Searching for a crystal ball

by mssinglemama on September 1, 2010

I know I have some readers who are children of single moms.

You’ve said you’re here because I fill in holes, blanks from your childhood or at least, give you an idea of what your mother went through. A question for you–what if this was your mother’s blog? Would it be too much? Are  there some things you’d rather not know?

I don’t hold much back, especially in my eBook. There is so much here and even more there detailing my dating and my relationships as a single mom. But there are also posts like this one and this one that I will definitely want him to read. So, I’m wondering–would this blog and everything that comes with be too much? Or would it answer questions for you?

I need honest, insightful and constructive thoughts. Not hatred. If you take issue with single motherhood and women who decide to move on with their lives in the way of dating–that is a discussion for another post, or maybe a Bill O’Reilly messageboard.

I am weighing a decision and your feedback will help me so much. Thanks in advance.

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P.S. The Single Mom Manifesto books (there will be several) have been created. I’ll  share pictures and more details very soon. I can’t wait to set them free.

Related posts:

  1. Do fathers have the right to know?
  2. A Little Surprise & Date Night
  3. Single Mom Manifesto
  4. Must Read, Must Link, Must Play
  5. Bikini Wearing Waitresses

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Carrie September 1, 2010 at 8:18 pm

I have to say this post definitely struck a chord with me. I am not the child of a single parent but I have a father who, while a good person, was and is emotionally distant. My mother put up with a lot from my father and his family in particular. From a young age I was told these stories by her, of how she was treated badly. I am certainly not sorry I heard them as they made me understand her life and the struggles she had to go through, but I would stress that there is a line. There are some things that I didn’t need to know and that simply serve to hurt myself, and my perceptions of my father who I will always love despite his faults. Hope this helps.

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Lara September 1, 2010 at 8:42 pm

I am the daughter of a single mother – well at least until she remarried, and I had to give your

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Lara September 1, 2010 at 8:45 pm

I am the daughter of a single mother – well at least until she remarried, and I had to give your questions a lot of thought. Having read your blog after being a parent, I’m not sure how to consider receiving the information in any other context. Being a mother colors everything, you know. What I have always noticed, however, is how much you adore Benjamin. And even when you have had the hardest moments possible, you still usually manage to harness some hope. I can’t imagine how reading that as a child could be construed as anything other than what it is. And in my experience, communication is key. I think you can pretty much discuss anything honestly w/a child as long as you communicate about it. You’re good, I think. He’ll just love you more for it.

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Abimom September 1, 2010 at 8:46 pm

It was kind of a compare contrast thing. You learned from your bad experiences and my single mom never did. However, as a new single mother myself you’ve definitely helped me.

I don’t think you’ve said too much. Compared to the things I’ve blogged and journal-ed myself you’ve barely said anything! I don’t think he’ll be bothered by the few relationships you’ve had that he met before he could remember them.

And from the few things I’ve read from my mother about her single journey thus far, this is definitely tame.

I think you’re ok.

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Brittany September 1, 2010 at 8:53 pm

As the daughter of a single mother a resource like this would’ve (and has) been invaluable. I spent a lot of wasted teenage years wondering what the hell she was thinking. At the time I probably wouldn’t have understood it or even cared but having the ability to look back at her most intimate thought process would have helped me come to terms with things without having to make her relive it all. The idea of my mom blogging is really funny (shes a very serious doctor-type), but I have pointed her to many of your posts and she has told me her own version of the experience. Your blog has been a way for my mom and I to connect and for me to understand fully why and how things happened the way they did. I know that when your son is old enough it will help him in the same way. Please don’t doubt your endeavor, it has helped many of us, single-moms or not.

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mssinglemama September 2, 2010 at 8:02 am

Wow. Wow. Wow. Thank you, Brittany. So much.

