As a single mom, my biggest dilemma has always been determining how to keep my children happy. I do want to give them the best the world can offer. But doing it alone can be a tall order. Much has been said about single parenthood, but one will never know the difficulty unless the person finds herself in exactly that position. The most difficult thing is trying to be both the mother and father at the same time.
I have always carried the burden of compensating for my children’s loss of a father. I know the typical role of a father is to provide for their needs and at the same time instill the right discipline to make them responsible adults in the future. I try to keep that at the back of my mind everytime I have to deal with my children. Still, I am aware of my limitations as woman and sometimes doubt that I can do a task that is known to be innate in men.
Providing for their basic needs is actually easy. A little hard work and good budgeting goes a long way. While I can easily give them 3 meals a day and an education, it is still a fact that children need more than just basic. It’s those designer jeans or that nice cellphone that can give that extra boost of self-esteem and exhilaration every child needs. And I do love those tight hugs and endless kisses when I give them something they really want. Then again, I realize that I can’t always give them everything they want. Times are hard and I have to teach them the value of money.
How do you teach your children to be considerate and understand when you can’t buy them something they want? It is very difficult, but it means saying no whenever necessary. Some single parents have difficulty saying no because of vain attempts to compensate for the other parent not being around. But we have to learn that material things can never compensate for the loss of a father. Not having a father is something your children should accept and understand.
It is ok to say no. What is essential is that you build the lines of communication well between you and your children. Do not always treat them like they are infants. I talk to my children and always make them aware of our situation. When we have extra funds, they know. When there is not enough, they also know. I allow them to partly share in the burden of budgeting our expenses. One time, I was deeply touched when my eldest son voluntarily waived his birthday gift at a later time when we had extra expenses I couldn’t handle easily. I realized I was doing a good job after all.
What many parents fail to recognize is that children have the capacity to understand serious matters when necessary. Remember that they understand better with soft words and sincere explanations. Do not lie to them because they know. Single parenthood doesn’t mean you are alone. Never forget that you have your children to share your life with.
My Best Parenting Advice: Single Moms Are Allowed To Say No by Samantha Gregory