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Solo Mom: What does it mean to be a single parent?

I get a lot of "how do you DO it?" from people who just can't imagine living my life, or from other parents who have suddenly found themselves in a similar situation. My answer is always the same: "I just do. I have to."

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Stacy Lamb
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Stacy Lamb

We’re barely home from work, school and daycare and already I’m crying out of frustration – I’ve got a killer headache and all I want is to lie down for 20 minutes alone in the dark, but I can’t do that because there are two little lives depending on me to make dinner, help with homework, run a bath, read a story, or any number of things in the few hours before (thankfully!) it’s bedtime.

The next minute my tears are of a different nature: My oldest, barely 6, lays an ice pack over my eyes and tells me to rest, “I’ll take care of my brother.” Sometimes she is just too “grown up.”

Even the little one (he’s almost 2) seems to get it. He crawls up into my lap, lies on my chest, and says something I choose to believe is “I love you mama.” It could very well be he just needed a clean shirt on which to wipe his nose, but I’ll take what I can get.

Being a single parent means just that – finding a balance between taking on the everyday frustrations, and realizing that you wouldn’t trade them for life any other way.

I get a lot of “how do you DO it?” from people who just can’t imagine living my life, or from other parents who have suddenly found themselves in a similar situation. My answer is always the same: “I just do. I have to.”

I hope that, by sharing some of my stories here, I can provide a better answer – perhaps some clarity, maybe even a little insight. If nothing else, I promise my stories will make you smile.

Stacy Lamb of Apex is the divorced mom of two. She also is organizer for Single Parents of the Triangle. See my earlier post about the group here. Find her here monthly on Wednesday.
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