First the disclaimer: This post isn’t a whine fest. It’s not about me. This is just an honest expression of what is, for those who are single parents and for everyone else who knows one (which, unless you live under a rock, is probably every person reading this). What I write may not apply to all, but I’ve seen enough to know a lot of this does.
Being a single parent is hard. Just some thoughts from the heart:
- Kids don’t come with a manual, but with two parents at least there’s another opinion
- We mess up, and there’s no one there to pick us back up
- You can teach kids to do chores, you can teach responsiblity, but they’re kids. At the end of the day, only one will finish all the work
- The quiet of night is a relief, until the feeling of alone sets in
- We can never be sick…and if we are, it doesn’t matter, we still have to do it all
- Teens will take every opportunity to make us feel we’re crazy…and they know there’s no one around to support us
- We want to provide everything a two parent family does…and we never can
- When we’re excited, we celebrate alone. When we’re sad, we cry alone.
- No matter how much we try, we are never enough to our kids
- Conversations with your kids and conversations with adults are never the same…yet sometimes that’s all we have
- We’re a mom, and a dad, and never really get either one quite right
- Most of the time we don’t think about being a single parent. When people ask, “How do you do it by yourself?”, we don’t know…we just do it…because we have to
It doesn’t matter how we got here. We love our kids with everything we are. We want what everyone else wants as a parent…or two. If you’re a single parent, I know what you’re feeling…
If you’re married with kids, take note today and this week how often you turn to your spouse, of all your kids’ needs, and of every interaction. Think about what they do and even the times you simply talk. Sit and watch TV, plan the next day, joke about the commercials, and enjoy another adult in the house…and then think about doing it all yourself.
We’re not looking for sympathy, we’re not looking for pity, most of the time we’re not even looking for help. We’ve got the routine, we’ve learned to “just do it”, and many times we’ve even enjoyed getting all our kids’ attention and love. It’s just hard, plain and simple, it’s hard. So take the time today to boost up a single parent, to encourage, and to simply acknowledge them. You will make their day.