NOTE: This is a guest blog by the inspiring and awesome Hyleri Katzenberg.
If you thought becoming a parent was scary, no one second guesses themselves more than a single Mom. I remember leaving the maternity ward, as the nurses placed my bundle of humanity in my arms and wished me “good luck” as they bid me adieu.
GULP! I needed a license to drive a car and here I was being given a life to care for without even passing a test! Jeez I thought, they’ll give one of these to anyone.
Fast forward 4 years and add an extra child to the equation. I was now a single Mother. All the decisions, mistakes and day to day responsibilities rested on my shoulders alone. I felt guilt every time I said no. I felt guilt every time I allowed my children to do something that I wasn’t sure I should have agreed to. Guilt was what I ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner; every single day.
So, now I have two teenage daughters (19 and 16). I am recently remarried and have 4 stepchildren.
And, the bad news is, I still have guilt.
The source of my guilt today, however is very different than it was during my years as a single Mother. Now that I see the effects of my “Guilty Single Mother Syndrome,” I feel guilty for allowing my guilt to dictate how I parented.
I am now doing damage control for the sense of entitlement that my over buying, over doing and over compensating has bred. It’s not the fault of my daughters, again the blame lies squarely on my shoulders.
I know that those little people I gave birth to, are really loving, kind people, and I have to chip away at the hormonal, spoiled shells that have grown around their beautiful interiors.
Single Moms, we may often not have a clue, but we know a lot more than our offspring do (although they will try to convince you otherwise).
I caution you: DO NOT PARENT out of guilt.
Recite this mantra over and over and stay strong:
“I am motivated by love. I have more knowledge and experience than my children. I am not perfect and I don’t have to be.”
As parents, now we know the truth that our own parents never divulged. If they had, it would have terrified us. There is no handbook, college degree or test we passed to become parents. All any and every parent does, is WING IT, as best they can! Good luck!
Written and shared with love by Hyleri Katzenberg. Wanna know more about Hyleri? She lives in CT with her husband Marc. The two have a combined brood of seven children and 1 grandson. She is a former actress, who has appeared on film, TV and stage. The family appeared on NBC’s “The Great American Road Trip”. Katzenberg was the founder and president of The Belle Foundation, a national charitable foundation which gave aid to children with congenital deformities. She is currently working on her first book. Hyleri is leads the K Squared real estate team of The Higgins Group, Christies Great Estates in Westport, CT. Her husband Marc is a famed restrauteur who will be opening a a new restaurant, MoJa in Westport in November.
PS Hyleri’s girls are now 22 and 19 and her damage control worked … her younger daughter got a job and worked 5 days a week after school and now is a varsity coxswain at Division one Ohio State University … Her older daughter is now a singer and recording artist in NYC and is getting her college degree in Music at The New School … She is proud of them both
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