Describe your perfect date before kids
The way I was raised, I never thought about a perfect date. My mom was anti-mating and I had an oversexed older sister and that turned me off for years. In high school, I had a few crushes. A lot of my ideas of dating and men came from adult life and having children young, dealing with things before I had the maturity or guidance. I’m just figuring things out.
What would a perfect date look like now?
A perfect date now would be…no flowers no fluff. Just a strong man confident enough in his own ideas that he literally has a day planned.
[It] could be coming over making breakfast, having lunch in Central Park under a tree (I hate nature btw), then order pizza for a night of Netflix.
Why no flowers and fluff?
Flowers die, memories last forever. I’d rather action rather than material. If he smokes, we can blaze. If not, that’s cool we can have a glass.
On a date, are your kids on the forefront of your mind? Do you talk about them immediately? What’s usually the guy’s reaction?
Because my kid(s) was the only good thing in my life at the time, yes. I would talk them [up] first. I knew who my kids were before I knew who I was so naturally they would be the topic.
But now I’m low key kinda feeling myself so I guess the convo would be different now. Nobody has recently come to court [me] so I never get that wrapped up in convo.
What’s the best thing about dating with kids?
Nothing, LOL! But I like what you said about your oldest daughter deterring the lames.
Yes. Every time someone tries to talk to me, she gives me the “elder” look and says, “Mom, don’t let them talk sweet in your ear.” She calls the guys around here hoodlums.
I don’t really see myself getting serious again until my girls are grown. I’m about that money now.
Describe your perfect date: A perfect date would be simple. Dinner, movie, a few drinks. Enough to relax and enjoy myself. I just want an adult conversation and laughs.
I’ve learned one of the hardest things to do while your children are young is dating. I’m a single mother of 3 boys, ages 7, 5, and 4. They are my life!
I work full time, come home to do homework with them, cook, clean, and make sure they are showered all before bed. In between that I gotta spend quality of time with each of them. I’m exhausted by the time they get in bed so having to fit dating in there is difficult. All the late night calls/texts get harder when you are tired.
What are some of the red flags that says, “Don’t bring him around my kids”: If he never has his kids or never talks about them.
What if he doesn’t have kids: If he’s aggressive or gets mad/annoyed easily he won’t be able to tolerate kids. I need someone who’s patient, who’s going to be willing to show my boys new things especially how to treat a woman, be a positive influence in their lives, and just be willing to spend quality time with them.
On your days off you have to find a sitter just so you could have a date (while at the same time feeling guilty for not spending time with your children). Sometimes I feel it’s just easier to forget dating and just focus on your kids. But at the same time when they go to sleep, you are all alone, no one to talk to about your day, no one to hold you when you’re having a bad day and no one to be there just for you.
So do you take a leap of faith and try and trust someone again? Do you take those extra steps to make time for someone else? All that goes through my head when I decide to talk to someone. Always questioning if they are going to understand how hard it is for [me] daily. That plans could be ruined at any time for a sick child or no babysitter.
I don’t want all the extra stress. I already have enough being a single mother. I just want someone there for me. To love me the way I deserve. To be the missing piece to my little family.
Year you found out you were pregnant: She found out she was pregnant in 2012
Number of children: 1
The Uh Oh Moment: We found out we were pregnant in 2012. I was with My ex-wife Camille. She carried our son.
I went in the bathroom and I guess she just peed on the stick and left it on the counter…and it was the plus signal. I was like, You pregnant. But I said it to myself in the bathroom like, She Pregnant. So I had to go back in there and be like, You pregnant. You was gonna wake me up and tell me you pregnant?! And she was like, “Babe I don’t know what you talking about; I just peed on the stick and put it on the counter.” So I told her to take another one because it could not be accurate because you’re not supposed to let them sit for too long.
So she peed on a stick again. I called my mom. I was so excited and so happy. I was floating around the house. It was great.
The Mom Moment: I became a mom, to be exact, May 2013. My son was two weeks old and my wife had came downstairs, gave me a kiss on the forehead, and left out. I thought she was just going for a walk. I woke up the next morning and she still wasn’t home. I called her, her phone was off. I really thought something went wrong. And then I got an email.
