Growing up without mother

Table of Contents

How does parental absence affect children?

Looking at Elise Ishimwe for the first time, it is not hard to notice that he is aloof and rarely mingles with others.

He is eleven years old; the last time he saw his mother was when he was around five. His father’s presence is on and off. He is being raised by relatives and for him, the notion of basking in the unrelenting love of parents is a far-fetched dream.

At times circumstances can make it impossible for parents to be involved in their children’s lives yet the impact of this for the young ones is disheartening.

Counsellor Damien Mouzoun says it is unfortunately rampant in society nowadays to have one of the parents abandon their children, even in homogeneous societies backed by principles which used to guard communities from this kind of situation.

For various reasons ranging from separation, divorce, profession and death, to many others, we have witnessed in our society cases of single parenting, mostly affecting mothers and children, he says.

The counsellor points out that in the book (The Secret of Staying in Love), one can read about common occasions where families may well stay together and yet their children are also victims of similar consequences caused by couple distancing.

Mouzoun explains that it is sad that sometimes children say ‘my mother or father gives me everything except herself or himself.’ Too early and too often we sow the seeds of ‘can’t you see I am busy? Don’t bother me now.’ When we convey the attitude of ‘Go away, don’t bother me now,’ family members and children are apt to go elsewhere or isolate themselves in heartbroken and painful silence.

The counsellor highlights that though he cannot pinpoint the reason behind this, he notes that the complexity of the situation is worsened by a perfectly idealised world created by social media and Hollywood films, where by people invest more in their wedding than in building a lasting relationship or covenant companionship.

This, he says, has enormous consequences, especially on how the children are raised.

“Lack of parental emotion and attachment often affects children as they become defensive and baited. Their comportment as a grown up is unconsciously triggered by their emotional childhood isolation,” he explains.

In her article The Long-Term Impact of Neglectful Parents, marriage and family therapist Karyl McBride states that neglect can be a hard thing to put a finger on, especially emotional neglect.

Neglected children often don’t realise they are being neglected at the time, and can internalise the pain and loneliness and think it is their fault. They are often told they are “too sensitive” or “selfish” if they try to get their needs met. Parents with little empathy often neglect their children and don’t even realise it, while there are also parents who don’t care. Either way, the child grows up wondering about their own self-worth and value, she explains.

“If you were emotionally or physically neglected as a child, it can be a difficult journey to heal. Traumatic experiences like abuse and neglect have an adverse effect on children’s brain development. As the child matures, the developing brain changes in response to the child’s environment,” she writes.

Studies and clinical experience also show that childhood abuse and neglect can impact a child’s emotional development. In my practice, I see adult clients who were neglected, and most have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and significant trauma to resolve. If there was a lack of emotional attachment in childhood, this also affects relationships later in life and can make it difficult to trust others. Fear is often expressed and felt without always understanding why, the therapist adds.

Why kids need both parents?

Wilbur Bushara, a father of one, is of the view that parenting is a very challenging task which is very important in the development and growth of children.

He stresses that it’s very essential for a child to be raised by both parents without excuses because it gives them a sense or feeling of association, love and security. This way, they learn how to associate, love and be there for others.

A child is also able to learn different characters from both parents since we all grow differently and have different characters, he says.

“A child learns and acquires skills pertaining problem solving simply because like aforementioned, we have different characters. Children are able to learn both maternal and paternal cultures and norms with their families and their backgrounds, this involves learning the languages too, which in time helps them to survive,” he notes.

Diane Mushimiyimana, a single mother, says children deserve to be raised by both parents for healthy growth.

She believes that since it takes two to make a baby, it should be the same when it comes to raising them since each parent has a specific role to play in bringing up a happy and healthy child.

Mushimiyimana is of the view that children who lack parental love suffer a number of consequences.

“Because every child is unique, the effects may differ individually but generally, research has revealed that children with single parents tend to have issues such as drug or alcohol addiction.”

She is, hence, of the view that people, especially men, should change their mind-set of taking parenting for granted and fulfil their responsibility of fathering.

Also, the Government or civil society should increase awareness campaigns on positive parenting, she adds.

Aline Providence Nkundibiza argues that a child has a right to live with his/her parents and enjoy parental care.

A child can, for instance, get traits such as being emotional, nurturing, caring, loving from their mother and a persona of being focused, courageous, competitive, independent and providing from the father, she says.

She, hence, emphasises that for a child to have a chance to get appropriate direction and guidance, they need to grow up with both parents.

“Children who grow up without their fathers, (especially if they are alive) have that feeling of resentment. And you will see those who grow in the absence of their mothers, always have emotion of sorrow and they miss that love from a mother which in turn affects their own caring act.”

How can this be overcome?

Nkundibiza is of the view that there is need to teach the young generation to plan their lives with purpose, she says.

Mouzoun says that parents are their children’s teachers, especially during the impressionable and formative years when they develop attitudes and habits that last a lifetime.

It is a tremendous task to raise children. Mothers and fathers bring different, complementary gifts to parenting. Together, they help teach their children the meaning of love and the joy of serving others, he says.

“Every stage brings new adventures and new challenges, from all the firsts of childhood to the growing independence of teenagers. Parents need encouragement in their important work and should always remember that the best gift they can give their children is a strong marriage, that is why it is important for a child to grow up with parents,” the counsellor notes.

He adds that one must be willing to forego personal convenience to invest time in establishing a firm foundation for family, and take time for communication.

“When relationships and communication in the family seems to be unstable, each individual should look to themselves for the remedy. If we would know true love and understanding one another, we must realise that love and communication are more than just sharing of words,” he says.


It is really absurd how some parents avoid the responsibilities to be present in the lives of their children. Children need role models and mentors to be inspired and get a clear picture before starting families.

During village meetings the issue of absentee parents should be raised to be discussed on thoroughly and see how it affects children and find a way to solve the problem for it is painful for children growing when they aren’t a priority.

Growing up without a father was one of the hardest things I encountered in life I wouldn’t wish it for any one.

Dear fathers out there, we don’t want you to be perfect we want you to be present.

When being a father is hard seek help, it is very fine to consult psychologists, fellow fathers but it is never okay to give up your responsibilities.

Sharon Mbabazi, Student

Parents need to be taught on the impact their absence can have on children.

I think some of them don’t understand how grave this issue is, I believe with sensitisation, there can be a big difference.

Penina Umutesi, Mother

There should be strict laws in place punishing parents who don’t assume their full responsibility is raising their children.

