Being judged for staying determinedly single.

Rachel - posted on 05/27/2011 ( 24 moms have responded )

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I just have to vent and ask the opinion of other single mums. My son is 19 months old and has not seen his dad since he was a tiny baby. His dad is no longer involved in any way. I am being continually lectured and nagged at for saying inhave made the lifestyle choice of remaining single until my son is grown up. After giving him one deadbeat dad- I refuse to let anyone in his life if there is a risk they will walk away sometime down the line. Plus- I am awful at relationships and my bipolar makes it worse. Yes it's a financial struggle alone and it is hardwork and lonely sometimes but I refuse to put my happiness over my sons. I want him to have a steady childhood with a parent he can trust. I am
not judging any other parents out there who date- this is my choice. But people have started being really mean about it- saying I am denying my son the chance of a father figure and I am being selfish. I am 100% happy alone and would never trust anyone with the responsibility of parenting my son. Am I wrong? Opinions please guys.

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Deborah - posted on 05/27/2011

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One word of advice, Life is unpredictable and plans go very far off course. No matter how much we may plan for something we only have control over very little that happens to us throughout our lives. I understand that you wouldn't want your son to feel abandoned by someone who chose to walk out but who can definitely say that he won't have a man in his life that he can respect and look up to in a positive way? Think about it. I wish you all the best though as it is your choice no matter what anyone says.

Jane - posted on 05/30/2011

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I am a widow and so am also a single mom. To anyone who says your son will not have a father figure, you can tell them that is one of the easiest things to fix. Besides Big Brothers, Big Sisters, there are various scouting organizations, church groups, sports teams, and so on, all headed by good men who serve as role models for sons who do not have fathers.

I suggest simply don't talk about your intent to stay single. Just stay single, and if anyone asks, say you haven't met the right one yet. Then go about the business of raising your son.

Jennifer - posted on 05/30/2011

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I would not say to plan on being single till he is grown - but you have every right not to date now - and definatly not till you are fully ready too. My son will be 5 in the fall and his father and I split when he was 2.5. they only see each other over webcam as he lives in another country. I have not dated since the break and do not have plans to till I am fully ready. my son has an uncle and a grandpa close by to act as male figures but I think he would be just as great without them.

simply tell everyone that you thank them for their concern but he is your son and it is your life. you are doing a good job...don't others mess it up for you.

Meagan - posted on 05/30/2011

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Actually, I commend you for being so strong about this! Although I don't share the exact same views (I am hoping that someday, in the very distant future, I meet and marry someone awesome, but they have to be pretty damn awesome for that to happen! lol) I DO get grief for my choice to be single at the moment. If I'm not getting grief about being single, others are either rubbing in their relationships (which usually dont last. lol), or my mom is telling me that I'll never find anyone (in the nicest way possible!). The key is stay strong and do what you want. Let it roll off your shoulders. People will have opinions, sometimes good, sometimes bad. And it'll be about every little thing you can think of, from your relationship status to a harmless comment you made on facebook! As long as YOU are happy, that is all that matters. A father figure doesn't have to be a boyfriend or a husband... A grandfather (my dad is my daughters father figure), a brother, and uncle, a cousin, a best friend, etc can be a "father figure". A father figure is a male who loves the kid, and a lot of single moms have family or friends who end up being the male role models. Although it's more common, there is still a stigma against single moms. (but nothing against the dead beat idiots that caused them to BE single moms.... hmmm...) I will say this, you don't have to saccrifice your happiness for your sons happiness. Ultimately, a happy mom = happy baby. I know you are happy with this, and I think that's awesome! Just as a general rule of thumb, if you need help, ask. If you need a couple hours to unwind, take them. Being a single mom is filled with sacrifices, however, you gotta squeeze in a few things that make you happy. =]

