To every single single mom, or single dad in the world. Kudos. Kudos to you.
I'm here, temporarily a parent-like person. You though, you, signed up for a lifetime commitment. And when you signed up you might not have been single. Singlehood, or widowhood, may have just been thrust on you.
Some of you maybe thought 17 was a good age to do what you felt ready for, and you rolled the dice hoping that pregnancy wouldn't happen to you. Now, 5 yrs later you're 23 with a 5 yr old. Maybe not regretting, but probably still struggling.
I have the utmost respect for you.
There is question after question, concern after concern and no one to ease the guilt of having caused the tears. And if you've got a teen, there's no one around to tell you that you aren't being unfair and that your teen really doesn't hate you.
There isn't anyone who can tell you you're doing a good job, because you know that only you know the 24/7 story and you're still telling Dr Phil to shut up every time he tells you to "be consistent".
And when the washing machine breaks, the roof leaks, or dinner burns. It's up to you. And not only is it up to you, but little eyes are watching to see what you do too.
Kudos to you, for waking up every day and going at it. For doing all the crazy little things that make life special for your child(ren). For all the lessons that you did teach even when you think nothing is sinking in.
And now, I'm going to let you in on a twisted secret.
Give you child a good, strong, foundation in Jesus Christ. Pray for them. Read to them from the Bible. Tell them all about Jesus and how much He loves them. Teach them about the Holy Spirit, and how He is an ever present help in the time of trouble and joy. Teach them about God, the maker and creator of everything, who sees them, knows them, and loves them so much and will hear their prayers and wants to save their souls.
It's what I do. Over and over again. So hopefully 20 yrs down the road when my child is still recovering from whatever scars she's gained from my random-what-am-I-doing?-parenting, she'll remember that Jesus the Healer can make all things new and heal and use our scars. It's like giving your child a multivitamin because you know you've given them a less than balanced diet.
I could tell you about the special good moments we all know about. The quirky smiles, or the first time you look at their artwork and think "wow, that actually looks like something!", when you're both surprised that the shoe was successfully tied (though you're trying to cover your surprise because you've been saying "You can do it!" for the last 2 hours because the shoe came untied 27 times in the last two hours), and there's also that moment when one of your kids turns around and does something so selfless and kind that you're wondering where they got that sweetness from.
It was you.
Kudos to you every day for the rest of your life.
Consider this my Christmas present to all the single parents:
Jesus doesn't just love your child.
He loves you too.