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With Respect to the Gender Debate – Currently I am travelling around New Zealand (will do a

With Respect to the Gender Debate

With Respect to the Gender Debate

travel blog as soon as I get back!), and I have seen many a relative, tourist, local, and generally families spending time together during the holiday season. The observations and conclusion I’ve come to, is, I’m so glad I have boys!

Before I had children, I was happy with whichever gender I got. I didn’t know what I was having until I saw them in the flesh crying and still attached to their umbilical cords. But every day, I am thankful for having my caring, thoughtful, helpful, funny, inquisitive, active boys, even as we have everyday struggles and head into the teenage years (believe it or not, my boys are now 12 & 14!). I ‘tongue-and-cheek’ say to many that girls are karma (:-0)

I couldn’t cope with the ten different pairs of shoes, the excessive hair brushing and styling, the ‘dressing too old for your age’ that girls seem to go through, the grudge holding, and the countless other mood swings girls tend to go through. Through these travels, I’ve seen hyperactive girls do things that are more dangerous than most boys, I’ve seen parents tell their daughters to make sure they are wearing underwear in front of boys, I’ve seen girls in shopping malls have tantrums , but then I’ve seen a seventeen year old girl who left home and looks settled and happy. Whereas the boys I’ve seen, have played well together even if they are strangers, they are travel savvy, they don’t care what they wear, they share, they go with the flow, most of the time they don’t argue or talk back to parents and they are always willing to give their mum a hug.

There are sayings like ‘mummy’s boys’ and ‘daddy’s girls’ that probably make sense to me in many ways, as I tend to see more boys look after their mums in their older age than girls, and girls tending to their father’s needs (or both parents to show the mother she’s not left out). I know large families where the sons have stayed close to the mother, whilst the daughters go overseas and interstate. I have seen sons of divorced parents who tend to stick to the mother’s side, whilst their sister runs off to be with Dad. But all in all, I do believe that those who have a happy upbringing will stay close to their parent/s, whilst those who have disdain and had had expectations thrusted towards them will either stay around with resentment or discreetly move away for work, a love interest or have the travel bug.

I think that’s the key to it… treat your children well and they will always be there for you. Treat them harshly, with either physical punishment, emotional abuse, sexual abuse or psychological abuse, and they will run away. I’ve always said to my boys that respect goes both ways… It doesn’t matter what age the person is, every single person is ‘a person’. We are all equal. An older sibling is not superior to a younger sibling, a boy is not superior to a girl, a grandparent is not superior to their grandchild. The only thing someone older has is experience over anyone younger, and with a caring, nurturing voice, earns the respect of their grandchild explaining life through their experiences. And thus the grandchild earns respect from their grandparents for listening and taking in those experiences.

I had a really kind comment from my 12 year old yesterday that showed me that I’m doing ok as a single mum… he asked my why I can do so much for them (he and his brother) when so many other parents can’t for their kids? And I just said that every parent does the best that they can do. Some parents think about what they are missing out and resent their children because of it, others struggle with what life gives them, but still try to give their children what they can. I think I put it in perspective to my little one exactly how much I do do for them. And at the same time, I can see that he’s grateful. As a daughter, I know that whilst I was grateful for many things that I had the opportunity to do in my childhood, I was equally resentful for some of the things that happened to me and were said to me.

As for the boys vs girls debate, I will always be happy that I had my boys. We are very close and they are very protective of me, and that’s all I can ask from them 🙂

 

 

 

My 11 year old and 13 year old have bought every single episode of South Park on Apple TV. And whilst they know the subject matter that they talk about on their favourite cartoon is wrong on many levels, they laugh and snigger about it because it’s funny. To them, it is so far fetched, none of it could happen in real life, especially to my 11 year old.

Yes they have both been through mild cases of being bullied, and they have had their eyes open to things like affairs, divorce, isolation, dysfunctional families, loving homosexual couples, learning difficulties and even an episode of domestic violence, but the concept of sexual misconduct, guns, suicide, war heroes, physical disability, drugs & alcohol abuse, and, but not limited to, mental illness they haven’t seen or been involved with first hand.

So when my 11 year old asked me recently ‘Do priests really molester kids at church?’ I automatically responded with a ‘yes.’ He was shocked. I did elaborate and said it wasn’t all churches or religious institutions, but it happens because the church is a place of trust and worship, and the people who are a part of the church confide in their priest, especially at a catholic church, to confess their sins so that God can forgive them and they won’t feel bad for what they have done. It’s a power play… the priest is seen as the middle man between God and the sinner, so he has the power over you, and can abuse that power, by doing sexual things to you or even by scaring you into believing if you don’t do something for him, you won’t be forgive by God. So you do it, because catholics are raised to believe that all their sins need to be forgiven by God so that when you die, you will go to heaven.