An email basically saying she couldn’t do it, she couldn’t have this family, she couldn’t handle everything. She didn’t want to be a mom. She really did all this for me and she was going to go about her business.
I had to pack up my son from Philadelphia , call my mom and get a U-Haul. Tian, my best friend, came down with the U-Haul and we put him in the car seat. I was looking at him in the car seat. I had him bundled up. I kept saying to myself, How could you give birth to a child and just leave…just leave us…and all you gave me was an email. She disabled her email, her phone number, everything. She just let go of everything. This was my wife. And I just looked at him and said this is my son. He’s me. This is a reflection of me. This is my baby and I was gonna do everything I could for him.
***Any man can be a father. It takes a real man to be a dad.***
Father/Dad: Camille is a mother. She has always been a mother. Camille did not and does not want a child. She feels like our son is a responsibility and she [had the baby] for me. At the end of the day we are co-parenting; he is a responsibility to her and he is my child.
In the beginning, I thought everything was fine. She was my wife at the time. Camille cheated December 22nd, 2012. I packed my stuff Christmas Eve, and left my wife, and moved back to New York.
From that day forth, everything was a roller coaster. The pregnancy was fine. Us having the baby was fine because she was doing it naturally for me. But she was very unhappy. She thought the baby was going to be a healing for her bipolar, her PTSD, and her depression from her time in the military (while she was pregnant she didn’t take medication). But that wasn’t the purpose of having a child.
I told her to be positive but I just couldn’t make her happy. At this point Camille was still dealing with the dude she cheated on me with. She decided that she wanted to be with the both of us but I couldn’t accept the fact the she cheated on me while she was six months pregnant. We went through our ups and downs, but I was at every doctor’s appointment. Anything she needed to do we did it together because that was my baby, and she was my wife. I needed to make sure she was good regardless.
Them vs. You: I am my mom, my grandmother, and my godmother. I don’t tolerate the talk back, I don’t tolerate all that crying, we not about to go back and forth, I don’t want to even to hold your bottle when it comes down to it; I’m propping it up. I am my mother’s child down to the tee.
The only thing I would do different is I want to explain myself to my son. I need him to understand why I’m doing what I’m doing, what’s the reasoning behind it, and this is the cause and effect for whatever’s happening. My mom listens to my sister and what she goes through. So I will be doing the same to my son. I want to hear his side of whatever he’s going through and not be judgmental. Like, really have an open mind. Yes he’s my son but he’s not an angel.
At the end of the day all I wanted was an explanation from my mom in order for me not to put my hand in the fire.
Fearful Moment: May 9th 2014. That’s his birthday. I was [in New York]. I woke up like regular. I was supposed to be driving down to Philly to see him. We were doing his birthday that Saturday. [Camille] wouldn’t answer her phone, she wouldn’t answer her text messages. I didn’t hear from her all day. I went through every emotion imaginable. I was angry. Then I was confused. Then I was…just sad. Then I was just trying to figure out what was happening. Finally, she wrote me a message saying, “You’re never gonna see your son again.” I wanted to go to Philly but I just didn’t know what to do.
Coming to the close of the day, I just broke down. I was hurt. My heart was broken. I just wanted to hold my son. I just wanted to hug him, I just wanted to say Happy Birthday. It was funny because I kept saying all day, I’m sleep. I’m gonna wake up, I’m gonna start the day, and everything is going to be fine. That’s it. I just wanted to be there. I just wanted to see him smile and play some Beyoncé for him.
Fearless Moment: I used to play Beyonce CD 24/7; non-stop! [Aram] knew that song, any time…what’s the name of that song?! All night! We be all night. Drunk In Love! I played that album everywhere I went. You play that song and that baby be jumping and popping. He’ll pause and the beat drops, and he’ll jump on the couch. He watch for his boo. On T.V., on the phone, on the computer, Beyonce was his boo. He would go to sleep to that album. Everything was good.
Support System: My mom didn’t know [I was trying to get pregnant]. I just called her and told her. I called her at 4:30 in the morning. I sent her the picture, she was happy.
[Camille’s] family…they were happy, but they wanted her to be with a man. They didn’t understand why she thought she could raise a baby, a son, a child, a SON with another woman. They said you NEED a man. You need a male figure in his life…he was going to be too soft.
