Being a single parent is hard. We don’t have to explain why–you’re the only adult human solely responsible for your kids–which is, like, totally no pressure at all. Often times, single parents feel alone, because there isn’t a ton of support (and there probably will be even less if Trump’s budget gets approved).
Because today is National Single Parent Day, we’re rounding up some of our favorite Kveller posts written by single moms who will make you feel less alone–and understand that it’s OK to take some “me time” whenever you can.
Here are some of our favorites below:
“I was already feeling ashamed and embarrassed due to my divorce, and I felt the synagogue, my second home, was ashamed of me and my failed marriage. Instead of lifting me up when I needed the most help, they let me down.
I still feel committed to Judaism and living Jewishly, but I am conflicted about Jewish institutions. I don’t feel like my synagogue has a place for people like me, and I also feel that there is little compassion or understanding for single parents. I don’t need a support group; I need support.
There is an unspoken stigma regarding divorce in the Jewish community. The failure of a marriage implies that something is “wrong”—abuse, addiction, affairs, mental illness. In addition, success in the Jewish world is almost always defined as highly educated, capable of self-support, and able to maintain a functioning family. So when my marriage fell apart, it was logical that I felt like a failure.”
“But here’s the good part about dating a single parent: We’re honest. We’re truthful. We’re loyal. If I say I want to be there for you, I will. If I tell you I like you, I mean it. You’ll never have to wonder where I stand or how I feel about our relationship because I’ll tell you. If I spend time with you, it’s because there is no place I’d rather be. There is not enough time in the day for bullshit or game playing. I don’t want the chase or the guessing game. I won’t wait by the phone to hope you will call—I’ll pick up and call you myself. I’m confident and independent—because I’ve had to be.”
“I started to worry—is our youngest starved for attention? Could it be a behavioral problem? Is this another consequence of the divorce? But I couldn’t allow those thoughts to distract me…I had to focus on finding a ride. So I made a mental note to shelf the concern for later.”
“Offer to babysit—even for an hour—so she can run to the post office without a toddler in tow. Come over to her house with dinner (and wine) and clean it up before you leave.”
“Yes, we definitely have less space and privacy, but so far we are enjoying each other more than ever. Having one all-purpose room forces us to engage with each other and talk a lot more. This room is where we watch our only television, play games on our sole computer, and eat our meals together at our mini table. And since the kitchen is just a few feet away, I hear and see everything when I am cooking dinner, packing lunches, and washing dishes. Most importantly to me, there is zero chance anyone is watching or playing anything inappropriate.”
“What keeps me going and gives me hope, aside from my children, are the simple acts of kindness that have also come our way. Yes, there are those who profit from others’ misfortunes, but there are also really good, kind people in this world. In the current climate it is easy to forget.
I met one recently while trying to find a bunk bed for the kid’s room for our future rental. She was the manager of a popular furniture store. I was filthy and exhausted from packing and I was missing my kids while they were away with their father. In a word, I was overwhelmed. This stranger hugged me, told me that she had been there too, and assured me that this move would be the new beginning I needed. As if that were not enough, she gave me a new bedspread for my room, which she carried to my car before hugging me one last time.”
If you’re a single parent, share your experiences with us below.