BY MAVIS KING
Stop and smell the roses’, it sounds so easy however the fact we have the saying at all, and that it must be recited like a mantra, recalled as a reminder, shows how difficult it is for us to actually do.
We’re busy. Our electronic devices, originally time saving, are occupying more and more of our time. We invariably have a mental To Do list. As items are ticked off more are added, it quite literally never stops. Lists are irritatingly reviewed at 3 in the morning, 10 at night, in work meetings, when catching up with friends, at the movies, anywhere. Stop and smell the roses? Who has the time! We might claim. However one situation might jolt you – propel you to forever smell those roses – get right up close to the floral scents of a good moment – it’s single parenthood.
A single parent does not need a special occasion to live in the moment, in fact it is the special occasions: Christmas, Birthdays, Mother’s or Father’s Day that are often dreaded as they can be painful, lonely and riddled with conflict. A single parent’s life is marked differently with many more opportunities to smell the roses.
It might be a Tuesday night, a Saturday morning, every second Sunday or the inverse of these. Either way it’s the time they get with their children that are filled with joy, a bubbling appreciation and a calm from the mental checklist and ‘busyness’ of life. Suddenly nothing else matters and nothing can distract them from the pure joy of parenthood.
For many single parents, they want the time with their children to last forever, they want more of it – not less. They dread the 9am pick-up or the long day that stretches out ahead once the little people trot out of their day and into someone else’s. So quite simply they live in the moment, they savour every last minute of it. The other parent, caught in traffic and late? What a blessing! For the parent that loses even 10 minutes with their children – heartbreaking.
The first time I had to drop my baby off to spend time with her father, I drove around the corner, parked and cried. I sat in silence. Two hours passed then I returned to pick her up. With relief and a suddenly lifted pain, I drove away with my precious little one.