She defended [us] at that time. She wouldn’t let her family disrespect me regardless. They could feel however they wanted to feel, she didn’t let them do it.
Shannise [Timara’s friend] was excited. She was GREAT. She was there through every step. [Shannise] has my back 100%.
Question: Does she encourage you to reach out to the mom or…
She let’s me handle it. Whatever I want to do, however I want to do, she let’s me.
Final Thoughts: You will always be a reflection on who raised you and the five closest people in your life. The five closest adults in your life.
There’s a whole lot of mothers out there trying to be mischievous and go after their baby dad for money or time. But you have great men out there that all they want to do is spend time with their child. And you won’t allow that; you want to take them to court and you want to fight them. Then they don’t want to be around you anymore.
For a mother who is going through things with her child’s father, you need to forgive. Period. It doesn’t matter what you guys been through, that child did not ask to be here. There’s no reason for you guys to be going back and forth, there’s no reason to be bitter. You need to forgive him, let go, so that he can be a better father for his child. Period. I’m not saying that it’s easy, but there’s no reason to go around the boat when you can forgive, let go, and let God do what he do.
For a father who hasn’t seen their child, it gets better overtime. If it’s meant for you to be there, it will happen. It hurts but it’s just something you gotta experience.
I find my strength in helping other people. Now I have the testimony and the knowledge to tell a father, an absent mother, or even another lesbian couple that this is what it is, this is what it feels like and no, it’s not easy. But you can get through this.
Age: 28 Year you graduated high school: 2005 Year you found out you were pregnant: 2009 and 2012 Number of children: 2
The Uh Oh Moment: I was working overnight maintenance at Walmart when I found out I was pregnant; I took a pregnancy test right off the shelf (shh, don’t tell anyone, lol), went in the bathroom, and to my surprise, it was positive. I told my really good friend whom I met while working there. She was way more excited than I was.
I did not want to be pregnant but the worst part is I did not want to be pregnant by my partner at the time; he was supposed to be a Mr. Right Now, not a Mr. Forever. Besides, we were only together for only 7 months when we conceived.
My mom was so excited that she was telling people I was pregnant before I confirmed it. I got pregnant in February and my dad turned 60 in April. She told my whole family! I was upset because I wanted to get an abortion. How could I have gotten one at this point if she told everyone?! So I guess my mom saved my son’s life and I am now glad she did because my son is literally the best thing that happened to me.
The Mom Moment: To be honest, I was not going to keep the baby, I was thinking about getting an abortion. There was not a maternal bone in me; I was not ready to become a mom just yet. But November 25, 2009 was not waiting. The tears of joy filled my cheeks upon my first sight of him, a feeling that I have never felt before, a feeling that I seem to can’t find any other place.
***Any man can be a father. It takes a real man to be a dad ***
Father/Dad: When we found out I was pregnant, my children’s dad and I had a good relationship. We went out often, rarely had arguments, and he knew my family. The only disagreement we had was the fact that he would not tell his children’s mother about me. Shortly after I found out I was pregnant, it was confirmed that there was no sexual relations between them; what a relief!
He was not excited about the baby. He was nonchalant, pretending as though I was not prego. It took about 3-4 months for me to decide that I was going to keep the baby and he was trying to convince me that I was not ready for a baby. He was not telling me to get an abortion; however, he was not telling me to keep it.
When our son was first born, he was supportive and very hands-on. He ensured that Shakim had everything. He woke up in the middle of the night to feed him, would give him to me to nurse, and he made sure I had my pain meds (I had a C-section). He was a great dad and father…but the worse boyfriend ever!
I thought our only problem was that he had not introduced me to his family, (he claimed that he told them about me…not good enough). It was a hot August day when my world came crashing down and I was outside with the girls from my block. They were so eager to tell me that my man was cheating with a girl from the projects; apparently she was going around bragging about having my man. So since that day, the relationship was strained. I was celibate my last 3 months of pregnancy, I was depressed and crying every day. He was not supportive at all; it was the worse feeling in the world! And he kept cheating and lying.
Them vs. You: I parent somewhere in between how my parents raised me and my brother. My parents were total opposites.
