Happy Single Parent’s Day!

Pebble heartOh yes they did! It’s a national holiday for solo parents! Woot.

Created in 1984, National Single Parent’s Day is meant to recognize the hard work, dedication, and devotion that comes with the solo parent territory.  It’s not only a way for children to honor their folks, but also for mothers and fathers to pat themselves on the back for a job well done.

National Single Parent’s day is important because it conveys a sense of camaraderie and pride with those of us who struggle with feelings of isolation.  It’s amazing what a special holiday can do for the psyche.

You might ask yourself, so how does the solo parent celebrate that special day?  Well, the truth is, you’ll probably have to let your kids know about it ahead of time . Let’s face it, it’s  not on their radar.  And, if it is, yay you.

We’ve got seven suggestions about how to celebrate National Single Parent’s Day:

  1. Go out to dinner with your kids.  Tell them how much you love them and how blessed you are to be spending this time with them.  Allow them to compliment you back — depending on their age, they probably will.  If not, if you remind them enough, they’ll eventually realize the sacrifices you made when they have their own kids.

If you’re on good terms, invite their other parent to come along.  But remember– this is a celebration of solo parenting, not a battle of the exes.   If there’s a possibility of any acrimony, even when asking to pass the butter, by all means, skip this part.

  1.  Watch one of your favorite funny family flicks– and bond.   Cracking up with your kids is a great way to acknowledge the joy of being a solo parent.   Remember, this is your day, so don’t get lassoed into watching something that only a 4-year-old would find hysterical.   “The Lego Movie,” any film in the “Toy Story” trilogy or “Night at the Museum” are a few that come to mind.
  2. Plan a get-together with other solo parent friends.  Solos are usually game for getting together for fun afternoons with their kids–because who else are we gonna hang out with?  So take the opportunity to plan a party with your solo friends to celebrate yourselves and each other. Kids benefit too– they get to feel like they’re part of a pack.
  3. Buy yourself a cake.  Let the bakery commemorate this day by having them write, “Happy Single Parent’s Day!” in big cursive letters.  It’s a great way to start a discussion with someone about the trials and tribulations — and joys — of solo parenting, and probably elicit a “Happy Single Parent’s Day” from someone in line.  And you do get to have your cake and eat it too.
  4. Relax. Look at how far you’ve come, how much you’ve done and how well you’re doing. You are a warrior, my friend. Ease into it. Snuggle time with your kids is a way to show your appreciation of them, while getting some time to acknowledge them as troopers as well. Love on each other, honor each other.
  5. Take your kids on a hike and look for heart-shaped rocks.  Yes, if you search hard enough amongst the empty Vitamin Water bottles and wind-blown twigs, you might find some rocks that resemble, in one form or another, a heart.  Challenge your kids to see who can find the biggest, or reddest, rock  in the shortest amount of time.  Then exchange your treasures and ask your children to tell you just one thing they love about having you as a solo parent.  You’ll be amazed at what they come up with, but try to resist the urge to pick up a used-tissue to swipe at a tear —  you’re a warrior, remember? Just use your sleeve.
  6.  Do something to help another solo parent. We are not alone, and a little altruism goes a long way. Take your neighbor’s kid to the park, give your solo mom friend some time to herself, make an extra batch of soup for your solo dad friend. Be there for somebody who has been there for you.

So this March 21st, fly your solo nation flag, people. It’s your day, hey!

About author

Cynthia Cohen

Cynthia Cohen is an accomplished television writer whose credits include Lifetime’s “Army Wives,” ABC’s “Commander In Chief”, Fox’s “Melrose Place," and the PBS children's series, “Dragon Tales”. She has also had six one-act plays produced in Los Angeles.

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