A rose by any other name…

id

I’m currently leading a double life – oh it’s all very exciting, don’t you know. Totes a post millennial thing. Think baggy topped legging-ed single mother living with parents by day, sultry vixen-like divorcee by night solving crime on the mean streets of Cornwall…

Yeeesss, maybe not. More back-in-childhood-bedroom watching Gilmore Girls reruns on Netflix trying not to demolish a bag of Maltesers. (And now that lots of people are describing their evenings as being of a ‘Netflix and Chill’ nature, I guess I’m not the only one doing this. Because that is what it means, yeah?!)

So anyway, rather than the mystery and intrigue, we’re talking a fairly low level double life here. Married mother versus single mum with a different surname to her son.

It’s a bit of a half way house situation at the moment – pure laziness on my part has meant some know me by one name, others by another. Which has been awkward at times – particularly at work when I was congratulated on the recent marriage. It was more awkward for them though, to be fair…

I always knew that I would revert back to my maiden name after the divorce. This was about me and my identity, not what rules ‘Society’ says I should conform to. (Get me, next I’ll be in my Doc Martens carrying a placard and wearing a nose stud)

Problem is, it’s not just ‘about me’ anymore. It’s about that gorgeous blonde haired, blue eyed, pain-in-the-arse toddler sleeping in the next room. And while I know I did the right thing for me, my resolution wavers a little when I think of him. Especially for as he gets older. Will he be teased at school? Will he think this was to do with rejection of him? Or, as – for the most part…no politics here… – times and the make up of families has changed and we’re becoming a bit of a more tolerant society, is this all in my head?

I ploughed on regardless with changing my driving licence, bank details and work email. I even changed my name on Facebook and Twitter – now you can tell I really meant business…

But, the Judgey McJudgerson in me is stopping me from making the change with the doctor’s. Even last week at the walk in clinic, I gave my old, married name, fearful that someone would question whether my son was actually mine.

The prejudice lies with me, I know. So until I can be completely at peace with my decision, I guess I have to keep reminding myself that the only names that truly matter here are ‘Mum’ and ‘Son’.

 

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

The curse of the ingrained habit…

battenberg

During my first year at university I developed a weird addiction to Battenberg cake. I would wake in the early hours  desperate to devour a slab. Sponge first, of course – you have to save the marzipan til last. I’m actually embarrassed to confess it here, but it does illustrate the point I’ll make shortly.

This night snacking went on for about a fortnight – each night, around 2am, I would just have to eat some. No matter how much food had been consumed earlier in the day, the hunger pangs were there.

How does this fit in with today’s blog? Patterns. Or rather, how something you do for a couple of days suddenly becomes ingrained habit. I’m guessing that’s the psychology at work with the whole eat-something-you-don’t-like-at-least-20-times-and-then-you’ll-like-it. (except that really hasn’t worked for me with fish…)

Oh I’ve persevered with fish but I still really hate it (except for a good fish finger sandwich). Anyway, where was I? Sorry, patterns. Habits. Now, unless we’re talking about the serious stuff of drug and/or alcohol abuse, breaking a pattern is fine when you’re an adult, because you can get your shit together. As I did with the evil Battenberg – on the realisation of the role it played in the rapid weight gain and return of the dreaded teenage acne, I soon banished the pink and yellow squares.

Try telling a toddler though that they can’t keep eating the sugary cereal that you were forced to buy in the absence of anything vaguely healthy when on holiday, or join you in bed at 2am because ‘a lobster pinched my elbow’, ‘Mr Sun’s up’ (he most definitely is NOT) or ‘I can’t find my Transformer’. You will have a battle on your hands of epic proportions, my friend.

What may have made life easier for a couple of days has now become much like when your child has a firm grip on the lead of your hair straighteners while you’re trying to use them – delicate extrication is required.

You can try distraction (praise the Lord for CBeebies at breakfast), threats (‘eat your breakfast or I’ll make you come shoe shopping with me’), a heartfelt plea (‘please, please, please go back to sleep’) or prayer (‘Lord, could you please assist in this whole not sleeping malarky, because I’m going to lose my shit very soon… I swear if I can get a good night’s sleep tonight, I’ll let the boy do some painting tomorrow. Heck, I may even let him do some baking’.)

None of the above has worked so far – my son clearly has an iron will – it took a good fortnight of ‘the shop doesn’t sell your cereal any more’ to end the morning tantrums over the teeth-rotting crap. But before I have you thinking I’ve cracked this whole motherhood thing… this has  been replaced with a Biscotti before milk at bedtime. And he’s still joining me in bed most nights… *big sigh*  He doesn’t get his willpower from me.

So, what wisdom can I impart from this experience? Pick your battles – if it’s not going to kill him, or you (although we’re borderline with sleep deprivation…), then let it go. Chances are it’ll be much like every other phase up to this point so far, short lived and replaced with something a little more complicated next time.

 

What’s your favourite position?

We all have a preferred position… Mine has to be a sort of semi reclining in the right corner of the sofa – the exact spot outlined by an indentation of my arse. Usually I’m joined by the dog who has somehow managed to contort herself in such a way that leaves me jostling for space.

How about you? Perhaps you’re a fan of a beanbag? Hunched over a kitchen table? Or, maybe an under-the-covers-with-a-tablet?

Today I thought I’d write about my favourite pastime, something that is fairly satisfying and has always been there for me when I needed it. Yes – television. Oh, you thought I was talking about sex?! As if…

Taking stock of life as a relatively newly-single gal about town on the sofa, I realise that I have allowed my brain to atrophy – fed on a diet of dramas, comedies, soaps, documentaries, reality TV, talkshows… (I could go on, but you get the idea). Most nights involved flopping down in front of the box and remaining there for most of the evening. Somewhere after the age of about 25 (let’s not share how long ago that was…) I began the process of prematurely turning into an 80-year old who schedules phone calls around her soaps (which, don’t get me wrong, you have totally earned the right to do at 80). Other than work, or my beautiful gorgeous son and almost equally gorgeous dog, TV is the only thing I can talk about with any sort of confidence. Which is really frickin’ sad.

(In my defence though, it does rain a shit load in Cornwall, and cold, wet and dark evenings do lend themselves to a night in front of the box and reaffirming a commitment to the sofa arse indent.)

So, as I glossed over earlier (more to follow on that, but it’s a whole other post. Heck, it’s a whole other blog…), I am now single. Almost out the other side of a painful divorce (a cliché but is there a better adjective?), it’s time to work out what’s next. And struck with the realisation that there is much more to life and how precious it is, I’m going to have to curb the urge to watch all the must-see shows and start feeding my brain again.

There will be a new grand plan (more on that another time). There will be a television. But the new sofa will remain indent-free.