On my constant quest to improve and Make Life Magnificent, I often seek out advice on single parenting. I became a single mother when my husband passed away in 2009. My son Caleb was 5 months old at the time and I was terrified at the task of raising him alone. Since then, I’ve read countless books and articles, researched every scripture on parenting, talked to other parents…on and on because–in the simplest way that I can admit–I just want to be a good mother. Yet, motherhood is no easy task. Trying to achieve it alone can seem one hair away from being impossible. But don’t take my words as discouragement or pessimism. I have come to realize that there is true beauty in the struggle of it all.
Today as I was reading, I found an article by Parents Magazine titled: Benefits to Being a Single Parent. Of course, I was instantly intrigued when I saw this because I couldn’t wait to read what these so-called benefits were. Among the author’s viewpoints on single parenting, there is one “benefit” sited that just jumped out at me: “The Closet Is All Mine.”
Ok…just give me a minute here…did I read that right? One “benefit” to raising a child alone is that you don’t have to share your closet with another adult! I do believe in being optimistic and seeing the silver lining in all things, but there are times when we just have to be real. Everyone is different, I get that too, and for me having the closet all to myself doesn’t even come close to being considered a good reason for single parenting. Did I already say that raising children is HARD!?
If someone came to me today and said that I could have my husband and the father of my child back in exchange for my closet, I would offer them the entire house with the closet!! Take it and all the other shallow and meaningless things that I’d gladly give up as a single mother. None of them would compare to having my son grow up with both his parents there to love, support and nurture him.
As a Christian, I believe that God has a plan in all things. Even when we can’t understand what He may be trying to teach us or accomplish in our lives, faith requires us to trust God’s sovereignty. I am at a place now where I completely trust God’s plan in allowing me to be a young widow and single mother. So please don’t think I’m complaining about my lot in life. Please don’t think that I resent having to raise my son at all. And PLEASE don’t think I’m downing single parents. We are strong and resilient and able to do much more than we think. Single parenting is an art and science all wrapped into one. My hat goes off to all of you out there!
It’s just really interesting to me how our perspective can completely color our view of something. Two people, two mothers looking at the same situation, yet we have such a different conclusion about all of it. She seems content about being a single mother because she gets to have her closet all to herself, among other things. I look at my son everyday and come to the conclusion that I’d give everything I own, closet and all, if his dad could be here to see how awesome and adorable this little boy is growing up to be.
I was so taken aback by that listed “benefit” that I actually couldn’t read anymore. I truly can’t think of any benefits to single parenting, but I can think of some Positive Points in Single Parenting:
- You are forced to do things you would never do (I had to learn to tie a tie because I want to teach my son)
- You develop the skills of an expert multi-tasker (On any given day, it seems like I have to do about 50 things at once!)
- You come to see that budgets are actually very sexy (Along with coupons and kids eat free restaurant nights)
- You learn that perfection is so overrated (Some days you feel like you’re wearing a cape, some days you feel like such a failure, but you still get up the next day to do it all over again the best way you know how)
When I look over my Positive Points, I think there are some married parents that would also say “Amen” to some of these, which makes me realize that, yes–single parents do have unique challenges–but overall parenting for everyone can be an uphill journey. I’m holding God’s hand as I travel up that hill. And I’m saving lots of space in my closet to share with the man God will provide to travel that journey with Caleb and me. 🙂
Interesting Related Writings:
Confessions of Young Widow: The Little Things I Miss About Being Married