Do You Get Lonely As A Single Parent

The single parenting

 

Who said being a single parent would be difficult?  Being a single parent can lead to feeling lonely and unloved?  During my journey as a single mother, we rarely talk about our struggles with our baby’s daddy and ex-husbands while raising our children.  Single mother need to be love and we need to give each other support and advice. Talk about your needs eliminates shame and guilt. We also don’t talk about the sacrifices we make to do our job as single mothers. We don’t want anyone to know that part of us.  

It’s time for us to let the cat out the bag.  None of us had a immaculate conception.  At some point we had sex that’s how we became mothers, right. Hell some of us had great sex! No matter how strong we become as single mothers, deep down we still want to have someone wrap their arms around us, tell us that we’re beautiful, that we’re loved and that they want to make passion love to us.  It’s a healthy reaction.      

As single mothers, we exert a huge amount of energy into raising our children.  Most of the responsibility of raising our children falls onto our shoulders. Because it takes so much energy, we place ourselves on the back burner.  We bury our need to be loved because loving our children becomes the priority, but at some point they come roaring to the surface. Maybe on a Saturday night, seeing a couple holding hands walking down the street or spotting a delicious piece of eye candy in the next lane while driving home from the office.  You ask yourself if you will ever find love again.  You think about buying something sexy and wearing it while your favorite aroma scented candle is burning and your favorite wine is waiting to be sipped.  I know you do, I’ve been there.  

We as single mothers need to admit that we have these feelings.  I’m encouraging all of you to say, I feel lonely at times.  Admit that you want someone to love. If you’re alone while reading this post, scream it!  Now I can’t guarantee that a handsome man will appear when you finish, but at least you’re acknowledging those deep down feelings. You’re freeing yourself from the guilt of wanting to be with someone and the pain of not being able to achieve it because of your situation.  Free yourself ladies!  Cry if you want to, we all need our soul cleansed at some point. 

As my daughter got older the loneliness didn’t go away.  I worried about dating and having a strange man around her.  The thought of someone molesting her that I was dating or another failed relationship haunted me. I had made mental notes of women who had placed a man before her children or trusted them around her children and the man ended up abusing them.  Being a single mother is hard enough, I simply couldn’t add that burden to my list of life’s troubles. I realized that I treasured her more than I wanted a relationship.

Here’s a few tips on how to alleviate loneliness:

1.  Accept that you deserve to have a little fun and need adult interaction.  Open yourself up to dating and or making new friends. 
2.  Take a few college courses to better yourself.  Attending class and doing homework will keep you busy to a point where you don’t have to focus on being lonely. I also met great people in my classes and would meet them for a drink or burger after class.    
3.  Reconnect with old friends, male and female.  They may be receptive to spending time with you and your children.    
4.  Compile a list of books that you want to read.  This can include self-improvement, romance, true crimes and anything else that catches your eye.
5.  Learn to cross-stitch, crochet, or scrapbook. (Sure wish I had taken that sewing class).  
6.  Treat yourself on Saturday nights that you don’t have a date.  Burn a candles, put on some soothing music and soak in a hot tub.  
7.  Check out on-line groups who can relate to your situation.  They are great source of inspiration, a great way to make friends and social networking for business endeavors.  

Last, know that you are not alone and you will eventually find love again.  Good things come to things who wait.




Where Is My Daddy

When you’re a single parent, you always feel like there’s a piece of your life missing.  You wake up alone, you go to bed alone.  You maintain your home alone, you take of your child alone.  Alone becomes a part of your daily routine.  One day your child asks for daddy, the missing piece of the puzzle in their mind. How do you handle their question?  

We end up as single parents for many reasons, death, poor choices, abandonment or immaturity either on our part or our partner’s. It can be a devastating experience being left to raise your child alone or choosing to raise your child alone because you know you’re better off. Whatever the reason, it requires stamina and endurance when you find yourself alone.  It also requires you to think before you speak to your child/children on daddy’s or mommy’s whereabouts. I read a post from a blogger who said she told her child you don’t have a daddy. That response affected me deeply.  It affected me deeply because I felt her pain.  I understood where she was coming from, but I wondered if she really understood what she just told her child. 


I want to share how I handled the situation with my daughter with the single moms out there. The first thing that I decided was that I would never speak negatively of my daughter’s father in her presence.  Now I would let that SOB have it during phone conversations or when I was speaking to a friend, but never in my daughter’s presence.  What good would that do?  I made a decision to not project my anger or pain onto my child.  When you tell you child that they don’t have a dad that’s exactly what you’re doing.  Regardless of how we feel about the absent father, our child didn’t get here by a stork.  They were conceived, so they do have a dad.  He’s simply MIA.    


