Being a single parent can be extremely difficult and the challenges change with the age of your child. When my son was younger, I struggled with finding quality childcare while I worked. As he has gotten older, I have struggled with getting him to his activities on time and keeping up with his social schedule. Now I am struggling with getting him to communicate using more than grunts and sighs.
I struggle with feeling guilty for how I handle different situations, how I disciple my son, and how I manage our household. I understand that my guilt does not always mean I am necessarily doing anything wrong. Recently I realized that I have been holding myself to unrealistic expectations.
As a single parent I have not always been able to afford the latest gaming systems, or to take my son on vacations, or to buy name-brand clothing. I never felt that I needed to keep up with two-parent households because I have always focused on providing my son with what he needs. He has never expressed a desire for more than I am able to provide.
There are never enough hours to accomplish everything I want or need to do. We often have dinner together in the car in between school and activities, or while watching television. Our conversations occur now more through text messages in than in verbal discussions when we are in the car or sitting together on the couch.
2020 was an eye-opening experience for many reasons, I learned a lot about myself, and came to a few realizations about how I have chosen to parent my son. I have made being a single parent harder on myself than I needed to. I confess that I have been selfish and unnecessarily difficult when it comes to sharing my son.
From the day our son was born, all his father has wanted to do was to be a part of his life. For years I refused to meet him halfway, both literally and figuratively. I would not let him be involved because I wanted him to be involved in an extremely unrealistic way. I blocked him from being an active part of our son’s life, because he could not meet my expectations.
I have made all the decisions, set all the rules, and disciplined our son without seeking his father’s input. I have struggled with making decision on my own when I could have spoken to the other parent. The three of us are now working on communicating with each other and I am struggling to make sure that my son’s father is included more in the decision-making process.
I am truly sorry that it took me so long to remember that my son’s father is a kind, considerate, and loving man. The time lost cannot be reclaimed, but I will make sure that he and our son are able to communicate freely and see each other whenever possible. I will always regret preventing my son from having a father in his life at an earlier age.