Over the past two decades, traditional family structures (think, two parents raising kids together) have changed immensely. In fact, four out of 10 children are now born to unmarried mothers.
Gaze upon a kindergarten class wall, and you're likely to see all sorts of family life represented in the inevitable crayon portraits. From same-sex couples to happily co-parenting divorced couples, single parents who bear the brunt of responsibilities to a growing number of solo parents: those who either willingly or not find themselves to be the only parent on the job 24/7, year-round. (I fall into the last category, initially not by choice, but now I wouldn't change it for the world.)
I tend to say that my son is being raised by Labradors (we've had two of them for years), and looking back on his kindergarten artwork, it's not far from the truth. There I am: a triangle stick figure with stringy hair next to a mutant-looking animal with four legs and Monkey himself.
Gazing back over the decade-plus that I've been a solo parent to a son who is now firmly in his teens, there are certain things that have kept me sane. They've also allowed me to revel in this intense, fierce, often exhausting yet completely rewarding, relationship.