My mom was mean as hell and my dad was an angel.
My dad did not yell, scream, or hit us. [He] made my mom stop beating us, except for if we fought each other, which was the rule.
My mom had a little wooden bat that she wrapped in black tape that she used to tear us up with. I remember my mom used to come up to the school with her bat to tear me up. Thank God she never had to use it. See I told the truth before we even got there so the teacher could get in trouble. Oh yes, my mom did not play that. The teachers got cursed out for not having discipline in place and were told not to call her because I was on their time
My children are 2 and 5, so they’re not even beating age, however I pop them when they get out of hand. I put them on time out most of the time though. My parents valued ensuring that we had a fun childhood and tried to shield us from the real world to a degree.
Fearful Moment: The scariest moment as a parent was when my children’s father was incarcerated. I was in college and he was supporting us financially. I mean this man bought everything for the kids and he looked out for me too. I could have saved my money and spent his money on myself, but I chose not take advantage as he has other children to care for as well. Choosing to continue earning my degree with 3 semesters left over quitting school to find a job to support my minies was a tough decision. I chose to stay in school and allow public assistance to help me. It was so frustrating because they’re not supportive of individuals earning a bachelor’s degree; I had to do extra work to continue getting my benefits.
We never stop to think about how the choices we make will affect others, so this taught me to take every little decision as a big one because one never knows what’s going to happen. I had to make another decision on what I was going to tell my kids about the absence of their dad. I decided to tell the truth. I dreaded taking my children to see him in jail. My daughter does not even know him; she thinks my dad is her dad, although she calls him grandpa. My son misses him so much. Nothing helps me feeling bad that my children have to experience this. This is worse than all the cheating and lying he did to me. I just hope he sees now that everything he does affects the children. Hopefully he comes home and gets himself together, if not for himself, for his children. He’ll be home from doing 3 years in January 2016. I wonder what that will look like…I feel anxious and nervous about that.
Fearless Moment: Now that it is over, it was worth it because now I have a degree and a job that pays decent salary and great benefits. My children have everything they need and want. I had to depend more on my family for support with the kids and that caused friction in my home.
Support System: When I got pregnant, I had no friends, and that was why I was hanging out with the girls from my block. My family on the other hand was excited, except my dad. My dad was happy that I was having a baby; however he was disappointed that I did not choose a better guy. My children’s father was what they call a ‘hood buggar’ lol. He hung out on the corners and knew everybody; he was not your typical family man.
Final thoughts: I want my kids to look back on their childhood and be able to say that their childhood ROCKED!! Now that I am a parent I learned that you can do something simple for your kids and it means the world to them. I say that to say, my parents made my childhood fun on a budget. I want upward mobility so I could take my children to places my parents could never afford to take me; like Disney World!! My parents have prepared me for parenthood.
Like I said, there was not a maternal bone in my body until November 25, 2009. My maternal instinct kicked in spontaneously. I still don’t know where it came from. I am traditional and family oriented and I will carry those values on to my children. I will teach them honesty, loyalty, the value of an education, a righteous way of living, and eating the right foods. I will pass down those family values that were passed to me and continue being the great mom that I know I am.
Age: 25 Year you graduated high school: 2009 Year you found out you were pregnant: 2010 Number of children: 1
The Uh Oh Moment: I will never forget this day! It was a spring morning, May 20 something. My son’s father & I had a strong suspicion I was pregnant, but obviously the test confirmed it all. I traveled all the way from Harlem to his house in Brooklyn to take the test. I wanted us to share that moment together; we were excited.
During the pregnancy we argued a lot! It was a tough time because we didn’t know each other as well as we should, so we bumped heads a little on certain views on parenting and what not. And it was a stressful situation because I was going to school full time and neither of us were employed.
The Mom Moment: For me it was all in the decision making. In other words when my mind was made the rest was a given to love and taking care of my baby. But if you want a more specific instance where I felt like a mom for the first time, it was probably when I started “nesting”. At 8 months pregnant, me and my family painted the room, put together the crib and baby changer, and arranged the stuffed animals… [we] just had everything for when the baby came home. I felt so ready for his arrival.
