I raised both a son and daughter and fortunately, had a beautiful relationship with both. However, I noticed with many of my other single friends who had sons that the level of stress was different. I had always made a conscious effort to have my son and his father maintain a healthy relationship but many of these other sons never even saw their dads.
It began to dawn on me that sometimes, single moms forget the importance of a good, male role model in their son’s life. I know that my son reached a point that he felt like the man in the house. He was great at doing his chores, running errands, and protecting his mom and sister. In fact, when he was 13, I asked him if he wanted to live with his dad and his answer was no, not that he didn’t love his dad dearly but because he felt that I needed him.
In looking back, perhaps I allowed him to feel this way because deep down, I didn’t want him to leave. I do know that I realized how vital it was for him to have adequate time doing guy things with his father. They would often go play golf, his dad coached the baseball team, they attend movies, and so on. Even when it meant that I lost out a weekend for a special father/son event, I let him go.
Some of my dearest friends were not so fortunate. In fact, many of the boys my son was friends with, also boys from single mom homes, would ask to go along with my son and his dad to do “men things”. My point is that as mothers, we love our sons with everything we have, always wanting the best. Part of the best is to make sure they have the chance to grow into men from example coming from the father, a big brother, or another role model.
Ultimately, we owe it to our sons to give them balance in life. Living with mom gives us the chance to teach our sons about the right way of treating women. This time is precious and a real gift in helping to nurture the sons we love. However, we also owe it to our sons to build their confidence and self-esteem as men.