This is the one where I explain why I have 8 children but only 2 of them actually live with me. Apologies as that sounded like an introduction to a ‘Friends’ episode but it’s a hard one to begin for me, I am bumping ‘Tuesdays Tales from the Supermarket’ to Wednesday this week to make way for this bad boy so bear with me. A little word of caution at this point is that this may turn out to be an emo-post (that’s ‘emo’ and not ‘emu’ – though I did love Rod Hull) – I’m a fan of funny posts and not one for a rant, moan or general sadness so this is a bit out of character’
I have 8 lovely children, ranging in age from 16 to just 2 years old .
The thing is I always find when talking to people you mention you have 8 kids and you get bombarded with “wow you’re brave – or mad”, “your house must be chaos –you must be sooo organised” or the really imaginative “don’t you have a tv in your house?” (ha ha ha boom boom – not). As soon as you reply “only 2 live with me full time” the ambience changes a smidge. More often than not people don’t pry to ask why that is, a caring few offer “that must be hard you must miss them” and a minority look at me with suspicion as if inwardly wondering what have I done that is so terrible that I have had them taken from me.
My children have all been planned and much wanted, I have been married 3 times and have 8 children by these 3 men. Back when I was at secondary school only one person in my class had parents that divorced, now however my daughter informs me that a handful of her friends also live mainly with their dads and not their mothers…how times change…
My first husband and I had 3 children, were married for 4 years and then divorced. Looking back in hindsight I have always suffered from post-natal depression which I honestly feel is to blame for the demise of this marriage, it’s only now having been properly supported and diagnosed after my 8th baby was born can I see this though.
My second husband and I had 3 children also, he wasn’t / isn’t the nicest of people. We were married for 4 years also before we divorced. I cited domestic violence and rape as the ‘reasons’ for divorce on the petition and he didn’t contest that when it came to the divorce. The police were involved as were the courts, but sadly the Crown Prosecution Service didn’t take the cases to court, as is the case all too often I am told. The whole rape within marriage scenario is difficult territory and I truly hope that no one who reads this ever has to discover that for themselves. If you are unfortunate enough to have been a victim of rape you’ll appreciate how stressful and unjust the whole process can be.
Needless to say it didn’t end happily, even with an injunction in place banning him form contact and being near me things did not improve. The courts would not stop him from seeing our children stating that any ‘alleged events’ did not involve the children and so he could carry on seeing them. They’d return from weekend visits to see their father with notes from him, telling me how sorry he was and how he wanted us to be a family and on one occasion bringing me my wedding ring that I had thrown out previously (how he had got it beggars belief but bin rifling is my suspicion).
After a year of this I couldn’t handle the pressures of his behaviour balanced with the sheer hard work of bringing up 6 children under 7 years old on my own and I had a full blown breakdown, lip flicking and overdose taking proper beast of a breakdown. I spoke to my rape-crisis counsellor and decided I would arrange for the children to be cared for by their fathers and move away to enable myself to fell ‘safe’.
And so it happened, I moved 100 miles away, close enough to still see the children but far enough to feel safe once more. My mental health fluctuated and it was without a doubt the darkest time of my life.
I have remarried in the last 6 years and we have 2 wonderful children together. I see my oldest 3 children every couple of weeks and we’re in touch constantly. I get to do fun things like music festivals and gigs with them and I am the one who gets to do all of ‘the talks’ about birds and bees and teenage life – not being there 24/7 makes them feel that they can talk to me more (in a strange kind of way). They have done well at school and seem very well-adjusted, polite and caring young people. Their father remains one of my dearest friends.
The 3 children with my second husband (who is still a total bum-hole) I see once a month. He only lets me see then once a month for 2-3 hours. This is because “they have too many other commitments”, I don’t want to take the matter to court as I do not want to re-live the past. , I always make this short time a time for all of my children to be together –and it’s the most precious time that I spend with them. Needless to say though I have a large box full of police statements and court information in my attic and when they are old enough if they ask me why I have not been around for them I will talk to them about it and show them if I feel that it’s right for them.
So there you have it – a potted history in all things maternal to Mammasaurus. We all have crap in our lives, some is our own doing and some out of our control but we muddle on. I am hoping that this hasn’t seemed too self-indulgent and excuse-making, my life choices have ultimately been mine to make.
Normal posting service will resume tomorrow with more humorous ramblings and maybe a spot of gin drinking to boot.
Thank you for reading this longer than normal post x