Monday, February 1, 2010

The toughest job on earth

There are alot of candidates.

Chaplains. Funeral directors. CEOs. CFOs. Prostitutes. Infantrymen. Writers. Garbage collectors. Police. Public defenders.

I vote for the single parent.

Meaning, a person without a partner who wants to be a parent. And is carrying out the responsibilies of being a parent.

The job is 24/7.

The job is physically and mentally challenging.

The job is unrelenting.

And, because a child needs mother and father, the truly single parent is left trying to do a job they can't do.

And the child doesn't understand that issue.

The child comes into the world with the natural need for mom and dad.

If it is only mom or only dad, the parent can do all they can do. And it is not enough.

But Godspeed to those moms and dads that do it.

It is the most demanding job. Children need attention, and they will get it.

And the single parent will have the requirement of filling the gaps that the absentee can't and won't provide.

When the kids are young, it is physical exhaustion. Without any relief from another caring adult.

There is always something needing to be done. Laundry. Homework. Medical issues. Emotional issues.

And the single parent never has time or the aid of a partner to take care of themselves.

It is true of people of means. It is true of the poorest on earth.

Kids need feeding three times a day. Or more.

They need exercise. They need social interaction. They need play. They need life teaching. They need to learn how to take out the trash. They need to learn how to manage money. They need to learn how to properly brush their teeth.

I have but a small version of this, but I've lived it.

What I realize is that there is no relief for the single parent.

On Sunday night, when they are finally asleep, and you are exhausted, there is still work to be done. And you have to do it, and still find the energy to go work the next day to provide for them.

It is so hard because it isn't the way God designed it. There is a reason it takes two to make one. And, the two need to stay together committed to raise one. Or two. Or five.

God bless the single mothers and fathers who take their jobs seriously.

They are the barriers between civility and anarchy.

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