People should also be responsible enough to plan well such that they enter parenthood when they are ready for it.

Robert Mugabe, Parent

What needs to be done is to build stable families, those that can provide children with a healthy home.

Couples need to be strong enough to create lasting marriages; this will avoid divorce, which in most cases is the root cause of absent parents.

Rodgers Munyaneza, Banker


People Reveal What It’s Really Like Growing Up Without A Mom

Mothers are permanent fixtures in one’s life, and it’s sad when some people don’t get to experience having one. A female figure, like a mother is important to build love and affection. While a father can give teach you those things, growing up with a mother is just different. And because growing up without a mom is really difficult, and here are some stories.

Having to live without the most important female figure is hard. Here we have some people reveal what it’s really like growing up without a mom.

When you lack a specific kind of love in your life:

And sometimes you look for it from someone else.

Sometimes fathers play the role of that important figure in our life.

It sucks when you don’t have that mother you can rely on.

When your mother is physically present, but emotionally absent:

When the thing you want most is your mother:

Having both of your parents is truly a blessing.

When your dad made sure you grow up with everything you need:

Pretty sure you’re not the only one feeling this way.


When the pain of not having a mother is something no one should experience:

Something parents should really take seriously.

This is heartbreaking.

Cancer does really suck.

When people just don’t understand how hard it is:

Dads make such amazing mothers too.

When you are not the only one affected in a difficult situation:

When you feel alone:

Losing a mother at such a young age is beyond difficult.

Losing a mother and a best friend is terrible.

Because sometimes, praying is the only thing that will comfort you.

I grew up without my mother. Not only because she’d died from a brain aneurysm by the time I reached toddlerhood, but because she wasn’t talked about. I had no photos, no diaries, no baby books, and no family heirlooms. I saw my maternal grandparents two times a year and my father and stepmother barely spoke of her. At times it was as if she’d never existed.

Her death ripped apart my family — my dad fighting to keep me from all memories of her — good and bad, and my grandparents making sure they didn’t lose the only remaining physical connection they had of their daughter: me.

I look a lot like my mother. But I grew up thinking I looked like my dad. After all, without a single picture of her, how was I to know any different?

I can remember staring out into the night as a young child and thinking of a dozen scenarios that would bring her back into my life.

Maybe she was just really sick? Maybe she was actually a spy and in witness protection? Maybe someone had lied to my family about her dying and she was desperately trying to find her way back to us? The tales only got more elaborate and my yearning to know her only grew stronger as I aged and went through things like puberty, relationships, and college.

It’s not that I wasn’t a happy child. On the contrary, actually. Aside from my father’s ever-growing drinking problem and later divorce with my stepmother, I had a rather uneventful childhood. I started calling his new wife “mom” and for the most part, she became that person to me.

But something was always missing and it wasn’t quite the relationship I know I would’ve had with my birth mother. My younger brothers and my stepmother seemed to have this cosmic bond that she and I just didn’t share. It didn’t matter that she was my mother in every sense of the word – loving and disciplining me like any biological parent – the physical connection wasn’t there.

Learning about things like love, puberty, and how to negotiate relationships with other girls was difficult since I had trouble talking with her. I wasn’t a part of her, and she wasn’t a part of me. At times, that was confusing and doubt would linger.

Maybe I didn’t measure up. Maybe I wasn’t trying hard enough to be a good daughter, or maybe I was genetically hard-wired to not be as lovable as someone’s biological child?

On December 13 two years ago, that all changed.

I gave birth to a healthy little girl. Ten tiny toes and ten tiny fingers. She was the healing salve I never knew I needed; she was a warm embrace from heaven. Her birth was my transcendence. In a matter of hours, I went from daughter without a mother, to the mother of a daughter.

For years, I had yearned for a mother-daughter bond like I saw in the lives of women around me. And finally, in the most unexpected way, I had it.

The lessons I’ve learned since losing my mother have left me with a determination to be the best mother and person I can be.

I love harder. I strive everyday to live in the present, knowing all too well the time we have is fleeting. I’ve learned that my daughter calling out “mommy” in the dark, early morning is one of the sweetest sounds, and that going through the trials of parenting a young child can be both the most taxing and most gratifying.

I still hurt. I still cry and I still wonder. I worry my daughter will lose me.

I even rekindled a relationship with my mother’s family — grandparents, aunts, and cousins who not only look like me, but share my sense of humor and zest for life. My heart has slowly refilled.

With them, talking about my mother isn’t taboo.

They’ve given me photographs, diaries, and stories from her life. I’ve learned that not only do I look just like her, there are some traits I’ve definitely inherited. Some of them are obvious, like how I trip and bump into walls all day, giving my uncle an excuse to guffaw and tell me, “you’re just like your mother.” There are other, more subtle, ways, too, like my wanderlust, my knack for understanding Italian (which she spoke to me), and my loyalty.

I may not have known my mother for very long, but I am getting to know her now. Being a mother played a big part in that.

How an Absent Mother Affects Children

When it comes to child development, an absent mother is not a trivial matter. In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at what can happen in this situation.

From the very beginning of a child’s life, the mother is the most important figure of attachment. When a mother is not present in the life of her children, this can bring major consequences for their development.

A child’s overall development is shaped by different aspects, from their physical needs to their emotional life. The relationship between a child and their mother or father is a vital part of their mental and emotional development.

A parent may be absent due to many different circumstances, some of them tragic. Not all children are lucky enough to grow up with a mother.

In other cases, although the mother is present, she is not able to spend enough time with her children, whether due to work commitments, relationship breakdown or other factors.

The absence of a mother figure can have a significant impact on the development of the child. However, the extent of the harm will depend on their environment and how the situation is managed.

What a mother gives her child

When we think about motherhood, the first word that comes to mind is protection. And with good reason.

A mother is the person who brings us into this world, and who nourishes and cares for us from the very beginning. This bond is an indispensable part of human existence.

As we grow older, our mother is there to comfort us whenever we feel down. She is there to soothe, calm and encourage us and chase away our fears. When we are nervous, scared, angry or in pain, she is the person we look to for unconditional support.

Feeling loved and valued by their mother will help a child to develop healthy self-esteem and build self-confidence.

An absent mother, therefore, can lead to deep insecurity in children. This is especially true when other adults in the child’s life do not take action to address the situation.

This is one case where the support of a professional counsellor is indispensable.

Consequences of an absent mother

From the very start of a child’s life, their mother is their most important figure of attachment. The lack of a mother figure can have major consequences.

