Regular readers of this blog may well know, I raised my son John as a single father. While the memories I have of our time together while he was growing up are special, I know there were as many difficult times as there were wonderful ones.

An article about Kate Middleton, British royalty and mother of (soon-to-be) three, came out on SimpleMost the other day, where she shares this thought on parenting.

“As a mother, just getting used to leaving my own child at the school gates, it is clear to me that it takes a whole community to help raise a child. Whether we are school leavers, teachers, support staff or parents we are all in this together.” 

When you are the only parent managing your home, your bills, and every aspect of your life, sometimes the task of raising a child becomes incredibly daunting. My son and I took road trips, we created stories together, and had the kind of relationship I hope every father and son might share, and yet even with so much joy I relied on the other adults in his life to help in raising my son.

His teachers reinforced in him lessons about respect and about finding his place in the world. Librarians shared with him books that shaped his outlook on the world. The parents of his friends, his coaches, his principals, the authors he read, and so many others made up the community of people raising my son. I am just one member of a community helping to raise others, whether through the words I write or the school visits I make.

Single parents, take heart. You alone are not the only one with the opportunity to make a difference in your child’s life. Insert yourself into a community, let the other adults around you and your children lift some of the burden you may feel. We are all in this together.

Who has been an influential adult in your children’s lives? Let us know in the comments below!