There are times, when in the moment, the things that come out of your children’s mouths are just cute and extremely funny. When my then 3 year old said to me, “Mommy I think we need a man for the house”, I laughed and thought how cute. And didn’t give it another thought. But he may have been trying to tell me something, I wasn’t ready to hear.
My son’s Father and I separated just after his first birthday, and our divorce being final just before his second birthday. So, my little sweet boy has no memory of the time when his Mommy and Daddy shared a home. And while that was just his reality, I’m sure he wondered why his friends had homes where both the Mommy and Daddy lived together. But that evening when he uttered that very seemingly simple sentence I didn’t think he was trying to tell me something. In fact, I became a little defensive. I mean I’m a strong, independent, youngish woman. I don’t need a man, I can do it and we’re just fine the way it is. I would never say that to him, but thought definitely turned over in my mind.
I recently have looked back on that conversation and gained a little new perspective. I don’t think he was trying to tell me I was failing at single motherhood. If anything he was trying to convey his own need for the companionship of a man, within our home environment. Because no matter how much Mommy plays army men, I don’t do it like a man does it. No matter how hard I try to be a proper adversary, I’m no good at super heroes. And wrestling? Really, I might break a nail? While there are SO many things that Mommy can do amazingly well for only being one person, I can’t do it all.
My guess is Wyatt, at age 3, just wanted a proper playmate. He wasn’t trying to make a grand statement on gender roles, or discuss the nature/nurture argument of single parenthood. He’s smart, but not that intense. In the grand scheme of things, I see that there was and is a need for male role models in his life. He has his Dad, and lucky he has an active Dad. But there is also room for as many positive male role models, actively in his life, as I can find. It’s important for him in his development as a boy, and as he matures into a young man.
That particular evening, I asked Wyatt if he would be the man of the house, since I wasn’t sure quite yet where we should start to look for such a thing. Dating as a single Mom? That is a whole other blog post. The two of us have navigated through okay just fine. And maybe, just maybe, we may eventually find a man for the house. Kids say the cutest things…I say “What the pickles?”