Tonight as I crawl into bed, exhausted from the busy day, I am thinking of you.

How do you do it??

Before I called it a night, I put away the dishes, folded the laundry, picked up the house, then headed down to the boy’s rooms to tuck them in one last time. My youngest is turned perpendicular in his crib, so I use my mommy magic and correct his position in one swift sweep before covering him up. I silently shut the door, then head to his brother’s room. As soon as I open the door, I walk into a wall of stench. My oldest has had tummy issues all weekend, and it doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to conclude what went down on this crime scene.

The last thing I want to do is get him out of bed; but the reality is, the kid already has terrible diaper rash and who really wants to sleep covered in their feces? As soon as I pick him up, I feel that he is warm. The week hasn’t even started yet and I already know things are about to get hectic. I quietly get him undressed, lather his bum in an immeasurable amount of diaper rash cream, and slip him into cooler pajamas.

When I walk down the hallway to my bedroom, I start getting anxious about whether things will worsen overnight. I am on the verge of rambling off my complaints to God, then I stop and I think of you.

When I really take the time to think about you, I realize how silly my grumbling sounds.

Even if I have a rough night, I know I will have the opportunity to sneak in a nap tomorrow afternoon while the children are sleeping. I know that you will be forced to focus your attention on work instead of holding your sick babe in your arms. I know that after a long day on the job, your second shift is starting the minute you pick your children up from daycare or their grandparent’s house.

I can picture you now, skipping your lunch break, in hopes of being able to cut out a few minutes early to beat the afternoon traffic. You don’t have a teammate to call to tag you out, to help you carry the workload that comes with being a parent. Still, you somehow rally enough energy to muster a smile and a positive attitude when you are finally able to walk through the door.

You make dinner, help with homework, and then proceed to your normal bedtime routine. Thankfully, the magically hour of slumber has filled your home, and you quietly sneak down to your room in hopes of getting a few minutes to yourself before the cycle repeats.

So again I ask, how do you do it?

You see, last week, my husband had a tonsillectomy along with surgery on his sinuses. This put him out of commission for a solid five days; which left me exhausted, short-tempered, and surrounded by a complete mess. I felt like a total mad woman, storming around the house, just hoping to make it one more hour, praying God would perform some sort of miraculous healing so I wouldn’t have to take on the kids alone.

Spoiler alert: It didn’t happen.

At the end of each day, I would think, “Gosh, I bet my children don’t even like me anymore. I don’t even think I like me.”

To say it was hard, would be an understatement – and that was only FIVE days. 

What’s crazy to me, is you do this day in and day out. You don’t have someone standing there on the sidelines cheering you on, picking up the slack when you’re sick or just down right tired. You push forward, driven to create a future for your children that you only dreamed of having.

To me, you are amazing. You work 40+ hours a week, meal prep, clean the house, and read bedtime stories. You run errands, pay the bills, and sign your kids up for soccer and basketball. You punch the clock and and pull all-nighters.

There is no one else out there like you.

To be honest, the amount of effort you put in on a daily basis is probably overlooked more times than not. So I am here to encourage you, to cheer you on, to pat you on the back, but mostly importantly, to say thank you! Thank you for reminding me that I am able to accomplish whatever I set my mind to. Thank you for demonstrating what it means to be the example and not the exception. Thank you for giving me the kick in the pants I sometimes need when I’m hung up on the hard days.

Thank you for all that you do.

You are my personal superhero. Believe it or not, I look up to you more than you know.

19 comments on “An Open Letter to Single Parents”

  1. Great encouragement for these amazing women who parent alone…I am glad I did not have to do ti alone! Very heartfelt post, thanks for sharing!! BTW I am going to Dallas in Jan for the first time for a big fashion trade excited!!

    Fashion and Travel

  2. Oh wow. You had me tearing up and I am one who has a partner in this parenting madness. I don’t know how they (or parents that have a partner who work long stretches of time far away from home) manage all of it either. Whenever I start feeling sorry for myself, I really try to take a step back and do a reevaluation. I have it easy and am in no way able to complain. Thank you for sharing this.

  3. It is sometimes hurtful when mothers in a relationship say “i’m being a single mother today.” It undervalues the work that goes into doing it day in and day out alone. As a single mother this was a great read. Thank you for voicing how hard motherhood when doing it alone. I deferentially think no matter what motherhood has its battles and having to deal with a husband I am sure is not easy ;).

  4. Amber when I read this it put me in to tears because as a single mom I don’t view myself in this way. Thank you for your encouraging words, it helps me know I’m doing a good job and someone out there appreciates me regardless of the fact that you have no idea who I am. Again thank you , you are truly amazing!

  5. This post was amazing. Thank you for writing this. I’m not a parent, and may never be one, but I’ve seen how hard single moms work just to keep going. How strong they are, and I think this post sums it up perfectly.

  6. This is great. Shared it. Hopefully my single parent friends will give it a read and smile. They do rock! #SundayBlogHop

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