Sign up for the Dr. Phil Newsletter
Twitter Facebook YouTube

Single Moms

 
Are you raising a child or children on your own? What are some of the struggles you face? How have you persevered in this role? Do you struggle to balance parenthood and time for yourself? Share your challenges and strategies with others.
Comments
Replied By: camflys on Apr 4, 2014, 5:59PM
I have a 37 yr old son who has BD/LD, ADD/HD.  He has been living on his own, unsuccessfully.  He is irresponsible and a pathalogical liar.  I love him so much, and have gotten him help with a psychiatrist since he was 3.  I knew there was something wrong, but his Dad would not accept it.  I had to get a divorce in order to get help for my son.
All of that brings me to now.  He has been in jail for 8 months.  He girlfriend of a year accused him of rape when they broke up.  I know my son well enough to know he wouldn't rape anyone.  He may be getting released this month, which brings me to my problem.
I let him live with me for 2 months when he broke up with a girl 2 yrs ago.  He is a pig, lazy and won't help with anything.  His previous landlord doesn't want him back, I didn't know he hadn't paid his rent for a year.  Mike wants to come live with me again for a while.  I just got out of the hospital.  I have kidney disease, congestive heart failure and a clot on my heart.  I am a wreck.  I feel so guilty.  I don't want him here again, but I don't want him to live on the street either. 
I really want some advice.   When does my responsibility end.  He needs some help, but he won;t go to a doctor any more or take any medicene or do anything he needs too.
What would you do if it was your son? 
 
Replied By: ladygoodsweet on Jan 19, 2014, 4:06PM
Just a message to all of the single mothers out there. Please listen to this if nothing else. 


Find time to just spend at the least 30 minutes a day to just sit with your child and listen to what they are saying. Does not matter how old they are, they just want you to listen to what they say. My favorite time for doing this was in the car. I never turned a radio on in my car the entire time my child was growing up because that was our time to talk. About anything and everything. Did not matter what we talked about, just that we spent that time listening to each other and talking about what mattered to us. When she was little it was about rainbows and unicorns. As she grew older it was about people who are mean to her and boys. No matter the topic, we discussed it. 

When she was little (like 2) I convinced her the car would not start or keep going if she did not have her seat belt on. Took about 3 extra minutes when we got in the car, but she still wears her seatbelt today.

When she did things she knew she would get in trouble for, she told me. I punished her and stuck to it, because to do otherwise just teaches her that there are no consequences for her actions. 

I by no means did everything right and would never claim to be a supermom. I just did the best I could with what I had to work with. Little money, rare child support, and love. I made sure she knew the Lord and Jesus and that momma may not be right but no matter how old you get she still is there in your corner.

My daughter has grown up now, she is a RN working in a hospital close to home. She is married, with 3 beautiful children and one more on the way. Did it all go easy? No, but another thing I made sure she knew was everything she did was to make herself happy. Did not matter what I thought (grades) as long as she could take pride in it, I was happy. She made honor roll. lol

If you just hang in there, do what you say your going to. Listen to them. To this day she still tells me everything. Even stuff I would rather not know. But, it honestly is not the amount of time you spend it is the quality of the time. Make every minute count.  By the way, I worked sometimes up to 70 hours a week when she was a child. So yes, I get it. And you can too.






 
Replied By: claudia11 on Oct 18, 2013, 6:30PM
i need to trust again someone and move one with my life ca use i have a smart boy who means the world for me, my concern is that his cousin who is autistic is very sexualy oriented and his mother is taking not very serious this problem . He like to touch people on private areas and she is leaving in denial . I am afraid that when she realized will be very  late and is not the child fault since was never told (do not touch) 
 
Replied By: sadlilmama7 on Oct 13, 2013, 9:56PM
I am a single parent of an Autistic Legally Blind but very smart 6 year old little boy. My parents were told to choose between my brother and myself... my dad hasn't really  talked to me in about four to five months. I am giving up on keeping track. My sister tells me all the time how they don't care but seems to care enough to try to find our parents. I have an open CPS case and my social worker believes I should not look for a job because she feels my son's needs would not be met if I do so. Some people tell me I should give my son up and they give me guilt trips like maybe he is better off and you need to do what's best for him. I feel I can get a job and still take good care of my son.
 
Replied By: debsiedylan on Sep 9, 2013, 4:37AM
Hello everybody,


I'm a single mom from The Netherlands so forgive me for my language-mistakes. 


When I found out I was pregnant, I desided to become single because the father of my son wanted to go out and not take care of our son and I was under a lot of stress because of this. I tried to get back together with him 2 times but it did not work for us. I did trie to build a relationship with 2 or 3 guys later on (no not at the same time hihihi!) but this also did not go well so now I'm single and happy with my situation. I always wait to see how it go's and when I think it go's well I introduce my son to them. I don't want to burden him with to much different guys.

