A Single Mother’s Co- Parenting Struggle {Guest Post} | Epic Mommy Adventures

A Single Mother’s Co- Parenting Struggle {Guest Post}

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Building a co-parenting relationship with your child’s father is possibly one of the hardest things that you’ll do as a single mom, especially if there is continuous resistance by the other party.  However, sometimes things can change for the better. You just have to be ready for it.  Sophia, who blogs over at Real Life Advice, For Everyday, and Practical Use shares her own personal co-parenting struggle and the possibility of change. 
Everyone has a co-parenting story and struggle  – mine of course is a very different struggle for most peoples.  Six years ago when I had my son, my son’s father and I were not on the best of terms.  In fact, we were not talking at all.  He was not there for the birth of my son nor did he ever come to see him.
I was convinced that in time we would come to a common ground, however the way that this happened was very unexpected.  When my son was 4 weeks old, his father become incarcerated for larceny, where he would spend the next 6 years.
Upon initial shock I did not know what to do.  We had not been on good terms before and we were not on good terms now.  Like most women, I wanted my son to have a father.  I tried to find a way to have him in my son’s life the best way possible despite the circumstances.
I decided to put the past behind me and forgive.  For the next three years I would take my son to see his father.  This was one of the most stressful time in my life.  Not because he was in jail but because of all the drama that came along with it.
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Let me give you a taste of some of the drama so you can see what I mean.  After my son was born his father denied him.  I filed for child support but the agency could not find him because he moved from his current residence and did not tell me where he was going.  Once he was in prison, the agency caught up with him and this is where he requested a DNA test.  I was offended at first, but this actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
The DNA test and results was a year long process.  Once the confirmation came in, it forced my son’s father to face the facts.  That our son was his, and it was up to him as to whether he was going to face responsibility for it or not.
At first he tried, I guess you can say.  For Christmas he had a donation based gift sent to our son.  One which would bring an unexpected surprise.  The paperwork that came with the gift gave a list of other people who he had sent one too.  His other two children which I knew about, and a women, that was listed as his wife!
This was one of the many surprises that would cause rifts in trying to get on the same page.  Finding out that my son’s father was still married and that his wife did not, under any circumstance, want him involved in my son’s life.  The worst, was that at first he listened.
He made it clear that his son with her was priority and that our son was secondary.  To put icing on the cake, I found out while I was pregnant and he was incarcerated, he had a girlfriend.  This I did not care about until, he begin to say that she could visit over having his son visit.  Or when I would make the two hour drive and would be left with the possibility of having to leave because he had another visitor.
Arguments went back and forth with him about us being on a schedule. I told him I would come every other weekend and his girlfriend could come the other two weekends.  This once again was met with resistance.  Him choosing to see her over choosing to his son.  This went on for three years! And then, I was tired.  I really was…
I realize that I could not force anyone to be or do something they were not willing to be or do or be.  And so, I let go.  Then an amazing thing happened, my son’s father grew up. For the next three years he began to write our son religiously.  I would not answer him back but I would at least read our son the letters, cards, and drawings that he sent.
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His father took parenting classes while incarcerated and even recorded DVD’s of him reading a book.  Even though all this was nice, I still had the feeling that in the back of my head when he got out, the proof would be in the pudding.
Now six years later, and just yesterday my son’s father was out.  I did not hear from him the whole day which made me mad because I had already told my son he was coming.  I sent an email explaining as much.
I expected the old person to step out and make an excuse.  But he didn’t, instead there was an apology.  As I spoke to him for the next 15 minutes, he was truly a different person and interested in being a father. It has only been two days but this is something that I hope continues.
It has been a long six year road but one thing I learned is that you cannot make anyone do anything.  The only thing I can do is control myself and my relationship with my son.  If I try to control what my son’s father does or how he does it, I know I will be left with frustration.  The biggest thing you can do is let go and pray they wake up on their own.
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Sophia Reed is a mother of one. She has a master’s degree in Human Services specializing in marriage, couple, and family therapy/counseling, and is currently pursuing her PhD. in Human Behavior. Sophia is a Christian, and enjoys meshing her Christian values with her education and experiences.  Sophia’s blog is http://therapyncounseling.blogspot.com
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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. Wow, Myself being a step mom I am apart of the struggles that come along with co-parenting, but you had some extra challenges and I give it up to you for trying to make it work!

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