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LoveMyTrio
Long-term solo, how does this affect my kids?
October 7, 2012 at 2:08 PM

I've been a single mom to my triplets since they were 4-months old.  The kids and I lived at my parents house until they were about 3 years old, but it's been just the 4 of us ever since. 

I've decided to go back to school part time on-line for a degree in Social Work.  I'm currently taking a class in Early Chidhood Development and another in Early Child Psychology.  Both classes have got me questioning the effect of not having a devoted, and engaged father in their lives.  He sees them a couple hours, one at a time on Saturdays, but that's the extent of it.  He doesn't offer to help with homework, ask about their activities, attend their sport or dancing events.  He's a present body in the room, but not much thoughtful disucussion.  It's pretty much video games or time spent with older sibling (angry pre-pubescent teen).

I try to put myself in their shoes and imagine my life without my father, and it's very sad.  My father was always a constant in my life and cared about my activities, my schooling and my well being.  He is also a great Grandpa to my children.  Thankfully he only lives a few streets down and very involved with my kid's.  We see both he and my mom a couple times a week.  I hope that my dad (Grandpa) has been able to fill part of the void left by their father.  The kids have asked in the past why Daddy doesn't invite us to do things more, and they have recently started declining their visits to have play dates with friends, or just hang out with Mom :-). 

If any of you have grown up in homes with one parent, can you help me understand what they may be feeling, and what I can do to help them.  It's been almost 12 years.  Should I start putting myself out there on dating sites?  I don't have a burning desire to be with anyone, because my life is so busy right now with workign full time, raising the kids and taking classes.  Although, it would be nice to have a companion before I'm old and haggard!  Would this be a benefit to my kids lives, or would it create a difficult dynamic?  I'm just concerned about their happiness and positive development.  My textbooks are stressing the importance of a positive role model.  I feel my father hellps, but he is starting to slow down a bit after a bout with cancer.  He is recovering, but that whole ordeal really made me stop and think about how lost the kids and I would be without him.

Any thoughts/advice would be appreciated.


Replies

  • LoveMyTrio
    October 8, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    Thank you for your response.  Aren't grandparents (parents) wonderful!?  I thank God for them every day.

    Quoting RetiredUSAFWife:

    it is important that you spend time with your kids. (even if it is only YOU), simply because most children actually crave attention. If they're not getting enough they will actually do negative things to get your attention aswell. (we spend a lot of time with our adopted grand daughter, and she knows she is very much loved and wanted here. However, she also needs some friends that she can trust and depend on, once in a while. So in my opinion, you're doing a good job with what you've described. Our grand daughter is nine now and since she is the only one, we're a little dubious about her going off alone yet. (In fact we've made it clear that she should always be with someone else, wherever she goes. The best you can do, is give the child a lot of attention when you can. Even if it's only five minutes of quality time it's better then none at all.


  • LoveMyTrio
    October 8, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    Thank you!

  • LoveMyTrio
    October 8, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    THank you everyone for your great responses.  I especially like that some of you thought I was overanalyzing this and that the kids will be just fine regardless of whether there is a man in my life.  As long as they are happy and healthy, that is what matters.  I appreciate your thoughts.

    ~Heather

  • iHay
    by iHay
    October 9, 2012 at 12:19 AM

    I was raised in a one parent home. We had my grandpa to provide us with a role model/father figure. It doesn't have to be a biological father to be a father figure, and after 12 years I think your kids are fine. Better than you dating for them. Also I don't know if you're religious at all but if you are, remember Timothy was raised by his mother and grandmother. Kids turn out just fine.

  • MamaHens3
    October 9, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    I was raised by a single mother, I grew up with my grandparents around her parents. I had my father sister, and her huband who are my god parents. I had my uncle around, my aunts first husbands. I was raised with love, seeing it but with age I saw the lack of MY FATHER figure. When you hear people say my dad, daddy as a single parented child you wonder "where's my dad?". I know of my father, but he wasn't around at all truly. I had phone calls every blue moon, at 8 I saw him once and then 13 saw him again. I grew up fine, my mom's father is now 86 and he's my father truly. He's been around so long, all my life and my kids know him as a male figure.

