Many people have an idea of what is “single parenting” in my understanding, it is the caretaking of a child by one parent. Single parenting has nothing to do with relationship status. Many individuals are co-parenting. Where the two parents are in separate homes, however, both parents are absorbing the responsibilities of the child or children, be it financially or physically. I am a single parent. I am the mother of one adult, three minors that live with me. I am the sole caregiver for all three. Single parenting is not a simple task, most days, it can be very hectic, but it has its rewards.
My daughters’ father passed away when my 12 year old was just a baby, the elder was four years old. Being a single mother was one of those stigmas I didn’t want to be associated with and when my husband died, the blessing of having a family unit, two-parent homes, was crushed. It took some time for me to adjust and accept the task that was before me. I don’t think at that time, I truly grasped the reality. I grieved in somewhat of an abnormal process, my first step was denial, I think stayed on that step of the grieving process for a long time. Nine years later, after 4.5 years of a very toxic relationship, I had my son, and the harsh reality of single parenthood was laid before me yet again. To be honest it is the grace and strength of God that has brought me through thus far.
We learn as we live, the more you know, it is the more that you realize that you didn’t know.
Learning is perpetual. My children and I have been through some valleys together. There are many times that I survived just on a minimal income. I have visited food banks, I have walked down some streets that I would have never envisioned, I have been criticized and ridiculed as a parent. Honestly, it is very easy to criticize someone when you have not lived a day in their shoes. Single parents are often ridiculed at a higher percentage.
There are often many suggestions, with little or no help, just opinions. It can be very exhausting, it takes a lot of resilience. For instance, if I am not able to afford the opportunities that their school friends have, it makes me feel overwhelmed /guilty. I am grateful because I have great children, well mannered and respectful.
Through everything we have been through together we have always stuck it through which created a very close bond that I don’t take for granted. We support each other and love is a vital ingredient in our home. We love and tolerate each other. It is only the grace of God that allows one person to do the work of two human beings without breaking down. God has truly turned it around for us as a family, I have regained a footing to set proper things in place for my children to lead the healthy path in life so that certain cycles are not repeated; through it all, I have learned to trust in Him and his word that though weeping may endure for a night, Joy comes in the morning! Truly!