I decided to tell my child that dad wasn’t here when she asked where he was.  A simple “he’s not here” often did the trick at least temporarily.  I would explain that it was just the two of us and we would be just fine. I also told her that he loved her, because he did and does.  He wasn’t in a position to show it at the time.  I don’t know if it eased her fear or pain of not having him in her life, but I knew it was better than telling her that he didn’t exist. I also thought it was best for me to leave the door open for him to reappear. People do grow up and have a change of heart. I thought it would confuse her even more if he decided to be a part of her life down the road and I had told her he didn’t exist. I didn’t want her to think negatively of me because I had lied to her or look back and realize that I was an angry, bitter person because he wasn’t there. As single mothers, we don’t want things to backfire. We must accept our situation and move forward with a positive attitude.   


As she got older, I explained my relationship with her dad. Through it all, I never spoke negative of him.  I explained that things just didn’t work out between us. We went our separate ways and I didn’t regret it. I reinforced that she was the best thing that ever happened to me and the years that he had missed was his loss.  I wanted her to form her own opinion.  I knew one day their path would cross and he did exactly what I thought he would do, he came back into the picture when she was 15.  This is why I believe that as single mothers, we should never tell our children that they don’t have a dad.  How do you explain to your child that you’ve lied to them if they do resurface? Daddy made you do it?    
  
As my daughter got older, I eventually build a relationship with his mom, aunts and cousins. My daughter became close to his family members too; however, she flipped the script.  She dismissed him.  She choose not to have a relationship with him, he ended up on the outside looking in. Isn’t it amazing how things work out.  She continued her education, married her college sweetheart and had 2 beautiful children while he suffered because he was not a part of it. I think it’s important to be honest with our children and allow them to make their choices and form their own opinions when they get old enough to fully comprehend the situation. Either they will work it out or they will continue to go their separate ways.  


Just as important, letting go of the anger and bitterness of a failed relationship frees you to see things clearly and it allows you to become a great mother. Don’t spend time wondering why they don’t want to be a part of their child’s life.  Don’t spend time wondering why they didn’t love you.  It is what it is. Life deals us a hand of cards and we must play them.  There will be times when we will have a winning hand and other times we will have to fold. Lay that bad hand on the table and wish them well.  


God places us in the positions that we need to be in.  It takes time to figure things out, but you must have a clear head so you can see where you need to be.  He could have placed you in your position to be a leader for other single mothers, so be the best single mother that you can be. He could have placed you in your position to strengthen you for another use in this life; I don’t know.  I do know that negativity is an obstacle and it will make your journey difficult if you don’t get rid of it.  You must rise above your situation ladies, rise above it.   


Photo courtesy of stockvault.net





If You Want To Be Mentored You Must Show Up

People can be transparent if you’re willing to look hard enough.  Several months ago I was contacted by a young lady to be her mentor.  As a single mother who survived raising my daughter, I reach out and try to help other single mothers on how they can be successful too.  I can relate to being a teen mom, getting married, divorced, and left to raise my daughter and fend for myself.  I don’t post about my mentoring sessions on Mother 2 Mother, because of privacy reasons.  It’s personal for me and personal for the person being mentored, but I do post on my experiences because moving forward is hard work and not for the faint at heart. If I can pull someone else up or help move them forward, it does my heart good.   

Being raised in a dysfunctional/alcoholic home, teen mom and divorced category was enough for me. I knew I had to break the cycle, and so I did. Breaking out of these categories requires a willingness to listen, accept where we come from, and hard work to get out of it.     

Before I accept a position as a mentor for young ladies and not so young I have a test that I give. It lets me know if the person who is requesting to be mentored is serious about growing and moving forward, if they’re willing to do the necessary work to survive as a single mother, and allows me to see where their head is.  I ask 4 questions and I require a written response.  I like for it to be in writing so they can reference it during the course of their journey and it serves as a reminder of where they started when they arrive finally at their destination. Here’s the questions:  

  1. Tell me about your life and how you ended up where you.
  2. Tell me about your children and your relationship with your ex.   
  3. Where do you want to be in 5 years?
  4. Are you willing to work to educate and better yourself?  If so, list 5 goals.    
I never heard from the young lady again.  She must have thought I had a magic wand and all that was required was me waving it in front of her.  If only life was that easy. I saw right through her when I didn’t receive a response.  She wanted an easy way out, unfortunately there is no easy way out.  Ladies, this is why we need to make wise decisions in our life.  People who look for a easy way out don’t realize they are transparent.  I see you!  She really didn’t want a mentor, she just wanted me to give her a solution.  Excuses and why you can’t do this or that will not take you down the road of success.  Excuses are a way for you to stay where you are.  My response, more power to you. If you don’t think that you can do better why should I. If  you can’t answer basic questions, you’re not willing to do the work and you’re not going anywhere anyway.  

