Saturday, July 21, 2012

brandishing a sword

Single moms don't have it easy. I was close to that situation myself, so I feel a special attachment to women who are kicked to the side by selfish boyfriends and forced to be both Mom and Dad. Recently, a friend of mine in this situation expressed her frustration at being ignored again and weekend plans falling through again. This frustration was expressed on Facebook, and no matter how I feel about "serious" topics on Facebook, the reply by Baby Daddy's fiance irked me, especially since it was directed at me (I replied to my friend's comment by saying something like "because he sucks, but we don't! Let's go to the park"). While battling via Facebook is not up my alley, as I graduated from high school several years ago, this argument will be finished by me, though it was not started by me. I decided to post here, because like I said, I will not battle over Facebook. I also have no other way of contacting her, or I wouldn't bother with typed words at all. So this is to you. I won't be rude and use your name, but you deserve to know the things I am going to say.

My friend, we'll call her Megan, is a dedicated mother. I have said before, we have different parenting styles and I know more of her flaws than I probably should. But, lets be honest. She knows most of mine, too. If this was just an attack on me, I'd probably steam for a minute, then get over it, as the opinions of 18 year olds don't often ruffle my feathers. But as I am tired of seeing my friend being ignored or recovering from bruised feelings, or trying to figure out how to one day explain to her son that Daddy isn't coming this weekend after all, or being told to "wake up" and realize what a "great dad" he is, I will defend her. She has had to so often polish her own shining armor and mount her own white horse that every once in a while, she needs someone to brandish a sword in her name. I know she's not perfect, and I know that it can be difficult to deal with "baby mamas", but I've also seen, firsthand, how all she wants is his respect and a little bit of his time. But I've also seen how he doesn't even acknowledge her when he sees her, and how you do all the conversing for him. She really isn't that hard to get along with, even if he doesn't like her. She has more reasons than stars in the sky to hate him, yet she makes regular efforts to be mature and polite. That is not reciprocated. You yourself have admitted that.

I was with Megan when she realized she'd be a single mom. I was with her when she struggled through her pregnancy because "someone you care about" dumped her and abandoned her. Yes, he abandoned her, don't try and argue with that. There is proof on so many tangible levels. I was with her when she worked several jobs while pregnant, and ridiculous hours after having the baby. I was with her when she went to her ultrasound alone because the one person who should have been there decided neither human being was worth his time or energy. I was with her when she was called all sorts of horrible names, accused of somehow creating this child with someone else, because there was no way it could possibly belong to "someone you care about". I was there when she held her brand new baby, again alone, in a hospital room. I smuggled in food so she didn't have to live on hospital food. Did you? Did he?

I have been there for Megan when no one else would be (not withstanding her parents, of course). I have taken her son when she needed a night to herself, or on countless nights when she had to work so late that it was just better if he slept at my house. I have taken him when Megan was sick, so she could rest. I have held him while he was sick. That child has thrown up in my hands. I have been in his life since the day he was born, far longer than that "someone you care about". I taught him how to use sign language, and he called my husband "daddy" before he ever said it to "someone you care about". I have been there for Megan when she has cried for her son because your man isn't man enough to be a regular in his life. I have listened to her furious questions as to how people can claim that he is a "great dad". Let's make this clear. My husband is a great dad. Yours is a mediocre dad who shows up when it's convenient and who makes his child support payments because his mom does it for him. Or at least did. I won't claim to know if he's grown up enough to do it on his own yet. No one has made him, or shown him how to, take regular responsibility for his own son. A great dad isn't conditional. A great dad is a constant, something he cannot claim to be. Just because he plays with his son every once in a while, when he has him for a few nights, does not qualify him as a great dad. I have been there when plans have regularly fallen through, with no news or notice, and have picked up more broken pieces that this "great dad" has left behind than you can possible wrap your clouded mind around.

So don't you dare tell me I don't know enough to make a judgement. The side I know from firsthand experience is pretty grim, and the "assumptions" I make have never been disproven by his actions.

He doesn't deserve him for Christmas, since he doesn't want  him any other time of the year. I am in fact shocked that you even think that you have the right to state your opinion on this, that you have the nerve to entertain the fact that this child should be away from his home on Christmas. Donating genetics doesn't give him the right to open presents together on Christmas morning. To be honest, it seems like you're the only one who cares. Why can't this "great dad" ask himself? Did it ever occur to you that if he showed interest, not just you with your almighty opinions, that it might come across as sincere? You can't force a big happy family; I admire the fact that you're trying, but maybe you'll have better luck getting your man to apply more time to your children. Open presents with them.

You have in fact admitted that he ignores Megan's texts and phone calls. You claim that you are the one who replies to her, not him. I am not interested in why you have chosen to be with this man for the rest of your life. That is your decision. If you know the truth about him, about the man who abandoned his pregnant girlfriend, who required a paternity test to believe that this baby was his, yet took over a year to show any interest in his child, about the man who cannot be mature enough to set aside his personal feelings and have a real discussion with the mother of his child, the man about whom the truth you claim to know, then you deserve him.

I am not interested in having a battle of wits with you, as it is extremely likely that you will come unprepared. And I am not interested in your opinion of me, so don't bother retaliating. While I don't understand it, I admire your defense of the man you love. You said your part, in a post that you knew I would not see, and now I say mine. As far as I'm concerned, this is now over. I only answer to one being, and to be honest, I'm pretty sure He thinks "someone you care about" is a dirtbag, too.

BOTH of my boys.

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