Hello, I’m Chloe, I’m 25 and a full time single mummy to one princess called Aoibheann who’s 3. Before I had Aoibheann I was a qualified beauty specialist & makeup artist & also worked in administration. I’m from Ireland but moved to the UK when I was 19, by myself.
Tell us about how you came to be a single mother…
I was almost a year with Aoibheanns father when we found out I was pregnant. We hadn’t planned having kids anytime soon but we both were excited about the pregnancy. At the time we had a flat together but for financial reasons he wanted us to move into his dad’s house. As much as I didn’t want to move in with his family.. I did. I worked 5 days a week and asked for alot of overtime as I just didn’t like being in his dad’s house for many reasons. When I was almost halfway through my pregnancy things changed. I remember he started to drink and take alot of drugs. He seemed angry all the time and then he physically hurt me for the first time. Things got worse as my pregnancy went on.
It was February and i knew I couldn’t bring my newborn baby back to that house. I had SPD quite bad and couldn’t even leave the bed some days at this point, so I decided to take 2 weeks off work and visit my mum and family in Ireland. While I was there I discussed with doctors the possibility of giving birth in Ireland. My brother was doing his leaving cert/GCSE’s when I was due Aoibheann so my mum couldn’t come to the UK and I felt more relived to bring my newborn back to my mums house.
I told all this to Aoibheanns father hoping that it would encourage him to stop what he was doing but it didn’t work. In March he lashed out and hurt me again. I packed everything and moved in with my cousin. I finished my last four weeks at work and went on my maternity leave to Ireland.
We were still in contact and he agreed to come to Ireland the week before my due date to be at the birth. He didn’t come until i went into labour and then arrived at the hospital 2 hours after I had Aoibheann. He stayed a week and then left. He didnt see Aoibheann again until she was nearly 3 months old. I found a flat online, really near his family to move into. I left Aoibheann with my mum to fly over to the UK and sort it out then flew back again to bring Aoibheann over. Moving Aoibheann over was my biggest mistake! She wasn’t there a week when he hurt me again in front of Aoibheann. Although we lived near his family they never made any effort with Aoibheann either. He was in and out of Aoibheanns life when it suited him. He would dissappear for days sometimes weeks without any contact.
He was never consistent and never helped towards his child. I was providing everything for her. I was the one raising her. Alot of this time is a blur for me because it was a very dark time in my life. When Aoibheann was 18 months old we moved into a house. I put everything I had into it as in my head I wasn’t ever moving again. A few weeks before our first Christmas in our new home he came to see Aoibheann. Things didn’t turn out well as he just got so angry in our house. I wont get into it but I honestly thought I was going to die that night. I know now i shouldn’t of let him come to our house. After then i refused to let him near us. I never told anyone what he was like and it’s took along time for me to accept what he did to us. He wasn’t going to change and it was not fair on Aoibheann. As much as I wanted him to be a proper father I had to realise it wasnt going to happen. He didn’t add anything positive to our lives and I could not keep allowing him to come in and out of Aoibheanns life when he felt like it.
Fast forward to summer of this year. I made the big decision to move back to Ireland. I had no reason to be in the UK anymore especially when I was unhappy there and away from my family. I packed up our home and we moved in with my mum. This is where we are currently. We are starting over but this time I am wiser. Moving was the best option for Aoibheann. A fresh start for us both.
What’s the best thing about being a single mum?
The best thing about being a single parent is Aoibheann and me are so close and I get all her love to myself. She is my best friend and we do everything together.
What has been your biggest achievement?
My biggest achievement.. I feel like I’ve grown so much as a person. I’m so much more confident and strong. I have pulled myself out of some really dark times Aoibheann really pushes me to be better and do better everyday. I want the best for her and I know I am giving her the best and always will. Things will only get better from where we are now. We’re not where we want to be but I am working on it daily.
What do you find most challenging?
The biggest struggle of being a single parent for me is when we both get sick. It’s so hard when Aoibheanns getting better and I’m getting sicker yet I have to still find the energy from somewhere to get up and look after her and carry on with daily life.
What advice would you give to a newly-single mother?
The best advice I can give any newly single parent is focus on your child 100%. Forget about everything else and do your absolute best for your baby. The love you have for your child with get you through anything and your love alone is enough for your child.
Thank you Chloe for sharing your story! Chloe’s Instagram account is @chloe_and_aoibheann for anyone wanting to follow and see more of this beautiful mummy and her lovely little girl!