For solo single moms, watching an ex freely move on is hard. The father doesn’t have to drop their child off at school or throw the ball at baseball. He doesn’t have to worry about a fever at midnight, or deal with not being able to go on a date, because there’s no babysitter tonight. Sick kid? Mom has to stay home from work—again. The parental responsibilities fall on mom and her personal life gets sidetracked—and that’s OK because mom goes to bed with a clear head at night and wakes up to a beautiful child in the morning. She’s supermom.
It still hurts.
Hurts to see wedding photos. Belly shots. Newborn pictures. But you hurt for your kid—not yourself.
My single mom friend, *Rosa recently discovered that her ex-husband got his girlfriend pregnant. Girlfriend is having a baby girl in the Fall. Look, people move on—this is a fact.
This wouldn’t hurt so much if Rosa’s ex paid his child support and honored the court ordered visitation. He doesn’t. Rosa is experiencing a lot of grief right now, so adding a pregnant girlfriend to the pot is not easy. If ex is not paying child support to their son, how will he pay for his new daughter’s needs? How will the new daughter effect Rosa’s son?
From President Obama’s mouth: “What makes you a man is not the ability to make a child, it’s the courage to raise one.”
The painful truth about raising a child as a solo single mom is that the guy has it easier. He visits if he feels like it. He pays child support if he feels like it. It’s his world and the child just lives in it. I know a lot of wonderful single dads who are the complete opposite of this—thank God for them. Friend from HS got someone pregnant—casual encounter. Found out she was pregnant after they stopped hanging out and was told, “Surprise, it’s your kid.” His GF (now wife) was in the bathroom brushing her teeth. My friend was there when his baby was born. They did a rightfully-so DNA test. Welcome to fatherhood! Court came next. Child support and visitation was set up 1-2-3. My friend and the mother of his son aren’t together. My friend is married now and his wife is pregnant—and she loves her husband’s first born like it’s her own son.
But there’s something else I just can’t understand. Girlfriend knows about Rosa and her son—and likely doesn’t know about the monumental child support arrears or lack of emotional support he shows his son.
After going through my own version of Rosa’s story, I can say with clarity, I would never date a man who didn’t emotionally and financially support his child. It would scare the hell out of me.
What’s your take?
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Disclosure: *Rosa is a real person. With real feelings. And she will be OK.