Food For Thought Friday: Going It Alone...

You may (or may not) have noticed that I disappeared from Bloggy-ville this week.  I like to try to post between four or five days a week. This week, I'm chalking up an unimpressive one post. The list of excuses includes the fact that it was a holiday week, and I worked at the radio station a little more than usual, but the real reason is that Mr. Lindstrom has been away on business for the last three days.

Now, I want to be very clear about this, women and men who are single parenting do it 24/7. I parented alone for three days.  I cannot say "Oh, I know what it's like to be a single parent" because I only did it for three days. I think it's an insult to call the temporary type of parenting alone "single parenting." I parented alone for three days. I did it with the knowledge that after three days, my partner would be back and we'd fall back into the same routine of partner-parenting that I think we do pretty well.  For so many reasons that I hope I don't have to outline, parenting alone for a few days is different from being a single parent, please know that I do not claim to understand the myriad of challenges and intense emotions that the experience of single parenting is fraught with.

I think I got the teeny tiniest glimpse, though. As I was between drop-offs and pick-ups the other day, plotting and planning a day that included some conference calls and meeting arrangement in addition to lunch making, kid bathing, and outdoor playing, I suddenly felt this wave of isolation.  Of course, my kids were keeping me good company, but I missed the companionship of an adult.  I missed having that one person there who knows as well as I do what life with my kids is like. This is no small thing.  The physical act of parenting is a hard and tiring job, I find it exhausting when my co-parent is present and involved.  With him away, I reached a new level of physical and mental exhaustion.

To my single parent friends, I want you to know that I don't always have the level of appreciation that I should for the hard work that you are doing. In so many ways, I don't and can't know the true challenge of what life is like as the one and only for your children. I know that you have amazing times with your children, but that the hard times are doubly hard, and I want to honor you (and give you a high five, buy you a drink, pat you on the back, whatever floats your boat) for your parenting, and for being my friend because all of you are not only amazing parents, but all around super great people.

Food For Thought Friday is brought to you by the amazing folks at Welcome Baby Care. They are THE postpartum and newborn experts. Check out their website, and don’t forget to “like” them on Facebook to take advantage of all their knowledge. Also, be sure to follow babycaretweets on Twitter to receive news and ideas on newborn care and thoughts about parenting!


  1. I try to be kind to everyone because you never know what kind of difficulty someone else might be dealing with.

  2. Colleen, you are a genius!

  3. I love this post. It is so true in so many ways. Thank you!!!

    I was a single parent for several years (close to 6). More so if you consider all the years I was married and my ex-husband was not present (either physically from traveling for work or mentally) to help with the children.

    Being a single parent has its plusses and minuses. Seriously. On one hand, you alone get to make ALL the decisions. No one can tell you what to do. On the other, you alone get to make all the decisions. sigh. so tough. Parenting is exhausting, but being a single parent - even more so.

    You are right about the loneliness of it all. It wasn't that I couldn't manage life as a single mom, but I surely missed having another adult to talk to on a regular basis. Sure talking to friend and family is great, but not the same.

    Honestly though, sometimes it was easier being an official single parent vs. being married and expecting your spouse to help out, be there for you, tag team, etc...and he wouldn't. (I could tell stories and stories - my "favorite" being the time he admitted in counseling that he couldn't watch the baby and tv at the same time. nerrr....)

    Recently I got remarried. I have to say...how the heck did I manage all those years alone??? I love co-parenting with my husband. Love it. We make a great team and it makes all the difference.

    Thanks again for the post!

  4. You nailed it. I remember making conversation with cashiers at the grocery store just to satisfy my need for adult interaction. A young stylist enlightened me to her theory while cutting my hair (I had apologized for babbling). She realized that the hour a woman spends in her chair is often the only hour of uninterrupted, engaging conversation that woman may have during her day.
    You're a gem.

  5. After a very long August where Mike was on business trips WAY TOO OFTEN and I had to get myself and Google Baby out to work/day care, I am now officially bowing down to single parents. Amazing!


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