It put into perspective, that their favourite TV show touched on some fairly heavy material that came close to the bone with many people out there. That, whilst some things are funny, most of it is based on fact. Kids get molestered, people take drugs to get high and forget about their problems, people have sex-changes, people go through the physical and emotional affects of being in a car crash, people struggle in all types of relationships and with all types of illnesses, the list goes on.

So is it a good thing that my boys watch South Park? To be honest, I would rather they be exposed to these types of controversial questions through cartoon than in real life. I want my boys to be able to understand that we all go through our own personal crises, and that we all not an island that is bullet-proof. We all have feelings, we all have concerns, we all have people abusing their power over us, but all in different degrees. We need to be compassionate to other people’s feelings, and help them whenever they need help. We all need to give people the strength that they haven’t got to get out of their ordeal, if that’s what they want.

I believe my 11 year old now watches South Park with different eyes. He is a compassionate soul and would do anything to make sure people didn’t get hurt. And for me, I will still answer my boys as openly and as honestly as I can.

 

I had a little conversation today with a client, who was surprised I was up and about after my surgery last week, and he said “Gee, women are tough, they get through anything. Can you imagine a man having a baby?”

And I said, “Where would it come out from?”

Which made me start thinking… if a man was able to give birth to a baby through their penis, the baby would have to survive possibly a 9 week gestation period, because the morning sickness would be unbearable and then the baby would have to be squeezed through his urethra. If a woman dilates 10 centimetres from her 2 centimetre wide vagina, then a man would need to dilate 10 millimetres to get through his 2 millimetre hole, so the baby literally couldn’t be much more that 9 weeks old, because then the baby would be the size of a grape, and about one inch long.

So, how would a ‘man’ look after a 9 week gestated baby for the next 31 weeks it actually needs to be incubated to be properly born? Well, survival of the human species would be dead and buried, as it’s not physically possible. With today’s technology, we’re lucky to get 24 week old foetuses to survive.

Let’s face it, it will always be a woman’s job, and one we can be proud of. 🙂

Well… today I walked the dog, made my son breakfast, then his lunch for school, had a shower, got ready for work, organised some items to post from Ebay, looked at emails, went to the post office, went to work, came home to write some copy, sat down with the tail end of Ellen while having lunch, wrote an email, went back on the road for work, sat in the car working, went to another appointment, came home, said hello to one son and dog, the other son wasn’t home yet, called him, he was just around the corner, wrote the last copy, did the dishes that had been sitting in the sink for a couple of days (oh no!), put the recycling in the recycling bin, told my oldest son to get ready for hockey training, told the other one to do his homework, picked up the broken peg that the dog had chewed, took son to hockey training, talked to the secretary about the pizza night organised for Friday night, was given the raffle tickets to hand out to other team member’s parents, came home, made dinner, ate dinner, helped both sons with homework, cleaned the dog poo off the bathmat after dog takes dump and eldest son didn’t take dog out for long enough walk, back to homework, and now it’s 9.45pm…

Sound domesticated? Just another day in the life of a single mum…

Yesterday was Mothers Day… and yes, it’s still Mothers Day in some parts of the world (and not at all at this time of year in others). And whilst we love our children unconditionally, we secretly hope that they find us special enough to make an effort for us, but sadly for some, they don’t.

And I will say, I am one of the lucky ones… my kids did make an effort for me. I told them what I wanted for breakfast, and they made it for me (not perfectly or how I would do it, but they tried). They bought me presents which had a family theme to them, so we could ‘all’ enjoy/benefit from (chocolates, iTunes vouchers and a board game), I received some cards with heartfelt messages on them, I had two vouchers for massages, which I used before the morning was out, and my boys were both exceptionally helpful throughout the day, without any whining. So, for a 13 year old and an 11 year old, I think I did pretty well. I also celebrated Mothers Day with my ‘pseudo mum’ on Saturday night, and got a call from my ‘Dad No 2’ on Mothers Day morning to wish me a lovely Mothers Day, and had some lovely Mothers Day messages from friends through Facebook.

