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Q

Advice on What to Do About My Daughter's Father

St. Louis, MO

My daughter's father is rather unpredictable. He has never met her. He is from New Orleans, but last I heard, he was residing around the Baton Rouge area, as he and his sister lost the home they were in during Hurricane Katrina. I don't trust him because he is unpredictable and has some anger issues. I don't know if he would ever hurt us, but I am not 100% sure that he wouldn't, as he lashes out when he feels cornered. Last fall, he called me at work. Ironically, on the 2 year anniversary of the hurricane. It was the first time I had spoke to him since I was pregnant when he told me that I had to get an abortion and I informed him that it was ultimately my choice and not his. Obviously I still harbor a certain amount of anger towards him, but I try to be very careful not to pass this on to my daughter. I don't hate him, because he was upfront that he wasn't ready to be a dad. It doesn't even bother me that he disappeared where it concerns me personally. But I am angry about how it effects my daughter. She asks about her daddy quite often and has ever since she was 2. Right now I can tell her that he lives very far away and that works for her. She understands this because the rest of our family live far away. We can drive to see them but it takes nearly all day and I tell her that her daddy lives farther away than Grandma and Grandpa do and that he lives in Louisiana. When he called last year, he asked about pictures, said that he wanted lots, and wanted to know when we were coming LA. I put an envelope of pictures together, however, I haven't mailed it yet. I have sent him a couuple of pictures through text and have not received on single reply from him. I haven't been to LA with my daughter yet, however I may be going in November. I thought about sending the envelope of pictures and letting him know that if he wanted to see her that he could. I feel however the ball is in his court and he should make some type of an effort. I do not receive child support from him and yes it would be nice, but I really could care less about that. I have tried, but with all of the moving around after Hurricane Katrina, they can not establish a residency for him. We just about had him before the hurricane. DNA testing was done and it said that there was a 99.999% chance that he was her father. The next step was to go to court to have him legally established as her father. He got the results just days before the hurricane and I got them the day of the flooding. The file in Orleans Parish was partially destroyed. I don't know where he went first, but was up in PA for awhile, near his other 2 children from a recent relationship. Then went back to LA. Then of course when I moved here, it had to be started all over again and I haven't heard a thing as to any progress. Basically, I don't know what I should do. I want him established as her father. The reason being is that if he absolutely doesn't want anything to do with her, I want to be able to ask him to sign away his rights to her. Because of his unpredictability, I can see him coming back on me later saying that I pushed him away, I didn't give him a chance to know her, etc. Then I have all sort of legal issues to deal with. Also, should I ever get married I would like my husband to be able to adopt her. However, if he wants to be involved, that is fine too. But then I expect to see some financial support. I guess what I am asking for as: 1. How much effort should I be making towards him? 2. Is there anyone else out there in a similar situation? How are you handling it? 3. The "Daddy lives very far away" is only going to work for so long, I don't know what I am going to tell her that is not going to be putting him down or make her feel bad. The only thing I can think of was that he wasn't ready to be a daddy. Also, I still have a trust issue and don't want to just send him my home address. He knows that I live in the St. Louis area. I am comfortable sending him my email address for now. If he doesn't want to be a part of her life, I don't want him to know any specifics. If he does than I would move forward to give him more info. I am completely interested in having an open parenting relationship with him. I just don't know how to best proceed, that will still protect my girl.

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Q

Feeling Sad

Detroit, MI

Hi. My daughter is almost one year old and has just started establishing a relationship with her father about 1month ago. He has her every other weekend and this weekend was the 3rd time he had her. When he brought her home she did not want to leave him and cried coming to me. This makes my heart break and makes me feel very sad? This is the first time it has happened. She is a very loving baby all other times so it really took my by surprise. Am I just over reacting? I just feel really bummed about it. Her father and I do not speak well so I have no idea what they do over his weekends. Thanks

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Q

Grandma Advice

Washington DC, MD

Hi all, I am a mom and grandmom. My problem concerns my oldest daughter (mother of my oldest granddaughter), she lives with us and I take care of my granddaughter while her mom works and goes to school. She always said she wasn't going to have kids and then last year she had my granddaugher. She had been doing ok, but as the baby gets older she is getting more and more frustrated and realizing how much work children really take. Well today she mentioned that she has considered giving her daughter up to me and leaving. I try to be encouraging and supportive without letting her think that I will take on complete responsibility for the baby. Has anyone dealt with this before?? Any advice on what to say to her, usually I am pretty good but this time I am stumped. Any advice would be helpful.

