My co-worker and fellow blogger shared this article with me in which the columnist challenged people, in the new year and the new decade, to look at a few things through fresh eyes. The writer listed 52 suggestions, one for every week of the year. This week’s topic is Single Mothers.
I’m not a single mom and I shouldn’t pretend to know what it’s like to be one. When John is on travel I joke that I’m “single-momming it” for the week because I, alone, wake, clothe, feed, shuttle, bathe, read to, settle arguments between, feed again, discipline, and tuck in both boys. Taking care of the boys without the help of their dad feels like what it must be like to be a single parent. And physically it probably is. What I often overlook about single parents is what they experience mentally and emotionally. While I may get a small glimpse into the physical stresses of single parenting, John is still there, just a phone call, email or text away if I need to talk about my day or just have adult conversation. For me the stresses of single parenting are temporary — John comes home and we’re right back to sharing responsibilities. I even sometimes ask for a little extra break when he gets back. Seeing as how he’s had a week off from parenting duties and I’ve been pulling double shifts, it seems only fair to get some extra time to myself. But for a single mom there is no end in sight or “breaks.” Their lives are more complicated for more reasons than the physical stresses alone, and I for one could and should be a little more understanding of that.