She glared at me with a look that could melt an iceberg, then drew the covers over her head again.
“I don’t like you, mommy!”
He pulled out his papers a few at a time.
“I have been lying to you, mom.”
She messaged me back.
“Well, maybe you should just put something on the back burner for a while. You have to prioritize better.”
He scoffed at me.
“Maybe they would behave better if you spent more time with them.”
Being a parent is so hard.
Being a single mom sucks really bad sometimes.
Today, we had yelling, we had tears, we had a hard conversation, there were hurt feelings, consequences and slammed doors.
And today…. oh, today I feel like a failure.
I work from 8-5 every day. I work at a job that doesn’t pay all of my bills. I don’t get child support from my ex-husband and I refuse to live off the government.
So I work another 10-30 hours a week at random things like painting, writing and selling crap out of my garage to strangers.
And I go to school. Full-time. So that I can make a better life for me and my kids. So that they can grow up with the things they need. So that they can do activities and learn and travel.
And sometimes, something slips through the cracks.
That’s when I want to give up. I want to throw in the towel and say “I just can’t do it anymore”. I look at my life and I feel like maybe I don’t have what it takes.
In that moment.
But then I look around and realize there is no giving up, there is no throwing in the proverbial towel, there is no break.
There is only me.
And there are two small children who look up to me, who rely on me. Therefore, I must keep moving. I must push to the next level. I must show them what it means to succeed.
Because if I don’t, no one will.
Is it hard?
Oh, it’s the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.
Is it worth it?
Oh, it’s the most worthwhile thing I have done in my life.
Parenting, whether married, in a relationship, or single, is one of the most difficult things a person can take on. Trying to make these blubbering little baby masses into grown, responsible adults who contributes to society is a daunting task, even for the wisest people.
When you are going through it alone, it makes it that much more difficult.
Whether you are the parent whose heart breaks as you send them off for another two weeks at their “home” away from you, or you are the parent doing it all on your own with no support.
We all struggle. We all hurt. We all know deep down that this is not how it’s supposed to be.
But we do the best we can.
Loving our kids allows us to rest in the knowledge that our bond cannot be unraveled. We have spent their whole life building that relationship, and our role as their parent is indispensable, invaluable and irreplaceable.
They need us. They need us in the moments we feel like we can’t go on. They need us when we make mistakes. They need us when we want to have fun. They need us when we are sick. They need us when we are worn out. They need us when we are happier than we have ever been. They need us to show them that it’s okay to struggle. They need us to teach them to celebrate. They need to see how we spin all the plates we juggle and how we respond when those plates start sliding out of balance. They need us. That’s all. We are the epicenter of their world, and they in turn, are ours.
So when it feels like it’s too hard… When you feel like you can’t go on… When people are criticizing you for trying to do better in life… When you feel all those plates spinning out of control… Just remember, you are not alone.
Parenting is not for wimps.
Parents that care, that truly care have a bumpy road ahead of them. Because it would be a lot easier if we didn’t care so much. If we didn’t try so hard. If we didn’t love so fiercely.
It would be easier to be passive and not push the kids to practice gratitude and respect. It would be far easier to have no consequences and allow them free reign to do as they feel.
But no matter what, my priority is always my children. And it’s hard. It’s so hard sometimes. I cry. A lot. I doubt myself. I wonder if I am doing this thing right. I pray. A lot.
I fight for my kids. I make a lot of mistakes. I apologize. I follow through on discipline, even when I feel like being lenient. I offer grace and forgiveness when they make mistakes.
And I remind myself that everything happens in the right time. There are seasons and cycles in life, and even good kids can have a bad day.
So, I’m not giving up. I will never stop trying.
Yes, parenting is hard. But I am going to keep going, keep loving, and appreciate every single moment.
So, to all of you fellow single parents out there… I love you and you are not alone. Keep fighting. You were handpicked by God to raise that child, those children. And you absolutely have what it takes.