Someone said to me recently that my life could be, but actually isn’t, very chaotic.
Which I think could’ve been an insult. If I had taken it that way. But it wasn’t an insult, just an observation and an accurate one at that.
I think the hardest thing sometimes is understanding what you have no experience of?
When I ended my relationship with #3’s Dad I didn’t tell a lot of people. At that point I was ashamed, I thought people would judge me, I couldn’t admit that I had had a failed relationship.
It took a long time, a lot of talking to someone about how I feel, and a bit of maturity to understand that actually, if I’m not judging myself then no one else can judge me. Well, they can, but it has no impact on me. People form opinions on things every day, their opinion of me doesn’t concern me. But if I don’t feel bad about something then no one else can make me feel bad about it. Easy right?
If we’re still looking at things in a ‘traditional’ way in that you get a job/meet someone, get married/have some kids/life happily every after then I suppose my life does look quite chaotic.
- I have two children from my first marriage. They see their Dad when he is home from working abroad, we have a for the most part very amicable relationship. We share school camp costs, we attend parents evening together, I still have a close relationship with his Mum.
- I have another child from what was a casual, non-relationship that then became one of the best/worst things to ever happen to me. My third child has absolutely no contact with her biological father. She knows he exists, knows various details about him, I’ve just failed to tell her he stood up in court and said he wanted nothing to do with her.
- My third child is being co-parented by myself and her Daddy. That’s the man who until very recently I was living with. He’s been in her life for a long time, and has raised her with me since she was 2. For a long time she called him by his name, and then one day she asked us if she could call him Daddy. We said yes. And when our relationship ended there was no consideration that his input would end. He is her Daddy and that’s that.
- In amongst all of that, I’ve had some of the most hilarious first dates known to man. I’ve also had some relationships that didn’t last very long. I dated someone on and off for nearly a year, in hindsight it was a wasted year, but that’s why it’s hindsight. I met someone who I thought made me happy, realised they didn’t and ended it.
And along the way, I switched my thinking. I stopped worrying that people might judge my situation, and started making decisions based on the following principles;
- Are my children happy?
- Will this have a positive impact on our lives?
- Is this what I want?
You see, there’s very few people opinions I actually care about. In fact it comes down to, my girls, my parents, definitely my sister, and actually, that’s about it.
So whether my life looks chaotic from the outside, I’m really no longer fussed by that.
My Mum said to me the other day that the tension has left my house, that the atmosphere is just so much better these days.
Within my house all three of my children are loved unconditionally. They all have very different needs and expectations and they need parented differently. They get that.
I work really hard, in a job that allows me a platform to support and impact on young people emotionally every day. I feel very strongly about young people being emotionally damaged and that also applies to my own kids. We may not have a conventional set up but you can bet the parenting they’re getting puts their needs first every minute of the day.
What I always find weird is when people think they can comment on that? Or on anyone else’s situation for that matter. And as a side note this has caused irrational rage in me this week when I’ve read all the vitriol and hate aimed at Meghan Markle in the press.
How someone chooses to live or the situations that brought them to where they are today are actually none of anyone else’s business.
The problem, that we all have, is that we let inconsequential people make us feel judged about how we choose to live.
I’m not ashamed of my life or anything that’s ever happened to me. Not any more. And I was never ashamed of my life, just worried about what people might think. And all the brings is wasted energy.
Wake up every day, love your kids, live your life, and pay no heed to the people that don’t actually matter.
As long as my Mum thinks I’m doing a good job then that’s all that really matters to me. And as long as my girls grow up knowing that at any point they can make a decision to change their life then I’ll know I’ve done a good job.
Because they are my entire world. Nothing else matters.