"Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow."
I have always found it interesting that the Bible specifically refers to the fatherless. Sometimes the word orphan is used, but often it is the word fatherless. It seems there must be something special about fathers.
One could argue that during this time period being a woman with children and no husband to provide meant certain poverty, and that things are different today. I could agree with part of that. But in reality somewhere around 60% of children who are being raised by single parents live at or below poverty. There are tons of other statistics that go with this that I could throw at you, but the reality is that even today a woman with children and no husband to help provide does not generally fare well.
Where am I going with all of this? For two and a half weeks (minus the weekends) my husband worked two shifts. He would go to work from 11:30 at night until 7:30 in the morning, go to his next job from 8 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon, and then come home and sleep. We saw him a little bit, but all of the parenting and household chores fell to me. Now I will not claim for one minute that I knew what it felt like to be a single parent because Jason was the one providing for us still. I did not have to go to work.
I did realize quickly how important it is for Papa to be around. I was a very wore out Mama. I was short with Abigail much more often than normal, I didn't want to play with her or read books. I wanted some interaction with other adults, and a break from my sweet girl.
This though was nothing to the difference I saw in Abigail. Our girly is generally a mild mannered easy going toddler with her moments of two year old behavior being few and far between. But these two and a half weeks were wrought with fits, crying, hitting, whining, and asking for Papa over and over again. It was really hard on her. I couldn't believe the changes in her and how quickly they came on while Jason was away. He finished two days ago, and we are still working the kinks out of her behavior issues.
I'm sure I could come up with lots of theories as to why we saw such a huge change in her. I believe though that what it all comes down to is that children do better if they have both parents. I can't imagine my life long term without my husband being around. I also can't imagine my little girl long term if she didn't have her Papa.
So if you are a single Mama (or Papa); way to go. Seriously, your job is not one I envy in any way. And to my amazing husband, thank you for working hard to bring in extra money before Christmas, but more importantly thanks for providing for you girls in ways beyond a monetary income!