What I want for you, my fellow solo mother

What I want for you fellow solo motherHey solo mama – are you ready to step into your power as a woman who chose to embark on motherhood alone?

You are a powerful woman, a truth seeker. I feel you. I see you. I know you, because I’ve been you.

I’ve lived through the doubts and fears and self-criticism that goes hand-in-hand with taking a path less travelled. And solo motherhood is a path that feels unfamiliar, uncharted. One that causes raised eyebrows and furrowed brows.

It isn’t ‘the norm’ whatever that is!? You don’t fit comfortably into the little compartment everyone wants to put you in where everyone’s are exactly like their own. You require explanation. You defy assumption.

Well good for fucking you. I applaud you. Frankly, anything that diverges from the conventional expectation makes me want to shout ‘Yay for you!’ because it takes courage, It takes guts to live your truth. To not squash down who you are, what you want or need in order to conform.

You actively chose not to settle for less in order to be acceptable, even to yourself. You don’t care if you make others uncomfortable. You want more. You deserve more.

Solo motherhood is the path I’ve been firmly on for the last 11 years. 11 years since I realised it wasn’t a path only ‘other women’ took, but one that I could and damn well should.

It hasn’t been an easy journey. Nothing is. But it’s a path to celebrate, to feel immensely proud of. Not many people can look at their lives, their children and know that step-by-step, brave decision after brave decision, they created that life by themselves, off their own back. Just you. On your own.

No-one else can take credit but you. It’s yours alone to feel proud of. I remind myself of that as often as I can. I often look at my daughter’s beautiful, happy face and marvel at how she came to be. It’s an awesome achievement.

So here’s what I want for you. Never let anyone, including yourself, make you feel ‘less than’ because your life doesn’t measure up to the very narrow image of what a successful life ‘should’ look like.

Does anyone really have that? It might appear that way, from the outside looking in. But as one of my best friends told me, the ‘smug marrieds’ don’t have that much to be smug about. It doesn’t mean you’ve got it all sewn up. There’s no lifetime achievement award.

You, on the other hand, are raising the bar. We’re setting the standard for women who come after you, for our daughters, higher than it’s ever been before. There’s a new standard of female success. And a new bar for relationships to achieve before they become worthwhile.

Because flying solo is pretty darn good. It’s not easy for a relationship to beat that. Once more women realise that then watch out men of the future, you’re going to have to raise your game, pull up your socks and convince our daughters that you’re worth having. That you’re worth choosing.

If my choice, this life, helps more women, and men, not settle for less than great relationships I’ll be happy. We can stop feeling like finding a man is where our lives begin. We can stop feeling trapped because we can’t find a better man. We can stop feeling like being alone is a fate worse than death. Because it’s not. It’s fabulous.

I want more than feeling like you had to resort to Plan B, a consolation prize, for you. Solo motherhood might feel ‘other’ to you right now. But in time you grow into it, celebrate it in fact. I now can’t imagine having to share this journey with someone else. It’s mine, hands-off.

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