I’m Not Daddy Too

How many times has a single mom somewhere said, “I have to be Mommy AND Daddy,” as a means of explanation?

Probably hundreds of times of day. I have definitely had those moments. I could list all the things I’ve never gotten from Eva’s father…but the list of what I did get is much shorter:

1. Sperm
2. A Headache

He doesn’t pay child support. He lives hundreds of miles away. He doesn’t send Eva presents. He doesn’t call. He does text, but they are all about the same as the one discussed here. He is virtually nonexistent.

To some degree, I have allowed that. I don’t wonder when he’s going to step up. His name is not on her birth certificate. I have never asked for money. I do not fight or rebel against his lack of interest. In fact, on some level, I prefer it this way. It’s simpler, not necessarily easier, just less complicated. (Which is specific to my situation and should not be misconstrued as a recommendation for other single mothers.)

I do everything I possibly can for Eva. My parents help. My sister helps. My friends help. All things considered, I am raising Eva well. We make it work even though sometimes that is a gigantic, nearly insurmountable challenge. Even though sometimes I feel like I am failing miserably. I’m not a superhero, I’m just a mom.

But I am also only that; just her mom. I am not Daddy too.

Eva doesn’t have a Daddy. I don’t know how to explain that to her. I don’t know how to make it bearable or understandable. She hasn’t asked about it, but I know it will happen soon. She is old enough to make the correlation that the other kids have pictures with their daddies and she has a picture with her grandfather when they make Father’s Day cards at daycare.

What can I tell her? That he’s far away and can’t see her? In my mind, that only explains why she doesn’t have her father around, not why she doesn’t have a Daddy.

I would give her that if I could. I would be another parent to unite with her against Mommy when she’s tough. I would give her extra kisses after Mommy’s kisses when she falls down. I would tell her yes when Mommy says no. I would scare away the ambitious 3 year olds trying to flirt with her when Mommy only laughs. I would show her how a man is supposed to treat a woman, instead of just telling her. I would be the rational one when Mommy gets too emotional.

But I am just Mommy.

I carry a responsibility that two people typically share; that does not make me equal to two people. Am I a great mother? Yes. Do I struggle with this burden? Yes. But I don’t see the point of placing an additional weight on my shoulders by attempting to fill a role I was never meant to have.

I certainly don’t fault any single parent for saying they act as both parents; it’s certainly the most succinct way to describe something that no married parent understands. No, that weekend that your husband spent away for a friend’s bachelor party does not even begin to compare. But I don’t exactly understand how you make your marriage a priority when you’ve got little ones to watch either; I’ve never had to do that. I’ve never lived your life and you’ve never lived mine. Single parents provide on one income with one pair of hands, one pair of eyes, and emotional support from a network of loved ones instead of the one you love most.

I’m sure my choice mom friends may see this issue a little differently. I definitely see (ahem, hope for) adoption in my future regardless of whether or not I ever marry. But no matter how many children I have, be it just Eva or a handful more, I will always choose to just be Mommy.

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9 thoughts on “I’m Not Daddy Too

  1. I alway’s say my mom is my mom and dad she has had to take on both jobs. She will be the one to walk me down the aisle at my 1st wedding, she will be the one the guy has to ask for permission to propose etc. So wheather she had intended to take on the role of two or not, she has had to just like you. However she could never fill the void I have in my life from not having a father… No one can and it took many years to realize that no one ever will. Don’t worry about how you are going to explain that to your little girl. She will one day figure it all out and make her own assumptions anyway, I don’t care how many explanations you give it will just always be hard to proccess. My mom tried to explain to me over and over and over again about why my father was not in my life. And although she never talked bad about him, the only reason is… He is simply a deadbeat at the end of the day. And at the end of the day I am 20 years old and still can not figure out what was so wrong with me that he did not want me no matter what kind of explanation she gave. Bearable? You just learn to live with it. Eva will learn to live with it and it will hurt unfortunately. However at the end of the day that little girl will be able to one day stand before her father (maybe) and say “thats okay maybe you didn’t love me and maybe you weren’t there. But I had an awesome mom and family that was with me every step of the way, so that was your loss.” Until then don’t worry, you have a little while:)!

