Lone Warriors

by Rich on September 8, 2018

Man, it is so hard to be a parent.

Under the best of circumstances, with a supportive partner, when all the planets align and the perfect hand is dealt, being a parent is just hard.

I was thinking about that this week as I watched some of my friends working hard to navigate the maze of the parental jungle. They are all good people, these men and women, with good hearts and the best of desires for their children. They are also all divorced, like I am. Some have remarried, but most are like me, single. And for those of us who find ourselves in this state, whether as a consequence of our own choices, or for some other reason, the challenges of parenting become exponentially more complicated.

“Co-parenting” is a term I wasn’t familiar with until my divorce. I am intimate with it now. Thankfully for all the right reasons.

God has bestowed a grace on me that I surely have not earned. I am fortunate to have an ex who shares a common goal for our son, and so co-parenting with her has been, by all accounts, pretty successful. We communicate, we coordinate, we support. We aren’t perfect, but we work well together on this task.  I am learning from my friends that our situation is all too rare.

So many are out there, fighting the good fight alone. These men and women often have to fill both parental roles for their children, and that’s virtually impossible. But these people do it. Every day. They shoulder the doubt, the pain, the uncertainty of raising a child in today’s world. And when there are joys, they often find no one to share it with, which is it’s own kind of loneliness. And really, I don’t know how they do it. I mean, it’s hard for me, and as I stated earlier, I’m probably in the best of these types of situations.

Seeing these friends out there, grinding every day for their kids, is a level of inspiration I find hard to explain. The sacrificial love that I witness from these parents is otherworldly. And it doesn’t end. All parents learn that hard fact the older their kids get. You never stop being mom or dad. You never stop carrying those burdens and concerns. What that looks like from the outside changes, but what parents carry in their hearts never does. And while it looks like some have it easier than others, due to finances or the temperaments of their children, the truth is, all parents, of children of every age, are battling their individual battles.

So say a prayer for these lone warriors. They need it. I mean, we all do, no matter where we find ourselves on the parenting spectrum, but these single parents especially. Say a prayer, send a text, make a phone call. When you’re out there doing it by yourself, it’s easy to feel invisible. Just getting some recognition and emotional support can mean the difference between continuing the grind, or falling into a spiral of self doubt and desperation.

Because no matter how you slice it, it’s hard to be a parent.

 

 

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Marge September 8, 2018 at 3:00 pm

Amen!

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