***Any man can be a father. It takes a real man to be a dad ***
Father/Dad: My son’s father & I have a healthy relationship. I would say in comparison to most young adults in our age group with children we do a great job at co-parenting, but that didn’t come easy at all! I had high expectations for Antonio as a father only because he showed a side of himself that convinced me he would be a good dad.
When my son got sick his father and I didn’t leave the hospital for a week. He risked losing his job with the police department. He was there every step of the way. He takes my son every weekend and I have him during the week. He picks him up and takes him to doctor appointments if necessary. He gives me money in hand and anything my son needs he gets it so we’ve been pretty successful in that way.
Overall he is a very good dad. He does his best to be fully involved and consistent. I feel that as a man he actually enjoys being a dad.
Them vs. You: I was raised by mom who is a Jehovah’s Witness so I try my best to stick closely to the moral values I received from the Bible as a child. I feel like spirituality is very important to give to your children and I am privileged to be able to pass that on to my son. He loves God.
It hurt my feelings when my mom would always nag me. It made feel like she didn’t see me as independent and responsible. It took a while for her to learn certain boundaries and to respect me as my own woman. But then it’s kind of difficult to do that when I live under her roof.
Surprisingly my father began to gravitate towards me once he found out I was having a baby. But before then he was usually nowhere to be found. You know, very in and out.
Fearful Moment: In April of 2014 my son suffered from these severe seizures. I thought I was going to lose him. It was very hard for me to cope with his illness. All praises to God he isn’t sick anymore! I learned a lot from that trying experience. I learned how strong children are and how much of a fighter my son is. I learned that God won’t give you something that you can’t handle; and with his help I handled it.
Fearless Moment: My son is literally the tiny male version of me!! It astounds me sometimes. He is four and he already finishes my sentences. My favorite first was him standing up in the crib, using the potty, and first day of school.
It just made me cherish and appreciate all the blessings that come with being a parent. There are no perfect situations, and there will be hard times, but giving it your all and seeing those little smiles and hearing those little laughs makes it all worth it.
I had to realize that every time my son tells me he loves me, kisses me, hugs me, I must be doing something right.
Support System: Well my closest friend moved away to DR last year. We were trying to keep in touch via email; I would write and send pics from time to time. I haven’t spoken to her in months though….She was very concerned and worried, and she had every reason to be. However her concerns and worries didn’t get in the way of her showing me love and support.
My mom always tells me that I do a better job with my son than she did with me and my siblings. But I don’t agree with that, I wish I was half the mom my mother was.
Final thoughts: At times I felt like the worse mother on earth. I find my strength in God and my mother and all the other mothers who struggle and do their best to provide for their children.
I was young and carefree, living life recklessly, going down a destructive path. When I brought a life into this world, it was no longer about me. That forced me to start thinking ahead and wanting better for myself; to be a better ME in general so that I could be the best mom for my son. I just hope that when he is 25 years old he can look back and say that his mommy was a great mommy. Nothing would make me happier!
Name: Phylicia Gomez Age: 27 Year you graduated high school: 2004 Year you found out you were pregnant: 2006 Number of children: 2
The Uh Oh Moment: I found out I was pregnant when I returned home from Daytona, spring break April 7th, 2006. I was 18. Back then I still lived with my parents but I was home alone.
I was at home watching “Crash” and I couldn’t stop crying. I was like, Why am I so damn sensitive right now???! Maybe my period is coming. Then I was like, Well my last period was February 17th. If it was coming it should’ve been here by now…. So after the movie went off I walked to the 99 cent store. I got the test, went upstairs, and took it. I was thinking If I’m pregnant, I guess I’ll schedule my appointment for my termination tomorrow.
Three minutes later I looked at the test and there were 2 lines; one very faint, but 2 lines. My heart skipped a couple of beats. I didn’t cry…I didn’t smile…I wasn’t sad…I wasn’t happy…I just put my coat on and went to the emergency room. They gave me a urine test and it was negative! But then they said they’re going to do an ultrasound just to confirm that I’m not pregnant.
The Mom Moment: As soon as the ultrasound began, there it was; Mickaylah’s strong, 7-week old, 150 bpm heartbeat. I knew then that no matter what anybody said I was going to be a mommy in 9 months. I became a mom at 4:49pm on November 17, 2006.