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Q

Hard Time with Being Single

Seattle, WA

So Today I became a single mom. I was wondering if anyone has any helpful words on how to deal with being alone through raising a baby. It's very hard for me all of a sudden. I have had the hardest day. and at times I have felt like I have nothing. I never imagined that it would be this hard. I just don't know how to deal with it. I feel empty and alone. I feel out of place without him here. Even though I know it's for the best. I just need some help dealing with this time if anyone can give me some helpful suggestions. Anything helps. Thank you so much

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Q

Having Trouble Being a Single Mom

Oklahoma City, OK

i guess what i need is reassurance even though you dont know me but i have three daughters my oldest is 12 and she sfrom a previous marriage and lives with her dad my two little ones and 18 mo and 3 mo and the dad is only in our lives when it is convient for him, i feel so alone and i seem to cry every chance i get i feel like i cannot do this on my own and i know deep down that i can because i have seen my mother do it and my very best friend also i have these terrible feelins that i wish i would of never had my two little ones , and i hate myself for that because they are my world all three of them , i guess i am that way because the dad is not around and he is able to go and do what he pleases i cant i work and come home and am with them all the time i just recently started taking my two little ones to daycare and my 18 mo is throwing more tantrums then she did before she has only known me and her grandparents but her grandparents cant care so much for them she cries when i mention the daycare lady or we pull in front of her house it really hrts my feelings to see her that way i feel like a terrible mom and that she will hate me for it at some point what do i do about al these feelins i am having? please help

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Q

Help Getting My Kids to Sleep in Their Own Bed

Dallas, TX

I am a single mom and I have always allowed my children to sleep with me, probably for me as well as them. Now they are five and three and I cant sleep because they are constantly moving. I have tried everything i can think of including praying with them every night. Also trying the "Get out of bed free cards" as well as letting them pick out their beds and A Puppy nothing has worked. I will stay awake until I think they are asleep and then go to bed and as soon as I turn out the light they will be there. How can I get them to understand that their bed is not scary.

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Q

Hitting Child

Boca Raton, FL

I'm in need of advice on my 22 month old son who hits only at me, noone else. He is not talking yet (with the exception of a few very basic words), so I don't know how much is him being frustrated at not being able to communicate vs. how much is the terrible 2's vs. just seeing what he can get away with? He's been doing this for the last 5 months or so. I've tried putting him in time out for 2 minutes at home, but he tends to act out more so when we're out in public because there is no "TIME OUT" mat. He doesn't seem to mind going in time out, even though he is good about staying there until his time is up. Any suggestions would be appreciated. THANKS!!!

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Q

How Do I Explain the Absence of Their Father?

Chicago, IL

Can someone give me a bit of insight on how they explained to their children that their father will not be around? My sons are 2.5 and almost 4 years old. The oldest very much knows that a family consists of children, a mother and a father. Their father has not been around for over 2 years, so they do not remember him. So far I have left the topic alone. Now my oldest out of the blue said he had no father. I told him that is not true, it is just that his father lives far away. Their father is an idiot, but I do not want them to know it. I never said anything negative about their father. I am a bit in the middle here and do not know what the right answer to this question is. If he asks why his father is not seeing him, do I tell him the truth which is that the father does not care to see him? The truth hurts sometimes, but I prefer sticking to the truth as much as possible. Again would be nice to hear from other single parents with simialr experience. Thanks in advance for your responses.

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Q

How to Deal with Separation and Husband Who Still Want to Do Thing All Together

Philadelphia, PA

Hi I have been separated since August. My husband and I were together 8 years. Although some of that time he was acitivated and overseas. ( He is a marine) Anyway, we are separated. I initiated it. He still wants to hang out and do things as a family, I find it very difficult and emotionally draining. That he wants to be my "friend", but he wasn't available to me as a husband. I'd rather have more of a rigid separation. How do I draw the lines with him without cause conflict, it seems to causing an arguement if I say no. He has a girlfriend now too and it is even more difficult.

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Q

Is the Yelling and Screming All the Time Normal????

Sarasota, FL

All my kids just yell and scream all the time. Telling on eachother every 5 sec. I ask then to do something or not do something and they just scream and yell.. Or it's why do I have to do this or why do i have to do that. Then can NEVER just do it or not do it. And my 11 yr old believe it or not is the worst. It seems like to me I just do matter to them. They are my life... And yet they have no respect for me... I need some advice or alittle direction.

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Q

My 2 Year Old Sleeps with Me!

