We all have our love stories. Some of them are becoming ghost stories after a breakup. In my instance, there is no chance, as the fruit of this past love story, is a beautiful girl. She is going to keep us talking to each other. At least for a couple years more.
Separating when you have children, is always a hard decision to make. Sometimes it is not your decision at all. You just have to put up with the new reality. Especially when you are a woman. There is an expectation, that naturally, the child belongs to a mother. Like the umbilical cord hasn’t been cut off at the labour… The math doesn’t work here. Fifty percent of genetical material suddenly multiplies, and you are left with a child, one income and lack of idea how to manage…
But when the months go by, you start to breathe more stable and realise that it shouldn’t be solely mother responsibility to take care of a child. People keep telling me that I’m somehow lucky, as the father helps me with taking care of our daughter. Even some of my close friends have an opinion, that the role of a father is to help. Not to be an equal parent with the same level of responsibility.
You are juggling the full-time job with a commute, cooking, cleaning, washing, attempts to upgrade education. Not to mention your disappearing social life. Feeling like a machine. And when the evening arrives you are falling asleep during a conversation with the kid. Waking up in the middle of the night, still wearing clothes and most of all, you are full of remorse. Hence, you will be called a bad mother, as you are not sacrificing enough…
One day, when you finally decide to sort out the parenting arrangements formally, the officer at the court is saying, that you cannot force a father to take care of his own child. He makes an advice just to stop letting any contact between the child and the father, just to make him angry. As the anger is the best motivator. And this is the moment when your body responses with hyperventilation. Your brain is not able to process – where is there a place for a child’s welfare?
The solution might be a shared parenting. But it might be very excruciating for the father, who most probably will have to give up his comfort. If you are unlucky, you might be reminded, that spending time with friends and (God forbid) going on dates is inappropriate. You should forget about any type of relationship. Your needs (especially sexual) should not exist. You have to be a mother and provider. A robot. Full stop.
As a single parent, I still believe that agreement can be reached. That needs of a child can be respected, as well as needs of BOTH parents. The solution is unlikely to satisfy both sides, but meeting halfway is possible. It just requires willingness, not letting your own anger to take over and have a bit of respect for the other person. Unfortunately, my usual high level of optimism is somehow lowered lately. But when I look at her, playing and messing around, I believe that I will manage. It will be difficult and tears will be shed behind closed doors, but I hope, that my daughter will grow into wise, strong women one day.