I woke up today with a cold, a URI, the sniffles, maybe the flu, the crud, whatever you want to call it, I felt (and feel) horrible. It is the sort of day when I wanted to slide back under the covers and sleep until I feel better. It was also a day, though, when Matthew decided to wake up at 3:00am. It was also laundry day, and meals needed to be prepared, and electric trains needed to be repaired and then put away, and the house needed to be cleaned. Three years ago I wouldn’t have bothered. Now, I have little choice, as most of Matthew’s needs cannot wait on my health. Which brings me to a realization I have had time and again since Matthew was born: single parents have it tough. Tougher than I ever imagined, in spite of having been housemates with single moms a couple of times in my life.
Sure, taking care of Matthew is all fun and games, but it can get to be more fun and games than you can possibly handle. Even from my relatively privileged position (I have enough money to hire help if I need it, I can do a lot of my work from home, and I have a tirelessly helpful spouse even if she is gone 40 hours per week at her 20 hour job), it seems a monumental task when I have a fever and chills. I don’t think I could ever do it alone.
Hats off to all the single parents out there.
— Ron Risley – 07 Feb 2005