I (No Longer) Resent My Baby Daddy

The Power of One: Tips for Thriving as a Single Parent {Guest Post}
I'm At The End of My Rope with My Baby Daddy...What Should I Do? #AskEpicMommy

If I am completely honest with myself, I can admit that I resented my son’s father for quite some time. We both had a part in making our son, yet he gets to go off and just live his life as he chooses while I had to become a full-time parent and caregiver.  I felt that I had to put all of my dreams and goals on hold to be a parent, while he had to do nothing at all.  I would replay the feelings of betrayal and frustration that I harbored in regards to our relationship and his lack of involvement with our child.

In those moments of weakness, I really worried if I’d be able to do this whole single parenting thing.  It’s hard being a parent all by itself, but it is even more difficult to be a single parent.  The resentment was overpowering especially in the first year of being a single mom, and now I can look back and see that it was eating me alive.  I finally made the decision that it was important – no, imperative – that I let go of the resentment, forgive, and start to live my life to the fullest.

Resentment

It’s easy to continue to hold on to that resentment; it is neither healthy or fair to continue to do so though.  If it’s whether through a difficult breakup or divorce, the resentment is only affecting you and your children.  They will witness the anger and resentment that you focus on and may even begin to wonder if it’s all their fault.  You don’t want that to happen, so it’s time to let go of that resentment.

Here are some tips for letting go of resentment, and starting to live your life again rather than dwelling on the past:

Face your resentment.  

This is possibly one of the most difficult things that I had to do through my transition of letting go of resentment.  Before you can even come close to letting it go, you have to face that it exists.  Take ownership for the role you played, forgive yourself, and face that this is the way that things are.  For a long time, I focused on the breakup of the relationship and the impact that it would have on my child in the future. I resented my child’s father and the fact that he had taken no responsibility for his actions.  I was angry by the amount of money, time, and effort that I put into a relationship that I knew (in the back of my mind) was headed for hurt and pain.  I had to face my resentment head on, and find ways to move on.

Don’t ignore your feelings.  

A few days ago, I was having a conversation with a friend about a relative that had died.  It had been a few years since it happened, and she was still mourning especially around the anniversary of that relative’s death.  She felt bad for feeling the way that she did because many people were telling her that she should be over it by now, that she should just get past it already.  But it’s not that easy to just ignore the way that you’re feeling just because time has gone by (I’ll address this in more detail in #5).  It’s normal to feel sad, angry, exhausted, frustrated, annoyed, anxious, nervous – you just have to learn how to deal with these feelings in a healthy way.

Deal with your resentment. 

Embrace your feelings and find creative ways to deal with it as you are working through it.  Sit in the car before picking up your child from daycare and scream your lungs out, have a good cry in the shower, take up running or kickboxing – the goal is to find a way to deal with the anger and resentment while you heal.  Share your feelings with a trusted friend, one who will be there to listen and support you through this.  This is expected to be a short term fix; this cannot replace the healing process.  Work through the issues and find some ways to deal, heal, and let go.

Accept the person for who they are. 

I say this to almost every single mom that I speak with – accept your child’s father for who they are.  This does not mean that you have to respect the things that they do to you or the lack of involvement with their child.  This means that you have to realize who you’re dealing with, and don’t try to hold them to a standard that they would never be able to achieve.  My son’s father is not the type of father that will be there 24/7. He will not take my son to the park, or to an outing, or to a ballgame.  It’s not in his nature, his character, or his abilities to willingly take on any of these responsibilities.  He is the type of person that will avoid coming around if he has promised something that he knows he cannot fulfill – he will disappear to avoid having to do it.  I have realized who he is, and I have accepted that this is just the way it will be. It used to frustrate me completely; now it’s just a mild irritation, if that.

Take the time to heal. 

Letting go of your resentment will not happen overnight. It takes time to heal and to fully let go.  Have you ever heard the saying It takes as long as you’ve been in the relationship to finally get over it (it’s something like that, don’t hold me to this word for word)? It’s really the truth. Not necessarily the time frame because everyone heals in their own time, but the fact that it takes that long for you to even begin the process of healing and letting go. It takes time! Focusing on the length of time that is acceptable for you to heal won’t make you heal any quicker; it will only make it that much more frustrating when you cannot meet that deadline.  Take some time to heal, with the end goal of finding some peace and happiness through the process.  It will be so worth it in the end.

Forgive, let go, and move on. 

I have shared a couple of post around forgiving and letting go.  You have to first learn WHY you should forgive and let go, then focus on HOW to go about doing it. Forgiving is not the same as letting go of the resentment though.  They go hand in hand, yes, but you can forgive while holding on to that anger, and not even realizing that you are.  Forgiving, moving on, and letting go is a necessity to completing this entire process.

 

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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!

askmommy parenting

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!

Are you looking for advice as a single parent? Share your questions, concerns, comments and more with us at
Ask Epic Mommy!
Click the button below!

ask-mommy

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. Great share love the tips, omg so proud of you, not to sound condescending but I am happy to hear that you have switched your focus and energy to more productive things. You know I am all about empowerment and stress free. As women who happen to be raising our kids in one parent households it is very important to make peace with how things played out and move forward. Congrats mama xo!!!

    • Thanks so much for the kudos Mari! To be honest, I always look forward to your feedback. And that’s because we’re on the same path – empowerment and inspiration. I agree – the goal is always to keep moving forward and not looking behind us. This post was inspired by another single parent’s struggles, and I wanted to share how I got through it. I hope it will help many others as well! Thanks again for your encouraging words. Have a great weekend! 🙂

  2. So happy to see things are going well.

    The pain will always be there, but what’s most important is the love you show your son. He may not have his biological father, but he will always have amazing people surrounding him who genuinely love him for the awesome boy he is. 🙂

    • Hi Fatima! Yes, things are going very well. I shared this post for another single mom that is going through letting go of the resentment. I have long let go of the pain and hurt from my child’s father, and have learned to move forward and let go. As you said, my son is definitely happy and healthy, and has many people around him willing to give him the love that he definitely deserves. Thanks so much! 🙂

  3. This is a great post. Thanks for being so open. Forgiveness is very difficult, but necessary. I like the part where you talk about accepting the person for who they are. My daughter’s father is not a good person. I don’t know why it still surprises me when he does something hurtful. He is who he is and I need to just accept it.

    • Thanks so much, Alicia! It’s so true, forgiving someone for the pain and hurt they have caused is definitely a difficult pill to swallow. I’m glad you enjoyed the part about accepting them for who they are – it’s one of the things that was really difficult for me to do. But it’s so very important to do. Until you accept your child’s father for who and what he is, it will make it a little easier to deal with the hurtful things that he does. It doesn’t mean you have to accept the behavior, just realize that he is that way and may always be that way. Wishing you the utmost best! 🙂

  4. Awesome post…great tips. It’s great that you were able to forgive & let go!

    • We have to learn to move forward from the things that cause us hurt and pain. It has been healing to my soul. I’m glad you enjoyed the post – I really hope that it will be able to help others get through their hurt and pain.

Speak Your Mind

*