Sherman, TX

First of all, I like sleeping with my daughter for the time being. She has been doing so for several months now. It started out with her having to sleep with me the first night back from her daddy's. It progressed to every night. Being single, I don't care right now about her being in my bed. I don't plan on getting into a relationship for a while. But I know that I eventually have to get her out of my bed. She can climb out of her crib so I am going to buy her a toddler bed soon but I know that when she wakes up she will either cry or get up and come to mama's bed. I have no idea how to approach this. I know she is comfortable with me. She likes to snuggle and likes to wrap my arms around her tight while we are going to sleep and I love this feeling. As hard as it is going to be for me to let go, I have to teach her to let go too I know. Thanks in advance for your help!

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Q

My 8 Year Old Her Step Dad, and Her Biological Absentee Father, Please Help!

Houston, TX

my daughter is 8 years old now, until recently, at age 7 she met her bilogical dad and his mom. The last time she saw them she was 1 year old so literally she had to meet them again. In the meantime i moved on with my life went back to collge, got a degree, recently got engaged, my fiance has been with me and my daughter since she was 2. He truly loves her like she was his own and she identifies with him and will tell anyone that he is her daddy. since she didnt know her biological father when he came into her life it was very negative for her, right now, he is no longer in her life, she hasnt seen or talked to him and doesn't want to. She will tell anybody that he IS NOT her dad and will say that her step dad is. He bought her a couple of stuffed animals and she beats the hell out of them, recently we moved and she chose to throw them away, she does things that she never used to do before, walk around saying that he is not her daddy, she doesn't like them, and that his mom is not her grandmother (grandmother did the ulmitate, she promised her a gift for x-mas dec 07 and a gift for her b-day feb 08 and she still hasnt gotten it yet) my daughter is totally turned off from them. I dont know how to respond to her, I cant make her accept them. Recently, at the beginning of march one of my cousins said she went to Marshalls in Meyerland and he was working in the store? Said he ran up on her, digging in his pockets trying to give her $100 to give to me, my cousin told him no it's too spontaneous, (he doesnt pay child support, owes over $20k) but all of a sudden is trying to give? My cousin explained to him that he would do better giving her something tangible, like buying her a dress b.c easter was coming or taking her to toys-r-us. he was then trying t0 buy her a dress out of marshalls but my cousin told him she didnt know her size. Then she called me but I didnt answer, I did call her back but she left the store and explained everything to me, said he was trying to bad-mouth me, and she had to stop him and remind him who has been there for our child, she said she exchanged numbers with him to get in contact with me but then he told her he does not want to talk to me b.c. I changed my phone numbers on him, (i didnt, i moved) she then called him back and told him what size our daughter wears and told him she is playing softball and needs equipment, he said he was going to buy it, then she told him to loose her # b.c. he needs to talk to me about "our" child, he got mad, but to no surprise he has not done anything, I bought my daughters easter dress and I got her equipment for softball, I know his mom has my cell phone # b.c it never changed, yet he claims he doesnt have it and his mother called on her granddaughter's birthday??? I told my cousin if she ever sees him again, whatever, they discuss is between them, don't call ME just because you saw him, or based on what he says he is going to do, what should I do????

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Q

My Daughter and Her "Dada"

San Francisco, CA

Im recently single and my 14 month old daughter doesnt seem happy until her father comes to pick her up. I try to keep her happy and entertained. I take her to the park and play dates But she is always crying for her "dada". What can I do? Also she throws tantrums, like the other day visiting the Easter Bunny, she cried until it was her turn, and then threw a tantrum when her turn was over. I had to leave the mall and return later to get her pictures. She constantly has to move, I can never get her to sit down. It seems like the only time she stays still is when shes sleep. But when shes with her father she behaves and listens to him. It makes me so frustrated. Is this normal?

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Q

My Six Year Old Is Driving Me Bonkers.

Albuquerque, NM

I am a single mom of two beautiful girls. I am having a really hard time with my 6 almost 7 year old. She is acting like a teenager already!!! She keeps giving me attitude and she doesn't listen to simple requests. She yells at me and picks on her sister non-stop. We have recently had a lot of life changes but I feel it is time for her to find a different way of dealing with this. It has been 2 months. I want to know some ways to cope with her behavior. Mabe it is me? I have tried everything. Please help!!

