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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Parenting Alone

If parenting is the hardest job a couple might have then single parenting is a double burden. 

Made worse is it because usually the non custodial parent takes, for various reasons, a back seat role.
Even if there is a completely equal 50/50 type split, then still a child's life is divided. I posted here a while back in response to a posted article about couples doing this well.

For the rest of us we not only have to wear multiple hats but find ways to entertain and refresh in our solo states. 

In my case perhaps, although it was in many ways terrible, in other ways it probably has not hurt that I was never used to something else. 

I got pregnant at 20.

I was not married but dating the baby’s father. Pondering the future with a dependent tuned me to new needs and demands that the boyfriend/fiance just refused to see. 
We parted ways. He stuck his head in…the sand and disappeared for five years.

Fathers are important but good riddance to bad rubbish. I have never looked back. I set about being a mom.

I did what felt right and seemed to come naturally. 

I decided to be very careful about anyone I might date or let come into our life in that way. 

I decided to be hands on and at home as much as possible. Work is important but family comes first. It turned out I was attachment parenting.

I nursed her til she weaned herself. I worked odd jobs instead of full time needing day care. The only serious childcare I had were grandparents at my mothers offering. 

I learned to embrace adult naps in those early years. I limited media time

I did not want to be one of those households where the tv was a baby sitter or a movie got played endlessly. What we did watch we mostly watched together.

It has been amazing to watch my daughter grow. I do not have many regrets because I have lived very intentionally since I realized I was carrying her all those years ago. 

I wanted to be a better parent than I thought mine were. I had great parents by the way so this was no easy feat. 

I would say I have succeeded more than I could have imagined. At the same time I would say it is harder much harder than even growing up made it look. 

I took away what I thought were the stressors that disquieted my soul as a child and a youth but my daughter still have teen angst.

If you are facing a break up that will leave you parenting alone, know you are not all by yourself and support is out there.

If you know a single parent can you bless them somehow?  

Offer to watch their kids, invite them over for a holiday celebration, run an errand, invite them out for a get together or just drop a phone call. 

I have always wanted a best friend that was a single mom. Instead my best friends have been married women. Single moms seem spread out and spread thin or on the hunt to not be single.
Most of them are probably working, with their kids in schools. 

We did not do that either. I homeschooled through elementary all but about the last six weeks.

That however is another tale for another day…


  1. I've been a homeschooling, on-and-off single mom for over a decade, and am finally splitting for good from ex! I don't regret anything I have done, but do wish I'd had more support over the years. Oh, well, tho, 'cause I have found amazing inner strengths!

    1. There was a fledgling little Yahoo group called Home School Single that was a beautiful little oasis I stumbled upon years ago.

      Over time I have met or encountered a handful of singles homeschooling. It has been an exciting adventure.

      There were a lot of things I wish we had along the way but I agree with you there was so much more to be discovered.

      My daughter and I have been through a lot in the last handful of years. Not having to report to school was often times the only daily blessing we could count on.

  2. You're a great mom! Hats off to you for doing it solo.

    1. Thank you. I stand among a throng of many who came before and walk along side us.

  3. What a wonderful post. I was a single mom, but for only 3 1/2 years...and that was over 23 years ago. My babes are grown with babes of their own now. I know only part of what you know about being a single mommy. Bless you for reaching out, as you have with this post! Pam Mosher

    1. Bless you as well thank you. It has been a rewarding journey. I have said often we managed to thrive and I feel compelled to share knowing how lonely and isolating it can be at times. I had hoped to be married long before now. We take what comes and make the best of it.

  4. What a great post! Sending you all thoughts and hopes of blessings in your life.

    I'm your new blog follower (via A-Z) as I love all your posts. Looking forward to reading more.

    A Ladybug's Life


    1. Ah welcome aboard and thank you. I have been trying to visit many of the A to Z blogs and appreciate the viewers that stop by as well as say hi from that. I feel so loved. Be blessed as well.