Ok. I hate the term ‘single parent’. You can’t be a single parent – you can be an absent parent thus making someone else ‘do it alone’ or you can be a parent who lives apart from your child’s other parent or you could be a parent whose child’s other parent is absent for a million other reasons … you get my point. But children are raised by many people throughout their lives.
A couple of weeks ago a very dear friend of my mine found herself in a nightmare situation. Her husband was suddenly and critically ill in hospital; she has a baby the same age as Joni and I can’t begin to imagine how she was feeling as her husband’s life hung in the balance – but I expect an aspect of it was the terrifying thought that she might have to raise her baby without the Dad. (Thankfully and somewhat miraculously her husband is still alive and doing well – good things do happen). I was up most of the night when he was taken into hospital, and I spent most of the night holding Joni close to me for comfort. The thought of raising Joni without my husband is unbearable. As I sit here counting the hours until he is home (1 hour left!) I am wondering HOW THE HELL DO PEOPLE DO THIS BY THEMSELVES?
I love Joni, I love spending time with her, I wouldn’t change it for the world and the last thing I want to do is go back to work. But I also love when Chris comes home and he can bath her, put her to bed and cuddle her whilst I do other things. I wish he would come home earlier … but Media doesn’t allow for 5pm finishes, unfortunately.
I guess there must be ways of finding other support, being better organised, and mustering energy from somewhere to take care of little ones as the only adult in the household?
I cannot tell you how much I admire people who are doing this. My best friend when I was little didn’t know her Dad and it was just her and Mum – in a lot of ways I was quite jealous of that one on one attention and love. It didn’t cross my mind how hard it could have been for the Mum.
I don’t want to be patronising (I know plenty of people who would have been far better off with only one parent than the two they had) I just want to say how much I admire people where the buck stops with them and them alone where their children are concerned. I’m not sure I would cope very well at all.