The term Single Parent is often not sufficient to describe what we do. "Parenting Alone" does a much better job of capturing the essence of single parents. It's not the same as loneliness which is often present. It is more a feeling of responsibility for raising these children and having nobody to lean on for emotional support.
In a good marriage parenting is a team effort. Even if one parent carries most of the load, they have the other parent there for emotional and intellectual support. But when you are parenting alone you feel the full weight of this awesome responsibility.
Tonight I am feeling very alone. The kids are starting school tomorrow and my son Gibson is in the 7th grade. Junior High School!!! That's such a big change in a child's life and a real social transition. I got the kids off to bed and Gibson came back upstairs so I asked him if something was wrong. He said "No...I just wanted to say goodnight." And I could tell it was more than that, so I gave him a hug and we talked a bit about his day. Then he went downstairs to bed and I just stood there overcome with emotion.
I often wonder if I'm doing enough for my kids. If I'm providing for all their needs. Not just their physical needs, but their emotional needs as well. I'm their dad...and as much as I try I can never replace the role of a mom. It's obvious how much my daughter craves that female influence, but I don't always notice how much my son needs it as well. Except on nights like tonight when I try to fill both roles, but realize that I'm parenting alone.