Erin - posted on 05/29/2011

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I feel similarly, although I'm widowed so there is no chance in, whatever amount of time, of my daughter tracking her daddy down to find out why he wasn't there. I do however encourage that she have positive male role models around so she can see what a good man is like, and hopefully it will guide her when she becomes ready in years future to start dating and deciding on relationships, and how to behave. Currently she is quite close with her Daddy's best friend and is also very, very close to both of his children- the oldest of which my husband and I used to joke about eventually marrying my step-daughter. He is turning out to be a wonderful young man. Especially, as he is becoming a teenager. So if any of the people who are giving you grief about not dating are male, ask them to step up to the plate and help as standing in as a good role model for your son. Let them be mean, they obviously will not understand no matter what you do. Or maybe re-explaining it differently may help them to actually hear what you are saying. Let them know that although it is important that he have a "father figure" it is not as important as him being raised happy and healthy and in a stable, loving home and you don't want to subject him to the possible unstable home that could potentially occur if you were to begin a relationship with someone.

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Audrey - posted on 09/17/2012

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A boy can have many male influences and father figures in his life, it need not be someone your in a relationship with. It can be your dad, your brother, a coach, a friend's husband, anyone who you trust and will love your son. These men can be positive role models with whom your son can turn to far manly advice. I think it's honorable that you are committed to providing a stable environment for your son. Ignore the critics, they don't know what's best for your family.

[deleted account]

Dear Rachel and all other moms,

Bravo, Rachel. I know exactly how you feel. As you can see, we have different opinions because we have different life experiences. Those whoe have positive experience don't think much of it and those with bad experiences think twice. DO WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU AND YOUR SON! You know what it is best for the both of you. Yeah you do! People will say things to sway you and confuse you. But you already know what works for you. Just remember what work for you don't have to work for others. In the end, you will be the primary person who has to face any challenges. Not them.

Rachel, I respect and applaud your decision. I can understand why you decide it that way. It's not a right or wrong CHOICE. You don't have to try to make anyone people understand it. They will never be. If you do, good luck to you. :)

Well, hoping you and your son have wonderful time and lasting memories together (even though it is just you two).

Best wishes,

Tina and son (Minh)

Kristin - posted on 07/24/2012

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I know how you feel...I am 30 and have an 11 month old, and keep getting asked r u dating? Have u found someone...I went on one date a few weeks ago and I just wanted to keep calling toi check on her and talk about her and I couldn't actually have a date, so I decided that she deserves all my attention, plus I work full time so when I'm not working I want to be with my daughter...she deserves all my attention and she is worth it. Its bad enough I hav to leave her to work, I'm not gonna take those few hours that day I might have with her and blow them on some guy.

Debbie - posted on 07/23/2012

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I think role models for your son come as part of your family such as your father, brother/s close relatives as cousins and uncles you think is a good influence. When he reaches school age also try to encourage school to have your boy with a male teacher.Your boy is better off being around responsible men than those such as his dad that can't deal with being a responsible father because take it from me, if and when dad decides to come back into your boys there will be issues of trust and the father most likely will have difficulty still in prioritizing and putting your son first, so hold your relief cause there was none for me once he decided to come into my daughters life after 5 years.. Now my daughters 12 there is much mistrust.
If you don't feel ready to put out energy for a relationship I don't blame you, your child comes first and more men than not have a hard time with your first priority being your child and if you can't stand the guilt of dividing your time to the wants from your man and needs of your child (your child needs you yet a man wants you) if it isn't made easy and you end up feeling bad all the time it's better off your son gets the benefits of just you and him. I have dated in the past and introduced my daughter to two of them but I figured was a waste of time and it's not worth introducing your child or children till at least half a year into a relationship and getting to know them well and being very happy with it and figuring it's a healthy relationship, even after all that time if your child has clashes with your partner or your partner has problems with your kid trying to influence you against your will and values related to your child get rid of them fast... It's not worth it and through my experience as a child with a single mum it is vital to feel important to at least one person, at least one person in your life that puts you first above all else the feeling of being truely loved and not being put in the back seat due to putting themselves and their love life first.

