I never planned to be a single mother, and for the record, this ish is hard. Just the logistics alone are sometimes mindboggling. I’m tired. I often wondered before I entered motherhood how on earth folks managed. Now I wonder how I manage–even when I have the bi-weekly housekeeper, daily dog walker, nannies. It’s still just a lot.
Hope and I are sliding into nearly 15 months together now, and I’m starting to think about the relative importance of having a male figure in her life. Originally, I had this fantastic goal of having this council of dads who would help out and weigh in, but yeah, the first year of our life together has been so mired in trying to make crooked lines somewhat straight that I haven’t been able to give the whole concept much thought. Hope was so adamant about even forbidding me to date, much less eventually marry, that I just abandoned the notion of introducing her to any male friends in hopes that some meaningfulness would spring forth through knowing some wonderful men.
Jeesch, Hope also hasn’t met many of my girlfriends–some of whom can be pissy about that–so there’s that.
But it’s a year later, Hope’s a lot more sturdy now. We are going through the middle school relationship gauntlet, and not only does she know I’m dating; she seems to understand it’s serious.
And it’s a year later and I see her going through the trials and tribulations of early adolescence,
and I want to slay some of these bama dudes that make her cry. I see her struggling with trying to figure out how to navigate platonic and romantic relationships; I also see how the impact of seeing unhealthy relationships is shaping her burgeoning views on romance. It all makes me sad.
Nearly two years ago, it was so important to the match that men weren’t involved in parenting Hope; there were lots of reasons for this. Now that this time has passed, I wonder how not having really any men in her life is affecting her. I wonder if I can really coach her through some really important stuff. I value the male perspectives in my life immensely. I know that she would benefit from hearing how men think from a man. Like a lot of single parents out there, I wonder if and how I can compensate for not providing that other perspective.
But I also know that maybe she’s still not ready for having a guy around. She’s increasingly curious about Elihou, but I can tell it’s more from a perspective of ” Ohhhm mom’s dating” as opposed to thinking, “this guy might actually be my stepdad one day.”
I thought about this stuff before I started parenting, but it seems so much more important to consider now. I guess lots of folks do this single parent thing, so we’ll be fine. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit wishing life was a bit different.