I know that being a lone parent is very hard work and very often thankless. Doing the every day stuff on your own means there is no one to support or agree with you, no one who comes home to you at the end of a long day and takes over or looks after you. No one to take out the bins, rush out to get more milk when you’ve run out or do the washing when you’ve already done three loads. You have to deal with your children’s upsets and homework alone. Drive them around. When your child is sick overnight, that’s your problem…

…and so the list goes on.

But, now that my children are older, I would say to those of you out there who are finding the whole prospect daunting beyond belief, that there is light at the end of the tunnel (and it’s not just your children’s phones). Always ask for help and share the load with other friends. Try not to feel alone. Take the kids over to friends for dinner and feed lots of kids together. Get the school to help where they can. Extended family can be very supportive too. Know that one day, in the future, your children will be forever grateful for all the determined time and effort you have put into your role as a very significant parent. You get to know your children better than anyone which is priceless and one day they will appreciate all that you have done for them.

So I do hope that there are lots of single parents out there celebrating today. I know you can’t probably do any of the following activities:-

Go for a wee on your own
Have a bath on your own
Lock the bathroom door full stop
Read the paper/a book/anything that hasn’t got pictures in it
Eat a meal from start to finish that doesn’t get cold
Get drunk
Have a really loud party on a school night
Stay in bed all day

You get the picture….

But please try and remember that when there’s just one of you responsible for children under your roof during the week there are things like this to enjoy:-

Understanding your child
Loving the moments together
Choosing the every day rules
Dancing in the kitchen with them
Making the decisions
Appreciating the fact that this time goes by very quickly in the great scheme of things
Being the biggest influence on your child’s life
Getting to listen to what they have to say
Parenting how you want

There are many many moments that you get to share with your children that make this messy form of childrearing such a pleasure. Not always of course, but enough to know that it will all be worth it in the end.

So I just wanted to say that I’m thinking of you all out there and raising a toast (whether it be soldiers with your boiled egg, marmite on toast or a chance to drink something sparkly).

I truly salute you, with all my heart.

  1. It is true that single parents must have their own trophy for all these small tasks they do everyday that you never see! See you from Mexico!

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