The Difficulties of Being a Single Parent, Raising a Child with Special Needs

The Difficulties of Being a Single Mother, Raising a Child with Special Needs, god, single mother,
2 min read

Nate’s father doesn’t understand.

“You don’t see it.” I said. “Although I wish things could be different…when Nate was living with me, it was difficult. It was hard.”

Yet, he screamed “But I helped you. You act like I didn’t help.”

To which I screamed back…

“You did, but…..taking him every other weekend and at times, picking him up from school, was still not enough.” My voice descended, as I wiped the tears of anger from my face. “You don’t understand. I had Nate full-time. It was me and Nate.”

After those words, I stopped speaking. There was no point to continue. It was a waste of my time. It was obvious that whatever I said, he could not comprehend.

He doesn’t understand….

…… My sleepless nights when Nate wouldn’t sleep.

He doesn’t understand…

…..the times, when Nate would come in my room in the middle of the night, and wake me up, by pulling me out of bed. He would want to go downstairs for a snack.  At 2am, I would sit sleepily at the kitchen table as he drank water and ate a light snack.

He doesn’t understand…

……Needing help to care for Nate in the morning, to place him on the school bus, so I could be at work on time.

He doesn’t understand…

…..when the Home Health Aides called out (especially at the last minute) and I had no one to care for Nate. I was either late for work or I needed to cancel my attendance at a planned event.

He doesn’t understand….

…..the times I wanted to go out with my friends, go on a vacation by myself, and go to the gym, but I couldn’t because I had no one to care for Nate.

He doesn’t understand…

……The times I couldn’t go food shopping, because Nate had a tantrum and refused to go in the store.

He doesn’t understand…

…..using my sick days and personal days for Nate’s sick days or times his school was closed.

He doesn’t understand…

….the times I took a combative Nate to his medical appointments and left scratched and bruised, from Nate’s refusal to be examined.

He doesn’t understand….

….Not being able to attend church because Nate didn’t want to sit still.

He doesn’t understand…

…..being grabbed, scratched, and having my hair pulled by our son.

He doesn’t understand…

..…The mixture of emotions, that leave me crying, upset, confused and angry because I love my son, and I feel lost.

Again…..He will never understand the difficulties of, being a single mother raising a child with special needs.


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  1. 1
    Vivian Zems

    I feel you Charlene. And by the way he DOES understand- just not willing to sacrifice more. My situation is also a challenge but every challenge is different. The group home thing sounds like it might help.
    You’re not alone. Good post.

    • 2

      I am so happy you feel what I am saying. I think my son’s father does understand, to some extent. I will be blogging about the residential home shortly. A lot going on this week. Meeting tomorrow. Please stay tuned. That maybe my Friday or Monday blog.

  2. 3

    Co-parenting is hard period. Whether you are together, divorced, never married, regular kid, special needs kid. I feel your self-doubt creeping in about the group home even though you know it was the right decision. Hang in there. I understand, or at least am willing to.

    • 4

      Thank you for understanding. You are right, being a single parent is difficult. Yet, the beautiful lesson it all is God loves us and wonderfully supplies what we need and more.

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