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Q

Need Help with New Transition

San Diego, CA

I need help... I have a 2 and half y/o son and currently his father and I are divorcing. My son is very intituve and knows that things are not quite right even though we are trying to be friendly and not bitter towards each other. He is acting out in anger and is showing a lot of that to his father. I do not want his father to feel bad but in my heart because of thesituation I kind of feel he should of thought of that before he decided being in a family is not what he wants (we are very young he is only 21 and i am 23). So basically i do not know how to comfort my son and how to make sure that he knows we are both here for him and that he is loved. Any advice? P.S i have recived a lot of great responses but i think my request was unclear. I am not leaving my husband he has decided to leave me and my son. I do not want this divorce and have repeatdly told him that but he has made his descion and will not change his mind.

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Q

OK Is It Just Me, Please Tell Me I Am Not Alone

Tampa, FL

Ever since I had my baby it seems like everything takes longer or your more stressed. I am not talking about waking up in the morning and getting her/him ready in addition to you I am talking about everyday task. It seems like even if I go to grab a pen out of my purse I come up with 50 different things and the pen is the last thing I grab or I have 50 million things in the extra bag I brought but not the thing I need. I feel I don't have enough time in the morning to grab everything I need and always, always forget the one thing that I just told myself not to forget. Also it seems like since I had her I forget things that I just told myself to do 2 seconds ago. I feel like I am loosing my mind!! Is your short term memory shot after you have a child or is it just the everyday task that clog your memory up and make you forget everything else. As I am writting this I am laughing cause it sounds so stupid but please tell me that someone goes through this besides me. Do I just need to get more organized or what?? Thanks for listening and your comments. R. J.

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Q

Potty Training

Minneapolis, MN

So I have a 2 1/2 yr. old son named Grant... He is my first and my only. The potty training thing isn't working out for us. He really likes to play with his little potty it has been sitting in the bathroom for a year now, just waiting for some interest. He will sit on it with his pants on and gets toilet paper wipes and throws it in. He flushes and washes his hands. While that has been really cute the problem is, now he refuses to take his pants down and acctually try to go. When I have suggested it he says no. I have tried to put him on it before bath time when his diaper is already off and he gets really scared and cries and shakes. I don't push it, and I have stopped trying because it just seems so tramatic. I thought he would just let me know when hes ready, but thats not happening. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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Q

Rebellious Teens

Abilene, TX

Hi Ladies, I have a 15 and a 13 years old sons. I recently gave birth to my now 3 month old son. My 15 year old has ADD and my 13 year old has ADHD. They are constantly fighting with each other.. I do mean fighting. They fight over every thing, remotes, clothes, couch, tv, funny looks, I mean EVERYTHING. Is this going to get any easier? Will they out grow this. I am a divorced mom, their dad is in their lives but doesnt help as much as I would like with them being boys.. My 3 month old son's father isnt in the picture and I am having a hard time trying to straighten out my teenagers. Any ideas?

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Q

Right Decision? Moving Forward or Wait on Kindergarden

Stockton, CA

How is kindergarden , for those who have chldren in kindergarden? Would you rather have let them stay an extra year in pre-k or are you fine with it? I just want to do a lil research because my 4 year old twins about to be five in may , should be going to kindergarten this august when school starts again! Well they have speech delay they recieve speech and occupational therapy, ! I observed a kindergarten todya it was great evryone was working together but my girls i am worried i don't think they can stay focused for so long . Well any input will be helpful!

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Q

Seeking Advice from Moms Who Have Ended Relationships While Still Pregnant.

Chicago, IL

Hey mamas, I just had it out with my son's father and we are expecting our second in August. It has been an continuous rollercoaster ride with way too many lows. I am so tired of it. I love him but can't live like this. Neither one of us is happy. We pretty much called it quits last night. I am 20wks on Tuesday and i can't imagine going through this without him. i just lost my mother to cancer and it seems like it is all a downward spiral. How did you cope during and after your pregnancy- or if you have a similar situation- and are still pregnant- how are you doing? I can talk to someone but it still comes down to feeling completely alone- and no time for myself- raising a 16mth old and expecting and also working full time to support myself and my son. I would appreciate hearing your thoughts. Thanks in advance

