The Definition Of Father, From A Single Mother.
If I asked you to define father, would you say a male who is biologically a child’s parent? What if I told you that not all biological parents deserve the title “father.” When I think of father, I think of my dad. And then I think of how he is an amazing parent who worked very long hours during my childhood so that my brother, sister, and I were provided for. My mom returned to work when my younger sister was about seven. She has continued to work since. We still grew up very low on the medium wealth scale, close to “poor.” We had “reduced” lunch, and “free” breakfast because my parents didn’t make enough to cover hot lunches. But there were people in my school who didn’t qualify at all for reduced lunch, because their parents made too much money, yet they could never have hot lunch because their parents couldn’t afford it.
When I also think of father today, I think how my daughters have two different fathers. They both weren’t involved when they were born, but my first daughter’s father came around. It took him awhile, but he is an excellent father. Three years later, we have a great co-parenting relationship. But it hasn’t always been like this. At times, it was so hard. I never imagined getting pregnant by someone else just to have this same situation happen all over again. Except her father has not been involved at all. It makes me sad to think that she will not have a close relationship with her biological father. But I also have learned over the last three years that you can not make someone be a parent; they, as a parent, must want it.
My first daughter’s father has been an exceptional role model to my second daughter. Even though she is only 15 weeks old, she has seen him twice a week since she was born, because he visits our daughter at my house, or I bring her to his mom’s house. We are in the process of starting overnight visitations for my first daughter with him at his new apartment. This is a big leap, and I wouldn’t feel as comfortable as I do if he hadn’t stepped up within the last 15 weeks. His parents have even taken to her as their “adopted grandchild” because she’s my daughter’s sister. I am so thankful to have fallen into this family. L’s father and I may never be together again, but if we did work things out I wouldn’t complain because he’s so good to my girls.
If I could say something to A’s father here and now, I would tell him to give up. Because she deserves a father who loves her unconditionally, and one who wouldn’t run and hide when her mother found out she was pregnant with her. She deserves a family, even if it’s dysfunctional. She deserves grandparents who want to be involved. She deserves parents who can get along. She deserves more than what you will give her. Kicking her mother out when she was pregnant with her, because she refused to get an abortion was a low blow. But she forgave him. And then he turned around and locked the door behind him once A was born. I don’t think that’s nice. I don’t think that’s kind. And I certainly don’t think either of my girls deserve it.