Monday, October 4, 2010

"Where's My Father?" -- The One Question That Challenged My Decision To Be A Single Mother

A couple months ago I made the decision to end my relationship with my son's father. But the thought of being a single mother scared me so I hesitated. A month and a half ago I got the courage, put my big-girl pants on, and actually did it.

Since the split and my venture into the Single Momma World, I've been dreading the thought
of Aiden asking about his dad's whereabouts. I've dreaded what my response would sound like. I've dreaded if it would be acceptable to him.

And I dread and worry about other things too. I worry how the split would affect their relationship moving forward. Would it blossom and grow, or would there be friction? I worry at times how others will judge our situation. I worry that others tend to view single moms who were once married more favorably than single moms who were never married... as if those who were never married slept around with any old guy and had tons of kids -- not always the case.

But mostly... I worry how Aiden will judge our situation as he grows and his comprehension expands. These past couple months, Aiden developed the habit of climbing into bed with me and his dad in the morning because he always wakes up first. He'd just squeeze his little self in-between his father and me, saying, "excuse me." Too cute. But when his dad moved out, he was able to climb right in because there was so much space on the other side of the bed. Puzzled and perplexed, Aiden politely asked, "Mommy... where my father?" Oh boy... as young as age 2, the questions begin.

I was never married, but cohabited with my son’s dad and went through a lot before I decided to “break up” the family. Trust me on this. I put a lot of thought into the break-up. A lot. I thought about my ex, I thought about our son, and I thought about myself. But after trying and trying, feeling defeated and trying some more... giving and giving, getting very little in return and giving some more... suggesting all sorts of things that just didn't work... and reaching what I thought was my breaking point only to realize that I still had a little more in me to give... and yet that still wasn't enough... then (and only then!), I was done and done! Just like that. The entire relationship became a liability... and a deal-breaker.

What can I say? Sometimes Prince Charming isn't so charming after the baby makes three. For me, it got to the point where being in a relationship was harder than being a single mother. So I took a stand for sanity… for my life and my son’s life. And just like that, a[nother] single mom was born. And you know what, it feels very empowering.
I write this post not to demean my son's father, or to bitterly bash men. In fact, I think he and I have been doing pretty well with this whole co-parenting thing as we've been certainly communicating in a positive manner on all things Aiden.

I write this post from a place of contentment. And peace. I am no longer halted between two opinions and I feel proud of my decision because it was a tough one.

And now I know that Aiden will judge our situation based on how I handle it. If I act like I'm bitter and nasty towards all men and act as though I think his dad is an awful person (ie: putting the blame on others), then that's how he'll judge it. And it'll have a negative impact on him and his views. But If I handle it as though I'm taking responsibility for his life, my life, our life by making the choice to move towards sanity, safety, and happiness, then that's how he'll judge it. Period.

And if I can continue to be my happy, optimistic, resilient self, then he'll judge the situation as being the best possible decision I could have made for him and me. And that'll empower him to know that despite all of its ups and downs, life is ultimately what you make it.


  1. As a single mother, it is your right that the father of your child pays child support. If there is any problem with this, then contact your local agencies for Child Support Enforcement. Not only can they get the payments for you, but any of the father’s tax refunds can be transferred to you if needed. (

    grants for single moms

  2. "...Aiden will judge our situation based on how I handle it."

    You just said a mouthful right there, lady. As I said in an earlier e-mail, I am so proud of you. It's never easy to let go in a relationship, especially one in which you are tied to another through a child. But you are doing a fantastic job as a single mom and I know Aiden will benefit from having a mom who is happy and confident. :)

  3. Thanks for the advice, Dan!

    @Tara: You always know how to make me smile. Thanks for the support.

  4. Thank you for being brave enough to share this. I can't begin to tell you how close to home this hits for me. You've definitely given me the power to look within myself and make some hard decisions for my family. Thank you.

  5. Alicia,

    You did what was right for you & for Aiden.

    You are strong & courageous.


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