Only single parents can understand other single parents

May 20, 2017
single parents

Lately, I’ve come across a number of well-intentioned posts about single mothers on the occasion of the Mother’s Day. After that, there have been more encouraging posts by sympathetic authors, who have tried to remind the society about what it could do for us and how other people could help us. The bottom line is that however brave or successful we might be in carrying the heavy burden of bringing up our children alone, the fact is that some assistance could come in handy from time to time.

Yes, parenting is the source of enormous joy and pleasure.

Being a single parent is often a matter of choice. But, it may also be a matter of fate.

A woman who is getting married seldom expects the divorce or, God forbid, the spouse’s death.

We take pride in being capable of coping on our own, in being successful, efficient, clever and good mothers.

We never stop: from the crack of dawn until late in the evening. We plan ahead and make arrangements all the time. Our hands rarely ever do the same thing.

With some luck, we have close relatives or good friends who are prepared to give us a hand from time to time. Sadly, though, that kind of help is often unavailable.

With some luck, our kids know their fathers and see them regularly.

With a great amount of luck, the fact that they live only with their mothers will not affect them much in their childhood and later in life.

With some luck, your ex-partner will support your children financially.

With a lot of luck, we earn enough to provide for our children and give them whatever they need.

A few days ago, my daughter’s teachers asked all the parents to write a short essay about their children and recount a nice anecdote from everyday life. The essays would then be read in public.

Who do you think was the first to submit the essay? A single mother. Me.

Because that’s the way we are.  Because we cannot delegate and must do everything immediately. Because we always have to try hard to make everything work, even when there is really no need. Because there is no one to replace us and take over. Even when it comes to writing simple essays on our children.

All posts about single mothers have surely been written with the best of intentions and I take the opportunity to thank the authors from the bottom of my heart.

And yet, I do believe that only a single parent can truly understand what another single parent is going through, all their fears and frustrations. I know from experience that the life of a single parent is completely different from what life is like in traditional families.

But, we have to soldier on. Sometimes it’s challenging, but there are also times when I’m so happy about our way of life.
All of you who read my posts will surely understand what I mean.

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