Dear all the Single Parents,
I know that it’s the hardest job in the world - that’s just parenthood. But single parenthood is a whole other ball game.
You miss your best friend, the one who you can confide in when you’ve royally f*cked up; someone to share funny little anecdotes from your day with; your other half who props you up when you feel like you’re falling. Now you have to function adequately on your own whilst single-handedly caring for the most precious thing in the universe. Like a swan on the water, you seem to be elegantly gliding along, all the while you’re frantically paddling just beneath the surface to stay afloat.
You are indescribably lonely. You crave the adult company, someone to share a glass of wine with, giggling at the things your child said at the dinner table that day. Instead you’re finishing a bottle on your own in your pyjamas whilst watching the latest series du jour.
Someone to go on days out with who will take the photos to permanently capture the memories, so you’re in front of the camera rather than always behind it. Someone to argue with about whose turn it is to deal with the tantrums, bath times, bedtimes and early mornings.
You begin to ask yourself questions. What is it like to go to the toilet on your own? Will I ever be able to clean my house again? When will I be able to finish reading my book? Am I good enough? That’s the one that got me. Am I good enough? You doubt your ability to parent, as if being on your own limits the amount of love you can give. And then the guilt kicks in, it kicks in hard. How the hell can I do the job of both parents? Will my child be emotionally unstable because they’ve only had half the love they deserve? Am I doing this whole thing right??
But you’re not alone. Take a look around you. Your tiny sidekick who thinks the world of you knows that you’re enough and loves you almost as much as you love them.
Your family, how would you have gotten through this without them?! They allow you to keep (most of) your sanity; God bless parents, step parents, siblings, step siblings, extended family and so on and so on for those baby free breaks that enable you to remember what alone time feels like. And friends; best friends who bring the bottle of wine over in their pyjamas so you can cackle about your days together. Friends who fill that dark space that you thought would be empty forever.
In truth, it is hard. But you reap what you sow and believe me when I say that although it’s double the work, you are sure to get double the reward. Some days will be unimaginably tough while others will be unbelievably amazing, but no matter what, you’ve got your tiny partner in crime at your side to help you conquer whatever life throws at you.