All parents are not created equally. I am learning this first hand with the co-parenting attempt that I am trying to have with my son’s father. Although my son is 6, his father has been incarcerated for the past six years.
Just to give a brief re-cap of some events, my son’s father was ordered to pay child support in the amount of $65 when he was incarcerated because he did not have job. So of course now that my son’s father is out of prison and making money I just naturally assumed that he would take it upon himself to put some of the money he was making toward his $65 a month. Seeing as how he has not contributed financially to my son’s wellbeing at all.
But boy was I wrong. Not only was I wrong, but trying to get him to understand this lead to a big argument. You see it all stemmed from the fact that my son’s father bought a new laptop, has been going out, and taking his girlfriend out on dates. At first I thought to keep silent, but that is really not my style.
So I causally brought it up, and his answer not only stemmed an argument but it shocked me on how selfish some parents really are, and how they feel justified in their lack of effort in parenting.
My son’s father basically told me that he was out having fun and that he could do what he wanted to do with his money. He told that that me that catching up on his child support was the last thing he was trying to do. His response was not only shocking but very hurtful. It hurt me because as a mother, I do not want my son to be treated as a step child by his own father.
As a single mother I have sacrificed so much. I have had to dig money from the crack of my behind sometimes just to give my son what he needs. I would not just say to my son “ Forget your wants and needs, mama needs to go have fun” and spend all of our money on the club or a man.
If I would do this I can guarantee I would be called a bad mother. So why is it a a different standard for some fathers. We applaud fathers for giving minimal effort but would criticize mothers for doing the same thing.
In the heat of the argument I asked my son’s father did he even love my son. To this he could not give a definitive answer. He told me it takes time since he was gone for son long. Once again, not an acceptable answer. The reason being is because he loves his girlfriend and he has know her for even less amount of time that he has known his son, so how can you love her but not your own flesh and blood?
Not only did I bring this up to him, but I even answered the question for him. You see when he was locked up his relationship with her is what got priority as oppose to him trying to create a bond with his son.
I often pondered if I should even allow him around my son. Why allow such a selfish minded person who cares more about going out than he does being a father and be given the opportunity to emotionally damage my son. Even though I do not want my son to get hurt I cannot protect him from everything. I have to allow my son to see his father for who and what he really is on his own, even if it means he may get his feelings hurt in the process. Do I want this? Of course not. But what is the alternative. To keep my son away from this father.
Sometimes children just have to find out the truth on their own. One day when my son is older, I sure he will wonder why his father was missing for the first 6 years of his life. He may wonder why his father seems to have time to go out every where else and with everyone else but not with him. I sure he will wonder how his father manage to get a girlfriend but not manage to have a meaningful relationship with him.
Or at least these are all the things I wonder. I wonder at least why he could not come up off up $65 of child support but go wine and dine some woman. Understand this is not jealousy, it is just curiosity. I do not understand how a parent (no matter if it be mother or father) can just look in their child’s face walk away and do whatever they want.
Perhaps because I am not that type of mother. The moment I had my son, I knew I had to be different. I knew I owed it to him to give him a good life. My son did not ask to be here. I as an adult brought him here, and therefore I am responsible for his wellbeing, happiness, and making sure he grows up to be a man, and a productive member of society.
As a parent that is my job. Any adult or teen for that matter who has a child, that is your job. We were adult enough to have sex so we have to be adult enough to take care of the child we created.
The reason why am writing about this topic is because I am so tired of seeing bad parents. This goes for mothers and fathers. In my line of work, I see just as many trifling mothers as I do fathers. For some children they do not have either a mother or father to guide them and so they are left in the world to fend for themselves, most of the time failing in the process having no real direction in life.
But can you blame them? Children cannot raise themselves, these kids are just doing what they see there parents do. And that is being a menace to society and living a self satisfied life.
My son’s father never had a good relationship with his mother or father, so perhaps this why he is the way he is. For myself, I did not have a father growing up, but I had a really strong mother that really pushed me to go to college and to be something. And that one parent was all that I needed to shape me into the person I am today.
I never been the type of person that dwelled on the idea that my father was not there. I did not use this as an excuse to be mediocre. I used it as all the more reason to push harder. So that I could show the world that I was not going to be another stereotype.
If anything I want you to take away from this post it is this:
- If you are a parent, you owe it to your kids to be a parent. A real one. Be involved in their lives, talk to them, do things with them, make them do their homework, and always reinforce it in their head they are going to be someone. It is not okay to go chasing after a man or women, because you want to have fun. You gave up the right to go out every-night partying, clubbing, and chasing sex when you had a child.
- If you are a single parent it is okay. Sometimes as a single parent it is hard. But just keep going, keep doing your best, and raising your kid the best way you know how. I tell my son that he going to go to college and be an engineer (because he really likes cars). And when (not if) my son walks across that stage doing whatever he chooses as a single parent I am going to hold my head high because of all the sacrifices I had to make.
- If your child’s father or mother is not in their life, that is okay to. You cannot make anyone do anything they do not want to do. Sometimes I think it may be better for the child to have that parent missing than for them to be bouncing in and out of the child’s life causing all sorts of emotional damage.
Life throws us all curves balls. We have to take them anyway we can. I did not expect to be a single mother, expect for my son’s father to get locked up when my son was 4 weeks old, I did not expect to have to do alot of this parenting thing on my own. But it is what it is. When my sons grows up, I know for a fact that he will lock back and know how hard I worked and how much I gave for him to have a normal life do he did not feel like he was lacking anything.
If and when I do get married, I know that I will find a man that my son can look up to and want to be like. Someone who can love him like father loves a son. Someone who would give the shirt off of his back for us if he had to. That is the type of man I want my son to be and to look up to.