His teachers always say that I have a very happy boy and he is always laughing. And for me that's my greatest achievement. My son has an mental dissability, I don't know how I can say it differently. He needs a longer time to learn something but when he finaly get's it, he immidiatly wants to learn something new. 

Sometimes it's hard because of the lack of money. My son knows that his mommy does not always have a lot of money and he is happy with what he get's and knows he sometimes has to wait to get something. Sometimes when I have a little extra money, he can pick something as a reward for being such a good and understanding boy. He's my life and the only thing that matters to me is that he is happy!

I don't work at the time, but I do wanna go back to work so I can meet new adults and expand my network.

I hope you single moms can get a positive vibe from this story! Even though it's hard at times, I love him and I would do it all over again. 


Sincerely yours, Debsie
 
Replied By: newenglander on Aug 18, 2013, 8:36AM
I have been blamed for so many things my children never got. Where do I draw the line?
As a single mom of 4 I walked on eggshells because he hurt my children to control me. When I tried to leave I was stalked, physically invaded in the middle of the night and forced upon sexually. My self-esteem was in the toilet. He threatened with weapons which he had access to.
I endured blindly believing it would help. I was wrong. I did get away, divorced, with all four children. Worked in Communications and did the best I could. We ate meals together, camped, had sleep-ins & overs. My children are adult in ace, youngest is 33years old. Yet am still blamed. What about the irresponsible other parent? When is it his turn?

Maybe never.

No one said life was fair, but sfetr some help from Onsite and years of talk therapy my esteem is back!    
 
Replied By: nellnimtz on Jul 9, 2013, 6:06PM
Just remember...once you know something, you can never not know it. So, if you have been to a counselor, or have had any type of counseling, even if there is one thing that you take away, you can never not know it. Be proud of who you are. I was a single Mom at 21 and I am now 42 and my girl is in college and she is a good girl. She never, not once, did she ever get into trouble. She also did not get good grades,she didn't always have the best boyfriends. But, we got through it. She has made so many mistakes and so did I. Sometimes, I didn't know how I would recover. But, I did. I had her in counseling and I was in counseling at different times, and, you can take something away from it. I will be honest, I did not think I would get through my girl's childhood. It was so hard. And, I always had 2 jobs at least. She is now on her own and I am married again and I still have two jobs. I have 3 jobs right now. 


Remember, if you do one thing, the same thing, for 21 days in a row, it becomes a habit. You are not supposed to think about it anymore. So, good behaviour or bad, after 21 days it becomes a habit. I made a ton of mistakes when my girl was growing up...I can't even count how many. But, today is today..she is good. And, if for some reason I was not here tomorrow, she would be able to live without me. She would be able to take care of herself. She would even be able to be a Mom herself, if that were the case. I have done my job. I have done it so-so. But, I still did it. And you can too. 
 
Replied By: reddarling on May 6, 2013, 2:10PM
i left my exhusbad who adopted my three kids which is now grown but he was a vietnam vet with ptsd! he molested my youngest daughter and went to va han his lawyer got him off cause of his mental problems! he  also was violent verbal and phyiscal . the va set him money for the three kids but he pocketed it and refused to give me a dime! mary blair in the va affairs said they can collect the money but dont have to give to spouce for child support as that wasvery wrong! i hope they can change that rule before any other woman gets hurt bye it as i had to pay for everything myself! thank you and god bless!
 
Replied By: lonelyjen on Apr 22, 2013, 1:23AM
I am a single mother of two children that are 13 and 3, I am in my early 30's and I go to school full-time which I am in the process of withdrawing since I simply can not deal with the day to day stresses that come along with raising two children all on my own while attempting to pass my classes. You see I suffer from Bipolar Disorder, Depression and Anxiety Disorder. I have since I was only 10 years old. I have been hospitalized several times for suicide attempts in the past. When life gets to hard, I can't pay my bills, the children are fighting constantly....I just want to curl up into a ball then run from all of my problems. 


I take medications, I see a counsler yet nothing seems to keep my manic episodes under control. I love my children but when they are alway fighting,  I just lose it and get angry, I only raise my voice at my children as I would never lay a hand on them. But several minutes afterwards I feel so sad, guilty and as if I'm the worst mother in the world. My children deserve a mother that does not have a mental illness. Some days I can't even function normally, I need help but I simply do not know what to do. I want my children to have the best life they possibly can. To live in a household without yelling or chaos. I do not know how to get them to get along. 


