Single Parenting #5, by James Windell

There’s a Father-Son Event coming up; Now, What do You Do?

You may be doing very well as a single mother. It’s difficult at times, but you actually enjoy being a single mom at times. There haven’t been that many rocky patches — until your son comes home from Scouts and announces, “There’s a Father-son camping trip coming up and I’d like to go.” Or, “There’s a model car competition for dads and sons. I want to do it.”

How are you going to handle that?

It may not be easy to pull off, but there are options. For instance, there may be a male relative – an uncle, grandfather, or an older cousin – who could pinch hit for you. Or, if you know the parents of some of your son’s friends, there may be a dad who is willing to include your son as well as his own.

I can remember when my children were in elementary and middle school, I was often that designated dad for other parents’ kids – both boys and girls – when a father was needed for a father-daughter dance or as a guest speaker at school. My kids didn’t mind and the other child’s mothers were always appreciative.

Besides locating a pinch hitter, you can take on the duty yourself, even though you are a mom. Some mothers don’t mind being the only mother coaching a boys’ soccer team or being involved in a model-car racing event.

Instead of fretting by yourself over what you’re going to do, you can also involve your son in the decision. Would he feel bad if you take on the dad role? Or, does he know someone – a relative, friend, or neighbor – who he’d like to invite to be his substitute father – at least for one event?

Always remember that you have options. And working out a solution with your son will help maintain the kind of mother-son communication you will – and need – as he grows older.