Apr 5, 2007

You May Wish to Kick My, erm...

**Edited to add** - Now that I've alienated my lovable readers, I must preface this post saying that it's obviously not for everyone and all people are different. Don't feel the hate - there's none intended. I think I let my fervor get away from me on this one. Overall, I still believe a mom needs to be careful what influences she brings to the table, single or not. And yes, this is based upon my own experiences... (see the end for more)

Well, I don't believe that the word "ass" should really be used in the title, but if I only say it once, it's probably okay in the text, right?

I wasn't going to post this week, just the traditional Holy Week stuff, like the Holy Thursday post. But I saw a post at Because Mom Said So about when a single mom should introduce her boyfriend to her kids. Since I left a comment that was nearly a post over there expressing my strong opinion, I'll expand/expound upon it here, too.

Be forewarned though, as this will not be pretty nor popular to any single/divorced/widowed mom.

A single mom (divorced, widowed or never married) should stay away from introducing boyfriends to the kids, and stay away from men altogether as second marriages have a much higher (read: astronomically!) divorce rate than first marriages. It's reported that second marriages have a divorce rate of around 70 percent! YES, that is SEVEN ZERO! Can you imagine dragging kids through not only one, but two or MORE divorces?

Dating is the last thing that should cross the mind of a single mom and the kids should be the very FIRST thing in her mind. She has a responsibility to raise those kids with as much integrity and respect as possible. Tell me, how can she find time to focus on them after (probably) working all day and then going out on a date? When will she see the kids and check their homework, read them stories, supervise bath time, tuck them in? When will she be there just to BE and provide the kid the security of knowing that mom is within the house and could be there in just a second?

Dating is like testing the waters, catch and release a lot of the time, right? For a single person without children, it's no biggie to date someone different every week. You get lots of different input, value systems, financial ideas, experiences.

What happens when you swirl innocent, trusting children into that mix? I would be horribly frightened to bring home anyone I was dating (should I ever be put into that situation) to meet my children because just WHAT do I REALLY know about him? Sure, he puts on a good face but he could be a raging alcoholic, a rampant sexual pedophile, a no-good-worthless lay-about without a job or responsibilities of his own.

Seriously, dating is for people without children. Risking yourself is a lot different that risking yourself AND your children AND their future. That is just plain selfish.

A single mom should focus on her children until they are out of her house - at age 18 and legally adult. This is not to say that the single mom shouldn't have a life. Really, HONESTLY, there is life without men.

It's my soapbox and I'll say what I believe when I'm on it. And if, God mightily forbid, I ever find myself without a spouse (and trust me, death is the only thing going to cause that) I will be practicing what I preach. There is NOTHING more important to me in the entire world than my children, even me.

Do I write this from beneath my own private rock? No. My own mother divorced my father when I was very young and already insecure. She proceeded to immediately marry the man with whom she had an affair.

This man is all the bad words I would NEVER post on my blog and could think of - and then more. He was emotionally and physically abusive to my younger brother and me. My mother closed her eyes to it at the time and even now claims to not have known of it. My brother has blocked out his entire childhood because of this man. He remembers me as his protector, his mother figure. I still dream of this horrible man and how I would hurt him if I had but a chance.

When the jerk was found cheating on my mother, she ended that marriage. By that time I was a teenager and nearly 16. It fell to me to be the grown up in the household, even grocery shopping and cooking. My brother got into trouble with the law and went to live with our father, 4 states away. (This was the very best thing for him.)

My mother married her current husband just one year before I married Hubbers. Thank the good Lord and all the saints that he is a wonderful, caring man who would bend over backward for her and her children. I love this man to the ends of the world and wish he had been in the place of the evil man. Perhaps my childhood would not have been such a living hell.

So, no. I don't write about the single mother should not from my own warped sense of right and wrong. I write about it from my very own life. The fact that my own marriage and family is so healthy mentally is freakin' amazing and miraculous. Thank God I did not fall into the footsteps of my mother. And now you can see why I say that only death will put me into a single mother position and why I'm prepared to back up my stance.

A lovely post on Marriage after Divorce, where I obtained my figures.


Amber said...

I'd have to say I agree to disagree with this...because aren't discussions like this what make the world go around?!

If, heaven forbid, I found myself husbandless, I wouldn't wnat to deprive myself of having a father-figure in the most formative years of their lives. That said, I believe many women make the mistake of having so many men come in and out of their lives. I strongly believe that dating can be done discreetly, that children should not be introduced until a very solid foundation is forged.

While my children are my main priority, so is finding happiness for myself. And if I were to find a man who made me as happy as my husband and who would be a fantastic support and example to us all, I would not hestitate to make him a part of my life!

Alice said...

Hi Sara,

I commented on your comment back on the blog, but I came to read your extended opinion here.

