Based on a compilation of experiences throughout my 13 years of being a single parent.
This is a letter to all the clueless, arrogant, jack asses (non-parents or co-parents) that roll their eyes, judge, and point the finger at single parents, especially those that think they have all the answers. Before you go pretending to be holier than though, think about this...
Before you judge a single parent for missing deadlines, for not being available to pick up the phone when you call, for not calling you back right away, for not being able to jump up and leave the house at your beck and call, for not having all of the time in the world to help a child with homework, for not being able to afford those additional school fees, and for not being perfect, think about this...
Imagine being the only breadwinner with 3 kids, who had to not only work to put food on the table, but had to cook that food, not to mention, clean, laundry, playing referee with sibling fights, driving kids all over God's green earth in peak traffic for school, sports practice, Dr. Appointments, ER trips, etc. Oh, and fixing everything around the house, or car maintenance, or yard maintenance, and all the other unforeseen surprises that come with being a single parent. Imagine trying to work a job and having a child with a chronic sickness that requires rigorous trips to the Doctor, and sometimes ER visits during work hours. What job is going tolerate that? Not to mention, what kind of paycheck are you going to have if you can't be at work?
Imagine having no one to to talk to when you come home from work, no one for emotional support, no one to vent to, or cry to, or get advice from, other than 3 kids, which is really no one, because who talks to kids about all of those things?
And please, before you compare animals to kids, here are some things to think about...
Think about leaving for a night on the town and putting your animal in a crate, or if the animal is really good, leaving your animal in the house. Then think about leaving a child in a crate for a night on the town. Yeah, that won't work will it?
Think about your animal sitting next to you peacefully while you're working on an important project for work. Then think about a child sitting next to you asking 101 questions or fighting with his or her siblings while you're trying to work on an important project for work.
Think about commanding your animal to sit and watch it sit quietly with no questions asked. Then ask a child to sit down and get ready for a bunch of back-talk. Imagine your animal knocking over the garbage can and scattering it on the kitchen floor and how long it would take for you to clean it up. Now imagine a whirlwind of toys, clothes, shoes, dishes, juice boxes, wrappers, play dough, and sticky finger prints in every room of the house, that kids conveniently place there for you to clean up. Now think about how long it will take you to clean that up. Even if the kids were to help, you'd still have to direct them which takes just as much time, if not more time than just doing it.
Being responsible for just yourself and being responsible for 3 other lives in addition to yours is a whole different ballgame. There's 3X more to remember and 3X more to do. It's A LOT, and really too much for 1 person to keep track off.
Being a single parent has it's moments of joys, but it's definitely NOT EASY and not for the faint at heart. As a matter of fact, it can be excruciatingly difficult, especially when there is no financial, physical, or emotional help whatsoever from the other parent or a significant other. When you have no one to call on for back up with kids, it makes life extremely tough. So please stop judging single parents as if they're supposed to be some type of super human. They're not. And unlike you, they almost never get a break. So the least you could do is have a little compassion and understanding.
We know we messed up a long time ago when we had a child with the wrong partner. We've being paying for it ever since, so we don't need any additional grief from you. And if we had it to do all over, we'd still have our babies because we love them. But damn it, it's hard, and until you experience what we've experienced first-hand, there is no way you could know. So please have some respect for the people that work harder than anyone else, yet go unnoticed, and in fact are very misunderstood.
If you're a single parent who deals with judgmental people like this, send em this letter. Someone needs to put it to em straight, and I don't see anyone else doing it.
And for those who choose to get offended at me for writing in such a blunt manner can know that I'm tired of putting it politely, and I'm tired of seeing others put it politely, because people still just don't seem to get it. And if you're that offended over it, then maybe this letter is for you.
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