Guest Post: Raine of Pursuit of Peace Talks About a Man’s Influence on Her Child


One day, I saw a pretty woman driving a car.

She sang and smiled, both to a happy boy strapped in a car seat in the back of her car. He smiled and appeared to sing, too.

Her license plate read “Noah N me,” and there were small stick figures in the back window of her small car of a smiling woman and a smiling boy. There’s a bond between a single parent and a child, because the parent sometimes has to pull double duty.

Single parenting is not easy, though. There are struggles, times when a parent feels all alone, times when they feel overwhelmed. It can feel that way even with the support of a loving spouse, of course. Parenting is smiling and singing, but it’s also weeping and screaming.

Please welcome Raine, author of the blog Pursuit of Peace. She writes a loving and honest blog about life raising her 6-year-old son, Ryder, on her own. You’ll love the brevity of her posts, delivered just like a small plate of Christmas cookies, or a blunt uppercut to the solar plexus. Whatever’s needed.

Today, she’s written an open-ended post in succinct Raine style, and I believe it’ll get the conversation going among my incredible readership. Give us your thoughts, and be sure to check out Raine’s work, on everything from depression to Boy Scouts to how to afford a summer vacation.

# # #


Sometimes not having a man around the house is awesome – no unnecessary cable bills, no snoring, no violent video games, no one eating my chocolate, no one to disagree with me.

But then sometimes it would be nice – opening a jar, helping carry stuff from the car, picking up/dropping off, helping with housework, an adult to talk to. There are many lessons that I can teach my son without help – how to be kind, how to tie his shoes, honesty, crafts, the importance of a dollar.

There are some lessons, though, that I just cannot teach him – how to pee behind a tree, how to “shake it first,” urinal etiquette, well, mostly bathroom issues.

Thankfully, my father is around. He can help my son with the man-stuff. Grandpa helps him ride his bike, read a book, make me gifts, listen to country music, and, yes, takes him into the men’s room. He loves being able to go into the men’s room.

Makes him feel like a “real man” (said in a silly bass voice – thank you SpongeBob).

How important is a man’s influence in your child’s life?

Leon hot air balloon festival 2010

photo credit for top image: Bruce M Walker via photopin cc


  1. It’s wonderful your dad can do all the “man” stuff with your son. I bet he loves that special time with him!

    1. Raine says:

      He absolutely does! I am glad we live close enough for them to have a real relationship with my son.

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        It’s awesome he embraces this role, too.

    2. Eli Pacheco says:

      Love it when grandpa steps up to the plate. Good man.

  2. Hi Raine!
    The man in a child’s llife doesn’t have to be the biological father…I agree with you about that. My daughter’s twins have been lucky to have their Gramps as the stabilizing man in their lives as she transitioned from a bad marriage and divorce to a new, stable, loving relationship, a journey that took about four yeara. I’m glad your dad has been there for you, and your son. That kind of support and relationship is priceless.

    1. Raine says:

      I completely agree! I am very glad your granddaughters have their Gramps, as well. Some children are not as lucky. It is very difficult to go through a divorce and knowing that you have support for you and your child is so important.

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        Kind of shows us parenting is a lifelong project too … like I said, your dad is kind of awesome.

    2. Eli Pacheco says:

      Sometimes, we fellas have to run a little damage control for our gender.

  3. I am so thankful my daughters have strong male role models in their lives. I know the true identity of the tickle monster in our house, and it’s not me! And my youngest absolutely goes NUTS when she sees her grandpas. It’s enough to turn even the gruffiest papa to a pile of mush!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Dads are champion ticklers … even if we’re not sure when we should stop.

    2. Raine says:

      They have an amazing way of doing that, don’t they? No grandpa can resist πŸ™‚ My neice is the only girl and she just melts his heart πŸ™‚

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        It’s probably cool because they can play with them and spoil them a bit, but they don’t usually have to wipe butts.

  4. Letizia says:

    Grandfathers can play such an important role in a child’s life. And I agree with the others, a father figure can come in so many different roles – other men, coaches, and ultimately, you. And, in the meantime, keep working on the peeing behind the tree thing (that really made me laugh!). Lovely post.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I don’t know a lot about some of my players’ home life, but I take the role as their coach pretty seriously … I definitely don’t want to mess anything up!

      1. Raine says:

        I agree that a coach can be important as well. My son does karate and he does look up to the instructor there.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Cool – and we need to get that boy playing soccer at some point!

    2. Raine says:

      Thank you! We’ll get that tree thing eventually, I am sure!

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        It just takes … practice. Some of us are still practicing.

  5. ksbeth says:

    wonderful i can identify with all of this, as i was and still am, a single mother. great writing )

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      You’d like her blog, Beth – quick hits, and honest.

      1. ksbeth says:

        thanks eli, we connected today, and are already enjoying each others’ blogs )

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Well gosh, you really don’t need me then, do you?

      3. ksbeth says:

        oh yes, we all do. we connected through you, eli. )

      4. Eli Pacheco says:

        Well that’s cool. We need to talk again about you tossing up a guest post here, too, Beth.

    2. Raine says:

      Thank you! I think that is one of the most important things in blogging – identifying with the author. I mean, that is really why we are here – trying to connect with others.

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        I think a lot of my readers will make it over to your place, too.