Here are some of the main ones:

  • Negative feelings. The child may experience feelings of loneliness or worthlessness, given that they don’t receive the care and affection they need. This, in turn, can lead to anger or frustration.
  • Poor behavior. This includes not responding to instructions, making unreasonable demands or hurting themselves or others. In more general terms, the child may seem to be constantly in a bad mood. These are common responses to the absence or loss of a parent or similar figure. Patience and affection are vital when it comes to helping children go through this phase.
  • Problems with social relationships. Along the same lines, the child’s other social relationships may also suffer. Whether due to lack of trust or because they have not learnt the necessary social skills, children with an absent mother figure tend to have trouble connecting with others. They may also develop a dependency on the people who are there for them.
  • Emotional imbalances. This means irritability, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, lack of motivation and more.
  • Health issues. Faced with the loss or absence of their mother, some children may lose their appetite. Coupled with the emotional issues described above, this can lead to problems with the child’s physical health. This should be addressed immediately by a professional.

How to help a child cope with an absent mother

Despite all of the above, there are ways to help a little one cope with the loss or absence of their mother and its after-effects.

Here are some tips for parents or guardians:

  1. Be their mother figure. Although this is far from easy, a father or any other guardian can fulfill the role of mom and dad. Tact, understanding and affection are critical, but this can be a good solution for all those involved. This way, you will fill the gap in their lives, at least partly.
  2. Find a substitute. With the help of aunts, grandmothers or any other close family member, you may be able to find someone to take on the role of a maternal figure. As in the previous case, it is important not to force the relationship. The bond will need to form gradually, on a basis of trust and love.
  3. Explain the situation to them. The truth will always find its way out. Tell your little one why it is that their mother is not in their life. Sooner or later, they will need to know.

If the child’s mother is not completely absent, but, for example, works long hours away from home, the situation may be much easier to resolve.

Many studies have shown that the quality of shared time is far more important than the amount of time spent together.

It is important to give your child your full attention when you can. Remember that these moments help considerably.

What you do together is less important: play, take a walk or help with their homework. Just spending time with your child will help them to feel valued and supported.

Children understand when their mother takes an interest in them, loves them and supports them. It is this day-to-day presence that is critical for their development.

Me and my mum in 1983 (Picture: Sareta Puri)

As Mother’s Day approaches and shops are filled with soppy cards and pretty flowers, I feel a sense of emptiness and dread.

My mum died of lung cancer when I was three and my sister was seven.

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All I have of her is a few photos, one hazy memory and a protruding nose – thanks, mum.

Despite limited memories, the pang I have every time I see a Mother’s Day advert or get a promotional email with offers for mum never fades.

It is the same with Christmas, birthdays, and other people’s mum’s birthdays.

Earlier this month was the 30 year anniversary of her death, which has made me reflect a lot more on what growing up without a mother has meant.

My sister and I are both fast approaching the age that she died.

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And it hasn’t gone unnoticed that my niece is now 18-months older than I was when my mum passed away. To imagine her without my sister’s love and motherly kindness is heart-breaking.

I remember the 10th anniversary of my mum’s death – I was an unhappy teenager, prone to self-harm and destructive behaviour and the awareness of this loss exacerbated that.

Me with mum, Christmas 1986 – about 10 weeks before she died (Picture: Sareta Puri)

In primary school, I lashed out at a classmate who audaciously told me that her dad living in South Africa was pretty much as if he was dead.

In secondary school, I punched a boy in the face after he made some comment about my mum.

Anger and frustration were all I had. I felt hard done by.

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What have we done to deserve this? Why couldn’t my family be normal?

We grew up in a white, middle-class neighbourhood in south Edinburgh in the 80s and 90s.

But as children of a single, working-class and illiterate, Indian male immigrant, we weren’t dealt many easy cards.

My dad was undoubtedly judged because of his gender – and race – on whether he could parent two young girls, as it wasn’t the done thing back then.

He was heartbroken.

I look back now and recognise that he was also depressed.

Me and my sister Naomi (Picture: Sareta Puri)

I don’t think he ever recovered from losing his wife but somehow managed to survive for another 24 years until he too passed away, finally tired of everything life had thrown at him.

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My father understood that motherless girls needed what he might not be able to give.

He instilled in us deep values of sisterhood.

14 reasons why you should love being a single parent

He repeatedly told us that we would always have each other: ‘Friends and partners might come and go but you always have your sister.’

With dad working most days and night, my sister took on a quasi-parenting role.

This ranged from coming to school parents’ evenings to explaining what periods were.

Although she drew the line at explaining the facts of life – instead, she locked herself in the toilet when I asked what a condom was and got her friend to tell me instead.

There had to be some level of normality between sisters after all.

Mum, before she had us (Picture: Sareta Puri)

We dealt with things that might seem trivial but, as a child, they can be painful.

There was nobody to go on school trips with or bake cakes for school events because dad worked flat-out and had no time for such frivolous activities.

Making Mother’s Day cards and gifts was exacerbating.

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Teachers explained how to weave a basket out of paper and fill it with tissue flowers for mum; then to me, nervously, ‘or another woman in your life.’

We turned it into Sister’s Day at home.

I watched longingly as a friend’s mum taught her how to pluck eyebrows and then turned to me to further impart her motherly wisdom.


It took me until my early 20s to properly trust other women.

I had some negative experiences with female peers as a teen and without a mum to advise and support me, I didn’t deal with them very well.

While growing up, I thought everything would be resolved when I became an adult myself but adulthood has thrown up all sorts of issues.

Being at friends’ weddings with their families surrounding them and hearing speeches full of love and happy memories can be massively painful.

Hearing tales of brunching or shopping with mum fill me with envy.

My mum, during her modelling days (Picture: Sareta Puri)

Never having a mother/child relationship has made me scared of having my own children.

How would I know what to do? What if they hated me or I hated them? Why would I want to give up the life I am finally in control of?

However, being motherless has also given me some of my fiercest traits.

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I have a huge amount of resilience. I use my strength to support others and have survived whatever life has thrown at me so far.

I have been independent from a young age – doing shopping, topping up the electricity meter, ringing insurance companies and dealing with banks.

Learning how to be an adult never fazed me and I’ve used these problem-solving and organisational skills to my advantage.


The challenges we faced growing up shaped my passion for equality and an urge to make a difference, no matter how big or small.

I’m sure my friends would say that my love for intense, patterned and bold clothing (curtains and wallpaper as some friends say) came from my mum, who had a fashion boutique and did modelling in the 70s.

