Do you ever feel like you have to make up for your child’s deadbeat father? Do you feel like all of your effort is still not good enough for your child? Do you question your mothering capabilities? For us mothers, it is a constant inner battle we have with ourselves and it eats us alive! It is okay to spoil or show an over-abundance of one-on-one time with your child, but to overextend yourself due to the lack of your child’s father is a no-go.
So what are some reasons why you should not overcompensate because of an absent father? Is it truly wrong to do? Will it affect your child in the long run? Does it affect YOU in the long run? Does it steal your happiness? Does it give the absent father credit where it is not due? There are so many questions to be answered, but why dwell on it, when the father is not involved, and more than likely will not be involved in the child’s life. Here are some reasons:
YOU Are There For Them
Believe me or not, you are everything your child will ever need. There is nothing greater than a momma’s love and care. When your child has a ball game, you are on the sideline cheering them on. When your daughter gets her heart broken from her crush, you are her shoulder to cry on. When you child is learning to drive, you better be patient as they make a sharp, left turn. Those monsters in the closet? They better run, because momma has bye-bye spray! What ever challenge our child goes through, they have you right there next to them, cheering them on. Absent fathers cannot say the same. Do not let them have the glory of experiencing your child’s milestones, as they were not cheering them on right next to you. Even when you are chugging along on fumes and the challenges get tough, YOU still show up.
YOU Are Not At Fault
Why is it that it is naturally our fault that the father is not active in our child’s life? Society instantly points fingers at us mothers who bust our asses off to be their for our children, but have a pity party for fathers who are not involved? That does not make sense. It is not our fault that the deadbeat decided to run and not be involved. I am sorry, but when I look at my daughter, I do not ever have the thought of up and leaving her. It is also not in our plans that the father would leave. Marriage would not stop it from happening, knowing the man for years would not stop it from happening. Most say “a paper will prevent him from bailing”, or “an abortion would have prevented this”. Girl, what?? That is a whole ‘nother conversation this momma is heated about. It is kind of hysterical that all of the outsiders blame us for all of this shit, but have no clue the true story. Continue reading for (my story) of what happened with my daughter’s biological father. Momma, you are not at fault. The dumbass left, and it was probably for the best. Just remember that.
YOU Are Only Human
There is no such thing as the perfect mother, especially when the father is not involved. This means we are on overdrive trying to structure our life with a child and not lose our minds. Right? With that, comes mistakes. We try to make things so perfect, so that our child does not have to endure the pain and guilt we carry. We tend to… sugar coat things so that they do not have to bear with the adult issues. Momma, the kiddos need you, the real you. Life will not be perfect. When my daughter was younger (after her biological father left), I wanted everything perfect. I made sure she had the best clothing, all of the latest toys, and a “picture perfect” life. Years later, I realize that is damn-near impossible, but I can give her the best life I can give her! Now her clothes are wrinkled from sitting in the dryer for a day longer than normal, breakfast may consist of gold fish, and our “picture perfect” life contained tantrums and fits over certain colored bowls (yes, we all have been there). We are not perfect, but we are perfect for our children. Not even the Jetsons were perfect. You think a father involved would make it perfect? Some times it could make it worse.. Especially if he is the deadbeat you claim him to be.
So here is my story, and the reason I write this.
I see so many women blame themselves for the lack of a father for their child. First of all momma, you are doing the best at being both parents. It is not your fault that the father left you and your child.
I met my daughter’s biological father and we dated for some time before I became pregnant. We did not get married, we did not even think about marriage. It was an oops situation, but I received the best little girl from the oops. During my pregnancy, he shown signs of distance. He did not have that bond to our unborn child, as most see in day-to-day life. He even was to the point of being physically, emotionally, and verbally abusive. He had an ex girlfriend threaten me to beat my stomach with a baseball bat, so that he would not have a child.
Rewinding to before our relationship, he has another daughter. Through our relationship, he did not see her. He did not pay child support. He just.. Did not speak of her.
The day came.. I was induced. I was in labor for quiet some time, but he took it upon himself to sleep the entire time while I was alone. My mother and father were in and out, due to work and tending to our dog. I was in it alone.
