When I was growing up, I knew a lot of people from broken homes. One thing that had always registered with me were people saying, “Don’t talk bad about the other parent in front of the kids.” When I became a single parent myself, I swore that I would hold to that, and I did…for 10 years. During those ten years I never said a single negative word about my daughter’s father in front of her; hell, not even if she was in a different room. She had to be out of the house completely, and I would make sure to get my game face back on before she came home or back in the house. But that’s over.
FIRS THINGS FIRST I don’t want to hear comments like, “Well, you chose him, so that’s what you get” or anything in the region of comments like that. I own my part, and that is actually part of the reason why I stayed silent for so long. It wasn’t the only reason at all, but it was a factor. I knew what I was getting into when I got pregnant and I accepted it.
Ally’s father has always been a negligent father. In her entire life he has never attended a single parent-teacher conference, Open House, doctor visit, and only went to one ballet performance, which I have always strongly suspected his mother of forcing him into. I know the circumstances under which she was conceived was far less than ideal (a story for another time), but it should not matter; your child is your child, and regardless of who the other parent is, you have a responsibility that is more than financial. Children remember the memories made, not the money you paid to the government, unless your last name is Carter, Jackson, or Combs. Still, for 10 years I stayed quiet.
I stayed so quiet that I sometimes got ripped by Ally because she thought that I was taking his side, no matter how many times I reassured her. Hell, I never even told HIM what I really thought about the promises made and not kept, or those that never happened and should have.
BREAKING POINT! I finally reached my breaking point in March 2015. Ally and I were in Costa Rica, where we had been living for almost two years, it was her birthday, and this idiot sent her a used gift! Now don’t get in my butt about how “It’s the thought that counts,” and, “People don’t need expensive gifts.” First and foremost, this man makes good money. Second, this is NOT the first time he has done this. Third, there was ZERO thought put into the gift. He said he packaged it along with his mother’s, however, when it finally arrived, it wasn’t there! I told him to wrap it up well to avoid postal thieves, but he didn’t, and it got stolen. It has rolled around in my head that he never put it in there at all; after all, why would he not track or insure it, or even seem to give a damn when he found out that it was “gone”. Then again, why would he insure a used gift. FFS!
From then on I had no problem saying negative things in front of Ally. I did not rant and rave, name-call, and tell her to cut him out of her life (the little bit he was there); I just stopped defending everything he did, admitted when he made mistakes, and basically stopped covering up for him. I still encouraged her to have a relationship with him, but my days of being his shield was over. As she got older, I got more and more candid with my thoughts. I think it had more to do with Ally than him. The older she got, the more his mistakes and negligence bothered her. No parent is okay with seeing their child in pain, so the more pain he gave her, the angrier I became. Now, at the age of 15, it is No Holds Barred. I hide NOTHING. I don’t volunteer things, but when he messes up, I do not hold back, and I never will again.