To me, it seems you've largely formed your opinion based on a bad experience you had in your young life. There are bad experiences everywhere. Bad experiences with biological fathers, first and only husbands and so forth.

And now, in your adult life, you have the perspective of a married mom. It's tough to know what you'd do until you walked in the shoes of a single mom.

Of course, we're all absolutely entitled to our own opinions, but I'd hate to see any mama with major guilt pangs because of what she read here. :-(

Of course, you see it differently. :-)

sara - The Estrogen Files said...

Hey guys, thanks for the respectful comments. I know that my opinion isn't that of everyone and I appreciate yours, too. I agree with the need for male role models, as well. Thanks for bringing that up, Amber!

Iris said...

Hi Sara!

Now, you know I luvs ya, and I know that if you have been reading my blogs, you know I am a single mom.

I have been a single mom for as long as I can remember. When I was married to my first husband, he was never around. I raised the boys by myself. When my daughter was one week old, on New Years Day, my husband left me. I was in my early 30s. I met a wonderful man online, we dated, online, the kids never met him until a year after my husband and I split. We were planning to get married but things didn't work out. It was a full year later that I met the father of my fourth child. We built a life and family together. We never married. I later found out that he had mental health issues, and he and I split. Now the man I met after my first marriage and I are back together, planning to marry. My children are happy about this. They don't want me to be alone. I still oversee their lives just the same as I always did, and I am not a bitter, lonely old woman, like my own mother is.

I think that this is not something that can be blanketted across the board. There are good marriages and there are bad ones. I don't believe I should have been forced into seclusion just because my choice of first husband was not right.

~*~ Jennifer ~*~ said...


My first ever visit to your blog and it's a goodie!!!

Way to go! I love a woman who will speak her mind -- especially when she agrees with ME! Ü

Keep your eyes focused on Jesus!

Anonymous said...

I agree you are basing things on your previous experiences. I agree that dating should b e done discreetly and you should always be careful who is in your child's life.

I can't believe that you would have someone live their life alone, I mean relationship wise. I am glad you have your opinions but a common theme here is religion. Again, glad you live life the way you want to, now let others live theirs. Why is it religious people in my experience, judge and push their way on others...isn't religion about accepting...thats my opinion..

Anonymous said...

I disagree with this idea. I was 17 when I had my first child. I didn't date at all until she was 1 and I had graduated, but not dating until she was 18?? That's crazy. I wanted a complete family. My husband and I now have two more kids and he's the best father and role model in the world. If I would have waited until she was 18, she wouldn't have the greatest father in the world nor her brother and sister.

I believe the underlying issue you have is that your mother seemed to have a lack in judgment when selecting your first step-father, and the way their relationship started...

sara - The Estrogen Files said...

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. I have no problems with that. Plus, not everyone has had the same experiences or is in my family.

We live in a culture of tolerance - if you're NOT tolerant of EVERYTHING, you're a hypocrite, snarky, rude, too conservative, too far right, too uptight, crazy, too religious.

I've taken a stand for my beliefs in this post and I won't take it back. I refuse to be my normal wishy-washy self on this matter.

demolishun said...

She gives you facts: 70% divorce rate for people remarrying, she gives you evidence based on her life experiences that support the statistic, she goes out on a limb to be true to what she believes, yet you still don't get it. She has now been reduced to a "religious freak" because she dare rain on your parade.

You people should take a long hard look at yourself, your family, and your children. Go and research the problems in society today. Also, ask yourself why you are not happy. I will tell you why. People who are not doing what is right have no comfort in life. They have no basis for even being here.

Religon is not about tolerance, it is about loving and compassion for your fellow man. Tough love is loving and compassion for your fellow man. If I do not tell you that you are being stupid and screwing up your children am I your friend? I think I will just ignore that your kid is: taking drugs, eating glass, getting into the detergent, etc. Am I your friend if I do that?

You are here on this earth for one primary reason. To serve God. If you do not believe that then why do you think you are here at all? Life in general sucks. We have war, famine, hate, etc. Then why persist? We are destroying our world, we should annihilate our entire species so the Earth can fix itself, right? Except, just maybe there is someone beyond ourselves that has a plan. I won't pretend that I know what that plan is, but I will tell you it is better than any plan any politician, religious leader, liberal or conservative can put together.

By trade I am a scientist, but I am lucky that I have been smacked up side the head on many occasions by forces that I cannot measure by any means. They have been both divine and evil. I am here to tell you, the divine is a lot better. I am also betting that many of you have had experiences with forces you cannot quantify and either brush it off or silently cower in terror. Don't be afraid, seek out a Christian religion to learn how to defend yourself. If they can't tell you, find another.

I will be praying for all of you. I just hope some part of this hits home.

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