I’ve written before about feeling judged as a single parent. However I feel judged because I am judged. The woman with 4 children and no father at home. This isn’t something that is all in my head.
There are all the scary news headlines I wrote about here for one thing. Then there are comments passed about the lack of ring on your finger (yes seriously!!) about what your kids do for male role models (they have loads of female role models and an awesome grandad thanks for your concern!) Comments made flippantly but ones I always took to heart.
A huge chip on my shoulder about being a single parent is that extra chair at school parents evening where a dad should be. Looking around at all these couples and wondering why I didn’t get to have that ‘proper’ family.
The chip on the shoulder at awards ceremonies , good work assemblies , school plays when I so want to share my pride with someone. I want someone else sat by me as proud and excited about how great these children are .
Then came Doria on Saturday.
A royal wedding. Her daughter a star of the show.
Sat in that church all alone , tears of joy and pride rolling down her face with noone next to her to pass her a tissue. Did she look ashamed though? A bit embarrassed and apologetic for her single mum status?? With the whole world watching on.
Not for a second . She was there , at one with her daughter . Taking up the space she deserved in that church so far away from home. Looking at her beautiful girl and no doubt thinking ‘wow , I raised her’ .
I’m going to be more Doria. I’m going to embrace my single mum status more. Stop feeling like I have to apologise to society for being. Not feeling like I have to explain my situation to people. I’m going to keep my head high because I did a two person job all alone and didn’t totally *touches wood* screw it up.
So next parents evening. When I get the fear. When my anxiety makes me feel like the only single parent in the school , I’m going to think of Doria , I’m going to channel her . Think less about how other kids have 2 parents cheering them on and just cheer double loudly , because that’s what I’ve been doing for years.