This I Believe

Debra - Detroit, Michigan
Entered on April 19, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: parenthood
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Single-and-a parent

I believe being a single parent has been one of the most difficult tasks I have ever encountered. It’s so hard that I feel there should be a monthly stipend from the government for all single parents.

Most parents put themselves on the back burner when it comes to their children, and begin living there lives vicariously through their children.

After all, they didn’t ask to be born so you take on the responsibility of being a superhero in there lives or someone with the potential of one. They (children) become your main focus, and all you really care about is over-indulging them with everything and protecting them. All you really want is to be the best single parent in the entire world.

At least that’s how I felt. I wanted to be the recipient of the award they pass out every year the “Single Mom” award. The award I made up in my head because I felt I was deserving of such an accolade for raising my children by myself.

I understand that single parents experience the same situations as a two parent family. The difference is it is more difficult parenting alone. You wonder what it would be like to have some reprieve, to have in-put from someone else. Wondering what the outcome of your child’s life will be because of the absent parent. Blaming yourself because you didn’t know how to be a father no matter how hard you tired. A woman can’t teach a boy to be a man, nor take the place of a dad for a girl.

A friend wrote me a letter and asked me “How do you do it?” I replied “God takes cares of babies and fools”. I’m the fool and he makes sure I take care of my babies. Most times, I don’t even think about how I do this by myself, and then there are times it makes me really sad.

I am sad for them, wondering will they blame me when they get older that dad wasn’t there. I am sad for me, because I forgot about what I wanted for my life. I did not look far enough into the future to the part when they’re no longer around. Realizing I relied on them just as much as they relied on me.

If I had the opportunity I would have done some things differently. I probably would have realized that being a single parent didn’t mean you were supposed to be alone.