I used to dream of having a husband and three children. Yet here I am, a single mother raising an amazing nine-year-old daughter on my own. If parenting is hard, single parenting can be even harder. Let’s face it; you’re presented with a baby at childbirth, but no manual comes with him or her! Most of the time I’m winging it, striving to be as brilliant a mom as my daughter is a brilliant child. I’ve learned so much from her. She’s taught me that everything doesn’t have to be perfect for us to share giggles. In fact, we spend a lot of time having fun, laughing at our foibles, and finding joy in whatever splendid little events pop up each day.
Here are some other things I’ve learned while being a mom to my awesome child. She has taught me…
● To be patient. Parents, you know what I’m talking about!
● To be more selfless. How is it possible to love a mini-version of myself even more than I love myself? But I do!
● To be responsible. Punctual school drop-offs and pick-ups are not negotiable. Responsibility is a major achievement for a mom with ADD.
● To slow down and, yes, smell the roses! I’ve learned to savour the moment!
● To make a variety of decisions as a solo parent.
● To accept that it’s okay to get angry and scream, cry or even lash out sometimes – it’s okay to be imperfect. The anger passes. We still love ourselves and each other.
● To accept more people into my personal network. I’ve made many good friends through her.
● To focus my parenting on the truly important things that build character and help us lead a good and principled life, such as: meditating, loving kindness, emotional expressiveness, humility, gratitude, compassion and respect for others, and self-acceptance.
She has inspired me to be as good an example for her as I possibly can. I am still learning as I wing it. I make mistakes and so does she, but we accept one another, flaws and all. Every day brings new opportunities for learning, and for loving each other.
Our current challenge involves my dating. As a single mom, I’ve gone on dates but have not involved my daughter with these men, nor introduced her to any. I haven’t even really discussed them, since these relationships were quite casual. But now, she has suddenly decreed that I should not go on dates, have male colleagues, nor any intimate relationships with people of the opposite gender whatsoever! My guess is that she fears someone would come between her and me – that he might dilute the close relationship we have. I get it.
We will deal with this hurdle openly. She is growing up, she sees that her father – who is very present in her life – has remarried, so she will learn to consider that her mother needs romance too… and that it will not affect the closeness between us 3. In fact, it could even enhance it! After all, a happy woman is a happy Mom!
What would you do if your child/children forbade you from dating?