S is obsessed by superheroes these days; if you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed all her superhero themed clothes, costumes and face paints. I often joke with her that I’m a secret superhero too, but she never takes me seriously.
The thing is, I really am a superhero – or rather, I have parenting superpowers.
I’ve been a single parent to S since she was just a few weeks old. She has had no contact with her father – more accurately described as “Twunty” – since she was a couple of months old. As well as raising her alone, I have needed to ensure she is safe from that particular nefarious force.
I wrote a post not so long ago about how being a single parent is not so hard. I think because I’ve been a single parent since the very beginning, I’ve nothing else to compare it to; all of my parenting experience has been of the single variety. By saying that being a single parent is hard, I would be saying that my entire life is hard. I’m not the sort of person who will go around saying that life is hard so I do my best to look on the bright side of things. But perhaps that right there, is my secret parenting superpower.
If you look at the bare facts of my life since S was born, you could be forgiven for thinking my life is (or has been) hard. S was born five weeks early, and we were in hospital for two weeks. I was pretty much in shock after she was born, and spent the first few months of her life terrified and unsure of anything. Then I had to deal with the situation with Twunty, which was less than pleasant. After this, there were issues with my money and I ended up with the Trussell Trust bringing me a food parcel to help make ends meet. I returned to work when S was a year old, and within a couple of months had been made redundant and decided to go self employed. Since then we’ve moved house twice, and I’ve dealt with the regular uncertainty that comes from being self employed.
Despite the many and varied setbacks and less-than-ideal circumstances we’ve dealt with, I have managed to get S to the ripe old age of almost-five, and she’s doing pretty well. She is doing well at school and seems to have lots of friends, but more than that she is kind and generous and caring. She takes care of those smaller than her; she helps me when I ask her. The other day we went to see a play and as the lights went down I joked, “woah, I’m scared!” She held my hand and said “don’t worry, I am here; I will look after you.”
I wish I could pin-point exactly the things I have said and done that have created this happy, joyful being. I’ve a feeling I could make an absolute killing as a TV parenting guru, if only had a clue. The truth is that I have literally no idea how I’ve managed thus far to raise a happy and healthy child. I can only assume it’s down to some unnatural, previously unrecognised superpower. Perhaps I was bitten by a radioactive spider when nobody was looking!
Whatever it is, I do feel that I’ve earned the right, every now and then, to stop and pat myself on the back. I came back from a nervous breakdown; I survived abuse. But by far the biggest and best achievement in my life is the small human dressed as a superhero currently running around my garden. And if I made a superhero, that must mean I’m one too, right?
This post was written as part of npower’s #familysuperpowers npower Parenting Superpowers campaign. Here is a video of Peter and Emily Andre talking about their parenting superpowers:
You can share your #familysuperpowers too, for a chance to win a fantastic prize. Share a video or image of your parenting super powers with npower at familysuperpowers.com for a chance to win one of three UK theme park resort breaks
I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I have received a voucher as a token of thanks for this post.