28 Nov Raising My Daughters as a Single Mother
As many of you know by now, I am a single mother, and I have 2 amazing daughters. My daughter Grace is a full-fledged teenager, and my daughter Nora has entered her tween years. Our home is an all-female environment – right down to our cuddly dog, Peaches.
Being a mother is the biggest and most important responsibility in my life. I can vividly remember the excitement I felt with each one of my pregnancies – I never found out the gender of the babies until the minute that they were born. For me, that was part of the excitement of becoming a mother, and I never felt a preference towards gender. I feel very fortunate to have given birth to two healthy baby girls – two years apart from one another. I come from a family in which there are two children, both girls, so I am personally aware of the beauty of having a sister.
Not only am I raising my daughters, but for the most part I am raising them alone.
Up until Grace was 8 and Nora was 6 our family was intact. In the early years of my daughters’ lives, I had a partner at home to share in the day-to-day parenting tasks. All of that changed when my marriage ended. The two-parent home became a single parent home. The daily parenting, disciplining, and organizing became a one-woman job. The bad cop/good cop routine became a one person routine. I became the sole adult in my home, and my responsibilities as a parent grew larger and larger.
Raising children as a single parent can at times be quite challenging and exhausting. It requires patience, a great sense of humor and a whole lot of creativity. It’s truly a non-stop experience. My situation is as follows. My daughters’ father lives outside of Montreal, and so he is not implicated in the day to day routines. My parents and sister both live far away, and as a result they are not able to help me when I need to be in three different places at the same time. The carpools to and from school, the evening and weekend shuttle service to and from gymnastics, the drop-offs and pick-ups at tutoring and Grace’s part-time work, the taxi service to and from friends’ houses – all of that stuff lies in my hands. So far, I have managed to be everywhere I need to be on time, but some days I feel as though my main purpose in life is as the time keeper and family chauffeur. The concrete daily stuff is something that I have learned to manage, and although I don’t always like being the time keeper and driver, I have found a way to make it work for the three of us.
As a mother of two girls who are both navigating the adolescent world, I am so aware that this is a time in their lives where they need me to be available at the drop of a hat in order to meet so many of their emotional needs.
I want my daughters to know that I will always try to provide them with a strong set of shoulders to lean on, two open ears to listen to every little detail that they CHOOSE TO SHARE with me, and big arms to hug them tightly.
I want them to know that I will always tell them the truth, no matter how difficult it may be to hear.
I want them to know that I will always try my best to provide them with everything that they need.
I want them to know that I have loved them from the minute that I found out that they were growing in my tummy, and that I will continue to love them each and every day, especially during those moments when they will struggle to love themselves.
I want them to recognize how truly amazing they are. I realize that it’s a hard thing to acknowledge during the teenage years and sometimes even into adulthood, but I hope that as they grow, they learn to love themselves.
I want my daughters to embrace how strong, kind, intelligent and beautiful they truly are.
The day to day rushing from one place to the next and the bickering over silly things like clean rooms and homework truly hold very little importance in the grand scheme of things. What is most important to me is that I get to participate in my adventure as a mother with the two greatest gifts that anyone could ever ask for.
For this, I am truly grateful.