Marian - posted on 05/31/2011

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have some patience and tell your friends that this is YOUR choice. I totally know where you are coming from. I lost my little girls dad when she was just two weeks old and I also made the choice as you did to stay home and take care of my child. i am happy being single, living single and taking care of my child SINGLE! I gave myself some time and tried to date without the man involved but it does make it hard. Hard on the man, not me.
Stay focused because as so many single parents have men/women come and go and it's even worse to have him being so young get attached to a man and then be gone. don't stress it or give yourself a hard time. Stay single, stay with your baby because in the long run he will KNOW his MOM loves him!!! My little girl is 8 now and knows I love her and as far as MEN in her life. We say hello when we are out. I have close friends that are there for us better than another man in our life, because our friends will always be there for us and she see's strong men from my friends and family.
don't worry!!!

Iysha - posted on 05/31/2011

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First off, i want to say it's a great thing that you have your son's best interest in mind. Ideally, there would be both mom and dad for a child to live with but, of course that isn't always the case. Dating isn't a bad thing, it is wise to be cautious of the people you bring into both of your lives but it is perfectly fine. I don't have a man in my life right now but I do have a male figure in my daughter's life in the form of a Godfather. I'm not the church-going type but I wanted this man to be in my daughter's life because I trust him, he cares for my daughter and has been a constant in her life since he is a close family friend. As your son grows up, there are going to be times where he may need a man to talk to and it's important to ensure that the option of speaking to an adult male is there for him. It sounds to me, just from reading your post, that you are uneasy about dating because you think it wouldn't last. That may be a very valid truth, but what if it did last? What if you found someone who was an excellent partner and accepted you and your son? Someone who you did trust? Know that just because it didn't work out with one man, doesn't mean it won't work out with another. You think that by not dating, you are protecting yourself and your son from getting hurt. That's okay. You are also limiting the chances of you finding someone worth while if you don't. If you find yourself attracted to someone, don't let your fear stop you from allowing yourself the possibility of falling in love or being loved by a man. You aren't wrong in not wanting to date, just be sure you're making this decision because it's the best thing logically and not because you're letting your feelings dictate what you will/will not allow yourself to do.Only you would know which is dictating your actions.

I was the opposite...I wanted to date. i know now that I should be a bit more low key and focus on myself and get my life where I want it to be before getting serious with someone. That doesn't mean I should stop dating all together. I just needed to not expect that I'm going to find someone and fall in love right away and just do some casual dating to get out and still allow myself to feel beautiful and worth while which I had a hard time with after being in an abusive relationship. Dating and Flirting can be a big ego boost. lol

Beth - posted on 05/31/2011

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That is your decision, can't no one make it for you. But the the thing is that when you do decide to date whether it's now or when your son gets older. Either way its going to be difficult. The problem is that you have put up a block around your heart and the only ones you have in there is the love for yourself and the love for your son. Someone one day is going to get through to that. I am not saying just start dating every man that you come in contact with. Just sit down and two separate list. pros and cons sort of thing. one one sheet write down what you like about being a sinle parent and what you like about being in a relationship. If you keep comparing every guy that you come in contact with than honey you will be a lone for the rest of your life. Moreless come one of those old ladies with about fifty cats. All you can do it sit back and be patient. The path that you are meant to take will come to soon. wish you the best of luck

Heather - posted on 05/31/2011

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Hang in there, you k now what is right for you and your son and you are putting him 1st. My husband recently left me with my almost 4 yr old and 7 yr old and i also cannot imagine dating or bringing other men into my kids lives. I cannot say never becasue if something fell in my lap and it felt right i could see the potential of exploring it but i certainly cannot see myself dating untill my kids are grown. I do however compensate for that by giving them exposure to other wonderful men that have been in their lives and will continue to be in their lives. I have girlfriends who i have been friends with since elementry school whose husbands are wonderful with my kids and we hang around with them. They have a spectacular uncle (my sisters husband), my dad, other guy friends who love them and who i have been friends with with years so they have plenty of exposure to spectacular men but they don't need their momma dividing attention and emotional resources between them adn dating so i totally respect your decision. maybe you can find men you trust who love your kids who you are not dating to help fill that gap and be roll modles to them if that feels right to you. Butr really if these people are spending their energy breaking you down for putting your kid first then maybe they should not be a big part of your life? Good luck and hang int here :o)

