I have read a lot on single parenting lately on topics ranging from dating to admirable traits of single parents to benefits to children of single parenting. It’s not an easy job. For me, it’s wrapped up with a lot of emotions having gone from married and miserable to separated and divorced to widowed and sole caregiver of my child.
I found blogs by Christine Coppa and Matt Logelin inspiring. (Look them up.) When I read their posts, I feel touched by their acceptance of single parenthood and dedication to their children. When I look back at when I became a single parent, I don’t remember a lot of grace occurring, though I’m sure my friends and family would say otherwise. I remember resentment, anger and relief toward my ex topped off with overwhelming wonder of how I would possibly handle it all: parenting my wonderful boy, supporting us, handling Ex’s post-mortem obligations, dating, and everything else that came up in life.
Now I know that I just do it. I can do it. I’m not perfect by any means, but I’m learning and willing to change to become the best parent I can be. The best person I can be. The best employee I can be. The best partner I can be.
I might feel a longing on the playground to match the other moms, to have a wedding ring on my finger, a husband that I made a child with, the right car, house, etcetera, but you know what? It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter that I don’t have a ring and it doesn’t matter that they have no idea what it’s like to live in my shoes and it doesn’t matter if they look down on me or pity me for being a single parent. It doesn’t matter that I don’t know what their lives are like. I’d rather celebrate us all for being parents.
I’m proud! I’m proud to be the mother of my child. I’m proud to take care of us every day. I feel lucky to have this gift of a child. Okay, maybe not so much during a meltdown, but yes, even then in a way. Having a child has made me so strong. I have an insane amount of respect for people who choose to raise a child on their own. I have sympathy for those who want a child and have roadblocks in their way. And I feel like people who have chosen not to have children don’t understand those of us who have. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Like I tell my son, everyone is different.
I’m a proud single mama, imperfect, kind and loving. It’s the way I am.