Whatever I’m doing , I always make sure that my daughter is taken care of. Since her father and I broke up in 2006, it has been a struggle for me financially, emotionally, spiritually, and physically but I still have to make sure she has the things she needs. When you’re the custodial parent of your child and the other parent is hardly there it’s difficult to forget the times you struggled alone without their help.
I can remember I couldn’t go to work for three days because I didn’t have gas to put in my car. My daughter was around six at the time and was disappointed that I couldn’t drop her off at her summer camp. Instead, we were trapped in the house until that Friday which was pay-day. I felt like I was the worst mom in the world. I was so embarrassed to tell any of my friends and family members what I was going through. It was so bad that I didn’t have any detergent to wash our clothes, soap, or sanitary napkins. Then on top of that my account was overdraft so my paycheck had to cover more than the overdraft fees in order for me to get the things we needed to last me another two weeks. I was one of those thousands of Americans who was one paycheck away from being homeless. In this case, I owned my home and drove a nice car.
During this time, it was the beginning to the end of my relationship with her father. We argued constantly and neither one of us backed down from a fight. Now that I look back, it was kind of silly because all our battles took place over the phone. I’d always felt like a winner because I was the one who hung up first after telling him how much I despised him.
Yeah, I can laugh at myself now but there’s still some hurt there. I will never forget when that same week I was held hostage in my home I broke down and called to ask him for assistance. This was the most difficult thing to do because I am so independent that when we were together I always took care of things on my own and never asked him for help. I knew that he would know I was in need of help since I was calling him and at the time he didn’t have a job. I explained to him my situation and why I couldn’t turn to my family for help. The words that came out of his mouth will forever be embedded in my mind. His exact words to me was that I should never call him for “sh**” and that if his daughter needed something then she should call him to ask for it. I couldn’t say anything to him after that. I don’t remember if I hung up or said goodbye but I do know I felt numb. I felt like no matter what I had said or done to him before that moment should have been swept under the rug. There I was humbly calling him during the lowest moment in my life asking him to help me with our daughter. I would have rather him spit in my face than to have him say that to ME, you know the mother of his child.
I never shared this story with anyone until now. I’m not trying to make him look bad but it’s the one thing that I’m having a hard time to let go. Anything he does that reminds me of that time of my life has set me off in the past. It kills me that I see him as this evil person who I had a child with. Did it matter to him that I was in labor for 12 hours to deliver OUR daughter? Did he hear me when I said that I’m struggling with OUR daughter?
Dear Reader I hope you understand that I am trying to let it go. For so many single moms in my situation, it’s difficult to move forward when you have something heavy like this constantly weighing down your heart and mind. No matter how hard I try, I have a hard time seeing him as a different person even after 10+ years later. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was something that I did to him that makes him feel the same way.
Often times when I see other single moms and their children’s fathers have problems, I can sympathize with her. Our children’s fathers don’t understand that we may have been hurt in the past by someone or something may have happened to us when we were younger. That “something” triggers our bitterness, anger, and rage. Then when you include our experiences in getting pregnant by someone you think will be there for you and your child and it doesn’t happen that way, it’s a problem. It’s already hard to work together when you’re not together. That’s why I’ll find myself not wanting to deal with him at all. It would make my life easier…at least that’s what I think. I know it wouldn’t be easy for our daughter so I suck it up and try to move on.
By the time a child is five years old both parents have either moved on or have decided to stay together. For many of my single mom friends, around when their child turned five was their turning point. After fighting and being hurt for five years takes a toll on our emotions. Our hearts and minds have the battle scars to prove it. It doesn’t mean that we’re truly over him but at some point we can’t keep living with the drama. It makes sense to us to stay in the relationship when the child is younger. For me, I suffered from postpartum depression and wanted to end my life and our daughters’ life. I didn’t want to leave her behind with anyone, not even her father. Every time I looked at her precious face, I quickly changed my mind and tried to make the relationship work. I’m glad I had victory over my depression rather than my daughter and I becoming victims.
The younger your child is the harder it is to let go. The wounds are still fresh when they’re that young and it was only so long ago when you gave birth to them. They’re so cute and innocent that you feel guilty about leaving their father. In some cases, some women like myself knows that’s the only way their father will stay in their life. I knew the moment we were not together he wasn’t going to be there often. Even when we were together, I still felt like a single mom in our relationship because it was a battle to get him to go pick her up from school or pay a light bill. It was like taking care of another child. I don’t blame him, I blame myself because I allowed it to go on for so many years. He was so used to it that I’m sure now he thinks I’m going to go back to cleaning up his mess again. Nope, I’ll let his family and friends do that.
However, there are those people who love living in constant drama and don’t know any other way to live without it. They keep those negative forces with them at all times through their negative family members and friends to the reality or talk shows they watch that promote negative images of relationships of people cheating, getting a divorce, or guests that don’t know who their children’s fathers are. I believe you are what you watch. I know this is true because I was one of those people who couldn’t stop watching those shows. It wasn’t until I noticed how I felt when I missed several episodes. I was much happier with myself. Those shows influenced my behavior toward my daughter’s father. For instance, I was always thinking he was cheating on me. I was so tempted to call one of those shows so that I could confirm if he really was. Now, I only watch shows that can help me not hurt me.
This is how I became a “Crazy” Baby Mama and Melanie and I want to say that it’s okay to be one. Through all the drama we realized that we are “Crazy” about our kids. If putting him on child support to help take care of his child makes us a “Crazy” Baby Mama then that’s who we are. If ignoring his phone calls so that there isn’t any drama makes us a “Crazy” Baby Mama then that’s who we are. So the next time, you want to call someone a “Crazy” Baby Mama think about this post and the millions of single moms who can’t speak up. It’s time to break the cycle and we’re here to start that movement. A movement for all single parents to unite and speak up for their children. It’s time to Let It Go for our children because it’s not about him or you, it’s about your child.
We’re in need of more foot soldiers called “Crazy” Baby Mamas so that we can get the message out. We ask, Are You A ‘Crazy’ Baby Mama?
Written by: Max-Laine