Today I am talking about the Super Single Mum. I figured it would take forever if I listed ALL the super women I know and these 3 ladies have that in common.
My first super single Mum friend was made so, after finding a cheating husband when she was pregnant with there second son!! Yes those scummy men do exist. Despite him and not a penny in child support, she raised her 2 boys to be fine young men now 20 and almost 23. One is away at University and the other about to be married. She is one of those gals who knows all about you and still loves you. The kind where you don't talk for a whole year and then it's like you are hanging out on the couch with a blanket. We were each others spouse in the days when I too was a single Mum, watching each others kids so the other could work and generally being a support. There were nights when I was so devastatingly lonely that I'd scoop my sleeping babies up in a quilt, throw them in the car and head to my friends. She'd open the door and without a word I would plop down in front of her TV with a boy under each arm pit snoozing and an hour or so later I would leave. She understood without words, why I was there. When I met Boyd and moved to the US I was most worried about my friend but she was over joyed for me and cheered me all the way. She spent the next 10 years alone but then met a man and is now married and happy.She is a caretaker to his adult kids and anyone else who needs it, she is really one of those friends who would literally give you here last grain of rice, I have seen it with my own eyes and through some very personal, sacred times I have seen Christs hands in hers.
My second single Mum friend, isn't actually single at all but has a husband who works 12 hour shifts at strange times and often sleeps when they are awake. He also has some hobbies that take him away for hours on end and I admire this woman for various reasons. Being single, you at least get a little offer of support but if your not, only you are, you really really are on your own. I will say little more about her except that in my eyes she also is a super woman. She is bubbly, happy and creative with unwavering faith. She has 4 very successful kids, all involved and productive and who have had to really learn how to help out at home.
My final single Mum friend has only become so officially after 20 plus years of marriage in which she was pretty much single. I admire her for so many reasons, she is a true super woman. She owns and runs a very successful business whilst being the hands on parent that is at every game, meet or performance. Her kids are over achievers and that is because of her. They are national level ranked in various things, traveling the country to compete. She has had to go back to school and get a degree for her work as well as all her other duties. The thing I like most about her is how fun she is, always planning a party or night out. She is a huge Disney fan and goes 2 or 3 times a year. I just love being around her.
The reason I wanted to share about these super women is not to make anyone feel bad about themselves but they all have something in common....
They Like ME!!! It's funny that sometimes we get down and feeling like we don't have friends and then I realize, the ones I do have are amazing and like me for me. They do not have requirements or expectations of me or are jealous or intimidated. They don't need me to dress or act a certain way to fit with them. They have melt downs and crazy days and accept that I do too. We can go long periods without talking but when we do, we have a genuine interest and love for each other. They like me I think because they like themselves and because they can really have a good swear at me without me being shocked :-)
I have learned a lot from the super women in my life, My list of them goes on and on. I aspire to be better because of them so I continue to surround my self with people who lift me up but mostly I find being around people who like themselves is just a great place to be. It makes it so I am able to reach out a hand and do the lifting for someone, not doing so well.
I encourage you to see these super women as I do and instead of feeling bad about shortcomings , feel great that there are role models who can lead and guide us in areas we wish to improve. I mean I could also list all the areas these ladies suck ;-) lol but I choose to focus on the positive.
My next super woman is a friend from high school. We didn't start out as friends but a trip to the Head Mistresses offices together, where I was accused of being racist and I clearly explained that my verbal abuse towards my now bestie was not because of her skin color but it's smell, left us as firm friends. You see my friend was raised in a different culture than me, where women are suppressed and with 5 brothers, so things like personal hygiene and the use of deodorant where not taught in the home. I suppose I became somewhat of a mentor for her and we had a mutual respect. This "incident" changed her and me, I got to see a little of how someone could live in your same country and yet be so very foreign. She was never allowed out and so I went to her house to visit, not being able to fathom the seclusion. People rushed around and waited on me as I sat in the front, fancy guest room. Boys were not allowed in the room where the girls were. I was brought food always and treats and they seemed honored to have this "white girl" in their home.
I was later, a guest at her wedding where I helped prepare her for her groom. A five day affair with lots of wailing aunts. Very traditional for her and yet completely foreign to me.
My super woman friend went on to University and became a Barrister. Very highly respected in a London Court. I once implied how smart she is and she was clear that I was much more intelligent than her but she had nothing to do besides study and that was why she is where she is. Why is she a super woman to me?
