Dear Single Parents of the World:
(In addition to single parents, I am also talking to those who have spouses who travel extensively or work extra long hours, leaving most of the parenting to the other parent.)
I don’t know how you do it. I am in complete awe and amazement of the millions of you who either choose to be single parents or parent almost solely on your own. The amount of time, energy, work and dedication that you put forth on a daily basis for your kiddos does not go unnoticed. I am here to tell you that YOU ARE A ROCK STAR!
As a new mom, I knew I would be exhausted. A lack of sleep is just part of parenthood, especially in the beginning. I was fully aware of what I had signed up for. But what I didn’t realize is how absolutely crucial it is for me to have a supportive partner who helps me. At the end of a long day, we split the parenting duties, and I might get a small break from the countless diaper changes and feedings.
Last week, I got a real dose of what it might feel like to be doing the parent thing completely solo, which inspired me to write this letter. My husband was teaching summer school and then had football in the evenings, getting home long after our son was asleep. I was left as the primary caregiver for our 8 month old son for an entire week, all by myself.
While this may not sound daunting to some of you, I was a little nervous to not have someone to rely on for a break. The first two days went by without much notice but by day three, I was totally exhausted and just wishing my husband was home to hand my son off to.
Your Kids Are Lucky to Have You
For many of you, it’s not necessarily a choice but a result of a situation that may not have been ideal. I know others that chose to be a single parent, knowing full well that all of the responsibility of parenting would rely solely on them. And then there are those who have spouses or partners who work tirelessly to support their families, but are absent a lot of the time.
Whatever your situation, just know that you have my complete and utmost respect. Your kids are lucky to have you. To be the primary caregiver for a little human (or several, for that matter) without any assistance from others on a regular basis is a tremendous accomplishment.
Parenting is not easy, no matter how you look at it. But parenting completely on your own is a whole other ballgame. From one parent to another, I commend you on all that you do for your kids. And if they don’t already, they will someday appreciate everything you are doing for them.
Another Parent Just Trying to Survive