The Many Hats of a Single Parent
As a single mom raising an adventurous son, I discovered I wore many hats during the adventure. My son was full of energy and was always looking to push the limits to discover something new. This wasn’t a bad thing, just a little something I had to adjust to. I liked things to remain the same, with no sudden changes. That is almost impossible when you have a boy that likes to test the boundaries.
Hat #1: Teacher’s/Life Guard’s Hat
One time we were at a friend’s house that had property with a pond on it. My son was about the age of four and he decided the pond looked interesting, but not just from the edge, why not jump in – feet first, no questions first, just do it! After my heart beat slowed down a little bit and my friend rescued him from the deep water, we all had a good laugh about it. (Of course, I was lecturing him about the “what if’s”). I guess that day I wore the hat of a teacher and a life guard.
Other hats I’ve worn while raising a son include a nurse’s cap, a cowboy hat, a baseball cap and a hard hat.
Hat #2: Nurse’s Cap
At some time, you’re going to need to be a nurse to a skinned knee, a sprained ankle, a bruise or maybe even a broken heart.
Hat #3: Cowboy Hat
A cowboy hat was worn to learn how to lasso the challenges in life that “buck” against you and your plans.
Hat #4: Baseball Cap
A baseball cap was worn to face the pitches that life throws your way. And you hope you are able to swing well and hit a home run once in a while.
Hat #5: Hard Hat
A hard hat is worn to protect you in your thinking and sometimes to keep you from a serious injury that seems impossible to bear.
Hat #6: Goofy Hat
We have a Goofy hat that we picked up while we were on a Disney trip. I can’t skip this hat, because as a parent, you shouldn’t lose your sense of humor. Laughter can help solve a lot of tense situations. (Like when the homework doesn’t get done, or the trash doesn’t get taken out or the clothes get piled in the corner). Laughter lightens up a “heavy” situation, and makes the adventure so much more enjoyable.
Hat #7: Helmet of Salvation
However, I think one of the most important hats you can wear as a parent, and especially as a single parent, is the hat called the “helmet of salvation.” Ephesians 6:17 says to take the
“helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Teaching my son about the word of God and showing him how much God loves him, is the biggest responsibility I have as a parent. Showing him not just in word, but also in deed was so critical to help lay the foundation for his future. Proverbs 22:6 says,
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
My son turned 21 this year, but I don’t think a job as a parent is ever finished. Somehow I think I’ll be wearing a few more hats on this fun adventure. In the meantime, I’ll keep those hats on the shelf and ready to wear at a moment’s notice for you never know which one you’re going to need next. It’s always good to be prepared.