I have a little tradition with another mum called Mummy Mondays. I met my friend through our children. We are both single mum’s of special needs children. We met through a school program the kids were both attending. We discovered we had a lot in common with being first time Mum’s who are also single Parents of a child with Autism.
It is hard having your first child friendship circles change people you thought were friends drop off as you move in different circles and you have to find your feet as you adjust to a new part of your identity as a mother. Just as you are finding your feet from becoming a first time mum you end up a single parent. The same thing happens again friends drop off while friendships adjust to the separation. Being a woman you have to deal with the stigma of being a single Mum. Believe me this is very much still a thing. People assume being a single mum you are hungry for another man. Assumptions are made. Oh she must have chased him away. Oh she must have cheated, She must be after everyones husbands now as she wont want to raise a child alone. Oh she has a different last name from her child bet she has lots of kids with different surnames. Oh she must get another man so she is take care of. So many assumptions I wont even list them all. All I wanted to do was focus on my daughter 3 years later and I am still single and not interested in dating properly as my focus is my child and working on my writing. I’m not someone who needs a partner its nice if the right person comes along but that’s just not my focus or a priority im happy on my own.
It takes a while to adjust to becoming a first time mum and becoming a single parent. Just as you think ok ive got this you start noticing that your child isn’t hitting milestones the way they should be and there is unusual behaviors. I had a feeling she had autistic traits and made sure I spoke to the child health nurse and pediatrician. She was first diagnosed with borderline global developmental delay before later being diagnosed with Autism.
My friend went down a similar path and we got talking at school and become friends. Neither of us really got time to go do fun things just as adults. We were lacking much needed self care time. The kids both go to the same day care on a monday for socialization. So we made Mondays a self-care day where we would go do something fun. We generally go to the shops and/or go to the movies maybe grab a bite to eat. Just time to hang out and get some much-needed time out. Self care is so important and being a mum of a special needs child with multiple specialists, NDIS and all the stuff that needs to be done at home to help early intervention self care is needed to ensure I don’t burnout . It is exhausting. Dont get me wrong I am extremely proud of my daughter and how far she’s come she amazes me everyday but, I need time out to re energize so I can be the best mum I can be for her. It is so important for everyone to have some self care time. You can’t help fill everyone’s cup if your cup is empty. So make some time to smell some flowers or better yet get yourself some flowers and enjoy them brightening up your house. Make some time for you can be as simple as taking 5 and doing some mindfulness or taking a day like we do and just have some fun. Laughter and socializing is good for the soul. Make some time for you.
Nadia – xoxo