Kudos to....Single Parents.
A few weeks ago I wrote a post on a day that it was just "one of those days." And today isn't really "one of those days" but I've been doing some thinking on a specific topic the past few days.
Mothering is hard. Parenting is hard. Single parenting is grueling.
I'm happily married, so the single parenting thing for me just comes and goes in phases. Right now The Hubs is working on a MAJOR project for work and so the kids and I have really only seen him in tiny spurts of time. And the past couple of weeks, there have been several times that he hasn't seen them at all for a couple of days.
He leaves for work at 5:30 am. Long before we're up.
My kids go to bed between 7 and 7:30pm....which lately has been long before he's home.
So for me, that's a long day of single parenting. When you do the day shift with the kiddos, the dinner shift, the bathtime shift, and the bedtime shift...and because he's working so hard, I'm on the middle-of-the-night shift too....exhausting. It is HARD.
Don't get me wrong...I love being a mommy. And I wouldn't trade this season of staying at home with my kids for anything either, but these past couple of weeks, and looking ahead 6 weeks to the finish date of this project...I get tired just thinking about it.
And here's where I've been thinking and why I want to give MASSIVE kudos to single moms, and dads for that matter...
Your job doesn't have the promise of a once again shared load in 6 weeks from now.
However you ended up in this place of raising kids without a spouse, I can't begin to understand and won't try to...but I want to tell you that YOU have the hardest job in the world.
I'm sure I've said in the past that I think stay-at-home parents have the hardest job in the world ...but really, that's just not true. So here I go...admitting ONCE again that I've stuck my foot in my mouth.
I'd like to change that statement. We all have it hard in different ways because life is hard, but I think that single parents may very well have the hardest job in the world. You have to be mom and dad, lone breadwinner, chef, launderer, boo-boo-kisser, the "heavy", the appointment maker, the grocery getter, the athletic supporter (I mean this in a more encouraging way...less of a jock strap type idea here.) You are the beginning and the end and all that's in between for your kids in the role of parent here on earth. And I want to tell you from the bottom of my heart...
I had a meltdown on the phone with my mom a couple of hours ago about scheduling a surgery for Little Bit (adenoids, ear tubes thing,) but having to do it when The Hubs has a major project due and won't be around much, and mom can't be around because my sister is moving into a new house and she's going to help her. And I thought to myself...how am I going to take care of a pitifully drugged up baby and a rambunctious almost 5 year old at the same time...BY MYSELF?! And then I just cried and cried because that's just hard.
But you single parents...that is your reality, and you don't need me here reminding you of it. My goal here is to confess to you that I don't get it. But right now, I am tasting part of it, and it is a bitter mouthful sometimes....it is hard. And here I am complaining about the hardness....you just pull yourself up by your bootstraps and make it happen...and I for one want to say that I am proud of you.
James 1:27 says "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress"...and single parents, I think that includes you too. Part of the job of "the church" (and by that I mean, believers in Christ) is to help out those of you who find yourself in this tough place. And I will tell you that I think in general our world is falling woefully short in this arena. You probably already know this firsthand. There are orphans out the wazoo all over the globe, and I'm willing to put money on it that more times than you care to count, you've felt let down by "the church"...which really just amounts to a bunch of human people too.
So my question to those of you who live this reality...is how can I, how can "the church," really...really serve and love on you? Be honest now...this is your chance to comment below and I hope be heard well. (you will be by me for sure.)
I don't really know what else to say....and I hope in my effort to give you the kudos you deserve that I haven't unknowingly stuck my foot in my mouth somehow. Point is...you are amazing...and you deserve....
A STANDING OVATION!
**I really would like to hear your comments on this subject. Would some of you be willing to share below for us to all know how to truly serve you well? And if you don't find yourself in this place, I'm sure there are pieces that we can each relate to...so your comments are equally welcome here!