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I Am a Parent

Venting.. Being a single parent is a rough balance to maintain, but what’s not helpful is this additional new wave of pressure to discount the significance of fathers, and healthy relationship modeling. Now, don’t get me wrong.. I’m not saying it’s healthy to stay in a toxic relationship, or that a toxic/negligent father figure is ‘better’ than none at all, or that the single parent child is doomed, Or that finding a fill-in is the solution, but I see a new version of female empowerment insisting fathers bring nothing/little to the table, and we’re strong, independent women who don’t need a father/their child is perfectly fine without one/the need for fathers is a social construct etc. Truth be told, I’d like to be in a happy, healthy relationship, but I’m also comfortable with being alone. Perhaps there is some truth to the social construct argument, and it’s more so about stressors due to the insufficient support system many single parents struggle with, but it annoys me when other women shame me for acknowledging that my child not having a father would negatively affect them. Granted, it would be damaging if he were in our lives (he became very mentally ill.. it’s no one’s fault) , but I’m not going to pretend my child growing up without a father, without seeing their mother and father have a healthy, happy relationship doesn’t matter because that’s easier on my conscience as a parent.
Yes, I remind her of how loved she is, of her family, that his illness wasn’t a choice he made and that he loves her from afar, that there are different kinds of families, but I’m not going to undermine her feelings she expresses to me of missing the idea of having a father in her life as some social construct, nor is it a projection I put in her head because I’m ‘weak’ for understanding fathers matter to children, or at least, it matters to my kiddo, weak for not responding to her feelings by indoctrinating her that men are mere sperm donors. I’m not raising her to be on the prowl for someone to ‘complete her’, but I think I’d be setting her up for an adulthood of intimacy issues if I raised her to believe all she needs in life is herself, that it’s best to resolve you’re alone in the world, and to suppress the totally natural human inclination to connect to others in deep ways.
Today my kiddo told me she doesn’t want a baby when she grows up because it would hurt, but also because who would watch the baby when they had to go to work, or needed to go out to do something? I’m very aware her cynicism derives from the single parenthood difficulties I face being modeleded, and yeah, that makes me sad. I do the best I can, but I can’t totally shelter her from our circumstances.
Sigh.. At this juncture all I can do is model self-love, positive friendships, and regularly have conversations as they come up naturally about healthy boundaries, positive qualities and values ‘good people have’, healthy friendships and healthy relationship dynamics, but I’m aware talk is different than her growing up with that example in practice.
Bleed · 41-45, F
It’s hard with social media trying to push “father’s rights” When they just seem to blame every mother for deliberately trying to get him out of their lives. This does happen but it’s been my experience that the men just don’t care enough when a relationship ends.
My kid’s dad blamed me for the relationship ending (he was an abusive alcoholic) and was too busy to see his kids. They were 2,5&7. It’s “better” now he sees them once a week but only if I drive them to his and pick them up. He never takes them anywhere or has them stay over. I wish I didn’t need the maintenance money from him so I didn’t have to force them to go. Especially due to work he has them on my only day off half the time.
They had a stepdad who we lived with for almost 6 years. He broke up with me earlier this year. My youngest was only 4 when we got together and saw him as more of a father than her own dad but he hasn’t made any contact with my kids since he split. They’re all very angry and hurt. His kids still come to see me. They often cry or repeatedly tell me how much they miss us. I’ve tried telling him his kids are hurting more than they're letting on to his face but he won’t have any of it.
gmatthewb · 46-50, M
Wow, well said. Being a single parent is very difficult. I agree that no father is better than a bad father. I was raised by a single mother, I feel I turned out okay. My mother was okay at settling a good example when I was growing up. I did see the struggles she went through and I learned a new respect for her because of that. Very possible that your daughter will learn strength and independence from you and the example you set. Stay strong, from what I see you're doing a wonderful job.
CharlieZ · 70-79, M
Fully agree.

As a once "single father" myself, rised three daughters alone, I was in pain almost to tears when I looked at my then kids craved for a woman´s role in their life.
So I understand what are yo saying from the other end of the same rope.
My respects to you. 🤗
FreeSpirit1 · 46-50, F
I raised a son on my own and did it without his father in the picture by choice, boys do need a male figure occasionally and it can be an uncle, grandpa or just a male friend. A loving home is more important than a nuclear family.
SW User
[@157515,FreeSpirit1] I agree on all points. I don’t believe that people should opt for dysfunction to preserve the nuclear family. Toxicity is toxicity .
Test12345 · 26-30, M
A bad father doesn't always have to be all bad either, since there's something good to everyone. As I grew up with the decision to either be raised by my mother alone, or both of them, I realized that life was better with both of them. I got a rare chance to experience both, that probably very few ever will get.

 
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