Every Cliché About Single Parents Is True – They’re Superheroes

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single-parentsDo you know what parents are really bitching about when they complain about how hard parenting is? A loss of freedom. Take one parent out of the equation and you are really screwed. Parenting solo pretty much means you will never have any time to yourself. It’s hard as hell, and anyone that can do it without going completely insane is basically a superhero.

If you can afford a nanny to help you out whenever you have the desire to leave your home alone – you’re in luck. Or if you have family who is always around when you need them – you are too. But if you are a single mom or dad who isn’t rolling in money, you give up pretty much all your freedom when you become a parent. How do you do it?

I’m not a single parent, but I’m playing one for months on end this year while my husband is away working. We’re both freelancers – I’m a writer and photographer and he is an actor/performer. Most of his work is based out of New York. We relocated to Florida last year, which means I occasionally spend long stretches of time caring for the kids alone. It sucks so bad.

I always knew I wanted kids – but I was never the girl who fantasized about getting married. Before I met the father of my children, I often thought that if I didn’t meet a man I loved who wanted kids I would just go ahead and do it myself. Having been in the situation now where I care for the kids alone for long stretches, if anyone asked me for advice about going it alone – I would have to be honest:

Yes, you should do this. But only if you don’t require sleep, have no interest in personal freedom whatsoever and don’t mind putting someone else’s needs before your own 24 hours a day for the next several years. Are you cool with that? Then yes – you should be a single parent.

My mother was essentially a single mother – my dad left when I was 12. But at that point I was able to care for myself. I could be left alone. Small children? I’m not quite sure how single mothers and fathers do it. I can tell you that all of those clichés about how amazing they are are 100% true.

If you are a single parent – how do you do it? How do you not go completely crazy? Is the no time or sleep just something you eventually get used to? I know kids are worth it – mine are incredible and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m just finally realizing for the first time what a completely different task parenting is when you are doing it alone – so for those of you who do –

you are amazing.

(photo: Maxim Maksutov/ shutterstock)