About 23% of households in 2016 were single-parent homes. From 1960 to 2016, the number of children living in a home with both parents decreased by nearly 20%. The saying, "It takes a village to raise a child" is proven wrong by single parents. They are arguably the most physically and mentally strong people in the population.
From age eight to eighteen, I lived with a single parent. Never going to college because her mom passed away when she was 17, her single-parent dad was unsupportive. She managed through life until her office job closed and she was a waitress. Which was fine, with two incomes, but that ended. Thus she was a waitress, when that wasn't enough she was also a bartender, and then also a housekeeper. Living in a middle-class neighborhood, she should have sold the house, as soon as she became a single parent. A three-bedroom two-bathroom home was more than a parent, child, and the dog needed. In the summer of 2018, when the decision to sell the house was made, I asked her why we didn't move years ago.
Now an adult and not a child, I realized how much money she could have saved in the past ten years. I became irate, asking why she would keep a house that in the long would hurt her bank accounts and credit. Her response, I didn't want you to be faced with more change than you had already endured. It made me realize the number of sacrifices she had made for me, which I hadn't seen until then. We were dirt poor and I didn't know. I always had new clothes to start the year, a new book to read (hardcover, too), everything that was on my Christmas lists, she never complained or let me know how bad things were.
Graduating in the top 10% of my class, never having below a 4.0 GPA in all my high school career, she and many others, congratulated me. I cannot take credit. If I had not been hidden from the realities of how stressed and overworked my mom was, I could not have succeeded as I did. Now, as a college student, I am not working hard to please myself and feel proud about my class ranking or GPA as I did throughout high school. I am working to show my mom that this is all possible because of her, and to be able to give her the best life back when I graduate with a degree.
To all the single parents out there, thank you. Thank you for trying when there are more days often than not when you feel like you cannot continue. The days where you continuously question if you're making the right choices. The times when you ask for help then feel remorse for it, you shouldn't feel sorry. No matter what the case may be, all single parents have some type of unique gift, which the rest of us will never understand.