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The Emotional Dilemma Single Parents Face: We Need A Rock Too

On Friday my friend got some bad news. Her son, Paul, went for a haircut, but the stylist couldn’t cut him. He had lice! Oh sh*t!

Yes, I know and my friend knows, that lice do not pose a health threat. But our collective opinion on lice is that eggs and bugs in your child’s hair is gross. My friend reacted the same way I would have—sheer panic. (I have panic disorder and take medication to treat it.) Then she took her whole family to a lice treatment center in North NJ. For nearly $700 the family was deloused. Her son had eggs and many bugs. She and her husband had eggs and their toddler was clean. Well, after the baking soda/conditioner, three-hour comb treatment performed by an RN—the whole family was clean. Of course my friend is meticulously combing everyone’s hair, using special oils and shampoos and the family is returning to the lice treatment center on Saturday for a recheck. Even so, my friend had a panic attack. Multiple. And she cried. Yep, that is how I would react. No doubt.

Her husband was awesome—calm, cool, collected—a rock that kept everyone standing. I told him I thought he was wonderful for his reaction and his response really hit home: “What good would 2 people panicking and going crazy be? How would we accomplish anything or get our son treatment? He said, and his wife agreed that she is the panicky one and he is the calm one and they balance each other out—because let’s face it—sometimes you need to panic and shake up the calm one and vice-versa.

As a single mom who lives alone with JD, I have to say I wish I had this constant emotional support—it’s so much more than a child support check. And when I was in Hawaii I realized, even though I live alone, I’m not alone. On the way to Hawaii we flew to LAX and stayed over, then flew to Hawaii. But, on the way back, we flew DIRECT: Hawaii to Newark. It was a little under 10 hours and that didn’t hit me until we were driving to the airport. JD also had a small rash on his cheek that was bugging me out. Is he having an allergic reaction? OMG!

Anyway, I started to panic. Uncle Carlo was chatting away with our driver, as my head was spinning and my brow was sweating. I felt like my throat was closing up. I felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I was dizzy. I was panicking and I was waiting for my panic attack to peak. At the airport, Carlo took one look at me and told me not to move. He handed me a water and checked our bags at the curb. He swooped up a sleeping JD and linked my arm with his and he led us through the airport and security, pushing a cart with our carry-ons. I started to cry. I was really freaking out about this long flight, how JD would react. I was thinking horrible things. Carlo calmed me down, sat at my side, led us on the plane. I took some prescribed anti-anxiety medication and was able to calm down. JD slept the whole way home and Carlo kept a watchful eye on both of us—he made me eat and drink when I didn’t want to. I’m so lucky to have my big brother. Single moms need someone who can balance them out when the sh*t hits the fan. If you can’t think of that person right now—if you have no go-to person, then I urge you to find someone to be your…hero. Everyone needs help sometimes. No shame.

Single parents, who is your go-to? Your rock? Please share.

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