Why I Forgave My Baby Daddy…and Why You Should Forgive Yours Too

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When I decided to start sharing advice for other single moms, I never expected the outpouring of support and the numerous e-mails from single moms hoping to get some advice from me on their particular situations. Many times, we just speak about each other’s situations and find solace in having someone to listen to that understands and you can relate to. But many times there are numerous questions asked, and although I am no expert, I have so many thoughts about single parenting and the path to happiness.

Why I Forgave My Baby Daddy

One of the biggest questions that I continue to get on a regular basis is how and why I was able to forgive my son’s father. How could I forgive my son’s father – both for the demise of the relationship and also for his lack of involvement in Micah’s life? I responded to each person and shared my thoughts and was able to really think about how I was able to forgive and move forward. So, I decided to share why I forgave my son’s father, and why you should forgive yours too!

1. He already moved on…now it’s time for you to do the same.

Do you think my son’s father was wallowing in what he did and trying to fix things – nope! He had already moved on several times over before I came to the conclusion that I needed to forgive him. He just kept moving forward, so why was I stuck on the impact the bad in our relationship caused – it was time for me to put on my big girl panties and move forward too!

2. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting.

I will never forget everything that has occurred in my relationship with my son’s father. I still tend to have flashbacks from time to time about the relationship – both good and bad.  The bad would consume me sometimes…and I would feel so depressed. How I could I be so naive and vulnerable? How could he do this to me? To Micah? I thought that I could never forgive him. And sadly, I couldn’t let go because I knew that I wouldn’t forget. I needed to learn that forgiving did not mean that I had to forget. It is important to me that I remembered everything – to make sure that I pay attention to the signs in my next relationship, remember the type of person I’m dealing with in my son’s father, and to make sure that I never even consider getting back into a relationship with my son’s father. Make sure that you don’t mix up forgiving with forgetting – forgive him but learn from what happened and never forget.

Source: http://theartandheartofforgiveness.com

Source: http://theartandheartofforgiveness.com

 

3. Your child needs you to!

Regardless of the reason why you and your child’s father broke up, realize that your child will suffer if you don’t forgive and move forward.  Kids are more resilient than we think them to be, and they recognize all that’s going on around them. They just don’t know how to communicate their thoughts with us, especially when they are younger. But your child needs you to be happy and healthy, and you can’t really do that if you’re holding on to anger and resentment – use this opportunity to forgive and move on.

4. Take back the power that your baby daddy has over you!

You know what you’re doing when you cannot forgive your child’s father and move forward? You are giving him the power to have complete control over your emotions, thoughts, and activities. Don’t give him that power over you! Don’t let what has happened in the past cloud your judgement. It will be amazing how much much weight is lifted off your shoulders when you forgive him and start following the steps to move forward.

5. Mom guilt is tough enough…don’t add extra guilt because of his lack of involvement.

Mom guilt is a b*#ch – that I definitively know. I fight mom guilt on a daily basis. But don’t add the extra guilt on yourself because you’re not in a relationship, his lack of involvement, or his lack of interest in being a parent.  Yes, your child needs a father in his/her life, and yes, ideally, you would like their actual father to be there, but if that’s not the case – don’t feel guilty about it. It’s his loss if he doesn’t want to be a part of your child’s life or as engaged as he should be. You can’t beg him to be a part of your child’s life, he has to want to do that on his own. You just have to forgive and let it go, and start focusing on what’s most important – your child!

6. The forgiveness is more for you than for him.

A lot of the process of forgiveness is learning to forgive yourself. I have learned to forgive myself for allowing him to do the things that he did to me, because honestly, he did it because I allowed it. He was very good at hiding the truth, but I knew something was up and couldn’t put my finger on it – I should have been more persistent and if needed, I should have walked away if I sensed he wasn’t telling the truth. Who wants to be in a relationship with someone who they can’t trust? It took a long time for me to realize that I needed to forgive him, not for him, but for myself. I needed to forgive myself and let go of the ‘victim’ label.  I needed to let go of the anger, and use all that has happened as a tool to be stronger for me and my child.

forgiveness

Source: http://www.psychologytoday.com/

7. What was will never be again…but you still have to be parents.

Whether you stay in a relationship with your son’s father or you break up with him (as I did), it is important to realize that things will never be the same. What was will never be again, and a major part of forgiveness is acceptance. But regardless of this issue, you still have to be parents. All the anger and resentment will definitely create a negative impact on your ability to co-parent successfully. Do you want your child to see you both continuously arguing? Or do you want your child to see that you both can be grown-ups and handle your responsibilities as a parent successfully? I think most people will choose the latter.

