Dear Single Mums,
I’m not quite sure how to begin, I just know I want to say this.
You see, I finally think I’m seeing the whole of you mum and I want to thank you.
For the past six months I have sat next to a wonderful colleague, who’s a married mother to three teenage girls. For the first time in my life I have been able to see what motherhood is like from the parental perspective. There have been days when she’s come into work in tears after a fight she’s had with her daughter that morning. Talking to her about her kids made me realise (and I am very aware this may sound ridiculous) parents are in fact real life human beings with feelings, who will feel sad if their child is being nasty to them, who will worry about small things and big, who do all these things for their kids, everyday, without their children even realising.
And you did it all by yourself mum.
Growing up I never felt like my childhood was any different to anyone else. My brother and I were raised solely by my mother from a young age and I never felt like I was missing out on anything. Now, at 22, I realise mum assumed the role of both parents so seamlessly, effortlessly that she was all we ever needed.
While we were growing up, until I was well into my teens, mum only ever worked part-time so she could be around for me and my brother, whether that be after school or helping on school trips. She made it work, and I honestly don't know how.
This has been playing on my mind for quite some time now. As a fully-fledged adult no longer dependent on parental support (i.e. cash from mum), I struggle to wrap my head around how she could afford to bring us up while paying off her mortgage and making us feel like we never missed out; all while I currently live payday to payday.
Then I remember.
Unlike me, Mum is not a materialistic person. She'll wear the same clothes for years, only throwing them away when they've 'had it', and while we weren't showered in a constant stream of new clothes, we always had everything we needed. Quite simply put, single mums are the best money managers out. Because they have to be.