Surviving the trenches

I was chatting to someone yesterday who’s stuck in the trenches of that tough first year after a marriage break up.

She looked tired and desolate. Mondays aren’t her favourite when her son heads to his dad’s place for the week.

I assured her that part gets better. The alternative would be having your child 365 days of the year, which is lovely in theory, but relentless in real life.

The parents who permanently solo parent tell me it’s pretty hard when you never get a break.

I told the newly separated mum that I sometimes find Monday mornings confronting too, despite all the practice I’ve had.

Waking up to an empty house makes it hard to get out of bed. When the kids are there you have a reason – you need to hustle them to school.

But I told her that, on balance, it will get easier.

She’ll learn to enjoy those breaks from responsibility.

She’s also wondering about other stuff … whether she’ll find love again, whether life will ever become easier.

I couldn’t offer any guarantees about either of those things. She might find love. I’m not sure life becomes easier until your kids are independent adults. And even then they’ll probably still give you a few heart-stopping moments.

At least when you’re married – happily or not – there’s someone to share the mental, emotional and physical burdens. When you separate, everything falls on your shoulders.

I told my trenches mate that dating sites seem to be full of engineers who spend their spare time cycling or sailing. But they’re also where I met DD.

I said we broke so many rules on our first date … and in the weeks that followed. He wasn’t the person I was expecting to fall in love with, but there’s something special about him. He makes me feel so calm and safe and loved.

As fate would have it, DD dropped by just as my consoling was drawing to a close with some flowers to cheer me up. Not a regular occurrence … his ears must have been tingling!

But my trenches mate was very impressed! I hope she finds love again, because it’s pretty awesome when you’re brave enough to put your wounded heart back out there and trust again.

I feel so lucky that I found DD … or, more accurately, that he found me …

There are plenty of slings and arrows in our complicated lives, but having each other takes the sting out of them.

Song of the day: Howard Jones “What is love?”

 

 

 

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