Recently, my husband went out of town for a week. Leaving me at home with the kids…all by myself! After that long week, I now sing a song of praises to all single parents, especially moms.
The Single Parent
I admit, I had an image in my head of what a single mom looks like—the good, the bad and the in-between. I thought I could handle a week alone with my kids without any help. I realized I was right. I could, but I didn’t want to, at least not indefinitely.
Like I said, I had a preconceived notion of what a single mom looked like. It was a typical woman with kids, working eight jobs and still struggling to make ends meet. She’s forever stressed, lives on the edge of sanity and is one glass of spilled milk away from losing her mind entirely. She misses time with her children while trying to provide for them and has little to no support.
Regardless of the details surrounding a single parent’s situation, they (like every parent) have hundreds of plates in the air at all times. And sometimes, those plates fall. That’s the reality for parents in general.
The number one thing I’m most thankful for when my husband is away…my parents. I have the best support system on the planet. My mother always offers us dinner (because I can’t cook and would starve), asks to help pick up the kids, watches them so I can work out and is just there to provide support. But for some reason with this trip, I wanted to prove to myself that I could single parent without any extra help.
Doing It All By Myself
Surprisingly, my week without my husband flew by. The kids had something every night—soccer practice, swim lessons, gymnastics. Sometimes I wish I didn’t schedule so many activities! And after that was dinner, sometimes in the car, followed by homework, bath time and then bed. By the end of the week, I was exhausted, but I did it all by myself!
It’s harder to be 100% alone versus having my family support. But every situation is different. And every situation is hard. Single or married, parenting is just plain hard. At the end of the week, I started to realize what a real single mom looks like. Better yet, here’s what I think ALL moms look like.
She looks like a hero, a woman with wisdom in her eyes. And let’s not forget, she also looks tired. She questions every move she makes. She’s confident. She has children following her everywhere she goes, like a mother duck with her ducklings at the pond. She looks like a frazzled mess. She has a sparkle in her eye that can only come from the love of her child. She glows. She radiates grace and patience. She loses her temper and falls into her bed each night, feeling certain she’s getting it all wrong. She works full-time in an office and she works full-time at home.
No matter what got you here, we’re all in this parenting thing together.
Babies & Toddlers
In addition to the time I devote to being a mom, I also work full-time outside the home, which means my day is hardly ever as simple as nine to five. With an all-too-established schedule, as soon as I walk through the door, my day doesn’t end, but rather just begins. It’s a balancing act, especially with two children, but being a mom is one full-time job that I never want to quit!