Single Parenting: One Way to Take The Edge Off

Lake in the winter with red lifesaver

This past Sunday our planned day rotated 180 degrees. Have you had one of those? Trying to get somewhere and ended up someplace else.

Red car with snow on it

It was early, around 7am. The snow had fallen the night before. White snow covered the road. Bundled up for winter, my child and I ventured out in our car to get to our planned destination. No sooner did we start driving, we encountered a deer off to the side of the road. A big sigh of relief that she didn’t bolt in front of us. As we continued driving, we saw another animal walking towards us. Quickly, I tried to decipher whether it was a coyote or a wolf (hardly likely?). Then I noticed lots of fluffy, white fur blending in with the snow. Finally, we could see what it was.

Lonely snow covered, tree lined road next to river

A dog, accented with a brown collar around its neck, with a silver identity tag.  Someone’s beloved pet dog, lost and alone, in the early morning hour.

Close up image of dog tag with paw prints
Pawprints in snow

Single Parenting Makes One Feel Lost

As a single parent, I often felt lost and alone trying to navigate the unfamiliar territory of the unbalanced scale. Consequently, I was hoping to be scooped up by some miraculous guardian angel to comfort me in the maze of finding my way. Additionally, I felt lost because I was no longer living the life I once knew and loved. Life had been easy when I was married and raising our first child in a two-parent-household. In contrast, when I became a single parent, what I was thrown into was unidentifiable. The difference between the two was like night and day.

White colored wheat field
Close up image of dog tag with paw prints

We pulled our car up to our lost puppy friend. I opened my door. As I reached down to look at the tag, it read “Trek.” Before I knew it, Trek did what any other friendly, lost pup would do.  She jumped into the car and landed right into my lap. With her tongue hanging out of her mouth she looked at me, as if to say, “Thank you so much. So glad to see someone could help me in my predicament. Now let’s get this show on the road.” Now mind you, this was no small dog. If I had to guess, I would say 45 pounds of muscle. Trek was indeed on an adventure, true to her name.  

“Thank you so much. So glad to see someone could help me in my predicament. Now let’s get this show on the road.”

Single Parenting Makes One Feel Alone

Much like Trek, I often had a smile on my face interacting with community as a single parent. Inside, though, I had other feelings. Feeling alone was top of the list. No longer being married like my married friends contributed to my aloneness. As a result, I felt different. Furthermore, I felt especially alone after the children went to bed and there was no one to talk to. It was too quiet. I missed conversing with my spouse. And late evening hours were not a reasonable time to call a friend.

Close up image of snow covered brush with house in background
Close up image of dog tag with paw prints
So thankful Trek had a identification tag.

Now back to Trek, who to her liking became part of our family and home for the next two hours.  As we made attempts to locate her owner, she was fed, walked, and played with. She was filled with so much funny and friendliness we couldn’t help but fall in love with her. Simply, she was a happy camper in the companionship of strangers. We recognized her situation and helped get her back to her true home. My child and I never made it to our destination and it didn’t matter. Our morning of surprise left more of an impression, worthy of a story!

Learn about types of pet identification

Dog ID tag with paw prints

Single Parents Need Understanding

I, like Trek, was on an adventure. My single parenting adventure made me feel lost and alone at times. I often felt like Trek standing in the middle of the road, just hoping someone would come along and recognize the situation. I wasn’t looking for sympathy. Simply, I just needed people to understand what single parenting was all about.

Red lifesaver next to a lake in winter

Over the years, we had so many people show up with a “lifesaver” by demonstrating simple and loving acts of kindness. At times, nothing elaborate, just recognizing what we were going through.

A stranger helping me carry my large packages from the car into the post office so I could manage my infant and preschooler

Friends taking one of my children for an afternoon outing to lighten my load

Neighbors coming over to check on us after losing electricity from a severe storm

Receiving mass amounts of greeting cards filled with encouraging words year after year

And, the list is endless…

Whether it was a 180 or even a 90-degree turn, others took time out of their lives to help us. So thankful for their open eyes and hearts. A gesture was worth millions to take the edge off of feeling lost and alone.

Close up image of vase with white flowers

And, for Trek, we hope all of her future adventures keep her grounded with her own family. But, if by some strange chance she ends up on a lonely snowy road again, we hope there is an angel that will guide her back home.

White fluffy dog running in snow
Wellness For The Single Parent

Photography Credits

Photo by Herr Bohn on Unsplash - Lake with red lifesaver 
Photo by Iris on Unsplash - Red car in snow
Photo by Ali Inay on Unsplash - Snowy road by river
Photo by Gez Xavier Mansfield on Unsplash - Dog tag
Photo by Enrico Mantegazza on Unsplash - Pawprints in snow
Photo by Ernesta Vala on Unsplash - White wheat
Photo by Sveta Golovina on Unsplash – White dog
Photo by Natasha Vasiljeva on Unsplash - Close up snow covered brush
Photo by Ryan Christodoulou on Unsplash - White kitchen
Photo by Galina N on Unsplash - White rose
Photo by Evie S. on Unsplash - White feather
Photo by Taya Iv on Unsplash - White vase of flowers

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