But some mothers didn’t get anything. They somehow didn’t have their kids because of court orders or custody arrangements and ex-husbands are spiteful, their kids are selfish and just forget, or other hidden reasons. And while we know in our hearts that it may be an ordinary day because we know the nature of our kids or ex-partners, we still have an expectation that they will do something extraordinary to make us feel good, but they don’t.

And it’s not just about being acknowledged by your kids, it’s about your friends and family. I am a firm believer that if you are doing an excellent job about whatever it is, motherhood, your job, your talent, your emotional resilience, whatever it is, you should be recognised or praised for it. We feed off both positive and negative feedback, so if someone genuinely believes that you are doing a great job at something, they should tell you, and what that does, is makes you feel better about yourself. I know people who have arguments with their own mothers who believe that Mothers Day only celebrates ‘them’ and not about their daughters, daughters-in-law, nieces, etc who are also mothers. How is that fair? It’s a celebration about ALL mothers. And you would hope to think that your own mother, or even aunt, was thinking you are doing a great job at mothering.

Are our expectations too high? Possibly, yes. And it’s all commercialism that makes us feel that way. If we treat it like another day, and expect to be treated like we do every other day, the surprises that might fall our way might actually give us the smile, the joy and the feeling we want to feel like we matter.

But it also carries on for the rest of the year. If we expect something will happen the way we want it to, it will never happen. If we just let our world ride the way it wants to, then somehow, everything falls into place. We can’t keep living with a heavy heart because we expect too much, because we give too much of ourselves and hope that our loved ones will recognise what we do and how we feel. We do live in a selfish world, with increasing levels of negativity, mental illness, narcissism, and daily struggles. But as single mothers, and some single fathers, we soldier on, but we need to believing that something good is just around the corner, but not forcing it to happen, or expecting what it is.

 

 

 

Yes, it’s not a pleasant blog today, but it’s one of those things that either makes us squeamish or realise that we are a parent and have to deal with it. As a parent, most of us will deal with our own kid’s or pet’s vomit, but we can’t stand the smell, look or touch of another person’s or pet’s vomit. And the same thing goes for the other end too!

I have two kids, and they vomit in different ways… My oldest son will vomit without warning. Projectile all over the back of the car, or down the hallway, or ‘around’ the toilet instead of inside the toilet. I was very proud of him recently, when he said he felt sick and he actually took himself to the toilet in time to make it all go ‘into’ the toilet. Hey, it only took 13.5 years! Whereas, my other son, will say he doesn’t feel well, and I will ask him if he needs a bucket, he will say ‘yes’ if he feels it’s going to be like that, and within about 15-30 minutes of getting the bucket, he will have carefully got his mouth so that everything goes into the bucket. When he’s finished, it goes down the toilet, the bucket gets a rinse out with some disinfectant and handed back for ‘just in case.’

I’m afraid, the way we handle things is just how we are built. My oldest, will probably always be the projectile vomiter, whereas my youngest will be more considerate and understand his needs. I have friends who vomit in their sleep after a big night out and are oblivious to the mess they are sleeping in and feel to ordinary in the morning to clean it up, so ask their partner or best mate to help them. Whereas, some rely on the help of just having your hair held back when you’re hovering over the toilet bowl or in the middle of a football oval. And sometimes, you just have to rely on yourself…

As a parent, I do get a little bit squeamish cleaning up the remnants, and it’s worse when the smell lingers in the carpet or the back of your car for weeks, but I know it’s my job to be there for my kids and do what it takes to make us all feel comfortable. And as a single parent, you just have to do it… you have no choice, you have no back up. You have to build up your courage to deal with all bodily fluids and solids that come out of your kids’ mouths, skin and bottom areas, and grow an iron stomach to get through it. It’s where you have to accept that farts are funny, no matter how smelly they are. You have to accept that vomit is just what they ate the night before and is probably floating around in your stomach too, and as for poo… well that can be as runny or as rocky as it wants to be, and nothing that a mop or a plunger can’t fix.

But somehow, we all get through it. We aren’t emotionally traumatised by the fact that we had to clean up after our kids or pets, we just do it… and in a few months, we all laugh about it! Because we are parents, and we do what we can to make it easier for and look after our kids.

While the world is full of different types of families including married couples with children, divorced parents with children, widowed parents with children, step families blended together, grandparents or aunts/uncles looking after other people’s children and even foster families with children, there seems to be a generalisation about single parenting.

Although, the stigma from my parents’ generation has rapidly changed, you know the one, where single parents were frowned upon, especially single mothers because they were tramps, or easy, or welfare-recipients, or never there for their children because they were working long hours doing 3 jobs just to pay the bills, there is more acceptance now, as there is more involvement with the fathers in our children’s lives than there was when I was growing up.

