There are moments you wish for and look forward to most as a mom... as a parent really.
Those moments are precious milestones that you read about in books; stories you hear about from friends and family members who have been around the proverbial parenting block more than once.
At just 16, Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas is the first African-American since Dominique Dawes to represent Team USA on the Olympic gymnastics team.
However, in my mind, her mom, Natalie Hawkins, also deserves a medal. A lifetime achievement award of a different stripe.
Everyone has their own ideas about parenting, and when it comes to mixing dating with co-parenting, the lines become even more blurry.
Why full custody isn't always a full win...
There's rarely a significant upside to divorce in a situation such as mine. Sure, there were years of ups and downs, the occasional door slamming and name-calling fights, and questions answered from the other in silence. But there were plenty of good times too, even in very recent memory, before he suddenly flew the coop.
As the co-creators of two very challenging young boys, I did see a faint light at the end of the divorce tunnel: shared custody. While I'd not asked for nor been consulted on our divorce, I did have a sudden vision of two free weekends a month, school breaks where I could actually take a vacation that didn't involve wiping an offspring's backside, alternating holidays I don't care for anyway - like Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve.
As a busy single mom, it seems like finding and dating a good man is the furthest thing from your current reality. Who has time for romance when you’re running down the hall after a toddler or making sure that you’re teen isn’t making bad decisions?
Being a single parent is no easy task, particularly in families where there is more than one child. Due to the unique challenges of having to balance a professional career with parenthood, it should come as no surprise that a significant portion of my clientele consists of single parent families.
I've always done things on my own. An only child of preoccupied parents, I was left to entertain and care for myself for the vast majority of time. Always independent, always the lone ranger. You’d think that when the leg of my journey as a single mother came around, I’d easily adapt. Hmmm…..not so much.
If you're single and pregnant, you may think that dating is off limits to you. Some guys run from the idea of having a child in the near future, especially one they are not biologically tied to, so you may think that finding a guy who'll want to be with you and your baby-to-be will be nearly impossible. There are plenty of men out there who wouldn't mind dating a pregnant woman. Be yourself, be honest and don't settle for anyone who doesn't deserve you and your future child.
I was raised mostly by a single mom. My parents separated when I was in 8th grade, but before that my dad had been a long haul truck driver who was on the road more often than he was home. Most of my childhood it was my mom, my sister and I. Having this background of being raised by a single mom, I had a reference point for my own single parent journey. I knew specifically what methods I was going to take from my own mother, and the ones I would not be repeating. My mom had made mistakes that I was determined to avoid.
Everyone has heard the phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child.” As a single parent, your village is even more important. Your village becomes your family; the people that you rely on to help you and child. When you are a single parent, especially when you are not in close proximity of actual relatives, the family that you create for yourself is critical to you and your child’s well being.