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Author: TMFSelena Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 681  
Subject: on single parents Date: 3/18/2006 9:11 AM
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It's important for all single parents to remember that not everything that goes wrong, from your son's bad attitude toward school to the six holes in your teenage daughter's ear, is because you live in a single-parent home. Every family has its problems. -- Marge Kennedy


Forget dating. Forget striking a balance between work and family. Most single parents, whether they are divorced, widowed, or single by choice, report that discipline is by far the toughest issue. -- Jean Callahan


Many single parents say that they feel they have to be both a mother and a father to the child. This is impossible, so you may as well rule out that idea.... As a single parent, you cannot be both a man and a woman. Who you are is a parent. -- Lawrence Balter


Children thrive in a variety of family forms; they develop normally with single parents, with unmarried parents, with multiple caretakers in a communal setting, and with traditional two-parent families. What children require is loving and attentive adults, not a particular family type. -- Sandra Scarr
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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 667 of 681
Subject: Re: on single parents Date: 3/20/2006 4:25 PM
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Beautiful, Selena, thank you

Ishtar

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Author: Minxie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 668 of 681
Subject: Re: on single parents Date: 9/8/2006 6:21 AM
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Thanks, Selena, that was just what I needed. One of the hardest parts for me is the discipline but another is not having someone to share the joy and pride. The Chunky Monkey is growing teeth and learning to walk; he's already walking if he can hold onto the sofa or something. It's great to share that with family and friends, but there's something special about sharing that with the other parent. That's something I can't do because he left when I told him I was pregnant and hasn't looked back.

I was all prepared to rant and rave about my son's SD and insensitive married couples who feel it is so hard to get up at night with the baby or stay late at work or cook dinner every night or live on one income so there is a SAHP or go to school and work, all of which I have to do because there is no one else. ARRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!


Thanks, I feel better. ;-)

Minxie
Mom to Chunky Monkey, the MOST AMAZING SEVEN-MONTH-OLD EVER!!!!!!

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Author: notablelaggard Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 669 of 681
Subject: Re: on single parents Date: 9/8/2006 5:24 PM
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Minxie,
Sounds like in your particular case, not loosing a husband in Iraq, for instance, or even splitting after agreeing to have a baby together, that you, alone, personally CHOSE to take on having a baby and raising him alone. Entirely your choice ... no one elses. You would not have "had" to do it. You "have to do it" now because that's the choice you consciously made. So ... no 'unfortunate force of circumstances' involved. Just an adults choice to move forward with a major undertaking alone.
All the best to you and your son.

n

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Author: Minxie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 670 of 681
Subject: Re: on single parents Date: 9/11/2006 6:52 AM
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Sounds like in your particular case, not loosing a husband in Iraq, for instance, or even splitting after agreeing to have a baby together, that you, alone, personally CHOSE to take on having a baby and raising him alone. Entirely your choice ... no one elses. You would not have "had" to do it. You "have to do it" now because that's the choice you consciously made. So ... no 'unfortunate force of circumstances' involved. Just an adults choice to move forward with a major undertaking alone.

Yes, it was entirely my choice to have my son after his father walked out on me. I've never pretended otherwise; it doesn't stop me from feeling frustrated and needing to vent sometimes. At no point did I say that I "had" to do it; I did not claim there were "unfortunate circumstances" involved. Just because his father is a self-centered ass and chooses to not be there doesn't mean I am cut from the same cloth.

I don't know if you intended your post to sound as harsh and insensitive as it did; that's one of the downfalls of written communication. Please understand that I believe it was clear that I was venting, I am fully aware of my choice and even though I know how difficult is (and knew when I made my decision how difficult it would be), I would still choose to have my son regardless. I am an intelligent adult and well-prepared to take care of him in every way, emotionally, physically, fiscally and spiritually.

Having said that, there is nothing in this world that says I must be a paragon of virtue at every moment simply because I chose to have my child rather than abort him or give him up for adoption. There are days when I am tired of being the only parent, when I want to share the joys of him with someone who understands, when I want to rage at his father but don't because theoretically he may one day wish to develop a relationship with this child he so callously abandoned.