Now if you don’t have any relationship with your son’s father, it follows the same concept. Things will never be the same. You are now a solo parent. And you have to forgive, let go, and move forward because your child solely depends on you for love, attention, and adoration. When you forgive and let go, you can move forward with your life happily and know that it he made the choice to remain out of his child’s life.

8. Bitterness can swallow you whole.

Bitterness can truly eat you alive and become a part of everything you do and the way you think. I think of my mom regularly and the fact that she has yet to forgive my father for all the things he put her through. A lot of the things happened over 30 years ago, but she still has not forgiven him or herself, and she definitely has not let it go. That bitterness has spilled into different aspects of her life, including her relationship with me. Our relationship has been impacted significantly because of her bitterness, and my biggest fear is that I become like that. I just can’t do that to myself or my son. So I will forgive, if only for the bitterness to stay far away.

 

So as you can see, it is important to forgive your baby daddy – it’s a step in the right direction to becoming a better person and a better mom. It’s not easy at all, and it’s taken me the better part of 3 years to even come this far, but I know it is whats best for both me and my son. I’ve forgiven my baby daddy – will you forgive yours too?

Once you are ready to forgive, you have to figure out  how to actually do it – I’ll be sharing another post focused on how to forgive your baby daddy. Hope you enjoyed the post and it has made an impact on your day!

 

About Natasha

Hi, I'm Natasha! I'm a 30-something Program Manager and blogger at Epic Mommy Adventures. Most importantly, I'm a single mom to my adorable son, who drives me nuts in one moment and melts my heart in the next. I enjoy sharing our epic stories, giving advice to other single moms, and sharing my co-parenting woes. I also share blog hops, giveaways, product reviews, and so much more. Join the fun!

Comments

  1. I agree to your take on letting the bitterness between you ans your ex go and providing a healthy loving atmosphere for bringing up your child.I wish more couples could think like that.It would spare their children a lot of trauma. Thought provoking post.

    • Thank you for reading my post and for your comment! It’s so true, bitterness can really take over you and become a part of your life. I personally cannot do that to myself or my child. My son’s father still has lots of growing up to do, but I can only do the best that I can do. I cannot have the cloud over my head, being mad at him all the time and being frustrated with his lack of interest in being a parent. He will figure out his path, just as I will figure out me and my son’s path.

  2. BitsyBet says:

    I’ll be able to put it all behind me when my youngest is 18 (2 years to go). My ex was never interested in our daughters until he found out that I was involved with someone else. He has used the girlsas weapons for over 4 years. Of course, my daughters are well aware of this. Although he has tried his darndest to ruin the relationship between me and my daughters, it has not worked. It’s only made their relationship with me, and their step-dad as well, stronger and more meaningful. When my oldest daughter turned 18, she said “good riddance” to him, and hasn’t spoken to him since. The youngest plans on doing the same thing. It’s very difficult not to be bitter when your child is hurting and you know that the source of the hurt is coming from the other parent. Just know that children really do get it, and they know who the loving and caring parent really is. They are able to figure it out without you pointing it out. Keeping your cool is the hardest thing, though. The non-caring and/or hurtful parent is the one that loses out in the end. I can’t imagine not having a relationship with my daughters, but my ex is the one who will ultimately suffer that loss.

    • Even though my son is very young, I completely understand. It is hard not be angry and bitter with someone who hurts your child; it is even more difficult to forgive and let it go. I am saddened that your daughters are treated this way by your ex, but I am happy that they do recognize it and all of his lies were found out. My son is hurt with every lie, every promise unfulfilled, every moment that he has to spend time with his father. You’re right – both my son’s father and your children’s fathers are the one losing out. With the forgiveness, I have come to the realization that my son’s father is who he is and will not change, not even for my son. I am no longer saddened or upset about his lack of interest in parenting – I can only be the best parent that I can be to help my son navigate through life. Thanks so much for reading my post and for your comment!

