An open letter to single parents—and what it means to have you by my side

Here’s to our mother figures, male or female, who made us who we are today

Dear parent,

Today, Mar. 21, we celebrate Single Parent’s Day. A day founded in honor of the human embodiment of selflessness: you. Everyone has heard of the difficulty of raising a child but not many know the struggles of a single parent. Being a parent is one of the most difficult roles out there and having to fulfill both being a mother and a father just amplifies it even more. Sometimes met with stigma and pity, being a single parent takes more than just physical strength to accomplish daily tasks but also requires emotional and mental toughness to get through the day. And I sincerely, admire you for that.

Work, bills, chores, teaching and bonding. One person can only do so much yet you’ve made all these possible due to your sheer love and devotion for your child/ren. You are a superhero. You may feel like you’re lacking in some aspects, and that could be true, but that doesn’t mean your child does not see your efforts. Your efforts are seen and your love felt. Give yourself a pat on the back because you’re doing so much better than you give yourself credit for.

Life has its unexpected twists and turns and I am sorry for whatever the reason is for you raising your child alone, but I also want to remind you that you are never truly alone in this journey. You have your family, your closest friends and co-workers, even random people on the internet rooting for you, and of course, the main reason you are able to persevere—your child—to walk this path. Remember that just as much as you would do anything for your child, they too would love to do the same for you. Take care of yourself just as much as you care for your family. You can’t pour from an empty cup and chances are, neglecting yourself does not make your child feel better about living the life you want for them. 

Every relationship has its struggles and perhaps this setup invites more of that. Coming from a single-parent household myself, I’ve learned that relationships mature much earlier in these situations, causing more clashes and fights. Yet, there’s also a bright side to it as you have your child as your partner amid life’s trials and tribulations. (But let’s not forget to give them the childhood they deserve as well, okay?) Parent-child dynamics are one of the most complicated relationships but no relationship is perfect, which is why we keep fighting for those that are worth it—and this one definitely is.

Expressing feelings is not easy and some find that writing them down or indirectly saying them is much easier. Just like a song that steals the words from our heart, this letter is the same for the kids who want to say their sincerest gratitude to their parents. Happy Single Parents Day to you, you wonder of a person. Treat yourself a little extra today and don’t forget to spend some time with your family.

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