Lulus father left just after her second birthday, I had never factored in being a single parent. I won’t lie, the last two years as a single parent have been challenging, ok being entirely honest, they have been damn hard. Suddenly I found myself responsible for everything, getting Lu to nursery and home when I work full time in London, Lu wasn’t sleeping through the night ( she rarely does now), she was still in nappies, still teething, the only family I have is my mum who lives in Greenwich, south London which is as far away from me on the tube map as you can get. And I was sad. The man that I loved had left me for no apparent reason, well nothing he was prepared to verbalise to me. Not only had he gone, but he had moved far away.
My mum was a single parent, my grandmother was a single parent to seven children to all intents and purposes (my grandad was alcoholic) and I really really tried my best in all my decisions to ensure that my baby would have two parents who stayed together. My dad abandoned me entirely when I was 18 months and the irony that my husband left when Lu was two was not lost on me.
I was brought up by my mum and my grandmother, both of whom were strong, tenacious and brave, though they had entirley different personalities. My mum is quiet while my grandma was loud, verging on bolshy. I’m more like my grandma than I am my mum. And while my grandma has pass on her influence on me is ingrained.
So when I became a single parent I never worried about my ability to bring up a well rounded happy child, I worried about how I could fit in all the practicalities that had previously been shared between two. My mum stepped in (though she drives me insane, ‘why don’t you..’ ‘if I were you…’ arrrggghhh) to help with nursery pick ups, she did the laundry, she read lulu bedtime stories, she cuddled me when I cried and it all felt too much. But the thing that helped the most was that she had complete and utter faith in me, every time that I had a wobble she would say to me over and over again ‘You are enough’ ‘You are enough’ ‘You are enough’ and now I know that I am, indeed, enough, that I can cope well with the grown up stuff, getting a mortgage, arranging my own divorce, and that I am a good mum to Lulu.
So to my mum and grandma (wherever they sent you!), though Mothers Day has been and gone, and I think that you mither too much mum, I wanted to say thank you, for making me me and I wanted to tell you that I am not frightened anymore. I know that Lulu and I will be okay.
So to anyone having a hard time let me tell you this, You are enough, You are enough, You are enough, You really are enough…..xxxxxxx