  3. I knew you could do it! Don’t you feel like a cloud has been lifted?

    Michelle @ On A Wing And A Prayer

    • A cloud has definitely been lifted! I don’t feel responsible for my son’s fathers actions anymore. I feel that I can truly let go of my anger and frustration and focus on me and my son. Although I still get upset from time to time, it is so much easier now to gain perspective and snap out of it. It has really made a big difference.

  4. Thank you for such a great post! It’s so inspiring for mothers everywhere… and non-mommies alike. We forget the power of forgiveness. And you’re right, sometimes in forgiving someone else, you’re actually forgiving yourself for allowing yourself to be so blind, feel the hurt or even caring so much when you knew you probably shouldn’t have.

    • Thank you for stopping by and reading my post! And for your comment! It’s so true – people tend to forget the power of forgiveness. I have spent a long time wondering, “What if…” “Why me…” and trying to identify all the signs. But it doesn’t matter anymore – it is in the past and I really had to let it go. I still get angry from time to time, especially when it impacts my son, but I have learned to just accept him for who he is and move forward doing the best for me and my son, even if that means on our own.

  5. Great post! Adding to the guilt load definitely doesn’t help and I agree that at the end of the day forgiveness is always for us and never really for the person we are trying to forgive. Holding on to negative feelings and energy will drag you down and can rub off on your children and others around you.

    • Absolutely – one of my biggest worries has been the impact that my anger and frustration has on my son. And I didn’t want him to suffer in any way from my hand. I can’t control the hurt that he will experience from his father, but I can be there for him and help him through it. I had to forgive him in order to be a better parent and a better person. Thanks so much for stopping by and for your comment! 🙂

  6. Well written post covering the aspects of forgiveness and its importance. I, personally, believe most of these points to be right in line with pretty much any situation with another person (yes, I’m including family here, too).

  7. Awesome post Natasha! You are so right. At the end of the day, forgiveness is for you, not him. Walking around with hate in your heart against another person is like drinking poison, and expecting them to die. You’re only hurting yourself when you don’t move on and forgive. Excellent points and great pearls of wisdom in this post! Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Tiffany!! You are so right – you are truly only hurting yourself when you don’t forgive and move on. And although I heard it from other people and shared advice to others saying the same, I realized that I hadn’t done it myself. And now that I have, I really see the difference in how I deal with him. I was giving him too much of my energy instead of giving it where it belonged – with my son. Now, it’s like a world off my shoulders! Thanks for your comment! Hope you’re having a great weekend! 🙂

  8. It’s so true that forgiveness is more for you than the person you are forgiving. I’m so glad that you have moved on in your life. Hope you have a fantastic day!

    • Thanks Heidi! It was well overdue! But I’m glad that I did it, because I feel tons better for it. I no longer worry about what he is or is not doing to support our child – I focus on our life (my child and I) and it makes life so much better.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and submitting a comment! 🙂

  9. Wonderful post! Sometimes things just don’t work out for whatever reason. It does not mean that we have to stop living life and cause suffering to those around us especially our children. While that is more easier said than done it is possible.

    • I completely agree – it is definitely a difficult thing to do, but one that makes everyone around, especially our children, much happier. For just that, I am glad that I went through the process and came out successful on the other end. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! 🙂

  10. How can you forgive when you tried and tried and continue to happen…

    • First off, you have to forgive yourself. You can’t continue to try and try when the same continues happening. Believe that you have done your best, forgive, and let go. Allow the other person to figure out what they want and determine when they are ready to give back in return. Wishing you the best!

  11. Thank you for this post. It’s what I needed to hear. I was wondering if you’ve written the follow up post on How to forgive Babby daddys yet?

    • Hi Renee, I’m glad this post was able to help you. I’m still working on the follow-up post, but I hope to have it up soon. I’ll definitely share it with you once it goes live. Wishing you the best! 🙂

  12. Thank you so much for this post! I needed exactly this my son is 3 and his dad hasnt seen him since he was 6 months And hasnt called to check on him. My son has been having some health and behavioral issues and since the beginning all i can think about is how his dad knows nothing about whats going on and its been making me angry and bitter. And ive realized i just need to forgive him and continue to be a solo parent! Like you said its his loss! Thank you so much!

