Part 3

You may want to judge me for cutting him off and most people say your daughter needs her father. Well I wish he was responsible and mature enough to see that and actually be there for his daughter. I cannot force him to be in his daughter’s life and I cannot tell him what he should do to be a better father. It’s for him to grow up and man up for his girl. Life doesn’t end at being a single mother. I cannot put my life on hold because I have a child that’s always been my policy. Because you know what? That kid will grow up and one day leave. Whether we like it or not, the nest is not a permanent place for our children to dwell. Sooner than later, they grow up, and fly out of the nest.

Moms spend all their time and energy preparing their children for the world out there. We want only what’s best for them, and will sacrifice anything to see them succeed. That’s what moms do. But what about me? What happens with me once my daughter leaves home to start her own life? As soon as a child joins high school, the process of detachment and independence has actually began.

Invest in yourself is what I tell myself. While we’re busy investing in our children, we must also invest in ourselves. We need to figure out what we want from life, and go get it.
Do not put your life on hold all in the name of raising children. Children will grow, leave and cleave to their own spouses, their own lives and their own careers. Grow yourself as well.
I would like to get married one day and experience true love but then again it’s not a must. Life is short, sometimes we waste so much time worrying about things we don’t have control over and forget to live our lives.

I was very bitter at everything. Let me tell you a little thing about bitterness, it’s like swallowing poison and expecting the person you’re bitter with to die! You have a right to be bitter. You have a right to be angry. You have a right to be upset. Heck, you even have a right to be consumed by bitterness for the rest of your life. I’ve been there. But, IS IT REALLY WORTH IT, TO CARRY BITTERNESS AROUND THE REST OF YOUR LIFE?

Bitterness is a prison that enslaves you, shortens your life, makes your body ill, and your life miserable, all the while, the person you’re bitter with goes on with life as though nothing has happened. My baby daddy continued living his life like he doesn’t know me and trust me it hurt so bad that it opened my eyes. Bitterness is a poison. It poisons your body, poisons your heart, poisons your relationships and basically makes you a person people aren’t too keen to spend time around. Letting go of bitterness is hard…! But it’s possible, and it’s worth it.

As long as you feel like a victim, the resentment you harbour will make you feel helpless. Stop being a victim. Decide to take control of your feelings and not your feelings taking control of you. Forgive (at your own pace), start living in the present, and seek support if the process gets overwhelming. It’s the best thing I ever did for myself.

The other mistake I did was getting absorbed in self-pity. There’s nothing cute about self-pity. The dictionary defines Self Pity as “excessive, self-absorbed unhappiness over one’s own troubles.” Harsh. I know. Self-Pity typically goes hand in hand with depression and lack of self-worth. Show me a person wallowing in self-pity, and I’ll show you a person with little self-worth.

Do you think my daughter’s father was wallowing in what he did and trying to fix things – nope! He had already moved on several times over before I came to the conclusion that I needed to forgive him. He just kept moving forward, so why was I stuck on the impact the bad in our relationship caused – it was time for me to put on my big girl panties and move forward too!

People who wallow in Self Pity always play the victim, and instead of making things happen for themselves, they let things happen to them. Learnt this the hard way too. I let my baby daddy and the other woman torment me to a point of hating myself. I won’t blame them anyway because I allowed myself to get affected by everything they did towards me. Trouble with Self Pity is the “Why ME” attitude, which in essence is an ego problem. Because, WHY NOT YOU? Who do you consider better to go through what you’re going through? In reality, people all over the world are facing one challenge or another.

Below are a few pointers that helped me to deal with Self Pity.

1. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Don’t drown yourself in your Self Pity.
2. Speak POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS to yourself every possible chance you get.
3. Love yourself for who you really are.
4. Leave the pity party. Don’t overstay your visit.
5. Stop thinking of yourself as a victim.
6. Have an attitude of gratitude.

Funny thing at some point I would feel like I really miss him and I would wish things work out. When he tried to reach out and try to convince me he still loves me, somewhere deep down I wanted to believe him. I wanted it to be true. But his actions were not showing any love or need to work things. Then I realized I don’t miss him I just missed being in love. You think you miss him. You think you miss the way he held your hand and the way he smiled at you. But the truth is, you just miss love. There’s nothing wrong with wanting love again.

Will My Baby Be Okay Without Dad? This is a question I’ve asked myself a million times and thought about a zillion times. There are as many variations on paternal involvement as there are fathers. Your child may see Dad all the time, or Dad may be out of the picture or anything in between. It’s up to you, of course, to make your child feel loved no matter what. A well-balanced child tends to be raised by at least one attentive parent or guardian who can mediate stress and not play the role of victim. So I figured I’ll have to be that parent for my daughter. My anger is my own, my daughter will have issues with each parent one day. I don’t need to add fuel to that.

If you’re negative about men or your ex, your kid is going to figure that out and It will turn around and bite you later. I decided to let myself play out a gory fantasy in my head, have a good giggle over it, and then get on with doing what is truly best for my daughter. And if your child’s father is not in the picture, take heart. There are good male role models, if not in your own family, then among the friends and neighbours you know. Having other people involved in your child’s life also gives you a break. The essence of being a good parent is putting your own needs first. This does not mean compromising your parenting. It does mean keeping yourself as grounded and as stress free as possible so you can give your baby the wonderful childhood he or she deserves.

The most interesting bit about my situation I have never denied my baby daddy the rights to visitation despite everything because I figured my daughter needs him. He is her father. So, yes, he is present, but, no, we do not co-parent. “Co-parent” is a verb. By definition, to co-parent is to share the duties of parenting a child. And we have never shared any parenting duties. I have to provide for her solo, all hospital trips I do them alone. I have to take her for recreational activities. Well I don’t let it get to me because it’s what he chooses to do and that’s none of my business now as long as my daughter is happy.

We have had disagreements occasionally and sometimes he would try lie to me how he wants to work things out. I don’t know why he lies so much. It’s really exhausting dealing with a baby daddy who doesn’t seem to know what he wants. Some men can be so toxic to your health. They don’t want to love you properly, but they don’t want to let you go either. The more you give the less they appreciate, and the minute you’ve had enough and decide to walk away is when they are ready to love you and treat you right. So you give them a chance in the hopes they’ve changed only to realise it was all fake. You find the strength to walk away once more and here he comes again proclaiming his love for you and you give in, AGAIN. A man kissing your ass or making flaccid attempts to be nicer for two weeks isn’t proof that he’s trying, its proof that he knows you well enough to know how to defuse you long enough to hook you once again. Take away a toy, a little boy cries. Take away a relationship of convenience, a man cries. Just because he cries doesn’t mean you give him what he wants. Stop listening to what your man keeps promising and start watching what his actions actually keep telling you. A lot of us women don’t know what it’s like to be loved by a real man. We know lust, we know joy, we know passion and we know the fear of abandonment. We need to stop chasing our idea of what love should be and recognise what love is. Love isn’t promising to act right after he gets caught fucking up time and time again. Love is him acting right from the start because he doesn’t want to fuck up. Love isn’t telling your grown man he needs to change so he can keep you; love is a grown man changing on his own because he can’t imagine life without you.

I have learnt not to dwell on my past so I am trying to forgive myself and concentrate on the future. Being a single mom is tough. You want to love but can’t because you scared of trusting anyone with your heart again. Maybe I did not have the worst experience ever but till today I am traumatized.