Some of you may know (or not know), I grew up from my teens with a single father.
Am I a hypocrite?
In fact, I don’t think so. With my circumstances, it was definitely not possible for my parents to stay together, this has only supported my contention in the fact that single parenting does not only present more complications for the parent but also for the child’s development. It is true, since I’ve been there and my sibling’s been there, they still are there while I am much older.
Single parenting as an experience varies depending on whether the single parent is the mother or the father and both have big cons, not just single mother parenting. I can say that I definitely experienced a minimal effect from the cons since I was already quite old by the time my parents divorced, I was in my late teens so my parents were married for most of my childhood. Additionally, I also had my grandmother to turn to when they separated, we have always been quite close and in a way- she bridged the gap that a mother was in my life pretty well. This is why I am like this now.
However, it is not all smooth sailing, as I will explain now.
Single mothers love with a nurturing kind of love that is accepting, gentle and they are always wanting to protect in a feminine way. Of course, being women, single mothers can teach the importance of emotions, expressing oneself, understanding others and being more empathetic to their children, which is very useful.
Con: Single mothers cannot teach children, especially male children, the importance of masculine responsibility completely since she is not a male role model. Especially by example. In fact, they turn the whole idea on its head. Male children see their mothers doing all the providing and being a male themselves, they don’t associate providing with manhood. The way mothers protect is also different so male children don’t have any actual examples of bravado or even an actual male role model who has masculine hobbies. The biggest con of all is that they also become too emotionally sensitive, since while they learn such a good thing from their mother, they cannot balance it with a masculine stoicism and bravado that they would learn from a father for father figure. I find a lot of whiny, feminist men are raised by single mothers, many of whom have their natural masculinity actually being suppressed by their single mothers (who are bitter towards men)!
When it comes single fathers, you can definitely rely on them to provide and protect while also teaching you to be tough and resilient against the world the way a man can. Something I learned was how to bare the brunt and not complain. Also, being more direct and less sensitive, fathers can teach their children to be more blunt when it comes to expressing themselves, with less regard for emotion. Which is good if you want to be assertive.
Con: Children raised by single fathers, especially female children often find that they may be too emotionally hardened or blunt, to the point that when they do interact with boys (especially in teenage years) and people in general they are too blunt or even offensive. This makes them hard to approach by some, I went through this myself! Also, often these female children do go through a tomboy phase since all you have as a visual role model through those years is dad and his t-shirts and pants. The biggest con of all is the hindrance in being able to express their emotions to others, as I see with my sibling and I went through it too, though to a smaller degree (I was helped by my grandmother, though). They find it hard to talk about their feelings and be open to romantic love or to be more receptive and just listening to people. I don’t know many children raised by single fathers, just one other person besides my sibling and I, so I can’t make a general judgement on the ‘type’ of person they tend to become. It’s just a smaller pool of people.
This is why I truly believe in having two loving parents within the family to raise their children. Yes I may be traditional, I believe women should be at home as carers for their children and the house and men to be at work to provide and protect. In this way though, they are still able to teach children in two different ways. Mothers teach by caring and through their emotional skills while fathers teach by example, children see where their father goes and what he does to provide and how he takes responsibility- they can also both teach by actually discussing and passing on wisdom.
One thing I will add: a single father will have a harder time in society. Since they are less common in number, especially with the ostracisation men face nowadays, they are unlikely to receive sympathy and help from general society. People will always respond to single dads with surprise. People will always ask where mum is, much more often than the other way around. You know what really sucks? That my father always gets questioned whenever he travels with my sibling about his travel custody papers and a letter within it from my mother confirming his custody. Because..dad is probably kidnapping the little child or something if he is by himself.
It’s never the other way around.