    • Your mom will be the one to walk you down the aisle… I Love That! I walked myself down, even though both parents were there. Ha! You get it. My husband, before he was that, at 21 his Birth father came to see him and his sister. This man LEFT his mom when he was two. Went back to India to marry a women who was Not White. Really. So 2 years old, to now 21 and he wants to meet Nick and try to make an amends or chat or whatever. My Husband said he felt nothing. Like it was a stranger who had Nothing for him. Loved your heartfelt, Honest Commet!

  2. That sperm donor gave you the best thing he possible could have to offer: the dna to make Eva. Here, Here on being just a mom! You can’t be both.You’re doing great Abby. G.R.E.A.T. Eva KNOWS she is Loved. That is The Best!! That guy isn’t her Dad or her Father, but the Donor.
    My cousins have a donor that they watched beat their mom and other horrors of things in front of them. I see How Many are Fatherless. Its been building and building over the centuries especially the last 50 years. Its like the enemy Knows whats sacred to God and wants to destroy what ever that is. In this case a Father.

    I grew up with a Mom and a Dad, and didn’t really have a Dad or a Mom. Some grow up with two moms and two dads and tones of love, some with two grandparents, some with a grandma and cats! Some with an aunt and uncle, some with a mom aunt and grandma and smoking! (I’ve heard the stories in al-anon) Some with one parent who is never there and maybe 10 brothers and sisters all working it out on their own. Some on the streets with their Gang Family keep them Safe and Respected and Dead at 18. Some move from foster home to foster home, never really having a home and never knowing whats next. My friends just adopted a girl from China. She is 3 years old. Who KNOWS what her first 3 years were like. Some grow up with a mom, a granddad and grandma, an aunt, great freinds, a loving community, a graden and Fabulous Curls!

    We don’t know what things will be like when Eva is 15.She is 4 now, and thats hard enough, and Wonderful. These years are PRECIOUS!!!!!!

    The center verse in the bible (litteral) is Psail 188:8:
    It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.

    He is the Good Shepherd, and He knows the way when all others don’t. He is gentl and kind when even we are harsh to ourselves. He Never forces his will on us, but gives us sweet reminders of Hope along the way. I’ve got no Answers for you, and don’t mean to pretend I do. I will say that I am holding His hand on this journey, and at times I feel LOST, scared, like I am gonna fall off the side of a cliff, but I am holding His hand, and I keep looking to his face… he doesn’t look scared at all. He usually has a peaceful face, a smile sometimes. I believe that He Knows where We are going. I believe he Knows the Way, The Truth and The Light of the Path.

    ~ Selah

  3. With my oldest daughter Mack, it was about the middle of the year in Kindergarten when she first asked about her bio father. It seems that our situations were pretty similar. He was gone, the last I knew at that point living somewhere in Texas, I hadn’t physically seen him since she was a year old, and he has never to this day seen any more than a photograph of her.

    I just told her the truth. He knew about her, he decided to go somewhere else. I was there when that truth hurt, and did my best to make her understand.

    When my husband and I got together, she was seven. He IS her Dad. He is a great Daddy to her. It took that long, and it was worth the wait. If I hadn’t met him, I would have made sure that my love was enough for her, it is different than the love you get from a Dad, but I love that girl fiercely.

    At nearly twenty years old, she knows that. Eva will too.

    • Thank you, that truly gives me hope. I hate that the Truth may hurt her. I can’t fight that battle for her, but it doesn’t stop me from wanting to!

      And I’m right there with you, I love my girl fiercely, too!

      Thanks again for the comment, Kelly. 🙂

  4. What a wonderful opportunity, in spite of unfortunate circumstances, to teach your daughter about how God is her perfect father and that His love is enough, even when her biological father is absent.

  5. this article hit home, recently divorced, it appears DAD of 4 doesnt care to see his kids anymore…very traumatizing yet life goes on…

    • I’m so sorry to hear that. But yes, life does go on. The beautiful part is that it gets better when we make our expectations realistic, honor our emotions instead of pushing them aside, and constantly love on our kids. Happiness can be fickle, but peace can be constant.

      Best wishes and thanks for the comment!
      –abby

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