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JJ September 1, 2010 at 9:07 pm

Regardless of whether or not he reads this is a child and believes it to be too much, Benjamin will certainly be able to look back on it as an adult and have a piece of his mother that he would not have otherwise. I can’t tell you how many times we have stumbled upon diaries from deceased family members and how having their thoughts and experiences on paper is so special. I sure hope that you have copies of all your posts somewhere so that one day he can see where you came from, what you experienced, and how you came to be the extraordinary mother that you are. And no, in my opinion, it’s not too much, but I have a pretty open relationship with both of my parents with very few, if any subjects, that are not open for discussion. I suspect you have or will have the same with Benjamin.

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Samantha September 1, 2010 at 9:30 pm

I came across your blog years ago and found myself drawn to it because I am the child of a single mom. While most of the time I can’t exactly relate to your story (I’m 25, no kids, not married, living in NYC), I’m interested to see how another mom has done it since I obviously have no memory of what my mom went through.

My mom has been walking a fine line my entire life between being honest about what happened with my dad and who he was and the things he did versus actually “bad mouthing” him. She made a conscious decision not to speak badly of him but to be honest with me so I could come to my own opinions (which are not good ones and probably never will be.) Many single moms make the mistake of involving their children too much in their own pain of the break-up or displacing their anger. Your divorce happened when Benjamin was just a baby so he has no memory of what life was like when Mommy and Daddy were married. He doesn’t have any memory of the dysfunction and will only know what you and his dad tell him.

There are two ways to look at your blog in terms of Benjamin. I’m sure the “haters” would say that it’s too much and inappropriate for him to know many of these intimate details (which might be true on some level.) However, your story is one of strength, peace and making a better life for him. You’ve seemingly found a way to make peace with his father and Benjamin has also gained a father in this process. Benjamin’s father is (from what you say) a relatively active part of his life, so hopefully, that will weigh in on his opinion of his dad versus some of the not so great stuff that you’ve said in here about him. My father was absent so the stuff I was told only confirmed who he was to me. That being said, because his dad has been more or less around during this time in his life, his feelings about his dad are probably going to be more positive than what actually happened for you during this time. It’s important he keeps that memory and that it’s not tainted by him reading your opinion of this time in your lives.

This is your truth and Benjamin’s dad has his own truth and Benjamin will have his own truth about these past few years. Until he is old enough to comprehend what exactly went on, let him believe that you did what was best for you two and that his daddy was always around and always loved him. My mom did the best she could (and her best was more than enough) and my dad was never around. I suppose if he was an active part of my life, there would probably be some things I’d rather not know about him and there’s a reason parents don’t tell their children everything.

Hope that helped! :)

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mssinglemama September 2, 2010 at 8:05 am

Definitely understand what you’re saying. I have yet to say one bad thing about Benjamin’s father in front of him. I also don’t bad mouth him in general, just so far behind us now. With that said, I definitely used to vent here on this blog about child sharing and custody issues or his broken down car. Whatever the issue was at the time. I have since gone back and deleted most of those posts (I hope).

Will comb them over even more thoroughly one day. Thanks, Samantha.

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Adde September 1, 2010 at 9:31 pm

My mom was a single mother until I was 6 when she remarried. Your blog has provided insight into my mom and helped me understand what was probably going through her head all those years ago. I think this blog will show Benjamin in the future that he was at the forefront of every decision you made and just how much you love and adore him. I know in my heart how much my mom loves me but I have no idea what her thinking was back then about the different life changing decisions she made. I wish she had it all written down for me to read about one day.

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JV September 1, 2010 at 11:40 pm

I’m the son of a single mom. Understanding your experiences has certainly given me insight into what my mom’s life might have been like. I’m not sure I need to know more than what she has told me and what my memories have collected. I like that some things—the hard things—are a little fuzzy. I don’t think I’d want the play-by-play of everything she went through. If there’s anything Benjamin should learn from your blog, it’s how intensely you love him.

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mssinglemama September 2, 2010 at 8:07 am

Thanks Jared! And why didn’t you ever tell me before that your mom was a single mom? I can’t believe how many of my friends and colleagues were raised by single moms and they tell me after knowing me for months. Crazy.