  6. tamaralikecamera says:

    I love the name Ryder. It’s my top pick if we have another son! This whole post is snowing, which is delightful. Eli, how did you do that??
    Back to the conversation at hand, I think it’s so wonderful that your son and YOU have your dad around. I can’t really comment on how much kids need male and female role models since I have no idea, but I imagine Ryder has the love and support he needs from you and your dad, and role models can come from non-parental places. In fact, I think it’s necessary that it does. My kids are very close with their dad and my dad. Sometimes I actually get envious but I know how much they need me as well.

    1. Raine says:

      You can totally steal the name if you want πŸ˜‰ That is true, they need you just as much! It is sad, but a lot of times the role models have to come from non parental places because the parents are not good role models. I know Ryder is lucky to have one good parent, at least πŸ™‚

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        I think Ryder has it pretty good.

    2. Eli Pacheco says:

      Well, some dudes can make it rain … the only thing I can do is make it snow.

  7. ksbeth says:

    still up for doing your 6 word challenge you threw out a while back 0

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      There’s a new prompt now: Sum up Christmas as a parent in six words. You in?

      1. ksbeth says:

        yes i am.

        make it happen santa’s magic flows.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Nice Beth! You’re in.

      3. Eli Pacheco says:

        Too bad it doesn’t come with a paycheck, or even a slice of pie.

  8. Great post, Raine! It’s awesome that your dad is present in your son’s life. I have been a single parent and having a male presence is so important. My dad and brother weren’t the best influences, lol, but they did what they could. During that time, there were some magnificent women who stepped in to help me raise my son. I believe that entire mix of people helped shape him into the young man he is today. It’s great to read posts like this, where a single parent can admit that life isn’t always peaches and cream. Thanks Eli for showcasing!

    1. Raine says:

      Thank you! It truly takes a village. I have a hard time with that, though, because I hate asking for help. Even to have my parents babysit is difficult for me. It is so important to have people to help – better for you and your child.

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        Relatives babysitting is just a great opportunity for them to bond. Put it this way, and never ever call it babysitting, lest they expect babysitters’ wages.

    2. Eli Pacheco says:

      That’s a good point Tiffany – there are so many influences on a child’s life, extended family and teachers and coaches, who often recognize the opportunity to step up.

  9. Rorybore says:

    I am so thankful to the wonderful men in my family who all became surrogate daddies – in addition to grandfather, uncle, cousin – to a little girl who didn’t have a daddy around. Being raised by a single parent is awesome in one way; the bond my mom and I have is so strong. It’s incredible. But… even with some great male influence in my life growing up, not having that daily presence/affirmation/reassurance from a strong male figure became more of an issue as a young woman, than when I was a child. Suffice to say: I didn’t much like them. ha Heck – I’d lived without one this long, what the heck did I need a man now for? LOL
    Obviously, with maturity, I changed my mind about that. But relationships were definitely challenging. and still are somewhat. Thankfully those early influences helped me to choose wisely.

    1. Raine says:

      I worry about that too. I worry that not having a man around daily will become an issue later in his life. I can only do what I can, though. I’m sure your mom did her best as well πŸ™‚

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        A good mom’s better to have around than a bad dad.

    2. Eli Pacheco says:

      Rory – probably the most important role I play in my children’s lives is an example, I hope, of what a man should be. I don’t always get it right, but I hope to help establish some high expectations.

  10. Stevie says:

    Grandpas are awesome. Your son is lucky to have him so close. With today’s non- traditional family unit, I think it’s just important to have good people surrounding your kid, a support system that loves them. My parents split, and though I later got a step-dad, I think I grew up knowing that family was just who loves you. Blood relation isn’t that important.

    1. Raine says:

      That is so true. Love is so much more important. A loving grandparent is so much better than an estranged father. Thank you for that reminder πŸ™‚

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        Grandparents think they’re all so cool these days anyway – and it’s cool to see them prove it.

    2. Eli Pacheco says:

      Who wants to invest in the child? That’s what it’s all about. I’m not talking money, I’m talking the attention and conscious presence in their lives. Great comment, Stevie.

  11. Mike says:

    Fantastic post Eli and thank you for introducing us to Raine! My father raised me and I’m forever grateful for that. Raine’s words echo across the board exactly what has been said by the single mom’s I’ve dated and the one’s I have for friends over my lifetime. My best life buddy, Tony, is a single father and does an amazingly wonderful job with his little pride and joy, Talissa. I know it’s gets hard sometimes, but you are doing fantastic and the joy and reward will only multiple everyday going forward. God bless you all! πŸ™‚

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks so much Mike – and I think Raine will like your blog, too.

      1. Raine says:

        I will check it out!

    2. Raine says:

      Thank you πŸ™‚ It is definitely the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, but also the most rewarding, by far! It’s so nice to hear about good dads – something the single mom community seems to lack.

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        There’s a few who read my blog, in fact.

  12. Rabia Lieber says:

    I am not a single mom, but I still need the help of other men (and woman) to step in and help me raise my kids. I am a big fan of the village approach! I have tried to surround my kids with positive role models from both genders that help reinforce what I say and do as well as filling in the gaps in my own parenting. Your son is very fortunate to have an involved grandfather!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I think buffalo and pilot dolphins do it this way, too.

    2. Raine says:

      That is so important – and that is a great point, that you need other great role models whether you are raising them alone or in a partnership. God knows there are enough gaps in my parenting πŸ˜‰

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        Mine too. My girls refuse to let me fix their hair. They insist mom does it. Whatever.

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