Home & Family

Separation ~ “It wasn’t how I planned it”

11th August 2019

There have been so many times in my life when I have heard someone say “it wasn’t how I planned it!” I’m saying it now… because nothing in my life is how I would have ever envisaged it to be…

If we go right back in time to the turn of the century, I didn’t ever plan on having children. It held no appeal to the teenage me.  With that said though, and the notion that children choose their parents, I CAN believe that I was actually meant to be a mum.

I also never planned to raise my children as a single mum.

And, as for the idea of falling in love with a man twice my age? Yes, I would have laughed at myself and queried which drugs I ‘had been taking (not to mention how many I had actually taken).

The emotions of separation

It’s a peculiar thing really, thinking about how differently I would have planned my life if I had thought to plan it at all. Actually, I hadn’t given it any real consideration by the time I found myself wandering the path I have now travelled.

The life I have created for myself is one that has phenomenal pressures and burdens.  However, there’s always going to be a way of making the most of it, and making it work in MY favour.

At the start of this most recent chapter, I felt guilt, relief, sadness and a myriad of other emotions. I felt guilt for the children, I grieved for the future there would never be, as a nice, normal family. There was also relief that it was over and excitement for the future.

The biggest, and perhaps most unsettling emotion I felt though, was shame. I felt my cheeks burn with it each time I admitted I was a failure. Every time I told someone I couldn’t save my marriage, I felt I was putting an oversized flashing arrow above my head.

Over the first weeks, I came to realise that the shame I felt wasn’t because I felt ashamed. The shame was a perception, projected by society, the burning shame of raising children in a “broken home“.


It’s not a broken home

I now realise that my children are not growing up in a broken home. They have a happier Mum, and are, as a result, happier themselves.

The home they had prior to the separation was broken. It was full of negative energy and emotions that were far more damaging than living with one happy parent and having contact with another.

The ‘nice, normal family‘ I grieved over is a social construction, and one that does not reflect the reality of many. What is normal anyway, and who taught me what normal looks like?

Almost 8 months after the separation I can honestly say that I made the right decision. The tension has dissipated (unless it’s chore time for the kids of course), the children are happier, (See comment in brackets above) and I am ME again (well, getting there at least).


  • Reply
    Siobhan | The Baby Boat Diaries
    15th August 2019 at 10:27 pm

    It is such a difficult situation to be in especially as you say because of how society views family! I completely agree that happier parents make for happier children! Well done you for making that decision for your family and yourself!

  • Reply
    Laura Schwormstedt
    15th August 2019 at 1:11 am

    Yes to seeing the positives and having a more positive home because of the separation – everything works out in the end and for the best

    Laura x

  • Reply
    14th August 2019 at 10:02 pm

    You always need to look after number 1. Your happiness will definitely help your kids. Good for you on this and thanks for sharing

  • Reply
    14th August 2019 at 8:24 pm

    I’m a strong believer that to be a great parent you also need to be happy yourself. Children pick up on negative emotions and atmosphere. It sounds like you did the right thing for you and your family.

  • Reply
    14th August 2019 at 12:23 pm

    The most important thing is that you are happy. When you are happy, you become a better parent. That is all that matters.

  • Reply
    13th August 2019 at 9:59 pm

    Aww, bless your heart. I moved out of my family home with the kids a couple of years ago now, and even though we’re still a couple, life is so much better now we don’t like together. I think as long as you’re happy it doesn’t matter what other people think 🙂

    Louise x

  • Reply
    12th August 2019 at 8:40 am

    I think you should always make the right decision for you. Living somewhere you are not happy is difficult and happy parents make happy kids whether you are living together or apart. Good Luck

  • Reply
    11th August 2019 at 10:17 pm

    Sounds like you made the right decisions for your and your family.

  • Reply
    Rebecca Smith
    11th August 2019 at 9:57 pm

    I’m so glad that you are happy. Separation can be such a hard process to go through with all the emotions, especially with children involved – but ultimately is usually for the best.

  • Reply
    Lyndsey O'Halloran
    11th August 2019 at 9:41 pm

    So glad to hear you, and the children are happy. Separations are hard but can really be for the best.

  • Reply
    11th August 2019 at 9:38 pm

    Separation is difficult, but it looks like you’ve made the right decision. I hope the future continues to be bright.

  • Reply
    laura dove
    11th August 2019 at 8:05 pm

    My first husband and I separated after 11 years when my youngest son was 4 years old and I found it incredibly hard hearing people speak of broken homes. Our home was never broken it was full and it was happy and we both have wonderful lives because of it.

    • Reply
      Beth Davidson
      11th August 2019 at 8:28 pm

      It’s such a hard one to hear isn’t it?

      My home isn’t broken, regardless of others’ perceptions and I intend to tell everyone the same thing! 🙂

      • Reply
        Lucy Mackcracken
        12th August 2019 at 9:05 pm

        Good to hear that slowly things are starting to feel easier for you all. It’s brave making the decision to leave a partner when there are children, well done for making the right choice for you.

  • Reply
    11th August 2019 at 4:03 pm

    ” I come from a broken home … I broke it” 🙂

    You lot look pretty damned cheerful to me !!

    TV Soaps, Hollywood, godawful teen magazines and worst of all … parents with little or no vision, other than to do what their parents did and theirs before them ??

    ‘We always do what we always knew’, and all that … the survival of the tribal unit at all costs, even if it’s fractured and toxic ??

    Philip Larkin would have words to say to you 🙂

    Hand on heart I wish you much joy in all your futures

    The Raven King

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