I will never lie to you. Especially not here, after you’ve already made an effort and given me your trust, using your precious time to read one of my posts. What is it like to be a single parent? Most of you probably know that only too well. But for those of you who are still wondering, let me tell you, it’s hard. Extremely hard.
You’re exhausted all the time. You keep checking your watch and running somewhere, like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. And the time keeps slipping away, tic, toc.
You get up at the crack of dawn, already tired because you haven’t slept enough. It goes for both business days and weekends. At least, it makes no difference in my case because my daughter wakes up at weekends even earlier than during the week.
You always wash something, or iron, or cook.
You clean up with your left hand while you type texts on your cell with the right.
There were days when I couldn’t take a bath because I was alone with a small child, so I didn’t dare go to the bathroom. I used to wait for her to fall asleep, but I’d be so knackered by then that the only thing I was capable of was to brush my teeth.
On some days, I even took her to the toilet with me, just in case.
I used to meet my friends for a coffee with the baby in the pram lying next to us. I took her to the doctor’s with me. To the hairdresser’s… In fact, I didn’t go there for a while.
I could go on forever, recounting all the strange and difficult moments I had to go through on my own. But the point is quite clear: it was hard.
Is it easier now that my daughter is a bit older? Yes and no. She understands plenty, but that can also be a problem. I now have to be very careful about what I say. Each telephone call is carefully analyzed. Each communication with her father must be well-thought in advance.
To sum up, it is very hard and exhausting to be a single parent. However, I do know many couples who haven’t had it any easier than me. It was simply my life’s path. It was partly of my own choosing, and partly the result of circumstances.
My advice to all of you who have taken time – which I know is scarce – to read one of my posts is to try to be around the people who love you and whom you love, too. It is better to be single than to be stuck in a bad relationship or marriage. It is often better to do everything on your own than to live in an illusion that you are not alone. It is better for your children to be raised by a fully committed single parent than by a formal family where they would be exposed to quarrels and intolerance.
It is hard, but for you and your children it is much better than any other unpleasant option.
All the effort you are making to ensure they enjoy their childhood to the fullest will surely bring you joy and happiness in return. I believe that with all my heart.