A mother can never replace the role of a father

by singlemomseeking on June 19, 2009

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I’m so honored to have author Terri MacLeod as a guest blogger today.

Terri is a single mom who’s raising her 14-year old daughter, Brittany, in NYC (pictured above).

Terri and Brittany co-wrote the recently published girl-power guide, 113 Things To Do By 13 (remember my book giveaway?) Terri is also a producer at the top-rated NBC entertainment program Access Hollywood.

Please welcome her:

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Father’s Day is a tough day in our house. It’s not that my daughter and I don’t love silly ties, homemade cards, and showering loved with ones with lots of hugs.

Unfortunately my ex hasn’t been around for a big part of her 14 years. So, my daughter has never really gotten to be Daddy’s little girl on his special day.

I divorced my ex to get out of an abusive relationship. But in a way, the abuse continued.

For the majority of Brittany’s life, her father has been out of the picture. For the first six years after our divorce, Brittany’s father abandoned nearly all responsibility to his daughter. Yes, I can go on and on about how tough it is to be a single mom, but the real victim is my daughter, who has basically grown-up without the love and support of a father.

When I was asked to blog about my experience as a single mom, at first I thought what a great way to strike back and get some sweet revenge. But then, on second thought I don’t want to be a victim or a man-basher.  I am proud to say I have raised a strong daughter with a surprisingly positive attitude towards life and men.

What I really want divorced dads to remember is that a mother – no matter how present or loving – can never replace the role of a father. There’s no question father and daughter relationships are special.

A father is a girl’s first look at what it means to be a man. It’s her first glimpse at how men should treat women. Plus, a strong bond with your father helps young girls develop healthy self-esteem and lets them know their voice is of value in the world. A father – divorced or not – needs to cherish his role and realize his actions have a major impact on his daughter’s future relationships and achievements.

On Father’s day, I hope that dads everywhere relish those awesome kisses and gifts only a child can give, but also realize Daddy’s little girl doesn’t stay young forever! There’s no way to ever go back in time and make-up for years spent apart.

My daughter is a blessing, and my ex will never experience the simple joy of watching her grow-up nor have any special memories of her childhood. No parent is perfect and we all make mistakes on this great sometimes-mysterious parenthood journey, but as they say “practice makes perfect.”

And, the more you “practice” good parenting  — the better Dad you will be!
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So, Moms and Dads, let’s hear how you’re going to be spending Father’s Day.

(I’m making a Mexican fiesta for my Dad in our new home — with lots of salsa, guacamole, and a rockin’ nine-year-old hostess!)

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To learn more about Terri and Brittany, or to buy their amazing book, 113 Things To Do By 13, above, be sure to visit their site, 113 by 13.


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