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Hats off to Single Parents

We all know parenting is a challenge. From juggling a job, kids, extracurricular activities like dance, soccer or hockey and home life, to making sure everyone eats nutritious meals (ok, so many of these are on the run….) and gets to bed on time. It’s EXHAUSTING.

I can't tell you how many times I have literally counted the MINUTES until my husband walked through the door so that I could walk away from the insanity of having three boys and the responsibilities of being their mom.. . and of COURSE I love them, but sometimes I need a break or maybe just a few minutes to vent to someone who actually cares to hear about the fact that my children acted like crazy animals to a particular someone who loves them as much as I do and wouldn't hold their less than angelic behavior against them. (Seriously . . . WHY???) The whining, the fighting, the mess……. some days it all just seems SO annoying and totally overwhelming!

And then I think of this question …….. How the hell do single parents do it???

I have so many regular customers that make me ask myself this question each and every time they walk through our door. Everyone has a story and hearing their stories is by far my favorite part of the wonderful job that I have. The TRUE STORY for this post is that so MANY of you leave me in complete awe - both of you and how you manage from day to day to day!!!

From the single mom of newborn twins who is rocking it on her own with ZERO help from dad, or the mom whose husband walked out when she was diagnosed cancer because “it was too stressful on HIM”, to the single grandma who is raising her drug addicted daughter’s young children when what she thought she would be doing at this time in her life was enjoying her retirement. These women are AMAZING and they’re just a few examples of the incredible stories that walk through our doors every single day! Single parenting isn’t just about mom’s rocking it either . . . . there are a TON of good daddies out there giving their all for their children every day too! And when I ask “How do you DO it?” the answer is almost always “I don’t know . . . I just DO.”

Because really, when you think about it . . . . what other choice to these super moms and dad’s have??

Why is it ok for a parent to walk away and “find their better self” and leave their beautiful children with tears and unanswered questions and a parent who is left to pick up the pieces??? This kind of thing happens every day. Sometimes the parent who seems to be losing it in the cereal aisle at the grocery store or the bank line may very well be one of these incredible parents who just need a BREAK (not to mention a trophy)!!!

I’m hoping that we all take a minute and think about this, because you really never know what someone else is dealing with. Perhaps an encouraging smile or a few encouraging words instead of an eye roll or judging remark would make a real difference in the day of a supermom or dad who is really struggling to keep it all together while doing EVERYTHING alone. It’s worth thinking about. This parenting thing IS difficult. I’ve heard it said that it takes a community to raise a child, but it seems that so many of us find ourselves in a situation where we have to do it pretty much alone. Let’s make it a point to encourage and build one another up as we embark on this parenting challenge collectively. God only knows we can all use the help and a bright smile too!

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