As it turns out I needn’t have worried.
Not that I was worried of course. Alright, I admit it, just a tiny bit worried, maybe? The funny thing is that now I realise there really wasn’t any need to be getting my knickers in a knot.
My knickers get in a knot easily, especially when it comes to things I am not entirely in control of.
In my world, where it is just me and the kids, I have it covered, well for the most part. I won’t say it isn’t a bloody struggle sometimes because it is. Single parenting is not for the faint hearted and I don’t care whose opinion says other wise.
It is not a struggle in the sense that it is difficult to manage or to discipline or to provide, in many circumstances these are difficulties that all families, conventional or other wise face, at some point or another. Two parents can struggle just as much as one when it comes to the financial burdens of having a family and while there are many other things that can add to the stresses and strains of parenting, for the most part it is often a comfort that there is at least two of you going through this roller-coaster ride together.
In a way I feel stronger for having done it on my own but at the same time I know I am not really stronger.
I congratulate myself when I have managed to get through a whole week with two children still both alive at the end of it but through that week I will have had many an Oh shit moment. Oh shit moments range in severity but they are usually something I have forgotten about and this could be something insignificant, like a form I haven’t signed or slightly more significant, like losing one of the aforementioned children. This happens less frequently now as they are growing up and can now, for the most part, follow instruction easily. If I tell them to stay put they usually do.
I used to joke often about my children ending up at the mercy of Social Services and for most of their childhood I have felt as if I have slightly under achieved as a parent. I do feel that somehow, by complete chance, we have managed to avoid any catastrophes of note and even though we have scraped, bumbled and winged our way through most of it so far, there may be light at the end of the tunnel.
It is a distant light but a light nonetheless.
Some asked me last weekend if I would have any more children if I could. My answer was a resounding NO. I love my kids don’t get me wrong and maybe if my circumstances had turned out differently, I may have had more children but raising two on my own has been hard and not something I would entirely recommend.
It is hard trying to be Father and Mother, impossible in fact. I am not a man I do not think like a man (I would be in a far better position now if I did), I do not have the physical strength of a man and neither do I have the capabilities that most men seem to have when it comes to fixing, building and maintaining things. I am lucky in that I have help for some of my Oh shit moments and for that I am truly thankful but honestly, if I didn’t, I don’t know where we would be.
I know I can manage, I have proved that to myself time and time again but would I say I am strong? I don’t know. Sometimes I just want someone else to make the decision or to sort the problem out. To have a sounding board. I have never really felt like I have anyone that I can truly confide in. That one person who just gets you.
I suppose the reality is that you sometimes get fed up with just managing. Just about dealing with the everyday and a few dozen other spanner’s thrown in for good luck. I worry about how Tom and Elsie will turn out, will I have done enough for them, taught them the things they need to know, given them the memories that they will always look back on with fondness. Will it have been enough for them to have just had a Mum?
I am very fond of telling people everything is OK, mostly because I do not want to admit that sometimes everything is far from OK. Sometimes I am guilty of wishing things had been different and sometimes I am guilty of not doing enough to make them different. Don’t misunderstand me and think that I am sorry or sad at how my life has turned out I am far from that. I am mostly very content, I have two very normal, fairly well-balanced, respectful and loving children, tantrums included and we are lucky compared to some.
Sometimes my head just feels so full. In previous relationships I have struggled to open up to share anything that might lead the other person to believe that I wasn’t coping, that I needed help. Now I realise how important that is.
However, I do not open up easily, this we already know. Even as I write I manipulate a story, mostly because I over think what others will think. My first drafts of a blog are usually much more honest than the one that eventually gets published. I hold back for fear of what people will think, mostly because I am identifiable to some.
This week has seen the turning point in my relationship with Mr Ivy and I am happy to say we made it around the hairpin bend and are now coasting along the highway at a steady speed.
I will admit to be being Little Miss Passive as I couldn’t bring myself to push him. However, only an hour or so after my last post he did message me. It was a simple message to say that he would like to see me this week if I was available. Of course I am available, I have been waiting to hear from you all bloody week why wouldn’t I be available. I responded, in the same manner, with my availability and he selected Thursday as his preferred evening. I danced around the kitchen for a while and then celebrated with a cup of tea before bed. Only four sleeps!
Monday evening saw another message arrive, “Hi, Sorry to message so late. I have just discovered I am free tomorrow, if you would like to bring things forward?” It is 11.30 pm. It’s late, I’m tired and now my head is off on one of its shall I, shan’t I journeys, designed especially to keep me up half the night. After an hours deliberation (I know it’s ridiculous), I decided, NO!
I politely informed him that I would rather wait until Thursday as I had a little surprise for him this time, which was unlikely to have arrived by tomorrow. “Intriguing” he replied, “As you were.” My grin could probably be seen from the moon.
You see this is the thing I like the most about Mr Ivy, he is short, sweet and very simple. His messages are designed to say what they need to say nothing more, nothing less and now that I have worked that out, finally, we are in a good place.
He does not message me to ask how my day was or if I slept well and he certainly does not send me pictures of his cock… he waits until we see each other to ask me how my day was and all the other days in between, he practically waits on me (unless agreed otherwise 😉 ) and the effort he puts in to our dates is incredible. So much so that I feel slightly lacking in the effort stakes, which is half the reason why I wanted to turn the tables a bit for Thursday’s pending date.
My interpretation of him “trying to hard” was in fact my fears and doubts about our relationship, the worry that it would all be too much to live up to, too early on. He, quite politely, just informed me that this is how is he. If he is going to do something he will do it wholeheartedly, there is no point in doing anything in half measures. It scared me, I’ll be honest and I’ll just get that out there, he is something else. He remembers everything and I mean everything, tiny things you say in conversation, the things you do, he notices and he pulls all this information out at a later date, where he will have your favourite song playing when you arrive, or he will have bought something especially for me, nothing fancy just something he knows I will like. It blows my mind.
I wont say I wasn’t nervous about taking the reigns on Thursday, everything is still very new with us. It takes time to know your partner well enough to feel completely confident sexually, to be able to let go of your inhibitions and take control of theirs. You are both still finding your feet with each other, finding out likes and dislikes. Neither Mr Ivy or I are particularly vanilla, however, he is slighty more reserved than I. At the moment he is not sure which side of the fence he sits on, or if actually he wouldn’t quite like to hop over the fence from time to time and while I know what I prefer I am happy to go a little adventure with him and see where it takes us.
On Thursday we both entered some new territory and it was fun, well it made me laugh anyway. The sounds coming from Mr Ivy were very different.
The following day for the first time I felt compelled to message him, not least to check that he was OK! In what was our first round of slightly less formal messaging, he said he his first thought this morning was one of retribution. I am not sure who is more excited?
Our Seventh date (not that I am counting), is looming, tomorrow. Seven encounters, meets, dates? Don’t know, don’t care. All I know is that I hope to lose count soon and just become blissfully lost in it all.