Single Through Sorrow: Franka Baly’s Story
By Allison O'Connor
SMW: What has been the most challenging aspect of being a single mother?
FB: The most challenging aspect is disciplining my boys. My husband had a special way of reaching them. Maybe it was the bass in his voice. I find that I have to use many different approaches to getting the boys to focus on tasks. My boys are wonderful, but they get rambunctious and I have to be consistent otherwise they can get away with murder. At six they are smart and fun little boys. They definitely keep me on my toes.
SMW: What have you found most surprising about being a single mother?
FB: How difficult it is. I knew that it was challenging, but I never imagined how exhausting it was or how much careful planning and organization it required. I have to plan out all aspects of my boys day to be sure that I always know what was going on. Sometimes I forget things or have to go to the grocery store more times than I care to remember, but I don’t fare to badly as long as I am organized. There are no spontaneous nights out. Everything must be carefully planned out.
SMW: Even though you became a single mother through sorrow, are there positive aspects of the single mother experience? And, if so, what are they?
FB: At first I didn’t see any positive aspects. How could I? I lost my husband and the father of my boys. But a year and a half later, I can say there are a few that stand out. My boys remember their dad very warmly. They still “bless” daddy in their prayers every night. He is the best, positive, male role model that still influences them. As a single mother it is important for my boys to have a positive role model. Even though he is not here he is still in my boys thoughts.
One of the other best aspects is the amount of love I get from my two little boys. I am the most important person in their lives and they look to me for guidance and direction. I must say it is the greatest honor to be able to guide their lives. I feel it is the most rewarding aspect of being a single mother. Well, besides having two escorts to the movies whenever a Disney movie opens.
SMW: What advice would you give other mothers who are newly single through sorrow?
FB: I would tell single mothers to develop a great support network. No one does this alone. I have help with my children and someone to help me clean my home every other week. This is the support I needed to help me free up my time to spend time with my children. I also have babysitters who will watch my kids so I can go to a movie or spend some time with friends. Although I am a mother, it is not all of who I am. It is important to get back into life and do things you enjoy. I found that exercising was also a great way to relieve stress. It helped me take care of myself. I have cried through a few yoga classes.
Although it seems unfair to say it, you didn’t die with your mate, you live on. God must have another plan for you. When you are ready, it is important to get back into life, and living it to its fullest.
Franka Baly is also the CEO of ReEmergence, a web design and marketing firm.
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