The Hardest Part About Being A Single Parent

I recently read a blog post where the writer, a single mom like myself, listed the drawbacks of solo parenting. The list included the obvious: lack of sex, money, no one to help with household chores, etc.

While certainly applicable to my life, the list could have been ripped from one of those pointless government studies.  If asked what I need and crave most, it would be having somebody to share in making decisions. To me, a luxury item is a warm body I can turn to and utter those simple words: “What do you think, honey?” or better “You decide!”

Parenting under any circumstances is exhausting. Single parenting, which requires one to play the dual role of leading mom and leading dad, is a mental marathon.  That endless parade of decisions – from what’s for dinner and who do I tip at Christmas to how should I invest my money and whether it’s time to dump my daughter’s pediatrician – is like Pac-Man, eating up precious mental real estate.

When debating with friends which restaurant to eat or movie to see, my inclination is to say, “Anything is fine.” And, I mean it. Alone in life’s kitchen, I’m the French chef, illegal dishwasher, sophisticated maître, sultry waitress, and the Chinese delivery boy. I can’t handle one more order and throwing down my apron and quitting is not an option. If the restaurant closes, well…

Once a friend quipped about her husband, “Ah, he’s like the dog. You just throw him in the car and he’ll go anywhere with you.”

I get it.  That’s me.  As long as I don’t have to make a decision, hey, I’m in.

4 responses to “The Hardest Part About Being A Single Parent

  1. This is so true. While I am not a single parent anymore I do remember this feeling well. I often felt that there wasn’t enough room in my head for one more decision.


  2. Spot on! I’m a huge believer in decision fatigue. Doing things like laying out your clothes and writing a list of things to do the day before a particularly exhausting decision-making day works wonders to help. Routines also work well if you can manage them. Some people lend themselves toward routine and some don’t. The feeling you get where you want other people to make decisions that don’t matter to you (like where to eat) is also a great way to ease decision fatigue.

    I hope it gets better as time goes on. I can’t say I understand fully because I’m not a single parent, but it sounds tough.


  3. Aah this is all so true. Good post. Keep writing!


  4. This is so true! It was so nice to have my sister in our house this summer for one more adult to share things with!


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