As we grow and expand upon ourselves from infanthood to childhood, then further on into our adulthood, and lastly transitioning into parenthood we begin to see where we fell short of the expectations laid ahead of us by our own parents. Most parents have the long standing mentality of, “I want my children to have it better than I did growing up.” and they have the idea that, “I hope my child(ren) doesn’t make the same mistakes that I did.” It is painful for a parent to watch their child go through the same struggles they did growing up, and the more a parent tries to get their child to realize the errors of their way, it seems the further the child grows from their parent. Very rarely do ideas prior to parenthood and child adolescence ever pan out how one would have liked. We as parents give until it hurts, be it sleepless nights due to infant needs, childhood nightmares, or nights spent awake wondering where your child is. We worry to the point of making ourselves sick, we take care of our children when they are sick even if we are sick. We tend to bruises, scrapped knees, tears shed, broken hearts, and broken or sprained bones.
One thing our children never realize is that we do everything we can within our power to make sure our children have the best lives possible. We do this out of our unconditional love that we as parents have for our children. We teach our children everything we possibly can, from learning to ride a bike to learning to read, counting their numbers and their alphabet. We teach them the essentials they need like how to cook and how to clean, we pass on a little of ourselves to our children with every thing we teach our children. Our children don’t realize until they become parents themselves just how much we sacrifice for them. What they learn with time though is that we do so willingly because we love them with all our being. Children are a representation of love, joy, life, and above all else, the parents that they came from. They are a magnificent creation, born into this world with nothing but a pair of parents.
Then there are times where a parent goes above and beyond, taking charge and taking complete control of their children. Raising them by themselves to the best of their ability. They struggle, they cry, they may even feel helpless a great deal of the time because they are by themselves. These parents get little to no recognition for all the struggle and effort they put into bringing these children into adulthood. I experienced such a childhood. My mom was a single parent who gave all she had to be the best mother possible, she was the firm hand when I needed it and the shoulder to cry on when I had no where to turn. She listened to me cry and I know deep down it made her heart ache, knowing that there was no way to fix my pain but that all she could do was hold me and assure me that she loved me even when I felt no one could. She was strong, she was gentle, she was firm and she was the one person I ever truly needed. My mother made me into the wonderful mother I am now, if it weren’t for her, I doubt I would be able to be half the mother I am to my girls now.
Most people who see a single parent simply shake their head in dismay, as if the mother or father had a better alternative to being a parent. As if there were better things they could be doing than trying to be the best parent possible to their children. Some parents don’t see an option in being a single parent, they see a bad situation and they take their child away from it. In these cases, it is hard for the parent and they get such bad stigma for it. They are looked upon with pity, and dismay. They get treated like second rate citizens because they want their child to be in a good environment. It shouldn’t be that way, but so often it has been. We shouldn’t look at single parents as people who gave up on a bad situation, they should be looked at with respect and they should be revered. They are sacrificing so much just to raise a beautiful miracle, they give twice as much as any two parents. Your judgement to these parents is unwelcome, and your attempts at shaming them is futile. They will raise their children to become excellent examples to the rest of the world, you just wait and see.