There is no denying that becoming a parent is an enormous responsibility. Yet most people embark on this journey with the understanding that it is a responsibility shared. It takes two after all!
However, that’s not the way it always ends up. Sometimes one parent is left holding the baby/ies.
Being a sole parent is twice the responsibility. Not having a co-parent leaves you in charge of all the decisions, all the finances, all the logistics, all the…everything.
It’s exhausting, relentless and incredibly overwhelming.
However, it also has some real upsides. Since becoming the sole parent to three kids under ten, I’ve learnt that you have to push through the hard stuff and focus on the positives each day.
Here are some things I really love about this sole parenting gig:
- I have learnt so much about myself. Some of it good, some not so. But there is nowhere to hide when you are flying solo. I have discovered strengths I didn’t know I had, and uncovered weaknesses I’ve long denied. Who I am now is my real authentic self. I don’t have the time or energy to be anything else.
- I have learnt so much about my children. What amazing creatures they are! They are all so different and have unique needs. It can be hard to get one on one time with each of them, but I try to make them feel loved and treasured for who they are as individuals.
- I get them all to myself. All the love, the adoration, the morning snuggles. (All the tantrums too, but we are focusing on the good stuff here).
- There is no negotiating or compromising on big decisions. It can be scary not having someone else to be there to share the decision making responsibility but it’s also incredibly liberating.
- We are all so much stronger. We have been through a lot but we are more resilient than ever. The kids have had to develop coping skills that they may not have had otherwise. I like to believe this will stand them in good stead for future challenges.
- We know who is there for us. They say a major life event shows you who your friends are and that is definitely true. We are so fortunate to have a great village and I know there are plenty of people who’ve got my back.
- My kids appreciate me. Not on a daily basis, mind you! But they often express gratitude for the things I do for them, and acknowledge that I work hard to give them the best life possible. These moments make all of the sweat and tears worthwhile.
Being a sole parent is not a life I would have chosen for myself, and definitely not for my children, however it is the hand we’ve been dealt and we need to make the most of it.
I am proud that my kids are doing so well and that I have played a huge role in that. I hope that when they are parents they look back and are proud of me too.