I know I had four gorgeous friends who lived in single parent homes, and rarely saw their fathers (one of them rarely saw her mother) because they lived in a different state or were never talked about. And they have all turned out to be beautiful, compassionate, hard-working citizens of this world. Yet, I was not allowed to ever go over to their homes, or hang out with them at the shops, because it was never known if their mother would ever be home to supervise, or that they had too much freedom to be out on the streets making a nuisance of themselves and my mother didn’t want me caught up in that. Goes to say, my mother didn’t trust my judgement too well…

But the reality is, now in the 21st century, is that there are more and more parents ‘co-parenting’ than there were in the 80s and 90s, so those parents who co-parent, whilst there can be huge upheavals in how to raise the child, who is paying for the extra-curricular activities, who will have the child over what time frame of the week, etc, there is also time, if its 30%, 40%, 50%, 60% or 70% of the time to be someone other than being a parent. You can enjoy being an adult – hanging out with friends, enjoying a lover, studying something that you love, working, doing adult things like visiting an art museum, go out for cocktails, going to an opera, or spend an afternoon in a library researching family history, doing anything you really want, because you have the time to be whoever you want. However, the negative is the emotional turmoil of not feeling wanted or needed when your children aren’t with you.

However, a ‘single-parent’ doesn’t have that luxury. They have their children 24/7 365 days of the year. Some might be lucky to get some child-support, but most don’t because the other parent could be dead, behind bars, self-employed and trying to rort the system, live in a different country, or may have completely disappeared. A ‘single parent’ has it the hardest of all because they have no time to be anything but a worker and a mother/father. There is no down time to just be ‘you.’ It is much easier once your children hit their late primary school years/high school years when they become more independent, however they will always want to snuggle with you when they aren’t feeling well, call you at 11pm at night to pick them up from work or a party, or forget to come home and get you roaming the streets trying to find them. And you have to do it on your own. There is no one else to put down as an emergency contact on their school information form, so you get every single emergency phone call from the school, and you have to drop everything and deal with it – trips to the hospital, trips to the principal’s office, etc. You do, however, have the luxury of raising your kids your way, and that, I will say, is the biggest blessing there is…  And your kids will also always have your back. They know how tough you do it, and they respect that. They learn quickly how to do things for themselves, like cooking themselves something up for dinner, or make a sandwich, etc. They learn the importance of helping around the house. And for my little family, I emphasise that we are a team, and we do what we can to help each other out.

So, while we don’t want to be pigeon holed into a box, there should be different boxes for ‘single-parents’ and ‘co-parents’ when it comes to internet dating sites because their realities are completely different and you don’t want to get someone involved in your life who doesn’t take you as a package deal 100% of the time, or even a recognition from the government or the community to create help for ‘single-parents.’ I am one of the lucky single parents who has a flexible job where I can work when my children are sleeping and at school, and I can be there for them more often than not, but most aren’t that lucky. They struggle between parenting obligations and fixed work obligations for little money. Those single-parents are the heroes in this world… the selfless, exhausted, get up and deal with their responsibilities each and every day single-parents who have absolutely no time to switch off.

And those parents, who never help a day and night to actually be a parent, and be ‘present’ in their children’s lives, don’t ever deserve to be called a parent. They all have their different circumstances, but to give themselves the title of ‘parent’ is not fair on those of us who do the hard yards, the nurturing, the trips to the school, soccer field and friend’s places, the barracking on the side lines, and the forking out for all the school necessities and shoes.

Those who parent and raise their children are helping the next generation be the best they can be, if they are co-parents, single parents or doing the parenting thing as a team in the same home, all those have the right to be called a parent. To me, parenting can never be considered hard-work, because it is a hard-love… the hardest-love you’ll ever have is to love, nurture, educate and discipline your children to be solid upstanding citizens. It’s a privilege to be the parent to do so… and watching them evolve and take notice of what you’ve said, is the biggest reward ever. So salute and have compassion for the single-parents for everything they do on their own and envy the co-parents for their ability to have some regular child-free time. Either way, none of it is easy, but still, it is definitely rewarding.

I see a lot of mums and dads fight for what they believe is right for their kids, mainly because their kids have been victimised by one or the other parent and they choose to confide in the ‘other parent’ to get their needs addressed. But what happens when ‘the other parent’ fights for the wishes of that child, take it to court, only for the matter to not be a concern for that child anymore because so much time has passed between the initial event and the court hearing?

