Saturday, 13 August 2011

Heroes and Super-Heroes

Every mother is a hero. Some are super-heroes.  When a woman becomes a mother she is transformed into a defender and champion. She saves the world many times when she puts her best efforts into raising the next generation. But what separates the girls from the women and turns them from mere heroes into super heroes?



I say that it’s a combination of several factors. Motherhood is a Herculean task and many women find themselves embarking on a spiritual, emotional and financial marathon once the pangs of labour have subsided. However, the super hero is born once a woman finds herself doing the task of both mothering and fathering. 


A super-hero is not so much a mother for biological reasons as a spiritual leader, a mentor who protects and guides tender souls. Women find themselves on the path of single parenthood for a variety reasons and I have the greatest respect for anyone - male or female - who takes it on.

I am descended from a super hero. My paternal grandmother was widowed at a young age and became a lone parent to 13 children – the eldest being 14 and the youngest just a few months old with two sets of twins in between. This was in the 1930’s in a developing country with no welfare state. She fed and clothed her family on a paltry widow’s pension and.... didn’t she do well?  
Granny Morgan - super-hero and party animal

Granny was a bon viveur who worked hard and played hard. Every Christmas she threw lavish parties (with whatever she could afford) and she loved a good argument/debate....with debt collectors on the challenges of   single parenthood.   One of the most shocking things she did for a woman of her time is that she smoked and the odd profanity was never far from her lips....Granny did not suffer fools gladly! She was a tough cookie when she had to be. Bereft of a husband she had to fight her own corner and she was both feared and admired. Her vivacity attracted many a roving eye and she gave birth to her fourteenth child a few years after my grandfather’s death(!). 

Flex your mental muscles too!
 She was unashamedly unapologetic and  a woman after my own heart. When I'm having a bad day I try to remember that she faced greater hardships and I pay tribute to her stoicism. I never met my grandmother because she died 18 months  before I was born though I carry her middle name her. Nevertheless her legacy lives on through her daughters, grand-daughters and great-granddaughters who are all strong women today. 


Granny was no shrinking violet and she had over 40 grandchildren.  August is the month of her death anniversary and the birth month of my second son who, I hope, will be inspired by her example of grace and courage under fire. 


Since I took the step towards singledom and sole parenting I feel an inherent power surge (no doubt passed down from Granny). I did not experience this when I was part of a couple though inwardly I had a sense that I was not living up to my full potential. Despite less than perfect circumstances and a difficult family model to organise and nurture; single parenthood has introduced me to the brave new world of power and confidence.

Kissing a prince is no guarantee  of a fairy-tale ending
During my sojourn through domesticdom, I endured a barrage of mental abuse that nearly destroyed me until I decided, one fine day, to save myself.  I released the super-hero within and my mission is now to save as many people possible -  from themselves. To all you would be super-heroes out there I say your day will come and you will seize it. I wish you courage on this journey which is no picnic but may turn out to be feast. Never doubt the hero inside yourself!

Womanhood is truly formidable but only if we tap into it and celebrate the exclusivity of this state. Very often we allow ourselves to get beaten down and trampled upon with our self-esteem in shreds at the hands of men. Men and money have truly been our downfall as we have invited control from both when we should have been taking charge and care of ourselves.
Single-handed victory

Single parenting is not for wimps and makes super-heroes of those who are committed to it. It's a challenging and awe-inspiring journey to nurture young hearts and minds. What we teach as mothers will stay with them all their life. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world but only..... when a super-hero is at the helm. 


Single parenthood is a privilege since it gives you the advantage of the bigger picture. When you’re both mother and father it makes you aware of the subtle pressures and pleasures parenting places on the individual. It is about letting the softness shine through the strength. Your shoulders become broader and your heart deepens. I am thankful for the journey I’m on. 
Heroic parenting

My children feel my daily strength since I found the hero inside myself. When there’s strength there’s love and where’s there’s a super-hero....... all’s well with the world.


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