Life Choices in Hindsight

Call me old fashioned, but these days (now in my mid-fifties) I really embrace a slower, quieter pace of life – I mean I’ve done the non-stop rush-rush-rush of juggling full time work with childcare and keeping a home going, but seriously, those days are long gone. Sometimes I look back at that period of my life and wonder how the hell I did it all and somehow still kept going, sleep or no sleep, but I guess being young helped. That, and not knowing anything different.

It’s not that I was ever a career girl, just a young single mum trying desperately hard to keep a relatively stable roof over our heads while teaching my kids some kind of work ethic by setting what I thought was a positive example. My youngest daughter says now she often wishes I had just stayed at home on benefits like so many other mums did, because at the time she always felt they came a poor second in my life, that going out to work was far more important to me than just being their mum.

Even now I still think it’s such a difficult call to make after divorce when child support maintenance is not forthcoming from the children’s father. Do you sit back and live off state handouts while staying at home, or do you go out and earn it yourself however much your daily absence might potentially affect your family in the long-term? With hindsight I can see why my youngest feels that way, it hurts me to know I hurt her but I made my choice for what I honestly believed at the time were the best of reasons.

I can accept deep down that perhaps it was far from an ideal situation for my children, leaving them effectively with two absent parents, but sadly there’s no going back for any of us. All I can do now is learn to forgive myself for being so young and inexperienced, for struggling in very difficult emotional circumstances with far too much pressure to comfortably deal with alone, so allowing myself to move forward into a new future with my beautiful family with compassion and understanding…

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Call

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Pace


11 thoughts on “Life Choices in Hindsight

  1. I’m right there with you embracing a slower pace and wondering how ran so hard before. Having more ambition than my first husband, I worked hard outside the home before my divorce and even harder afterward. Sometimes I think I did too much for my children. Other times, I wish I had spent more time with them. Responsible parents always wonder these things. We did the best we knew how to do. I hope in the long run, our children will have gotten exactly what they needed. Now, it’s our turn – or that’s what I’m telling myself. 🙂

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  2. How great to find you here again, Ruth! Somehow I was no longer getting notified of your new posts. Plus I knew you were taking some time away from the blog. I share your thoughts on this hindsight as a parent. I too was a single mom, and I was sorely lacking patience and insight in those early days. When my child grew up with some issues, I blamed myself, but it does no good. No child on earth had perfect parents, no matter how much he insists he did. Good enough is the best we can hope to have or be. She’ll get that insight later if she doesn’t get it now. I post rarely now as my husband was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and we are preparing to move having sold our house. Once snowbirds, we are soon to be full time Floridians. 🌴🌺😎

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  3. Children have this knack of making us feel guilty, and in turn we blame ourselves. If you’d stayed at home on benefits,you would probably have been blamed for not giving them enough. I’m sure you did a wonderful job and one day they will appreciate and marvel at how you did it! 🙂

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  4. Good morning Ruth, It’s not often I find someone who wakes up as early as I do. Usually, most of those over the pond have just gone to bed and everyone over here is still asleep! Australia I can usually interact with, they’re about ten hours ahead.
    I think I might also have a go at Fandango’s ‘Pace’ I have an almost finished post in Draft with nothing to link to, so I thank you.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think we do the best we can at the time and I’m sure you did great. Getting older does have great benefits and a slower pace makes us look back at our lives, we then make peace with ourselves and then truly enjoy life. 🌹 Always remember that we can’t change what happened to us but we can accept it and move on. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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