I understand the value of making the most of what you’ve got – be it harnessing relationships that really matter, taking on the opportunity to travel the world or being able to follow your passions while you still can.

Me with Naomi and her daughter Sophia (Picture: Sareta Puri)

I know that I wouldn’t be the woman that I am today if it wasn’t for all of these experiences.

If I could write my mum a card this year, I would share what strong and passionate women my sister and I have become.

I would thank her and my dad for passing on those traits, along with a healthy dose of stubbornness (you can’t have it all).

I would tell her all about my energetic, hilarious, wee niece, who my sister will be taking to school in August.

The very same school that my mum proudly took my sister to on her first day.

Well, she took her on the wrong day, and in the wrong uniform, but she got there, eventually. These nuances make us who we are, after all.

I would tell my mum I can finally look back and smile and laugh at these memories and stories, and thank her for creating this strength in me.

So to anyone else who’s also having a motherless Mother’s Day, celebrate what your mother gave you.

Celebrate the other incredible women and mothers in your life.

Celebrate the strength you have that you can give to others.

Celebrate yourself. You deserve it.

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75+ Inspirational Motherhood Quotes About A Mother’s Love For Her Children


Are you looking for some beautiful quotes about being a mom?

Whether you’re looking for new mom quotes, mother and son quotes, mother and daughter quotes, or just looking for the perfect pick me up for those hard days, these beautiful motherhood quotes about a mothers love for a child are sure to inspire.

As a mama, there is something special about reading and collecting quotes about being a mother.

They help you to express, in words, the love you have for your children as well as remind you that you are not alone in your motherhood journey.

Here are a few of our favorite inspirational quotes for mothers that will help lift you up every time you see them.

Do you have any favorite mother quotes?

>> Head over to our facebook community and share your favorite inspirational motherhood quotes with some like-minded mamas!

Editors note: You are welcome to share and use the original images contained below. Please give credit back to our page. Non-commercial use only.


We hope you enjoy these quotes about being a mom.

You can put them to good use by captioning your pictures on Instagram or creating a beautiful memory book of your special family moments such as your baby’s first year memory book.

We also love using beautiful mom quotes to create gorgeous gifts or to capture special occasions such as mother’s day.

“The most magical day of my life was the day I became a mother.”


There really is nothing like being a mother.

It is an indescribable feeling of pure love that only exists between a mother and her child.

Yet Motherhood isn’t always easy, we all have struggles.

Sometimes we just need a little inspiration to let us know that we are doing a great job. So here are a few encouraging mom quotes to let you know that even despite your struggles you mama, are more than enough.

“Being a mama can be tough, but always remember in the eyes of your child, no one does it better than you.”

“If you’re worried about being a good mother, it means you already are one.”

“Being a mama isn’t easy, but it is definitely the best job anyone could ever have.”

“I see you there mama, trying your best. I see you showing up each day, even though you feel exhausted. I see you making tough choices for your family even when your not sure if they are right. I see you working tirelessly, even when it seems never ending. I see you doing an amazing job, even though you doubt yourself. I see you mama, and you are more than enough.”

“I’ve carried a child within my body. I’ve slept with them on my chest. I’ve kissed toes and wiped away tears. I’ve been vomited on, peed on, and spent sleepless nights cradling my child. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. My body isn’t magazine perfect but when I look in the mirror, I see a mama. And there is no greater honor, love or blessing.”

“As a mama i’m not perfect. I make mistakes. I forget things. I lose my cool. And somedays I go a little crazy. But, it’s okay because in the end, no one could ever love my child the way I do.”

“Being a mama isn’t always easy. The sleepless nights, the constant worry, the endless piles of washing. But no matter hard it feels, I will always show up for my children. I will always try my best. Because from the very first moment I held them in my arms, I knew my job was to protect and love them with all my might.”

“Whenever you’re feeling hopeless, hug your child. It’s amazing how they remind us our life is always full of love.”

“They won’t remember that you were to tired to cook dinner, or that the laundry was always there, or even that you struggles to lose the baby weight (if at all). What they will remember is the laughter as you play together. Reading together in pillow forts. he warm mama hugs as they drifted off to sleep. They will remember that you were there, no matter what. And that sweet mama, is everything.”

“Even when my soul is tired, I will always find strength for my children.”

“I will always delight in my children’s existence. I will be the one who thinks the sun rises and sets on them and loves them unconditionally. Forever and always.”

“It’s okay if your dream in life is to be a good wife and mama.”

“I hold my child to sleep every night. Not because they are spoiled. Not because I’m wrapped around their little finger. Not because I’m being manipulated. I do it because I am their safe place. I do it because I am their mama and they need me to comfort them.”

“Motherhood is amazing. And then it is really hard. And then it is incredible. And then it is everything in between. So, hold onto the good, breathe through the bad, and welcome the wildest and most wonderful ride of your life.”

“To the mama who hasn’t felt like herself lately, i know how difficult it is hen you catch yourself not being you. Be patient, your sparkle will return again and you will shine again.”

“My child may not have everything they want in life, but they have a mama that loves them more than anything in the world.”

“It’s ok to have strengths and weaknesses as a mama. Some mamas play games, others listen well, some cook with love, and others are great encouragers. We don’t have to be everything, every day to our kids. We just need to show up and love them hard.”

“Motherhood is magical. It grants you the power to fall in love with someone before ever meeting them. It gifts you amazing instincts to look after your cubs. It fuels you in ways you can’t explain to keep you going no matter how exhausted you are. And it expands your heart and fills it with more love than you have ever felt.”


Short and simple, these mom quotes and sayings get straight to the point.

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“Having a bond with your child is something money can’t buy.”

“A child is the most beautiful gift this world has to give.”

“My biggest accomplishment will never be money. It will be who I raised.”

“I wouldn’t change my children for the world, but I wish I could change the world for my children.”

“I just want to be the best mama I can be.”

“What an honor it is to be a tiny somebody’s everything.”

“Kids don’t need a perfect mama. They need a happy one.”

“Behind every young child who believes in themselves is a mama who believed first.”

“Nothing in life will ever make you as happy, as sad, as exhausted, or as incredibly proud as motherhood.”

“When your child has a hard day, they don’t ask, ‘can we talk?’ instead they ask, ‘will you come play with me?’”

“Your time with your kids is so precious. Please don’t take it for granted.”

“Your little family is the best team you could ever have.”

