How growing up without a father affected my choices and standards.
My choices… I had an inclination to date older men. I take it was because I didn’t have that one person to play a fatherly role in my life to guide me inspire me and motivate me. My first boyfriend was 10 or 11 years older than me and I was 15 then. Then I almost dated this man who was old enough to be my father until I suspected he was married; by then I was 18. I tried dating a guy who was 6 months older than me and boy was it a flop! I realised that I was in it for all the wrong reasons; mainly high school fame and I found him immature compared to the men I had dated in the past. I am currently dating a guy who is 14 years older than me. I am happy BUT I am scared to introduce him to my parents because of the age difference. But I can’t seem to have it any other way because I love him and he means the world to me.
My standards …I went through my first high school years just to get to the next level. I had no goals no vision no dream. However, one day I had a chat with my then step-dad-to-be and it was eye opening! I was privileged enough to have him as a father for seven years until he passed on. He was a FATHER. He was loving, supportive and he would guide me in my life decisions especially those pertaining my academics.
I believe the worst thing that can happen to a girl child is growing up without a father or father figure she looks up to from within the family. I believe my story would have been different had I grown up with a father playing an active role…
Lessons learnt from being raised by a single mother
My father passed away when I was five years old. I have zero recollection of what he looked like or any memory about him. My mother was widowed by the time she was 34 years old with three children. I have two older brothers and that makes me the only and last girl.
I learnt a lot from being raised by a single mother and I will list them below but not get into too much detail.
My mother gave us the most amazing life, I was spoiled to death because I personally felt she wanted to compensate for the void that my father left in our lives. I grew up people thinking I had both parents
I was forced to grow up really fast because there are certain times I had to reason more than the average child. When my mother said no to certain things I didn’t have the luxury of crying about it. In as much as I was spoiled I had to think beyond the answer no. Remember I wasn’t the only child; there were three of us with different needs.
I had to learn most of my life lessons from friends. I felt that my mother already had to work a full time job plus do a whole lot of other things she already had so much on her plate. I didn’t want to burden her with my own petty issues; so my best friend became my sister, my confidant and we got to learn life together. Not that I’m saying my mother was an inadequate life coach; she managed to instil in me the necessary values that made me to be the woman I am today. I know right from wrong,I respect people, I put others before me…the works. My mother taught me to take control of my own life and to work for what I want.
My mother always felt that my father left her too early although she never said it out loud. I can see it in her eyes when she speaks about him. She has always told us life is too short and so when you love; love hard and love with everything you have for the time you have with each other here on earth is not known.
Family; the people that will always have your back no matter what. When I say family I mean my mother and brothers extended family..yes, they are family but throughout my life through the tough times it was always the three that have had my back. We always joke about it with my mother that when I get married rather if I get married (LOL) at the lobola ceremony the fathers side should be present and all; my mother always says the money should all be passed on to her as she was the only one who did the job she will only give them a dollar for transport.
Education is key. Know what you want in life and be the best at what you do. I sent out my CV and started job hunting. I got a job and I love it immensely and is financially rewarding. I have stood by what I know and what I want in life and I give full credit to my mother for always telling me not to settle for mediocrity.
The level of independence is just too ridiculous some of my past relationships have suffered because I never fought for them and inasmuch as I can take care of myself men always found that to be intimidating.I am the type of girl who does not rely on bae allowance I am the type that can give bae an allowance if I want too.
P.S My mother never remarried or dated anyone after my father passed on. We all turned out okay. Being raised by a single mother isn’t all bad as long as your parent instills the right values at a young age.
A big thank you to the two ladies who shared their stories with me. I am happy to note that they both had a happy ending even though they grew up without a father. This gives me hope for the future as I constantly worry about my daughter and if she is going to be okay without a father figure in her life. These two women are truly an inspiration and I wish them love, happiness, good health and that all their dreams will come true.