So many ‘how-to’ books have been written about parenting starting from conception, to early days after birth to discipline. And much as they have helpful content, these books don’t tackle the reality of parenting based on the society we live in.
As parents, there are choices that our society forces us to make. For instance, being a stay-at-home mom as opposed to daycare. And all these choices are based on how best to make ends meet.
Happily married but feeling like a single parent.
Grace Koelma has been happily married for four years. She and her husband have a son. Much as they live and are parenting together, she has been feeling like a single parent.
Both of them used to work but now that they have a son, she is a stay-at-home mom. Yes, she loves being a mother. Yes, motherhood has its perks. And yes, she enjoys being a full time mom to their son. But the reality of the matter is: It takes a toll on her. Because she is home alone with the child from 6am to 7pm (when her husband is at work), she feels like she is in it alone.
This isn’t to say that the husband has no input in parenting. No. If anything he is really enthusiastic about it. However, he has to leave the house before the sun comes up because he has a five hour commute a day. So Grace has to do everything baby, from breakfast to dinner.
Much as it kills him to be away during the day, in order to make ends meet, he has to. And much as he is a great provider, Grace admits that sometimes, going at it alone makes her feel like a single parent. And that bit sucks.
The reality of being a stay-at-home parent:
See, that is the reality of the matter for most households. One parent has to work to support the family and gets home late. More often than not, they miss tucking their kids into bed. So how is the parent left home with the kids not feel like a single parent?
If you are a stay-at-home parent, you may have experienced this. And if you have, these feelings are valid. Having the opportunity to raise your child is great. On the other hand, doing it alone or feeling like you are doing it alone- not so much. There are days when you wish the other parent was there to lend a hand here and there.
There are days, you may wish you were the one leaving the house to go to work and let the other parent have a go at being with the child from 6am to 7pm. But the thought of being away everyday and missing the greatest moments of your child’s development makes one appreciate the privilege of staying home.
The thing is: There are no clear cut answers. As parents, you just have to accept the situation and make it work for your family – best way you know how. And no matter how the situation is, take heart in the fact that you are not alone.