The Bright Side of Sometimes Single Parenting

Kristen Chase

Notes to momWhen you're parenting your kids alone for the better half of your existence, it's easy to get sucked into a vacuum of negativity.

And for obvious reasons. It's damn hard.

But to be fair, the life of a sometimes single mom is hardly all cloudy skies and rainy days. When you're able to get a handle of all the daily challenges, or at least manage them in such a way where you're just treading water and not gasping for air, then it can actually be pretty darn cool.

Don't get me wrong. On most days, I still feel as though I'm just barely keeping myself afloat. Of course, it helps to let go of my expectations for a perfectly clean house or a fabulously cooked meal and adjust them to what's feasible given my situation, which now includes a new baby on the way.

Hooray for chaos!

And really, my lowered expectations don't take anything away from raising smart, healthy, well-adjusted kids. On the contrary, it probably helps them to see me struggle and lose my cool, but then attempt to recover and make the best of it.

Let's just say I do my fair share of apologizing.

And really, it's good for them to have to pitch in and help instead of being served all the time. With one parent gone a lot, there's just no room for everyone not to lend a hand (or two). Even my 18-month-old, who does an excellent job of emptying the dishwasher silverware tray.

But when I'm able to take a step back and separate myself from the frenzied days, I realize that the time I'm afforded with my kids is invaluable, especially given the rapid pace they seem to be growing up right before my very eyes.

And our very special relationship is different than the one they have with my husband. And it's different than one they would have with me if he didn't travel as much.

And I can either complain and whine about it (which I do a fair amount of, oh yes I do), or I can treasure it as an amazing gift that few people are given.

I admit that my relationship with the kids can definitely resemble a love-hate sort of thing when we've seen each other way too many hours of the day for more than enough days in a row. And who knows? Down the road, being their primary parent may come to bite me hard in the butt.

However, there's definitely something special that we share, just the four of us -- whether it's the singing of crazy songs in the car, eating breakfast for dinner, or just sitting around watching a television show together after dinner.

Keep in mind -- looking at the bright side isn't easy. In fact, it's probably taken me a good three years to be able to embrace it.

But I will say that when I start to lose my crap and feel like I'm going to explode, I try my best to see bigger picture.

And what a beautiful one it is.

What do you love about being a sometimes single mom?

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