Absent Father Syndrome
I guess it’s safe to say that most, if not all of us grew up with the idea that the father is the head of the family. No family is complete without the head, just as no living body is anatomically complete without a head above it. But what if the family has no head? What if, for one reason or another, a father figure is lacking in the family picture? Can a mother and her kids alone still thrive as a normal family?
The answer, of course, is a resounding “yes!”
Families nowadays no longer strictly comprise of father, mother, brother, sister and the family dog. The white picket fence has been replaced with a rundown condo parking slot. Single parent families are now a dime a dozen, and they prove to produce well-raised kids despite the circumstances. Good parenting requires skills and supplements that are not exclusive to married couples. The challenge of any parent is to find the time to create and implement a vision-a strategy for molding a confident, hopeful and happy moral character out of the little personality you have been given.So, how do we cope with an absent father situation?
Like what Ms Michelle Alignay said, solo parents stories are unique. Your story will differ to my story. Some solo parents are co-parenting with their ex partners. However, in my case, this is not applicable. So, what do I do? I have my co-parent list. This includes my parents, Addys ninong and ninangs, relatives (Aunts, Uncles and most especially my vibrant cousins) At this point, I have 12 co-parents. isn't it wonderful? It is a blessing because I have MORE. :)
I surround my Addy with beautiful souls, I expose him to loving people. Since I joined LOJ last September, I make sure that I bring him during Sundays. Not jut to attend the mass but also to be able to interact with the kids in the Kid's Ministry. At times, I bring him along during CG :) I thank my CGmates for welcoming Addy wholeheartedly.
Me and my friends saw how Addy changed a lot. He may not be fluent in talking but he knows more words now than before. He may not understand what's happening around him like the worship, talk, praises but I know as Bro Monty mentioned, he will feel it. I surround Addy with caring adults who sees him as special, who sees him as a gift, a blessing, and not otherwise.
I make it to a point to call my Addy from time to time. A simple, "How are you Addy?' or 'What did you eat for lunch?" In this way, he will feel that I am around him. I remembered him. This is our early start of having an open communication. Since I need to work for both of us, I am not with him 24/7 but I make sure that I talk to him everyday. I call him atleast five times a day. I make sure he knows when to say, Opo, yes, sorry, goodnight, thank you and I love you.
"MOMMYYYYYYY! MWAAAAAHHHH" this welcomes me everytime I go home. How can I be tired? Nomatter how tired I am, I am full of energy as soon as I step inside the house. No matter how crazy my day was, I make time for Addy as soon as I get home.
Believe it or not, it is a daunting task to be a solo parent. On top of that, Addy has no nanny to take care of him. My parents and I pre-schedule who will look after him. But next year, since Addy will be going to school. I might need to get a nanny already. Anyone interested? :D
Makati feast is another place besides home where Addy can learn to build trust, self-confidence and a sense of hopefulness and excitement about the future. Another enviroment apart from home and school (soon) that will teach him new learnings not just about God but about realities in life.
Even though this is a difficult time for me especially that Christmas season is just around the corner, it can also be a time of growth and positive change. I examine our situation and determine what good can come out of it, be it a new career, new independence, a closer relationship with my parents, or even an opportunity to meet new people. No matter how negative the circumstance was that led me to this place, it is important to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel. Just like how Bro Hermie said during worship, God makes miracles in our mistakes. I never really considered Addy as a mistake, but I consider him as my one big MIRACLE. He is my source of strength, happiness, peace and most of all, SANITY.
Maintain a relationship with God
This last, but most important, is the primary key to a happy family life. Together, we pray, talking to God through prayer is one way to build a relationship with God. Reading the bible is another way to build your relationship with God. I changed our bedtime stories to bible bedtime stories. In this way, I am also instilling not just good values but God's words to Addy. At this early time, He will be connected to God, my ultimate friend, lifetime partner and provider.
I believe that Addy do not need perfect life in order to have a normal life and to grow up whole. He will learn from mistakes (yes, even me) and can develop strength from bad times. What he needs is a few essentials designed to make him feel secure, connected, loved and accepted. Our life has changed dramatically. The only person who can determine the outcome of our life is me. I trust my good Lord that he will guide me and Addy along the way. I will come out ahead in life.Addy will grow up as a fine young man who love and respect his creator, neighbor and self. Addy will grow up as a man twice as much as his father. I will be forever his hero.
To Addy: You are my world Addy. I will never get tired of loving you Addy. You keep mommy alive. You are the one who gives me thousands of reasons to wake up each morning and go to work. I love you no matter what you do or where you may end up going in life. I am not ashamed of you. I am not ashamed of what we are right now. I am proud to have you because I have one beautiful son. I have a loving son. I know one day you will understand, and I hope when that day comes, you will understand.