Being a mum is hard, being a single mum is hard, I say it time and time again because it’s true.

This morning I woke up to a wee soaked toddler that had wet her bed, she’d groggily not made it off the bed in time and was upset with herself crying that she wanted a “sticky wicky” my go to reward for successful toilet trips. Through my over tired sleepy eyes, I winced at having yet another 5:30am wake up call, cleaned her up and bundled her into my bed for some snuggles as she sang baby shark. I was knackered, emotionally and physically, I’m feeling a bit drained and overwhelmed. Juggling being a mum, work and having a life is tough sometimes and just gets a bit much. So as toddler P’s dulcet tones rang out “do do do dooo” a few years rolled silently down my face. I just wanted an extra half an hour or so in bed. I just wanted (like one of our favourite bed time stories) five minutes peace.

Toddler P knows me, more than anyone, more than my own mum. Being a single parent and our own dream team has meant we are close than ever, we have a bond that not many can recreate, like I said me and my mum at are close but this is different. She knew, she knew I wasn’t ok, she rolled over, put her little warm hand on my cheeky and said, “it’s awright mummy, I onwy ‘ere” and suddenly things felt a little better, because I know that despite being only two and a tantrum raging, cheeky toddler, this kid’s got my back too.

A few people do have my back and it’s the small things that make my life a bit easier. Like when I lost my usual day off this week to a session as part of my course and parents evening, my friend that looked after P, hung my washing out to dry. Another friend brought me a cuppa out to the car when I arrived at dance rehearsal with a sleeping toddler trapping me in. Like when my visiting house guest and her boys came to stay and she navigated my kitchen with me as we made dinner, breakfast and washed up, she helped me host her visit and between us we tended to the three kids so we could keep them happy and enjoy each other’s company and a catch up.

Like the friend that texts just to say, are you ok this week? To check in with me and let me know she’s there. Like the friend that made Sunday for me and my girl allowing us to turn up in Sunday scruffs, slob, eat and natter. Like the colleague that made me a cuppa whilst I was on duty so I could go to staff training in a cold hall with a drink after a long day. Like my work husband who pops his face in to see what lunch I’m on so we can natter about the latest episode of Outlander and let off some steam between lessons. Like the infamous mummy’s group chat where I can sarcastically joke that I want to sell my daughter on eBay and all the ladies know I don’t want to but it’s my way of say, “girls I need some of your positive vibes” and they laugh/cry/rant with me as applicable then arrange a play date.

These are the things that count and make everything a little better and more bearable. These are the people that I know have got my back. I don’t need telling what a good job I’m doing, the proof is in the pudding as my little girl grows up with bags of personality, I don’t need telling or it plastering on social media, I don’t need grand gestures or declarations of my worth as a mum. Her kind nature and bright smile tell me that. But what I do need is the, “we got this with you too mate” I need the hot cup of tea brought out to the car whilst my daughter naps in her car seat. I need the little signs that say, “I’ve got your back mum.”

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