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Momma Sunshine September 2, 2010 at 6:24 am

I personally don’t think that it’s ever “too much” to tell the truth of your situation. I don’t believe that you’ve revealed TMI here on this blog….you simply wrote about your experience as it unfolded.

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Stac September 2, 2010 at 8:55 am

I find one of the hardest things to do is to tell my son the truth without bad mouthing, because the truth is not pretty. That being said, I’m sure I haven’t read every post here, but the ones I have you don’t seem to be bad mouthing your ex, you are just telling the truth and speaking about your feelings and life.

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Shannon September 2, 2010 at 10:37 am

I am also the daughter of a single mom. My mom divorced my dad when I was six months to marry again when I was 5, to divorce again when I was 8. So, it’s just been her for the majority of my life.
It is really hard for parents to find the right relationship with their kids. Because I know that they all want to be ‘the friend’ but they can’t, because they have to be the parent.
My mom did too much confiding in me. She didn’t really understand what she could tell me and what she couldn’t. Her problems became mine and I worried about her far too much for what a child needed to worry about their parents. But since we had such a close friendship, she felt that she could. After we worked that out, our relationship became much better and she was more comfortable with herself.
That being said, the things that I have read from you, I think are wonderful.
I know that since Benjamin is young, you can’t really confide in him all too much. And now that he is getting older, you have a man to share your problems with rather than him. So, I don’t think it should be a problem at all for him to read your struggles and accomplishments. I think it’s important for a child to know about their parents life, and to learn from their mistakes and own learnings.
I’ve actually started my own notebook. A little while back when I hit the rough teenage years. Just to state my problems and how I worked through them. That way when I have children, they can read and connect to it.
Anyway, this was a long response for such a short answer, but I do not think that you’ve written too much for Benjamin to read. I feel that he will enjoy learning about your past, even the rough times. And I feel that he’ll just smile and give you a nice big hug afterwards.

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Wendy Noe September 2, 2010 at 12:25 pm

I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, but have never commented. I’m not a single mom, but was raised by an amazing single mother. I have two little girls with my fantastic husband of 10 years. I’ve known him for almost 1/2 my life now, but always have in the back of my mind, could I do this if I were a single mom. I know I can support us financially, and also know that I could do this without him, I just hope I never have to find out. I live like this b/c of my mother. She raised me to be able to take care of myself, to rely first on me, then on others. I know her life must have been hard, she raised me, my twin sister and my little brother, by herself for almost our entire life. I know she has experienced pain, frustration and loneliness. I admire her completely, and if she had had a blog like you do 33 years ago, I know that I would see her first as a woman, and second as my mother. You have nothing to worry about. When Benjamin is an adult he will see you though different glasses, not just as his mom. He will see all that you have sacrificed to give him this life, and that your love and committment to him was always the most important thing you did.

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Single Happy Mom September 2, 2010 at 1:22 pm

I’ve recently came across your blog and from what I’ve read, you have not said too much. I’ve been a single mom for 5 years now and my boys are now 13 & 11 and they are definitely starting to “get to know” their father more now that they’re older. They see for themselves how he treats me and them, it breaks my heart to see how they hurt when he is not around. Therefore I don’t have to say much to my kids.

Short version: You have not said too much and Benjamin will certainly enjoy reading your thoughts/problems when he is a little older and that will help him better understand you and love you even more :)

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Glenda September 2, 2010 at 2:04 pm

You write from your heart and I don’t think there’s too much TMI. I’m sure Benjamin will definitely appreciate reading and knowing when he’s an adult and the love you have for him resonates through this blog, I can’t imagine he’d ever doubt that.

