How To Forgive Your Baby Daddy…And Forgive Yourself in the Process

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The process of forgiveness started last year (read more here), where I took the time to realize WHY I should forgive my son’s father.  Forgiveness does not come easily though. You worry about things such as, “Does he deserve to be forgiven?” “Is it even worth it?” “I still hate him, though…” “He works my ever-lasting nerves…” Trust me, I completely understand. Every time I see my son’s father with that smug look on his face, as though he could have me back in a second when all I want is for him to be there for our son…I wonder if I could ever come to the point where I could forgive him.

How To Forgive your Baby Daddy

But I soon realized that the forgiveness was not for him, but actually for me (and for my son). I was holding on to a certain level of resentment and frustration towards my son’s father that I just had to finally let go.

In my last post about forgiveness, I focused on WHY you should forgive your child’s father.  Now, I would like to focus on HOW to forgive your child’s father. Realize, though, that forgiving your child’s father has more to do with you than with him.

1. Make a commitment to yourself to forgive and let go.

Continuing to not forgive or let go of the situation with your child’s father will begin to cripple you in your life. You will harbor such an hatred for him that you will no longer be able to function for yourself or for your child.  So you have to make a commitment to yourself to stop giving him so much of your energy, your time, your thoughts, your life. Tell yourself that you are ready to let this go for good and start living your life again. Instead of giving all of this negative energy to him, turn it to positive energy for your child. That’s who needs and deserves your energy and time.

2. Write a letter to release your emotions.

This is definitely a great tip to help you in forgiving your child’s father, or anyone for that matter. Pour your heart, your anger, your frustration – everything and all things – into the letter. End the letter, though, with the forgiveness. Explain what you forgive him for, and finally, wish them well in the future. You can decide what you want to do with that letter – you can give it to your child’s father, or you can destroy it. It’s really up to you on how you want to handle it.  The purpose of writing the letter is for you to release all those thoughts and to forgive in the written word.  Trust me, it will really make a difference not only in forgiving your child’s father but also in finally letting it go.  It literally took me about 6 months to finally finish my letter. Just when I thought my letter was complete, there would be so much more to share and release.

2. Say it out loud and mean it.

You don’t have to say it directly to your child’s father if you’re not ready, but you need to speak it into existence. The more you say out loud that you forgive him, the more you’ll realize that it is possible.  I started with “I want to forgive Micah’s father” and within a short amount of time, I started saying, “I forgive Micah’s father”.

3. Sit and think about the good times.

The best part of my relationship with my son’s father is the fact that my son was conceived. He gave me the best thing he could have ever possibly given me – my son.  And I have to be happy about that. I couldn’t imagine my life without my son, and he would never be who he is if it wasn’t for his father. In every relationship, there must have been a couple of good moments. Hold on to those moments when you wonder what you were thinking getting into a relationship with your child’s father or second guessing all of your decisions because of the demise of the relationship.

4. Stop expecting more from him.

Most of the reason why I’m so frustrated with my son’s father is the fact that he is not more involved with my son. I want him to have a happy and healthy relationship with my son, and watch that relationship grow and evolve in the years to come. But I  have to forgive him and stop expecting him to be more than what he actually is. He is the type of father that is not and will not be involved in the day-to-day.  Although I’m not necessarily happy with it, I have come to the conclusion that it is what it is. I can’t control what happens with their relationship; I can only focus on the relationship that my son and I have.  Stop believing that he will be and should be the father that you want him to be. You’ll just continue to be disappointed in him when he doesn’t deliver.

5. Forgive  yourself.

An important part in forgiving him is learning to forgive yourself. It may possibly even be the reason why you can’t let go and forgive. You may be holding onto the fact that you didn’t predict what would happen, or that the demise of the relationship is all your fault, or that you should’ve known sooner.  You could also be resenting yourself for the lack of relationship between your child and their father. You have to let it all go and forgive yourself.

6. Give yourself time to heal.

Don’t allow what has happened (and continuing to happen) make you lose faith in yourself.  Use this as a learning opportunity and open your heart to trust yourself again. Realize that things happen and understand that it may just happen again. But now you’re stronger, less vulnerable, and able to conquer the world with your baby at your side.  Your life does not have to be on repeat, stuck on the situation with you and your child’s father – start experiencing the world again and learn to trust and love yourself again.

7. Stop telling the story.

It is important to share your story with others to help others – I completely understand that. I personally want to help others by sharing my own story. However, it is with a clear purpose that I share my story – to help others. Don’t get lost in telling your story over and over, though, especially if you are still emotionally tied to it. If telling the story gets you into an emotional rut or affects your ability to move forward, stop telling your story…and let it go.

