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I worry that I am teaching them that motherhood comes with loneliness and struggle

What did you do well?

I answered all their questions 100% honestly. Their father had lied to them and they knew (they overhead us talking when I first found out ) but I did not embellish and gave age appropriate info (they were 7 and 9). I did not put him down to them and I never stopped him seeing them.

I made sure they knew they were the most important people to us both.

What didn't you do quite so well?

Not putting him down got harder as they got older. He didn't do himself any favours but they were forming their own opinions and it was easy to agree that he was this, and that. BUT, I always told them that however much he messed up, he never stopped loving them.

If you were to give one piece of advice to a parent going through separation what would it be?

Whatever feelings you have about your ex, ALWAYS tackle everything from the viewpoint of putting the children first. eg, he turns up unexpectedly and wants to take them out? You're angry, but do the children want to go? If so, they win and you swallow it, but speak to him in private about it.

I spent the first three Christmases with him and his family with the girls, and we even went away for two days to Disney Paris (booked while still together) six months after we split. Hardest thing I've ever done!

How have the decisions you made then affected the life you are living today?

After the collapse of a relationship (with an old flame) that happened early on after the marriage split, I made the decision to put my own social/love life second. 8 years on, I am still alone, one is off to Uni and the other about to start GCSEs. This worked for me, as they knew they were always my first priority, but it has brought its own challenges. I need to get out there again at some point! I worry I'm teaching them that motherhood comes with loneliness and struggle.

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