In a traditional family where children have two parents who are happily married, juggling can be easy and fun. The number of balls in the air at any given moment can be split in half. With good communication, the game of ball toss becomes rhythmic and manageable. In fact, one might even find delight in the exercise.
But what about a person who is called upon to juggle alone (single parenting)? Realistically, the game becomes much more difficult when one person must play without any assistance or support. Imagine that because of a death of a spouse, a separation, or a divorce, you have to juggle all the duties by yourself. Suddenly, the task becomes daunting, sending fear and/or resentment into the heart of the parent.
Or imagine trying to juggle with a person who doesn’t want to play along (divorce or separation). Consider the game where each ball that you toss is intentionally dropped or fumbled. Imagine what it would feel like if the balls were always thrown in a way that you could never catch them. Both these scenarios present images of frustration, anger and resentment.
In today’s culture, we know that nearly one half of all children will be raised at some point in a non-tradition family. This means that almost one out of every two children is being juggled by a parent or parents who need some juggling assistance. Fortunately, there are ways for parents who are not in traditional marriages to survive as well as thrive in their role of primary juggler. They need to find good support from others. They will need more courage and determination. They will need more of God’s grace and mercy. Thankfully, through their patience and perseverance these parents will fulfill their duties to create good homes, care for their children, provide financial stability and undertake social responsibilities. Let’s take a look at how parents in non-traditional homes can joyfully accomplish their first and most important job - that of educating their children in the ways of God.
Most of us have been entertained by someone juggling. Watching the balls rhythmically rise and fall into the hands of a capable person is delightful. It appears so easy! The truth, though, is that juggling requires practice and perseverance. It only becomes easy when it’s a habit – a routine that can be done without much thinking.
Parenting can be compared to game of multiple ball toss. Raising children requires a 24/7 ‘juggling’ effort. Each and every day, parents are called to throw and catch numerous balls in the air. Some of these balls include; banker, cook, housekeeper, chauffer, teacher, relations manager, human resource specialist, spiritual leader… When compared to juggling, it is easy to see why many say parenting is not for the feint of heart.