National Single Parents Day

Single parenting is not a choice I made. It’s not something I would wish on anybody else for any reason.

The Downside

Raising children is hard and it gets harder every day. Our children face issues that we didn’t just as we faced challenges our parents didn’t. With mainstream media focused on reality television that’s not really reality at all and an unhealthy obsession with electronics and digital worlds, just getting your kids to talk to you is a battle for even two parent households.

Parenting is about more than feeding and clothing your kids. It’s about more than making sure they get off to school with lunch in hand and homework complete. Parenting is about teaching your children right from wrong, preparing them to face the world and be able to care for themselves if you are not around. Single parents face a greater challenge because they are the be all, end all for their kid(s). They are a one stop shop for everything from transportation to meals to handling the emotional turmoil of puberty.

The Upside

Single parenting is not all doom and gloom. I’m lucky to have supportive family – even though they live across the country from me. My parents visit whenever they can and do as much as they can to help out long distance. Mom and I talk every day (hi Mom!) and she’s there to help me work through the tough days.

Mom and I at Notre Dame
Mom and I at Notre Dame

 

I’m also lucky because I have great relationships with my kids. They usually make it easy to work through even the worst of tween-life. If they yell or scream at me, stomp off, and mope in their rooms for a while, I let them. They’ve got anger and hurt to work through too. They didn’t ask for this anymore than I did and I accept that. However, after the emotions subside, my kids come back and we talk through what they were feeling to find a solution together. When you’re forced to be both good cop and bad cop, you and your kids learn real quick to forge slightly different relationships.

My parents with my kiddos at University of Notre Dame – I took the picture!

Support Single Parents

I hope that others will take today to appreciate single parents they know, ┬ájust a kind word of support to that single parent you pass in the after school pick-up line. It may just be the best thing they’ve hear all day.