At some point in my twenties, I began to realize more and more the sacrifice my parents made in raising me. My parents divorced when I was a young child, and I was in graduate school when they each re-married. Thus, most of my life they raised me as single parents.
After a while of reflecting on their efforts, I remember sitting down and writing a letter to my mom to show my gratitude. After having my own child, my appreciation for her deepened even further. Personally experiencing the utter exhaustion of constantly caring for a little one and then longing for them when you aren’t with them gave me a small glimpse into what my parents must have experienced, but to a greater extent.
If you are a single parent, I want to encourage you to reach out for support from family and friends or even a trained therapist.
The work of parenting can be challenging, to say the least, and having people around you to support you in practical and emotional ways can help ease your burden. Make it a priority to incorporate some form of self-care into your week.
You might read this and feel guilt or like you don’t have the time, but finding ways to prevent burnout will pay off in the long run.
Community is also very helpful, if you don’t already have some friends who are also single parents, there are various support groups that provide opportunities to meet others who share a similar experience. Being able to talk to others who understand can be very comforting.
So, single parent, I want to encourage you – your efforts are not in vain. It may take a while before you see the fruits of your labor, but you are sowing the seeds daily.
Written by: Melanie Ross