Of course these forums and my recent study choices have helped in this regard,
[not to mention several thousands spent of therapy] but the bottom line
is I cannot be both mom and dad. I am not a widow.............I adopted two brothers for my daughter.
Trying to raise boys without a father is difficult. I tried for along time to encourage my boys father to participate in their upbringing and be more engaging. There was no throwing a football around, no instruction on grooming rituals, or 1 on 1 talks about anything.
After 16 years I realized it was not working and called it quits. The Catholic guilt set in for separating my kids from their father. I encouraged him to visit the kids often, but is was not working out. Two months later, he suffered a triple stroke and had temporary paralysis and memory loss. I could not stand to see the kids worry about their fathers health, so he moved back in. His recovery was slow. He laughed and cried hysterically many nights while trying to learn how to read and write again. For the next two years I cared for him, but the relationship with the boys never improved.
The boys still seemed to be without their father, but after all he was physically there right?
I completely understand the Catholic Guilt thing. I wanted their father to be in their life's to the point I was giving up mine. We have since parted ways and he recovered reasonably well considering what happened.
Growing up, my father was hands on about teaching us the Catholic faith as well as discussing life's matters. When he had a woodworking project, I was always by his side. It did not matter that I was a girl, he put me to work. So I do not think my sons should feel the lesser because their father cannot show them how to build things. My father said I must teach them what he has taught me. They know that he loves them like a father.
I have given my boys everything except a father who will be there for them. Our parish priest gave me some words of encouragement when he reminded me that God is our eternal father and he watches over all his children.