Tuesday, 19 August 2008


When one is young and happily in a 'romantic partnership' and married, one decides after much careful thought and deliberation that an extension to the family would be welcomed. A child is born. Time and energy is devoted to it's welfare. A sibling arrives. A family of 2.2 is created. The hardships of poverty arising from the mother losing her job and the father's partnership folding take their toll and differences between partners arise. Immaturity, insecurity and lack of support or intervention from family and friends, illness, aspirational differences between husband and wife, living in a property that was damp, cold and inhospitable with no finances to make improvements, all conspired to create a recipe for divorce and the damage to all involved especially the children was and still is considerable. Single parenthood was exacting and gruelling without much respite, without friends and family to share the difficulties. When the father took the children for a few weekends the mother had some leisure time but then he withdrew his support and seeing the children because he did not want to change their nappies and it is suspected that he wished to curtail the leisure pursuits of the mother at the weekends. Maybe there were other factors. His story may well read differently. Then the father left his work as an art teacher and disappeared from the country without a bye or leave to his children or wife, not yet divorced! It was several weeks before the mother found out that he had left the country. Eventually the children stayed with him for two weeks in Ireland. People said, "Don't let them go" but they were safe and had an adventure. Later, the court said he needed to only pay £1 per month for each child until they were aged 17 and that there would be no payment to the mother as she would inherit the value of the property in order to find a home for the children, after repayment of a loan to the father's stepfather. The fathers payment per month to the children did not even cover the cost of an ice cream when they were about 14 years of age! The mother did not have sufficient for a mortgage at the time of the divorce. The house became inhabitable when one of the severest winters she had known arrived and the family of three were rehoused. At the time of the divorce the judge had said it would be easier for the mother to find work!! Note that she is a single parent !! Whatever happened to the concept of a mother staying at home to educate the children? But as true as the judge's word, the mother eventually got a job. She had to!! She studied to develop a better opportunity to earn a living and further her career and more importantly to remove herself and her children from the Social Services and DSS register. For 23 years she lived alone. However, she made many mistakes in love and war and received not a penny for herself from the father. Thirty four years later she sometimes receives hurtful comments from her offspring! At other times she is told by each of her children that they love her. Sometimes it is difficult to reconcile the past. There is no manual for parenting and if perhaps if she'd had a better education about LIFE, then maybe some errors would not have been made. She cannot blame others for what she did not learn.
What was it all about? Well..... she has two lovely children who are now quite independent, busily creating their own lifestyles and hopefully learning from some of the mother's and father's errors. She loves them unconditionally and misses them very much!

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