Newfound Appreciation for Single Moms

Getting Real With Shadra Bruce

For the last month, I’ve been pulling double duty. I’ve been working full time, but I’ve also been doing all those things that would normally have been done by my husband. He had surgery a month ago, and has been unable to drive, lift, or care for the dogs. Most importantly, he has been unable to shovel snow, and we live in Central New York.

I have always appreciated my husband; he takes an active role around the house that allows me to focus on growing my business and avoiding corporate servitude. He was a single dad for two years and is very organized at keeping up with laundry, groceries, and house stuff – the stuff I’ve never been particularly good at or interested in. He does it all with this amazingly good attitude. He even likes to cook – something I hope I never have to do again once he recovers fully.

What I didn’t realize was how hard it would have been had I been having to do it all myself all the time – and how much I had perhaps taken for granted the role Dave plays as full-time student, part-time substitute teacher, and full-time house manager. It’s impossible: Running for groceries, taking kids to school, doing the laundry, shoveling the driveway and the walks, running the dogs out, cleaning up, keeping track of all that must be done – and working?! You’ve got to be kidding!

Single moms, I salute you. I may have occasionally been jealous of your “free” time to do what you want without having to consider a spouse’s needs or wants,  but now I know there is no free time. You fall into bed each night, exhausted, with a list of things in your head that will greet you when you wake up. Somewhere in there, you’ve given your all to your boss, your kids, and to keeping up on your house as much as you can. And still you keep going and keep doing everything you can to be the best mom you can be. I’m in awe at your strength and humbled at what you can handle.