It’s no surprise to me that kids born to single parents grow up strong. Their only role models, their own single parents, work twice as hard and do twice as much to make ends meet, to make schedules work – to raise a kid alone in this world that does not show a favorable bias. The standard of hustle set by always-juggling single parents make for kids who are ambitious, appreciative, organized and flexible. Frankly, the kids raised by hardworking single parents are more equipped to cope with real life adversity when they become adults.
Still, the struggle is real; we commend all single parents out there and are truly in awe of you. Within the struggle, the early mornings and late nights, we see that single parents ARE NOT ALONE. People who love them and their kid step-up to help with car pools or homework after school before the end of a double shift. It is amazing to see the difference that love can make in a child’s life, wherever it comes from.
This is in my opinion the best lesson we can all learn from the efforts of single parents - essentially, ‘Where there is a will, there is a way.” Not many things inspire the will to thrive than the palpable potential of a curious child.
President Obama, Michael Phelps and Alicia Keys, these are just a few of the inspirational people raised by single-parent households. Let’s see what they have to say about their upbringing.
“I had a heroic mom and wonderful grandparents who helped raise me and my sister, and it is because of them that I am able to stand here today.”
– President Obama on Father’s Day in 2009
Another life lesson I’ve observed from single parents is subtle: finding one’s own appreciation.
Everyone who is in a co-parenting household knows the phrase “your turn” well. Whether it’s putting the baby to sleep or a midnight diaper change or a disciplinary situation, co-parents have the ability to say “I just can’t handle this right now.” Parenting partners are alone sometimes, especially if one is staying at home, sometimes it can feel like you are alone in a co-parenting relationship, but in reality (hopefully) your partner is there to back you up when the going gets really tough.
Single parents are always on. Every diaper change, temper tantrum, flu season, science fair, mid-term… and so on. There is no “you take this one” or “my turn to be good cop.” Single parents take on every turn, they have to be both good cop and bad cop. I don’t know how else they keep at it without finding some self-appreciation in the tremendous job they do, for no one else but their kid who is depending on them to be there, always.
Single parents can also act without second guessing whether the other parent would approve of a decision. This means decisions can be made more quickly, potentially getting a head of a problem and introducing a solution early.
Take Michael Phelps for example; at a young age, a teacher told his mother (a single parent) that he could not focus, was easily distracted, and ‘had too much energy.’ Essentially that teacher told her that Michael would never be able to keep up with the other kids.
But did that deter Debbie Phelps from raising an extraordinary boy?
“That just hit my heart,” says Debbie. “It made me want to prove everyone wrong. I knew that, if I collaborated with Michael, he could achieve anything he set his mind to.
How many gold medals will it take to prove that it did NOT deter Debbie, because Michael has 18. EIGHTEEN GOLD MEDALS.
For children of single parent households, their parent is their first and sometimes only role model. The single parent takes on the role of a singular anchor on which the child can depend on for consistency, more so in many ways, than the consistency that co-parenting can offer. Being the only parent to come to for advice, to tell when they get a bad grade or trust when they need help. Not sharing those pivotal parenting moments with another can make the parent-child bond that much stronger.
Alicia Keys dedicates her triumph over the lowest time in her life to her mother who raised her as a single parent and supported her pursuit of music as a career.
“When I had nothing else, I had my Mother and the piano. And you know what? They were all I needed.”
On “Single Parents Day” wipe your preconceptions of single parents. If you ever felt bad for the single dad you see in the park, or the single mom at church – stop. The fierce people that face the hardest adventure known to mankind deserve your reverence. No one is capable of doing what they do until they HAVE to for the sake of their baby. The fact that they can do the job of two people raising children on their own, while also actually working two jobs to make ends meet, is astounding and underappreciated. The special relationship that single parents have with their children is unique and strong. Imagine being the only contributor to the masterpiece that is your child, knowing that you will forever be their only compass. Pride wouldn’t even begin to describe.
Did a single parent raise you? Are YOU a single parent and want to brag about your awesome kid? Tell us about it in the comments!!