Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I am Superman and I can do anything...

... Well, no. Not exactly. I have limitations regardless of my developed immunity to Kryptonite.

One such limitation is that I am not a man. I can never be a man. And despite what my Feminist Theory professor believed, I can't replace a man. This limitation prevents me from being a father. I can't even pretend to be one.

If you are a single mother pretending to be both mother and father to your child, stop it. Stop it now. Quit being so hard on yourself. You don't have to pretend to be a father, simply because there is nothing you will ever be able to do to fill that missing gap. So stop trying. Just be the best mother you can.

I understand single mother's well intentions when they do this. I hear your lament and I know better than anyone how much work is involved in raising children alone. But you don't have to work twice as hard to be two parents. So please, give yourselves a break.

Embrace your natural role of nurturer. Don't muck it up with gender confusion. You don't have to behave hard as nails and masculine. Your child will have a hard enough time understanding what it means to be a man in the absence of one at home. Don't make it worse by confusing them on womanhood too.

Let's examine same sex parents to illustrate an example. If you've ever noticed, in this dynamic you will have one partner assuming the feminine role of nurturer and the other will have the masculine role of disciplinary. This is the natural order of things and why same sex couples subconsciously assume these roles. We are wired this way. It is the way it is. You can't force it or change it.

So mother's, you will never be fathers and it is unnatural and fruitless to pretend you can be one or replace one.

Another temptation single mothers have is to dismiss the importance of fathers all together. They feel it will lessen the sting of rejection if they tell their child, "It's ok Daddy's not around. We don't need him."

Now think about that. If you have a son you are raising him to believe that being a father is not an important vocation. Will this son grow up to value the role of father in his own marriage? Will this son, should fatherhood be thrust upon him through unplanned circumstances, be compelled to step up and assume a role he's been told all his life is unimportant? No. You can blame the perpetual cycle of fatherless children on men, or you can examine the mother's negative attitude toward men that has been ingrained into her children.

And if you have a daughter what respect for men are you instilling in her if she's repeatedly told her daddy's not important. The last thing this world needs is more man hating feminists.

I'm not trying to give single mother's a hard time with this post. I'm giving them permission to ease up on themselves. I'm letting you off the hook. Don't be something you are not; just be the best mother and woman you can be and the rest will take of itself. Trust me.

No, strike that. Trust God.


jdonliturgy said...

You are so right! YBeen there, done that... and I can tell you - the best thing you can do for your kids as a single mom is to be a sensitive, nurturing mother and act like you care. Years later, the payoff is the kids get it that you did your best!

The Digital Hairshirt said...


Narda said...


G said...

Nice R.E.M. reference.

NBW said...


Terry Nelson said...

This is a very good post.

amanda said...

Wow woman! of all the wonderful things you've written this may be the best yet. And you've said it consisely, clearly, and gently. Were you feeling a little inspired?


Thanks for your input. I am sometimes unsure how to best support my single mom friends (whom I think are doing an amazing job!) in their delicate balance of being mom...while also doing what a lot of dads would do, were there there a dad in the picture...but realizing that they can't be both mom & dad. I often pray to St. Joseph to be the spiritual father of the children. God bless--

Anonymous said...

My mom was widowed fairly young (late 30's)back in the mid-'70's and tried to be both types to us kids. Huge mistake. Oh, she was devout in her way, but I have a very poor understanding of the Blessed Mother that I attribute, in part, to my mom's sense of "mothering". Problems got handled through sheer grit, force of will and anger- she literally bulldozed us into adolescence and adulthood. No sympathy, pull yerself up by yer bootstraps, dammit, and for the love of God don't let me see you crying. I cannot imagine a warm, loving Mary - no matter how much my friends describe their relationship with her. I am grateful that my mom did so much for us and kept us all safe, fed and together, but I gotta admit her vulnerable, tender, feminine, nurturing qualities went out the window.

To read this post was very painful, as it brought back many difficult times in my childhood home, but like you I urge all single mothers reading it to please consider HOW you are holding your family together - you cannot be at war with your own nature just because your husband (or your children's dad) is not in the picture.

The graces will be there for you to be who God made you to be, so be at peace, and be yourself.

Thanks, Kat.

Anonymous said...

I fear it's easier to convince single mothers that they can't successfully take over a father's role than a certain kind of absent fathers to care for their sons and daughters.

Rita Ray said...

Oh Yeah! Go Crescat, Oh yeah, Go Crescat!!!! AND GOD BLESS YOU and ALL women who chose to give life!!!