Chances are good that you know at least one single parenting . And single parenting is really hard, especially the kind that I do—the kind that doesn’t involve any substantial presence of the other parent. There are no breaks. Many people see you as detrimental to your child, no matter how awesome you strive to be. You are constantly battling to find child care so that you can go to work in order to provide some kind of life for your child. You worry about the amount of influence that daycare workers are having on how your child is raised. I could go on and on and on about all the ways that single parenting is the absolute worst.
What doesn’t get talked about much are the ways that single parenting is absolutely amazing. Which is a shame, because even though it’s hard, there are some ways single parenting is amazing.
1) Nobody To Argue With
Ever. About anything. You call all the shots. You pick your son’s name, got him circumcised and vaccinated, chose his schools, doctors, church, clothes, and every other thing yourself. You get to choose our life. And it’s fantastic.
2) Nobody To Share With
There is no parental competition. Nobody ever feels resentful that a kid is choosing their other parent. I’m it. You get 99% of the snuggles, kisses, hugs, I love you’s, school projects, silly songs, special gifts, and every other thing that a parent treasures.
3) Knowing You Are Awesome
It’s true that you don’t know how strong you are until you are forced to find out. If you can survive and thrive as a single parent, you have some hard-core confirmation that you are a warrior. With each season of fighting through hard things, you are able to stop for a second and recognize that you are a fighter.
4) Teaching Love, Acceptance, Tolerance, and Inclusion
When you are part of a minority group—any minority group—you have an opportunity to teach your kids about the special and beautiful ways our differences make us all wonderful. Families come in all shapes and sizes. Talk about making people feel loved and how you can include everyone around us in our lives. Talk about the way God loves us all the same, and how we need to remember that when we have conflicts with others. Talk about how you are lucky to have all of the things you have, and why you need to bring that awareness into our interactions with others by giving people the benefit of the doubt, being loving, sticking up for what’s right, and showing grace and forgiveness.
Single parenting can be difficult for a billion reasons, but it can also be a blessing and opportunity. The single parenting life isn’t always easy, but it is full—it is satisfying, and it is packed with so much love.