When Good Things Hurt

Navigating the turbulent waters of single parenthood can leave me feeling sea sick from time to time.  Ninety percent of the time I must be both mother and father to my son.  I am responsible for everything that happens in his days – his health, his schooling, his fun and entertainment.  That’s my job, and I often do it alone.   Most of the time we manage just fine.  I know there are times he’d like his dad instead of me.  And I’m very aware that, as he gets older, those times are likely to come more frequently.

The hardest part for me is keeping my relationship with his dad separate from his relationship with his dad.  I try very hard to ensure that my son gets positive feedback from me about his dad.  Or, at least, not to get a negative impression from me.

My son loves his dad very much.  I’m glad.  I really am happy that, even though we separated years ago and have gone our separate ways, our son is still finding happiness in this new kind of family we have become. 

The other day when my son said that his dad told him why his watch may not be working right – and it was the SAME thing that I had already told him several days ago – my positive/generous spirit took a vacation.  So I asked my son why he now believed the reason, when I had said the same thing to him before.  His response was quick, honest, and thorough.

“Because I trust dad.  He’s awesome!  You’re great, and you take good care of me, but dad is awesome.”

It took everything I had at that moment not to fall to the floor in tears.  ” Why is he awesome?!” I thought.  I’m the one who takes you on vacations.  I’m the one who comes to all your special events at school.  I take you to scouts.  I feed you, do homework with you, play games with you.  I’m the one who sat up with you for 3 nights while you hallucinated from a horribly high fever.  Why is he awesome?!

I swallowed hard and simply said “I’m glad you have an awesome dad.”

It was a good thing for him.  And my hurt will heal, once I find the dramamine for a single parent.

One thought on “When Good Things Hurt

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  1. The highs & lows of parenting & single parenting besides, even higher highs and lower lows. To parent is to sacrifice. Children don’t feel like they owe you anything for all the great work you do plus maybe he sees the world very differently than you do. He might not see the big picture or not understand why it is so easy to take his comments personally. Maybe if he perceives his father as being awesome-he will be awesome, to him. Your response is exactly what he needs, a steady rock in the sea of life. Hang in there & keep up the good work. With God’s help you are a great guide on this journey. Take Care. Karen


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