- Gender and Relationships»
- Advice & Tips for Men in Relationships
Children: It's the Circle of Life
You meet a special man. You fall in love. You marry and then have children. Parents raising boys or raising girls continues the age old circle of life. Relationships don’t always develop in this order, but that was my experience.
My husband, a dynamic, intelligent fun loving man and I decided, after several happy years together, to have children. Together we had two healthy boys, born two years apart.
The idea of loving parents raising two boys into adulthood was not to be. We separated.
One day we were a family, the next I was a young mum with the responsibility of raising boys. The children were aged three and five when we separated.
At the time there was a lot of media attention about single women trying make up for the lack of a male in the home by trying to be both mum and dad and not doing a particularly good job of either. Instantly I resolved that I could be only a mum. Nonetheless, all of the decision making fell in my court and it was up to me to step up to that responsibility too.
My immediate concern surrounded an issue faced by millions of single mums around the world. The foundation of this concern was “how do I, a single woman, bring up boys without the benefit of a full time male role model?”
Who would teach them to tie knots, fish and the myriad of other “male” activities? Men view issues, solve problems and develop relationships differently. When raising boys who would they “mirror” to find their unique maleness? Those were the concerns I had (and more) as I embarked on the gigantic task of guiding the boys into adulthood.
The children’s dad kept contact and that time, although limited, was precious. He provided valuable male input, different experiences, a new way to look at issues and most of all he gave time. Not enough time, but the time he committed could be relied upon.
I think the importance of “maleness” is critical. When raising boys, we ignore that at our peril.
The boys spent many holidays on the farm with my mum and dad. That helped to give the boys a role model of a long term relationship.
Racing around the farm from dawn til dusk making huts, rounding up sheep and riding around on the back of the tractor gave the children a special taste of freedom unavailable in the city we lived in. It all helped in the mix of raising boys.
Somehow we three negotiated the years.
I made many mistakes. We had our challenges, of that there is no doubt. There were many instances where I would like the opportunity to wind back the clock and try again. But that’s not an option we are able to have.
However “my boys” have developed into stunning young men with warm hearts.
Despite our home not having a good two parent relationship role model both “my” young men are involved in long term loving relationships. They have shown that despite being bought up by a single parent, of the other sex, they function well in a couple.
I feel blessed that our immediate family of three has grown to a family of five with the addition of these very special, strong and lovely young women. The circle of life is likely to continue.
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