While single mothers have to fill all the roles life throws at them; breadwinner, chauffeur, tutor, chef, maid, disciplinarian, role model, etc., there is one role that is impossible to fill, and that is the role of father. I, for one, do not want to be the father; I just want to be the best mother I can be.
But what is a dad? Father is more than just a name. It’s more than a title. It is more than the sperm that fertilized an egg. He’s a man who knows his role and will not relinquish it for anything. Things happen: divorce, unexpected tragedies, and life trauma. But no matter your circumstances, when your child comes looking for dad’s face, they know exactly where to find it. It takes personal discipline to be that man. Not nearly enough is done in our culture to celebrate the men who hold their position well.
My son, Brayden, is an inquisitive child. It is one of his best qualities and one of his most exhausting qualities. He asks questions all day everyday, from sun up to sundown. The game twenty questions is a warm up for him, really.
Recently, he has been asking a lot of questions about his penis and about puberty. As always, I answer his questions to the best of my abilities, using honesty and compassion. And when I don’t know the answer, we always figure out how to get the answer. Sometimes it takes asking a teacher or his father or just doing research. This most recent line of questioning has made me pause and ponder how difficult it is to be a “single” mother raising a son. I say single in quotations, because I do have my amazing partner, Chris, who is with us daily and does more than his fair share of co-parenting, as well as the children’s father who’s very active in their lives. Nonetheless, there are bound to be many challenges ahead as a woman raising a son.
How lucky are my son and I that we have many male role models to support us? We have his father, his grandfather, my partner, his fantastic first grade teacher, an amazing vice principal, basketball coach, etc. Each one of these men will help mold Brayden into the amazing man I know he will be. But since he is with me the majority of the time, I play a significant role.
My goal is to guide my son toward manhood and help him become the kind of man I can be proud of. I will do this by teaching him values, making sure he understands appropriate behavior, keeping the lines of communication open, and not making him the man of the house before his time. This Suburban Goddess Mom is raising her son to the best of her abilities and the abilities of all the men around us.