“Happiness is having a husband who is also an amazing dad.”

“You don’t need to win a noble prize to be changing the world, you just need to go home and love your family.”

The family you come from is improtant, but the family you come from is number one priority.

“Nothing in life is more improtant to me than my family.”


Whether you are feeling delighted, overwhelmed, intimidated, or on top of the world with your new role as a mother, let these quotes about being a mother for the first time inspire you!

“There are many things in life I have taken for granted, but the opportunity and ability to be a mama will never be one of them.”

“Motherhood is so much simpler when you stop explaining yourself to others and just do what works for you and your family.”

“Some day you will wake up and your house will be clean, but your babies will be all grown up and on their own. Enjoy the mess and your kids. They are only babies once.”

“No one prepared me for just how much love I would have for my child.”

“I think the best part of being a mom is when your little one looks up at you and just smiles and stares because they know you are their person. Like nobody else is as important as you. They know that you have them like nobody else ever will. The connection is indescribable.”

“Having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most sweetest and peaceful feelings in the world.”

“Hold on to the tiny moments and cherish the little things. They grow up so fast.”

“The sweet smell of a baby must be one of the best smells in the whole world.”

“From the moment I became a mother, my purpose has been to love and protect my children with everything I have.”

“There will never be a day, like a day your baby was born.”

“When you feel that first little kick, and hear a heart beat for the first time you suddenly understand what it means to love someone more than your own life.”

“It makes me smile knowing that my sweet little baby is half me and half the person I love.”


You don’t have to wait till mother’s day to celebrate motherhood. These joys of motherhood quotes are perfect little reminders of the ways we enjoy being a mom 365 days of the year.

“Seeing my child happy is one of the best feelings in the world.”

“You won’t know it’s the last time until it doesn’t happen again. The last time they ask to be picked up. The last time they need help pouring their drink. The last time they ask to hold your hand or snuggle on the couch. So try treat each moment as if it’s the last time, because once it stops and your realize those moments are over, they will surely be missed.”

“My house is filled with toys, has fingerprintes on everything, and is never quiet. My hair is usually a mess and I am always tired, but there is always love and laughter. in 20 years, my kids won’t remember the house or my hair, but they will remember the quality time we spent together and the love they felt.”

“As a parent we try our best to teach our children all about life, but really they are the ones teaching us what life is all about.”

“I asked God for a life full of love and happiness. He sent me my family.”

“Happiness is when your child comes and hugs you just because.”

“Do you ever look at your child and start smiling? Not because your child did something amazing, just smiling because you realize how blessed you really are.”

“You’ll never have this day with your children again. Tomorrow they’ll be a little older than they were today. This day is a gift. Just breathe, notice, study their faces. Pay attention. Relish the charms of the present. Enjoy today, it will be over before you know it.”

“No one ever looks back at the end of their life and thinks ‘I spent too much time with my kids.’”


There is nothing quiet like the bond between a mother and her child.

These strong mom quotes and I love my kids quotes express the love, hope and dreams that a mother has for her children.

“My goal is to raise my children to have the courgage to be whoever they want to be.”

“One day, all your children will have is photos of you. So make sure you are in them. No matter what your hair, makeup, or body looks like…they won’t care. They’ll just want to see you and the love that you have for them.”

“Sometimes the only way to get over the sadness of your kids growing up is to rest in the beauty of the people they are becoming.”

“I don’t want my children to follow in my footsteps. I want them to take the path next to me and go further then I could have ever dreamt possible.”

“I don’t want my children to grow up and think the aim of life is to be rich, to be popular, to be highly educated, or to be perfect. I want them to know life is about being real, being humble, and being kind.”

“A child is going to remember who was there, not what was spent on them. Kids outgrow a toy and outfits, but they never outgrow time and love.”

“Do you ever just look at your child and literally feel your heart melting because you love them so much.”

“I don’t care if my child is academically gifted. I care if they are the one that plays with the lonely child siting by themself.”

“My children don’t even know, that I need them more than they need me.”

“I’m going to teach my children to reach for the stars, but I’m going to make sure they know I will love them regardless of where they land.”

“I go constantly between wanting you to stay my little baby forever, and being excited about all the amazing things you’ll do in this life.”

“No matter how old my child gets, I still check in on them while they are sleeping.”

“I never want my kids to mess up and think ‘mom is going to kill me.’ I want their first thought to be ‘I need to call my mom.’”

“My hope is to raise my children so that they love themselves so fiercely that they refuse to settle for anything less than they deserve.”

“As a mama I’m only ever going to be in 1 of 3 places. In front of my kids cheering them on, behind them to have their back, or beside them so they never have to walk alone.”

“I will be your biggest fan. I will be your protector. I will always defend you. I will be your teacher. I will be your friend. I will be your confidant. I will always be proud of you. I will love you unconditionally, because forever and always I will be your mama.”

“Speak life into your children. Tell them all the incredible things they are and can do. So, when the time comes, they will have what it takes to follow their own path. “

“Teach your kids that being the smartest or the coolest or the something else ‘est’ will only take them so far. But being kind and generous and going out of their way to help others will matter literally in every aspect of their lives for as long as they live.”

“Never forget when a child gives you a gift, even if it is a flower they have just picked, in their eyes they are choosing to give you the most precious thing they had to give.”


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Growing Up Without A Mother

By Jessica Axel

I’ve never been a big fan of Mother’s Day. It’s not the commercialization that fuels my dislike, though — it’s that for 14 years, I haven’t had a mother to celebrate.

On September 20th, 1996, my mother’s 36th birthday, she died. Four years earlier, she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. In the intervening time, she endured hours of chemotherapy and radiation, the loss of her hair to the chemo and a breast to mastectomy, a surgery to reconstruct her missing breast, a bone marrow transplant, and countless days away from her family in the hospital. All this while raising three children and making sure that “cancer” was never, ever a dirty word in our house.

I always felt as if I was navigating rough waters on my own. I did most of
my teenage figuring-out — from riding my bike to the drugstore to buy tampons,
to suffering the sting of a years-long high school unrequited love — by myself.

I was 10 years old when she died. I grew up in Cleveland, where my parents had settled after my father finished law school, and all of our relatives lived out of state. The first Mother’s Day after my mom’s death, I gave a gift to my best friend’s mother, not knowing who else to present with the sunflower seedlings we had planted at school for the occasion. But every Mother’s Day after that, until I left home for college, is a blur in my memory, like so much from those years. For me, the second Sunday of May was just another day on the calendar.

