In this post, I want to talk about a delicate subject for single moms which would be how to deal with an absent father. Most recently I answered a question on my YouTube Channel by a subscriber in which she had been abandoned by her daughter’s father when she was pregnant and their daughter is now two. You can watch the video below and don’t forget to click here to subscribe to my channel for additional content.
In any case, anytime I hear questions like these it obviously hurts my heart given my own single mother story which I also have a video on. Which you can watch below. No parent wants to believe that the other parent has up and decided to actively choose to abandon their child. Why do some of these men punish a child (who did not ask to be here) by being a bad dad leaving their children wondering what the heck? Who knows and honestly you may not ever know. And that is when you have two choices.
We can wallow in what the absent father is or better yet is NOT doing but in the end, what will that change? You cannot change other people and make a man do if he does not want to. And what I have come to learn is why would you want to? If someone does not want to be there voluntarily as hard as it may seem, don’t make them. That will only make the process worse AND do not continue to punish yourself for what someone else won’t do which I know that so many of us single moms are guilty of. AND SO. As a single mom, I am going to tell you how to deal with an absent father.
Don’t Be A Victim & Don’t Make Your Child a Victim Either
There are plenty of people who have an absent father. Some fathers leave voluntarily and some involuntary (i.e death). I do not want to be all morbid but I think oftentimes what single moms can have a big tendency to do is to victimize themselves and their child and perhaps even subconsciously. When really many children grow up without a father for many reasons and they turn out just fine. Some moms can start to plant the seed in their child’s head that they are somehow incomplete, less than, and that they think their child is going to grow up with some deficiency in them because they have an absentee father. I do not think that any (or most moms) intentionally plant this in their child’s head but I promise you I have had plenty of single mom friends and they say things to their children that have the sub context that they are damaged because of their absent father.
Case in point: The wrong way on how to deal with an absent father is to play the victim.
For example, this would be one of the wrong ways on how to deal with an absent father. One of my friends told her son that he was not good at sports because he did not have a dad there to teach him. And then she cried and cried during football tryout as her son fumbled the ball and stated that he did not know how to play because he did not have a dad that taught him. This is an indirect way of putting your child into victim mode. Perhaps the child would have been better at football if his dad would have shown him and perhaps he may be a child that is not good at playing sports. Who knows? Why speculate and why was my friend calling me from the bleachers bawling her eyes out as her son attempted to play football. He was having fun she was making into a federal case.
Children are not blind and of course, they notice that their father is absent or inconsistent BUT they do not need you to rub it in and make them feel their emotional well being is doomed. We can quote the stats on how children do better with their father being in their life but there are also fully productive people who grew up without a father and they are just fine. And in the end, when a father wants to be absent there is nothing you can do to make him be there, what are you going to do show him the stats? He cannot even be a father let alone care about what statistical data says about him supposed to be there.
If his conscious cannot tell him to do that, then I doubt you spitting some stats is going to help anything. So don’t believe the hype that something is going to be wrong with your child. One of my favorite books that I swear his mother and him reminds me of my son and I is the one by Trevor Noah “Born A Crime” and in an interview with Oprah he says the following about his mom:
In writing this book, I never thought it was about my mom; most of us believe we’re the hero of our own story. But I realized I was always my mother’s sidekick. She stood up at a time when many people were afraid to—when a country was being punished for standing up. She said, “I will live the way I believe,” and she did. She’s the example I live my life by. For me, she’s one of the most gangster human beings. (Source).
I think that if he can come from South Africa, come from being poor, and having an abusive stepfather who shot his mother in the head and is successful. And appears like a functional human being, I am pretty sure that your child can be successful as well. Click my affiliate link to buy the book. It is awesome and a must-read in my opinion for single moms.
I am not telling you that you have to be a robot and that you cannot be sad about how someone has done you. Let’s not wallow in self-pity and cry in front of our children going on rants on how jacked up both of your lives are because their father is not there. Because that is the mindset that you are feeding your child and you are placing limits on you both.