    My three older kids have my XDH, but my youngest she has no father figure. I am not worried about men with me, that could be her 'father". I have my grandfather, my uncle is around and I have guy friends who are JUST FRIENDS honestly. An a male role isn't someone with us, a mother it's someone who is a good example. I grew up fine, I have some daddy issues won't even lie YET i'm good. :) 

  • 2girlsMom.MN
    October 9, 2012 at 1:55 AM

    Aslong as they have one stable, loving, caring, awesome parent they will be just fine. I grew up with a abusive single dad and it has really affected me. I NEEDED a mom, or just a parent that wanted to be a parent. I grew up thinking I was a burden. 

    Now I am a single mom and my oldest is 11. Her dad is a flake and is also there but not really there. It affects my daughter a little bit but because I am a very very involved, loving mom and put my kids first and am always there for them I think both my girls are fine without dads. I take my girls fishing, throw a baseball with them, ride bikes, I can do anything a dad can do or better. 

  • SevysMomma
    October 9, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    I could write about this for hours on end. Unfortunately I was put into a situation of never having a father growing up. It affected me. Scary even, to think there are things I find out even at my age now (24) that it has affected that I didn't even know about. And now I am raising my own child in a same situation.

    Having a father is a great thing. I don't feel it's required. Having no dad is better than having a terrible dad. I am still alive, I am still breathing.

    I think the most important thing to remember is, that if YOU are happy, your kids will be as well. They need YOU to be the best you can, so focus on that instead of the negative.

    Honestly, it took a long time for me to "come around". It happened when I was 20, my grandmother passed away. My bio dad's mother. We were actually very close. I remember at first I cried for hours because all I could think was "it's finally that time" to meet my dad. I was a little girl again.  Long story short, we hugged, cried and he promised me the world. Never spoke again after that except a couple letters. I was okay finally, at peace with not having a father. I realized that I had been doing fine without him all those years. 

    Now I am raising a "half-orphan" - it's really hard for me to see  and knlw the same things I felt, he will too. But I think I am prepared. My son will know all the love in the world.

  • LoveMyTrio
    October 9, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    Yes, we are a religious family - I actually teach Sunday School :-), and you are right.

    Thank you for your response.  THank goodness for Grandpas, and loving single parents.  You all make me feel so much better about this.

    Quoting iHay:

    I was raised in a one parent home. We had my grandpa to provide us with a role model/father figure. It doesn't have to be a biological father to be a father figure, and after 12 years I think your kids are fine. Better than you dating for them. Also I don't know if you're religious at all but if you are, remember Timothy was raised by his mother and grandmother. Kids turn out just fine.


  • LoveMyTrio
    October 9, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    Thank you for your honesty.  I'm sure they will have some "daddy issues" as well as they grow up.  They can see his inattentiveness. I just hope they don't take it personlally.  They are certainly loved the world over! 

    Quoting MamaHens3:

    I was raised by a single mother, I grew up with my grandparents around her parents. I had my father sister, and her huband who are my god parents. I had my uncle around, my aunts first husbands. I was raised with love, seeing it but with age I saw the lack of MY FATHER figure. When you hear people say my dad, daddy as a single parented child you wonder "where's my dad?". I know of my father, but he wasn't around at all truly. I had phone calls every blue moon, at 8 I saw him once and then 13 saw him again. I grew up fine, my mom's father is now 86 and he's my father truly. He's been around so long, all my life and my kids know him as a male figure.

    My three older kids have my XDH, but my youngest she has no father figure. I am not worried about men with me, that could be her 'father". I have my grandfather, my uncle is around and I have guy friends who are JUST FRIENDS honestly. An a male role isn't someone with us, a mother it's someone who is a good example. I grew up fine, I have some daddy issues won't even lie YET i'm good. :) 


  • LoveMyTrio
    October 9, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    Thank you for sharing your personal story.  I'm so sorry you grew up thinking you were a burden!  That must have been awful.  It's great that you take the kids fishing, throw the ball around.. who needs the men?  lol

    Quoting 2girlsMom.MN:

    Aslong as they have one stable, loving, caring, awesome parent they will be just fine. I grew up with a abusive single dad and it has really affected me. I NEEDED a mom, or just a parent that wanted to be a parent. I grew up thinking I was a burden. 

    Now I am a single mom and my oldest is 11. Her dad is a flake and is also there but not really there. It affects my daughter a little bit but because I am a very very involved, loving mom and put my kids first and am always there for them I think both my girls are fine without dads. I take my girls fishing, throw a baseball with them, ride bikes, I can do anything a dad can do or better. 


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