The thing I struggle the most with as a single mum is the loneliness and at the risk of sounding patronising you really will never understand the loneliness and the challenges that loneliness brings unless you’ve been a single parent yourself. Never. Sorry but you won’t not even if your partner works away a lot, is in the army or anything else, this is different. I’m not trying to make it a competition of whose worse off, I don’t think it is, everyone’s situation brings with it it’s challenges and this is mine that’s all I’m saying, it’s no better, worse, easier or harder for one or the other. Just different.

The lurgi descended upon us this week, I had to scurry home from work the other morning feeling and looking rather green. Then the next day toddler P joined me in my sick bed with a raging temperature. I’m close to painting a red cross on the door and only allowing people in full nuclear, NASA body suits with a 3 mile radius as it was only a couple of weeks ago I was feeling off it and we both had a bad bought of flu at Christmas. I’d quite like the bugs to b****r off to be honest.

Whenever trouble strikes us, we’ve to muddle through ourselves, don’t get me wrong I have the mothership close by and on hand and those who know us well, know that Granny T wears a superwoman cape disguised as an M&S jumper and carries fairy godmother wand that resembles a roll up! She swoops in and tries to help and save the day whenever she can, she takes after her mother (just like her sisters do) living on the legend of my Gran, trying to help and fix everything for everyone. But there’s only so much she can do. I also have some really good friends, really good, who check in on me, ask if I need anything and that will always answer and help if I ask (but I rarely do when I need it-as you will have gathered from previous posts) and again there’s only so much they can do. Ultimately I’m still on my own, ultimately it’s me and little P going it alone facing the world. And as much as we can handle it all, as much as we can cope, it can get lonely. Not for P, but for me. I can feel a little lost and alone.

Then I look at her. Her little blue eyes, youthful smile and innocent face as her tiny voice squeaks, “are you better mummy? Are you not well?” and I remember as I’ve said so many times that I’m never really alone. Toddler P also wants to help.

Ok when she was ok and it was just me that was ill she spent the day with Supergranny whilst I tried to rest up and get better. However, she still showed concern and wanted to see how I was, that evening she came into my room, placed her arm around me and said all the little stock phrases I say to comfort her. She grabbed “giraffes can’t dance” and offered to read me a bed time story, told me to “jus cwose ya eyes and yie down” she wanted to make me better. She didn’t want to leave me alone either, despite the fact that actually that’s all I wanted, a) because I couldn’t bear being touched feeling as rough as I did and b) I really wanted to prevent her from catching it. Explaining that to a 2 year old wasn’t the easiest and in case you haven’t gathered, she’s a feisty and determined little creature!

So then it attacked her too and to be honest even Granny’s super powers didn’t protect her from the germs and she too started to feel worse for wear. And we ended up muddling through as the three of us, armed with a calpol syringe, blankets and some Netflix favourites in between sleep. So then why with the two most important people around me did I still feel lonely?

Well because it’s not the same and as much as we pull together, I can’t help but remember it’s just me now and as much as that is so much better, easier, safer, calmer and happier. It’s lonely. Really lonely. And I can’t always put my finger on what it is that bothers me as maybe on this occasion it was the feeling sorry for myself because I was poorly. What I have to do is focus on what I do have, the mum that helps me however much she can and the little mini-me with her unconditional love and support for me. Her idolisation of me and desire to be at my side doing whatever I’m doing all the time.

It’s never good being ill and it’s never good feeling lonely but this week the two together felt really pretty crappy. Until I remembered that there’s some people that care and that one little person counts for an awful lot in my life right now. On a side note, it also reminded me to stop and rest sometimes and that this was possibly my body’s way of saying, “stop trying to do everything yourself, learn to say no and sometimes just rest at home and take some time to recuperate” maybe listening to my body might’ve saved the onset of this bug…because I’m a bit fed of the germs lately.

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