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  #21  
Old 11-16-2013, 07:25 PM
Norwegianpoly Norwegianpoly is offline
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Originally Posted by london View Post
You know, lots of the things people are saying will make this hard are performed by thousands of women who have children in a limited support network. The fact that she will have a co-parent at all would be considered a bonus by the many women who have a partner who is the biological father of the child but doesn't co parent.
That really depends. The upside to being alone with a child is to be able to make all decitions by oneself - and get all the glory! The problems can arise if you depend in part on somebody, and they do not do their bit, or there are misunderstandings. If he lives close by it may work out all fine as there is less practical conderns connected to travel etc.

I really only know one couple who did it like this and they ended up getting married! and now had another child.
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  #22  
Old 11-17-2013, 12:58 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Just because there are plenty of single parents out there finding a way to make it work without support, I doubt any of them would recommend it as a first choice, or do it the same way if they had it to do over.
In my brain, my post wasn't about "single parents." It was about "parents with limited support networks." Re-reading it, I can see how utterly I failed at making that clear and for that I apologize. I am really sorry that it came across as though single parents aren't capable of being good parents, and I don't blame you for being offended by that. Please believe, that's not at all what I meant.

So let me try again.

SOME single parents have no support networks. If you do, that's great. Thank your friends and family for not ditching you when you had a baby outside of wedlock. Not all your fellow single mothers are so lucky. Yes, it super totally sucks. But there absolutely are women out there who get knocked up, and their parents kick them out and their friends turn their backs, because their religion says unwed motherhood is sinful. Turns out Jesus's message love and acceptance and forgiveness didn't get around as well as he intended.

Parents without support, whether they happen to be single or not, cannot provide the same level of care as parents who have support -- someone to lend a hand, answer questions, tell her that she's doing a good job even when it feels like she's doing everything wrong (what mother doesn't have those moments?). In order for any child to have the best possible care, their parents need a support network. As wonderful as it would be for best intentions and love to be enough to create a healthy environment in which to raise a child, they're not. You need support.

I certainly didn't say, or even imply, that only a father can be that support, or even that he needs to be part of that support. I didn't say anything about needing a co-parent involved in order to provide the best possible care.

If you have no one to talk to, no one to help you, no one to support you... you're going to be a mess. All humans need support, including child-free singles and partnered parents. And if you're a mess yourself, then your parenting abilities are inevitably going to suffer. Again, partnered or not. So if your friends and family abandoned you, or if you didn't have any to begin with (true for far too many women, sadly), then you need to join parenting groups so you have some grown-ups to talk to, to ask for help, to get advice and reassurance. If you want to be the best parent you can be, you need to build a support network. If you already have one, then so much the better, that's one thing to check off your prenatal checklist.

Natja, if you raised two kids by yourself without a lick of help from anyone, then you have my eternal admiration... or else my suspicion that you're not actually human. But you mentioned a sister so I infer you had some help along the way. Likewise london, I know that your kid's dad is around, and your posts imply that you had other support as well. So neither one of you is the (single or partnered) parent-without-support about which I'm talking.

My bff was living with her kids' dad when they were born. She had a support network, but he wasn't part of it. He was an adult child and made her life so much harder than it had to be. So believe me, I know that having the sperm donor involved isn't the be-all-end-all of parenthood.

As for the "top of their game" bit I still wasn't talking about single parenthood. I was talking about having a sick kid and being in ON mode for days on end. Every parent has been there. Maybe not from a hell child that screams for 3 days straight. But how about when the flu hits your whole family, and it's all you can do to crawl to the bathroom and vomit your guts out? I'm sure you're not telling me that at each and every moment while you've been a mother, you were at the top of your game and providing the absolute best care possible? That since your kids have been born, you've never had a sleepless night or lost your temper? What are you, some kind of superhuman momborgs?

I know I mentioned single parents alongside all that other stuff, but it wasn't intended that single parents aren't as good as partnered parents. Having forgotten my own friend's situation, I was assuming that if two people have a kid together and decide to co-parent, that they'll be able to help each other through it, hence forming at least a basic support network. My phrasing was terrible and your interpretations were not unfair. I completely take responsibility for my failure to communicate my intended message. I'm sorry.
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  #23  
Old 11-17-2013, 07:12 AM
london london is offline
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Oh, yes, I'm not a single parent with no support network, totally opposite. I have my family, my son's dad and all his family too. I do know lots of "proper" single parents with no support though. And in truth some of them have done better than me. Their kid just isn't as cute.
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  #24  
Old 11-17-2013, 09:05 AM
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Natja Natja is offline
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It's ok, thank you for apologising.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post


Natja, if you raised two kids by yourself without a lick of help from anyone, then you have my eternal admiration... or else my suspicion that you're not actually human. But you mentioned a sister so I infer you had some help along the way.
My sister and I live in the same building. But most of our family live abroad. Yes emotional support is important, I am a great believe in the 'It takes a village' and I prefer to have a lot of loving people in the life of my children, that is one of my motivations for living Poly in the first place.
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  #25  
Old 11-17-2013, 09:54 AM
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SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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I am a great believe in the 'It takes a village' and I prefer to have a lot of loving people in the life of my children, that is one of my motivations for living Poly in the first place.
I think that, more than anything, is what I was trying to get at.

It takes not one person, not two people, but a whole bunch of people in a community working together to raise kids to live up to their full potential. I think a lot of that is lost in our isolated modern society. The rule of the day is "butt out, they're my kids, don't tell me how to raise them." Some parents freak right out if you so much as "shh" their (old enough to know better) kids for yelling on the bus. And don't get me started on what happens if you dare ask those parents to stop screaming at the kids...

So I think it's bad enough that even with two-parent households, we've lost so much of that wisdom and experience from all the other parents around us, then to suggest that one single person could be all things to their kids, could single-handedly fill every possible role... just seems ludicrous to me.

I've been misunderstood before for saying that I think kids need strong male and female role models. Boys need to learn the right way to treat and be treated by girls. Girls need to learn the right way to treat and be treated by boys. A single mom, superhero that she is, simply can't be a male role model. I'm not saying the father has to live with you or even be involved at all. But if he's completely MIA, or if he's going to set a negative role model, then it's your parental duty to find some other man to model appropriate male behaviour. It doesn't have to be a man that you're romantically involved with. A friend, brother, grandfather, uncle, cousin, etc. will do just fine. The more the merrier, because all kids click with some people better than others.

And it doesn't just stop at gender. Kids should meet scientists, artists, business professionals, stay at home parents, disabled people, people with different ethnicities... Because the only way to learn about something is to be exposed to it.

Again, none of this means you're "doing it wrong" if you can't provide each and every one of those pieces. I acknowledge that it's a question of privilege for some people and you do the best you can with what life hands you. But it doesn't change the fact that the more exposure you have and the more you learn when you're a child, the better your chances of being successful as an adult. If your childhood consists of waking yourself up, taking the bus to school, coming home and watching tv until your mom gets home just in time to tuck you in... you're just not going to have all the opportunities that some other kids will have.
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