The Single Parent Blues
Rough patches after divorce
By: Irene Webb
The last thing I want is my husband back. Yet, here I am, at another parent-teacher night, wishing to every higher power that I wasn’t doing this alone, again. I don’t want him back, I don’t. Yet I have these obligations that request, “…the parents of…” That’s, “parents,” plural. I acutely feel that I am falling short, being an only parent. So, I’m sitting through another parent teacher night, splitting my time between my kids’ classes, feeling like I have a big “ALONE” sign hanging on my back, right under the “Kick Me” sign.
Divorce was easy. The declaration was like ripping off a band-aid. It was over as soon as the words were out of my mouth. I only had to be strong for those few, well rehearsed sentences. Tonight I feel none of that strength as I sit crammed behind my daughter’s Bunsen burner. Instead, I feel all the imagined and real stigma I’ve internalized about being a “single parent.” Even though I know I did the right thing for myself and my family, it doesn’t alleviate the loneliness or make these nights any easier.