It’s taken a lot to write this post. Or should I say, it’s taken a lot to share it. It’s possibly one of the hardest things I’ve had to face and yet one of the best at the same time.
My Dad died only months before I fell pregnant with baby P, only weeks into my pregnancy and less than a week from seeing that blue line, our world came crashing down and the Dr said she was sure I was losing her, I waited what felt like years to see a chocolate chip sized flicker that was her heartbeat. Then with her at not even a year old I turned my back on a terrible situation, bundled off with her, a changing bag and a handful of divorce papers. Needless to say the last two and half years have ensured I faced as much as one weeks worth of Emmerdale episodes!
When I left my husband, I was still grieving my dad (when do you ever stop grieving for a parent) and as much as I was loving the first months of motherhood they were tainted by the bad relationship/marriage I was in and the fact that little P was never going to meet her Poppa M. I was being a mum without my Dad to play Grandad and bounce her on his knee singing “Yankee Doodle” with a strange Yorkshire/Gujarati mixed accent. Anyway I digress, (told you this was a hard one to write-I’m waffling) as much as the decision to leave my husband was mine and the best one, it was hard, scary and incredibly hard.
There were logistical things that were difficult, the typical side taking, gossip whispering people and the grief of losing what you wanted your marriage to be. I always wanted us to be a happy loving family but we weren’t and that was a hard and bitter pill to swallow at first. I feared being lonely, I feared being a single mum. Not because I couldn’t cope, deep down I’ve always had a good inner strength and confidence to call upon when I needed it most and I knew me and lady P would survive. I knew she’d be a happy baby (especially now she wasn’t in a unhappy home) and would thrive and grow into the bright, sassy lady she is. But what I feared was my own loneliness. I feared being alone after spending 10years of my life in love with someone, setting up a home and building a life with them. Ok I didn’t live then anymore when I left, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t feeling lost at the prospect of being on my own for the foreseeable.
People said all sorts about how I might meet someone else, told me to get on dating sites and that I had Miss P so was never really alone. For a long time I knew I was ready to meet anyone else and avoided that like the plague. I knew I needed to learn to be happy and content in myself as well as let the dust settle from the after math of a messy divorce. I knew I needed to focus on me and what I wanted as well plough a lot of love and devotion into my baby girl. Because as I said in my last post, me and her are the dream team and it’s all about us.
Now here comes the hard part, more because I’m openly admitting some thoughts I had and that I feel guilty for thinking. However, I shouldn’t because I never really did feel that way, I just thought I did. I struggled for a period because she didn’t seem to be enough. There I said it, I didn’t think my daughter was enough for me. My bright, sparkly eyed, bossy, bolshy cheeky madam wasn’t enough. She’s my whole world and my life revolves around her but she didn’t feel enough, I still felt like there was something missing and that she want fulfilling some of my emotional needs. Nothing was.
It was hard, in less than 2 years I’d lost a Dad and a husband. I was seeing significantly less of my step son and had, had to cut off many friends (the joys of post split social politics-cue eye roll). I was re-building my life and as much as I adored my little girl and she filled me with so much joy and happiness, there was a little something off. It just didn’t feel quite right. Now don’t get me wrong it was a hell of a lot better than being in a dysfunctional marriage. And it wasn’t post natal depression or a form of any other depression or anxiety. It was all actually part of moving on. It was part of me accepting my new life and creating some true happiness for myself.
Yet something was stopping me from feeling true happiness. I’m close to my mum and on a couple of occasions in tears, I told her how guilty I felt, why didn’t my daughter fulfil my needs, why couldn’t I shake this nagging feeling. She kept replying to me that she was enough, I just needed to let her be. In true me style, I calmed down but shrugged off my mum’s advice and plowed on thinking I know best and what the hell does my mum know (yeah yeah I know, this is where toddler P gets it from #karma).
I don’t quite know what did it, what or who made me realise. But suddenly I had an epiphany, my mum was right (please don’t tell her, I’ll never live it down). Miss P is enough, and then some. She’s more than enough. I was causing the empty hole, I was causing the nagging doubt and unfulfilment (is that even a word?). I was stopping her from being enough. I wasn’t fully drinking in her and everything she brings with her, her fun, her love, her affection and her craziness. I’m not saying I haven’t loved her or enjoyed her but I haven’t let her be enough.
I guess this realisation was the premise before my thoughts about living in the moment and remembering what’s important because she is what’s most important, before, now and always. Nothing has actually changed in the things we do together or how we live or how much we laugh, giggle and play together, I’m just allowing myself to get more joy and satisfaction out of it. I’m not letting there be a dark cloud hanging over me Eeyore style. I’ve taken on more of Pooh and Tigger’s personality and if anything I’m getting back to the pre-marriage me, the young lady who had a lust for life and a spontaneous personality.
I’m also a bit delayed in writing this post, I think I was afraid to admit that I had these feelings and concerns. As someone who’s thrown herself into motherhood and being the best mum I can be, it was horrible to think that maybe my daughter wasn’t enough, I felt guilty thinking it, especially with the pressure to be a “certain way” when your a mum, society doesn’t make it easy to explore why you maybe questioning yourself and your feelings as a mum in such a way. I’m glad now that I have written this though. I’m glad I realised how she is enough and how much she fills me with by doing the smallest of things.
She is enough, she’s more than enough and knowing that is the biggest step I could’ve ever made in moving on. Yes she doesn’t replace my dad or act as a replacement partner, but she gives me enough love and fulfilment for me to be happy, as I am, with her. I’ll still grieve my dad and I may still meet another person to date or whatever but I’ve learnt to carry my grief for my Dad with me and I don’t need to have partner or husband. My dream team is enough and anything else is a welcome added bonus.
I just hope I’m enough for her…oh Lordy-I feel another post coming on!