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

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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
Replies (11-20):
tyfry7496
by Janet on Oct. 7, 2012 at 7:09 PM
1 mom liked this
STOP relying do much on research. I've raised my 16 year old son on my own since the day he was born. He's a respectful, polite, well behaved and intelligent young man. All without a man. I stopped worrying about research, what others think or say. I've taken numerous psych and development classes and have a degree in Human Services so I've heard just how screwed up my son should be. Research can be manipulated to what results the researcher wants

Your kids will be better off watching you work hard, giving them limits and consequences than having a man around because research says that's what's needed. There's many successful people raised by single parents, including the President.
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MsLogansMommy
by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 9:11 PM

this is such a great question I wish I had a great answer for you I am going thru the same thing I have a wonderful father I cannot imagine my life without him he is my rock he is such an amazing man always there for me never let me down on the big stuff the important stuff kwim. He loves my dd so much so not only is he a great dad to me but he is an amazing grandfather my dd is absolutely crazy about him and because she hears me call him dad she has started calling him dad instead of grandpa

my dd does know her father but they never bonded and her dad is not very attentive to her I have no desire to date right now cause like you said i am just too busy with my life school and being a single mom that i dont know where in my day i would fit dating in but i do wonder if my dd is missing out on something big by me not having a romantic relationship with someone I wonder what kind of message am i giving her i dont want her to think i am a man hater or something i just dont have time to deal with all that comes with dating

a06z08mama
by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 9:23 PM
My dad was in prison for about killing my mom. Beat the s out of her. So I grew up without bd. Mom remarried. SD was horrible. That's a whole another thing. Literally horrible. Not just saying.

I will ALWAY be thankful for my grandparents. Both sets taught me different things. Moms dad taught about gardening. Picking green beans and snap peas. Dads dad we would play checkers and Chinese checkers. I had a relationship with them.

To do this day my oldest siblings have some what of a relationship with our dad. He has been out of prison since I was like 6-7. So almost 20 years. Myself. I haven't reached out to make a relationship. I feel like I don't need to. My kids have their Nana (ex mil) and my aunt n uncle in town with us. So they are fine. Plenty of male figures to be grandpa's. Their dad is in the picture for now. I have a feeling in the future he will start slowly backing out of their lives. :(
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kayshalea
by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 9:30 PM
I grew up living with my mom. My dad was around a lot though. He took me to school or I went to his house after school. He came over Friday night and Saturday for card nights and Sunday to eat. He didn't date if he did he didn't have anyone around me. My mom had boyfriends and I hated it to the point I would act out when they were around. I didn't get real close to my mama until my dad died.
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Robsessed98
by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 3:59 AM
How old is the child now? If you arent ready or dont want to date, it is not harming or messing up your child at all,as long as there is a good male role model, whereas if you serial dated and had different men passing through all the time it could and probably would.have a negative effect. I did it both ways with vastly different results, even they both always had my dad and brother around as good male role models... DD1 grew up from birth with me having a different boyfriend almost every month until she was 7. She grew up to be pretty promiscuous and now at 24 has never had a really truly serious relationship. DD2 lived with me and her dad till she was 2. After we divorced, she never even saw me with a man until she was 12 and Im now married to the second man she saw me with. She is 16 now and has never slept around. Yes, she has a baby due this month, but it is with her bf of over 2 years and they are engaged. Anyway, my point is your relationships do have an effect on the kids, but you control what kind of effect it is. It is however vitally important that they have an active and positive male role model to match the type of role model you are.
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recovered55
by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 5:20 AM
I grew up without a father figure and there's still none to this day. My mom stayed single all my life. I'm currently a single mom to a 13 month old.. I used to cry all the time not having a daddy. I was an angry teen from it.. I have no desire to let me son grow up without a father figure, though I would chose no one for him than his own dad whose very selfish and just an all around dead beat. His grand parents are more involved than his own father.
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Marsella
by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 1:17 PM
1 mom liked this
Do some research on non traditional families. It can be overwelming to look at time tested ideas about how families "should" look. Take it all in with a grain of salt and try to keep in mind that being true to your idividual family is what is most important. If you project that you need to find a man so the kids will be whole than you are basically setting a stage where they could feel incomplete. A confident and loving parent is ulitmately all they really need :-) Good luck with school mom! Psyc study sure does get you thinking doesn't it?!
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LoveMyTrio
by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 7:57 PM

Sounds like we have a lot in common on this one.  Thanks for responding.

Quoting MsLogansMommy:

this is such a great question I wish I had a great answer for you I am going thru the same thing I have a wonderful father I cannot imagine my life without him he is my rock he is such an amazing man always there for me never let me down on the big stuff the important stuff kwim. He loves my dd so much so not only is he a great dad to me but he is an amazing grandfather my dd is absolutely crazy about him and because she hears me call him dad she has started calling him dad instead of grandpa

my dd does know her father but they never bonded and her dad is not very attentive to her I have no desire to date right now cause like you said i am just too busy with my life school and being a single mom that i dont know where in my day i would fit dating in but i do wonder if my dd is missing out on something big by me not having a romantic relationship with someone I wonder what kind of message am i giving her i dont want her to think i am a man hater or something i just dont have time to deal with all that comes with dating


RetiredUSAFWife
by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 8:14 PM

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
by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 8:55 PM

This is very comforting.  Thank you!

Quoting tyfry7496:

STOP relying do much on research. I've raised my 16 year old son on my own since the day he was born. He's a respectful, polite, well behaved and intelligent young man. All without a man. I stopped worrying about research, what others think or say. I've taken numerous psych and development classes and have a degree in Human Services so I've heard just how screwed up my son should be. Research can be manipulated to what results the researcher wants

Your kids will be better off watching you work hard, giving them limits and consequences than having a man around because research says that's what's needed. There's many successful people raised by single parents, including the President.


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