This life without Vance, all of it is hard. But right now the hardest part is parenting alone. Even on the hardest of days, when I didn’t know if our marriage would make it, I never once saw myself parenting alone. Vance was always in the picture. He was a dad who was present and involved. That’s a big part of what attracted me to him in the first place, knowing that he would be an amazing dad.
My kids are generally good kids, but like their parents, they’re human. They mess up. We’re doing our best to keep the life altering mistakes to a minimum, because, hey, that’s really what parenting is, isn’t it?
That said, as humans, we struggle. The kids. Me. We mess up. We fight. We yell. We stand our ground when we should back down and vice-versa. It’s hard. This parenting thing, it’s not for the weak. It’s meant to be a tag-team and it’s all the harder when you’re doing it solo.
I miss having Vance to bounce ideas off of. To hold me accountable and to act as the school principal when needed. I miss being able to lay in bed at the end of a hard day and cry while he told me it was going to be okay. I miss having someone else on this earth who loves these kids just as much as I do. Don’t get me wrong, they are so very loved by so very many, but no one loves quite like a parent.
Being the only one to go to parent-teacher conferences, the one who gets all the calls from the school, the one who chooses the punishments and rewards, who decides the curfew…all of that is now solely on me. It’s a big load and I’m not sure I can carry it.
So to all you single parents out there, I salute you. I knew you were amazing before but now that I’m in the trenches with you, I see it even more. I see you. I applaud you. I’m cheering you on. And if you’ve got any tips, please pass them on. I could really use them.