Single Mum? You and your kids can thrive 6

There was a TV ad in the 90s. A beautiful, happy family sitting in the dimly lit lounge room of their trendy high-rise apartment. City lights flickered outside as this family laughed and smiled and lived the dream.

This was my favourite ad when I was a kid. I think they were advertising carpet? I can’t even remember. But I knew this was right for me. This was the narrative that I wanted my life to follow. Those beautiful people in that beautiful home. Because that’s what makes us happy and valued, right?! When everything looks good.

My favourite part of this ad? There was a dad. He was present and happy and oh so handsome. But mainly? He was there. My dad wasn’t around when I was a kid – he split when I was a baby. So the fact that this happy ad family included a dad? Perfection.

This mid-90s carpet ad became my unspoken goal. A beautiful, happy, trendy family in our beautiful, happy, trendy home. The end of my 17 year marriage did not factor in to that dream. Nor did the pain it would cause my kids – or the fact that I’d find myself single again in my 30s.

Grieving that life was painful. Grieving that beautiful, happy, trendy family and home – it hurt and took time. 18 months after the marriage ended though, there’s new life. Because – my kids? Everything that’s been invested in them over the years has put them in a good position to deal with the ups and downs of this season. Whether it feels like enough at the time or not, kids soak up the good stuff like sponges and store it for the tough days.

The pieces of stability their life has ever held, enable them to stand strong through this. Whatever love is spoken, shown and brought to the table, is held in their hearts and they are ok. Because what I failed to realise was that despite everything that carpet ad might have told my young self? The goal is not beautiful and trendy. The goal isn’t even happy. The goal is love.

The marriage is over. And aspects of that dream, gone. But are they loved? Yes. Are we living the dream? Absolutely.

About Joni Leimgruber

Joni lives just outside Sydney in the beautiful Hawkesbury region with her three children. Having journeyed through depression, marriage breakdown and some of the other curve balls life can throw, she is passionate about cheering others on and encouraging them to embrace themselves and their story. She is terrible at telling jokes and regularly comes down with foot-in-mouth disease while blushing profusely. Joni writes to encourage other single mums on Instagram at @singlemumsthriving.

6 thoughts on “Single Mum? You and your kids can thrive

  • Craig Laffin

    Hey Joni. A line you wrote has especially stuck with me. About ‘kids storing up the good stuff like sponges and store it for the tough days’. That resonated with me. We all have tough times and need our stores of ‘good stuff’. Our children need opportunities to develop resilience; it will help them in the tough times. Thank you for sharing your journey/story and for helping others gain a more insightful understanding about what is important – love. Your writing continues to penetrate my busy and engaged lifestyle and insert thoughts that will not go away until I have examined them. I see your name on a story and know I will be challenged!

    • Joni Leimgruber Post author

      Thanks Craig – so encouraged by your words 🙂 It’s true – our kids need our love more than anything, even when things don’t go to plan.

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