EDIT: I wrote this post a long time ago, at the start of my blogging journey, but never pushed publish. Why? I'm not sure but I saw it sitting there today and thought it was worth sharing. I share what I do in the simple hope that it may help one other women on her journey of single motherhood. It's a big journey to navigate and I truly believe there is calmness in sharing and knowing you are never alone.
I ran into an old school friend at the local cafe the other day, we hadn't seen each other for years so there was a lot to catch up on while we waited for our coffees to be made. I asked her about her family and she mentioned she had a lovely husband and two kids, a girl and a boy. She asked me about my husband and kids, I replied that I had two beautiful little boys, and it was just me, no husband.
Her response? 'Oh I'm so sorry to hear that, that's such a shame'.
I get this response often and I can never understand it. Why is it a shame? Why is it a bad thing? I know there are many situations that are horrific and heartbreaking, that leave women as single mums'; but not all of them. This doesn't need to be the standard societal response. And it's certainly not the first time I've heard this, I would say 80% of the time I get the same response. After chatting with other single mum friends, I know I am not alone in my thoughts either.
Years ago, being a single mum probably was something to be ashamed of, but times have changed. Years ago being a mum and wanting to be a career women too was looked at sideways, or not wanting to be a mum at all? Who would ever think that a women wouldn't want to be a mother!?. Life is moving and changing and evolving, the standard 'traditional' family rarely exists. There are so many ways to create a family and each one is perfect in its own way.
I am proud to be a single mum, in fact I love it. I am proud that I had the strength, courage and bravery to do what was right for me. To maintain the respect that I deserve and be the best mum possible for my kids. I am showing my boys by example all about respect and loving unconditionally, about letting people go who are toxic in your life. I am teaching them about love and self-respect.
So, back to the 'I'm so sorry to hear that...' words. Please next time you hear a women is a single mum, don't instantly feel sorry for her. Take the time to understand her story, and you may be surprised that she is happy and content with who she is. Maybe she chose the journey, maybe she didn't, but please don't automatically feel like her life is anything less than amazing. And if you are a proud solo mama however you came into the journey, stand tall and stand strong. Know that you are doing and will do wonderful things in your life, for yourself and your children. x