Some events have the ability to split a life into halves. I feel like I’ve lived two lives: the one that ended when my mother died, and the one I’m living now, since she’s been gone. For most of the past 14 years, especially when I was younger, my almost unconscious strategy to cope with my loss was to pretend there was no loss at all: if my “life” began when she died, then it was like she never existed. If there was no hole left by her absence, there was no hole to fill.

Even with my attempts to blot her out, though, my mother’s death colored every part of my life. I can’t say for sure growing up was harder for me, without a mother, because I haven’t known anything different, but I have a feeling some aspects were more difficult. As a young teenager I resented my friends’ relationships with their mothers, even when those relationships weren’t at their best: at least they had someone to fight with. It took me years to come to the realization that just having two parents didn’t necessarily make life easier. Although my father loved us and raised us the best he knew how,

I always felt as if I was navigating rough waters on my own. I did most of
my teenage figuring-out — from riding my bike to the drugstore to buy tampons,
to suffering the sting of a years-long high school unrequited love — by myself.

It has been almost 15 years since my mother’s death, but it’s only in the past couple of months or so that my thoughts have really begun to turn towards her — not only as my mother, but as a woman. She married my father at age 23 and I was born when she was 26. Her greatest desire — and greatest accomplishment — was to be a mother, and by the age of 29 she had a three-year-old daughter and newborn twins. At the age of 25, my own life is much different: I am not dating anyone, let alone married, and at this point, I do not plan on having children at all. It makes it all the more difficult to understand her. It makes me wish I could ask her what she was thinking, what she was feeling, when she was 25.

Although in ways I had to deny her existence in order to grow up, I am finally, in my mid-twenties, beginning to reconsider my mother. As a child and a teenager, when I thought of her, it was as of someone almost magical, a perfect being who had done no wrong. Someone who was too good for this world, and had therefore been taken from it. I am now starting to see her for what she was, as a person, a good one who was well-loved by everyone who knew her, but a real person with flaws like the rest of us. I will never fully understand my mother. I will never get to ask her the questions I’ve always wanted answers to. I will never get to take her out to brunch and give her a card on the second Sunday in May. But she is an undeniable part of me. She always has been.

Fatherlessness is harder on Father’s Day, but ‘father figures,’ other role models fill in


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Father’s Day is different when there’s no father around.

“What do these days mean to children like me who had to grow up without one parent in their lives?” asks Louis Steptoe, 18, who just graduated from high school here. Instead, he celebrates what he calls “Father Figure Day” and honors his godfather, William Ford, who “was always present.”

Kaylynn Tobin, 12, of Rockville, Maryland, met her father only once, years ago, and barely remembers him. Her sister Aras, 10, has a different father and sometimes gets gifts from him. But she doesn’t have a good relationship with her father.

“I don’t think of my dad as a father,” Kaylynn Tobin said. “I don’t think of him as anything.”

Steptoe and Tobin are among the millions of children across the United States who are growing up in one-parent households without a father in their lives. Fatherlessness during childhood has become a major part of American life due to divorce and the rise of having children outside marriage. Overwhelmingly, these one-parent households are led by women.

But there is new momentum in cities including Washington to reconnect fathers with their children. Much of that push has come from the African American community, where black fathers are twice as likely to live separately from their children as white fathers, according to research in 2011 by The Pew Research Center.

Frank Love, co-sponsor of the Father-Daughter Reconciliation Project, is shown with the five children he helps to raise – his two from his first marriage and two with his current wife, whose niece is also part of the family. Although his parents divorced when he was young, his father remained – and remains – a big part of his life. Family photo Corey Folsom, a life coach who specializes in relationships, met his birth father for the first time in November. He’s shown getting a hug from his 25 year old son Skye. Family photo Tawny Cole of Las Vegas says she raised her kids on her own starting when she was 16 “but have always left an open door for my kids’ Dad to see them. He helps when he can.” She’s shown with daughter Jaelyn Carter at her recent high school graduation, which her dad Jason also attended along with brother Jace, left. Family photo Corey Folsom, who was adopted out of an orphanage, tells his two sons, including Cree, shown with his own son, that “their arrivals were my biggest blessing.” Family photo Physician Chris Nelson is shown at the high school graduation of daughter Carolne with sons Bradley, right, and Michael. He fought to keep partial custody during his divorce a decade ago. Family photo Shayla Grayson, right, is shown with her daughter Ashanti Govan. Grayson’s father, Washington attorney Scott Bolden has become a prominent co-parenting advocate. He didn’t meet Grayson until she was 19 and pregnant with his grandaughter. She remains close with Bolden’s other daughters. Family photo Washington, D.C. lawyer Scott Bolden didn’t meet daughter Shayla Grayson, right, until she was 19 and pregnant with her daughter, Ashanti Govan who is second from right. Since then, the managing partner of law firm Reed Smith has worked hard to be in both of their lives and to keep them connected to his other children, including daughter McKenzie Bolden, left. Family photo Jason Carter, right, is shown with his children , Jace, left, and Jaelyn Carter on Jaelyn’s graduation day in Las Vegas. The children’s parents were high school sweethearts, but “things didn’t work out,” says their mother Tawny Cole. Family photo

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More than one in four fathers in the United States who have children 18 or younger now lives apart from their children, according to Pew.

A movement is growing toward shared parenting or at least collegial “co-parenting” that recognizes the importance of having two parents in children’s lives. And in states like Virginia and Kentucky, legislation was recently passed to encourage joint custody.

At the same time, federal health officials, educators, doctors, social workers and researchers are developing programs to help children deal with the absence or departure of a parent and the other traumatic events known as “adverse childhood experiences” (ACEs). By improving children’s coping skills, they hope to improve their mental and physical health, and increase life expectancy.

Although many fathers stay active and attached to their children even if they don’t live with them day-to-day, millions are essentially absentee dads – gone if not forgotten.

“Not having that father is much more traumatic than people have appreciated in the past,” says Jonetta Rose Barras, author of “Whatever Happened to Daddy’s Little Girl: The Impact of Fatherlessness on African-American Women.” “Family is a messy institution, but it’s the only institution we have that even when it’s done in a flawed way, really prepares a child for functioning and thriving in the world.”

‘Something gets broken’

Shawn Hardnett’s father didn’t acknowledge his paternity until Hardnett was in his 20s. Today, Hardnett, a longtime teacher and school administrator, thinks fatherlessness is “the greatest trauma that young people face.” The longtime teacher and administrator had absentee fathers in mind when developing the all-boys charter middle school he is launching this fall in Washington.

