Being a single Mum is tricky …

Being a single mum is tricky
So many ups and downs
Right turns, wrong turns
Joy and pleasure
All rolled into one.

To carry on, a widow
When part of me was missing
To steady the helm
Keep things together
Shop, cook, sleep, eat
While all the time
Steering through stormy weather.

Attend to school things
Uniform, pressed and ready
Notes to teachers
Mufti days
Money for this and money for that,
Cakes to bake
School fairs to attend.
World Book Day comes around,
Those dreaded projects
Hanging over the holidays,
Trips to the library
Books to borrow
On ancient Egypt, or dinosaurs
A struggle to get it done.

Secondary school seemed easier
In some ways, not others
A gradual separation
And I know less what’s going on.
I worry about what I don’t know
Exams appear
On the horizon.
There are options to take,
Subjects to choose.
Is he enjoying it?
Does he seem engaged?
Is he doing his homework?
How are we really doing?

Then teenage years!
Need I say more?
Worry, worry, worry!
Those nights out with friends
A curfew imposed
Boundaries in place
But 10.30 comes and goes
And no sign of James
Of that oh so precious face!

Pacing, pacing
Up and down
Where the hell is he?
Shall I text?
Shall I ring?
I don’t want to be
That clinging, nagging mummy!
Up and down
Back and forth
Where the hell is he?
I send a text
Back comes one
‘I’m on my way,
Be there soon’
Relief!
Relief!
Relief!
Sit down and wait.
Assume nonchalance.
A calm exterior,
A smiley face
When he arrives
Safe and sound
Oblivious
To the anguish I had found.
It’s all forgotten,
Till the next time!

GCSE’s
What a struggle
But my boy did good.
I was so proud
He’s gone on too
To just simply be
A wonder and a joy to me.

To be alone
And do all this
All of us
Deserve a medal,
But it is
Simply the most
Rewarding endeavour.

I made it,
And so did James,
I am grateful and happy
It’s been a pleasure!

© Gill Tembo July 2019

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