There Are Father Figures Out There
Remember the friend that I talked about in the above paragraph that cried because her son could not play football? That same friend had an older brother that she was very close to and her son was very close to but for whatever reason, she could not see that. She only focused on the negative of him not having a father. A father that she had a restraining order against due to his abusive relationship toward her. So why the tears of him not being there?
Donating some sperm does not make a dad. And fathers come in many ways shapes and forms and that does not always include biology. Don’t cry about who is not there but look at the wonderful male role models in your lives and your children’s lives who are there.
Case in point: How To Deal With An Absent Father By Getting a New One
My mother’s boyfriend has legit been in my son’s life since he was two and my son is now eleven. And he is way closer to him than his own father. When my son needed direction on how to pee standing up, he was there. When my son did not make the basketball team he was there to give him a pep talk to cheer him up. He takes him to the barbershop if I have to work late and my mom cannot pick up my son he is there to pick up my son and feed him dinner before meeting me after work. And even he takes him to go see movies that I would consider boring like Star Wars, sorry not a fan but they love it. He calls the house to ONLY speak to my son and he does it because he wants to. No one makes him.
My point here is that biology does not make a father there are plenty of loved adopted children all around the world that can and will tell you that. And I personally do not ever feel that it is too late. I would much rather have a wonderful stepdad for my child or male family member who DOES do than beg for an absent father who doesn’t want to. As I told my son when he became disappointed a couple of years back for when his father once again decided NOT to show up and my son started to feel like it was his fault. I did not talk trash about my son’s father. I simply pointed to my mom’s boyfriend. I used him as an example of how someone behaves toward you when they love you. You won’t have to beg for them to come to see you, talk to you, or spend time with you, they just do because they love you. And when I said that a weight was lifted off my son’s shoulders because perhaps he realized I was right. It was not an hour-long monologue of holding each other and crying about his dad’s shortcomings.
I was pointing out that someone who was not blood-related to him chose to be a father figure to him simply because he wants to. Not because he has to but because he chooses to. And like that those hints of confusion about why his own father does not do right by him faded because there was a man and plenty of men in our family who do. Who even, every year will go on vacation and travel to another state (including my own seventy-something grandparents) to spend time for him for his birthday and we do that almost every year. For family vacation. See Universal Studios here and Myrtle Beach here for my son’s birthday and even our family trip to California click here.
This is what we call in the counseling reframing, looking at the good or finding the silver lining in the situation and not just focusing on the bad. Sometimes we have a tendency to do that overlooking all of the blessings we have in our life by looking at one or two things you don’t have (in this case a father). But it is important to keep all things in perspective.
Case and point: Family Does Not Always Mean Biology
When that movie the Blind Side came out it was the story of Micheal Oher. Michael Oher’s mother suffered from alcohol and drug addictions, and she was unable to give him (and his 11 other siblings) the attention and care he needed growing up. Oher’s father was frequently in prison, where he eventually was murdered. Micheal got adopted by a family when he was a teenager. And he went on to not only get into college but to also play in the NFL.
So what is biology is biology will only bring pain. Why not choose those who want to give love freely. It is not too late for your child to have a father figure at any age, it also does not mean that your child is doomed, or that they cannot be loved, or that because the family is not picture perfect or their father is not “traditional” then (fill in the blank to mean something bad).
When that is simply not true for a lot of people. Look toward the positive male role models in your lives, mentors, and even when you look for a future spouse then make sure that person will be a wonderful father figure to your child. All is not lost.
