I had a moment, a flash of pride, a “stand up tall” kind of moment, back in January during my first week back at work.
I had just returned to the paid workforce after a four and a half year break. I was now a single mum, whose ex-partner was in jail and who had turned out to be a complete dropkick. Frankly, my life was nothing like I had imagined it to be at this stage. I was struggling financially, getting no child support and everything looked pretty bleak. My job was full time, meaning that my children would be in care/school for a substantial chunk of their week – something I had never wanted for them.
None of it was my choice. I did, I guess, choose to make a life with the wrong man. But that is a whole different story.
Anyway, there I was. I had just dropped off my sons at daycare and school. I was all dressed up and made up, heading back into my car the day was warm, sunny and beautiful. And for a moment or two I felt so proud because I was doing it! I was actually doing this single, working mum thing and I was doing it quite well! I was supporting myself and my sons independently. I managed to get a job at the place I wanted to work. I organised care arrangements for my children. I knew what we were having for dinner that night. I felt accomplished. I felt like a superhero!
Then, as I drove to work, I pondered and pondered this feeling, and realised that all mums are superheros! Staying at home all day with children can be hard! Working away from the house and then coming home to deal with children, partners and housework is definitely hard! Dealing with chronic illnesses and conditions in ourselves and our children is hard! It doesn’t mean that all of us hate it, in fact most of us wouldn’t have it any other way, but I had to admit to myself that being a single, working mum was no harder than being any other type of mum. It didn’t make me any more special or accomplished than any other mum. It was just the way my life had turned out and, thankfully, I’d been able to meet the challenge.
What about you? When do you feel like a superhero? When your house is sparkly and clean? When you’ve managed a grocery shop with more than one child in tow? When you’ve spent your whole day playing and making craft with your children? Every single bit of it is special…
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