I often read the threads, the quirky twitter remarks, the “I can relate” comments, and all I do is silently shake my head while I smile, knowingly . . .
Single parenting is far more than just a parent parenting on their own. It is nothing like parenting alone while your hubby/wife works away for two weeks or three months of the year. Nothing could be further from this truth!
I am a single parent. I am it! Even with family support and great friends. I. Am. Still. It!
There is no one to share my most intimate of thoughts with. Friends and family won’t understand, because they don’t LIVE parenting my child 24/7. Their worry and concerns do not run as deep as mine.
Single parenting can become very distressing AND unforgiving when you experience tremendous emotional turmoil as a result of concerns for your child’s health, their development and the impending financial responsibility.
There is no “other” parent to hold your hand and understand your heart as you listen to a diagnoses; be it a fever, a disability, or God-forbid – terminal! There is NO “other” parent to feel your tears and embrace your fears with understanding and empathy. Living it and seeing it, are two very different experiences.
Then, the questions . . .
The overwhelming emotions that come with raising a child independently, and preparing, if one could ever truly prepare, for the MANY, and often INTRUSIVE, questions that children have about why you are their only parent…
My son’s paternal family do not feature in our lives, at all. There is no contact, no “extended” family to lean on.
Single is; One Parent Only! It is not co-parenting, long distance parenting, or whatever you want to term it when both parents are in the child’s life. It is ONE parent, shouldering ALL the responsibilities of raising a child.
I, however, made a commitment many years ago, before my son was born, to embrace single parenting. An opportunity to show true bravery in the face of adversity. To stand tall in a crowded room of families and be the only single parent, beaming with pride as I watch my son perform in his school play, confident in the absence of his dance partner! To surround myself with awesome people, who understand that I will go to the ends of the earth for my child…no barriers!
Butterflies flutter around inside me, at the mere knowledge that I am capable beyond measure; able to mould a little person into a courageous being with an identity independent of parenting circumstances.
I want YOU to know that I am an Extremely Proud Single Parent; and that no matter my obstacles, and fears, I AM ENOUGH. I want you to know that BEING IT, is as awesome, if not more so, than being them or they.
I want YOU to stop looking at me with the all too knowing question, “where is his father”, that look of sadness and unwanted sympathy… I want you to look at me and acknowledge that I am enough…