a year ago, but in the last 7 months our friendship has grown to one of those you just know will stand the test of time. I have known for ages that she would be going back to Oz with her family just as soon as they sold their house and I’ll be honest and say that in the back of mind initially I didn’t want to get close because saying goodbye is just so hard.7535_135964005582_626560582_2938743_6649079_n However, I am glad I didn’t listen to that little voice because our friendship is something I’m glad I will have in my heart forever. On paper we are so different, but it works. We talk about anything and everything and I am completely myself with her. Not just that but her J and my H are the best of friends even though he is 2 1/2 years older than her, they play together so well and are very close. So on Saturday we are going for our last day out. We are hopefully (weather dependent) taking all 3 kids to the seaside for the day, with fish and chips, buckets and spades and lots of laughter. I can’t wait, but at the same time, I am dreading the end of the day. I don’t want to say goodbye. I’m a jibbering wreck when I say goodbye to people. Plus I have to stay strong for the kids, H won’t understand properly, but B and J will. I’m not alone in saying goodbye though, she said her goodbyes to the rest of our group of friends today and I know they feel the same. I wish her all the luck in the world and I really hope she will find happiness with her family down under.

(I know she hates this pic but it’s the only one I have of the 2 of us!!! Sorry Mumtoj!!)

So there we go, the hardest things in the world right now for me. I love my life and I know change is good, but sometimes change can be very hard to adjust to!

March 31, 2010 Posted by | Friendship, Working Mum | , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Natural Cycle of Friendship

I’m sure everyone has read the email which circulates regularly, with the message that people are in our lives for a specific reason. I don’t remember the exact words but you will know the one I mean. Now I seem to remember it says that friends enter our lives for either a reason, a season or a lifetime. I think that’s a really nice way to look of it instead of labelling people as “fair weather” friends. So in a nutshell, you have those friends who come into our lives when we need them, but only stay until that need has passed. This would be friends who you work with, who never become friends out of work and you loose contact when one or the other leaves the work place. Then you have the friends who are in your life for a considerable amount of time, but all seasons come to a natural end and so is the same with this type of friendship. Maybe this would cover friends at school or University. You share a big part of your life but then when life takes the next turn, your friendships change. Then, once in a while, your lucky enough to find a friend who stays in your life forever. The friend that you can move away from but still be as close to. The friend who would travel to the ends of the earth to help you at 3am for what ever reason.

I find it hard these days to forge friendships because I had the trust completely taken advantage of by a friend I thought was in my life for a lifetime. However, I have made new friends and kept hold of lots of old ones. At this moment in time I would say I only have 1 definite “lifetime” friend, one who I have worked with, got drunk with, talked through my marriage breakup with, live the length of the country from and only see once or twice a year – but it’s always as though we’ve never had great gaps in contact and I see myself as so priveledged to have this kind of friendship. I do however have 3 friends right now who I class as much more than reason, and hope they are not seasonal – but havn’t known them long enough yet to class as “lifetime”. But, as is the natural cycle, we are reaching a joint end of season and as much as we all look forward to what life holds for each one of us, I for one am also a little apprehensive about what will happen to the dynamics of our friendships.

My friends by janine berben @ Flickr.com

Today was the penultimate day where the 4 of us will be in a room together for probably some time if not ever. We met at the Children’s Centre to have a little surprise “Good Luck” party for mumtoj who is hopefully moving to Oz in the next few weeks. We didn’t manage to get her to shed a tear (although admit it, you were close to it when I dropped you home after!), however, I felt a pang of realisation that it’s all change now!! Also in the room was another brilliant friend MummyMatters who is happily 3 months pregnant, about to move (only down the road) and the fantastic BS (who hasn’t been convinced she should Blog yet), who is hoping to go to college in September and then on to Uni to get into nursing. Oh and me, starting work on Monday and so won’t be able to get to all our weekly groups. It’s all change, and all for the good but the chances are some of us will lose touch, if not in the short term then quite possible over time, events in life will make it harder to keep the friendships to what they have been. So, here is my message to my friends, and also to anyone who has lost touch with friends and feels regret:

 

I love our friendship

Remember the fun times we had, smile at the pictures and laugh with the memories and know that I am sat doing the same.

I hope I touched your life like you did mine, you made a difference and without you my life would be very different now.

It’s sad that sometimes we lose touch with people who mean the world to us, but know this – you mean as much to me now, as you did when we laughed and cried together, you mean as much to me now as the friend I am sharing stories with, and whenever I think of you I hope you are happy and loved with other friends in my place.

Too all my friends, past, present and future I thank you for making me the person I have grown into today, and the person I will become tomorrow.

I have just realised that kind of sounds like I am walking away from my friendships, that’s not the case, I just want you all to know that should life mean we grow apart, well that’s just what life is like and it doesn’t change the fact that you are all, and always will be, in my heart!

March 17, 2010 Posted by | Friendship | , , , , | 13 Comments

I’m so excited!!!!

Tomorrow my life starts it’s big change. Tomorrow I collect my car!!!! I don’t really know how I have managed 16 months without one, but I have proved to myself a car is a luxury and I can live without one. However, as you all probably know, I am starting work soon and therefore a car has turned into a necessity!!

Irregular Shed @ Flickr.com

Excitement is an understatement. I have waited so long for this point. When I separated from my husband I moved the length of the country to start again near family. I had a great job – no a career – and I had hoped I could move with that but a combination of maternity leave and credit crunch that didn’t happen. I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do and I think in the back of mind was that once I’d licked my wounds I might move back North. For that reason, starting work down here is a very personal and public declaration that I am here to stay, which I hope won’t be met with groans from my brilliant friends here!

ForestForTrees @ Flickr.com

Aside from what it means in me getting back on track, I am so excited about getting back to work. I honestly didn’t think I would, a few months ago when I found out I had got the job I was actually worried about every aspect. Was I really up to the job, was it right for the kids, what about arranging childcare, what about when the girls are ill……… The list was endless. Now it’s nearly here and I will have my car within 24 hours. Childcare is all set up and in place. Oh and yesterday I got my letter with details of my 2 day induction! It’s really happening! I am sure I will blog more about all this as it happens, but I just wanted to let everyone know I feel as excited as a kid the week before Christmas!!!

March 12, 2010 Posted by | My 101 Things, Parenting, School and Childcare, Working Mum | , , , , | 2 Comments