How DO single parents do it? How do they work all day, tend their kids, take care of the house, pay the bills, get the laundry done, and still keep their sanity?
I am baffled and awed by these parents. Single parents are my heroes.
Last week, I was on my own. Well, sorta. My guy was out of town, the kids were out of school on spring break, and I had to manage everything on my own - for 5 days.
Not that anything bad happened or that the kids were trouble - nothing like that. In fact, it was just the opposite.
Since I'm a working momma now, I still had to work last week. The kids stayed home by themselves all day for the first time. They were great.
I'd leave them a list of things they needed to do:
1. empty the dishwasher
2. take the dogs outside regularly
3. do your homework
4. clean your rooms
5. clean your bathroom...well, you get the idea.
I'd get up, feed and take out the dogs, get ready for work, leave, work, and come home to find that they did everything I asked. I'd make dinner, we'd eat, I'd clean up and by 6:30pm, I was DONE.
I barely moved my rump from the couch. I'd stay up late to "let the pugs out one more time," I check on the girls one more time, then go to bed. I'd get up early the next day and start all over again.
So, let's take a close look at this: I work part-time. My kids are helpful. My husband is absolutely the main bread-winner in the family. I do not pay the bills out of my paycheck. Okay? Get the idea? There is so much I do not have to worry about.
There are single parents out there, working 2 and 3 jobs just to pay the rent/mortgage, put food on the table, cover utilites and keep the family going.
They are also the ones that manage their households, do all the shopping, do all the child-rearing (unless there is shared custody), do all the "everything" there is to do to keep a family fed and clean.
And they have no spousal support to help them emotionally, let alone physically. I am awed and humbled by these great people.
I'm talking about single moms, single dads, military spouses and so many others who are either on their own completely, or their spouse is far away for long periods of time.
And for the military families, some of these far away spouses come home seriously injured and permanantly altered (lost limbs, eyesight, or cognitive abilities). Some come home with terrible PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), and it's a daily struggle acclimating to civilian life.
It takes my breath away to think of the challenges they face and the strength it takes for these spouses to manage any of these situations.
The Elizabeth Dole Foundation is stepping up to help our hidden heroes, the caregivers of our military men and women. Can you help through volunteering or through a monetary donation?
Food pantries help those that are struggling to put food on the table. Can you donate some food? Can you donate your time?
Do you have a neighbor that is a single parent? Is their yard messy and unkempt? Is their home chaotic and unorganized?
Instead of complaining about it or gossiping about it, walk over and offer to help mow the lawn, or pull some weeds. Offer to clean their home, help organize the chaos or paint a room to give it a fresh feeling.
Single parents are my heroes, but even heroes can use a helping hand. Let's find a hero to help, shall we?
Matthew 25:35-40 (NIV)
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
What will you do to help? Comment here, and come by and like my Facebook page - There's a Bug in My Coffee.
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