If I could give my daughter absolutely anything in the world, I would give her, her father. It sounds slightly cliché, but it is very true.
I must say that I was expecting my daughter to one day ask me where her dad was, but I was not expecting that to be when she was 22 months old. My daughter was playing on the bed and I was busy sorting through some of my paperwork, when she asked me quite boldly, “mummy, where daddy?!” To which my response was silence at first, I assumed she would just continue playing. When my daughter asked me again, I froze and this time I looked up at her and as my mouth opened, a little voice inside of me screamed “WAIT!” I closed my mouth and then decided to find a picture that I had of him, I gave it to her and replied, “there’s daddy.” To my amazement, my daughter looked at the picture, smiled then proceeded to ask, “where daddy?” once more. I tried to explain in the simplest of ways that her daddy was away. I did not know at that moment what else to tell her, except he was away because really, he was away. He was away from her and from us. He chose that and I cannot explain now why he chose to be away from us, but one day I know I will have to answer that question. I just hope and pray that by that time, he grows up and decides he wants to be a part of our daughter’s life.
Being a single mother is difficult, but it is not impossible. I never chose to be a single mother, if I had my way we would still be happy together, but unfortunately sometimes life does not always work out that way. I have accepted that this is what it is and I believe that only God can change my circumstance because only He has the power to do so. I try not to focus any energy on it because if I do it will get me down and make me feel sad, when I have no reason to be sad. I have the most beautiful, caring and lovable little girl in the world, she is my best friend and I will always do my best to make sure that she knows just how amazing she is. Granted I am not a man, but I am currently playing mum and dad which puts a lot of pressure on me, especially as Bella is growing up and asking a lot of questions. God is my strength, in everything He has been there and He continues to hold my hand as He guides me down this rocky path. I trust Him because He has never led me anywhere that I should not go.
I look at my daughter sometimes and I wonder about so many different things, sometimes I think about things that have not even happened yet (naturally I am an overthinker), but I guess that is just what motherhood does to you. I always knew that one day I would have to give an account for where my daughter’s dad is. I don’t think that Bella deserves any of this, in fact no child deserves to not have both of their parents. There is no greater feeling than knowing that both parents are actively involved in a child’s life, whether they are together or separated. It is taking that bold step to be there solely for the child and to help to instil good morals and values into the child that makes a significant difference. Forming a partnership and working together to overcome and combat any issues that may arise. Some children only have one parent doing both jobs and those children are not any less than children who have both parents. The love that their mother shows them is often so astounding that this child grows up without their father and lives a happy, normal life.
I have set out to always show my daughter love and to always be there for her regardless of what is occurring in my life, she will always be number one. I don’t want my daughter to ever feel like she cannot do something because I constantly promote her self-confidence and independence by doing various activities with her throughout the week. I encourage her as young as she is to make her own choices regarding what she would like to wear down to which fruit she would like for snack. My daughter is fully aware that she has a voice and I allow her to use it to express herself. I will never allow anyone to put her into a box, because her purpose is too great to be concealed. Every child is a blessing and every child in the world was created for a reason, some children are destined to be lawyers, some are destined to be leaders, some are even destined to be pastors. It is our job as parents to work with our children to ensure that they attain the best. I don’t believe that we should force children down a path, dictating to them what they should be, because this causes negativity and puts a lot of pressure on the child. Allow your children to make choices and support them as much as you can (unless it is going to be detrimental). Forcing children to be something that they do not want to be pushes them away. As your child grows before your eyes you may just see their passion and their God given talents. So, keep building them up and working together to bring out the best in them.
To all of you amazing mothers, who are playing mum and dad, I would encourage you to never lie to your children about where their fathers are. Of course, there are some things that are best left unsaid, especially if you know that they will deeply hurt your children, but be as honest as you can. Children are so intelligent and they know what is going on most times, because of their inquisitive nature they are bound to ask questions. Continue to reassure them that it is not their fault at all, but their dad was given a choice whether he wanted to be there or not and unfortunately, he chose not to be. With that said always ensure that your children continue to know how special and how loved they are because they really are. It is not their fault if their father decided that he did not want to be involved, sadly we are often left to pick up the pieces and put them back together.
In reality, I think that dads who decide not to be involved in their children’s lives actually miss out on the biggest blessing which is their children. We don’t know if they have sleepless nights or if they ever feel guilty, but that is not our concern, our priority now is our children. They are the only things that matter because they need us for them to navigate through this thing called life.
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