Nope, I’m not writing a post about Beyonce. I’m also not going to do the dance. I just have a heavy burden on my heart today and it’s for every parent that is doing this thing solo. I had the opportunity this week to step into you’re HUGE shoes and walk a mile or so. Understand that I had mega respect for single parents prior to this week. This wasn’t my first week at the rodeo (so to speak) when it came to watching the kids. Yet today, something (or someone) is telling me it’s time to pay some respects.
A few caveats before I get started. First, I’m not bragging one bit in this, but I have an added benefit of having low maintenance children. The girls brush and do their own hair. The boy is great at getting himself up, out the door and all of his work done. My wife also made sure everything was prepared and double checked before she left for Honduras. In some ways, this thing was on cruise control. But there are still appointments that need to be made and kept. There are rides that need arranged. There are unexpected twists and turns that happen throughout each day and week. There are daily duties and alignments that have to made to stay the course. Even on cruise control.
When you’re a single parent, there are no sick days. There are no reinforcements in that moment when 3 kids have to be 4 places within 5 minutes of one another. There’s no one else to wake up when someone’s running a fever. No maid is going to walk through that door when one of your kids throws up on the carpet. Dinner isn’t going to make itself and that light in the car doesn’t just turn off without some intervention. Laundry needs done and put away. The bills don’t pay themselves either so someone has to make ends meet and usually only during school hours. That time you get to “relax” once everyone is tucked in is usually when you start to get to YOUR list of things to do and right before you crash from a full day.
To each of you doing this thing on your own, thank you.
On those days when the kids don’t say “thank you” just for making dinner or cleaning up their trail of belongings for the 100th time, thank you.
For those nights when no one calls to congratulate you on making it through one more day, thank you.
For the million silent things you do each day that no one will ever know about, thank you.
For rising each morning refreshed and ready to start again, thank you.
For making leadership decisions all alone and without additional council, thank you.
For fighting through the days when most would call in sick, thank you.
For being the counselor, arts and crafts director, chef, maid, teacher and technician…all before you do your day job, thank you.
Know that each of you are champions. Know that each of you are raising a generation that will one day realize all that you are doing. Know that you are changing the world where many walk away from the hard.
You have my respect.
You have my admiration.
Thank you all.