Forgive But Don’t Forget
I have spoken on this time and time again, that you can forgive but you need to do that from a distance. This can vary for many people now if the father of your child just got up and left one day never to be seen or heard from again, I think the forgiveness from a distance can be easier. Yes it may take time and it may even hurt at first but since they are not all in your space it is a lot easier for you to forgive and let go. NOW, for those who have those absent fathers where one day they want to be there and the next time they don’t. A year or two passes and then they come back for a month or two and then they leave for a year (this is like my situation). Knowing how to deal with an absent father is a little harder in this situation because now they want to come back little all this time has not passed, sit in your child’s face like nothing happened. And then repeat, it is very easy for you to get irritated and re-triggered time and time again and they rinse and repeat their absentee fatherless behavior.
But that is when you have to take control of the situation, forgive, and move that person out of your space in a way that you do not get affected. However, that may apply to you and that is your right. This should go without saying that you don’t need to sleep with them and keep trying to be in a relationship with them after they abandoned you and your child. Forget that! Forgive, move on, and they don’t exist in your world.
Trust The Process
The Bible teaches us:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you before you were born I set you apart” Jeremiah 1:5
The fact that your child is born is not surprising to God nor are the decisions that the absent father has made but YET He allowed it anyway.
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 3:3-5
Do not be ashamed of what you have gone through, being a single mom, do not be ashamed of how you became a single mom, and do not be ashamed of the fact that your child’s father decided to be an absent father. God knew all of this was going to happen and instead of thinking that it is going to be your demise maybe it is that thing that pushes you to be stronger.
Not getting child support sucks but that is what pushed me to make my own money and pushed me to go leaps and bounds in my business because there was no safety net. Only me and so I pushed to get what I wanted out of life and all of that was because I was a single mom, all of that was because I was trying to find a way on how to deal with an absent father and the way to do that was to trust God. Trust the process and to (In some weird way) rejoice in my suffering and allow it to pull me through the fire being refined in the process and coming out like a diamond in the end. Sure it hurts and there is pain but if God allowed it… then. There is a reason for that. No temptation [regardless of its source] has overtaken or enticed you that is not common to human experience [nor is any temptation unusual or beyond human resistance]; but God is faithful [to His word—He is compassionate and trustworthy], and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability [to resist], but along with the temptation He [has in the past and is now and] will [always] provide the way out as well, so that you will be able to endure it [without yielding, and will overcome temptation with joy]. 1 Corinthians 10:13
Nothing can overtake you so much that you will just sit and die and live in obscurity. One of the single moms in the Bible that I always mention is Hagar. The woman who was forced to get pregnant by her child’s father’s wife, Sarah. And you thought your situation was jacked. When Abraham sent Hagar into the wilderness with some water and a little bit of food Hagar sat and cried ready to die of dehydration and that is when God spoke to her.
When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she began to sob. God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. Genesis 21:17-19
The process was that she had to go into the wilderness, the process was that she had to be brought to the breaking point in thinking that she was going to die in the middle of nowhere; her and her child BUT. What she did not see was that well right next to her in which she could drink, and once she opened her eyes and realized that being cast away by her child’s father was not the end all be all God told her to get up and he will make her son into a great nation.
The BEST way on how to deal with an absent father is this. Just go and just be great. Be a great nation, make your child into a great nation, and allow God to help you do it and do not focus on being in the wilderness just focus on the well. If that makes sense. If not then watch my video below on how to get your baby daddy, actually one of the more popular videos on my channel and don’t forget to subscribe by clicking here.
So these are all my tips on how to deal with an absent father and as someone who has dealt with it myself I am not going to give you some 1,2,3 steps such as pat your child on the back, tell them it will be okay, and then lean on each other and cry and take years and years to mourn and get over what happened. You won’t get that here, what you will get is me telling you to do the BEST and MAKE THE BEST decisions you can make for your child and yourself and the absent father is a none freakin factor.
If you know a single mom wanting to know how to deal with an absent father then please share this post with her. AND I have an Amazon bestseller on my single mom book that you can buy here. Or if you are not sure then about buying the book just yet, I want to give you the first few chapters for free which you can get by click here or the picture below to get the chapters for free.