How do you handle absentee fathers?
Hey Y’all Hey! Kijan ou Ye! How are you doing?
Single moms…if your child’s father is not in their life, how do you deal with an absent dad?
So, this post may be a trigger warning to some. If so, feel free not to read.
Growing up, I too was raised and loved by a single mom. I did not realize my family setting wasn’t the “normal” setting until I was in grade school and my fellow classmates would talk about their fathers. But I never felt like I was missing out on anything because my uncle was always there for the most part during my childhood until he and my aunt moved. But he remained a constant father figure in my life.
I always saw the sacrifices my mom made for my sister and I and how at times it was hard on her financially and I couldn’t always get what I wanted. So, from witnessing that growing up I always said to myself if I ever have a child, it would be with someone who is my husband or will become my husband. And if something happens and we are no longer together, I will put my feelings aside and co-parent to the best of my abilities without any hate.
If you’ve read any of my previous blog post about my motherhood journey, you will know that I am a single mom. I’m raising my son without his father but I’m grateful to have a wonderful tribe that’s here to fill in the missing pieces.
Although you can never fully fill the role of a biological mother and father but I know that my child has great men in his life that are and willing to teach him the things that as I women I cannot teach a man.
To me, a father is a protector. A father is supposed to teach their child morals and values whether they are in the household or not. So, what if you had to protect your child from their father?
Recently, I came across a video clip from the talk show The Real where they were discussing a topic.
The topic in a nutshell is:
Is no parent better than an inconsistent parent? If your children are experiencing mental anguish or emotional discomfort at the hands of the other parent, should you keep them away? We weigh in on the notion that women are referred to as “bitter” when making the best decisions for their children.
So, here is my opinion…
As the primary parent that’s always there, I have to say and some may disagree with me but no parent is better than an inconsistent parent.
Listen, my child will most likely have to go to therapy to have a clear understanding that it’s not his fault that his dad chooses not to be a part of his life, and to deal with any resentment he may feel towards me in the future.
Although, I am not doing anything to keep his father from seeing him, I do know from experience that those thoughts do run wild in a child’s mind.
Having an inconsistent parent around is determinantal to a child’s mental being. I want my child to not have to deal with someone that does not (1) put him first (2) does not care about his well-being (3) does not LOVE my child with all THEIR being. Inconsistence can cause mental stress, anguish, and issues in learning and so much more.
If you are not willing to co-parent, then being inconsistent does not help the child. It’s actually very harmful. As a mom, I don’t want to see my child hurt, let alone hurt by the inconsistent behavior of his father.
I know people may disagree and say that at the end of the day the child would rather see the inconsistent parent. But speaking from my personal experience, yes it did hurt that my father was not involved in my life. He, as an adult choose that route, choose not to be part of my life even as I became an adult, never reached out, so I know that there are just some men out there that do not want to be a parent. So, in my eyes I would rather no father than seeing some one once a year.
And this goes both ways for absentee fathers and mothers. Toxicity is a disease! And being inconsistent in your child’s life is toxic behavior in my book.
Just because someone conceived a child, doesn’t automatically make them a mom/dad. Parents can be just as damaging to a child. The same way I want to protect my child from a stranger is the same way my child should be protected from a dad who does not want to be involved. At the end of the day the child comes first and if either parent can’t understand that or needs to be forced or reminded then I’m not sure who that helps in the end.
A child is not a toy that can be played with whenever you feel bored.
At this point, my son does not know his father. He was there when he was born then disappeared when my son was one month old. He reappeared again when my son was 8 months and has been ghost a month after my son turned 1. My son is now 2 years old and has never gotten a text, call or email from his father. After going through that with my son being so young, I realize that the back and forth and inconsistent behavior is not something my son should have to deal with.
People reveal themselves, and it’s okay to believe who they are and not what you wish they were.
Here are some ways that I will deal and support my son through this process that I wish my mom did for me:
I will tell my son my truth and will not lie to him about the circumstances.
Reassure that his dad being absent has nothing to do with him
I will reassure my son that it is not his fault his dad is choosing to stay away and have no contact.
No bad talk
I will not talk bad about his father. I will set aside my personal feelings and talk positive when/if my son asks about him
No one should force another parent to be active in their child’s life. I will continue to be the loving parent my child needs and deserves. Having an absentee father will not define my son! My love for him will!
If you are dealing with an absent father, please let me know how do you deal with everything?
Until the next post…
Live with purpose, Love with passion, Laugh with pleasure
22 Comments Add yours
Beautiful and considering thoughts. I must say I agree with you. Children shouldn’t deal with adults problems and if someone is not ready to be a parent it shouldn’t bother their child.
Agreed. I feel like society expects children to be forgiving and take any and everything that’s thrown at them.
I could not imagine, my dad was always present but my husband’s dad was not always around by divorce and choice and continues to do this children in marriages after my husband’s family. An awful cycle for sure.
It’s such an awful cycle and heartbreaking to live through and watch.
Thank you for sharing your eye opening perspective and experiences! It’s a tough situation and I could not imagine! Many virtual hugs dear 🤗
Thank you so much
Mom’s are often our saviours. After all, it’s believed that for a human being to be good one needs to have a great mum. I love mine unconditionally and am very grateful for her. She is the light of my life and I miss her very much because we live apart. Mums should be praised every day and every minute of our lives!
Thanks for sharing so openly. Your son is blessed to have a caring mother … your list of ways you support your son is beautiful. Wishing you and you son so much love and happiness
Thank you so much
Your post made me emotional!!! I can’t imagine how difficult and different it would be for someone to grow up with their dad…You are amazing and you’re doing all the right things.
Every relationship is different but it’s important to be able to talk things through and hear each side out. So many times the father doesn’t want to face his own failures in parenting which leads to resentment, furthering the divide. Thanks for share.
This is something a lot of people struggle with so having helpful posts like this is nice. This is well written.
Thank you for sharing! Your son is lucky to have such an amazing mother.
This is such a powerful post as you are writing it based on your personal experience. So important for parents to remember to co-parent the child without any hate for the benefit of the child.
An eye-opener experience! Thank you for sharing. – Danwil R.
Thank you for sharing this heartfelt, raw and real post. I can relate as I too was raised by a single mother and she is everything to me. I appreciate your sharing your story.
Thank you so much
Thank you for this. I was in a situation where I was the child with an absentee father and over the years it was a lot to come to terms with. I think that having a supportive, understanding, and strong mom does make a big difference. It definitely makes things easier on the child as they develop for sure.
Parents don’t know how much damage they do to us as children that we have to work through when we become adults. Thankfully you have a strong mom that’s supportive and understanding.
In my life, it was my mother that was absent, but I often find people talk about absent fathers – it is a shame that any parent would be absent from their child’s life.
It’s a shame any parent is absent. Shame on the absent parent.