Four mamas share letters to their former selves, as the heartbroken mum who has separated from her partner.
Ever had your heartbroken? It’s fair to say we’ve probably all shed tears over a broken relationship at some point in our lives. I can’t imagine the pain of going through a separation, as a mum, overwhelmed with sorrow, anxiety for the future, shame and anger, with a child pulling at you even more so then usual for your attention.
This week is Valentine’s Day, and while the world goes in to romance overdrive, there will be many not feeling so amorous and unable to conceive a time when love could enter their life again.
I remember my last break up clearly. I felt relieved it was over, but spent a whole week crying, chain smoking, eating Haagen-Dazs and watching Pretty Woman, while knocking back cheap red wine. Deep pain wrenching my gut, but I had the space to work things out. I threw away all reminders of our relationship and washed my hands of him.
While that period truly sucked, over time, the pain ebbed away and I moved on, every now and then looking back with pangs of sadness. As a mum, you can’t wash your hands of your failed relationship, you have a reminder, your child looking up at you every day.
So, this post is a virtual hug to mums struggling through break ups. Without having gone through this myself, it’s sometimes hard to know what best to say. That’s why I’m sharing the stories of four amazing women who have been the heartbroken mum.
Here they look back and give retrospective advice to themselves at that time. This is about honesty, hope and knowing that as many others have trodden this painful road before, many others have survived and flourished.
Here are their letters.
AFUA ADOM, JOURNALIST & BROADCASTER
It WILL be okay. It’s so obvious, but it’s true. You wonder how you’ll wake up tomorrow morning, how you’ll explain to your daughter, how you’ll survive without their hugs, their voice on the phone, if it will stop hurting. It does I promise. You’ve done worse than this. You will survive.
It wasn’t your fault. You didn’t break up with each other because you’re a bad mum or because you work too hard or you’re too successful, like he said. Your success is not your problem. Don’t let that make you less of a person. Be you. In fact be more you. He’ll hate that.
You can and will love again – if you want to. Don’t tar everyone with the same brush. Keep believing in love, you are worth a whole of it. You are special and worth it and a valid person. Just because he didn’t make you feel that way doesn’t mean it’s not true. You will find someone who loves you and your magic. You will find someone who puts you on a pedestal and says ‘I’m with her!’
“Keep believing in love, you are worth a whole of it. You are special and worth it and a valid person. Just because he didn’t make you feel that way doesn’t mean it’s not true.”
SIMONE WILLIAMS, NHS NURSE
Dear self, this is not your ending its simply the beginning.
You don’t need to look for a man to validate you. Your pursuit of happiness lies within, not in someone else.
Focus on raising your child. It goes so quick and they can pick up on your emotions, good and bad and this has a impact on them as they grow older.
“You don’t need to look for a man to validate you. Your pursuit of happiness lies within, not in someone else.”
You know he isn’t good for you, so why hide from your friends who know it too? The way they looked sad at your wedding said it all and you should have walked away then.
You may not know it now, but being on your own with your little boy will be the most special time with him that you ever have. That little face and those cheeky grins will shine through the dark and make you realise your own strength. When you laugh together over a triumph, it will remind you of what is and isn’t important. When you look back on that clouded time in your life, you will now only remember the dancing, the treasure hunts and the bug hunting because now they are stronger, more powerful memories that shine through!
And finally, you will find a new relationship, he will treat you right and let you know what a ‘real man’ is. He will show you respect and support you to be the best you can be whilst building your self esteem back up after it was knocked right down.
“When you look back on that clouded time in your life, you will now only remember the dancing, the treasure hunts and the bug hunting because now they are stronger, more powerful memories that shine through!”
In the words of Maya Angelou, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them. ”
You should have not gone there in the first place with this man. You knew it, but you went ahead all the same. Promise yourself never to do this again in your lifetime.
You have compromised who you are. There is a line that is crossed when compromise becomes self destruction. Do not be afraid to be your truest self in a relationship. Do not pretend. Do not give up on your dreams or waste your youth worrying about finding or retaining a mate. Don’t stop enjoying some of the best years of your youth due to an ill conceived relationship. Wait to mature, wait for life. Love thyself.
Be fearless in your break up. Everything is up for grabs. You can emerge a new you. Accept your decisions, make peace with them and then move on to make better of yourself.
“Do not be afraid to be your truest self in a relationship. Do not pretend. Do not give up on your dreams or waste your youth worrying about finding or retaining a mate.”
WOW! Such powerful words from four incredible women. I’m sure there are many more. So, if you’ve been the heartbroken mum, why don’t you share your words of advice below! I’m sure they would speak to the heart of a mother going through a break up right now.
*Names changed for anonymity