8. Let go of the bitterness.

One of the things that really pushed me to truly forgive my son’s father was my own mother. She has held a level of bitterness for my father that I have never seen and probably will never again see in my life.  And she carried that bitterness on to me. My childhood is filled with moments where she mentioned how horrible my father was to her, and that she doesn’t understand why I continue to want my father in my life although he has wronged us so much. I still loved my father regardless, and I wished that she could just let it go so I could just love her and my father. That’s all I wanted. Instead of me showing compassion to her, it made me dislike her and lose respect for her. It definitely created a rift between us, especially during my teenage years.  Avoid this same situation happening to you and your child by learning to let go of the bitterness. Your child will be grateful to you for it.

9. Live a happy and successful life.

Regardless of what happened between yourself and your child’s father, this is now your life. Live it to the fullest. Don’t allow the situation to control your life for years to come. You have a precious child that needs you happy and ready to be the best parent that you can be. Instead of dwelling on the past and trying to force your child’s father to change, start living your life. You’ll regret not focusing on the present and enjoying the life that you have with your child.

 

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This post is part of the Ask Epic Mommy series, focused on providing tips to help single parents…and all parents overall.
I hope you enjoyed this post and future posts!

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One of the things that I’ve heard from fellow single parents is that they fear judgment from others, whether through blog comments or in person. I want to create somewhat of a safe haven for fellow single parents and other parents to share their thoughts, issues, and concerns without fearing judgment. Because we always need somewhere to go to talk to someone that understands what we’re going through. Every week, it will be a little different. I will be sharing my own posts focused on single motherhood, co-parenting, and much more, along with advice for other single parents. Additionally, I’ll be sharing stories from other single parents, and we can all learn and grow together. If this series becomes popular as I plan it to be, I intend to open a Facebook group for even further discussion and inspiration. I’m also looking for contributors on this series, so if you’re interested in joining the team, please let me know!

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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. Excellent suggestions, I wish more women would try it for sure and step away from being attached to that story. Great share!

  2. I forgave but he continue with the verbal abuse, the emotional abuse, the mental abuse, having our daughter around different women every other mouth… Bad mouth me to his friends and our 6 year old daughter…. I know he’s my enemy and I do need GOD to help me because this babydaddy of mines has done us wrong….. He threaten me and told me that he wish he can do something to me… What do I need to do?

  3. He hit me when I was six months pregnant

  4. I love this so much. And yes–so much easier said than done always, but you’re absolutely right. And though I myself don’t have a baby daddy, I’ve been in the position of having to forgive certain someone’s and all the reasons here ring true. Holding on to that level of bitterness and resentment doesn’t nothing but tear us apart inside. Thanks for this — and good for you for coming to such a great place with your ex (and major props for NOT reacting to smug looks!)

    • Thanks so much for enjoying the post, Charlotte! It is definitely much easier said than done, but when it’s finally said and done, it is like a weight lifted off your shoulders and your heart. And yes, these same tips can be used whether it is with your baby daddy or with anyone has hurt you in your life. It may take a year or several years, but at some point we just have to let go of that hurt and resentment, and start moving forward.

      Thanks for being able to relate, and thanks for the props! 🙂

      • So how do you handle the father of your child after you done the tips you suggested? He’s very very very verbal abusive,emotionally and mentally abusive t

        • Ramona, if you’re dealing with someone who is verbally, emotionally, and mentally abusive; it’s not time to forgive, it’s time to put a stop to the abuse. That means that you have to put your foot down and make him aware that you will not tolerate being disrespected in such a manner. Go through the legal route if you are concerned for your and your child’s safety. Disconnect yourself from the connection with your child’s father and find your peace of mind. Just because he is your child’s father does not mean that you should have to accept any abuse from him. You’re only exposing your child to it and your child will believe that it is normal behavior – and that is completely horrible. Feel free to e-mail me at 1epicmommy@gmail.com if you ever need to talk – wishing you the best!

  5. I am trying to forgive my daughter’s father for not being involved in her day-to-day life. I just feel very overwhelmed sometimes and then I blame myself (” You’re the idiot who chose him”) and then him (“H’s the one wh got a teenager pregnant. He was the adult”). It’s a terrible cycle and I’m not ready to forgive him only because I havn’t forgiven myself. One day at a time.

    • Forgiving him will take time – it won’t happen overnight. But as time goes by and things change or you get used to the cycle, you will realize that it is not worth harboring the blame against yourself or the anger at him for not being involved. It will take time but just the fact that you read this and considered if it was possibly to forgive says that you may be closer than you think to moving past it all.

      Wishing you the utmost best! Thanks for reading, and for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

  6. This article helped me because it feels good to know that someone feels me! I’m going to work on forgiving. I’m literally in tears!

    • I am so happy that this post touched you, Candice. It is so true that forgiveness is more for you than the other person. Work on forgiving yourself, and be strong! Hope you have a great weekend! 🙂

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