Redefining our family
As a single parent, it’s a huge choice to add another person to your life. Have you tried it?
Thrown into single parenting, I silently resolved to create a family for my daughter. It was destined to be unusual and not very nuclear but I wanted for her a safe space. A loving family life that supported her as she grew and became her own little person. I worked hard at it, and most of the time, alone.

Having been a single parent for most of my daughter’s life, I had become accustomed to being the primary decision maker and was used to being mom, dad, sister and friend all at once.

Of course, we are lucky to have a close relationship with her father, his family and my family but, on an everyday basis, our family was just the two of us. Hunting for fairies in the garden, baking up a storm in our little kitchen and spending our weekends doing just as we please.

Still, though, mostly on our own.

Perhaps it was a protective instinct of mine, driven into warp speed, but, I realise in retrospect that I had created this pink bubble of just her and I. I swore off seeing friends if it was "my" weekend, and we hardly ever ventured out together socially. In some ways, it was comforting. In other ways, it was lonesome.

Mommy falls in love

That all changed, when I fell in love with a man who was, finally, worthy. What I hadn’t counted on, was that that would lead to us redefining our family.

You see, not only did he bring with him a proverbial white horse but, his family and friends opened up their hearts and arms to us. All of a sudden, I watched our bubble expand. Entirely accepting of her and I, they ushered us into their love, and our lives grew richer than ever before.

They are friends who not only understand the social limitations of having a 5-year old sidekick, they embrace it. Nowadays, you won’t just find me swinging her at the park. Now there’s a queue of people waiting for their turn. My previous fears of never being able to mix my social life and my mother-life have been solidly put to rest.

His family who fell in love with her gentle approach and were patient with her shy-at-first nature. They loved me through losing my own mother, and play with my daughter in the sandpit at their house. They celebrate her every success with me, and have become a part of that pink bubble we live in.

Nowadays, you won’t find me politely turning down invitations. These days, you’ll find us exploring with more than just our own imaginations to play with.

The changes I have seen in my child are astounding. Her confidence levels have escalated to heights I did not think possible. She too has fallen in love with the people who have won my heart.

It’s funny really, as I now feel a pang of jealousy when she chooses them over me for a cuddle. That jealousy mixes with absolute joy and relief.

An absolute relief that, finally, we are loved, as we are.

Have you added more people to your single parent family? How does it feel?

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