One of the saddest days for me, as a single mom, was the day my daughter saw her father for who he really is. The day she could no longer lie to her heart. The day she called it for what it was. That was almost 6 years ago. That day, life for us didn’t get any easier. It actually got harder.
Today, I’m speaking to the single moms who are raising their littles with a father who’s been a perpetual heartbreaker to your babies. And you, mom, continue to catch the tears on your shoulders over and over through the years.
I have walked away from too many articles like this one and this one . I’ve come across too many books, like this one and this one. I’ve left one too many front row seats where “professionals” held the mic and delivered the age-old message of the negative impact of “bad mouthing” the other parent. I’ve left those books, articles, and speeches fighting back the shame of my emotions from the truth I have spoken to my daughter through the years about who her father is. Feeling ashamed that I didn’t try hard enough to parent with crazy.
For too many years, I’ve listened and entertained the idea that my child will be eternally damaged by my words of poor expression.
I call total bull shit on this theory and for the record, parenting with crazy doesn’t exist.
As I recall the women who have told me countless times to pray for my child’s father, his family members who have excused his less than acceptable behavior and the friend who suggest I give mercy because personality disorders are hard to live with; I wonder about the other women who have overextended themselves into a pit of abusive responses over and over and over again simply because of the voices they have entertained.
It makes me wonder how other single mom’s are navigating this same road.
Call it for what it is.
Becuase I have
the mic the pen in my hand, even if it’s for the time of this short blog post, this is what I would say to the single mom who’s raising her children by the boy who has refused to stand up for his babies and fight for their hearts.
I encourage you to speak the truth. At appropriate times. And out of love.
Trust your momma instincts. Remove the voices that do not pertain to you and your family. Focus on cultivating an ongoing loving and honest conversation between you and your child(ren). Draw close to you those who believe in your momma instincts. Your job is to raise a healthy child who understands truth regardless of the pain that it holds. A child who understands and recognizes the red flags of abuse 400 miles away. Stand up for this. Don’t waiver.
Your job is not to coddle a grown man who refuses to work or who works overtime to receive his paycheck under the table rather than invest in his children’s livelihood. A man who emotionally abuses and manipulates your babies on his monthly phone call or weekend visits. A father who refuses to be reasonable and function on normal. This man cannot be turned into a hero and you should directly label him for who he is. Matter of factly and on point.
And yes, after you stand up for this and once you stand your ground for what it is, you can very well expect to be prepared to pray your child’s heart into restoration..and even invest in an exceptionally valuable and supportive therapist.
Probably sounds harsh if you’re a therapist or if you’re the mom to a son who is behaving this way.
I’m sure it is. I say this is a difficult and complex road to navigate.
When I think of the last 15 years of raising this precious little girl with a broken adult father, I have struggled with the route to take. Merciful and grace-filled prayers only go so far. While a scorching tongue burns the heart. And yet, the mantle of holding your child’s relationship together with their maladjusted father is burdensome, exhausting and heavy.
For the therapists and industry leaders alike, please don’t neglect an opportunity to include the single mom who has exhausted herself in making every effort to mend a relationship with the father of her children.
While I understand you have good intentions to stand up for the heart of these children, you sometimes miss an opportunity to address the other side of the panel. The single mom who is raising her children single-handedly while combating insanity.
I don’t have time in this blog post to address the how-to part of this. Like how to move forward once you’ve established the kind of dysfunction that is on your plate, but here are a few decent articles that may provide you with support:
****This is a very difficult and sensitive topic. It takes a strong mind and an intense drive to move forward and out of the cycle of a manipulating ex. If you think you could use help or accountability in establishing boundaries in this area you can contact me here.