Don’t get me wrong. I’d love to have a partner. I’m a relationship person. One ex even called me “wifely.” I think it was a compliment? And why wouldn’t I think fondly of being hitched: I once had 11 straight years of having coffee brought to me in bed nearly every morning! (Though that fantastic good luck may have karmically doomed me to spend the rest of my life alone.) advantages to single parenting
Java aside, I also have other… needs… I’d like met on a daily basis. Plus, I kinda like having a ball and chain. I’d even welcome someone telling me what to do, once in awhile, especially in tricky parenting situations.
Besides, it sure would be nice to have a person crawling into my bed late at night who neither kicks me nor causes me to sometimes wake up completely soaked with urine. To use a totally hypothetical example.
Oh, yes, I have my romantic dreams. But a 10-day Spring Break visit to my mom’s has reminded me of a few of the undeniable advantages to single parenting.
1. You can load the dishwasher your way.
And peel carrots the way you think is more efficient. Use the amount of laundry soap you feel is right. Be entirely in charge of selecting which method of leftover-storage is most sensible. Tupperware? Ziplock bag? It is entirely up to you. Single parents, savor the small freedoms in your life!
2. No one will question your decision to allow your kid to have a healthy snack a half-hour before dinner.
Or the fact that you’re allowing him to gorge on holiday candy on the actual holiday. There’s the “that’s the point of the holiday” side (which would be the correct side), but there’s also the “he’ll make himself sick/it’s unhealthy and we should never allow unhealthy behavior ever ever ever/it must be parceled out in a sensible manner as approved by the American Dental Association” side. Yes, both sides have their merits. But as a single parent, your side always wins.
3. There’s no chance that some @#$%! morning person will start peppering you with questions before you’ve had coffee.
You’re trying to fix breakfast and pack the kid’s lunch while sipping your java and the only chance of staying on schedule is if you can just continue on autopilot and suddenly someone wants you to process information and use language to communicate? Before 9 am? No sir.
4. You’ll never have to argue over trivial parenting decisions.
Must he wear his sweatshirt even if there’s no chance of frostbite and he’s not cold? Should the sandwich be wrapped in aluminum foil or placed in a baggie? Should she go out in that non-matching getup? Whatever you decide for you kid goes. No comments! Zero judgment or pushback from another adult!
OK, this is technically the same as #2, above. But it’s so awesome, I think we need to savor it twice.
I once witnessed a couple of friends arguing over whether or not the sunscreen should have been reapplied on their 2-year-old at the beach. Parent One started to apply sunscreen. Parent Two said, “I already put sunscreen on her.” Parent One shrugged and continued to reapply, and somehow they got into a 10-minute fight about it.
I leaned back in my beach chair as all traces of loneliness and single-parent self-pity were carried off by the ocean breezes. Serotonin flooded my system and Pharrell’s “Happy” started blasting in my head thanks to the fact that I NEVER HAVE TO DEAL WITH THAT KIND OF BS. Not ever!
5. You can screw up or even knowingly make bad choices and no one living in your home will judge you.*
Running late? That’s between you, your kid, and the school/camp/coach. Forgot something crucial that your kid needed? Enjoy the fact that you’re able to kick yourself – no one else will be kicking you for it. Just want to enjoy the fun evening with your kid, and bedtime be damned? No one will rub it in the next day with an “I told you so” when your kid starts acting like a ‘roid-raging Attila the Hun. Stressful day? As you help yourself to yet another serving of whatever you already know you shouldn’t be eating, the words, “Shouldn’t you save some for tomorrow?” will be uttered by no one. That missing box of Bunny Grahams is strictly between you and that clearly inaccurate scale at the gym.
* Unless they’re a teenager.
What do YOU love about being a single parent?
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