Life as a single Mother-Empty nest, Dating, Ex-husband, Best Friends, Full-time Employment, Unemployment, night school...How do these all relate to one another? Come with me:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I think every parent, every generation has wanted their children to do better and have a higher standard of living. But I think there's too much guilt. Phil McGraw

This past year has been a busy one for my youngest daughter.
Her senior year of school has held many activities. School, work, pageants and plays. She has been riding a coaster of emotion. From energized, to overwhelmed and excited to defeated.

She is also fighting with emotions from the past that are deeply embedded. I worry.

Being a single parent has its struggles with finances, time management, discipline and so many other issues regarding child rearing and running of a household solo. I cannot say which is more difficult, arguing with the ex over how child rearing should be done, or an absent father which leaves the burden on the attentive parents shoulders.

I am struggling with the later. Going on 15 years of solo parenting I have worked out quite a n efficient system. However there are still moments I would kill for a support system.
Don't get me wrong, friends and family are great help. But I am not sure that married parents understand what a gift it is to have someone there making the tough decisions regarding their children for and with them.

So many nights I wished for the simple option of leaning on (or being able to call on) the other parent and stating- 'Your turn.' This is not an option for me, nor is it for so many divorced or widowed solo parents in this world. I have mentioned many times on this blog how proud I am of my three children. And I am!

But none of us are perfect and there are lessons to be learned. I am constantly learning to parent at the same time I am trying to relay lessons to my grown children.

The older they get, the harder it is for me as their sole parent. I share experience and knowledge, while they are finding their own individuality and facing their own unknown futures. Oil and water. Stresses of their last years of school, their first years as working class and college students are hard on them. I do my best to stand back and let them figure things out and am at the same time frustrated with poor decisions on their part.
I am the person I am today because of both poor decisions and good. And they will be too. But it is hard to be the parent watching the hurt.

Most recently, conflict is with my youngest. She is strong willed, opinionated, emotional, and independent. An awful lot like her mother. She has struggled the most with her fathers absence. Testing him constantly on his commitment to being her father. He is failing miserably. It is a tough thing to watch.
I worry about her.

There are many articles about daughters of absent fathers. Many choose to replace the missing male figure with bad relationships and even causal sex. I see signs that she could be headed in this direction. Since turning eighteen the end of last year, she is really pressing the point of being a 'grown up'. That she should be able to make her own decisions (most often poor ones). In other words- her own rules, and guidelines.

I am sure this too shall pass and she will make some mistakes as we all do. But it is tough position to hold as a single parent. A single parent facing her own guilt and past.
Prom was this past weekend. It was a great time for her. It did not go off as I had planned, no pictures on the porch, no pinning of flowers. She primped and left from a friends house and they didn't have time to stop home. I felt a little left out. But the fight came when their was a disagreement over the curfew. Give me the strength!
This fall she will be headed to college approx 300 miles from home. I just pray that she understands what is important in life and what is menial.

We always hope that our children can learn from our own past. That we can save them from themselves in times of bad decisions. I hold out hope that I have planted enough seeds deep into the recesses of all of my children's minds to help them avoid hurt in their lives and loves. For now, sleepless nights of worry, wishing for someone to share this tough parenting time with.

One day at a time. Deep breaths. This too shall pass.

On a lighter note: I am excited to announce that an old post/article of mine is featured on Rich Single Momma's Blog today for her Mothers Day celebration series. I am truly honored. Check it out here. Thank You Samantha.


  1. Boy can I understand where you are - for so many reasons. And my hat is off to you for doing what you do, the day-in day-out struggle of it that so many simply cannot understand and there's no reason they would - not only the married ones, but those whose divorces mean child support, time off, and likely only the "usual" friction between exes.

    How you've managed with more kids (and for more years) I don't know. I guess we do whatever we must, as best we can, and pocketing a lot of the hurts of the sort you describe here. (Believe me, I have some as well. There's much I don't write about and wouldn't.)

    After 10 years of solo parenting with constant noise in the background (to say the least), the money problems, the near impossibility to have a relationship because you're waiting for yet another shoe to drop, the disappointments and exhaustion, the inability for your friends to get it, and just wishing you had another adult to share some of it with, the back breaking fatigue of holding firm to certain disciplinary decisions (when it takes more out of you than it does the kid) - well - I hear you.

    Here is my wish for you on Mother's Day - that you give yourself a small break, however you can, and realize the strength and compassion it takes to do what you've done and continue to do. We never know if our kids will appreciate the hard work, and maybe that's okay. If our kids turn out healthy and kind and make only the sort of minor mistakes that they all make, we've done our jobs, and done them well.

    Sending a big huge hug.


  2. AnonymousMay 08, 2011

    I can relate completely. I am a single mom. my daughter has an absent father and I do it all, even back in school. My girl is graduating in a few weeks, prom is in two weeks. She will be off to college about 300 miles (which is a world of difference from home) from home too.

    I have struggled for years wishing I had someone to lean on and share it all with but I have not. I'm proud of my girl and hope she doesn't make too many mistakes but that is life.

    I wish us both much patience on this mother's day.

  3. Thank you BLW and Kim. It helps to know I am not alone. I wrote this on a tough day. Things are good here. But some days are harder than others for sure. I had a wonderful Mother's Day here at home with the girls.
    Cheers to the single (solo) mothers. As always I appreciate your comments.


Tell me what you think: