With the recent passing of Father’s Day, I am inclined to climb on my soap box and vent. What can I say? It’s a topic I am beyond passionate about so more often than not, I am going to have something to share. Overtime, with much needed prayer, support, and maturity, my rants are coming from a place of peace.
I’ll never forget, the earlier years of Addyson’s life, I would receive “Happy Father’s Day” texts or Facebook wall postings. Granted, this was my “I’m the mommy and daddy” era, so I willingly accepted those FALSE acknowledgements but I was quickly humbled in learning that I was assuming a role that was NOT made for me and how I was disrespecting and discounting the men who are active fathers in the lives of their children. Unfortunately, I do fall in the mass group of “Single Mothers in the African American Community,” which is something I am still learning to not let define me. I became pregnant with a child at a young age and my child’s father and I didn’t waste anytime creating extra strife within our already dysfunctional relationship. Like most mothers, I was left with the sole responsibility of raising a child.
I allowed bitterness, anger, frustration, and hatred to fester in me so long that even now it’s a natural reaction I have to pray myself out of. Something as specific as looking myself in the mirror and reciting to myself, “I am strong, I am valuable, I am loved,” or whatever affirmation I needed at the time became routine. I took it a day at a time and still do. My current days are easier to manage than my former days but it is STILL a great challenge. Fortunately, as a Christian, I have the opportunity to have a different outlook on my situation. It’s still a daily process but I can (1) now tell God “Thank You” for granting me with so much grace and strength to cover my child as a single parent, (2) acknowledge that my struggle is not just for myself (someone who is going through the same thing is currently watching me to see how I made it through so they can get through)(3) praise men who are active and fight a system that is more bias towards mothers (to the point that I want to make a career out of working with fathers and helping to rehabilitate the household starting with the head of household), (4) acknowledge my own flaws rather than always blaming the absent parent, and (5) FORGIVENESS.
These aren’t all things I’ve learned but what I am learning on a DAILY basis. I have to constantly remind myself of my progress so I won’t revert backwards when unfavorable circumstances arrive. I don’t know why I was chosen to be a single parent BUT I do know it wouldn’t be me if He didn’t equip me for the job in the first place. Pops (I call him Pops) never leaves me out to fail no matter how much I may feel like it. If anything, it gives me all the more reason to seek Him for all my needs and put 100% of my trust in Him. He can give me the eyes of grace towards my child’s father to judge him as a person and not by his circumstance or actions. He may not be the father that I prefer but he is a good person with good intentions who is trying to do good. I have to accept that, especially for the sake of my own sanity.
I am only a mom and can ONLY be a mom. One parent household or not, we can never successfully assume the role of the absent parent. I am just equipped double time. There are things we (as mothers) can never teach our kids. It is important to have a man (friend, family, mentor) involved in the lives of our kids so they are getting some type of guidance (Hi Devin :))
For the fathers who are just that, Fathers: You are appreciated. Your never-ending desire to provide, protect, discipline, nurture, coach, mentor, and just LOVE is not taken for granted. In today’s society, you don’t get enough credit, positive attention, or appreciation but you will always get it from Alana Marie. With that said, it we know our identity and value in Christ, the words of man will never hold weight. Keep doing what you’re doing daddies!!!!!