Well once she had fallen in love and was about to be married, she was informed that her husband to be was actually already married! Shocker, I know. He had an arranged married when he was just 15 years old to a 13 year old who lived back in Pakistan, basically a slave to his parents. He visited her 2 weeks each summer for then next 5 years out of duty and here he was now, in love and with a dilemma. To cut a long story short, they got married, It is allowed in there religion. So now there are 3 kids over in Pakistan with little education and 2 very successful in business, married people who are filled with compassion for this poor girl who's youth was taken and who's future is not so bright and her 3 children. They decide to bring them over to England and set up a situation, kind of how I envision polygamist, sister wives, at least the ones who look normal and not the prairie dress wearing ones, without the bedroom hopping. The hubby stays with my friend, every night and they 2 kids together. The other "wife" is more like a house keeper and takes care of all the domestics. (it is unspoken EVER if she has any kind of relationship with the husband) She is a lovely lady and lives with gratitude for her life and blessings. She treats me like a queen when I am there.
I love My friend and have so much respect for her. She is a practicing Muslim and represents her religion well. I have seen her fast for Ramadan on hot days where she almost passed out through lack of water and I have seen her always dressed modestly with a head scarf to boot. She emplifies the light of Christ holds no guile, I am drawn to her for that. It impresses me that she has maintained such tradition and respect for her fathers house and yet is making it as a big wig in a man's world. She is hands on with her kids, all home work and school responsibilities are on her and she travels with them all over the world to teach them history and culture and like a proper nerd she is all excited about ruins and just like our kids she is greeted with the same eye rolls and "Muuuum seriously?" Super Woman number 2.
I have read a lot of articles lately that I expect were created to help us feel better about our short comings as women , wives or mothers. They make fun of things like, getting a healthy dinner on the table every night, hand making gifts or having a clean home, suggesting that if we do all the things required of us, we don't have a life and might just drop dead but I am here to proclaim, that this is not true and many women I know are going beyond the call of duty every single day. We just need to recognize that what we do do is an achievement. Some of the very most basic things can have lasting effect on those around us and make us feel quite accomplished.
I personally know so many super women, who's daily behaviors inspire me to do better (they are all living in disguise, as regular ladies and they too have total meltdowns and days of despair)but I thought it might be fun to highlight some of those who had mean't a lot to me in my life. The thing is, we can learn a little from each of them, after all we are here to learn and improve ourselves.
My Longest Friend
My first Super woman is my longest friend. She moved in next door to me when she was 2 and I was 3 years old. We were besties, both little tom boys and inseparable, that was until her parents divorced and she went off to live with her Dad, sad day but her Mum chose the new boyfriend over kids. I would visit when I could, taking a bus the long hour ride. She grew up with 2 older brothers and a Dad who had to work around the clock so she was playing Mum at a very young age. Most domestic duties fell to her and at age 16 (When we finish high school in England) She was working full time. It was with her that I had my first, life changing experience. We were aged 17/18 and I was staying with her for a week whilst I did a work experience in a fancy health club. We were walking back to her home and less than half a mile away, just around the block when She was jumped from behind. A man with a stocking on his head, held a knife to her throat and told told me to do exactly as he said or she would be seriously hurt. This is where I found out if I was a fight or flight kind of girl. I went nuts, screaming and shouting and waving my arms, trying to flag down a car as he backed her towards some bushes. She was frozen but I wasn't going anywhere. Fortunately my crazy was a bit much for him as he threw her to the ground and ran off in the bushes, I don't know if I carried her limp body or dragged her but I got her home in record time and called the police. He was never found but I learned a lot from that experience, mostly "YES, It CAN happen to you"
Sadly her Dad died quite young and I'm sure she dealt with some emotional baggage from all that went on in her youth but you would never know it. She has a cheerful countenance and always a kind word to say on a Facebook Post or similar.
She is now 40 years old, has been married going on 20 years with two daughters. She worked the past several years in school, the hours work better than her corporate job. She has recently gone back to college to pursue a further education. Sometimes we have a rough hand dealt us but taking charge of our own destiny and working to achieve our dreams at any age is quite brave. I would say she is a real life super woman, dressed in regular woman clothes.
I am excited to share my next superwoman with you.