***Any man can be a father. It takes a real man to be a dad.***
Father/Dad: My first thought was, “Who is this kid’s father???” I had a boyfriend but I had recently cheated on him and I was unsure. I wish I could say I didn’t know any better, but I was 18, I knew exactly what I was doing. I just didn’t care. But I’m still with him as of today. He forgave me and we have grown up together. That was almost 10 years ago.
The first thing [the other guy] said to me was congrats to you and your boyfriend! He was my friend. We had sex one time and I got pregnant. Then I told my boyfriend. He told me he wasn’t ready and that I should terminate my pregnancy! But I decided to continue my pregnancy and for the whole time I was alone because not long after finding out I was pregnant, they both got arrested and had to serve time in jail.
My boyfriend was released in December right after Mikaylah was born. Her father is currently still serving time. I spent most of my pregnancy back and forth to Rikers Island. So my daughter now has a father and a daddy. My boyfriend and I are still together. He cares for Mikaylah like his own. Her father is being the best father he can be from where he is, but his situation prevents him from being her daddy.
Them vs. You: My father is very family oriented I try to do family activities with my family as often as possible.
I’m a lot like my mom in many ways!!!!!! She is the best mother I could ever ask for, but she was very young raising me and my sister. She was passive and let us do whatever we wanted as long as we did well in school. After school extracurricular activities were our decision. Growing up we had no bedtime, we could dance how we wanted, listen to whatever kind of music we chose, and watched what we wanted.
I try to limit my daughter’s “Nicki Minaj” intake and keep her involved in different clubs because I feel like as long as she’s busy doing things, she won’t be able to be pregnant by 18 like me and my sister were.
My father told me that having this baby was going to be the worst decision I could ever make. He told me I wouldn’t finish school and that I’d be a bad mother because I’d have no education. This conversation happened when I was 7 weeks. The next time I saw or spoke to him, I was 9 months pregnant. I didn’t speak to my father during my whole pregnancy.
I knew what he said was wrong. I was always a motivated girl. I knew I was going to be a great mom! So his words didn’t really affect my confidence.
Fearful moment:My scariest moment was when my daughter drank perfume!!!!!! She had poured it in a cup and drank it! I was too scared to take her to the hospital thinking they would open an ACS case on me so I dealt with her at home. I never took my eyes off that girl again!!!!
My lowest moment as a parent was in 2011. I was pregnant again and I’d found out that my unborn child was very sick when I was about 5 months pregnant. She died intrauterine. I was depressed for months after the death of my baby and I wouldn’t even talk to my big daughter. I felt like I was dead with a heartbeat. It was the worst time of my life. And I completely shut my daughter out of my life during those months. I’ll never forgive myself for treating her the way I did.
Fearless moment:Her first step; she would only walk if you had food for her. She was such a greedy little girl.
Support system: I was the first of all my friends to have a baby.
All of my friends were shocked. My best friend Stephanie was happy to find out she wasn’t the reason I couldn’t really enjoy our Daytona trip.
All of my friends are still around. We’ve all grown up and we try to make time for each other as often as possible. My biggest support system since my daughter was born has been my mom and my step dad. They’ve been there for us since day one!
From party to pregnancy, here since Day One!
I find my strength in my babies. I know that they need me to be the best mommy I can be. Oh and caffeine……LOTS OF CAFFEINE!!!
Final thoughts: Being a mom is the hardest job in the world!!!!!! There are no days off, but it’s the only job I’ll do happily for the rest of my life!!!!!!! The love I have in my heart for Mickaylah, Mason, and my angel Maeci is incredible! It’s like, how could you love somebody else more than you love yourself?? I do it every day and it’s a wonderful feeling. I wouldn’t change it for the world!!!!!
Name: Elaina Cook Age: 27 Year you graduated high school: 2005 Year you found out you were pregnant: 2012 Number of children: 1
The Uh Oh Moment: I found out that I was pregnant while at work at the age of 25. I did not confirm my pregnancy until after work that day. I bought a home pregnancy test after discussing it with my best friend who lived in New York and went to my boyfriend’s house to take it with him for moral support.