Reminds me of this single mom who choose to stay at home with her child, but was asking others for thousands of dollars to help pay her bills.  If you can’t pay your bills, maybe you’re not in a position to be a stay at home mom, hello. Thousands of single mothers go to work everyday, so they can pay bills and their children turn out just fine. Just as important, if you want someone to mentor you, show up and be prepared to do the work. What I’m saying doesn’t have anything to do with me thinking I’m better or not having empathy for another’s position or situation, but sometimes we just need to get real, take a good look at ourselves in the mirror, and realize that we’re where we are because of decisions that we make. If it’s not improving your life and moving your forward, why stay in the situation and continue doing the same things over and over. You must be willing to open your eyes, and take a good look at why you’re where you are. True, there are many who have fallen on hard times or have ended up in a bad situation, but you don’t have to stay there. It’s a choice.  

Over the course of the years I realized that I don’t have to see things your way and you don’t have to see things my way.  That’s the beauty of living in this great country, but this is my blog so I’m writing from the way I see things.  I know that we don’t all have the same situations nor are our experiences the same, but some things are universal.  When you get real, stop making excuses for yourself and what you don’t want to do, you’ll put yourself in a position to do what you need to do.  

Image courtesy of clipart101.net. 

How To Find Mentors When Mom or Dad Is Absent

how to find mentors

 

 

Are you a single parent  who needs to provide male or female influence for your son or daughter?   I’ve bee there, and I also know that parenting is a taxing role.  But one that can be rewarding too.  As single parents, we worry about everything because the majority of the time we do everything.  Furthermore, having daily support from dad is rare.  So, we must become the back bone when it comes to raring our children.  However, finding resources is imperative.

My ex-husband was involved in my daughter’s life after we divorced, but it was on his terms.   His priorities were all wrong.  For example, the responsibility of getting my daughter up, providing clothing, feeding her, educating her, taking her to activities and turning her into a young lady was my responsibility.  For the most part, he thought if he handed over money he had done his part.  As a result, I ended up divorce and making it on my own.

Regardless of whether you have a son or daughter, they will need a male influence in their life.  You can and you must provide a strong male figure.  Speaking from a male perspective is something we as women simply can not do.  However I do have a  a few tips on how I accomplished that goal and provided male role models for my daughter:

  • First, if you have a sister or brother or aunt or uncle who is married, you trust them,  and they have established a home and family please call them.  I’m sure their husband or wife would be willing to spend time talking to and teaching your child how to become a positive person in our society.
  • Next, contact your local Big Brother and Sister organization – They have volunteers who wish to spend time with local children.  Also, one of my male employees was a volunteer for a little girl.  As a matter of fact, he was a huge supporter for most of her life and is still involved now that she is an adult.
  • Also, get your child involved in church activities.  Preferably with someone who is trustworthy.  We hear so much about Catholic Priests and ministers who abuse children.  Take the necessary steps, and ensure your child is around those who can truly be trusted.  Predators choose churches because we as parents make the mistake of thinking that everyone is holy.
  • Furthermore, camps are also a good way for your child to learn about leadership from both a male and female perspective.  This can be a church camp, sports, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, or whatever organizations you can find locally.
  • Most importantly, if you are blessed and have your father, get him involved.  Grandfathers have great influence on their grandchildren.
  • Recreational centers are another way to provide role models and mentors for your child.
  • Last, if you have positive nieces or nephews, have them spend quality time with your son or daughter. They will share things with each other that most won’t talk about in front of their parents.  This will give your child an opportunity to hear things from a different perspective too.
In conclusion, don’t worry that your son will become a murder, rapist or bank robber because mom is not around. Don’t worry that your daughter may become promiscuous and bring home babies out of wedlock or marry the first man who comes along because dad was absent.  The world is filled with people who fit into these categories who were raised in 2 parent homes.  Most importantly, there are many people in the world who were raised by single parents, and they are successful.
You must talk to your child constantly, so they know what path to take and be honest.  Let them know that being a single parent is not a glamorous job, but in fact hard work and you want more for them.  Lead the way, they’re depending on you.

If you have additional resources or ideas that are not listed, please share.