An open letter to a single mum
By Nicky Lavigne
Dear Single Super Mums,
Although I don’t always think I’m a super-Mum, I know if my six year old twin boys are alive, happy and still love me when they go to bed at night, I’ve done the best I can and I’m able to pat myself on the back. By pat myself on the back, I mean sit down with a cup of tea, some chocolate, scroll through Facebook and watch the latest series on Netflix until about 10pm when I can no longer keep my eyes open!
It took me many years of heartache to be able to join the Mummy Club but the membership is for LIFE and it’s an honour I’d never give up. Being a Mum and a single one at that, is phenomenal. I know that may sound extreme but knowing I am solely responsible for two humans who are unable to do most things for themselves and love me unconditionally (unless I tell them they’re not allowed an ice block at 9am or something similar) makes my heart sing.
I love that I’m able to bring up my boys the way I want. My boys do not have a Dad, I’m a solo mum by choice having making the decision to use a donor. Whilst I have an amazingly supportive family and *my* Mum has always been hands-on with all of their grandkids, the boys tell me they are very happy having just me as their parent, although they also say they would like a Daddy but only so he can help me!!!
Being a single Mum means I get all the cuddles, the kisses, the hugs and “I love you Mummy”
My twins are six, so I’m still very much imbedded in their everyday lives and as they grow older, they’ll become more independent and wont need me to do things like make lunches, walk them to and from school, lie with them to go to sleep, let them sleep in my bed, pick them up to give them cuddles. All of which they will not give a second thought to but *I* will miss immensely.
Single motherhood is pretty much exactly how I envisioned it to be. It’s not for the faint of heart and I went into it knowing I was doing it alone. Most single Mums were not single to begin with, so, whilst I can not know how it feels to be estranged from the father of your kids, women are definitely strong. Never underestimate yourself. From something smaller than a pinhead, a woman is able to magically grow a fully formed human. Incredible.
This is not to say every moment of my single mother-dom is all cute smiles and sticky fingers. Like most kids, mine have selective hearing. This means that I can ask/tell them something an infinite number of times but it is not until I YELL at them that they answer and it usually “why do you always yell at us?” They push my buttons and there are times they tell me they don’t love me or they don’t want to be part of the family any longer and threaten to leave. Our arguments last no longer than twenty minutes, after which we cuddle and apologize. I have to say, I NEVER imagined having screaming matches with 5 year olds but as angry as they can make me, when they look at me and tell me they love me, nothing else matters.
I tend to judge myself more harshly than I should, maybe knowing I am always outnumbered and do not have anyone else to play the bad cop. Lately, when we are out, I’ve been asking other Mums if they are judging while they’re watching me yell speak sternly to one or both of my boys. So far I have only been met with “Not at all. You are handling this well. Don’t worry, my kids are the same”.
The saying “the days are long but the years fly by” is so very true. I used to roll my eyes every time I heard it but until you become a parent, it’s not put into perspective. I look at photos of my babies who grew to be toddlers and are now in Year 1 at school and it seems like just a moment ago they were those babies. I rarely complain about my worst moments/days/sleepless nights because they are still better than the alternative and I never wanted to imagine myself spending my later years having never been a Mum.
I used to wish I could work out at 6am, or on weekends like many of my Mummy friends with partners do, but I am unable to, so I work out after school drop off a couple of times a week. Over the past six years, I have had to change my mindset on a few things I was adamant about when I was pregnant -
All my babies’ food was going to be made from organic ingredients by me
I was going to limit their sugar intake
Getting to my workout class was going to be achievable
FAR OUT, I WAS SMUG
Most of their school lunches involve me opening lots of packets of things and tipping them into bento box compartments and
They get a treat from me with their lunch pretty much every day but they are happy (sugar will do that) and healthy.
If I get three workouts in a week, I am happy. While I love school holidays, I never ever get to work out because I have my kids with me 24/7.
I am my kids’ ROCK. I am the only one who they come to for guidance, for food, for bandaids and for cuddles and kisses, also for clean clothes and to help wash their hair.
I love this quote from Mandy Hale -
Single Mums , you are a doctor, a teacher, a nurse, a maid, a cook, a referee, a heroine, a provider, a defender, a protector, a true Superwoman. Wear your cape proudly.
Bio: Nicky was working in the fashion industry in New York when she made the decision to move back to Sydney, Australia after eleven years, to spend more time with her immediate family and hopefully start a family of her own.
Whilst embarking on her quest for a baby as a single woman, she studied to become a wellness/lifestyle consultant as this was a passion of hers. During that time Nicky started down the IVF path using donor sperm. Five years, seven failed rounds and a lot of money later, she finally took her fertility Doctor’s advice to go to their affiliate clinic in Greece and use donor eggs. Nicky was almost 45 and her fertility window was closing fast.
Thankfully the first round in Athens was successful and Nicky came home pregnant. Little did she know at the time, she was about to become a Mum of twin boys. During the pregnancy, Nicky couldn’t stomach looking at all the wonderful green vegetables or any healthy food, nor was she able to talk to her wellness clients about any of it, so she put her work on pause.
About Nicky: She is still single and is Mummy to her divine twin boys (born March 2013). She plays all the parenting rolls including good cop/bad cop and wears the hats well.
The Letter Project to all those who mum
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An open letter to a new mum
An open letter to a single mum
An open letter to a grandmother
An open letter to a stepmum
An open letter to a working mum
An open letter to those who find Mother's Day difficult
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