When I felt that I was pregnant I had numerous thoughts running through my head. There were only two distinct thoughts that I remember vividly. One of my thoughts was that I need another place to stay. I was living with my mother at the time and I had one year left of my master’s program. My second thought was that I did not want to keep it; I was not ready to have a child while still in school and living with my mother. So I packed up my belongings, found an apartment, and moved out before telling my mother that I was pregnant. When I finally told her my reason for moving out, she was disappointed but she understood and was shocked that I followed her demands.
When growing up the rule for her daughters was if you get pregnant no matter the age, you no longer could live at home with mommy.
The Mom Moment: I officially considered myself a mother when I felt the baby kick for the first time while she was in the womb. Of course I was carrying the baby for four months prior but it didn’t feel “real” until I felt her kick.
***Any man can be a father. It takes a real man to be a dad.***
Father/Dad: I have known my child’s father for ten plus years. In a sense, we were best friends. The relationship was loving but still strained. There were numerous questions about infidelity throughout the entire relationship that were never resolved before nor after the baby was born.
At the time he provided me with the moral support that I needed to assure me I could handle a situation of this magnitude. He convinced me to keep the baby and listed all the reasons why having a child with me would be so great. He witnessed the birth of his daughter while still hiding the fact that he was seeing his wife….
Throughout my entire pregnancy my child’s father was secretly reconnecting with his wife who I was under the impression he was separated from. Now grant it, yes I was aware that this man was married when we started seeing each other. Knowing him for ten plus years when we started dating, I never questioned or challenged him. When he informed me that he divorced his wife I believed him. My guard was completely down and my intuition was turned off. After two months of secrecy of the relationship, our mutual friends informed me about it, how long it was going on, and what his future plans were in regards to me.
Over time his compassion and love towards me being pregnant became a burden and a setback for him. So when I found out what transpired, I forced him to move out of the apartment and he has not seen his child since the day he left (three months old).
Them vs. You: When it comes to my parenting style, I am still learning. My daughter is young and she is at the age of exploration and learning how to establish her own independence. However, in the future, I do believe I will adopt my mother’s authoritarian parenting style and combine it with my own style in the hope of becoming an authoritative parent. Growing up I did not have an opinion when it came to socializing, academics, etc. With my daughter I want to value her opinion without being dismissive when she gets older with the hope of establishing such a relationship where she is comfortable enough to come to me with a problem or a concern. Of course, it is not okay to be friends with your children, however, I do want my child to feel comfortable enough come to me at any moment.
The harshest thing my mother ever said to me during my pregnancy was, “When you have a daughter you will see.” Now this may not sound harsh, but I heard this comment every time I voiced what I did not like in regards to what I wanted for my unborn baby in addition to how I was going to raise my baby. Her comment was basically saying that I will regret disagreeing with her ways. I felt that was a bit much, especially at the age of 25, I expected my mother to see some value in my opinion. I felt very disappointed and alone during my pregnancy because everyone that I expected to be there for me turned their noses or backs towards me.
Fearful Moment: My scariest moment thus far as a parent was when my child was returned to me from her father with scratches all on her face. He refused to give me an explanation and I felt helpless. My job is to protect her at all costs and I felt like I failed her at that moment.
Fearless Moment: My favorite first moments are the day she was born, the first time I saw her crawl, and after I came in from the store I saw her walk for the first time. Her first word was “ball” which is so weird to me because I expected it to be momma or dada.
Support System: I had no support system from family the way that I intended, and at this point there was nothing prepared for the baby’s arrival. I cancelled my baby shower and decided to max out my credit cards to buy what I needed for my child. My motto was and still is: at the end of the day no one owes me anything and I need to provide for my child at all costs.
My sister witnessed everything that transpired and moved in with me to help me with the baby so that I could find a better job and finish my last semester of graduate school. Words cannot express the amount of gratitude and appreciation for my sister.
She was my rock throughout my entire pregnancy. Our relationship has always been strained growing up, but this pregnancy brought us closer than ever before. So every day I try my best to remind her how much I appreciate her. Grant it we had some rough patches with her stepping up to help me with the baby but we were able to work through it as sisters.
