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Long-term solo, how does this affect my kids?

Posted by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 2:08 PM
  • 33 Replies

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.


by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 2:08 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Lurion
by Member on Oct. 7, 2012 at 2:15 PM
1 mom liked this

Similar situation here. The older I get, the more I understand how deeply it really does affect them. 

Another guy may or may not add to their lives, but it will never be the same as a devoted father. Then what happens if/when you break up and the guy probably never sees them again? I struggle with these things, too. 

Iyanla Van Zant--buddy of Oprah's--does a lot of work with the emotional effects of not having a strong father in your life. I like her. 


conniejo75
by Bronze Member on Oct. 7, 2012 at 2:21 PM
It's all they have known. Its better than men coming in and our of their life. I have been divorced for 16 years now. Their dad has been in and out of their lives... right now he keeps making plans and cancelling so they have given up on him. I used to push the relationship because I wanted more for the kids... but they are happier without the tug of war.
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brieri
by Platinum Member on Oct. 7, 2012 at 2:32 PM

 HI and welcome to the group.

I didn't come from a broken home essentially until after I graduated from HS.  There was a time, my dad moved out during my HS years, but it was only under some surrounding circumstances,  after that he returned home and did not leave til I graduated.  Both of my parents are divorced now, I still see them both and they get along together for the sake of me.  Not because they have to, but because it is the best thing to do.  Niether are remarried. 

I have two children, and my husband walked out on me, at first things were ok.  But when remarrried, it was for a rebound and only to get the children away from me.   So it hasn't been good for children's sake, because they haven't seen/talked to me in the years since they have lived with their dad/stepmom.  It is what it is and I have done all I could do.  My children are adults now, and they can get in contact with me, how they see fit, if that ever happens.

Dating does not generally take any pain anyway from their bio father.  Consider your lucky to have their grandfather in their life.  Any other males like siblings (uncles) also can influence your children. 

kagegirl
by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 3:15 PM
My father poised before I was born, but I was lucky to have lots of uncles. You sound like you are doing a great job, momma.
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LoveMyTrio
by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Thank you

Quoting Lurion:

Similar situation here. The older I get, the more I understand how deeply it really does affect them. 

Another guy may or may not add to their lives, but it will never be the same as a devoted father. Then what happens if/when you break up and the guy probably never sees them again? I struggle with these things, too. 

Iyanla Van Zant--buddy of Oprah's--does a lot of work with the emotional effects of not having a strong father in your life. I like her. 



LoveMyTrio
by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 3:40 PM

That's what I keep telling myself.  "It's all they've ever known."  Unfortunately, they still ask if he and I will get back to gether, to which I promptly respond; "Not a chance."  I was surprised they asked seeing as they never knew us together outside of photographs.

I didn't think about the instability piece regarding in and out with the dating.  Maybe I am just fine where I am. 

THank you

Quoting conniejo75:

It's all they have known. Its better than men coming in and our of their life. I have been divorced for 16 years now. Their dad has been in and out of their lives... right now he keeps making plans and cancelling so they have given up on him. I used to push the relationship because I wanted more for the kids... but they are happier without the tug of war.


LoveMyTrio
by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Thank you.  My sister just got married in July, and they seem to really like their new uncle, so you may have something there.  He's pretty funny and like to play with them on the lawn.  I can see him attending some future baseball games.  My boys will like that.


Quoting kagegirl:

My father poised before I was born, but I was lucky to have lots of uncles. You sound like you are doing a great job, momma.


adulation
by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 3:57 PM
1 mom liked this

Lila doesn't see her dad on a regular basis but the way  see it I just provide the most stable environment I can for her and as long as you're doing that I think it's all you can do.  

My dad was around so I don't know what it's like to not have a dad, but one of my best friends didn't have a dad... her bio dad died when she was young but her parents were never together anyway, and then her step dad died when she was a kid as well.  She always told me to make sure I never "feel sorry" or "go easy" on Lila out of guilt for her not having a dad, because she said as long as I'm a good mom that's all tht matters, and my friend has a really good relationship with her mom and is a cool, artsy, well rounded person herself.  So I just let that be affirmation that I don't have to worry all the time about the effects of her dad not being there or not being there on a regular basis, because I know that as long as I'm doing the best I can, she will be fine.

and I;m sure the same is true for your kids! Plus, your kids also have each other!!!

Kid_Cat_Mom2005
by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 5:12 PM
2 moms liked this
I'm getting the same degree as you, and took a human growth/psychology class. I did ask the instructor about this. She said As long as the child has someone stable in their lives, male or female, that statically, they will do better.
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kagegirl
by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 5:51 PM
Even guy friends can help fill the void. My best friends are all gray uncles to my boys.


Quoting LoveMyTrio:

Thank you.  My sister just got married in July, and they seem to really like their new uncle, so you may have something there.  He's pretty funny and like to play with them on the lawn.  I can see him attending some future baseball games.  My boys will like that.


Quoting kagegirl:

My father poised before I was born, but I was lucky to have lots of uncles. You sound like you are doing a great job, momma.



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