Why I’m A Single Mother

25Mar09

We used to be good friends. Best friends, actually. Then – we crossed a line. We had sex – we had had sex before, but we both knew then that it was nothing meaningful. We were both young, and ignorant. Except for this time, a baby was conceived. Then – he asked me to do something that for me, was out of the question. I just couldn’t abort the tiny life growing inside of me. I’d had problems with two other pregnancies, and miscarried both. Then, I found out I was pregnant and I just knew that I’d carry this baby full term – and deliver a healthy baby. But – he didn’t want another child. He already had two, and couldn’t deal with another, was his argument. Well, it’s my body, and my decision too, so I chose to have the baby.
He was so mad at me, and I knew he would be. I waited a while to talk to him, hoping that his anger would subside. And it did. Eventually we started talking again, and he promised that even though there was a long, hard road in front of me, he’d help me out when and how ever he could. Then, I found out he was dating some one, after he had told me he didn’t want to date anyone. Not only was he dating some one, he was sleeping with her at the same time he was sleeping with me.
I hated him then. I hated him because he couldn’t see that I had been so in love with him, that I wanted to make a relationship work with him, I wanted to heal his hurts from past relationships, hoping that by healing him, I would be healing myself. But, I never let him see it. I wasn’t going to let him see how much he was hurting me. I was going to be strong for our baby – because back then, I still thought of my baby as our baby. But, we had a couple arguments, and he refused to tell anyone that I was pregnant. Refused to acknowledge that this was happening. Then – he just stopped answering my calls. So, I stopped calling. Then, about a month before our baby girl was due, we started speaking again. I found out that he had had some legal troubles and there was a possibility that he’d be in jail when the baby was born. So a month later when I went into labor the only people that were at the hospital were my parents and The Bestie. When I filled out the paperwork for her birth certificate – I gave my baby girl my last name. I still don’t remember exactly why I did it, but all I can remember is that when I was filling out that paper work I just couldn’t force myself to write his last name on it. He got out of jail a week after she was born and waited two days to come see her. When he finally did, he brought along his girlfriend. It killed me that she was holding my baby girl, fawning over her. He got upset about her name and in a moment of strength I told him that if he wanted to change her name, he had until she was a year old to be able to do so with out a court order but that I would not be changing it for him. He would have to do it on his own, he would have to prove his worth of her. He didn’t even take the paper work.
For three months after she was born I didn’t work and almost daily during those three months, I would call him and take her to see him. We’d spend the better part of the day there – just hanging out. But then, I realized that I was doing all the work. Realized that he wasn’t calling me to see her. So – one day I just didn’t call. One day turned into two, two into three, and so on. Two weeks passed and he hadn’t called. So I called him and told him that if he wanted to see our daughter he would need to call me to see her because I was not going to chase behind him and force her into his life. He said that he just got busy – and that he meant to call. Our problems started all over again. He was seriously acting like we were just friends, and that my child was not in fact, his child too. I felt like he was putting his other two children before her, instead of making her the same priority as them. And he was, he wouldn’t ever keep her when he had the other two children but wouldn’t keep her when he didn’t have them either. He would call the other children’s mother and ask for them, or make plans for those children, but didn’t bother to make plans for our daughter.
We argued and fought for a while, mostly about money, diapers, food, or him spending time with her. Then when she was about 8 or 9 months old, he just stopped spending time with her at all. And it didn’t bother me one bit. He was more of a nuisance than anything else, and I didn’t feel like he was really spending time with her because he wanted to. I started planning her birthday party in October – just before Halloween. We had spoken about it a couple of times, but nothing was definite. Then Halloween came and I took my baby girl trick-or-treating. She went in early with my mom (she was spending the weekend with her anyway, and early for me is 8pm which is late for her) but I stayed out with The Bestie and her daughter. We went by the church, and saw him. He walked right by me with his other two children, his girlfriend, and her son, and didn’t even bother to ask how the baby was. I know he saw me because his face froze up for a couple seconds. Then I called him about two or three days later and decided not to say anything about Halloween, but instead to focus on her birthday party. I gave him the time, date and location – to which he replied that he wouldn’t be coming. I was dumb founded. An argument ensued and I ended up hanging up on him. The day of the party came, and he made good on not showing. Her actual birthday was two days later and he went even farther and didn’t even call to tell her happy birthday.
I called him – and we fought again. Fought because I could not understand why he didn’t show up to his youngest daughter’s FIRST birthday party, why he didn’t call her on her actual birthday, why he could just put her off like she was just some random child and not the fruit of his loins. Then he said the worst thing he could ever have said to me, “I wish you would move out of the state for the Army. That way I wouldn’t have to worry about you and your daughter.”
I’ve called him once since then, and only because I felt like I wasn’t doing enough on my daughters behalf for her to have a relationship with her father. The funny thing is, I think that he feels like he’s hurting me and really he’s not. He’s hurting himself in the long run, because my daughter is doing just fine with out him, and will for the rest of her life. But eventually a time will come when he’ll want to be a part of her life, and she’ll make him answer questions. She’ll make him answer the hard questions – the same ones I tried to make him answer, and the answers won’t be good enough for her, because I’m teaching her to be strong and smart. Because she’ll know that she’s worth more than anything in the world. And when those answers aren’t good enough, she won’t want anything to do with him.

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