Spain, Autumn 2006. My Shitty Twenties is an award-winning blog about being a single mum. I started it when my son was two and I needed to try to find something funny in a crap, banal day. Now it’s an outlet, a forum, a place to discuss the dingy lows and the soaring highs of being a single parent to an ace six year old boy. It’s also the basis for my book, which is all I about what I learnt when I was pregnant and being a mother to a baby.Things have moved on since I started this blog; now it’s more wobbly teeth and bike rides than nappies and bibs. There’s much less shit, snot and vomit nowadays (thank goodness) but here’s what I wrote about the blog when it first came into being… I used to wander round trying to work out the point of it all. Life seemed great but all it really entailed was a lot of futile, short-lived debauchery.
The Point of it All
When I was 22 and half way through university, I found out I was pregnant. It felt like an alien invasion but instinct took over and, despite being totally unmaternal, I found myself going ahead with the pregnancy.
My baby’s father’s parting shot was “Enjoy your impending shitty, snotty, vomitty twenties.”
And that’s how I thought it was going to be: no university, travelling or career and lots of daytime television and bodily fluids.
When Tom was born, I looked at him and thought “Oh God, what have I done?” Thankfully, three weeks later, I got the rush of love that is supposed to come the moment they’re placed in your arms. Gradually, I realised that motherhood wasn’t half as bad as I thought. It wasn’t easy, but there were more smiles than tears (from us both.) It dawned on me that I could still do everything I had wanted to do before Tom came along.
This is the story of what happened next. I hope it inspires others in a similar situation. Unexpected pregnancy and single parenthood don’t have to be the end of the world. I finished university and, in a moment of defiant madness, somehow managed to take 20 month old Tom on a trip to Australia. I went back to university and did a Masters. I even have a social life. Tom is four now. He’s bright, kind and funny. Even people who don’t like young children (like me) love him. I’m up to my neck in debt and there were lots of bodily fluids, but generally my twenties are turning out to be far from shitty… Without Tom in my life I’d still be staring at the pavement trying to work out the point of it all.