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The Myth of the Broken Home - Guidebook for Single Parents

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During this time, my daughter, Tamara, was about five years old, I was coming out of a domestic I had never heard of co-parenting until I was smack in the middle of it. For a while after our relationship ended, I still acted like we were together. Assuming he would be as involved as when we were together.

Assuming I could just go over and hang out at his house. Assuming that the feelings he had for me were still I despised him during this time as I watched him hurt my daughter over and over again, but inside I knew she needed him in her life. Although he is now a young adult, I continue to encourage him to send his father a card or to call. As a society, we often talk about the importance of boys having a positive male role model to aid them towards developing into men, but that is equally, if not more important, for girls.

Today our girls are grappling with their identity, aimlessly searching for someone to show them affection and approve of them. My son, who is 9 years older than his sister, was a big support and continues to be a very influential male in her life, especially when her father was not there. As I sit and reflect back on these times, I begin to cry because I am so thankful, so grateful, for how far God has brought us and that he is allowing me to share with others how we all can make this work together.


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Just because he and I were at odds does not mean it will be the same with him and his daughter. I had never heard of co-parenting until I was smack in the middle of it.

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For a while after our relationship ended, I still acted like we were together. Assuming he would be as involved as when we were together. Assuming I could just go over and hang out at his house. Assuming that the feelings he had for me were still there.

Guess my head gets stuck up in the clouds sometimes. It took a long time for me to accept our situation and even longer to view it as a co-parenting situation. I was bitter, and I was downright mad at the situation. I said left; he went right.

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I was so sure that my way was the best way. I was the one who carried her for 9 months, breastfed her, read her bedtime stories, did her hair in the morning, knew she liked her apples cut in thin slices not thick. And what did he know? Nothing…if you asked me back then. It was draining all of my energy being so mean, so I had to let it go and embrace the idea of co-parenting. My daughter is lucky and has two parents who think she is the most precious thing on this planet and want nothing more than to see her smile every day.

I want us to be able to have a pleasant conversation, I want us to be able to all go out to dinner together and laugh and have a good time. I want to be able to call him without it being a yelling match. And I want our daughter to know that Mommy and Daddy are ok with being around each other.

We owe that to her. From Sandra Bullock to Kate Gosselin to Halle Berry, there is tremendous support from society backing these celebrity single moms as they make their way through single mommyhood. They are splattered on the covers of InTouch and UsWeekly , sharing their heartaches, their struggles with trying to live a normal life.

We see them on Oprah talking about their journey, and we get sucked in.

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We buy their magazines, we go see their movies, we subscribe into the glamorization. Are we not good enough? They are immature, irresponsible, and should have waited to have a child. These messages are constantly relayed through movies, magazines, books, and TV. Where are the stories highlighting single moms starting their own businesses or volunteering within their communities?

Does society not think that these stories will attract enough attention? Are these stories just not interesting enough? I am enrolled in college, I have a car old but running most of the time , I have a steady job, and my own apartment. In order to obtain resources I have to be a poor single mom.

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We support these celebrity single moms and tell them they can do it, no problem! Why is the message we send to non-celebrity moms so dissimilar? Why do we tell them they will fail? All mothers-single, young, old, married, or widowed-should be respected and supported in our society. The amount of support we give Mothers should not be dependent on how much money they earn. My life is by no means glamorous, nor does it need to be. What is most important is the love I have for my daughter. What I would appreciate is if society would respect and appreciate me as a Mother.

Alexandra Vanegas , MamaSpeak , Motherhood , single mothers. And, these two women have forged a partnership marked by a clear focus on the well being of their children, a definition of family inclusive enough to include all of their sons and mutual respect and admiration for one another. Join us via phone at or online to find out how and why they do it. Co-Parenting Matters , Motherhood , Step-families , stepmothers.