Jul 22

The Joys and Pains of Solo Parenthood

I’ve been a one-woman show with my children for 10 years now. Most people think it’s a walk in the park. Few have an idea what it’s like. But most don’t have a clue. What’s the most difficult part about it? Doing the right thing and having no choice about it.

Very few solo parents live a life all their own. If some do find a social life, it’s ridden with suppressed guilt. You’re always wondering whether you have given the kids enough attention or if you have been a negligent parent. The fact is, the failed marriage or partnership is your fault and your whole life is built around compensating for that fault. What makes it more complicated is that the same drive to raise the kids well also leads you to get rid of the emptiness you feel inside. It’s a balancing act that either translates to wrong decisions or extreme loneliness.

Decision-making is never easy. I’ve always been accused of being indecisive. People who care about you can’t seem to trust you enough to make the right one that you always hear different opinions or advice. With decisions coming from the left and the right, you begin to lose trust in yourself and believe you are not capable of making the right one. Maybe I am weak and indecisive. But I prefer that over second-guessing what can be right for my children. I’d rather disappoint myself or other people than my children. They always come first regardless of what people may think of me.

Solo parents may be accused of being weak. But they can never be cowards. It’s the kind of life many balk and choke at. For those who have chosen to take on that life, they bravely walk on despite the doubts and the fears. Whatever mistakes that have been made, a tight hug and a kiss from kids that smell of either rain or the sun make everything worthwhile. Though we may seem failures to big people, it’s the little people we take care of whose opinion we treasure most of all.

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