Monday, August 23, 2010

The Beauty of Single Parenting

The Beauty of Single Parenting (Every Cloud DOES have a Silver Lining)

Cathi Adams © All Rights Reserved

I miss being married. I miss the things we used to do. I
wish our differences didn't bring us to divorce... BUT they
did so.... I have to do my best to deal with the cards I
have been dealt. I do this by focusing on the good in my
life now, cherishing the time I spend with my son, living my
life to the fullest, and making my own rules.

My son was 3 when I got divorced so he wasn't at the age to
establish any homework patterns yet. But he went to a school
that gave homework at an early age so by the time he was 6
we had homework to do every night. I think that is where the
term "nightmare" was born.

It was horrible. I would get off work at 5:00 and get home
at 6:00 pm. Then I would make dinner and by 7:00 we sat down
to start homework.

Unfortunately, by then he was exhausted from a long day at
school and in no mood to sit and do work. That's when the
fighting would start. I just didn't know what to do. The
last thing I wanted to do when I got home from a long day at
work was to fight with my son. The last thing he wanted to
do after a long day at school was homework. Neither of us
was in the mood for anything but rest which, unfortunately
for us, was not an option.

I read everything I could and tried everything I read.
Nothing worked for me. Getting his homework done was a
horrible event. At the other end of the spectrum, there
seemed to be paradise at my ex's home. He is remarried with
a "stay-at-home" wife (a wonderful woman) who is there every day when the
children arrive home from school. She lets them have a quick
snack and then it's homework time. They are done with all
their work by the time their father gets home and life is
good for them. At least that is what his wife said when she
called me to ask why my son does homework at my house at 7:00
pm. "They" (she is speaking for herself and my ex)
feel he should be doing his homework at 4:00 at
my home like he does at "her" home. Hey, I wish that too...
but in reality it is impossible for me in my current setup.

I am not sure they understand that. While I do have someone
at home who stays with my son until I arrive home from work,
she is not an authoritative figure that demands control of
my son. My son needs someone who "demands". She is just not
that type but she keeps him safe until I arrive home from
work so, for me, it "works".

Even if the caregiver could do homework with my son, I am
not sure I would be happy with that. I want to be here with
my son when he does his school work. I want to know what he
is good at or what he is struggling in. I want to help him
in his studies if he needs it. To me, that is the essence of
being a mother. Helping with school work... I know there is
so much more but at this age this is a big area - and I want
to be involved. Is that so wrong?

So what ended up happening and eventually solved our problem
was this: It got so late at night and his homework wasn't
finished so I ended up having him go to sleep, then I would
wake him in the morning to finish, and guess what happened?
He would wake up and do his homework without any fighting!
He was rested and able to focus and complete the tasks
accurately and quickly.

It took me a while to realize I had options but once I did I
thought - Who says a child HAS to do his homework at night?
It's called "homework" not "nightwork" True he is home at
night BUT he is also home in the morning, so if that works
better why shouldn't I give it a try?

So a new rule was born. If he had a test we would review the
material at night and again in the morning but written work
was done in the morning. If he needed to get up half an hour
early to get it done - he did. All of a sudden the fighting
seemed to stop. Peace once again filled my home. Life is
good now.

The point here is that when you are alone YOU can make the
rules in your home and they don't have to be what the "rest
of the world" is doing. They are doing what works for them
and you have to do what works for you.

It bothers me that my routine is so different from the
routine at his dad's house but in my search for an answer I
have sought the advice of psychologists and they say it is
perfectly OK to have different routines in each home as long
as you are consistent in each of your routines.

This current arrangement is so far from the way I thought I
would be raising my son but as long as I am not hurting him
and it works I will continue to do what's best for "us".
It's hard to think outside the box but sometimes life
commands different solutions and you have to adapt to them
and go with the flow.

===================================================

Cathi Adams is the author of "Divorce Secrets: What Every Women
Should Know." This invaluable resource provides steps to ensure
financial security to woman faced with the possibility of
divorce.
Visit her web site for a FREE report –What You Absolutely Must
Know Before You Even THINK About Getting A Divorce:
http://www.DivorceDefense.com

CAUTION: Many of These Divorce Secrets for Women Are Almost Too Powerful To Release!

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