Dana - posted on 05/31/2011

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My son is 6 months old and sees his father when his father wants to be around. I respect your desicion. I aam at a point I want to be with someone but I am scared to death to let anyone in. As a single mom it is vey hard to want anyone else to come into our lives. We have to make every desicion for our child. I think you are doing the right thing. Time might change things for you and if it does don't feel bad about it. I can't say I will be single until my little man grows up but for now I think it's best to get my life on track first and be independent before trying to be with anyone else.

Tania - posted on 05/31/2011

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It's YOUR choice and no one else's so who cares what they say YOUR his parent and YOU make the decisions, and I totally understand where you are coming from. Alot of people had an issue with me seeing my youngest child's father but its was my choice not theirs (opposite problem lol). I wasn't looking for someone, it just happened. If you did happen to stumble across someone you quite fancy then there is always the possibility of dating away for you child and don't have then meet, that could be a possibility way down the track when you are ready. just a suggestion :) But there is also no harm in staying single, it's your life and you live it the way you want to. My first borns father has never been in the picture and she had my father and brother as male role models in her life, just because you don't have a partner doesn't mean theres no male role model in his life either.

Cynthia - posted on 05/30/2011

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I'm a single mom and have been for almost 12 years. My son's dad walked out on me while I was pregnant. I never really said I don't want a relationship but I know I am stubborn and set in my ways since I've lived on my own since I was 17yrs. old. With that being said, are these "friends" that are saying that or "family" if it's the first I would say get new ones. All my friends have supported me. As for my family I've had a few not happy that I don't have a fulltime male figure in my son life, but I have had many "fill in dads" from my friends. My son is in boyscouts and if I can't be there or it has to be a male then one of my friends husband or even a few single guys I know have stepped in for me. So I don't feel he hasn't had any male role models or a father figure. You have to go with what your heart feels right. But keep your heart open in case "Mr. Right" does come along. I hope that helps a little.

Sandra - posted on 05/30/2011

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I don't you are wrong. I was a single parent with 3 kids, 2 girls and a boy. I played mom and dad as my kids had no contact with their dad and I didn't have family around. I took my kids camping in a tent, hiking, coached their sports teams, did wood working with them etc. I would even got a used carburetor from the auto wrecker,old radios etc so he could tinker. The first time he started tobe around males when I enrolled him in boy scout. He turned out very masculine but also has a sensitive side. Ignore what others say, they are not in your shoes. I did end up in a relationship with a single dad of 2. Most blended families can be tough but I thought I deserved some happiness after being on my own for 10 years. Also it is nice as we can share memories as a family unit now instead of hearing of our family did??? and our family did?? Your decision will be the right one for you. Good Luck!!

Sherry - posted on 05/30/2011

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I agree with you completely. My daughter's sperm donor has not been around since I was pregnant, so she has never had the opportunity to meet him.

When she was 3 months old, I did go on a date but I was miserable. I knew that I should have been home with my daughter instead of with some stupid man.

She is now 6 1/2, and I have never been on a date since. I have no plans on doing it again until she is an adult. I would rather be around for my daughter instead of having someone watch her so I can spend time with a man. I am only 38, so I have plenty of time to do that after she is grown. She is only a child once, so I plan on being there every minute that she wants me there. Not to mention I don't want her to experience the heartbreak of me dating someone and her getting attached only to have the guy no longer be around once we broke it off. Not worth it.

