Are you new here? Welcome. If you’re just starting out on your Frolo journey, I would wager that you’re feeling a whole mixture of emotions. Fear, panic, relief, guilt, shame, worry, and just a little bit more fear. Firstly, well done for finding Frolo; I cannot tell you how much having a support network of like-minded people around you, to support you and cheer you on, will help you find your way. Lean on them.
Secondly, (and you’ll hear this a lot from veteran frolos), it WILL get better. It will get easier. It will get wonderful.
I have been a single mum for more than three years now, and I can honestly say they’ve been the best three years of my life. I am happier now than I have ever been before. (I’m more tired than ever before, too, but I can sleep in a decade or two.)
If you’re feeling shame around being a single parent, please let me assure you that single parenthood is like a new, trendy haircut that you didn’t think you’d ever go for, but that happened one day (accidentally? On a whim? Because you realised your hair was actually weighing you down too much? Because the bottom half of your hair found another head to live on instead?). At first, you’ll feel self-conscious. Everyone else seems to have long hair. Then you’ll start realising that people admire your hair. They think you’re incredibly brave for wearing your hair that way. The more confident you become the more you realise you’re actually loving your new haircut. You realise you were born to wear THIS haircut. (I’m still talking about single parenthood, if I’ve lost you.)
How to have an amicable separation or divorce – read here
‘Single parent’ (particularly ‘single mum’) still has quite a lot of stigma attached to it, but once you surround yourself with strong, inspirational, funny, honest, like-minded frolos, you’ll realise just how wonderful the community is. You’ll be thrilled to be a part of it. I am.
The problem with single parenting is that it still doesn’t fit the narrative laid out for us in films, books and on TV. You find a partner, you build a home, you start a family. You find happily ever after. Without a narrative to follow once you’ve diverted from the script, it can feel a little like you’re lost with no new direction.
So how do you ‘win’ single parenthood?
For some, finding someone new to fall in love with, settle down with and build a family with is winning. And that’s fine, it’s more than fine, it’s wonderful. But for others, it’s learning to fall in love with your new life. Your life that slipped off the script. That didn’t make the Hollywood edit. That everyone told you meant you’d failed. Learning to love the life you always thought you didn’t want, and realising that it is the most wonderful way you’ve ever lived, that it’s filled with more love than you could ever know what to do with. Learning that you are thriving against all odds and building a wonderful family life for you and your children.
That is how you ‘win’. That’s how you find ‘happily ever after’. And you will.
Rebecca Cox is a single mother to son Jack and blogs at www.singlemotheredit.com