By Guest Blogger Suzy Fielders

A few years ago, I wrote this blog for TMoM to share some insight into what life is like as a single parent. I shared the trials I’ve endured and provided some tips I picked up along the journey. My daughter Sarah is now 10, and while being a single parent still has those same struggles, I wanted to share the flip side and a very positive reward that being a single parent brings.

In the media, single parents often get a lot of judgement and are typically misportrayed and misunderstood. Years after its original launch, I finally watched the Gilmore Girls series thanks to binge watching on Netflix. I’ve never watched a show that I could so completely relate to as I did this one. Granted there were many differences but overall the single parent lifestyle was very adequately portrayed in this show. It was also quite amusing to see how sarcastic and random the ‘mom’ in the show was because well that part is quite similar to my own personality!

While I have had people point out the unique bond Sarah and I have, I never really thought too much about it until I watched this series. Seeing that bond between a single parent and their child acted out really helped put my own into perspective.

me and sarah charleston 2016For single parents, it’s just you and your kid against the world basically. You truly depend solely on each other to get through the hard times and enjoy the good times. I know at least for me, since I have to deal with so much as a single parent, I rely more on my child to step up and do her part, even at a young age. This relying on her more, and in turn, treating her more responsibly (again even when she was young) helped build a bond early on that’s more than just parent/child but a solid friendship.

Just like in the show, my daughter and I talk about everything. We tend to know what the other is thinking and have tons of inside jokes. Granted there are of course those times when she misbehaves and I still have to ‘lay down the law,’ but even then she’ll tell me (or anyone who asks!) that I’m her best friend. I have had many people over the years (and even now) tell me “Oh that’ll change when she’s a teenager and wants nothing to do with you,” but I can say without question I have no doubt this bond won’t change. There will, of course, be many trying times in the upcoming teenage years, but knowing this unique bond we already share I don’t foresee it being so easily shaken.

So to all the other single parents out there… on those numerous hard days when you feel like you are drowning, just remember the positives, such as you have an opportunity to build such a unique bond with your child.

If you are a single parent and can share your thoughts, please chime in. We’d love to hear about your greatest rewards too!

*Top photo credit: Inspired Memorys Photography