Rachel - posted on 05/30/2011

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Thanks guys. I totally agree with you all about male role models and I have gone out my way to provide them. My brothers spend time with my son and he is at nursery full time and I placed him in a nursery where he could have a male key worker. Olly and Luca are best friends- I couldn't ask for a nicer guy to be around my son even if Luca has to share him with the other kids. Lol. I am glad some of you have found guys who love your kids even if your relationship has ended- it's a special relationship- I just can't trust someone to stick around. And without trust I don't think I could have a relationship. I would always be worried it would go wrong. Maybe, one day, I will meet someone who sweeps me off my feet and wipes away all my doubts but I just don't see it happening. Thanks for the support. Weirdly enough, guys are not bothered about my decision. It is other mums who give me grief. My
mum is the worse. She won't let it go!

Jennifer - posted on 05/30/2011

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Well, your son definitely needs some sort of male role model around, whether it's your brothers or husbands of your friends or even your own dad. Especially since he's a boy he needs some sort of male figure there to fill that void, to teach him things that only a dad normally would (:

As for your choice, I agree, life never goes according to plan. I've not chosen that same path, but, I completely understand where you're coming from. I'm at a point in my life where at the moment I feel like I don't want to be with anyone right now, but that's just because being in a relationship with children can be draining lol depending on how the partner is lol.
One of my ex's actually took on the daddy role to my oldest daughter. We had split then 10 months later we got back together while I was still pregnant with my firstborn. I gave him the choice on what he wanted to be called and finally around 6 months I told him, "She needs to call you something. So what's it going to be, uncle or daddy?" He chose "daddy." To this day he still takes her. Now that she's school aged he takes her on the weekends usually unless we have something planned, he'll take her Sat-Sun. and much of the time they've been staying at his parents house when he takes her, whom she calls grandma and grandpa. They sure play that role to a T, too! lol He loves her and I know that he wishes she were truly his blood, which I think he's finally realized doesn't matter much because she loves her daddy and that's what really matters.
But, anyway, best wishes to you. I've got to go to bed lol it's way past my bedtime :S

Ashley - posted on 05/30/2011

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I agree. Sometimes just having a positive male role model around is great. My having a daughter... I want her to have a father figure in her life.. I couldn't handle her dating on my own. My boyfriend jokes all the time about her dating.. saying she has to wait until she's 30..

IF you ever do decide to give dating a chance.. I suggest not jumping into it. Get to know the person, be friends first and let it go from there. Even if you don't plan on dating, having male friend's isn't always a bad thing.. Especially with having a son.. Male bonding is important, at least I think it is.. Whether you have a son or daughter.. I know my little lady is a definite daddy's girl.

Ashley - posted on 05/29/2011

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Sometimes unplanned things happen.. I told myself I didn't want to date anyone and I ended up in a great relationship.. You just never know.. I can understand not wanting random people walking in and out of your son's life. It's a fear of mine for my daughter.. but if by chance someone happens to walk into your life.. Just be sure to lay it down. You are a packaged deal. Its you and your child..

My boyfriend has been with me for about a year and a half now and he has a wonderful relationship with my daughter and with myself. Unfortunately he's in the Navy so he gets deployed randomly and That bothers me with my daughter because.. One minute he's here, and the next minute he's gone and she's still too young to understand why.. But she's done really well over the Year with it. If we happen to catch the submarine coming in she'll point to the boat and say "daddy". At this point now.. I think if we ever did split, he'd still be involved in her life and play a daddy role. He is all she's got and all she's known and I know he loves her as if she were his own. Hell, he even baby sits her sometimes, no problem.

If I ever lost him, I don't think I'd date for an insanely long time though. I wouldn't want to put my baby girl through that over and over.

Theresa - posted on 05/27/2011

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your not being selfish.. I too am continually nagged about wanting to get involved until my son is grown the fact is that i havent seen a whole lot of good male role models out their zand it seems like all my friends and family have a lot of single moms dealing with dead beet dads or men who just deside that after the baby is birn they are done so be strong and if you feel its right for u do it remember you are enough for your child as long as there is love and stability you are enough

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