Solo Parent

Solo parent is a term I had never heard of until I became one. It’s much different than a single parent. I’ve never been a single parent so I don’t truly know the struggles of a single parent. I can imagine what I think it would be like, but that’s as good as it can get. I imagine co parenting also comes with its own set of struggles that I will never truly know.

What I do know about is solo parenting. When I became a mother I thought that would be the hardest job I would ever have. I also thought I would always have a partner and someone else in the trenches with me. It never occurred to me that I would ever be a parent alone. Carrying the weight of both parents. I never realized how heavy that weight would be. I never in a million years thought this would be my story, but it is.

The day Jason died the three of us moved into my parents house. Tripp had recently turned four, and Ellie was getting close to nine. It was about a week before Ellie was set to start third grade. What a third grade year she had. Starting the year with the death of her Dad, and finishing it in March due to a world wide pandemic. In her first decade of life she has experienced more than some experience in a lifetime.

Living at my parents house was hard on all of us, but I am so grateful we had that as an option. Jason died in our bed, and I was not ready to go home for quite some time. In fact I didn’t think I would ever go back. I also could barely take care of myself so how could I also take care of these two children that would now depend on just me for everything. My parents were amazing. My mom helped me, I think more than she will ever know. You see she allowed me to grieve, she allowed me to do whatever I needed to do in order to survive those first few months. She also made me take care of my kids. She helped a ton, but she made sure I was the one to put them to bed every night, and I was the one to get them up every morning, pack their lunches, and get them to school. Knowing I had to complete these tasks every day I think helped keep me alive and moving forward. As the days passed she would give me a little more responsibilities really without me even noticing, or maybe I started to take on more without her asking. Who knows, but I very slowly came back to parenting. In fact I’m still trying to be the parent I want to be, but I’m light years from where I was this time last year.

Solo parenting is hard, doing this all by myself with no one in the trenches with me is hard, having no one equally invested in my children is hard, but I’m doing it. One day at a time each day slightly better than the day before. Of course there are difficult days, but I’m doing it. I’m surviving. I spend time working on myself every single day so I can be the mother my kids need and deserve.

There are so many things I took for granted when my husband was alive. Things as simple as running to the store to grab something without having to bring both kids, or being able to go out on a girls night without having to find a sitter, or even just having someone else to squish the bugs.

I also feel so much more pressure raising my kids, because their future depends on how I raise them. Just me. It’s a lot to hold on to. I am lucky. I do have family and friends who are extremely supportive, but as you know it’s just not the same. I do recognize I am luckier than some with the support and love the 3 of us do get.

I think through all the struggles that come with becoming a widow, solo parenting is one of the most difficult. One of the things I find difficult is answering the questions they have, and the conversations we have to have that I never would have imagined I would had to have with them. I have taken the approach that honesty is the best policy when it comes to the difficult conversations, and it seems to work. because Jason died of an overdose there have been many mature conversations. I believe I am doing the best I can by being open and honest with them.

So I’m curious what have your struggles been? What things do you do you feel you are doing right to over come them? I know it’s so easy for us to focus on what we think we are doing wrong we often times forget to think about all of the amazing things we are doing right.

Published by Widowmama

I am a young widow, and mother of 2 young children. I currently stay at home, and I am learning to navigate life through a worldwide pandemic, as an unemployed solo parent. Bring it on 2020!

3 thoughts on “Solo Parent

  1. I am only 10 months in to widowhood but for me everyday is a struggle still. I don’t have living children but losing them so close to each other I feel like my grief is intertwined. Getting out of bed is a huge accomplishment for me everyday.

  2. I’m reading this in my car crying. I lost my husband about 10months ago now and am 36yrs with two kids 11 and 4. I truly struggle with being a solo parent and having everything fall on my shoulders. I do have people around me that bring me up but it’s not the same. It’s so hard and this hit home with me. Just another widow trying to keep her head up. Thanks for what you said

    1. It’s a hard path for sure. Thanks so much for reading and reaching out. I sometimes feel so alone and like no one truly gets it.

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