My mom became a single mom when my dad passed away. I was 13 and my younger sister 9. We were a lil older so we were a part of it all. We laughed with her, cried with her and the 3 of us became each others pillar of strength and best friends. There was nothing my mom would not share with us. The good and the bad of life and I think just having that open relationship/ communication with her made us (me and my lil sis) that much stronger and aware of the challenges in the journey called life. She shared everything about her experiences in relationships prior to my dad and with my dad. I definitely had a clear picture.

My mom passed in 2004 and I miss our daily phone conversations and all the sharing and probably “over sharing” that went on in our relationship. :)

You’re doing a great job with Benjamin and wishing you, Benjamin and John Bear only the best of happiness.

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On the flip side September 3, 2010 at 1:30 am

I have been a loyal reader but have never commented before. I have been dating a wonderful man with 2 sons for over a year now. He is a single father (his wife died in childbirth 10 years ago.) Your blog has been a valuable resource for me to not only understand and relate to some of the challenges he has faced throughout the years, but it has also taught me a lot about why he does things the way he does. I have no children of my own, and I had never dated anyone with children. I had to re-think everything I thought I knew about dating and relationships in the past. A dinner out with the kids IS a date, and so is staying up and talking after the kids go to bed. I have been able to let go of doubt that I may have had in past relationships because one thing is certain: I am here because he (and the kids) WANT me here, because they sure don’t NEED me. They were just fine without me. I can’t change the past, and I can’t be the girl that swoops in and “saves” them. It took a little while for that fact to fully sink in.
All of that being said, I think Benjamin will be able to look back on your posts and appreciate all that you went through while raising him. Life isn’t always easy, but he will know two things: You have always done what is best for him, and you love him fiercely.

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Mimi September 4, 2010 at 11:53 pm

Your are who you are and he knows and loves that about you. He already knows everything about you, and your life in some way or another already. What is wrong with honesty? If your worried that he’ll be bummed or embarrassed about you sharing this with the world, well, too late so don’t sweat it. His generation is going to be all about sharing on the internet, things like blogs will be way normal and even old hat by the time he is old enough to get it or care. Relax and be who your are because your fabulous and he’ll love you for it.

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Eva September 5, 2010 at 9:36 pm

I am a daughter of a single mother and I would LOVE to go back and read all her thoughts and feelings of the power, the struggle, the success she had..
she let me read her diary that she wrote as a teenager and early 20′s – it was fascinating – it truly lets you get to know your parent..

keep doing what your doing – i think he will love it

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MILA September 11, 2010 at 9:08 pm

My Single Mother raised three children mostly by herself. My younger sister’s father was always in her life, yet I saw first hand how mean and spiteful he was to my mother. I grew to hate him for it and resent her for allowing it. But this post is not about that. What I saw in the 26 years I knew and watched y mother was a phenomenally strong woman who stood on the front lines for her three children, every. single. day. She was very honest with us, but through her faith and resolve, avoided badtalking our fathers in front of us. As a single mother myself, and having been very frustrated with my daughter’s father for most of her 2 years of life, I can now understand what it truly means to be a “single mother”. It is not a game and it’s harder than anything I’ve ever done in my life. My mother passed nearly 3 years ago, but I remember the many talks and lessons she gave us about life and motherhood. She died when I was less than 3 months pregnant with my own daughter and I wish to GOD I had some of her words in writing. I found your blog when I was a fresh and frustrated single mother. I was sleep deprived and constantly angry at the situation I’d put myself and my daughter in. I was angry at her father. I was angry at GOD for taking my mother. I was angry at my mother for leaving me. But through my own faith, maturity, and reading words like yours on this blog, and “Motherless Mother-How Mother Loss Shapes the Parents We Become”, I was able to grow into a less bitter, more “enjoy every moment” mother that I am today. I think that my own thoughts and feelings over the past 2 years would probably be too raw for my daughter to read while still very young. But at the same time, this too shall pass and I’ve no doubt that my daughter could learn from and maybe even appreciate knowing the journey her mother has taken to “be all that I can be” for her each day. Keep writing Ms. Single Mama. There’s nothing wrong with the truth.

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