Have you ever heard of the expression “tour widow”?
I hadn’t either before I became one.
It’s an insider term for what much of the music industry calls the wives of musicians who go out on tour for weeks or months at a time, leaving them home alone or to care for their children.
I remember the first three week stint my husband left on as a tour manager and left me as a single parent: I thought I was going to lose my mind.
I actually did well for a while. I liked not having to make big meals every night or, to be honest, think about someone else all the time. I could watch what TV shows I wanted after I put the kids in bed while working on my computer. In some ways, it was nice to have that mental break.
But then we hit day ten.
The novelty of doing this parenting thing on my own and working late into the night had worn off and I instead just became tired and full of self-pity.
Voices in my head told me it wasn’t fair to have to work and care for the kids and clean the house and take care of running the household.
Bye week three, I’d build myself up to be a martyr, joining the ranks of women whose husbands were serving us overseas.
The truth is, I just tasted a very small glimpse of what single parenting is like, when, in actuality, millions of parents live this life day in and day out.
Knowing that my perspective was limited, I asked a friend (who is no longer single, but was single for awhile) to speak to what she felt was the biggest need, prayer and misconception of single parenting. Here’s what Jamie said:
Biggest need: more time in the day. Prayer: to be able to meet my child’s needs. Misconception: that you should feel sorry for a single parent….most of the times yes, they are the victim, but they need compassion and help, not pity. I want my children to know that relationships are not perfect and the only relationship we can fully depend on is the one with Jesus. Relationships die, people in relationships die and/or go away, but Jesus is always there. I also want my children to know that even though relationships end, that you should still have them and “go for it” so to speak and not live in fear that it WILL end.
So as we begin this New Year, I offer this prayer for anyone who has ever experienced life as a single parent:
Lord, be more than I ever could be,
Meet the needs of my children before I could anticipate them and beyond my capacity to fill them,
Place others in their life who will teach, guide and train them,
And replace any weariness and guilt with peace, patience and prosperity.
I wrote this post for Tommy Nelson as one of their Tommy Nelson Mommies.
Read all my Tommy Nelson Mommy posts by clicking the link.