The most underestimated of all the amazing living things that roam this planet are certainly and without a doubt single parents. That’s right. If you are a single mom or dad then YOU are the glue that holds families together, you are the foundation of our societies, you are the hope of our children. You are single-handedly perpetuating our race and seeing to the survival of your offspring, for the betterment of humanity.
Yes, you ARE!
But you don’t have enough time to give yourself credit and pat yourself on the back. You are running faster and harder than anyone else, with very little thanks for all that you do.
So today I want to take a moment and tell you how incredible you are.
How what you are investing in is soooooo worth it.
But how I also feel for you.
The exhaustion is real. There is ALWAYS something to do, clean up, catch up or feed.
Back in the trenches of young children and single parenthood, the challenge for me was often simply reserving enough emotional fortitude to even tuck my boys in at night in a loving way. That was considered a win in my book.
There were always groceries needing to be purchased, dishes needing cleaning, laundry needing washing and boys needing rides to and fro.
Keeping the house running and the kids fed and to school requires serious organizational and scheduling skills.
Single parents you are a scheduling and task execution ninja master. Seriously. You efficiently pack so much into a day that it makes Marie Kondo’s drawers look messy.
But be careful to reserve a little space in this non-stop ride for the leading star, the one without whom it all breaks down…YOU.
You are worth it – without a doubt – but beyond that it is NEEDED so that you can continue to function at the level that is required of you.
You are truly a superhero, and you need to keep yourself in your sweet spot so that you can continue to save the day.
I once read: you can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first. This is so true when it comes to single parents!
Those kids are depending on you!
You are the quiet strength that keeps it all ticking. Without even tooting your horn.
Nothing beautiful ever needs to really ask for attention. It just exudes beauty and people notice.
The same is true for you. What you are doing day in and day out – others are noticing. Your selfless giving is beautiful. In a world consumed with selfies and egos, you shine by your quiet strength and humble steadfastness. We all notice. Not just your kids, although they will never forget all that you do.
I remember though, when people would express admiration or shake their heads and say “I just don’t know how you do it all”, I would always ask myself – wait, is there an option? Cause if there is a plan B, someone please let me know!
We do it because it NEEDS TO GET DONE. Period. So I know, single parents out there, you aren’t looking for any accolades or awards. You are simply doing what is required of you.
But there are plenty who do not. Or do it so poorly it would be better if they just stopped.
So you still get credit. You are showing up, and showing up strong.
Whether you feel strong or not.
I remember when the exhaustion would push me into self-pity, and I would start feeling sorry for myself and consider cutting corners and not want to do what was best for my boys…The thought would fly in like a bee stinging my mind that this was their ONLY childhood. I would determine how they looked back on it. I could help to provide either sweet memories or repressed ones. And it depended on where I, as the parent, opted to spend my energies.
Every decision is up to you.
That can feel so overwhelming at times.
You have to decide everyday about yourself, and then about however many little people you are helping to keep alive.
And there is no infinite source of energy to help you go 24/7, so you must choose wisely how you spend it.
We all have finite resources, although it seems single parents have mastered the art of stretching theirs much further than the average person.
And truthfully it isn’t fair that so much is demanded of you.
It isn’t right that you have to be both mom and dad.
This may not have been your plan A.
But regardless of the ideals and the standards and the “should bes”, you are DOING IT. You are. Everyday.
Because, like I said, you are amazing.
But don’t forget that you are not really alone. There are many of us so eager to help if you only ask because we respect you so much. And there is the Ultimate parent, the one who actually DOES have infinite resources – He is yours as well – and so willing to provide and love on you, His child.
Reach out when it becomes too much.
Each child gets but one childhood. You are graciously spending yourself to give them a beautiful one, in which they are safe and loved.
Our Creator does the same, except He has much more to spend. Delight in His abundant care and love for YOU, His precious child! He has nothing but good intentions and loving thoughts towards you – and His attentive ear hears all of your cries.
So may I simply acknowledge, as you fall into bed tonight after having fed, cleaned up, tucked in and loved on those kids – that you are a beautiful human being.
You ARE making a difference.
Keep rocking it.
And when you feel like you’ve rocked all you can, curl up in your Fathers arms and take a rest. He’s got it. Rest in Him. Let Him bless you the way you are blessing your children.
And know that we are here, silently admiring and cheering you on.