Being a single parent is a tough job, and to be a good single parent is an even tougher job. The 2008 US census estimates that over 11 million Americans are single parents. Over 11 million people wake up in the morning clean, feed, and dress themselves, their kids, and their house all by themselves. Yet many of us (myself included) struggle to find enough time to attend to our own needs. How do they do it?
This weekend, I had the opportunity to witness the power of unconditional love. My sister, the single parent pictured above, has energy to work a full-time job, potty-train an outspoken two year old, maintain the household chores for a party of 2, and train for a marathon. At one point on Saturday night, she turned to me over the pile of laundry and perceived aloud, "I just realized that I haven't sat down since this morning."
I now understand why many of the world's religions advise two people to partner in caring for a family. Anything less, without a good dose of grace, can and does run a single parent dry. When I asked Laura what keeps her going as a single parent she said, "Because if I gave up, who else would [Maddie] have?" They say it takes a village to raise a child. I think it's because it takes that amount of love (and patience) to guide and train a child. If that's true, then a single parent must have the love of an entire village to power all that they do in a day! Although worn at times, Laura amazes me at what she is able to accomplish as a parent and a person powered by unconditional love for her child.