“Hi, the honorary single mom here!” Yep, that’s me. I’m the mom who’s chiming in at mom groups about what it means to be a single mom. Now, I’m going to chime in on fatherhood. You see, my son does not have a father. Yes, he’s growing up under my roof with only one mother to give him all his love and affection.
Did I intend this for my son? No.
Do I feel guilty about this? Yes, plenty.
In fact, everyday, I feel a little sad just thinking about the amount of father and son bonding he will miss.
With that said, my son could do a lot worse.
I could be a disfunctional relationship with a man. That father could demonstrate to him all the wrong ways to be father. My son could internalize that and use that as his internal compass to navigate relationships. I could be battered in the process. My son could grow up perpetuating this unhealthy family dynamic.
Instead, my son has me — his mother who loves him unconditionally.
Our family is simple. It’s peaceful. It’s joyful. It’s fun. I demonstrate to him what it means to be patient and loving everyday. Yes, my son might be missing a good strong father figure. But, he has a strong mother figure to make up for some of that loss.
If you are a single mom who is having the same sadness thinking about how your child won’t have a good father as a role model, DON’T. There are plenty of ways in today’s society that our children will still be able to have that role model.
If you are a single mom who is dating a lot, simply trying to find a partner who can be a father figure to your child, I wish you luck. I simply ask you to be cautious, be selective on your journey. Your child depends on you to find a “good” father.
Don’t settle for anything less.
Below are plenty ways that our children can find “strong” role models in their lives without a “father” figure:
- Ask a male member of your extended family to show some love to your child.
- Cultivate a mentoring relationship between your child and a good male friend.
- When you are out with your child, point out fathers who are great with their children and describe their kind actions.
- Enroll your child in sports. Ask the coach to show a bit of extra attention to your child.
- Based on your child’s interest, find a mentor for your child in the same field who can give guidance.
Parenting without anyone sharing the load is a daunting task. There are many days that I wish someone could help me clean my car on a snowy day, keep my son occupied while I take a shower, or tell me a good joke when I’m completely exhausted.
As single moms, we are giving 200% of the effort all the time.
Yet, when we go out into society, we are often judged for our parenting, questioned for our abilities and assessed for our judgements.
So, ladies, it’s time to give ourselves a break at our own homes. You are doing a great job!
When I’m feeling down, I tend to get super analytical. I sit with my notepad and I make a list. Last night, I listed out all the reasons why single motherhood can be easier. This list allows me to put my life into perspective. Most of all, this list allows me to be optimistic about my son’s life as I raise him without a father.
- A single mom can focus on her children instead of having to spread out love and attention between her husband and her children.
- A single mom has total control regarding parenting decisions. This means less fighting and less arguments in the household.
- A single mom’s guilt over being the only parent can serve as motivation to spend more quality time with her children.
- A single mom has limited resources. This means her children learn to appreciate what they have. They learn early the value of money.
- A single mom has limited time. This means that her children will need to learn responsiblity at an earlier age.
- A single mom is often strong and capable. This means that her children will learn to respect boundaries and learn to problem solve.
If you are a single mom, wondering how you need to substitute yourself in the dad’s role and be enough for your children, DON’T.
You are enough.
Your children love you for who you are.
Now, go and give your children a hug. They are fine with you being just their MOM.