My sister and I were having a conversation yesterday about parenting. She, like me, is a single mom. Her husband died eight years ago. She has three young ones under the age of ten and two over the age of ten. I have two wee ones under the age of twelve and one over the age of twelve. We both agreed that parenting is hard. It is a complex web of variables that we can not expect to stay the same. Take for instance my teenage daughter. Her personality changed when puberty hit and she continued to change into a child that some days I do not recognize. Being the parent to three children with distinct personalities and varying degrees of disability makes for interesting days and nights. It makes for interesting shopping trips and dinners at restaurants.
As I sit here in my room, I hear the familiar sound of my son stemming, my daughter is running around the living room, and my 14-year-old is complaining that they are annoying which in turn is annoying. I always wait for that Calgon moment that you saw in commercials in the 1980’s, sadly, it doesn’t come. I wish that I could say that parenting gets easier as your children get older, but sadly, the demands just change. You go from having to feed them and dress them to having to make sure that they are eating, eating right, and that they are dressed for the weather. The other component for me is that I have to make sure that I have enough in the means of finances to make sure that when the shoes get too small and pants get too short, that you have to means to provide. It is not always easy especially when you have another parent that does not assist in physical care and barely assist in the financial arena.
I know, mother’s and father’s parent children alone everyday. Often they do not tell others of the challenges that they face. Single parents like myself often do not tell others that they struggle day after day. They often do not tell others that when they leave work, they walk into another full-time job. These are the conversations that they do not have. I will say to those of you out there that are reading this. Raising my children is sometimes the equivalent of two full-time jobs. I am writing this as I sit in my bedroom after working with my son on his reading comprehension knowing that I need to be working on my school work and reading my content for Tuesday. I feel the need to get the words out.
So please do me a solid. Next time you see a single mother, father, or mother and father in general at the end of their rope with their kid, don’t judge. Don’t look at them and think how they should keep their bad kid at home. I can tell you with great certainty that we were all children once and we all did things that our parents got frazzled about. Keep that in the back of your mind.
Happy Sunday y’all.