International Single Parent Day
I was today years old when I learned that this actually existed! I learned the statistic that one in four families in the UK are single parent families. That's 25% of homes that are run by one person. Hugely jarring with the fact that there is still a lot of stigma attached to being a single parent and also that society is based on the expectation that there are two parents living at home with their children. There is definitely still a big gap in the support and understanding of those who are for one reason or another flying solo in this parenting game.
I've so far celebrated by building an ikea step that my daughters can use to be more independent in the kitchen. They can now reach the cupboards and that means they can get themselves a snack or make a quick sandwich. On the other hand now there's no excuse for them not being able to empty the dishwasher! I have come a long way in the five years I have spent so far as a single mama. It has been a hard road at times but I've learned so much about myself and what I am really capable of. Five years ago I wouldn't have attempted ikea as I'd never been handy - now I have a decent selection of basic tools.
Since then I've been resting as I have a head cold kindly shared by my youngest who caught it in her first week back at school in four months. Five years ago I would have pushed through feeling poorly and tried to maintain the super woman expectation I had put on myself. Now I know that self care is my priority and if I rest now I'll recover quicker. I am also very aware my kids don't do what I say, they do what I do. So if they see me confidently tackling a small ikea project, I hope they know they have all they need to do the same. If they see me taking care of myself first, they know that's exactly what they should do too.
Today especially (but really every day) make sure to put yourself first. It's not selfish, it's necessary to be the best version of you. It also teaches everyone around you how to love you. Show them how you love yourself and they will learn to do the same.
There is a very special place in the world for single mothers, you are an inspiration to your children even when you don't believe it and have the capacity to be stronger than you ever knew, whilst having the biggest heart. Don't ever doubt how outrageously powerful you are and that you can make your life whatever you dream for yourself.