I got a call from a single mom who’s raising two beautiful children and she was eager to have a play-date. Her first child was a beautiful little girl and her second was a rough and tough little boy and she sincerely loves them both. At the tender age of two she could already see the difference between her son and daughter and she was struggling with how to give her son what he needed. I’m not even close to being the perfect mother, but I’m always willing to share when I see a single mom sincerely striving to be better.
I didn’t sugar-coat anything and I spoke from a place that is often times very guarded, but the love she has for her children is real and so are her concerns and I felt compelled to open up. She wanted to understand and relate to her son. Most importantly, I think she needed to know that she wasn’t alone. One of the most important lessons I have learned about being a single mom is having someone to talk to makes a huge difference.
I have only been a single mom for seven years and there are days were I still feel as if I haven’t had any experience, but then I meet a single mom and discover that my seven years of experience means a great deal to her and at that moment I truly understand the importance of supporting other single moms. I allowed her to share without interruption and in return I expressed my experiences both good and bad just to let her know that I empathized. Also, I gave her a few tips that have proven to work for me.
Keep your little boys around sports not so he can become a professional athlete, but positive interaction with a male even for a few hours a week is helpful. Little boys need to be boys because often times moms are always telling them to be gentle or clam down.
When you have a little boy chances are you’ll have to put on your running shoes. Play sports or even climb a tree. Raising a little boy is sure to take you out of your element especially if you are a girly-girl, but you are expressing love when you take the time to take part in the things he likes to do.
You are not his father and it doesn’t mean you can’t raise a productive citizen it just means you may do things differently. You may never be able to fulfill his father’s shoes but it doesn’t mean you love your son any less or that you aren’t a good parent.
Ask and listen
If you have a network of positive men ask questions most importantly listen to what they have to say and don’t be quick to feel threatened or offended. Remember that guys understand guys and good advice should always be welcomed. The least you can do is try the advice and see if it works.
Mentors are great and studies have shown that they make a huge difference in children’s lives. If you have access to that by all means utilize it and if you don’t then do the best you can with the resources you do have.
I can only hope that the advice I gave will assist her on her journey, but I know that any single parent who makes the effort to become a better parent will succeed.