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‘There’s Emmy, and there’s me, and we’re happy.’ The joys and adventures of life as a single mother

Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be introducing you to contributors to The Spinoff Parents, our new parenting blog edited by Emily Writes and made possible by Flick Electric Co. Today we welcome Nichole Brown, who will be writing about single parenting – and much more.

I’m so pleased to have Nichole on board at The Spinoff Parents. Every parent approaches life differently and I wanted to share a range of experiences. Nichole writes beautifully about life as a single mama chasing joy and adventure. Here she introduces herself and her gorgeous daughter and let’s you know what you can expect from her columns. Thanks Nichole – Emily.

Hi! I’m Nichole – I write a blog called Emmy & Me inspired by my adventurous almost four-year- old, Emmy. I’ll be checking in here once a month to share what we’ve got going on, where we are in the world, and a bit of parenting guff. We are just your average Kiwi family – minus the husband, the mortgage, the dog, the other 1.5 kids, the corporate job, and the people mover.

It’s just Emmy and me – funny that! Although there are so much stigma surrounding single parenting I manage to quietly and peacefully brush off all the judgey eyes and pitiful looks I get when I make dinner reservations for one and a half. I ignore the double glance over the empty birth certificate section, and all the well-meaning Father’s Day messages I get sent.

Nichole and Emmy. Photo: Haley Rogers Photography

Nichole and Emmy. Photo: Haley Rogers Photography

There’s Emmy, and there’s me, and we’re happy.

We’re really happy. And that flies in the face of stereotypes people have about single parents and little families like mine.

Parents, in general, get a pretty rough deal. All the judgement. All the “experts”. All the competition.

And all of the damn toys and ridiculous contraptions 21st century babies apparently need.

I’ve decided it’s about time to step back, take stock, and get some fresh air. We’ve got some pretty awesome months coming up, jam packed with creativity and adventures. And we’ll be sharing it all right here.

What do we have planned? Travel – and lots of it! We’re going to be getting out and about and showing you some amazing places around our beautiful country. We like to travel. We LOVE to travel. If we’re not travelling, we’re at home planning our next adventure. So we’re going to be giving you our time and money saving tips, our must haves and our how tos, all on a tiny, tiny single mum budget. We’re starting right here in Godzone and then eventually heading global.

We’re also Going Green – not literally, or politically, just environmentally. We love our planet and we know we could all be doing a little more to give Ma Nature the respect she deserves, so over the next few months we’ll be finding ways to reduce our household rubbish to almost zero, slash our power consumption, and get our little garden producing more than just perennial silverbeet and weeds. We’re also going to make a commitment to support local growers by raiding the weekend markets instead of ruffling through weird boxes of food-like products at the supermarket. If we really get into it we’re going to start making our own cleaning products too.

Somewhere along the way I’ll be chatting about my struggles with endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), the juggling act of the modern day working mum, regrettable tattoos, kindy lunch boxes, and some general parent chit chat.

Here’s a little something I wrote on Father’s Day to my daughter; I hope it shows you how I feel about being a single parent:

My Little Love,

Today is just another day for us. Another Sunday. Another sleep in. Another day that I tell you I love you and sweep your forehead with kisses. Just one more day I am blessed to have you.

You’re not old enough to understand why the funny/annoying messages I get on this day make mecringe, because I’m not two people, and I’m not doing two jobs.

I’m just Mummy doing what any mum would do to give you an amazing life filled with giggles, and dirt, and sunsets in the sand.

I’m just the lucky girl who gets to hang out with you and see the world through your eyes, and your stories, and your smiles.

I’m just a mummy so in love with your tiny hands, your thick eye lashes, your golden curls, the sound of your happiness, your incredible thought process, and your love of brussel sprouts.

You’re my favourite. My favourite everything. My favourite girl, my favourite adventurer, my favourite love story, my favourite conversation, my favourite song.

I will try and be the person I needed when I was little and innocent like you.

I will never lose sight of your dreams, and hopes, and aspirations.

I will keep eating the worm soup you make me, even when you use yesterday’s pretend worms to try and gross me out.

I will push you to go higher, and faster, and further when I know you are doubting how amazing you really are.

I will let you make decisions for yourself, even if I think you’re crazy, because I know if I don’t trust you, you’ll never learn to trust yourself.

I will teach you to play the guitar, and the piano, and to read sheet music, because music will inspire you in ways that words and the noise of the world cannot.

I will be here, or there, or wherever it is that you need me.

And I will always, always, always love you.

And no matter how old, and wise, and wonderful, and independent, and beautiful, and kind, and brave you grow to be, you will always, always, always be my baby.

Happy Sunday Em, pancakes are on me.

Love, Mummy

Nichole Brown will blog semi-regularly for The Spinoff Parents. Between columns you can find her at her blog and on Facebook, Instagram and on Snapchat: emmyandme13.


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