I’m Becky, single parent to three children for the past 9 years. One comment that has stuck with me for all that time, passed onto me by a family member, as I was still reeling and shell-shocked from my marriage break-up, was this,
‘Research shows that children from single parent households do 10% less well than if they had remained in a two -parent family…’
And, until I got my D-Day moment this Summer, I had made the mistake of buying into this claim and assuming that we would always be 10% less good than we could have been as a two-parent unit. Well no more, it’s 2019, 1 in 4 of us are single parent families and we must expect to be just as successful as everyone else. At a personal level, it’s high time for me to forget the notion of surviving single parenthood and to focus upon smashing it instead!
That is my quest and it’s a challenging one, because single parenting is bloomin’ tough! To keep me on track, this blog will be my diary. I look forward to my journey into the wonderful world of blogging and welcome comments and contributions for every kind of parent out there.
Wednesday 2 January 2019
This blog may be a New Years Resolution, but D-Day for me came back in August, my first GCSE results day as a parent….
After very little sleep, my eldest daughter and I set off to school. She duly headed into the hall with a babbling crowd of tense teenagers. I was left in the carpark feeling unsettled, on edge and rehearsing scenarios to deal with her delight, disappointment or utter despair.
Children began to emerge, some waving results slips aloft and punching the air in triumph, others in tears hurrying to escape to the anonymity of a parent’s car, results back in brown envelopes, hidden from view. The contrast was shocking. I felt completely sick. Could I actually hold it together if my daughter, who had worked her socks off, was one of the inconsolable ones? I swiped and scrolled my phone like a lunatic. No messages. Did I dare to send one? No I did not! I turned the radio on, turned it off. I said a prayer. The clock ticked on.
Then came a text
“Should be out soon, sorry for the delay!”
I decided to risk a reply “Any news?”
“All good” flashed onto my screen and my body and my mind were instantly flooded with relief.
But it was moments later, as my daughter slipped back into the car, and handed me her results sheet that I got my wake up call. A sea of top grade 9s and the occasional grade 8, swam across the page. Her results weren’t just good…they were phenomenal!! And I hadn’t expected that. I realised, with a jolt, that I really hadn’t expected it. I had assumed that the very top grades simply weren’t for us. They were for children from ‘other families’. Households, I’d probably invented in my head, where one parent seminared through Science revision, whilst the other provided support with nourishing home-cooked meals and a few French flashcards. Homes where a dream team of parents co-ordinated GCSE enhancing activities with time for well being and relaxation. Simply put, children from families where day in day out, there was more adult time and input to share out than I could ever hope to manage. Did I sound like one sorry victim? Yes I did.. and pretty ridiculous too! I had trapped myself into believing that whilst we did ‘our best’, we would always fall a little short (possibly 10% short) of where we might have been as a two-parent unit.
Thankfully one person hadn’t done this, my amazing daughter. Determined, driven and totally focused upon her own goals, as opposed to worrying about anyone else, she had set about simply smashing those GCSEs. And she is my inspiration for 2019. No more worrying about everyone else for me. Hard work and focus, not family background, enable you to chase your dreams and reach your goals. It’s more than time for me to forget seeing single parenthood, as the poor relation of the family unit, and start smashing it. Here goes ….