I gave birth to my beautiful, tiny daughter. Instead of bonding and holding our daughter, he left with his family to go eat dinner.. A five hour dinner. He eventually came back, and was absent in the hospital room. You know, the they-are-there-but-not-mentally-there? Yeah, he was no help. I was awake for 30+ hours at this point, and of course being a new momma, I had no idea what to do. I had a worthless figure in the room, while I tended to my daughter. She began to cry and he was getting pissed at her!
Fast-forwarding to when she was three months old. Our relationship became rocky. He ended up moving to his home town with his sister and brother-in-law. I decided to drive to him, which was nearly a thirty minute drive. I had a three month old in the back (keep this in mind). I picked him up as we were heading back to my home. He began to tell me that he cheated on me with his boss and that she would take him to work daily, rather than his friend that he claimed took him. I expressed my concern, and that it was best that I took him home. He began to get hostile and aggressive. I told him that we can co-parent, but there was not a chance in hell that we would end up back together. He did not like that. Mind you, we are on a highway with on-coming traffic. He grabbed my hands off of the steering wheel and my instinct was to take my knee and try to steer the car over into the ditch. I then slammed on my breaks. He hit me and would not let me put the vehicle in park. I got my hands loose and put the car in park. I told him to get out of the car. As he got out, he tried to see my daughter. I locked the doors, because I was afraid as to what he would do to her. He closed the door and kicked a good dent in the side of my door (no joke, it is still there). At this time, his ass had to walk nearly thirty miles to his house, and it was the best feeling on earth… as it was raining!
This was in May.. he visited her on Christmas Eve for only ten minutes because “he had other places to be”.
Months past without communication. He did not ask about my daughter, nor did he ask to see her. He finally reached out to me the following year in September. That means he missed her first birthday, her first milestones, and a year of wonderful memories. He reached out to me in September of 2017 asking to see her. In the meantime, there was child support, however it was only about seventy dollars every two weeks. I gave him a chance, I let him see my daughter.. Worse mistake of my life. We met at a local park. He did not speak one word to her, and he did not show her love. He was standoff-ish and shown no signs of wanting to interact with her. About twenty minutes in, he wanted he leave.
Another five months past, her second birthday. He did not call, and he did not ask to see her on her birthday. Nothing from him.
Then came October 2018. I had messaged him asking him to sign his rights away, as he was not participating in her life what-so-ever. He moved to Arizona (we are in Illinois) with his new girlfriend. He agreed. I am so blessed that he agreed! We went to court later that month to proceed with getting his rights removed. He showed up to the court date, shockingly. As the judge was looking into the case, he looked over at me and stated, “I do not give a shit what happens to her after this date. I am done”. That… is the definition of a deadbeat dad… a dad who gave up on his child.
So brings present day. My daughter is enjoying life with a father who is active in her life and wants everything to do with her, not push her out of his life. My now fiance took her in under his wings and cares for her as his own. There is still no communication, no child support. Nothing.
I reached out to her father’s sister. I wanted to see what the fuck goes through their minds for not even questioning how she is doing in over three years. Her response? “We did not simply want to be around her.. You did not allow us to”.
Girl, what. I never stopped anyone. Hell, I gave too many chances. This is just the nail-on-the-head and it is clear that he and his family do not want to be a part of her wonderful life.
To all of the deadbeat fathers out there, fuck you.
To all of the bad-ass mommas out there that do EVERYTHING they can to make sure their babies feel loved and protected, you are the true heroes. Those babies, no matter what age, look up to you.
And to all of the fathers that are active, but the biological mothers will not let you be active in a child’s life: KEEP FIGHTING. The kids need you, and no woman will hold you back from being active.
I hope this can help one of you reading this. Do not blame yourself for a father who does not want to be active. Do not punish yourself. Do not let them guilt you into thinking that it is your fault, because it is NOT. With that, you are only human. You will make mistakes. You will overcome those mistakes.
Do not overcompensate for an absent father…
Hang in there, momma.