Not that many people actually have a choice when thrust into single parenthood but I’m here to tell you, it is certainly NOT for those who are going to faint at the slightest woe. Being a single parent means changing a few of your course directives and creating a new plan of action that now demands the needs of the little person (s) that you now govern. To make matters more challenging, if you have a child with special needs, life becomes THAT much more interesting.
As a single parent, I am eternally grateful to have my parents near in this season. They have truly been a blessing. When I was forced to “woMAN up” less than a few years ago and care for my autistic son alone, I really didn’t understand the gravity of my responsibility. I don’t think I even thought about it. I just went into auto-pilot mode ~ I fed and bathed him, I prepared him for school, played with him, disciplined him and managed through the tantrums and other characteristics that presented themselves relevant at the time. There was no manual on how to handle being a parent. I did what was necessary and figured the rest as I went along. Did I get frustrated? Heck yeah! I would be lying like a rug if I told you I didn’t. I felt trapped. It felt completely unfair and I felt as if something had been stolen from me. And it had to a degree. There were days when I didn’t want to hear my son ask questions, make demands or need anything from me. Sometimes I just wanted to eat peanut butter and jelly for dinner and crawl up in the bed with nothing more than a remote in hand at 7 o’clock. But, I couldn’t! At the end of the day there was a huge responsibility to make sure that my needs and his were met and that he never felt the lack and that meant preparing lunch (making sure the crust was cut off because that’s how he liked it), being at the gate when he got out of school, standing watch while he did homework for however long it took and foregoing the social gatherings that I may have had my heart set on. And YES! These are all still present factors in my life.
Many single parents are in situations that at least allow for the other parent to be a consistent presence in the child’s life, (i.e., alternate weekends or weekdays and take them out for visits). But because of the dynamics of my families demise, I was unable to do that, which brought about a whole other level of angst for me as a newly single parent. I don’t try to make up for the loss of a father figure in the home, instead, I try to be the BEST mommy that I can. I have a really supportive network of friends that lift me up and encourage me daily, even in those times when I feel I don’t have anything left to give. I love to hear “him” tell me, “You’re such a good mom.” Warm fuzzies. That really does something to you when you know you’re trying your best. I’m telling you, single parenthood isn’t for punks! No sir. It takes a strong somebody to sacrifice themselves for another. I tip my hat to all single parents in the world. You rock!
Written by Ingrid Michelle for Elev8.com