What even is the definition of a picture perfect family?
I've lost count of the amount of times I've been asked where Reuben's dad is, why he doesn't have one, when I'm going to start dating, if I want more kids... the questions go on. It's almost like people seem to think that Reuben and I aren't your typical "normal" family. Well, you know what? I say a family is what you make it. Whether that family be blood or not, two - or even ten of you, a family is a family. The "picture perfect family" usually means two parents and a kid or three, but I say any picture of any type of family is perfect, because it contains a lil something called love. Yeah there's only two of us and probably will be for the foreseeable future, maybe even until he's all grown and has kids of his own. I have no idea what the future holds, all I know is that we are a family and I'm his whole world and vice versa. Today I'm answering a few of your questions and just chatting about what it's like to solo parent.
The dad questions
I don't blame people for being nosey to be honest, especially if they don't know the drill. But I get asked a lotttttt about why you never hear about or see Ru's so called "dad." Someone asked how I handle it when people pry and to be honest, it's simple. I just say it how it is. It's not a nice situation to have to live with never mind talk about, but at the end of the day I've done nothing wrong and his "dad" is the one who's chosen to abandon him. Ru's nearly two now and he's going to have a lot of questions for me one day and I have no idea how I'm going to handle that situation but he's never known what it's like to have a dad so really he doesn't know any different. He's the happiest bub I've ever known so only having one parent is clearly having no affect on him so far, I've heard so many stories from others who've grown up without dads too so they always make me feel better. I'm his mummy and his daddy and I think he's pretty cool with that situ.
Keeping on top of everything
Another question I get asked an awful lot is how I keep on top of everything, like housework etc. Don't be fooled by insta stories because the answer is simple - I don't. I tend to wait until the dirty washing basket is overflowing before actually washing the clothes. They get hung out to dry and stay there for about two weeks, and then they eventually make it to a forever growing pile of ironing that basically... never ever gets done. It's still there. I tend to iron clothes as and when we wear them because I am that bad. I usually keep on top of other things like cleaning the kitchen and the dirty dishes but that's because I can't stand living in a dirty kitchen. Things like hoovering probably don't get done as often as they should, it's not just finding the time it's just that I don't prioritise it over things like finally sitting down to eat and getting on with work so I don't miss deadlines and get paid sooner. I don't have the cleanest house going but I try to keep on top of it as much as I can, some weeks it will have crap absolutely everywhere and other weeks I manage to keep it tidy for a short while. Work wise I just work whenever I can, utilising nap time and having a safe play room where Ru happily plays for a few hours at a time is basically the magical answer to that one. I'm able to leave him happily playing whilst I go into other rooms to do all my photos and I can sit at the kitchen table writing up content! Obviously it's not always that straight forward, if you have any idea what toddlers can be like then I have those awful days of non-stop crying and whining just like any other parent but generally he's quite well behaved so lucky me!
Do I think it's important that he has siblings? Not really. I appreciate that it's nice to have them as someone who has two sisters and two brothers, but I don't feel like I should feel forced into giving him one. I'm not in a position where I could even give him one anyway, I'm not in a relationship so unless I adopted it's not happening for the foreseeable future. I know loads of people who are only siblings and I feel like as he's my only child, he will get so many opportunities that I might not be able to afford to give him if I had other children. It will be more affordable for us to take holidays more often, I can send him on school trips etc. I think it's just easier in general with only one kid to think about, we get to take spontaneous road trips whenever I feel like it and if I had other children it definitely wouldn't be that simple, there would be fights and double the workload. I'm sure the good outweighs the bad but right now I think we're both happy as we are and I don't think he's missing out by not having a bigger family. Plus he has uncles and aunties to play with!
Do I get lonely?
I've been asked numerous times if I get lonely and the answer is a solid no. I've dipped in and out of the dating scene a few times and it just never feels right. Obviously I just haven't found my "match" yet but it's totally fine with me, honestly I actually like being alone. If anything I never really get any "me time" as it is raising a toddler alone and I crave more of it not less! Even when Reuben is older and in school, I think I'll love having days to myself to get on with working and do things like attend blogger events and socialise - things that I don't really get to do at the moment! I honestly don't see the rush to get into a relationship and get married etc at the age of 24. I know loads of girls my age who are already married and settled down and that's totally fine, I'm personally just not there yet and I have years ahead of me for all that stuff. Having said that, I'm so glad I got pregnant when I did because I love my little family of two.
I got asked what parenting traits I picked up from my own parents and I would say that I've not specifically picked up anything in particular. I've raised Ru on my own from day one and never really asked for help from anyone so I've just took it all in as I've gone along and done things my own way. It's hard to say when he's still a baby at not even two but I know that when he's older I will always support him in whatever choices he makes just like my parents have done for me.
All parenting comes with the good and the bad, whether you do it solo or not. I admit it would be nice to share the workload and actually get some time to myself now and again to do what I want to do but that will get easier the older Ru gets. He's still a baby and very much dependent on me and that's okay, I made that commitment to him the day I decided to keep him and I will always put him first. It's so rewarding being a mummy and I wouldn't change a thing, the good far outweighs the bad days.
You will go through life always being asked personal questions like if you're in a relationship yet, when you're going to have kids, if you want to get married... the list goes on. At the end of the day as long as you're happy with your family as it is then that's all that matters!