An open letter to single parents; "you’re amazing."

Dear single parents,

You’re amazing.

I don’t mean that in a condescending way, I mean it in the ‘I literally do not know how you do it’ kind of way.

Whether you’re embarking on parenting solo by choice or by circumstance, if I had a hat on I’d be taking it off to you (and probably fanning you with it)

From sun up to sun down it’s all you. You are mum, dad, cleaner, taxi, chef, counsellor, night nurse, referee, minister for entertainment and finance and so much more. You’re everything they need you to be all rolled up in one human being.


Recently I had a taste of your reality. Just a taste. My husband travels for work and so it’s me, a job and three small people. I was exhausted, I was fed up. I was just keeping my head above water. At the end of the day all I wanted to do was collapse but I couldn’t. There was cleaning up to do, lunches to prepare, washing to fold. I don't need to tell you.

My very small taste of single parenting wasn’t even all that real because I could still call my husband. Despite him being on the other side of the world there was someone to talk to, someone to share the burden of the day. Plus I knew that it would end. There was a light at the end of the tunnel he would soon be home with me, co-parenting.

So single mums and dad’s I want to tell you that you’re incredible.

I want to tell you that I admire you but I don’t want to come off as insincere and patronising.

You’re there when they are hurting, with no one waiting to offer a comforting hug when your heart is sore too.

It doesn't matter that you have been up all night, you still need to go to work. (istock)

You're the one setting the rules, wondering whether you’re being too hard, too soft. You’re the bad guy, the good guy and every other character in between,

You’re running from your bed alone at night to comfort a post nightmare child and you’re the one that sits up stroking their hair so that the monster under the bed doesn’t come back.


You’re battling fears and demons without an accomplice.

You’re struggling through the days when you feel like you might be failing. Every parent has those days but for you, there is no one relieving the pressure pot of stress at 7pm when they walk through the door.

Mums, maybe you lay awake at night wondering too long what that strange noise was? Dad’s, perhaps you spend the night hours watching videos on you tube of ‘How to Braid’ so you can do your daughter’s hair like her friends at school. Whether you’re working to pay the bills, or spending your weekends cheering them on at sport you never stop. You never stop.

Single mums and dads and everything, all the time. (istock)

Perhaps deep within your heart you long for a partner, someone to share your life with but I’m guessing that your needs and wants take a backseat to making sure your children have what they need and when the day is done, there’s not much time for you. You’ll always put your wants behind theirs.

Maybe you're happy being single but surely you'd love some time out with friends every now and then. It's not so easy, I'm guessing, when it's just you. Organising a night out would be a huge task but my god, you deserve it.

Your kids might not see all the things that you do for them now, or even understand why you do them. That’s because children by nature and by right are selfish. They’re absorbed in their world without the ability to see the giant adult picture and it’s because of you that they’re able to be.

One day the foundations of stability, of love and support that you and you alone have given them will enable them to march forward in the world with confidence, knowing that you are right behind them, as you have always been. Wanting only whats best for them and doing everything that you can to get it.