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Q

Seeking Advice on How to Deal with a Very Dishonest, Hurtful Ex

Columbus, OH

I have just reached a very tough place in my 1st year as a single parent. My ex-husband and I have shared parenting, a terrible 50/50 schedule, and I miss my children so much everytime they are away. Well, to sum it up, he kept the boys an extra night over the weekend, of which I DID NOT APPROVE. I have since arranged to have them for this entire week, because I've missed them and am worried about the things he says to them and does around them. He's had numerous "sleep-overs" with different girls, tells our six-year-old that we are no longer married b/c "Mommy doesn't love Daddy anymore," and equates any new girlfriend as a 2nd mom. I am so hurt by all of this, for numerous reasons and I cannot even begin to describe, how much he has lied his entire life, and continues to do so. Still, our children love him, he's their dad, and tonight, my six year old cried b/c he misses him. My heart is hurting b/c I've done everything for my children up until my divorce last year, which forced their dad to step up and take care of them at times. I now feel as though I am being displaced and looked upon as the boring old stable mom, while their dad is fun, frivolously spends money, and constantly has some girl around to play mommy in my place. I am dating a fantastic guy, but we are taking it slow with the kids, so we don't overwhelm them (he spends time with them, but I still spend a lot of time alone with them too). Has anyone else been through this? I feel petty even writing about it, but I am their mom, and adore my boys above everything else in the world; I am about to take on a 2nd job just to continue to provide them a secure future. I never bad mouth their dad to them, but it's getting VERY hard to swallow his negativity about me around the kids, not to mention the crazy other things that led to the divorce for which I continue to pay a price. Please, please, advise me of what you've done if you've ever been in this situation; my heart is breaking and I need help.

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Q

Seeking Help with a 19 Month Girl

Dallas, TX

i have a 19 month old girl and we just movied back to texas because my husband was betting us and now she likes to hit me in the face, scream when she wants something, wines all day and she can talk but she want any one that can help me plz give me yalls advice i do not know what to do and i am about to brake

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Q

Single Mom Starting to Date

Dallas, TX

I am a single mom of two wonderful boys 11 and 7. Their dad and I have the best divorce ever and are great friends. I have recently starting dating but the boys do not know. I do not feel they should until I meet someone and it has longevity. However my 11 year old calls me all night long when he knows I am going to dinner or just out for and adult evening. I have explained to him that I am not out partying or doing anything stupid and that it is just mommy adult time but he worries so much about me. I love him and think it is great that he cares but I do not think at his age he should be worring about mommy. The boys live with me and we have an agreement that they cannot call daddy after 8:00 at night. But it does not seem to be the same for me. Has any other single moms experienced this or does anyone have suggestions on how to talk to him about this.

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Q

Single Mother in Need of Help

Miami, FL

My step-mother works in the school system and one of the Mother's of one of her students is in a disparate situation: She is a single mother and her son, 12 years of age are homeless, have no money for food no phone and out of work. Does anyone know of any groups or organizations to help her? As a mother it is devastating just the thought of that situation!

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Q

Single Parent Dating

Chicago, IL

I have recently started dating again! i am having a great time doing so. I have been seeing the same guy for 2 months. I just wanted some opions on certain things such as sleep overs with the baby and just hanging out. My son is 10 months and has nothing to do with his father any opinions would be great!

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Q

Sleeping Habits

Honolulu, HI

I have a 14 month old son and he will not sleep through the night. Ive tried everything from playing music to singing to him and nothing seems to help. He will sleep for about 2 hours and then wake up. He wants to come in the bed with me but i refuse to let him and he will cry for 3 hours straight until he falls asleep. I need suggestions on what to do about this. thank you

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Q

To Bed with Bottle

Kansas City, KS

I share a room with my baby & I get very tired during the nights he would not sleep well so I started giving him a bottle in bed. It has become a habit & I want to break this habit asap. I used to just give him a pacifier & have tried going back to the pacifier but it's not working. I need advice.

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Q

What Do I Tell My Son About His Dad!?!?

College Station, TX

I have 2 children. A 4 year old son and a 2 year old daughter. My ex husband and I split up and divorced two years ago. It was a very ugly divorce but over time we have become civil to eachother. I have told him many times he is more than welcome to see the kids anytime he wants. He lives out of state so I guess its hard but I know of 3 times in the past year he took time off and didnt come see them. What Im getting at is he hasnt seen the kids in nearly 2 years and my son has recently started asking about him. My daughter doesnt know him because she was 4 months old the last time she was ever with him. He says things like "Wheres my dad?" I want to see my dad. Why is daddy gone. Im just not sure what to say to him or if I should say anything at all.

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Q

Word My Son like to Use

Springfield, MO

My son likes to use phrases like I don't like you and your not my friend. He says it to everyone including his babysitter. It creates a big problem sometimes because it makes me irrated when he screams it at the top of his lungs when we are trying to do various things. Espically when we are in public. People give the weirdest looks. I don't know what to say or do to get it to stop. I have tried ignore him, and try to explain that it hurts peoples feeling when he says it to people. Its been going on for a while. Please help.

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