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Kudos to....Single Parents.

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

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 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 is hard.  And here I am complaining about the 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 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 are amazing...and you deserve....


**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 your comments are equally welcome here!

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At February 24, 2011 at 4:59 PM , Anonymous Teal said...

Logan, keep trying to comment and sometimes they go through and sometimes they don't...I see single parents in my job every day. They are normally at their wit's end when they see me. I think just having support in general is the biggest help. If you have single parent friends, volunteer to babysit or pick up bread, milk, bring over dinner, anything to lighten their load. The thing single parents covet most I think would be time to squeeze all of their jobs into every day and still be able to make time for themselves without feeling completely and entirely guilty.

At February 24, 2011 at 5:43 PM , Blogger Laura said...

Hey Logos! Having fun reading your blog, particularly got a chuckle out of your "open mouth insert foot" post-I remember a few of those from college! Always entertaining! Just wanted to say I totally get your post. As a resident and fellow, Scott works ALL THE TIME. Every evening, every weekend, no vacation and works from early morning to late. Being in Portland has been particularly hard as I don't know folks here, so it can be very isolating to be a stay at home mom. We are now into him writing book chapters and studying for board exams when he's not at work. However, we are going to be moving to Nashville this summer, so I will have family around and that will mean the world!! Some things that the churches and community centers do out in Portland is very helpful. Since the winters are non-stop rain and chilly temps, many offer "indoor gyms." For a couple of scheduled hours each day the gym is open up and tons of mats, toys, tricycles etc. are pulled out. Most of the toys are donated from parents when their kids have outgrown then and most charge a small fee ($1 or $2) and the kids can go crazy while moms can chat and form reltionships. Just an idea, and know that you aren't alone. I hate complaining as I love little Muggy and am so grateful to have this year to spend with him, it's just a lot more fun to parent with a partner! Luca is now licking our dog's mouth, so I should probably go-talk soon!

At February 24, 2011 at 5:48 PM , Blogger Laura said...

PS, that is more of an idea for stay at home mom's with busy husbands for a chance to get out of the house and interact with others. Working single mom's obviously have a whole different set of needs with endless ways to provide help, more than I can list here, but they are HERO's!

At February 25, 2011 at 9:26 AM , Blogger LoganW said...

I'm posting the following comment that a single mom put on my facebook...because I think it's worth reading for those of you who may not be on my facebook.

"i cried when i read this..... for me, sometimes just hearing someone say "you're doing a good job" is all i need. i am SO thankful that God's strength is perfect when mine is gone.... He is the ONLY one who gets me through this. and you are right - it IS hard!! thanks for the recognition :)"


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