June 6, 2011

What's in a word?

So, lately I have been reading a lot about being a single parent and all that entails. I think I'm really getting confused. I KNOW that I don't have a partner in my love life, that's an obvious YES. The problem comes when I read about "single" parents who are truly "single".

While I was struggling with a newborn and a 17 month old baby on my own I did very much feel like a single parent. Big Cheese would do the occasional visit and sometimes take Thing One for a few hours to where he was at. Still, it left me quite alone going crazy and knowing that the kids depended solely on me. It took almost two years until Big Cheese and I could come up with a comparable arrangement for both of us to have the children a reasonable amount of time. It also took two years of struggling about how we would divide financial responsibility with regards to our children. It has been a long road, and I am pretty sure there will be bumps in the road ahead but at least the lines of communication are opened.

Those first two years I did honestly feel like a "single" parent. I really didn't have that much support from the children's father emotionally or financially. He was there but very rarely for the kids. It was really rough and I thought back to those days and reflected to where we are now.

I feel "single parent" has the connotation for me as being alone with no help from the other parent at all, and doing it ALL on your own. The truth is I am not alone. I am blessed at the moment to have Big Cheese very involved with the raising of the children. He sees the children almost on a daily basis and every other weekend they spend the night at his home. He comes to special functions for the children's activities. He calls them to speak to them when they are not with him. We have figured out who pays for what and when one of us is short the other can't cover the spending the other compensates. We discuss about what we want for the kids in the future and how we should plan ahead for them with money, etc.

Somehow we have gotten to the point that we are no longer single parents. We have started to become like any other set of parents, except for the fact that there is no romance and we have two different homes. So I guess this is where I feel the term "single parent" doesn't work for me. I'm thinking "co-parent" works much better for me. We aren't married, but we definitely want what's best for our children. So I am no longer riding the roller coaster of single parenting. I am riding the roller coaster of co-parenting.

*insert cheesy smile HERE*
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