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International Women's Day 2021

Uncategorized Mar 09, 2021

This is a love letter to all single mothers who have sustained families and lives throughout the global pandemic. 

It's a day late, because I am one of them. 

Why does that matter? 

Because I am tired. I tried so hard to write this blog and publish it yesterday... I really did. But after rising at 6.30 to get all my children up and dressed and in to school for the first time in almost 4 months, flying through the house work, some essential life admin, speaking to a client and a doctor, feeding us all and finally falling into bed at 11pm, exhausted, it didn't happen. 

Many things haven't happened this year that I am passionate about, that represent my career, my interests, my friendships, my relationships - it's hard not to feel like the pandemic has swallowed my personality a little bit. Outside of mothering and working when I can, there's not seemed to be much of me left. 

If you read this and relate, Mama, I want you to know that I see you.

I see you.

You with the exhausted smile, the messy house, the tired eyes. I know it's been a whole year since your world was turned upside down, and you're here, still standing (almost). I want you to know I'm standing with you - even when (like you) I could really do with a sit down, a cuppa or let's face it, a bloody long holiday in the sun. 

This year women everywhere have struggled with the reality that gender roles are still nowhere near equal. We've picked up our children emotionally, physically and spiritually during a global pandemic, left the workplace at rates that far outstrip our male partners, colleagues and friends. There's no point engaging with the #notallmen debate or soothing the fragile egos of men who feel they've pulled their weight and done their share. The data is in. We've been screwed. Single mothers, more than most.

It's been tough. There's no denying it. It's been a year of reckoning. The fragile web of our social support has been stripped away. The intricate weaving of childcare, friends, grandparents and jobs... even women in two parent families with financial resources have buckled under the pressure we've faced. If you haven't managed to re-weave something functional, I want you to know it's not you. It's not been possible. It may not be for a long time yet. 
So today, the morning after International Women's Day, this (rather weary) love letter goes out to all you lone Mamas who have made it through despite this fuckery.
Yes, I'm talking to you. You, who have stepped back from your ambitions, goals and friends so you can step up to parenting through a pandemic. You without a partner at home to share the load with. Especially you, who has also bravely navigated family court, financial fuckery, conflict, fear, abuse or loss. You who has been on a deep personal journey at the same time as the pandemic raged on. You who have held the hands of your children throughout, leading them through these scary, unfathomable times.
I stand with you. It's time for a new story to be written.
A story about Badass Boundaries, accountability, and community that truly serves us all. We are the women we are waiting for.
We are the ones we seek. To all women, but especially the lone mothers today, I wish you a belated Happy International Women's Day.
There is work to be done Mamas. Let's love each other and hold each other and forgive each other while we gather our reserves to do it. My lesson this year, is that it's ok to do the work late, to do it tired, to do it even when you feel it's not enough or quite right, or your best. 
Do it anyway. We don't have to get it all perfect. We just have to get it going. 

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