I’ve been a single parent for exactly 1 year today and I have some thoughts



It’s been one year since I became a single parent again. I’ve said before that I’m really weird with milestones and anniversaries because they mark moments in my life that were impactful for whatever reason. Maybe I’m too sentimental but it’s just sorta the way I am.

Everything in my life changed on August 10, 2019. I’ve been quite busy these last 365 days because the kids require the vast majority of my time and energy. Who am I kidding, they require more time and energy than I have on a good day.

While none of this has been or likely will ever be easy, I’ve experienced a great deal of personal growth along the way. I’m learning a great deal about myself. What I deserve, what I don’t deserve, and that I’m much stronger than I realized. In truth, that can sometimes be overshadowed by depression and self-doubt but that doesn’t change the facts on the ground.

None of this is easy and if you were ever searching for the polar opposite of perfect, look no further because I set the bar when it comes to being imperfect.

I try so hard to do right by my kids and help them through this very difficult transition. That is challenging at times because I going through a similar adjustment period myself. It’s not easy to isolate my kids from my own personal grief, especially since they’re on the autism spectrum.

Kids with autism tend to exist in a symbiotic way with the people in their lives. This means that while they may not know something is wrong or the details about it, they will picked up on and experience whatever emotions the other person is experiencing. This can cause autistic kids a great deal of distress.

Isolating my kids from my own personal grief is an absolutely exhausting but vital…thing, for lack of a better word because they are going through enough of their own.

A lot happened in the first 6 month of 2019 and I was still dealing with the loss of both my remaining grandparents when my marriage unexpectedly imploded. I was naive and didn’t see it coming, again. My kids are/were grieving the exact same things at the exact same time. They didn’t/don’t need to shoulder any of my emotional baggage.

It’s been a struggle for me but I feel like I’m in a pretty good place, all things considered. I added that little stipulation at the end because the pandemic has been very difficult on all of us and seriously complicated everything in our lives. So, all things considered is fitting.

Being a single parent is not easy but aside from the frustrations and challenges, I love my life. Besides, what parent doesn’t deal with challenge? Challenge is part of being a parent period.

There are things that I’m still working on. Self-esteem is just one of those things that is a struggle for me. When your spouse leaves you twice, it’s a pretty big blow to an already low self-esteem. There is emotion baggage that I carry still but I’m okay with being single.

The most important thing in my entire universe is my kids and I have them every singe day. Yes, that’s challenging and overwhelming but I feel so lucky to have them in my daily life. Of course they drive me bonkers but isn’t that kids are supposed to do? I’m sure I drove my parents crazy at times and probably still do.

As I meet this 365 days of single parenting milestone, I’m choosing to be grateful for all I have. I’m grateful for my kids. I’m grateful that Lizze and I are on good terms. I’m grateful for so many things.

At the end of the day, I have chosen to take on a challenge that not everyone could take on. It’s not perfect but I don’t give up and we’re all still here. My kids and I are safe, healthy and weathering this COVID-19 nightmare fairly well.

My goal is to use the next 356 days to rebuild our lives and improve upon the old design. Things will never be the same as they once were and whatever we end up building will be new. Whatever we build will be uniquely ours and I’m at peace with that.

One of the hardest things to find when your life is turned upside down, is peace. I feel pretty lucky to have found as much peace as I have.

1 comment

    • dotdash on August 12, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    You are doing great and it will get easier. You’ve made it over the hump. Hang in there.

    One prod: get out there! Even the Victorians only mourned 12 months. Get on Tinder or whatever and do some casting around. Have an online flirtation or meet a crazy person from Romania — you need some grownup human contact, even if its not in-person. (Who knows, maybe you are out there every night already. If so, good for you.)

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