The single mom

Raising a child as a single mom or with a disengaged man is one of the greatest challenges a woman can ever face.
To meet all the daily needs children have - physical, emotional and spiritual - as the only present and engaged parent requires almost superhuman effort. Trying to have a life, while balancing work and children, leaves many women feeling like they can never do what's required. Added to this, moms often feel the pain of their child's cry for their dad's presence and involvement in their life. Fortunately there are several things moms can do to raise strong and emotionally whole sons and daughters in spite of an absent or disengaged father. Moms are one of the greatest treasures of the universe. Miracle workers and magic makers, no-one exemplifies grace and beauty more than a mom in action. The sweet, healing balm of a mother's love touches every aspect of her child's life. It soothes bruised egos, restores broken hearts, lifts up discouraged souls, and feeds hungry tummies. So many men and women are who they are today because of a selfless, loving and wise mom. One of the greatest betrayals of this century is men who fail to play their role as father alongside the mother of their children. Children need both a mom and a dad. Working in unspoken tandem the masculine and feminine soul weave together the magic that it takes to raise boys to be men and girls to be women. When one is missing the whole is affected. And all too often it is the masculine that goes awry or AWOL and it's the mom left carrying the burden of raising her children with limited or no support. Men who are absent or disengaged betray not just their children but the women who entrusted them with the joint care of their children. Because the focus of the damage caused by absent or disengaged fathers is on their children, moms are often the unacknowledged victims of a father's dereliction. An absent or abusive dad is the ultimate betrayal. A dad who is present in body yet not heart and hand is slow poison to his family. The first thing a mom can do is to realize that you are the most important and influential woman in your children's lives. You are your daughter's primary role model and your son's first and most profound experience of a woman. Being a great mom doesn't just happen by default, it requires intention. Not just in learning how to be a mom but in learning how to be a woman because it is out of womanhood that motherhood flows. Knowing and embracing your own femininity and being fully alive as a woman is the starting point of being a great mom. A mom who is whole and confident in who she is will impart wholeness and confidence to her children. Every man and woman carries some hurt or another from the experience of growing up and these wounds affect how we parent. Moms are no exception. Motherhood is a parallel journey of growing in wholeness and freedom as a woman, while you raise your children to become men and women. The second crucial thing for moms is to understand what makes the masculine and feminine soul tick. Boys and girls are different and what each need from their mom is different. The more you understand the different needs and drivers of the masculine and feminine soul the better equipped you will be to meet their unique needs. Understanding the feminine soul will assist you in your own journey as a woman and will enable you to impart to your daughter all she needs to grow up into a strong, independent woman with a healthy attitude towards herself, life and men. By understanding what makes the masculine soul tick and the role you need to play in its development, you can create an environment in which your son will grow and flourish. You will know when to let go, how and when to involve other men in your son's life and how to deal with his growing masculinity. Thirdly because a mom's life is so influential on her children she needs to model the right attitudes and behaviours. One of the implications of this is that no matter how badly you have been treated or let down by men you need to maintain a positive attitude towards them. By harbouring resentment you will unconsciously and unwittingly devalue your son and impart to your daughter damaging beliefs about men. The way a mom lives her life shapes a boy's attitudes towards women and greatly influences the kind of woman he will marry one day. The way a girl's mom interacts with men and in particular her father deeply affects the way she perceives men and what she will consider acceptable in her future relationships. It takes courage and sacrifice to raise children well and never more so than when you are doing it alone. The world owes a massive debt of gratitude to brave woman throughout history who have given so much of themselves to raise their children without the physical, emotional and financial support of their children's father. The sheer overwhelming collective goodness dispensed by moms every day make this world an infinitely better place. Yet in a world in which more children than ever are growing up in single parent homes moms face the formidable challenge of empowering themselves to be great moms. Moms who know, understand and live their femininity, while at the same time understanding, appreciating and affirming the masculine, in spite of how wrong it has so often gone. By understanding these principles you will enhance your parenting journey, equip your children and empower your own life journey. did you know?According to the SA Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR), only 33% of children in South Africa live with both their parents. Single-parent households have become the norm in South Africa, with nearly 100 000 children living in child-headed households. About the Author Craig Wilkinson is a celebrated TEDx speaker, and founder of Father a Nation

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