    • I’m glad that this post helped you in your situation. I’m sorry to hear that your son has been having some health and behaviorial issues. It is even more important to just let go and forgive his father, and move on being the best parent you can be for your son. He needs your energy on him rather than on his non-involved father. Wishing you the utmost best!

  13. My son’s father cheated on me when my son was only 8 months old

    • I’m sorry to hear that! It is tough to go through being cheated on, but it becomes so much worse when you have a child with them. I know it’s tough, but I’m sure you will prevail. Wishing you the best!

  14. How do you accept being a solo parent when you want so badly for a real man to come and help you? Faith says to believe before you receive the blessing, but when you think about your deepest desires you sometimes get overwhelmed and depressed. If you were to totally forget about the fact that you want to get married, wouldn’t that show a lack of fatih? Isn’t it counterproductive to just give up and accept the fact that you are a solo parent as if the current situation will last forever?

    • The intention is not for you to give up on your dreams of finding someone new or getting married, it is for you to recognize and accept where you are today – and that is being a solo parent. If you are focused so much on what you don’t have, you’ll miss out on what you actually do have – which is your child and your life as it is. I have said numerous times that I accept being a solo parent for the simple fact that I am one – do I dwell on the fact that I’m single, without a boyfriend or a husband, or all of the many things that I could have done in my life? No, because I’m happy just where I am today. And when you find that happiness with your life, blessings are surely to follow.

      I hope that this helps you to better understand my position. Feel free to reach out anytime.
      Thanks for your comment!

  15. Jennifer says:

    Natasha, thank you for sharing these posts about how to deal with “baby daddy’s”. I have a very similar situation like yours and it’s nice to hear words of wisdom coming from another mom! It’s tough being a single mom and I carry the mom guilt everyday. I want what’s best for my son and although me and his father aren’t together we are trying to find ways to get along for our sons sake. And boy is it tough, especially when I expected his dad to be a totally different person than who he is today, and a totally different “dad”. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Thanks so much for enjoying my posts! As you mentioned, single parenting is so difficult, but it’s by sharing with others that helps make it easier for me, and helps other moms. We all want what’s best for our children but we all have different situations that we have to deal with.

      I’m glad to hear that you and your child’s father are working together to get along for your son’s sake. I believe it to be so important to work on co-parenting effectively. You both are well on your way on having the best environment for your child. Your son needs both of you, and I’m glad to see that you both are making the effort to have a healthy and happy relationship for him.

      Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  16. I’m in a similar situation also and it’s been a year and a half and still can’t seem to let go…

    • Sometimes it can take some time before a person can forgive and let go. But your conscience is always a bit lighter when you can do it! Wishing you the utmost best! 🙂

  17. I am just seeing this post now but it has helped me immensly. It made me realise my resentment is having an impact on my son (also Micah) and my life and it is not healthy. after reading your posts about why to forgive and how to a lot of it rang so true. I tried some of your tips and I already feel like a giant weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. It will take time to heal but I now realise that it doesn’t have to have the power I have been giving it over me. Thank you so much for writing this.

    • Hi Davinia, I’m so happy to hear that my post had an impact on you. I believe that forgiveness is major for you, not for them. It is important for you to have that weight lifted off of your mind and your heart; it really does wonders on you and allows you to focus on what’s important – your Micah! I appreciate your comment, and I’m so happy to hear that this post has helped you. Wishing you the utmost best! xoxoxoxo

  18. I really needed to read this post & see the positivity of forgiving. It’s great to hear the advice from someone who has actually experienced the same thing. How do I get access to your Follow Up post on “how to forgive your baby daddy”?

  19. What about baby mamas who keep kids from Dads. How do we maintain sane when all he’ll is thrown at us. How do we forgive when she moves on and has not forgiven you and she has a new boyfriend and what do we do to main sanity? How do we get justice when we made mistakes all in the name of wanting to be fathers. How do we manage its like we just have to take whatever is thrown our way. How do we deal. We forgive. We keep forgiving even the new crap that happens. We ask God for help. We move on. We survive. We know that God loves us and we win in all situations.

    • I agree with you wholeheartedly – it goes both ways! The forgiveness is not for them, its for you and for your kids. Your comment sums up my exact thoughts – “We forgive. We keep forgiving even the new crap that happens. We ask God for help. We move on. We survive. We know that God loves us and we win in all situations.” Thanks so much for your comment! Wishing you the utmost best!

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