It takes bravery to be a single Mum.
Not the “Must get to the top of Everest” sort of bravery but, rather, the “I’m in this alone and everything depends on me, hold back the panic, you will be OK” quiet, consuming, sort of bravery that, by virtue of the situation, has to exist in every single moment of your day-to-day life.
It’s tiring on every level, from the knowledge that everything depends on you to the physical demands to the organisation it takes to manage the logistics of a business, a home and two little children alone.
I think of myself as a master juggler and, for it all to keep running as smoothly as possible (for I wouldn’t dare to say that everything runs as smoothly as it could), it’s not possible to even consider dropping any of the balls.
So, there I stand, at the centre of two little people’s worlds, at the centre of our home – my clients also depending on me for my reliability, punctuality and quality – juggling, juggling every thing every day.
Trying to fit it all in, my time being allocated, jigsaw piece-like in the best ways possible so that I’m able to attend to all of the essentials according to their priority. Littles first, me and my health second, work third, home organisation a (sorry) fourth, ‘free time’ and relaxation (which includes this blog and other hobbies) round about last.
I joke that I’ve earned project management credentials, with sleeves rolled up, that investment banks would pay big money for.
But it’s not anything out of the ordinary, for me, because it is my ordinary.
Any Mama would do the same in my position. Because us Mamas are wired to care, to nurture, to protect at whatever cost. It’s all for them, you see, all for my two littles: as long as I can continue juggling, I will, because that means they’re OK, that I’m securing a better life for them, a better future.
And that’s all that matters.
Tiredness I can wave off, stress I’ve learnt to deal with, panic I’m learning to deal with, but not being able to do this for my children?
That would be unforgivable.
There’s my bottom line: I have to do this, no matter how very very difficult it is, on so many fronts simultaneously.
So…perhaps I’m brave?
I think all single Mums are. I think we’re given a bad rap, all over the place – media, ‘social’ settings…you name it, there’s always something bad to be said about us (Slacker! Un-Christian! “Couldn’t keep her marriage together”! Social rot! etc etc….).
But, you know, that’s the least of our worries!
Keeping all those balls in the air at once, so our children have food, still have their home, are clothed properly, are entertained fully and widely, are educated to the best level possible, are happy?
They are things worth concerning ourselves with.
Call single Mums what you will, media, but the fact is, we’re strong beyond imagining and brave beyond telling.
The force of maternal love urges us on, sometimes strongly sometimes quietly….urges us on to do all we need to do to protect, to care for, to nurture.
Any Mama would do the same, it’s just that single Mamas do it alone.
That is real bravery.
[My response to Fab-ruary prompt for Day 12].