Dear Parents Who Are Parenting Solo During The Pandemic,
I know what it feels like to have no time for yourself. I know how exhausting raising a child by yourself can be, and I know that it doesn’t get better with time, unlike what people say. Being a parent is no easy feat, and being a solo parent is twice as hard. You don’t have the support of a partner who shares the load of responsibility and parenting. And I know that it gets super tough. To make matters worse, the pandemic hit you like a crushing bolder, shattering your confidence, energy, and hopes. I understand the pain, and I’m here to tell you that you are not alone.
The pandemic has changed the way we look at life and how we carry on with our daily lives. Those who welcomed their little one during these turbulent times, know the struggles they had to go through. At the peak of the pandemic, many hospitals had imposed strict regulations regarding admittance. Then there was also the overcrowding in many hospitals, making it difficult to even get a bed in times of need. Single parents had to get through all of these on their own and are still managing it perfectly.
From the moment you wake up to the moment you fall asleep, you have tons of responsibilities and duties. You have to take care of everything. When I say everything, I mean literally everything! Your bills, grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, and repairs. You have to make sure you’re at the top of your insurance, electrical work, shopping, and childcare game. You never feel like you’ve done everything you had to do for the day, and yet you feel exhausted all the time. But let me tell you that it’s not just you. Every single parent who takes care of their children solo feels this way. Does that make you feel better?
Probably not. Because as much as you know you’re not alone, every day is a challenge. You don’t have time to yourself, and if you say it’s more than eight months since you got even a single minute to yourself, we know you’re not exaggerating. While single parenting is hard in itself, the pandemic has made it a herculean task. You don’t just have to worry about taking care of your child, but you have to be extra cautious about you or them contracting the deadly virus.
I feel you, and I know what you’re going through! You probably got a few hours to yourself when your little one went to school, but with the pandemic, schools have started distance learning, and that means your child is home all the time. You have to micromanage everything every minute, and you probably make over a hundred important decisions every single day. You’re constantly worried about making the wrong decisions because you don’t have anyone to share the load with.
Besides, society is always going to look at you with a set of judgmental eyes. They don’t know the challenges of being a single parent. They probably don’t care, but they are always present when it comes to criticizing or trying to demean you by telling you that you should have done things differently. Some of them come up to you (maybe with good intentions) and tell you how you can do things differently, and you feel like screaming at them because they make you feel like you’re not good enough. But dear parents, let me tell you one thing: pay no heed to what they say!
They might plant seeds of self-doubt in you, but don’t let that dim your light. Remember how far you’ve come, and remember that it’s not easy to do what you do every single day! When you catch yourself questioning your parenting ability, look back at your journey and see how much you’ve achieved single-handedly — that is not a cakewalk! Not at all!
Yes, it’s hard to parent solo, especially when there’s a pandemic. Yes, it gets lonely, and sometimes, you want to cry. You know what? You deserve to cry! Cry because you’ve survived against all odds. Crying doesn’t make you weak; it helps you become stronger. So, go ahead and shed those tears. Because when all this is over, you will come out ten times stronger.
As much as it’s exhausting, it’s also gratifying. Sometimes, you might question it all, but when your child runs up to you and hugs you tight, tells you they love you, or simply laughs, spreading their joyful giggles all around the house — you know it’s worth it! Even if it seems like a dark cloud is looming over your life right now (with the virus scaring you), remember that it’s only temporary. Remember that you will survive, and most of all, remember that there are better days to come because there is always a rainbow after a storm.
Over time you will realize that the opinions of others seldom really matter. What do they know about the struggles you have gone through on a daily basis? What gives them the right to pass any judgement on something they have no idea about? But since you really have no control on what people think or do, you should focus on yourself. Of course, this is easier said than done. We are social creatures and people’s opinions do matter to us no matter how much we like to think they don’t. Nevertheless, gradually you learn to filter out the good from the bad. You learn how to cope with judgement and outside opinion and instead focus on self-care for yourself as well as your little one. And in the long run, that is what really matters.
You are like a phoenix — majestic, strong, and mighty! You might have to burn to ashes sometimes, but you will rise from the ashes and become a better you. If you can survive being a single parent during a global pandemic, imagine the strength you harbor within yourself. Channel that, and you will be unstoppable!