Are you a single mum who does selfies?
It made me think as I was looking through my camera roll on my phone yesterday. I have become a selfie addict. Not just of myself but also with my children.
Why has the selfie taken over my camera roll I thought?
The more I think about it, I was never in a lot of photos when my children were growing up. I was the one behind the camera taking the photos and movies of my children and their Dad. As a parent we want to capture all the moments as our children are growing up. They were beautiful moments and there are many more beautiful moments to come. As I write this I laugh at a thought because I was going through old footage about a year ago and noticed when filming on holidays I would turn the camera on myself and talk, talk random things, just so I was on camera… I wanted to capture every moment and more so now as a single parent.
My children are now teenagers and I guess we don’t tend to take as many photos as we did when they were younger so the selfie is a great addition to the camera roll.
Over time I have become the selfie addict of a single mum. I do this because I want to capture the moment. Maybe wanting to capture each moment including me was a little guilt from divorcing their father, who knows. But I guess what I know right now, I love the selfie and the moments I capture with my children. And yes to their dismay and eye rolls, we capture many selfies. Nice smiling ones and ones with silly faces and laughter and yes those wicked eye rolls. I ask every time we venture out let’s take a selfie, and my son would say, “Mum are you going to post this?” as I hear the worry in his voice, only for me to say, “no… I want to just capture the moment”. And it’s true, it is to capture the moment.
Selfie’s have become the new normal of my camera roll and I am sure probably for many.
The teens of today are selfie experts, obessed perhaps... and I didn’t want to be like ‘that’, but what is ‘that’. To be in the moment and capture it? It really isn’t a bad thing at all. I think they are onto something!
But for me it’s because I want to be in the photos too, since our family dynamics changed, so did a lot of other aspects of our lives too. Holidays became even more interactive between us, dinners out contained young adult conversations. Being together often has become a new normal, because my children and I don’t see each other every day, and when we do, we tend to stick together more often than not.
I am sentimental, always have been, right down to when my daughter was 1 and I started a tradition to dress her in my wedding dress each year to watch her grow, so yes I love mementos and the knowing, that depending on the day we can see what is happening. In the past three years, I have taken more than a 1000 selfies..., some with my children, some with just me and some with my girlfriends and yes even with Grandma! It’s not that I don’t want to ask someone to take a photo, but it has become such a habit to take the selfie that I will just take one because why not? Technology has made it so much easier to hold onto the memories more so, not just in our heart but of images and movies to share with others, or just for ourselves.
Years ago I would question friends for taking the selfie, geez I would even question my daughter, why?, but over time I have come accustomed to the beauty of a selfie and what it means to me, me as Joanne and me as Mum - capturing the moment in an instant. Sometimes we are alone and we want to capture the moment too, the selfie is the best way, so why not.
Do you do selfie’s? And how often?
Selfie’s have now become a birthday tradition in our family and it will continue for many more years.
The selfie although seemed overrated years ago, is actually a great way to capture you and your loved ones, with the feelings that come with the day, and the activities you are up to. I love doing them and sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t like the one I added above. Absolute selfie fail at the beach on a windy cool day, with the three of us, and I think there may have been some screams, yelling MUM!!! going on, but needless to say, I did finally get the selfie.
Happy snapping and don’t feel like you can’t selfie. Enjoy it.
Being a single mum has its good days and not so good days. And when Mother’s Day comes around it can feel a little sad and perhaps lonely. Being a mum when you were in relationship didn’t seem so much that way and in fact it was a great way to have some time off, right? But now as a single mum, we find ourselves organising something for us. Which seems crazy, seeing it’s really a time of gratitude from our children to acknowledge all the work and effort we as mums do.
But, if you are feeling a little sad, maybe lonely or overwhelmed, perhaps even ripped off, maybe you need to look at it differently, maybe you are going about Mother’s Day as a single mum the wrong way.
Mother’s day as a single mum for me is a time to remember the birth of my children, to remember the love and hard work each and every day as a mum. It also reminds me of the heartache and struggles we have from time to time, with the organising and running around, trying to be in two places at once but knowing we do come out of it and that I do my best no matter how the end of each day turns out, because when I am with my children I know I am the luckiest person alive. With Mother's Day, I don't want some time off, I want to embrace every single moment with my children.
Mother’s Day is a time to embrace YOU as a mum. Not a single mum and not a single woman. Just MUM.
From experience I can tell you the older the children become the more independent they are, and life as a single mum does become easier in some ways. But even so, it really is a time to be together. To not focus on what all the shops are saying we need to buy or should be receiving. The best gift I could imagine from my children is their presence. Maybe they will cook me breakfast in the morning (and that’s a hint…) and to share some quality time together during the day, perhaps either order take out or cook together in the evening, oh and having a bottle of bubbles in the fridge ready for a treat for me at the end of the day.
So if you are feeling a little flat, and sad this Mother’s Day, perhaps knowing you won’t receive a gift, I mean how many pairs of fluffy socks and slippers do you need, remember you have the most precious gift of all. Your children. And I couldn’t ask for anything more than this. What about you?
Don’t focus on the material things, but focus on the love you will receive.
I want you to know you are an amazing mum, and don’t stress about what you are missing out on as in a gift, look at your children and remember they are your gift. Remember they are the ones that each day teach us how to be a better person. They teach us how to love even when we may be feeling unloved. They put a smile on our face when they make a passing joke, and yes maybe make us yell when they question our direction. But the real beauty in Mother’s Day as a single mum, is that we have an opportunity to spend time with our gifts any way we like.
