Dear single parents,
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.
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.