Last week we looked at knowing something about a single parent family’s situation. It’s one thing to have that information lodged in your brain about something. It’s another thing to understand a situation enough that you can empathize, appreciate the frustrations involved in living in a single parent home and be tolerant of a family’s situation.
This week I’d like to look at actually understanding what goes on inside a single parent home. Try to place yourself in the role of being a single parent. First of all there is no one to help you. I mean NO ONE! You are on 24/7 and that’s not for just a day or week or a month or this year but for many single parents it is for years.
Let’s look in on some typical single parents. In this first scene we see a mom sitting in the audience of a school concert. She is sitting there looking very calm on the outside but on the inside experiencing unbelievable turmoil.
“Now let’s see, if Chase’s group will just perform in the next fifteen minutes then I can sneak out of this concert and go across town, and if I don’t hit too many red lights, I can get there just in time to see Heather play soccer. If I can just stay long enough to see one quarter, are they called quarters or what? Oh well, I have to learn about soccer on another day, I don’t have time to worry about it now. Let’s see where was I? Oh yes, I can come back here pick up Chase before the end of this performance and then we can rush back, get Heather, go home and make dinner. Oh yeah, I’ve got to remember to pick up some milk for breakfast. Then while dinner is cooking I can start the laundry. I hope those kids got the clothes sorted. Did Chase say he needs tape for that science project? Oh well, I might as well get some tape while I’m at the store. After dinner I’ll have to remember to set aside some time to help Chase with that project. After I get the kids to bed I’ve got to remember to go online and pay the credit card bill. Please let my paycheck get to the bank before the credit card payment! I’m going to have to remember to check the date online on that bill and make sure I can pay it after 11:00 pm in our time zone and not get charged another late fee. I think there’s a three-hour difference in our time zones. Honestly, I can’t keep up with when everything goes through the bank and I’ve got to remember that I wrote a check for the school fundraiser. Did I even give Heather that check yesterday morning? Then I’ll have to get my clothes ready for tomorrow. I think I’ll wear that blue outfit but I have to remember to fix that tear. Gee, I wonder how many more washings that outfit can take. It must be five years old by now but I’ve got that important meeting at work tomorrow and I’ve got to wear something that looks half-way decent. Whew! Maybe I can get to bed by midnight. Oh well, that’s earlier than last night. Oh, shoot I was supposed to call my mom tonight. I’ll have to remember to try and find time tomorrow night.”
This mom will be up by 5:00 a.m. to start the entire process all over again, and she’ll do it alone every day.
Our second scene takes place in front of a church. A single dad has just sent in his overwrought daughter, and he is waiting for his child’s bible study teacher to get to church.