As many of you know I am a single parent. It is something that invariably defines part of who I am. When people find out that I am a single parent I hear "I don't know how you do it." I don't know if it is that I don't usually look haggard and tired or that they expect a single parent to not have a life of their own.
I don't use single parenthood as an excuse for anything other than sick days at work. If I am invited to something and it isn't a time when D is going to be at his dad's house, I decline. I try and make plans with friends on days when D isn't home. He goes to his dads every Wednesday and every other weekend.
The most difficult thing to deal with isn't trying to do it all on my own. That is something that I adjusted to quickly. It is amazing how easy things become when you don't have any other choice. I don't really think about it. I just do it because if I don't, no one else will.
For me, the most difficult thing to deal with is fear. I am so afraid that I will screw up D and he won't become the kind of man that I desperately want him to become. I want him to be an honorable man.
I am afraid that something will happen to me and that I will either die or that I won't be able to take care of him and that he will have to go live with his dad and evil step-monster.
I am afraid that I am not everything that he needs. There are times when I am so tired from working all day and doing housework that I don't really have the energy or desire to do anything with him. If D wants to play a game and I brush him off because I am tired or have other things to do I feel wracked with guilt and then horrible thoughts start to filter in. What if something happened to D and the day before I brushed him off when he wanted to play a game of Cadoo? Could I ever forgive myself? I don't know.
Being a single parent isn't a cop out to be a sub par friend, employee, co-worker, parent or anything else that you are. It should be a source of strength and confidence that if you can do the most difficult job of parenthood alone there isn't anything that you can't achieve.
There are times when I let the fact that I care for my son alone get in the way of things that I know that I should do. I have been planning to go to college and get my degree for years but just never seem to be able to give up the time with my son. I know that it is an excuse for me to not get motivated and just do what I need to do. There are so many options out there that no excuse that I can come up with will hold any water anymore. It is hindering my professional life.
There are some positive aspects of single parenthood. I don't have to confer with anyone else on how to discipline my child, where he can go and what he is allowed to do. I am judge, jury and groundation officer. I am always in the loop on what is going on with him. I am the go to person for school and anywhere else that he goes.I do the best I can with what I have and the life that I have chosen. Sometimes I wish that there was someone to share the load that I have but until that happens, I will happily continue to do it myself.