As a single mom I hear some pretty interesting things. Most revolve around people giving me undue extra credit for raising my kids on my own. I am no different than any other mom in that respect. We all have challenges in raising our kids and we all have triumphs. So I give credit to all moms, single or not. But the comments that make me cringe the most are the ones revolving around people thinking that I need a man in the house to teach my daughters certain things. I'm a pretty independent woman anyway, but to suggest that I need to pair off for the benefit of raising strong, confident daughters is somewhat offensive. I'm pretty sure that, aside from how to pee standing up, I can handle most things. In fact, there are single moms all over the place who are raising kids without even the option of the dad being involved, and their kids turn out just as good as those from dual-parent households.
Here are just a few things that I absolutely don't need a man to teach my children.
I'm a fairly confident person. I know that I can take care of my kids, financially and emotionally, and that the decisions I make for them are good for our lifestyle. While I understand that having a confident man around can show them that a man can accomplish great things in life without being arrogant about it, I don't think learning that from me instead of a man will hurt them in any way. Both men and women can be strong, self-assure people.
When my ex moved out, he took the tools, the knowledge and the ability to fix most things. For a little while, I relied on neighbors to help me when something needed repair. But as time has passed, I've learned that I am just as able to fix most things without the help of a man. I've even changed out a GFI plug! That was a major milestone.
So while I cannot do major plumbing and electrical work, I can do the basics. I can even change the oil in my car should I want to. But all of my girls understand how to use a drill, how to change a light bulb and how to identify issues that need to be fixed. For the things I can't repair on my own, I can work hard and earn enough money to hire someone to fix. My kids benefit just as much from seeing me provide for them.
I hear about this one the most. "How can you teach them to have a healthy relationship if you don't have one?" It is the most insulting, degrading comment that I think a single mom can hear. I think I have many healthy relationships that can teach my children the skills they need to have them as well. I have friends and family with whom I interact with daily. They see me love with my whole heart, consider others' feelings and compromise so that everyone gets a little of what they want every single day. Just because there is not a man in the house that I have a relationship with does not mean they will not know what to look for later in life. Kindness, adoration, respect and consideration are universal to any sex. My kids are learning all of that through examples from me.
There is a myth, I think, that because men have traditionally been the breadwinners in the family, that they are the only ones who are self-sufficient. Truth be told, I don't think there are more self-sufficient people on this planet than single parents. Moms and dads everywhere are taking care of kids, bills, households and more with little to no help. Self-sufficiency is the cornerstone of single parenthood, in my opinion.
My children have a dad who loves them. They also have a mom who loves them. The fact that we ended our toxic relationship has only improved our children's lives. Instead of going to their room to hide from the fighting, they go and draw cards for their sisters and their friends and teachers expressing nothing but love. Unconditional love is something they learn by the love they receive. Whether they receive it within the walls of my house does not matter. The important thing is that they receive it always, no matter where their parents are.
Single parenthood comes with enough stigma and judgement without falsehoods being spread. I truly believe that I do not need a man in my house to raise my daughters to be amazing adults. In fact, I think I am raising them in a better environment without one.
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