Yesterday was International Women’s Day – a global day that celebrates the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. As a result, I have been thinking about women who have inspired me and continue to inspire me.
When I think of strong inspiring women, I don’t think of famous females on television, in sport, in politics or any other public place. Instead, I find myself thinking of women who are around me and who I can relate to. Some of them I may know in person and others just through the powers of the web.
My Mum – I’ll admit that we haven’t always got on and I wasn’t the easiest teenager but she has stuck by me and been simply amazing in the last couple of years when I have needed her the most. Not once since my ex left has she said ‘I told you so’ (despite probably thinking it) and instead has helped me in practical and emotional ways. Even when she has felt tired and poorly, she has helped me with the shopping or the school runs. She inspires me to be as good a mum as she has been and is.
My Friend, Ruth – she has worked so hard in her business and has never quit, even when it wasn’t going well. She had her eldest daughter in one of the toughest times in the business and somehow managed to keep going. Today, the business is thriving and she has two children. With a busy business and home life, I am always impressed by how she manages to juggle it all and still have time for her friends. She is truly an inspiring businesswoman and mum.
My Friend, Emma – another mum who has worked hard and achieved so much.. She has a beautiful daughter and is a wonderful fun mum who does so much with her. Emma is very creative and amazing at diy (unlike myself) so I find myself full of admiration of her skills and talents. She is also a single mum and one of the first friends who I turned to when I found myself in that situation because I knew she hadn’t had an easy time with her ex (and still isn’t) yet has found the strength to keep going. She is an inspiring single mum and diy-er.
My Friend, Lucy – as a fellow teacher, mum and Christian, we have a lot in common but while I only work part-time, Lucy manages to teach full-time, is a Head of Year and manages to find time for her daughter. But, on top of this, she is a friend who I know I can turn to at any time and she will drop everything to be there for me. When my ex left and I was in pieces, it was Lucy who I phoned and was on my doorstep immediately with her calming presence. Lucy inspires me by being a fantastic teacher, mum and friend.
Kay – I only know Kay through social media but since reading a post by her in a Facebook forum, I have been amazed at her. Her baby was diagnosed with Trisomy 13, a rare genetic condition that has a poor prognosis with most babies not surviving the birth and 80% not making it past the first year. Yet, despite this, Kay continued with the pregnancy with so much positivity and strength, celebrating every moment her baby was alive as she knew the birth may also be a death sentence. Kay gave birth just over a week ago and Ava survived the birth and is doing so amazingly well that the medical team are making arrangements for her to come home. However, Ava will never get better and I don’t know how Kay deals with this prospect but her posts that focus on the positive are simply inspiring to me and many others.
Jessica – again, I only know this mum through Facebook but her posts are, like Kay’s, full of positivity in the face of terrible circumstances. Her husband tragically died in a work accident, leaving Jessica with two small children and being 10 weeks pregnant with their third. She has been so amazingly strong. As one example, she passed her driving test last week at 38 weeks pregnant. Jessica recently started a blog that tells her story and it is truly inspiring: https://wifeofaperfectman.wordpress.com
Julie – she was a single mum of two children and rather than wallow in the situation, Julie decided to do something to change her life and that of her children, so she started a business – Lazy Daisy Birthing and Baby classes. Eight years later, it was so popular that she franchised it – I was one of those who decided to train with her – and it has grown from strength to strength with 160 teachers nationwide and more in other countries. Julie inspires me as both a single mum and a businesswoman who juggles it all.
There are so many others, some of whom have only recently come into my life, that I feel I may have to do another post in the future. I am grateful that I am surrounded by so many inspiring and strong women and by surrounding myself with inspiring women with different strengths, I hope to be able to make a difference in others’ lives as they do.