Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

Being a lone mama

Being a lone mama

hi mama,

Right now you’re sat on a bench beside the lake in floods of tears, alone, wondering how you’re going to survive. Not survive in the sense of staying alive, but survive the struggles you know you’re about to face. This, my lovely, is the lowest point you will reach and right about now your Dad is going to find you, pick you up and take you home to that beautiful baby of yours who needs you; his mama. 

You go back to your parents’ home and curl up on the sofa in pain; it physically hurts your heart. Not just for you, but for that tiny human who looks up at you with his big blue eyes and who’s life depends now solely on you. 

You’re homeless, jobless and feel completely lost. At the click of someone else’s fingers, you feel like you’ve lost it all. And now you’re back where you were at 16. It feels like all the hard work you’ve put into your teaching career has all been completely undone- it hasn’t, I know! 

You feel like a failure. Not only does the stigma of being a lone mama overwhelm your thoughts but you worry that you won’t be enough for your little boy. 

But you will, and the alone time you have, just you and your boy, will be the times you are so appreciative of when your life resumes again- you’ll see.

Your first home with little one will be a temporary one. You will worry over money, feel embarrassed by council and job centre meetings. You will feel like you’re going around in circles with citizens advice on whether it’s best to go back to work or not.  Nights are long, sleepless night after sleepless night your mind ticks over with where it all went so wrong, what did you do that was so bad to deserve this? The text messages of hate, the game playing, the broken promises for you and your son hurt you again and again. 

But, hold on tight in there! One day you will only remember the feeling of the happier times here. This is the home your 10 month old will take his first steps in, eat his first solid meals in and sleep in his own room in. And guess what, mama - you’re surviving all on your own!

You will go to counselling and it will give you an outsider’s perspective. You will start to realise it’s not your fault. That the manipulation, control and harsh words are not going to hurt you anymore. You will find training. You will escape in your workouts and feel better mentally. You will go home with a clear head and feel ready to be mama all over again. You will continue to be belittled and they will try and bring you down but you’re getting stronger now mama - both mentally and physically. You’re slowly becoming the new you. 

You will cry yourself to sleep still when the hectic day has ended and you have quiet moments to yourself to reflect again. It will still hurt that regardless of the breakdown of your relationship, that someone else can’t love your son like you do. But they will - just you wait, someone else will come along and you will soon learn that blood actually isn’t thicker than water. 

Your friends and family will get you through for now. They will be there no matter what, even if it means coming round with no bra on first thing in the morning. You will have that much love and support around you (that you will be forever grateful for) that all the broken pieces start to glue themselves back together. 

Then one day you decide that you would rather struggle financially for a while but be the best role model you can and get back into work. So that is what you do and it will be the making of you, mama. 

Life will be fun again. You will be the best mama you can be but still have time to be you. 

You and your little one find a new home for yourselves and whilst juggling two jobs and being mama is hard work, you begin to feel a sense of pride. You are doing it! You are teaching again, being mama, training and spending time with the people you love. 

Then one day, he turns up (well slips into your DMs). Says he wants to take you out. Do it, mama. Take that second chance. This is when you fall in love with the most loving, thoughtful and kind gentleman. The man who you and your little one deserve. The man who teaches you how it truly feels to be loved. The man who not only loves you with all of him but also your son. The man who loves him like he is his own. Two become four now mama and the worries you once had about not being enough completely disappear. You know that you will never be on your own and that your little one will never miss out. 

You will never truly understand how someone could walk away from the most precious little boy in the world and you’re still trying to figure it all out. But for now, still in the haze of it all, someone else is teaching you the most important skill you will ever learn - the skill to let go of what you cannot control. 

One night you will be sat playing with your little boy in the bath with a tear rolling down your face but this time it will be a tear of happiness. You will feel the bond you and your little boy have created through the bad times; a bond that can never be broken, and you will be forever grateful of your new imperfect perfect family. 

Thanks, 

Jessica

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