Single Parents. You seriously rock.
You are heroes, every single one of you.
From April to August of this year, my husband and I have been parenting in two different cities due to my husband’s job situation. The majority of the time, he had one of the children with him while I had the others.
Here’s what I learned. I stink at even sort-of being a single parent.
The Single Mom Thing
For the record, I never said, “I’m doing the single mom thing,” as I sometimes hear my friends say when their husband are out of town.
Single parents, does it get on your nerves when you hear your married friends say that?
Because, I wasn’t and they aren’t — single parents, that is.
I was parenting solo for awhile, but it’s still drastically different from doing it alone all the time. I know darn well I had it easy in comparison.
Life has not been easy for me these last months.
When my 7 year old was sharing my bed and wet through the sheets at 3:00 AM, it’s just me there to change them.
When there were school issues and house issues, it was all on me.
Day to day discipline — me.
Still, I wasn’t ALL alone. I had my husband to consult, text and complain to, or when all else fails, call for back up.
Case in point.
One day while driving from New York to Colorado, I was with my teen daughter Kiersten and medically fragile 7-year old son, Zack, when our car broke down in the middle of the plains of eastern Colorado on a day when it was 105 degrees. Cell phone reception was shoddy at best.
I ended up standing in the middle of a dry grassy field alternating texting/calling my husband as my phone allowed. My knight in shining armor called a tow truck, a hotel, and his parents for me, while Kiersten draped blankets over windows in the car to keep our 7 year old cooled off.
I know this is 2016 but the situation was still kind of scary. I was thanking God for my spouse right about then.
What do single parents do in these situations? Do you have a network of friends and family you can call in these times?
Single Parents. You Seriously Rock.
A friend of mine is a single mom of three girls. She recently shared with me that she is especially strict with discipline because she knows it’s just her as the parent, and she can’t let the girls behavior get out of hand.
Yeah, I didn’t do that.
I should have, but I didn’t.
When I was a quasi-single-parent, my kids watched too much T.V. They played on the ipad way too much, and they ate too much fast food.
I was exhausted just making it through each day. I got up before the kids each morning and my head crashed onto the pillow at 11:30 pm, and I was still answering emails on my phone that I never got to during the day.
I’m so impressed with single parents everywhere who do All The Things, like school papers and homework and their work and housework.
When you are a single parent, it’s all on you. These last months have taught me to be much more compassionate to single parents, who are maybe more strict that I would be, or maybe less strict. Maybe they are less involved or make different decisions that I would make, because it’s the best they can do.
Here’s to You
So here’s to you, single parents, for all your hard work. You are underappreciated and amazingly awesome.
I want to say it just in case no one else does today.
You seriously rock.
Are you a single parent? What would like your married friends to know about your life?
I write this with tears streaming down my cheeks. This morning was rough and after loosing my cool and raising my voice, again. I had given up on today. I am so touched by this article and I want to say thank you. Thank you for helping me realize that I am trying my best and that’s the best I can do. I know my daughter loves me but it’s so easy to lose sight of it all. Especially on the rough days. I am so thankful that you and the family are a part of our lives.
Thank you, Katie. You are a great mom! Your daughter is so blessed to have you as a loving mom who cares for her day-in and day-out always there for her. Thanks for reading.
Stacey Townsend says
Great article Sara. Kudos to you for all you’ve done being a single parent all these months and helping out your mom at the same time. You rock!!
Thanks, Stacey. I miss you!
Neale Orinick says
I’m doing the single parent thing with three boys and it does overwhelm me sometimes. It’s the day in day out pressure of everything on you, all the time. Not just the chores (shopping, cleaning, oil changes) it fielding all the emotional chaos of three boys happy times and when one or all three “go to the dark side.”I am fortunate to have a good relationship with their dad and we help each other as much as possible. I truly feel for those famlies when one parent is out of the picture or there is a lot of animosity. You adapt, though, and do your best. Hang in there!
You are amazing Neale — and to do Ironman races, besides. Now that is one strong woman! 😉
I just want to thank you for your uplifting emails they always find a way to speak to me at the right time. I am married but my husband is away temperaraly right now so our family could really use the Prayers. I have 3 girls and 1 boy who is closer than close to his dad and we all miss him and need him. It Super Hard doing it on my own. God gets me and my kids and husband through each day though. Thank you and God Bless you and your Family
Thanks so much for your sweet message, Katie. I’m glad this was helpful for you. I know it’s so tough when your husband is out of town and you are managing on your own. ((HUGS)). Hang in there!