Being a single parenthood is hard work. There is never vacation or sick time for this job. You don’t earn a cent and spend all of your money on meeting your child’s needs. Your relationship with body fluids, dirt and noise will change. My son has peed on me, poo-ed on me, thrown up on me, spit up on me and drooled on me. There is a level of clean that I will never achieve again in my household. My son does not come with a volume switch.
When you look at the faces of single parents, you see exhaustion. Just like the shark in the ocean, you can never stop being a parent. You are moving in some form physically or mentally as a parent constantly. On TV, you see situation comedies were the new parents argue over whose turn it is to tend to the baby in the middle of the night. For single parents, it’s always our turn.
So, why? Why do we put ourselves through it? Why does something that looks so miserable from the outside attract so many people to dive into single parenthood? Great question. Short answer, it’s amazing being a part of such a phenomenal process. I have a front row seat to watch my son grow into a man.
That’s the short answer, let’s get into the nitty gritty of this question.
Before my son arrived, I was your classic Type A nightmare. I worked all of the time. My head was always months ahead on the calendar planning future events. My world centered completely on my self. All decisions were focused on either work or doing what I wanted all of the time. This life was exhausting. I had no desire to continue it. I wanted someone else to be a major part of my focus.
By contrast, children live in the moment. Everything they do is focused on finding pleasure right now. We can’t walk from the front door to my car without my son finding a stick and waving it into the air. Putting on his jacket in the mornings is like a mini-marathon as I chase him around the house in high heels. My focus now is mainly is on the here and now. I love making someone else a major part of my decision-making process. This life feels much more natural to me now.
You learn heaps about yourself as a parent. My son mimics me constantly. He cracks me up when he grabs my cell phone, says “Hello”, mumbles some strange words, laughs, says “Ok” several times and then “Bye bye”. Yep, that is me. As a single parent, I know most of those new gestures and sayings are coming from me. I rub my hands a lot on cold mornings plus I am always putting lotion on thanks to the constantly hand washing. My son sees me and rubs his hands together.
Hitting a milestone in his development feels like winning the lottery. You share his excitement.
The love between a child and a parent is off the charts. A spouse can cheat and end a relationship. A friend can betray your trust and end a relationship. A child and parent are forever bound. My son can do many mean things to me and I will still want him in my life. I have just signed up for something eternal here.