Tomorrow is AB's first day of preschool. Tonight, while I was preparing to leave work, I texted my husband, who happened to be walking to the market with her to pick her up some snacks for tomorrow and grab us pasta makings. I volunteered to swing by Target on my way home and pick her up a backpack, and of course, a first day outfit!
When I got home, AB was running around like a mad woman. You may not know this about her, but she's her own lady. I chatted with hubs about my day while he started dinner and set up AB in her chair to eat her standard hot dog and fruit. I headed upstairs, changed, and put in a load of laundry.
We ate dinner while bribing AB with a bit of garlic bread and Bubble Guppies. Since I'm still getting over a sinus infection, I had my husband take AB up for her bedtime routine while I volunteered to do the dishes/cleanup duty.
Now to get to my point.
While I was doing the dishes I thought to myself: Single parents are the shit.
When I picture the art of parenting without a 50/50 partner - or any % of partnership I suppose, it's overwhelming. Being a working parent, like most single parents are, already has its own set of challenges. But while I'm fortunate enough to share the duties of raising a child, you're all your child's got. Now, that's not to say you don't have friends and family to support you - maybe you do. But I know this. You're probably the person working multiple jobs to afford daycare for your child. You take less than desirable jobs because you have no choice. You don't get to be selfish or even picky. It doesn't matter if you're sick. You have to be "on." Always. You make the market trips. Each and every one of them.You figure out dinner, every night of the year. You do the dishes... all of them. And you do bedtime routine, every night. You do all of the loads of laundry. You maybe splurged to pick up a new outfit for preschool, on your single parent salary, or perhaps you have a kickass salary. It does't matter. You're doing it all, and it's usually not with a lot of financial support from the other half, unless you're one of the lucky ones. And even if you have a helpful and involved-but-separate partner, it's not the same. You get up every single time your child cries when they don't go down for a nap, or wakes up in the middle of the night. You figure out what to do when your child needs to come home sick from daycare. You're not familiar with "you" time. You shoulder most, if not all, of the heavy decisions.
To my friend, a single parent, I think you are amazing. I'm in awe of every selfless decision you make and that you'e going to have to make. You may have chose to have kids or it may have happened without planning - it doesn't matter. You stayed.