Women who are Starting Over Single often try to be the missing Dad.
They try to suddenly become a stricter disciplinarian, invoking new rules in a gruff voice with almost impossible consequences to enforce.
Mom feels she has to buy a car for each teenager in the home, teach her sons how to be men, make new rules about dating, handle every home maintenance chore herself, become a soccer coach and make sure the school administration contacts her for any discipline problems.
The truth is – we women were never meant to be Dads. We cannot take the missing Dad’s place nor can we model manhood for our sons.
We are women, meant to be nurturers – strong, yes, but not manly.
We may keenly feel the absence of a man in the house, but we cannot replace that hole nor can we invent new ways to create fatherhood.
Unless your children’s father has skipped the country and disappeared entirely, abandoning the family – then he still has a responsibility to be the Dad.
He should be responsible to provide the financial needs for the children, to teach them how to drive and provide a dependable vehicle for them, to show them how to change a flat and replace the oil filter and any number of other life skills.
Dad may not live in the home anymore, but at his house – the children should have the same rules for bedtime, the same guidelines for dating and the same consequences for rebellion.
This is a delicate dance and not easy to work through, but children will adjust better when both parents work together to be who they are and keep the structure of each home consistent.
If Dad is not in the picture at all, then other support members need to step up: the church, the family, good friends.
The mother cannot become the missing Dad and the sooner we realize that – the better off we will be with less stress and more of a relaxing tone in our homes.
So…if there’s a discipline problem at school – make sure both parents are on the call list. Any decisions need to be joint agreements.
If there’s a car issue with your teenager, tell him to call Dad and discuss what to do about it.
Be yourself. Do your best from the authentic standpoint of who you are. But don’t try to be the Dad.
Accept your role as Mother and cherish your children for as long as you have them.
©2015 Starting Over Single