Have you ever thought about what superpowers you would wish for if you could?
Have you ever realised that you might already possess some hidden superpowers? Do you know that some are right at your fingertips ready for the taking?
I’m coming into a new season of Motherhood with my youngest starting school in September. A season which I feel is just a bit less intense in one way and will give much more “me time” and the “work time”, which I have been craving (though I know it will bring new challenges of its own!).
As I reflect back on my life being full time stay-at-home single mum for the last three years, I can see how I’ve had the help of some superpowers which have enabled and strengthened my journey. I just wonder if sharing some of my story might encourage you. So here goes…
Almost exactly three years ago I found myself going through some tough life circumstances, which led to me and my children losing our home and me becoming a single mum all at once. I moved 80 miles from London to my hometown Peterborough to be near the support of family and make a fresh start.
I knew even at the beginning of my journey that I would need some superpowers to survive. Some were quite clear but others weren’t.
It’s only on reflection now that I can see clearly what helped get me through.
So what were these superpowers? Let me talk you through…
Now this might seem like an obvious one, but I knew at the beginning of my journey that I needed to surround myself with the right kind of friends. The kind of friends that know where you’re at and what you’re going through and love you regardless. I didn’t need lots of friends, I just needed a handful of solid ones.
I was blessed to be able to re-connect with a couple of BFFs who I’ve known all my life and so that got me off to a great start. To me, these friends are priceless! They’ve known me most of my life, before I was a Mum and not just as “so and so’s Mum”!
Do you have any friends like this? You only need one!
I also knew that I would need some new friends to help get through this new journey. I found a single parents friendship group and made friends with a couple of the mums there. We met up fairly regularly with the kiddies (and still do). We formed a bond and a team spirit. We shared our stories and experience, gave each other tips and encouragement in a way that was unique to being a single mum. It was important to me to have friends that knew exactly what I was going through…because they were going through it themselves. I knew I was not alone and they were cheering me on. They were my new superpower!
I felt at the beginning of my single Mum journey that a key part of survival would be to plan in some downtime, me time, kiddie-free time, time on my OWN.
Now this might sound easier said than done! One of the ways it happened was to get a little bit of Nursery time. It started off with just half a day a week (that I paid for). I went without some things in order to get the time on my own I knew I needed to survive the season I was in. Eventually as the children’s birthdays rolled round we progressed with nursery funding and I had two full days a week to myself. Knowing I had that time kept me going in some of the toughest moments with the kiddies!
I would use some of the time to work on myself through counselling which encouraged me to look at my strengths and areas I wanted to improve in my life. I fed my soul with those things that made me tick, my love for fashion, magazines, music…those things that make me Cat and not just someone’s Mum. I absolutely banned myself from doing housework on those precious kiddie-free days. The housework always gets done one way or other! Those kiddie-free hours were for me to be really kind to myself, to be intentional with building myself up. To be frivolous at times and choose what I wanted to do in the moment.
I found (and still do) that this gives me renewed energy for my children when I collect them. I come back to them refreshed with more to give as I have filled myself up.
What are the things that feed your soul?
I quickly learned that in order to do this single Mum journey well, re-finding my faith would be for me, perhaps the most powerful of all the superpowers available to me.
My relationship with God is at the centre of what I do as a Mum most days. I often think I couldn’t get through the day without God on my side. I find that He is a massive support and helps to guide me and keep me going. I turn to Him in prayer as the other parent in those moments that I struggle as a single mum.
I have found that He ALWAYS provides for us practically and helps me through tough emotional times too. Often I say a little prayer at the times I’m most exhausted and He gives me the grace to get through to bedtime and complete my working day with the kiddies.
Let me encourage you that seasons as a Mum change…they really do! Looking back on the last three years it has been a journey but I have finally reached a big milestone with both children at school. I am continuing on my journey but moving into a new season.
What superpowers can you draw on to help you in the season you’re in?
Just like there are many superhero’s…every Mum’s superpowers will look different, we all have unique strengths and areas we can improve.
What are yours…what’s the secret of your success Mama?
I would love to hear from you!