What does it mean to be a single parent? In my opinion, it speaks more about relationship status than parenting status. It means you're not married, or maybe that you're not in a relationship with a significant other at all.
But what if you're the ONLY parent? There really is a big difference. When you're the singular parent, you're all your child has.
Being single has its challenges, and yes the times when the child is in your care, it all falls on you. Maybe that's even most of the time.
Here is the primary difference for me...
Yesterday my daughter asked me if she has a daddy.
Oh my heart. How do I even begin to answer that? I know the questions will come. I've prayed and prayed and tried to prepare, but it's still heartbreaking and shocking when you're playing mermaids and your little one just come up with this question out of left field.
I suppose it's not really out of no where though. Ariel has a father. So where is hers, she's wondering?
That's a very good question. How someone look at their sweet innocent wonderful child and walk away? I can't even begin to understand. The very being that I thank the Lord for every single day and night, that I pray over and worry over and care for and love beyond belief, that brings me more joy and love than I ever knew was possible... someone with that same parental bond that I have had that opportunity and threw it away.
And so as soon as the question is posed, something else catches her attention and we're back in our world of mermaids swimming through the sea, yearning to visit the surface, not wondering at all about a whole other half of a family that isn't there and never has been.
If I could just protect this amazing little girl, keep her safe from how cruel some people are. If only.
She has such a heart for her family and for everyone around her. For God. For loving everyone and everything and life itself. I taught her that. Even after seeing how terrible people can be, I shared that message with her, and I hope with all my heart and soul that one day when she asks these questions and really needs answers, it won't harden her heart to the world.
If you are a singular parent, I pray for you and your children. I hope that through all the struggles, you still have as much joy as we do in this parenting adventure, and I hope you know you are not alone. There are some of us going through this too.