My 3yr old daughter is so attached to me that I can't go anywhere without here. She follows me everywhere I go. I can' t get her on a schedule, she acts out in every public place we go. It's so embarassing. My 13 year old son gets annoyed by her and it makes me sad that they can't get along and love one another. I just want use to be one happy family but my illness needs to get better some how. Right now we are facing getting evicted from our place, losing everything we have so tensions are high. 


I would just like suggestions from people as to what they think I should do. Please be kind in your response as I am a very emotional person. Thank you
 
Replied By: milez91 on Apr 20, 2013, 6:34AM - In reply to butilookgood
Hello,


It seems as though you are a bit angry with your child. I see that you two are doing the same things to one another. When you guys are good and she is on your side you will praise her and be happy but the minute she returns with her dad you are talking bad about her. I feel as though you are still upset about the fact she chose to be with her dad and continues to do so as she is still upset with you for your reaction. It seems like a war between her father, the step mom, and you. Each person continuously trying to prove who is the better parent by how many kids are on their side. Both of you need to stop doing this. It should not be if your daughter is good with her father she is upset with you and vice versa. Kids have a funny way of praying on parents weaknesses. To say your daughter is jealous of you...well I can only go by what I read as I do not know the entire story. I don;t think your twenty something year old daughter would be jealous of her 50 something mother even if you look 35 30 or 27. I think it is more so she is hurt, angry, and she will try to make you pay and blame you for her own issues growing up. She knows you feel bad for it and it hurts you that she is not close to you. I know you love your daughter I can tell. But there is a thin line between loving someone and inabling them to do as they please. She is a grown women and when she chooses to mature and really be there you have to allow her. If you are explaining your situation to friends and family like you are on here I can see why she does the things she does as far as try to push things that she knows will hurt you to your face. The reason why I say this is, when she hears you say she is filthy and had pads everywhere and she is selfish and all of these things putting her most vounerable time (when she attempted suicide) out there and make it seem as though you were doing her a big favor by staying with her she is not going to be too pleased about that. I would not want my business out there like that.  If you know she is purposely doing these things to upset you and you are confident in your parenting skills do not let that phase you. I don't think you should be looking on her facebook honestly becasue all that is going to do is really hurt you in the end. And like I said she may not be talking to you but she may be determined to hurt you and she is doing this just so you can be hurt and to negatively impact your day. Or she may really feel like that at the moment. My co-worker had a similar experience with her daughter and she flipped on her (they were like best friends) and was so disrespectful to her. I told her she should not stand for it. I told her she should let her daughter know how much she loves her and let her know the door is always openwhen she is prepared to sit down and respectfully talk to her but do not allow her to break her down and be disrespectful. Her daughter would also flaunt her dads new wife in her moms face (this is the women he had an affair with for 6 months, also his boss, and thats why their marriage ended) i told her to always pick up her calls, talk to her in a loving tone, always remind her you love her but nicely and firmly tell her you will not put up with her disrespect.And you know what? her daughter reached out to her apologized, cried, asked to take her to dinner and they are on good terms. the worst thing you can do as a parent is show your hurt and dissapointment in a negative manner.  She will cling to that and use anything negative you say about her (even if it's true) as a reason she does not like you. I am speaking from experience. I am a mother and I was also very rebellious and thought I hated my dad. I was not too nice to my mother either. I just thought everyone was against me. My mom always was a calm loving person and she continued to do so. She knew how sensitive I was when people told me about myself so she found a differrent approach to talking to me and having me tell her how she feels. It helped alot. I feel your frustration and can sense the hurt in pain in your words. I know you love your daughter sooooo much and this is why the way the relationship is with you too hurt so bad and your frustrated. I think you need help as well because it seems as though you have been through alot with your ex husband and kids and you still hold a lot of animosity towards him and in a way blame him for how things played out. I think you may need to speak to a counselor to work through those emotions because I don't think you have ever truly dealt with them. As far as your daughter, be a friend, a supporter, a mother, a loving hand she can feel she can turn to. She is grown now so trying to be harsh will not help. Do not retaliate when she does something on FB. Don't talk about her, the father, or the situation. Anytime you talk to friends and family just say how much you love and miss her and how you hope your relationship gets better with her. As if you're sending little peace offerrings to her because just as she knoews you will see her FB posts she definitely hears how you talk about her and what you say about her. She will come along but do not Ever give up on your child. She needs her space and her time and give her that. Don;t worry about what you can't change but let her know when she is willing to talk  or change you will be there for her 1000%. Continue to live your life and surround yourself with positive people. right now your dauhter may not be one of those and thats fine. Let it play out and be there when she is in need. She may not say anything but it will be a mental note for her that you are always there when she needs to talk and not judge her. Hope this helps a little.
 
Showing 1-10 of total 25 Comments