They say two heads are always better than one; in traveling, dining out and maybe even truer in parenting. Parents always want to be a part of their children’s lives, to be there for them while they grow up. But to raise your kids demands more than just love and affection. You have to send them to school, buy what they need and give them the best support system you can offer. Imagine doing it all just by yourself, think of just how dreading it may be. This is why I have always looked up to single mothers.

I used to work as a customer service agent in a BPO company. Since our work would start when most people are off to their beds and end when most people are just having their first cup of coffee, it’s usually just easier to ask co-workers out to socialize. I remember attempting to ask Mickie, our boss, out for breakfast on a Saturday morning; our own way of celebrating the end of the week. Before I could even ask her, she was already out and on her way home.  She usually goes home as soon as our shift ends. She says this is because of her two lovely kids that she supports and takes care of, Ich and Micah. We can only imagine how exhausting it was for her doing it all alone. Although this was the case we never heard her complain about the lack of sleep or even saw her lash out because of too much stress. I wondered how she could keep up with life when even I was having a hard time balancing my work, my family and friends.

During our breaks, I would notice how she would take her phone and take this little extra time to send messages to her kids. She says that this important to keep you in your children’s lives. Although it’s not hard for Mickie to see her kids because it’s just her and her kids at home, there are times when she has to extend a few hours in the office to finish work so even the smallest gestures such as leaving written notes for your kids would remind them that you care. Keeping them in the loop, like telling them what time you’ll go home or leave, would make them understand and adapt to the situation. Mickie believes that children are resilient, so making the extra effort of keeping them a part of your life too can make them understand.

It’s amazing how her kids grew up to be such strong and loving kids; this may be the greatest achievement any parent can be proud of. This isn’t something you accomplish overnight, though. She says the toughest challenge being a single parent is that you have to be everything and everywhere. Any amount of money can be earned, sleep can be recovered but the feeling of success seeing your kids grow up well is priceless. So she always tries to give the best of herself. Although it’s inevitable that regardless of how much effort and love you give, you will feel that there may be a gap in your kids’ heart and it’s heartbreaking to think that you cannot fill these gaps. While being a single parent, you get twice the hugs, the kisses, and the heartaches too. The stress that this can bring is unimaginable.

The challenges may be tough, but if your goal is to give the best life to your kids you always have to choose to stand up and be stronger. Mickie reminds herself every day that she is the only pillar her children can lean on, so don’t forget to always choose to be strong. This why she says it’s important to remember that you have to keep your sanity too. A simple “me time” at home, sleeping all day, traveling or going out with your friends are great ways to rest and recharge. It is only when you can keep yourself sane that you can be the best at what you do and it is only when you love yourself that you can offer a greater amount of love to your children.

Mickie and all the single working mothers out there deserve all the appreciation the world can offer. Juggling these three professions may be extremely hard, but as they always say sacrificing for the people you love that makes everything else easier.

Written by Love Gardose