Appreciation needs to be given to an increasing number of single parents

Susan Gardner, FMLA
February 14, 2013

If you grew up in a home where you had two parents, you have no idea of the power of the single parent.

I was reflecting on my own childhood and how all I ever knew was living in a home where there was only one parent—my mother; and she did a hell of a job, might I add. Now that I am older, I see all the struggles she had to overcome to raise my siblings and myself right.

There were times we all would get angry at one another, and with her, but she continued loving us, caring for us, no matter the circumstance. Living in the world as an adult has allowed me to see just how much she had to sacrifice for us all, it has allowed me to see how much dedication she put forth, and I truly appreciate her for it.

I decided to write about the power of the single parent simply because it is something that needs recognition, something that should not be disgraced, but praised. People do not simply choose to become single parents, in most cases, but they are forced into situations where they have no choice but to take on this role.

Imagine being placed into a situation where your partner leaves you with two children, you are in the middle of getting a degree, you have a mortgage, car payments, loans to pay off—what will you do? You will do anything you have to do to survive (I’d hope). You would do anything to make sure your children live as normal a life as the situation permits.

You would get that degree, pay off that mortgage, make those payments, or at least try to. This is hypothetical, of course, but this is what single parents do, they carry their children and themselves up and out of the situation they are placed in, and work with whatever resources are available.

They deal with whiney and disrespectful children, they work as many jobs as they can find, they do whatever it takes, all the while getting that degree, all the while teaching their children the customs and beliefs they were given growing up themselves, and working those two jobs. Isn’t that powerful?

The will and determination—the relentless effort to do right, that’s what my mother did. In the U.S. today, 35 percent of house-holds are run by single parents. In Pennsylvania, 34 percent of house-holds are run by single parents. So, I am sure some of you know and are familiar with the power of the single parent, simply because you were raised by one.

So, the next time you see that mother or father with their kids, don’t judge, don’t assume as to why and how they got placed into this situation, but recognize their power, and their dedication. It does not matter what got them to that place, but rather, what they are doing to make the best out of what they are given.

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