I lost so many friends along the way during my pregnancy because I realized many of their true colors as time went on until the birth of my baby. My closest friend’s reaction was surprise. No one in my social circle thought that I would actually be pregnant.
I found my strength from God, my sister, and my friends. My friends and family gave me the courage and the strength to surpass the negativity and the constant nights of worrying. Prayer every moment when I feel low gives me the power to face it all. Without God’s forgiveness and love I would not be the mother that I am today.
According to Dictionary.com, suspend means to attach so as to allow free movement.
The definition that is relevant here is to keep from falling, sinking, forming a deposit, etc., as if by hanging.
In the interest of growing and experimenting with my style, I decided to invest in a pair of suspenders.
Being raised in the church, I learned early on the value of a belt (even though at one point, Monday – Saturday, I was a Baggy Saggy Barry myself). Especially now, if I walk out of the house and forget to put on a belt, I feel like less of a man; incomplete and juvenile. I feel improper and unkempt. As if I have no type of act right and home training.
But now that I know my pants size and I refuse to go even one waste size too big, I am ready to try a different anti-sag style/method.
Hence the suspender search.
As I am in the men’s clothing store, checking out the variety (which I found by the belts) I realized something as I looked at what seemed to be pieces of a D.I.Y parachute set; I don’t know how to put these on.
I thought about bothering one of the employees for a quick tutorial, but once I receive their assistance, I feel this moral obligation to buy something. I wasn’t sure if I was walking out with these straps yet.
Then something a little bit more unsettling came to me: I was never taught how to put these on….
90% of my hygienic habits, pride in appearance, impeccable fashion sense, even my growing self-awareness came from the influence of women. How to tie a tie, the proper color belt to wear, how to fold and wear a pocket square, what side of the street to walk on, all came from various male figures in my life. My knowledge of chivalry and etiquette is a gumbo of different dudes and old heads that have been in my life. I have a conglomerate of tips and tricks on how to be a better man from all walks of men. I have a plethora of “son do this” from everyone but one person….
I grew up thinking my father was dead. Some years ago I learned that my father was alive and well. When I was younger, he used to be around a lot and the family loved him. Then all of a sudden, he’s somewhere in the Baltimore/Boston area; possibly with another family.
As I figured out the D.I.Y straps in the security mirror, I felt suspended; toholdorkeepundetermined;refrainfromformingorconcluding definitely. There was no primary instructor on my male know-hows. I was robbed of having an exclusive source on gender definition. I taught myself how to shave when I was well into my twenties. My grandmother introduced me to the two barbers in my life. A deacon in my church showed me how to tie a tie. I Googled different knots. I figured out how the right watch can set off the right outfit. And at well over 25 years of age, I STILL struggle with the whole black vs. brown wardrobe conflict.
Men. If you made it, you need to be there. The only excuse for not being in your child’s life is death. Everything else, you need to work through. In this day and age of easy access to ANYTHING, children need their primary teachers/filters. That’s Mommy AND Daddy. My Grandmother did a damn good job but as you see, there were some quiet assists. I’m grateful for the men that stepped in when needed, but where was my head coach?
So I DID end up asking a floor staff in a different menswear store about the suspenders. And I boldly took my new found knowledge to the first store because they were $2.00 less there. Now guess who has another option in is growing repertoire of style. THIS GUY. Yet another random man helping me out….
The father of my child has a good heart and is a great guy. After she came into the world he helped out a lot; …when he came home he helped. He was there consistently for the first year and a half of her life. Because we were together after we broke up, it seems as if he broke up with her as well.
He is not there as much as I want for their father-daughter bond but she loves her father; and in her eyes, he is the best thing ever. I don’t want her to have the mind frame of resentment towards him. I’m not the one to deny a father their child unless he’s denying my child. ********Click the pic below for the full story.********
Honestly no. You have your opinion about the person you chose to be a father. The child is innocent. When the child comes of age to where they are asking about the father, that is your chance to explain the situation to them. I think about the sequence of the situation; from the being of the relationship, to the pregnancy, and after. Somewhere between then, something went wrong. Not all single mothers are single because the father didn’t want anything to do with the child. The father of my child has a good heart and is a great guy. He just lost himself during my pregnancy.