Ode to Single Parenthood

In a small capacity, I have recently been humbled by experiencing life as a single parent.  Minus the extra income and having to worry about daycare, I have seen what our life without a father and partner would look like.  The number one word I would use to sum up this experience is EXHAUSTING.  I love my children, but simplest things become a challenge, especially with a newborn;  Grocery shopping, mowing the lawn, making supper, bedtime routines, socializing, taking time for oneself, finding constructive ways of dealing with anger all become more complicated and emotionally taxing.

I have so much respect for parents whom are raising their children on their own, for whatever reason.  Taking the time to listen to your children is hard when all you feel like doing is locking yourself in the bathroom and crying.  I’m sure it gets easier but in cases where parents have limited outside support, the wear and tear to the soul must be immense at times.  I love being able to share my parenting joys and frustrations with my partner, and I love hearing his thoughts and feelings on what is happening in our family.  In my partners absence, friends and family helped by filling in the gaps in order for me to stay a sane parent.

In my experience, one of the only things that got easier in being a pseudo single parent was the cleaning.  It’s no secret that my partner is a clutter bug and in his time away I have found that my housework load decreased substantially.  With that said, I would still much rather have his involvement in our family in exchange for a few more messes to clean (I do have my limits though).

To those who are parenting on their own, I pay homage to you!  May you find the support you need to breath, the patience you need to listen, the money you need to eat and the time you need to sleep.

P.S.  You can wear your baby doing many chores, but draw the line at mowing the lawn.

7 responses

  1. Anita Thiessen

    Well said, Lani. 🙂 By the way…love the picture!

    Like

    July 21, 2011 at 11:35 pm

  2. becky

    Good job Lani!!

    Like

    July 22, 2011 at 9:22 am

  3. Jenn

    Too True Lani! I agree with the cleaning part for sure. It does indeed get easier as time goes on, but I only have one child also. My Mike has been gone since November, and thank goodness he should be home for good at Christmas. It’s challenging but the reward is great. Be thankful you have family close by, I give kudos to single parents far from family, friends are fantastic, but sometimes you need family!
    Keep up the good writing.

    Like

    July 22, 2011 at 10:05 am

  4. VP

    I used to mow the lawn with my baby on my back (it was a high carrier), the first 4 years of having children were like a busy insane blurr (my hubby works 12-14 hours a day and mostly noon to midnight) so I do most bedtimes myself and meals are just the kids and I. We moms are amazingly resilient and adaptable in time you would find a way to cope and be happy, but luckily you do not need to. I agree that sharing time with my partner is invaluable and am glad we do have that together, I hope you find a way to get more of that while he is away. Alas, once your youngest child is 3/4 it is all much easier as they play together and leave you to get stuff done. It makes me wonder how I managed before now! It’s all a blurr as I said.

    Like

    July 23, 2011 at 10:03 am

  5. heather

    you’re doing such a great job Lani – sometimes I feel like I can barely take care of myself, never mind two kids and a husband… my hat goes off to you!!

    Like

    July 23, 2011 at 2:42 pm

  6. Jessica Winnicki

    nicely done, as per usual!

    Like

    July 25, 2011 at 10:04 pm

  7. Amy

    I find parenting with two parents to be difficult enough! Single parenthood has to be the hardest job in the world. Love your blog, I found my way here through FB and WAMF. 🙂

    Like

    August 26, 2011 at 3:07 pm

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