As you read this guest post you begin really feel the heartache and prayers of this mother. As a single mother we all go through this and many times we wonder if we are equipped to show our sons what it means to be a man since we are just women ourselves.
This is truly one of the biggest challenges of my life to date, raising a son alone that is. My son’s dad was out of the picture from the time he was ten so to speak, I guess you could say he had a mid-life crises of sorts. Then he was completely out of the picture from my son’s life from thirteen on with an occasional visit here and there.
To say it was hard would be an understatement since I have never understood men in general in the first place. The love I have for my son drove me on in pursuit of information from any source that would help. My primary source of information and strength came from my heavenly Father. There were countless nights on my knees where we talked about this in great length. I told Him that since He was our heavenly Father and He knows all things about everyone and can see into the heart of man that I was depending on Him to guide me and my son threw these challenges we were facing. He is faithful and He has helped me and my son through many trials and battles and miscommunication over the years.
My son and I were very close and I thought we were going to make it through his teenage years without major complications until the day I made a major decision, a very poor decision on my part. I have a daughter who is seven years older than my son and when she reached sixteen I made sure she had access to a vehicle to go back and forth to school. We live in a large town and it made it easier on everyone. She was an excellent student, very responsible, and over cautious about everything she did. My son was a leveled headed boy who did average in school; he could have done excellent but chose not to. He was not getting into trouble but was not the most responsible child so I made the decision again to make a vehicle available. This was a big, huge, terrible mistake.
The moment he got behind the wheel of the vehicle everything changed. It was as if I had given him his own apartment. He did not come home, he left school without permission, he was giving rides to everyone and had access to just about every drug you could imagine because of these newly formed relationships. He quit answering his phone as well. It was a total nightmare. I could not, for the life of me, figure out what brought on the sudden change and wondered why it happened because it had not happened to my daughter.
My son was being raised by me, my daughter, and my mother who lives with us. He was surrounded by women which at one time he informed me was a good thing because it gave him an “in” with the women because he understood how they worked and it helped the girls like him. But at the same time I believe he was fighting for his masculinity and independence and the use of a vehicle had set him free. He went absolutely in the opposite direction of everything we had raised him to do.
I would take away his privileges and ground him but the very next time he got those privileges back he repeated the behavior. If I kept the car from him he would go to school and take off with someone else or walk out of school. The last two years of his high school days were spent just trying to keep him in school. I actually had to apply to get him into a school for kids who had gotten behind or wanted to graduate early that had three semesters a year instead of one. They also had one teacher for every ten kids instead of the twenty or thirty in the other high school. This helped us get him to graduation.
I started reading about boys and men and the differences in attitudes and how we think. I realized from reading some of these books that we do not communicate the same at all. I also realized that I needed to give him more responsibility at home and for his family. I also began to point out the good attributes he had and stop focusing on the negative. I realized there is a time in a man’s life when he begins to transition from a boy to a man and he does not really have a clue how to do it. This is especially true when there is not a male role model around to show him.
He had grown up learning about Jesus his entire life but I never really thought about the fact that Jesus was a man, a perfect man. I told my son that Jesus was the only man I had ever known that did everything for us and not out of selfishness. I told my son that since we had no men in our lives that could be a role model to him that he still had access to the one perfect man that could actually help him. And I told him that there was nothing weak about our Lord Jesus.
After high school I encouraged him to get a job and/or take some college classes. He was in and out of a few jobs but for some reason he can not commit to being in one place for eight hours a day. If someone asks him to help them with something he is very willing to help them out. He helps all the elderly neighbors with their lawns, lifting heavy items, or running errands. If any of his friends have car problems or even just someone on the side of the road who is broken down he will stop and help. He is very good in taking care of the family vehicles when they need oil changes, tune ups, etc. He does all of our landscaping and yard care. But he can not commit to a full time job.
About a year after high school he began to take some college classes at the local community college. He has been going part time for over a year. He still does not know what he wants to do with his life. He works doing odd jobs. But I continue to pray and every day I see more and more what Jesus is doing in his heart. I am trusting God with my son. In the last two years he has begun to read the word of God for himself. He dropped all of the friends he had about six months ago because they were smoking pot and he knew he needed to quit.
I really do not know what advice to give to a single mother with a son except to persevere. Never give up and never surrender. Keep on top of what is going on in their lives at all times and do not give up. Let them know your heart, and that you do not know what you are doing but you are doing the best you know how and how very much you love them. In my case I gave my son the only male role model I knew, Jesus. I personally do not know any men that have their lives together enough to help out a young man. You may, and if you do it would be a great idea to solicit help. Grandfathers, uncles, older cousins, etc. can sometimes help but you have to be sure they are all together before you ask for their help. Sometimes they can cause more harm than good.
As for me I will continue to rely on the one true God and Father and His Son who died to set us free. He has done it for me and I trust Him with all my heart and lay my beloved son down before His throne knowing that He loves him so and that He will never leave us or forsake us. God is able even when I am not. God bless all the single mothers and their sons and daughters. Turn to the Lord; ask Him for help, he will not fail.
Rachel is an ex-babysitting pro as well as a professional writer and blogger. She is a graduate from Iowa State University and currently writes for www.babysitting.net. She welcomes questions/comments which can be sent to rachelthomas.author @ gmail.com.
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