A call from a friend inspired this blog, but I know A LOT of mothers can relate to what I call MOM GUILT! Been there, done that!
In case you are wondering what guilt, let me explain.
That guilt that makes your stomach hurt. That guilt that makes you unsure of your decisions. That guilt when the man you made a baby with just doesn’t do his part. Ah yes, that guilt!
See when this guilt happens, we question why we had a baby with them versus someone else? How much access we should allow? Why they won’t do right? Should we hand deliver our child and force a relationship? The other part of the guilt, am I doing it right? What effect is a no good dad going to have on my child?
We internalize this as some way of being our fault! Well, it is not. You can not control what the other parent does or does not do. Please realize this.
The advice I gave her was this:
- You can not force the other parent to do anything.
- Be the best parent you can be.
- Answer your child’s questions honestly (appropriate for age)
- Do not bash the other parent no matter how good it may feel (you child will make their own assumptions)
- Make sure your dating/marriage decisions set a good example for your child (they pay attention)
- When the guilt comes (and it always will), allow it to come and then make it go away.
Real talk. My son never had a relationship with his biological father besides child support. As my son grew up, I grew up with him and made sure the decisions I made were US-based not ME based. When he asked questions, I answered and allow him to make his decisions. I focused on being the best parent I can be, learning along the way. At the end of the day, that is all you can do.
Well, the proof is in the pudding. What you put in your child, you will see! I realized this today more than anything. My son bought a computer desk for his room. When he got off work, he decided to put it together himself and not wait to my husband got home. He didn’t ask me for any help either. He went and got the tools he needed. It took him several hours to put this desk together and he was proud of himself, I think he even snap chatted it. He showed me his work and I told him he did a good job. I was so proud of him, but kept it simple. Why did I keep it simple? He is applying what he has learned and did something I feel like young men should know how to do.
Side note: Do not overdue the praise. Show appreciation but don’t throw a party for doing what they are supposed to do or need to learn! (Think about it..did you get a party from learning to do your make up or hair?…love/raise factor from last blog).
See even though his biological dad was never there, he has learned from my example.
- Don’t be afraid to try something new.
- Work hard and it will pay off.
- The work of your hands will be rewarded.
Among other life lessons I have taught him along the way, he is more than capable. My husband has taught him some “male” stuff and I see the results of that too.
So, don’t feel guilty, just do your best. Teach him to open doors and to do a resume. Teach him how to look people in the eye and how to treat others with respect. Teach him how to be confident enough to do things on their own and how to ask questions.
Hope this helped someone.
Peace & Love,