Who would want to be a single parent?

There are lots of single parents today, many more per capita than in recent decades. I assume that the vast majority of them did not choose to become single parents. Some are victims of tragedy, of adultery or desertion. Some are the victims of their own stupidity. (Where did you think children come from?) Yet there are a few cases who seem to have chosen single parent-hood of their own volition. That can’t be good for anyone, though it might possibly be a lesser evil than some other things.

There are times when one of my wife’s other vocations takes her away from her husband and children for a few days. One of those times seems to hit annually right around Lent, which provides ample opportunity for reflection. God has blessed my family with something much better than manna from heaven: a wife and a mom. We can get by during these days without her, but only because she planned out every hour of her absence. But for that, I’d have to forego my own public vocation with vacation time. That’s really hard to do during Lent.

When we’re all home, things have their natural ebb and flow. She switches between homeschooling and telecommuting; I switch between pastoral duties and household maintenance. We each handle the aspects of parenting that fit into our particular part of the ebb and flow. When one of us is not here, that delicate dance is completely interrupted, even while other duties continue. Only then can we fully appreciate the divinely-designed two-parent home. (To be fully clear, the male-father-and-female-mother home.)

I do some things well, by God’s grace. My wife does other things well, with some overlap. I feel sorry for the children who are denied the benefit of mother-father “diversity.” A little “daddy time” or “mommy time” is good, but some children don’t get anything else.

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