It’s a hard one, as some events can be on-going, like one parent taking a phone away from a child on their watch so that the child is completely devoted to them rather than calling on the other parent for back up,  and then there are other things can seem small but with the ‘other parent’ fighting for the rights of the child, that small event can turn into bigger events and the child could be punished worse because he told the ‘other parent.’

Why is it so hard? These parents brought these children into this world with love, but somehow the bitterness and pettiness takes over. I know with my situation, the bitterness stemmed not from me, but from my ex who was upset that his financial gold mine had been taken from him, so he fought for everything financial, but not so much for the kids. And still, 5 years later, rarely spends time with them, nor calls them, but then tells the world through Facebook how much they are his precious angels and blames me for being the hurdle in his life for not seeing his boys, while I am the one who has provided means of communication for him to contact them, drop them to his flat every time and co-ordinate with his family for them to attend his family events, yet he does nothing (classic narcissistic behaviour).

Whereas, much of the bitterness happens when a new partner is involved, especially a ‘young new partner’ who wants to play happy families. They want to dismiss the other parent and create a life where they don’t need to worry about the other biological parent, which creates heartache for the parent losing out, but also for the child, who through harmful and thoughtless words from the parent and their new partner, isolate the child from their absent parent.

So after a court session, or even a simple argument in the driveway after dropping your kids off at the other parent’s house, you bring up an issue that your child has voiced, how do you cope with the rejection the child gives you for voicing their opinion?

It’s hard, because the psychology of a child is that they bring up an issue, and then it gets forgotten about, as they get it off their chest, especially for boys. I have had my boys say to be several times, ‘why do you make such a big deal out of things?’ And my answer is alway to make sure they are happy and their feelings are heard. When in reality, they just want to get on with life and not worry about the bullshit that parents deal with to make sure their kids are happy in every environment they live – in their own home, the other parent’s house, school, their sports and extra curricular activities, at grandparent’s houses, etc.

So are we over-analysing what’s necessary for our kids? Spending way too much time in courts or trying to make out that we are the better parent? Possibly… who knows? But sometimes, we just need to move on in life, accept things for what they are, communicate without animosity with the other parent and allow our kids to grow and shine.

As Christmas is almost here, I want to talk about how ‘presence’ is better than ‘presents.’

I was reading an article the other day about the ‘Uncle Dad’s’ – the Dads who just want to be ‘fun Dads,’ the Dads who don’t deal with the everyday responsibilities of being a parent, the Dad’s who ship the kids off to grandma, grandpa, sister, brother or even their new girlfriends/wives when they want to stay back at work for Friday night drinks, or play golf on the weekends, or take their new girlfriend/wife on a romantic holiday on their ‘on’ time with their kids. Or, as ‘fun dad’ they do all the mountain bike riding, take them to the movies, or out for bucket loads of ice-cream, amusement parks, buying all the expensive presents and adrenalin rush activities, they feed them plenty of junk food, let them stay up late and don’t show any discipline, leaving the responsible mother left to tie up all the ends.

Kids don’t recognise it, depending on their maturity, until the high school years, maybe a little bit earlier, when their grades start to slip because their father isn’t allowing time to do homework on his time, or not listening to them when they talk about the school bully, or struggling to provide some real boundaries. And then the kids start to resent their father for not putting in the right effort, because, especially for boys, they don’t know what the right thing to do is… is Dad showing us that this is the way to be a man? Or, is Mum showing us that she really has the logic, requirements and responsibilities to be a man?

And that’s where I come to the title of this blog ‘the best gifts in life.’ The best gifts you can give your children is your time, your energy, your listening skills, your ability to adapt to THEIR situations, your nurturing nature, your sanity, your ability to teach them things around the home, your ability to stay focused on their homework and the tasks at hand, and your everlasting love. None of that can be replaced by expensive gifts, loose discipline and non-attentive parenting.

In the book “On the Road to the Best Orgasm Ever”, Sarah shows her dedication to her children throughout the book by creating opportunities for herself to get out of the rut of a life she was in. Initially, she thought, like many unhappy wives, that the key to their children’s happiness would be for a marriage to stay together. But it wasn’t the case in Sarah’s life. And it took something drastic, not a conscious decision on her part, but a decision made for her, to get out of the hole that both her children and Sarah were in and start again in a way she never thought possible, and was so much more beneficial for her children.

