Once upon a time, my fairy tale marriage ended. Yes, that’s right. There was to be no “happily ever after” for me. Not with my first husband.
At just 21 years old, my first husband and I vowed to love each other and be together “forever.” Little did I realize that his “forever” meant until I had our daughter four years later.
She entered this world a tiny 5 lb 15 1/2 oz bundle of absolute love and joy! I had a rough time in the delivery room, but after 17 hours, this precious little blue eyed baby girl entered this world ever so quietly. She never cried. She just grunted. I’ll admit that I was beyond frightened at this point that something was wrong with my beautiful baby girl. As the doctor and nurse worked on her to clear her airway, I grew weak after having my blood pressure drop, and I started to cry. All I could do was beg the staff to let me hold my baby. Please … I just want to hold my baby. And, instantly my blood pressure started to rise the moment they placed her in my arms.
Love at first sight. Actually, I was already in love with her the moment I found out I was pregnant, but I fell deeper in love with her when I saw her for the very first time. Ten perfect little fingers and toes, and a slightly misshapen cone head from the birth canal, she was all I ever wanted in this life!
A few days after delivery, we were able to go home where she more than made up for her lack of vocal skills at birth. My darling had a set of lungs on her, let me tell you! And … she hated bath time! There was no soothing her with the water. Instead, she screamed, and she cried … every … single … time. Sponge baths … full baths … it didn’t make a difference. But … I still loved her with all of my heart and would do anything in the world for her.
Shortly after her first birthday, my husband announced that he did not want to be a husband or a father any more. He wanted his freedom.
Shocked and filled with disbelief, I knew I had no time to sit and wallow in self pity. I had a precious little baby girl to take care of. She depended on me, and I would NOT let her down! No matter what happened in my marriage regarding his lack of commitment to us, I was committed to HER … and I still am to this very day. I would move Heaven and Earth for this blonde haired, blue eyed girl.
I prayed, and I begged God to help me care for this little darling as I was forced into the role of a single parent. I never thought I would be in this position, after all … we were “in love” and “promised forever” to each other.
There would be no happily ever after. Not with him.
My daughter and I started a new chapter of our lives together with her just a little one year old who had just learned how to walk. She took her first steps as a toddler … and I took my first steps into single parenthood. Her first steps were certainly more cause for celebration than mine, and that is what I focused on; her!
I became Mama and Daddy all rolled into one. I was her shelter, her protector, her everything … just like Jesus was for me. I knew that I could not go down that road alone, and I did not have to. Sure, there was times that I felt completely alone, but I remembered that Jesus was never going to leave me, unlike a man that vowed his love for me had. I knew that my strength came from God, and He would not fail. All things are possible with HIM … and I put the past in the past and forged ahead to our future together.
My goal in life was to make sure that my little darling did not want for anything. Although he left, I did not want our standard of living to go down any. I wanted to remain in the house she had always known from birth, and thank God that was possible when I was able to borrow money from the bank to keep the house! After paying him his equity in the house and refinancing the home into my name, we were set. No one could EVER try to take this home from us again. It was ours; my daughters and mine.
While I’ll admit that money was tight, we survived. God saw to it that we would. I praise Him for how He kept us during that time. While we did not always have our “wants” fulfill, He saw to it that our “needs” were more than met! I thank Him for that!
I realize that no one ever grows up and thinks, “Hmmm, I’ll just be a single parent.” Some times, though, life happens, and no matter what our hopes and dreams were … reality slaps us in the face, and we are just forced to deal with it. While it may not have been the hand we had hoped for, it was the one we were dealt. And God provided for us.
If you are a single mom or dad, I applaud you for ALL that you are doing! Your child/ren depend on you, and I have faith in YOU not to let them down. You are their everything, and they cling to you for reassurance in uncertain times. Be there, encouraging them every step of the way. Don’t burden them with adult issues, just let them know that God will provide. That is all they need to know, and rest in the assurance that HE WILL!
Fast forward several years, and my blue eyed baby girl is now 19 years old! She has a firm foundation, and I love her more than she will ever know! We made it! She is technically no longer my “baby” as she’s an adult now at this age, but she will ALWAYS be my baby no matter how old she gets.
IF you’re new to this single parent life, take heart and know that you will be okay. It will all work out. You may question “How” at this stage of the game. But just don’t stop to think about what has happened or how big of a step you think this is going to be doing it all on your on. Have faith in your ability to be the provider for your child/ren. I survived, and you will, too! God will help you, if you just ask. I promise you. It will all be worth it in the end when your child/ren grow up and turn out to be responsible adults. You will realize that every ounce of your struggles were worth it and then some because of the person they have become. You will grow in all of this, too. You will no longer be the scared 25 year old that doesn’t know how they will make ends meet. You will grow and change because you HAVE made ends meet, and you HAVE provided for your child/ren. You will have more strength inside of you than you ever thought possible, all because your child/ren are watching … and one day, they will look back and realize that you truly were their everything and appreciate the sacrifices you made so that they did not do without.
For all of the single parents, keep up the good work. You have a lot on your shoulders as Mom and Dad, but YOU can do this! I am living proof, and I thank God for His hand on mine and my daughter’s lives these past 19 years.
Happy National Single Parent Day. I celebrate you and all that you do behind the scenes to ensure your child/ren have a good life.
Much love to you and yours! From one once single parent to another.