A special time to stop and embrace.
Don’t fret over the missing material gifts. Spend this time in presence, feel the love, reminisce about the great times, remember the funny times. And make new memories and traditions. I wouldn’t change it for a moment this Mother’s Day, because this day is for me and my children.
Some suggestions for being present this Mother’s Day:
Go on a bike ride
Hiking is always fun
Set out on a road trip for the day
Settle at a park and enjoy a picnic
Head to the movies
The list really is endless.
Embrace this Mother’s Day and enjoy your day with perhaps a little bottle of bubbles chilling in the fridge at the end of the day.
From me to you, Happy Mother’s Day.
I love the photo I have used here. It’s a reminder of what it’s like to be a single mum. A friend of mine was taking some photos of us and as beautiful as the photo is, at the beginning of the day, neither one of my children were too happy about having their photo taken. There were the arguments and struggles of having to do something Mum wanted, but by the end of the shoot, we embraced it, and what became was the three of us. The us we know best.
Recently I have been through a roll coaster of emotions. Not because of a break-up but because of my body. It was getting to a point that when family and friends would come to me for support I just couldn’t cope. I remember a friend say to me, “But you are the most positive person I know!” Yes I am, but I was so caught up in the sadness and the unknown of what was happening to my body that I decided to checkout and at first didn’t even realise it…
I pretty much checked out of life.
Was it the right thing to do?
Was it selfish?
I started Joanne Michelle, a service to support women going through a break-up, I did this because there wasn’t much around in external support when I was going through my own divorce. And I felt like I was going through that emotion again, only this time I was breaking up with my body. It’s been tough the past few months, coming to terms with the nasties of severe endometriosis taking over my everyday life, when the rest of me was healthy. Also coming to terms with major surgery in June one that will change my life in more ways than just eliminating the disease.
Being a single mum is tough, at times it sucks, especially when you are unwell. Asking for help is one we never want to do, because if we do are we failing? Right? So throw a major health scare in there and stresses of everyday life of the unknown, and you have yourself a little bit of crazy.
Now that I look at the past few months I realise I wasn’t being me at all. It, I say had a lot to do with the medication I was given. It was throwing myself out of sorts, and with that, came the, not coping, the anxiety, the attitude and the stress of everyday life.
So I distracted myself from the mundane of everyday life.
I was at a point where I had stopped caring, I didn’t really share what I was doing, I didn’t speak to anyone how I was feeling. Was this the right thing to do? Honestly probably not, checking out did give me time to spend with myself and reconnect. It gave me the space, as selfish as it may have seen to others, to regroup, to try to understand what is happening to me. Independent, strong, healthy woman in her 40’s was struggling, and now looking back, I guess was part of the process of accepting my body.
Was I losing it, or was I just being human?
The realisation, that I cannot control everything, and the realisation that right now I am in a place where I need to be kind to myself and to trust the process, was liberating, but it didn’t happen overnight. Even though I fear the process of uncertainty, I know the outcome if all goes well will be good. It’s a situation I cannot control, it’s a situation I needed to let go of and accept.
What would we do without meditation?
It’s a little like a relationship break-up. The fear for the unknown is hell scary, it hurts and we have a rollercoaster of emotions that at times we cannot control in the beginning. But working on yourself a little each day, helps. So I found myself just recently going back to how I treated myself when I was going through my separation. I found journaling more again and reading more. Traveling alone. Moving my body, although not exercising like I would normally but getting out and walking. Eating well, consistently meditating. and… detoxing from social media and relationships.
Social media is it a nasty beast?
One of the biggest lessons from this time of healing and acceptance, was taking myself off social media. And even though I have gone back on for Joanne Michelle, I have chosen to not reconnect personally again for now. By detoxing from social media, gave me more headspace. I am sure most of you do this, we go on for a few minutes and then find ourselves on there for 2 hours, and worst, checking out Uncle Bob’s best friends, brothers, cousins page… We want to share our life, but the reality is are we really sharing what we are feeling? Or how we want to feel? Do you post your ‘happy life’, but the reality is it is nothing like that at all… Is that healthy? Do you see what a friend is up to and wish you were doing that and more? It has become an obsession with some and really a time wasting experience and for me one of a distraction but not in the good way.
Social media can become toxic, along with some people in our lives, and most importantly our mindset. By letting go, being kinder to ourselves and changing our mindset you will find the fog you may have not even known you had disappear and the weight of the stress and worry has been lifted.
I want to share with you one of the most inspiring women in my life. Louise Hay. Her book I grabbed to read again during this roll coaster time ‘You can heal your Life’. This book was a reminder to dedicate the love I have for all to myself too. To listen to my body and thoughts and be present today.
We must live with purpose and understand we deserve the best in our life.
The positive right now is that I have accepted my body, I am kinder to myself and honestly feel like me again.
I will embrace what is to come and trust the process.
Whatever you are going through at the moment, check in with yourself, which may actually mean to check out for a little bit, in a healthy way. Checking out and reconnecting could be the beginning to finding out what you are feeling from inside and not just a surface thing.
Are you getting the right support*? Do you need to check out? What is it that you need to work through?
Remember you’re not alone and best of all, you will get through this.
* If you are feeling unwell or uncertain, please contact your Doctor today.