Without an active father in their lives, boys’ identities become “locked into the oldest male who is in their space,” said Hardnett. That person could be a coach, or teacher, or someone who is a very bad influence.

Hardnett said he thought there “must be something wrong with me” because his father wasn’t around. So like his brothers, he made “all the wrong decisions ‘wrong’ people make.” That included eating so much he ballooned to 325 pounds. His two brothers used crack cocaine and alcohol, he said, to dull their pain.

“When the father’s not there, something gets broken that cannot be fixed,” he said.

The staff of North Star College Preparatory Academy for Boys will be nearly all male for a student body in which half of the students live with only one parent, most likely their mothers. The teachers have been learning “the mechanics of relationship building” when dealing with young men who have faced the trauma of growing up fatherless, says Hardnett.

“We’re being very deliberate about teaching adults, ‘How do you respond and react to behavior you don’t like?'”he said.

Although fatherless boys have gotten more attention over the years, lacking a father hits girls just as hard, says Barras, founder of the non-profit Esther Productions, which works to help girls and women, particularly those who grew up without a father.

Sometimes, mothers even impede efforts for reconciliation with a father, Barras says, because they don’t want the father of their children back in their lives.

“The horrible relationship that the mother and father had sometimes serves as the biggest variable,” she says. “She hates him because of whatever he did.”

And the cycle continues.

“People without a father are kind of adrift and feel alone and abandoned,” says Los Angeles-based psychiatrist Judith Orloff, author of six books including The Empath’s Survival Guide. “They choose mates to try to fix them, to somehow heal the relationship with the father, thinking they could heal this person. But then they get abandoned over and over and over.”

That pattern accentuates the pain for the child who already feels deserted by their birth fathers only to lose stepfathers and other men in their mothers’ lives.

“Children learn from their parents’ generational patterns of abandonment,” said Orloff. “It could go on for eons.”

Orloff’s partner, Corey Folsom, just met his 83-year-old birth father for the first time. Folsom was raised by “fine adoptive parents” after his college student mother put him up for adoption in an orphanage in the early 1960s, but Folsom says he always felt there was a “missing piece.”

“When I would try to imagine my birth father, I would think, ‘He doesn’t want me so I don’t want him,'” says Folsom, a life coach who specializes in relationships. But after finding his father “alive and kicking and well, I felt an expansion in my heart.”

Trauma of fatherlessness

Having a parent leave the home permanently can cause trauma in a child’s life, just like having an incarcerated or physically abusive parent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which developed the method of tracking adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs.

“Children, youth and young adults who have experienced trauma are three times more likely to develop serious mental illness and substance abuse later in life,” said psychiatrist Elinore McCance-Katz, assistant secretary for mental health and substance abuse for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Nearly half of the nation’s children under 18 – 46% – have experienced at least one traumatic event, including sexual abuse, neglect, incarceration of a parent, being a victim or witnessing community violence, or the death or absence of a parent, according to a January report by HHS’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

At a recent program for Mental Health Awareness Day held in Washington, McCance-Katz and other experts advocated that teachers, doctors, social workers and psychologist use a “trauma-informed” approach to dealing with children who are struggling in school, doing drugs or expressing other bad behaviors.

“We need to change the questions we ask them to “What happened to you?” from “What’s wrong with you?” said Gabrielle Carlson, a psychiatrist and president-elect of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

“We need to look at disruptive behavior through the lens of trauma,” said Patrick McCarthy, a physician and CEO of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a nonprofit that advocates for low-income families and children.

That’s the kind of “trauma-informed” teaching his new charter school will focus on, says Hardnett.

Hardnett says he was luckier than many young men of color because he grew up with a stepfather who he thought was “amazing” and who “stopped a lot of things from happening that would have happened if he wasn’t there.”

That’s helped make him a strong advocate of a two-parent family.

“No matter what we tell ourselves in society, a child who lives in the house with a mother and a father who are married to each other is still the best place for a child to grow up,” he said. “There’s a cultural attack on the nuclear family as old and passé, but the data still suggest that people who grow up in them are getting a whole lot more done.”

Collegial co-parenting

Kids love their parents, “and they’re terrified to lose either of them,” said physician Ned Holstein, who founded the nonprofit group Fathers and Families after his own divorce and custody battle in the late ’90s. The organization is now called National Parents Organization, and it has been lobbying for shared parenting laws across the country.

On July 1 in Virginia, a new law will take effect that supports co-sharing of parenting after divorce. More than 20 states have considered these laws, but only a few have passed ones that Holstein considers adequate. Groups including the National Organization for Women and many domestic violence activists often oppose them. They say women who left violent partners should not be forced to share parenting and are often at a disadvantage financially to fight their ex-partners in court.

In January, the Journal of Child Custody published an update on child development research surrounding what’s best for kids when parents divorce or separate. Linda Nielsen, a Wake Forest University professor of adolescent and educational psychology, analyzed 60 studies over several decades and countries and concluded shared parenting is better for children than single parenting on almost every measure of well being.

Black fathers, a closed Facebook group, was started in 2009 to create a network where black fathers could “work together to change the face of fatherhood and the conditions in our families and communities.” It has more than 41,000 members.

Barras and co-parenting advocate Frank Love are collaborating in Washington on an effort to encourage co-parenting by those no longer romantically involved but who work together well raising their children. The effort launched in Washington and has attracted the most interest from African Americans but includes parents of all races, says Love.

“So many children who grew up without their father suspect it had a big effect on them and have turned into parents who determine that it’s time to do something different,” says Love, whose parents divorced when he was young but continued to share parenting duties.

Often, there is a narrative and belief that says, “We have to be at odds with one another when raising a child or children” after a break-up. This is not always the case, and there are powerful examples of families that are proving this, he said.

“We are taking it upon ourselves to capture the stories and perspectives of these powerful families, and to celebrate them for the shining examples that they are to their children and community.”

Barras and Love recently gave a couple, Sunshine Muse and ex-husband Yohance Maqubela, the first of what will be an annual co-parenting award. They divorced while Muse was pregnant with their second child. She now splits her time between Sante Fe, N.M. and the Washington area, where Maqubela lives. Still, they share responsibilities for raising their children, despite the distance.

“At first, no one day was like the next,” said Maqubela, who keeps in touch daily using Facetime and Skype for homework sessions. “But there was the feeling and the understanding that things will get better. There was the general commitment to our children.”

