Joseph Scialabba is a single father from the Chicago area who unexpectedly lost the mother of his child. This blog post is part of a series on single-parenting that chronicles his experience with raising a female child alone in the 21st century.
Sorry, I can’t make it. Something came up with (fill in your child’s name here).
Let’s face it, if you're a single parent (or a parent in general) you cancel plans because of your kids sometimes. It becomes par for the course of parenthood even in the best of circumstances.
It’s not like we want to, sometimes it is just out of necessity. Believe me, most of us need a night out among adults, you can only watch so much Paw Patrol and Thomas the Train before you go a little bat s*** crazy. It’s not always in the cards for us. You all need to remember, going out isn't as easy as grabbing the car keys anymore for us. It often requires planning, babysitters, bribery to get your kids to behave and a little luck.
I once ran one of the largest music event promotion companies in the Midwest and did so for the better part of 20 years. To say I had an active social life wouldn't quite be doing it justice; I literally got to party with rock stars and enjoyed every minute of it.
These days life moves slower and I am actually quite alright with that phenomenon. However, it is difficult to find likeminded adults and parents to spend time with during the fleeting moments when I have a few free hours to get out without a child in tow. It’s even harder to line up schedules with fellow parents (for the reasons I mentioned above, now times 2).
If you’re going to be a decent parent, chances are you had to do some major life readjustments when you evolved into your current self. Social life, jobs, personal and business relationships get realigned because, if you're a parent, your children are now at the top of your priority list. I can’t say I know any parents whom I’d consider responsible that also bar hop 5 nights a week and you probably don't either.
So if you got plans this summer, a date with a single parent lined up, or just hanging out with your friend who happens to have kids, give them a break. We might show up late and be a bit disheveled, and we might even have goldfish crackers stashed in weird places, but one day you will understand. In the meantime, realize that if we went through all this stuff just to get a few hours with you, you are actually important to us. Buy your single-parent-friend a drink because chances are they probably need it.