Single Parenting: How We Got Here

It shouldn’t be hard for me to write about single parenting. After all, I’m both a writer and a single parent.

But ever since I was asked to write for Families.com’s Single Parenting blog, I’ve felt strangely “blocked” every time I try to put words to my experience of being a single parent.

I’ve decided that it’s because of how I, and probably most of you, got here: Unwillingly. Sorrowfully. Angrily. Tragically. Single parenting, generally speaking, isn’t a lifestyle “choice.” It’s not what we wanted for ourselves and our children. Single parenting is lonely.

I mean, how many people dream of raising a family alone? The fact is that we usually become single parents because of the death of a dream: the dream of a happy, lifelong marriage to the father (or mother) of our child(ren).

Some of us, myself included, actually did have marriages that lasted “until death do us part;” only death arrived far too soon.

In my next post, I’d like to share the story of how I got here with you. I hope that you’ll share your stories with me and the rest of us here.

My feeling is that, although most of us come to single parenthood from a place of sadness, those of us who are strong and smart and capable and determined will survive and even thrive in many ways.

And the more we thrive, the more likely it is that our children will thrive too.

I think that’s why we’re here at the Single Parenting blog: because instinctively, we know that the support and encouragement of other single parents will help us succeed at this. Although we probably didn’t “ask” to be here, that’s not our kids’ fault. We love them and we owe it to them to be the best parents that we can, no matter what the circumstances.

So let’s try to make single parenting a little easier for each other by sharing advice or experience or information or simply by “listening” and being here. Here – in a positive, hopeful way – we can make a difference for each other.

In fact, at this holiday season, we have the opportunity to give each other one of the most meaningful gifts of all: the gift of understanding.

— Fran

Wherever you are, whoever you are, know that your life is unfolding just as it should be, all is in divine order, and every precious little moment on this planet is worthy of your presence.

— Nancy Vogl, co-author, “Chicken Soup for the Single Parent’s Soul”