Mothers without fathers, a single mom’s story.

Father’s day is an interesting day in our tribe as my kids do not have a father figure to look up on our single mother household.  I have 3children, Michael (14), Steven (18) and my little angel girl, Krysstel is 7. I often wonder how this affects them. Its tricky as a single mom to try and fulfil this role.

So what have I done in my tribe to fill this very vital and critical gap (especially for my boys…)

1. Instead of family we call ourselves a little tribe and to explain why,  I include some word play – TRIBE = TRI – BE = TRY {TO} BE>.  Our TRI-BE’s creed – confirms OUR RIGHTFUL place where we can practice to BE <ourselves> in this world.

2. We have honest and open conversations. I have found male family members and friends, whom my children and I trust and can talk to about topics they don’t want to have with me.

3.Talking about sex with my two teenage boys is the hardest.  Yet when I don’t know the answer, we do research together to find relevant answers

4. The most beautiful behaviour however has came from my eldest son.  He has taken on the role of father figure for his little sister.  He was with  me at his sister’s birth, at the age of 11.  My midwife said that the birth  experience would make him an excellent father one day.  Well he has taken it upon himself to play this role in his little sister’s life, and she adores her brother – in fact she really listens to what he has to say – more than she listens to me.

5. My  mothering style is controversial.  I am not afraid to show them real hard life, and the wickedness which exists in our world.  My children are intelligent, emotionally mature and spiritually connected.  Most importantly they are street wise, and know how to deal with tough challenges including aspects of peer pressure, alcohol, drugs, sex and violence.  They know that there is one person that they can always count on, when they are in trouble, when they need an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on.  I might bark at their bad behaviour but I never bite!

I often wonder how  child headed families cope. How can we as communities assist and support these families in filling the gaps of absent role models so needed in a child’s life.?

In conclusion however, I want to honour all real fathers out there.  A facebook friend, Theo Geldenhuys had a kidney transplant a year ago and was told by doctors that he will never have children.  His baby girl, Zoe was born a week ago. I asked him what father’s day means to him this year.  His answer: “Being a father is my utmost blessing in life, I adore my little miracle!”

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Author

Karen Oliver

Karen Oliver

Karen Oliver, a single mom of 3 with a great sense of humour , takes her role as mother to heart and makes every day in her chaotic tribe purposeful.

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8 Responses

  1. Hey Karen, my hat off to you on this challenging journey. Being a single mom myself I was investigating support groups for divorced parents. I haven’t found any in the Jhb area. Can you perhaps recommend any? Many thanks.

    1. Hello PJ

      I am not part of any support group. I will do some research on this. We always have an opportunity here to start our own support group. One for single mothers and not divorced parents, as these have a little different angle in the focus. I have had other requests on this topic, so there is obviously a need for a support group. Give me some time and I will most definitely feed back.

      Thank you for your reply! 🙂

  2. I think it is fantastic that you are doing this blog for single parents ! Your energy and positive attitude is to be admired. Good luck and keep the faith.. 🙂

    1. Well done! It’s not always easy to do the right thing as a single mom but at least we can learn from each other & not feel like a misfit in society. What I want to know is how to deal with unreliable men who promise things and never keep their word. Do you let them in or keep them out? How do you also deal with the issue of dating because we have to be cautions about introducing a chain of men to our children? Is there a place where single women meet and discuss issues & support each other? Will be glad to know.

      1. Dearest Crescentia, #wearenotalone!

        I am by far not a perfect mom, but I try my best every day, and I have questions too…

        I will write on some of your questions, and do some research in topics you request in my future blogposts.

        Thank you for your reply

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