Photo by Alicia Benton
Single parenting is H-A-R-D work!!! I mean, parenting with a partner is tough, but single parenting is the hardest job on the face of the planet. There are days when I don’t know if I can even get out of the bed for fear of bursting into tears the moment someone speaks to me. Now, don’t get me wrong… I don’t want a pity party, and I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m just amazed by every single parent I meet. Seriously. I think that single parents are secretly superheroes in disguise.
Are Strong: Have you ever carried in 100 bags of groceries (50 on each arm) by yourself while the kids are pushing you over to try to find the one with the Cheez-Its in it? A single parent has.
Are Brave: Have you ever had to get out of the bed to kill a giant, man-eating spider by yourself [what?!] because the kids are already asleep? A single parent has. (And let me tell you… that’s brave.)
Are Intelligent: Have you ever had to remember what x equals if a is three, b is five, and c is purple over fifteen years after learning it the first time? A single parent has.
Have Special Powers: Do you have eyes in the back of your head and super-sensitive hearing that help you divert crayon-all-over-the-walls disasters before they happen? A single parent does.
Wear Costumes: Have you ever had to go out in public in a bathrobe and one slipper, with fruit snacks in your hair in order to get the cupcakes your kid promised the teacher he’d bring to school this morning but just told you about ten minutes ago? A single parent has.
Earn Respect: Have you ever been grocery shopping and have people look at you in amazement because you can unload the cart, pay, pick up the fifty packs of gum that just “fell for no reason,” and not manage to lose the kids all at the same time? A single parent has.
Are Athletic: Can you carry a kid on one hip, a baseball bag on the other, have a good hold on another kid’s hand, all while running full-speed through the parking lot so they’re not late for practice? A single parent can.
Have a Sidekick: Do you constantly have someone on your heels at all times, sticking their little fingers under the bathroom door while you’re trying to enjoy three seconds in peace and quiet pee? A single parent does.
Are Role Models: Do you have impressionable little people watching your every move and listening to every word that comes out of your mouth, just waiting with bated breath for the second they get to do exactly what you just did? A single parent does.
Have a Weakness: Do you risk the chance of acquiring the world’s largest ulcer because you’re constantly worried sick about who your kid is becoming, who they’re talking to, hanging out with, what they’re learning about from the hoodlums they go to school with, whether they’re safe, etc., etc. (you get the drift)? A single parent does.
Use Gadgets: Have you ever had the joy of sitting on the floor until your knees no longer work, putting 10,000 Lego pieces together, only to have your masterpiece smashed to smithereens thirty minutes later? A single parent has.
Have an Arch Enemy: Have you ever had to explain your every move and pure motive to an “ex,” who is dying for you fail and will never ever admit that you’re actually doing a pretty good job raising kids? A single parent has.
Have a Hideout: Have you ever pretended having to poop just so you could sit in the bathroom by yourself for an extra ten minutes in peace and quiet? A single parent has.
Have an Alter Ego: Have you ever been referred to as “Mom,” “Hey Mom,” “Mommy,” “Mom,” “Ma,” “Hey Mom” (or “Dad,” “Hey Dad,” “Daddy,” “Dad,” “Hey Dad”) more times in a day than you have by your real first name? A single parent has.
Have a Love Interest: Have you ever felt a love so whole and complete you couldn’t imagine your life without the ones who filled you with that love or remember your life before it? A single parent has.
Have a Cool Ride: Do you drive a vehicle that can fit twice as much cargo and old french fries in it as the manual in the glove compartment says it can? A single parent does.
Have a Goal: Have you ever dreamed about the night you may actually get to go out with fellow adults and have adult beverages and adult conversations without worrying that your kids are going to go bat-poop-crazy on each other while you’re gone? A single parent has.
To all single parents – You are my superheroes. I hope your kids grow up to be as resilient and tough as you are.