You know what does it take to be a parent? And then a working parent? And then a single working parent?
Lets just say.. in short.. “a lot”!
My heart feels overwhelmed when I see the lives of some parents around me. And I do not feel like this on why their lives are difficult, I feel this for the strength that they display despite of it.
It could be their choices or destiny that landed them where they are. One could judge, advice, or criticize them.. but one can never match the sheer courage they show in every single moment of their lives; as they bear double the burden of parenting while also relentlessly trying to hide that from the child, who incidentally, is the very reason for that.
Single parenting is difficult for anybody. I do not believe in anything that stereotypes us on the basis our genders. So, let’s just say it is equally difficult for everyone. Raising a child well is indeed one of the most painstaking things one will ever do. It burns you out. And even if you are doing everything that you could, it still leaves you with the guilt that you could have done better. And the worst thing is that the result of your most precious investment is very vague and fragile. You only wish and hope that all that you are doing today will someday transform your little brat into a good person – a kind, sensitive human who will have enough within to earn himself a respectable and happy life.
We do not live in the times where our kids are surrounded by loads of family – growing up in the shadow of elders at home. We raise our kids in isolation, where the only people they interact regularly are mommy and daddy. And in such a scenario, when you are a single parent, you inadvertently become the single source of all that that will constitute your child’s childhood. Take a breath and think, what a great responsibility that is!
You do not have people to share your irritations; you cannot bank on someone else for anything. There is never an alternative for anything. Either you do a task or it does not get done. You cannot reason a child for the lack of your involvement in their activities because you have a job. You cannot make them understand why their friends’ mothers come to pick them up every single day while you have to go to the office. They don’t understand your job is their lifeline too. They don’t understand anything. They just see what you do with them, to them, and will remember that always as faint memories of their childhood – some unidentified feelings. And hence, it is important for you to ensure that they end up ‘feeling’ well, even if there have been momentary bouts of discomfort or discontent.
Every single parent needs to show double the love of what they would do otherwise. Thankfully, love is a resource that is inexhaustible. In fact, it is that one thing, which if you allow it to do, will surround your entire being with itself and transform your sufferings from pain to contentment. May be that is the source of courage that lets these seemingly ordinary human beings do such extra-ordinary and daunting things. They just love. They love themselves, their lives, their challenges, their decisions, their pains, their shortcomings, and most of all – their little wonder.
Love that they had lost in someone, once upon a time, finally manifests itself in their hearts for a cause, much greater, much courageous, and much more worthy.
Photo credit : Joe Sampouw