The real hero of the royal wedding
LOVE IT or hate, we are all hearing about the Royal Wedding today as it takes over our newsfeeds, even sales of old-school print papers have increased.
Me? I wasn't too fussed, but after watching it, I have a new hero. A calm, controlled, confident hero. A woman who knows that her place in the world is anywhere she chooses it to be. An empowered, take charge kind of woman who peacefully makes her way in the world while encouraging others to shine. She is Doria Ragland, and I just think she is epic.
HER STORY IS LIKE MINE
The story goes that Doria split from her husband when Meghan was a young child, leaving her to do the lion's share of the child-rearing. This in itself is not entirely uncommon, even when there is a wonderful father in the picture doing his very best, let's be honest, it generally is the mother left to do the hard graft in separated families.
And for separated families, the picture can be pretty bleak, especially for young girls. I should know, I'm raising two and the statistics are not on my side. You've heard them before, teenage pregnancies, drug use and general underachieving; all more prevalent in single-parent families.
Parenting on my own I'm doing my utmost to make sure my girls aren't part of those statistics. I want them to reach their full potential, I want them to have all the opportunities afforded to children in two-parent households.
I can feel your eyes rolling, I'm well aware single mothers aren't the big social pariah they once were, but you know, we are still at a disadvantage in so many ways, even if you now no longer feel the need to lock up your husbands around a divorcee.
Firstly, there is the money issue, we have the same bills and only one income, so the clubs and outings other families struggle to pay for, are an even bigger struggle in one parent families.
Then, the increased use of childcare means that our kids aren't getting out with their friends as much as their peers, leading to social isolation. It is more difficult to have one-on-one time with your children as a single parent, meaning your children might not feel valued, leading to lack of confidence.
And you can forget about having a night off to recharge as a mother, how can you possibly hit the grandparents up for more babysitting after they looked after your kids while you worked?
I FINALLY HAVE A HERO
It is the hand I have been dealt, and through no choice of my own, I find myself navigating this minefield. In the spirit of honesty, I have a relatively manageable life compared to others. I have an amazing support network, a steady job and perhaps it is because I am passed my best, but two-parent families don't tend to shun me. Woo-hoo. What I haven't had until now? A kick-ass single mother hero, but you betcha, I've found one now.
Come on, did you see Meghan? How awesome is she? None of my peers shunned tradition and walked down the aisle by themselves. I know a bunch who questioned it and thought it a little odd, but we all still trotted along with our fathers as they gave us away to our new husbands. Yet, here is Meghan, marrying into the Royal Family, the epitome of tradition, conformity and rules, and she is all 'yeah, thanks anyway, I've got this'.
MEGHAN IS SOMEONE TO LOOK UP TO
Princess Mary sold the dream that we too could marry into royalty, but Meghan has given us so much more to aspire to. Unflappable, empowered and with a strong social conscience, this girl walked to her new husband knowing fully who she is and what she will use her new platform for. And who is the mother behind this amazing girl? A social worker and yoga teacher. A humble woman who also knows that she is to be valued.
We can't possibly imagine the media frenzy leading up to this event, the sudden changes in her life, photographers at the airport commenting on something as seemingly trivial to us as carrying her own bags. Imagine arriving in a new country, being paraded around the Royals, sitting eye level with the Queen while watching your daughter getting married to a Prince, knowing the world's media is picking apart your every move. And doing it ALONE! No husband, or family around her.
She sat poised, confidently beaming at her daughter, giving absolutely zero f**ks at having no one with her. She had the look of a woman saying, 'Yeah, I've done a good job, well done me.' And she sure has.
SHE'S GIVEN ME HOPE
Up until Saturday's wedding, I had been quietly confident that the lack of a father in the home wouldn't be too much to the detriment of my girls. I've hoped to tick along and keep our heads above water and had my fingers crossed that they will have exams results that are 'good enough' and a sense of self-worth that 'will do'.
But now? Thanks to Doria, I know different. I know I can raise empowered girls who can be humble and at ease in any situation. I know I can teach my children to know their value and become fierce, kick-ass chicks who aren't afraid to go after what they want. I know my children can become self-assured and can be confident to take a stance against the wrongdoings in the world. I know we will strive to do more than just muddle through, but aim to thrive. Most importantly I know, even on my own, I've got this.