“I can’t imagine what it will be like to be a single parent.”
A friend said this to me at lunch only a few weeks after my husband died suddenly from a heart attack. I think I just looked at her with my mouth hanging open. Single parent? That wasn’t me. I had a wonderful husband who was an amazing father to our two young daughters. But he was gone now. Was I really a single parent?
I couldn’t see myself that way. I don’t know why, but it just didn’t compute.
Eventually, I heard the term “Solo-Parent”.
A lightbulb went off in my head. I was a solo-parent. It is very different from a single parent. We all know why – we don’t ever get a break, there are no free nights and weekends, our kids have no one but us. It’s a hard job.
I decided early on that my only goal was to try to raise my daughters to be functioning, self-sufficient, productive and happy (as much as possible) people. Not any easy task.
Children who have lost a parent are special. They live through something no child should have to live through.
My husband died ten years ago and I became a solo parent. My daughters, who were 10 and 12, are now 21 and 23. They are young adults. I am proud to say that they are well on their way to meet the goals I set ten years ago. At the moment, they are both doing really well.
But I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop.
All three of us did not get to where we are now without unimaginable struggles. There were times I did not see us making it this far.
This is my first of many articles I will write for Hope for Widows Foundation. I want to show those just started on this journey that it might not seem like it, but there is hope. I have made tons of mistakes. Solo parenting is not an easy ride. I found myself crying many times on my floor. But there is always light at the end of the tunnel, even when you can barely see it.
I am looking forward to sharing my solo-parenting stories. My successes and my mistakes. And, even though my girls are young adults, it doesn’t end. I still parent them, even if it looks a little different now than when they were younger.