Today we went for our third Gingerbread meet up, there were a few single mums and their little ones. I really enjoy the Gingerbread meetings, I love my group of Mum friends from my antenatal group but they are all happily married to dedicated fathers and although they offer sympathy / anger as appropriate it can get a bit depressing when you know they are going home to their happy marriages.
Whereas my Gingerbread friends have had some real ‘experiences’ with their baby Daddys. One took drugs and left the country without paying any maintenance. Another delightful chap was best friends with his wife years before they married and planned a pregnancy, not long before baby was born he accidentally sent her a text designed for someone else – needless to say the relationship didn’t last long. The worst was the man who gives out death threats instead of maintenance. Honestly, if I didn’t have a great Dad and friends with lovely partners I would have given up on men entirely.
Having a partner walk out on you with a baby feels like something that will never happen to you, it’s like something that happens after an accidental teen pregnancy or to the aggressive people on Jeremy Kyle shouting about ‘textes’ (why can’t they pronounce texts properly? so strange). However there is a big mix of women at different stages. The main thing is that everyone is so welcoming and more importantly they understand what you are going through, some of us obviously have had shittier times than others as there are no fairy tales in relationship breakdowns but it stops you feeling so alone and hard done by.
I can be a ridiculous pessimist, when my husband announced he was leaving one of my concerns was that I would be single forever as I couldn’t understand who would want to date a single mum. Seeing women who are on the other side of divorce shows that there is a chance of dating and finding love again (one even found a partner at baby class four months after she gave birth!). Another told me about her new boyfriend and the hot tree surgeon who was her fuck buddy before that, I left feeling that there is hope and although it may be more logistically difficult to arrange a shag when you are a single mum IT CAN HAPPEN and until then there is a massive teapot and crap loads of cake in a little church hall with some wonderful women. Thank the lord.