What a Single Mom Does on Father’s Day

May 24, 2013  |  

When I first became a single mom, I thought it was my duty to facilitate a relationship between my daughter and her father. I made her available for visits, made suggestions for fun activities and made a point to voice my opinion often—even when it wasn’t requested. I worried that my little girl wouldn’t develop the same strong bond with her father that I had with my dad who lived under the same roof. Then I realized that I had to let go—let go of my definition of an ideal family and let go of my fears for the future.  I had to let their friendship form with or without me.  Here’s what I decided to do instead:

I realized what he thinks about me doesn’t determine what he feels about our daughter.

There have been times when my daughter’s dad loved me.  Other times when he hated me—well, maybe strongly disliked me. And vice versa. But how we feel about each other doesn’t change his love for our child. It’s a separate, loving relationship.

I did for my daughter’s dad what I wanted him to do for me.

It took a big pair of big girl panties one day to offer my ex our daughter’s first picture she painted in her toddler program. I think it was a personal test to do unto others what I wanted them to do unto me.  My art gallery, um, my refrigerator, was covered with art projects, so I thought it was best to share the keepsake

I banned trash talking in front of my daughter.

I made a vow not to badmouth my daughter’s dad in front of her. I won’t say negative things to my daughter about her dad, even if it’s the truth. Although she’s just a baby, I’m learning to bite my tongue, stop rolling my eyes and silence huffs and puffs.

I made Father’s Day my daughter’s dad’s day.

No matter what’s scheduled on a custody calendar, my daughter’s father can exercise his visitation rights and celebrate the holiday with his child. When she’s old enough to make decisions, I’ll take her shopping to pick out a gift and a card.

I’ll never be anti Father’s Day, because I understand it’s a day that has absolutely nothing to do with moms.

Not long ago, Heather Hopson was a television host in the Cayman Islands. Today, she’s writing a different kind of story as a new mom for her new blog Diary of a First Time Mom. You can follow her as she transitions to motherhood and dating with a permanent plus one on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.


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