In a perfect world, first comes Love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby and your happily ever after. Well, if this isn’t your testimony, you are not alone. Father’s Day tends to dredge up some unresolved feelings of pain, hurt, anger, shame, resentment, and bitterness in a lot of women. While your feelings are entirely valid and today can make you feel a way, this is not the time to hop on your soapbox and profess to the world what a deadbeat your baby daddy is or how you are the “mommy and the daddy.” This day is for the actual men who are fathers, stepfathers, father figures, godfathers, uncle-daddies, something like a daddy and everything else in between. Let the good men have their day.
I get it, this wasn’t how it was supposed to be. You weren’t supposed to be left to bear the responsibility of raising a child or children by yourself. You out here doing the best you can, making it work, going without, making tremendous sacrifices with an “I’ll do anything for my kids” mindset. We applaud you, we see you, but today we have to give praise to men where it is due. Your child’s father may not make the cut. Maybe he hasn’t been around since birth, maybe he comes around when it’s convenient, maybe he’s never on time for child support payments, maybe you never even filed papers to get his help. You may have went through a divorce, or the relationship went south and so did the idea of a family you were trying to maintain. It’s ok to not be ok about your situation because it is unfair. Parenting is a hard job to do 24/7/365, and if you have the added stress of dealing with an absentee or inconsistent kind of man, it’s understandable why you’re angry. Today, instead of rehashing your feelings of disappointment, try something else instead.
Stay Off Social Media- if you see red at the mere thought of your child’s father, log off today sis. It’ll only keep you in your feelings. Seeing all the beautiful pictures and posts of stand up men and their families may be triggering for you, especially if they include seeing your baby daddy being present for some other woman and her kids. Also, there’s no need to vent online about it. If you don’t have anything good to say about any man today, then it’s best to just not say anything at all.
Start A New Tradition- yes, you may be the only person consistently showing up in your child’s life, and that is worthy of recognition. Maybe you can start a thank you celebration to recognize the people in your life who do help out. There’s no real formal acknowledgment of the role grandparents, best friends, babysitters, daycare providers, or neighbors play in helping to support, love, and nurture a child. Celebrate them, or do something special for yourself.
Let The Hurt Go- pain has a funny way of disappearing once you stop giving it so much power. No one can tell you exactly how and when you should get over something, but for your own sanity and peace of mind, try to start today. In most cases, if a man can easily walk away from his family or responsibilities, he isn’t the kind of man you’d really want around in the first place. What example would he set for your child? Would his presence truly be of any help to you if you have to beg for it? Probably not. A lot of times, it’s your ego or imagination that makes you feel that life would be better “if only he were around.” Let me let you in on a little secret, sometimes the men in your life are more of a headache than the ones who aren’t.
Find A Male Influence For Your Child- that is not a boyfriend or someone you are romantically involved with. Enroll them in sports so they can get guidance from a coach. Sign them up for a Big Brother program so they can get some exposure. Reach out to your deacon board and see if anyone is available to be an influence and then, let them be one. We can save this conversation for another day, but a lot of you are doing this job single-handedly because your pride won’t allow anyone else to help you.