Just so you know, it wasn't a one-night fling or even a casual relationship. We had been together for five years and HE was talking about marriage. I came to this board to vent because I thought other single parents might understand how difficult it is to be the only one to know that joy of your child. It doesn't mean that my frustrations are any less valid than anyone else's just because he walked out on me while I was pregnant with his child rather than dying in a firefight in Iraq.

All the best to you and your son.

Thanks, the Chunky Monkey is my joy! ;-)

Minxie



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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 671 of 681
Subject: Re: on single parents Date: 9/11/2006 1:39 PM
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Minxie,

I have no idea where notablelaggard was coming from with his/her post, but I think it was out of line.

I, too, am a single parent that does not share custody and has done everything on my own. I have had limited help from family and one close friend. Earlier on this board I did a rant on the difference between single parents and divorced parents, because I feel a shared custody arrangement is not the same as my experience or what I'm going through.

Anyway, I understand where you are coming from.

Ishtar

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Author: Minxie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 672 of 681
Subject: Re: on single parents Date: 9/11/2006 3:42 PM
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I have no idea where notablelaggard was coming from with his/her post, but I think it was out of line.

Yeah, me too, obviously... ;-)

I, too, am a single parent that does not share custody and has done everything on my own. I have had limited help from family and one close friend. Earlier on this board I did a rant on the difference between single parents and divorced parents, because I feel a shared custody arrangement is not the same as my experience or what I'm going through.

That is exactly it. I have one close friend where I live who is super and helps us a lot but even she is married. She's awesome but...in the middle of the night, it's still only me. After work, it's still only me. Making all of the thousands of decisions that will forever warp the Chunky Monkey...still me! Plus, I really do just want to be able to share with his father that he is standing and growing and teething and AMAZING!

Divorced parents have that support, whether they avail themselves of it or not. They know unconsciously at least that they are not the only ones alive responsible for that child. I am the Chunky Monkey's only parent; *I* am the only one responsible for him at all and there's no one else to make these decisions.

You know the other group that I think is different: single mothers who use IF or adopt. Personally I didn't plan to be single and pregnant but things happen, ya know? Heck, I didn't plan to be pregnant at all but I certainly thought maybe, sometime, in the future, after we're married... You know, I assumed with him discussing marriage, that one day we might be married.

Anyway...most of those ladies plan to be single mothers and consequently know just what they intend to say to their kids about the "dad questions". I don't know what to tell my son; I'm certainly not going to tell him his father didn't want him, truth or not. As for now, I have made it as easy for him as possible to be a part of his son's life; he just has to involve himself.

Anyway, I understand where you are coming from.

Me, too! ;-) How do you handle the "dad questions"? The Monkey is only seven months old but eventually he's going to ask and I don't see his father coming to his senses any time soon.

Minxie


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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 673 of 681
Subject: Re: on single parents Date: 9/13/2006 1:49 PM
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Me, too! ;-) How do you handle the "dad questions"? The Monkey is only seven months old but eventually he's going to ask and I don't see his father coming to his senses any time soon.


Well, she's only seen him once, when she was 4, and doesn't remember it (she's almost 11 now.)

She sometimes asks, but not really the big ones. I don't get "why don't I have a daddy?" or anything, and she's pretty matter-of-fact telling others that she doesn't have one.

She knows: he lived in Las Vegas last I heard from him, that he and I did not want to get married (mostly me) but that I wanted her more than anything, she gets some of her artistic talent from him (he draws anime style and plays keyboards and drums; she draws - some anime, a lot of design-her-own-clothes and people - and sings/acts and is teaching herself guitar) She knows his ethnic background (different from mine) so if she wants to explore that. She's got a picture of him, knows she kind of looks like him.

Like I said, I'm lucky. She doesn't seem to see it as a big negative, and I've never treated it as such.

If/when she does ask, I always address that specific question as honestly as I can without trying to beat him up. Which sometimes means a big, "I really don't know, honey."