Even if some once-absent fathers come back into the picture, children can be reluctant to let them in.

“My life was perfect the way it was. My mother, my sister and me,” Steptoe says.

But now that he’s talking more frequently with his father, he says: “Better late than never.”

Contributing: Karla Lozano and Janiya Battle, who are fellows in the Urban Health Media Project (UHMP). Lewter is an intern with UHMP, which O’Donnell co-founded.

The facts are in: Children need fathers

Statistics show that many countries are experiencing an increase in the number of families in which no father figure is present. In the US, currently one out of every three children grows up without a father, which means 25 million American children are in this situation.

In the case of the European countries of Sweden, Iceland, and France, single mothers now outnumber mothers with a spouse or partner. In Spain, the profile of a juvenile delinquent is that of an underaged male without a father, according to statistics from that country’s Attorney General’s office.

Do children need to have a father figure while growing up? Can they do without? Will growing up without a father affect them?

Law professor Maria Calvo from Charles III University in Madrid states that the presence of a father is necessary and that, in his absence, children suffer important deficiencies that then have negative consequences for society as a whole.

Statistics that make you think

According to Calvo, there are statistics that should make us reflect:

90% of the young men in prison in the United States grew up without a father.

After the Tottenham riots in the United Kingdom in 2011, a sociological follow-up survey was performed on the more than 1,000 people who were arrested, and it turned out that 85% of them had grown up without a father.

At that time, Prime Minister David Cameron drew a direct line from the absence of fathers in the home to the chaos on the streets—not that it was the only factor, but a key one nonetheless.

Growing up without a father is more detrimental than growing up poor

“The absence of a father figure,” says Calvo, “is at the root of most social problems: violence, drug abuse, pre-adolescent pregnancy, academic failure, running away from home … Before, it was thought that poverty was the cause, but no: it is the absence of a father.”

Especially between the ages of 3 and 5

Maria Calvo laments that today the father figure has been devalued in our society, and there is a growing mentality that children can grow up just the same without a father.

“Especially between the ages of three and five, young boys need the presence of their father as a model of masculinity,” Calvo said recently at a round table organized by the Villacisneros Foundation in Madrid.

When a masculine role model is missing, young boys can grow up guided by stereotypes that orient them towards violence and male chauvinistic behaviors.


They can also fall prey to a negative view of life: “The nihilist philosophers—Nietzsche, Bertrand Russell, and Albert Camus—grew up without a father.”

In the case of Camus, Professor Calvo explains that the French author had handwritten a few lines in the margin of a manuscript that was found when he died after having been hit by a car at the age of 46, a text that would later be published as The First Man :

“I need someone to guide me; I need someone to praise me, to chastise me, not with his power, but with his authority. I need my father.”

Fathers help provide balance

Calvo says that, in raising children, the father compensates for the maternal desire to give their children everything. The father is also often the one who establishes children’s sense of hierarchy, primarily that of the authority of parents with respect to the children, but also that of teachers, police, and authorities in general.

At the same time, fathers represent freedom, Calvo explains, because they push children beyond the boundaries allowed by their sometimes overprotective mothers.

A father and mother are both necessary

In this way, the best education a child can receive is that which comes from having both a mother and a father. Both are necessary for a child’s full development. When this is impossible, the absence of the father or mother will have to be taken into account, and steps will have to be taken to ensure there are people who can help compensate for the absence of the missing parent.

Read more: Boys to Men: The Dire Need for Godly Friends and Spiritual Fathers Read more: The research is in: Fathers are not replaceable

10 Reasons Why Kids without Dads Are at a Big Disadvantage

Author Darren Ferguson wrote of his former prison life: “We inmates are all from 5 neighborhoods in New York City. It’s like a train that begins on my block. You get on the train when you’re nine or ten years old, and the train ends up at Sing Sing.”

What’s missing in these neighborhoods that Darren grew up in? Involved fathers. Male parenting. You matter tremendously to your children and the future of our country. Don’t ever underestimate your importance. In fact, here are 10 reasons why kids without dads are at a great disadvantage:

1. Balance:

Mothers are amazing. Fathers are amazing too. But we were created to learn and grow as balanced people. Dad is a unique piece of that puzzle.

2. Parenting at best is a tag team sport:

Reality check: Father does not know best – and neither does Mother. But between them, employing their complimentary gifts, more often than not, they’ll get it right.

3. Mom is missing something too:

We’re not saying a woman is incomplete without a man. What we are saying is that kids miss out twice when there’s no father in the home. Kids whose mom is loved eloquently by their dad have the advantage of a mother who’s loved by a good man. Every child should live in a home like that.

4. Modeling for boys:

Boys need to see what it means to live as a man. Men are different in a variety of ways. Boys who see man stuff in action around the home on a day-to-day basis are at an advantage to be better equipped.

5. Modeling for girls:

Most girls are going to get married one day. If they haven’t seen a real-life dad being a good man, day in and day out, then they have missed a great opportunity to understand what to value and what to look for.

6. The family is a model love relationship:

Love is the great force in relationships. The family is a place where the dynamics of love between a man and a woman work themselves out in the real world. Commitment, faithfulness, forgiveness, discipline, belief – all these and more play out in front of a child’s eyes. Without a dad, this very important part of the function of a family simply is not there to instruct children. Not having a father present in the home is a huge loss in that regard.

7. The best man:

Not every young man is going to ask Dad to be best man at his wedding but, beyond the ceremonial moment, Dad should be there to fulfill the role from the day his kids start dating to the day they start a family of their own.

8. Loss of focused time:

Understand this, a single-parent family is not 50% of a parenting unit. In fact, it’s no fraction of a family because a single parent family is a bona fide family, period. But, in the metrics of time, a missing dad is irreplaceable in terms of what a dad does while the other parent is doing what they do. No matter how talented mom is, she can’t be duplicated and she is finite in time and space.

9. The cost in innocence:

Try this question: When there’s no dad around for mom to lean on (and vice versa), then who is left to play the other grown-up when one’s needed? Just in case you wonder, a grown-up is often needed. It doesn’t matter how old the kids are, they’re going to step up and fill those shoes prematurely and there’s a cost to go along with that.

10. The cost in security:

Ideally, one job dad does best is carrying the mantle of security for a family. It doesn’t mean he’s always strong physically, and it doesn’t mean that mom is weak. The “dad” kind of security is a simple fact of biology. But it’s real, and every child without a father loses something intangible that takes its toll in confidence.