This shit is not easy.
After some comedic mishaps we ended up missing our flight and driving the seven hours to our best friends baby shower. (long story for another day) This gave us plenty of time to talk about random things and one of those was how difficult it must be to be a single parent. Especially a single parent with more than one child.
If we ignore the emotional aspect for now and just look at the day to day practicalities:
- This parent will need to work full time as the sole breadwinner.
- Which means either having a nanny watch the kids or Daycare/school.
- If the kids are in daycare/school it means waking up really, really early to get lunches and yourself ready then waking the kids and getting them fed and dressed. All it takes is for one thing to go wrong (putting too much toothpaste on the brush for example) and the whole smooth process gets thrown out the window.
- Getting two kids in and out of their car seats while hoping you aren’t going to get hijacked while your back is turned can only add to your grey hair
- Evenings are always manic with supper, bath and bedtime so that’s got to be exhausting
- Then when the kids are asleep its time to tidy up and get ready to do it all over again
The hardest part though (I think) is not having someone to sit with in the evening who has lived through the same days and nights with you. Who wants to hear the funny things your eldest said that day or that your little one ate some sand when you blinked. It’s that bond of shared experience. It’s that emotional support when your kids are sick.
To all those parents who are raising their kids alone whether by choice or circumstance, you have my utmost respect.