Parenting · Wellness

The Wise Single Parent: 6 Decisions You Should Make

“There is nothing stronger than a single mom with a wounded heart”

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Weddings are both endings and beginnings. When my son Vincent got married , it meant a lot of things to  our family.

Vincent  began his new role in life. And he said  goodbye to  the role that life thrust upon him.

Fifteen years ago, I made the toughest choice of my life – to walk away from my marriage. That day redefined my role and the lives of my four sons. I became a solo mom and my kids, fatherless.

Bellevue Hotel, 2014

For many years, I had to go to school meetings, graduations and my sons’ milestones on my own. The seat beside me was always vacant.

Life is just a series of decisions. As a parent I am always careful with my choices.

6 Decisions of a Single Mom

  1. I chose to be an non traditional family over my marriage. Overnight, my sons Vincent and Mark, had to grow up to lead the family with me. At the age of 15, Vincent became “Dad” to his brothers.
  2. I chose to be honest.  I did not sugar coat. My sons knew what they needed to know about my failed marriage, in a way they can handle.
  3. I chose to forgive. The best thing I did for my kids was to forgive their father. This meant I did not bad mouth him.  I did the opposite – I reminded them of his good qualities. I told them that hating him is like hating half of themselves.
  4. I chose not to date. For eleven years, I did not date. I chose to focus on my children, 100%. I did not want my children to share my time or my attention with anyone.
  5. I chose role models for them. The absence of a father creates a vacuum. I made sure they had sports coaches, good men in our church and my successful male clients around them. My sons should know what a good man looks like.
  6. I chose not to juggle playing the role of mom and dad. Just be the best mom.
My four sons, Bellevue 2018

Single moms in the Philippines – the reality

The oppressive laws on annulment and legal separation leaves women to fend for their families. There is no divorce and  child support from fathers are arbitrary.  

This is probably why the Philippines is a matriarchal society.

It is not for me to judge the  moral aspects of this topic, but  shouldn’t the  safety and well being of each individual in a family (especially the children) be more important than our attempt to demonize all cases of divorce. America’s divorce law has given my kids that chance to experience a complete family.

The choice of second chance

So, when I came home from America with Dave, their new stepdad, for Vincent’s wedding –  it was a choice to give my kids a chance to have a complete family

On our way to Vincent’s pamanhikan, the conversation in our car was happy, full of laughter. There was more “boys only” jokes. There was a  sense of completeness we haven’t felt in years.

Finally, my sons had a Dad.

Vincent’s wedding was the official changing of guards. He turned over the role of my partner and protector to Dave. And Dave stood proud beside me as we gave away our son. It was a happy day. The seat beside me was no longer vacant.

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