Sometimes, you need something drastic in your life to make you more ‘present’ in your children’s lives. This Christmas make a turn for the better, and start appreciating the beauty of your children and give them everything you can of yourself… and guess what? It doesn’t cost a cent.

Someone asked me tonight to write a blog about Single Mums in their 20s, and what I thought about them. Yay! A request!!

I’m going to put it on the table. Being a 41 year old now (oh yes, I am officially over that hill!), I think it is brave, beautiful and bold to be a single mum in your 20s. You put your life on hold for that beautiful baby, you sacrifice so much, you’re amazingly patient and you grow up instantly. You learn to live with people’s judgments much too early in life and that makes you harden up fast, but you are courageous, have the energy to be everything a mother should be and have an undeniable bond with your child.

I think back to a friend of mine who had a baby when she was 20. She is now 37 with an almost 17 year old. How amazing would it be to be free from raising a child and you haven’t even hit 40 yet? Whereas, I couldn’t imagine at 41, dealing with diapers, breast-feeding and toilet training. I am in the middle – I was 27 and 29 when I had my two boys… and became a single mum when they were 8 and 6… but in saying that, I worked 50-60 hours a week, breast-fed them till they were 16 months old each, nursed them to sleep and to good health, whereas my ex didn’t seem to do anything besides raise an angry voice (hence why we are now ‘single’).

There are three scenarios I just don’t understand… The ‘leave ’em Mums’ who for some reason are too selfish and disappear for nights, weeks or even months because they are too interested in drinking, smoking, socialising, taking drugs or feeling like they are missing out. They are too grossed out by the smelly nappies, or the baby puke on their shirts, that they expect their parents or older sibling to deal with it while they run amok. It’s definitely a maturity thing, but also something their kids could end up resenting them for, depending how long they disappear for, and how well they try to make it up to them. The other scenario is the ‘ignore ’em Mums’… the ones who let their kids fester in dirty nappies for the entire day, who forget to feed them, who leave them in the car when they go shopping, who don’t read to them or play with them because their baby is simply a hinderance, and they don’t have any help, so they believe if no one sees it, no one knows about it. And then there is the ‘lets get married Mums’ – because their family morals cannot have a bastard child, so they are forced into a marriage that will only do more harm than good for the sake of the ‘family’ to look complete.

The good thing is, all the successful young mum success stories I know far outweigh the sad stories. I know single mums who hid from abusive husbands in their early 20s who are now successful millionaire business women. I know 20-something single mums who have put themselves through university courses on-line and on campus to ensure that they show their children that anything is possible. I know single mums who give their children the most nurturing loving family environment, work part-time to be a proud contributing citizen and have the happiest children I know. They are the brave, they are the courageous, they are the women who we need to lead our countries and our corporations.

Would I have tried to have kids earlier? I could have easily… but I was caught up in the ‘expected’ world of go to university, get a job, get married, buy a house and then have kids. I know I would have been a fabulous young single mum because I had thought so much about what I wanted for my kids against the childhood I had of my own, and I feel lucky enough to implement those ideas now. I was babysitting from the age of 12, and I was desperate to be a mother… but at the same time, I thought too much about what others thought of me. Glad I’ve washed that one out of my system!!

For all the young single mums out there promise me this – make your own decisions on how you raise your child as long as it’s in the BEST INTERESTS of your child, don’t be bullied into marrying someone you don’t love, find a sense of responsibility for yourself and your child that you are comfortable with and don’t ever forget the innate love you have for your child. Get rid of every single person in your life that judges you for your actions and turn every negative comment into a positive affirmation. Just remember, there have been plenty of successful women out there who have been in your shoes, and your baby will give you this amazing amount of strength to be just as successful as those other single mums.

And for all those who struggle to find success, remember all the amazing people who had triumphed in life because they were raised by a single mum – Angelina Jolie, Barrack Obama, Pierce Brosnan, Tom Cruise, Bill Clinton, Halle Berry, Jodie Foster, Lance Armstrong, Paul McCartney, Eddie Murphy, Shaquille O’Neal, Clive Owen, Guy Pearce, Al Pacino, Julia Roberts, Barbara Streisand, Jon Stewart, Kanye West… just to name a few. The struggles and the survival needed to be a single mum gives your kids the will power, the determination and the courage to be the best they can be. So while you may find it hard, and it is hard, the rewards will be there, and your kids will always be proud of who you are, and how they were raised. Most kids I know from single parent families are the most polite, kind hearted, generous spirited and determined kids I know… Be proud of your single parent status and what you have done for your kids, as you have participated in creating the most stand-up citizens in this world.