I have a friend who is considering donor sperm to have a baby. She's really planning every detail and keep freaking out, "what if I can't handle this? What if I'm not ready?!" I keep telling her that NO ONE is ever ready.

Ishtar

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Author: Minxie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 674 of 681
Subject: Re: on single parents Date: 9/13/2006 3:42 PM
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Thanks, Ishtar, I really appreciate your sharing your experience. I want to be as positive as I can about his father in case he ever comes around but more because he is a part of the Monkey. I don't want the Chunky Monkey to ever feel bad about himself or that he is destined to be "just like your father", ya know? Plus there is no point being ugly about it. He has a father, everyone does; he just doesn't have a daddy and that's okay.

His ethnic background is different from mine, too, so I have to contend with that as well. It is amazing how rude some people are. Anyway, my best friend is planning to guide me as CM gets older and I am surrounding him with positive male role models of differing ethnicities. I wondered about putting out pics of him; did you wait until she asked or did you put those out for her from the beginning?

One of my concerns regarding the family issue is that his father has two sons from his first marriage. I don't want the Monkey to feel unwanted; you know, his father is involved with those two and not him. I just don't know how to deal with that; should I tell him about his brothers or not? His father wants nothing to do with him, but his aunt does. It's weird and frustrating; I don't want the Monkey to be hurt and that is my highest priority.

Minxie

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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 675 of 681
Subject: Re: on single parents Date: 9/14/2006 3:12 PM
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I wondered about putting out pics of him; did you wait until she asked or did you put those out for her from the beginning?


She was asking questions about the same time he was making plans to see her, so the pics came out then. I only had a couple, and gave one to her to treat as a "treasure" with her special things and so she would know him when he came over.

She regularly misplaces the pic now and is always surprised when she finds it again.

One of my concerns regarding the family issue is that his father has two sons from his first marriage. I don't want the Monkey to feel unwanted; you know, his father is involved with those two and not him. I just don't know how to deal with that; should I tell him about his brothers or not?

I would say not, at least not until he's a teen or so, and only if he asks or is trying to reach out to his father and that side of the family. C may be her dad's only kid, last I talked to him he was pretty serious about a girl who didn't want children, ever, so that's not something I have to deal with.

His father wants nothing to do with him, but his aunt does. It's weird and frustrating.


Oh, man, I would have no idea where to begin with that one! For a while at least, he doesn't need to know that auntie is dad's sister. Another discussion for when he is older! At least it's some contact with that side of the family, though.

You know, no matter what, something is going to hurt him. If you tell him things too soon, he'll grow up feeling inferior, if you tell him when he's older, he'll feel you "lied" to him or hid things from him. You just have to figure out what might hurt the least.

For me, if a kid is old enough to ask a question, they are old enough to get an honest answer, but maybe not a COMPLETE answer. But that's me!

Ishtar

Ishtar

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Author: Minxie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 676 of 681
Subject: Re: on single parents Date: 9/15/2006 6:27 AM
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Thanks, it's helpful to talk with someone who has already been through a similar situation. It eases my mind. You know everything will turn out okay but still...ya know? ;-)


he was making plans to see her

Does he have anything to do with her now? How is their relationship?

Minxie

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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 677 of 681
Subject: Re: on single parents Date: 9/15/2006 12:39 PM
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Does he have anything to do with her now? How is their relationship?


We haven't heard from him since then; that was Jan 2000. I don't even know where he is now. He's seen her only the once, and hasn't written or called since.

But she has strong relationships with others, my family members and friends.

Ishtar

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Author: Minxie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 678 of 681
Subject: Re: on single parents Date: 9/15/2006 1:40 PM
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We haven't heard from him since then; that was Jan 2000. I don't even know where he is now. He's seen her only the once, and hasn't written or called since.

But she has strong relationships with others, my family members and friends.


That's our situation, too. HE has never seen the Monkey; heck, he won't even call or email to check on him. I have many unprintable names for him... ;-)

That is also where my focus lies; developing strong relationships with others, especially good, responsible men.

Minxie


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