Transformation

by mssinglemama on October 19, 2009

We are in the swell, waiting for the wave to push us onto the beach.

In a few weeks Benjamin will be starting at his big boy private Montessori school while Mommy goes off to work again. And something else is changing.

Benjamin’s father won’t be here this week

Bumblebee costume

or the next.

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His Canadian passport has expired along with his drivers license and permanent residence card. That means my little guy will be all mine for the time being.

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Which is just fine with me. And as for the mess his father is in, I don’t feel an ounce of guilt. For the first time in three years I can’t help him. These expirations, the unemployment, the phone calls from the child support agency – I can’t solve any of these self-inflicted quandaries.

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And although I feel relieved that the other shoe may finally be dropping, that he may finally be out of our lives instead of just kind of here, I still don’t know how I will answer the questions when they come. I am also coming to peace with the fact that Benjamin’s relationship with his father is nothing I can control.

Whatever happens between Benjamin and his father will be between them.

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But in my version of the story as soon as Benjamin finds him he kicks his ass for me, Sunny style.

Don’t tell him I said that.

And yes, this will be one of the posts I delete as soon as Benjamin can read so lay off and let me vent.

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{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie McDonald October 19, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Don’t blame you one bit! Always a relief to let go and go on.

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Sunny October 19, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Sunny Style? You sayin’ something lady? j/k

I’m really sorry for Benjamin but you knew that this day would be coming.

Feel free to vent and maybe when Benjamin is older he’ll have a better understanding of your struggles as a single mother if you let him read this. But that’s your call.

Am I a selfish, uncaring bitch if I say that I’m actually jealous of your situation and wished my ex would disappear? Ok, I can live with that.

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JOLENE October 19, 2009 at 1:13 pm

I think most single mothers would be lying if they didn’t, at one point, wish the ex would just fall off the face of the earth. I can relate. I think in your heart you have known for a long time that it was only a matter of time before your ex would no longer be involved in Ben’s life… and I too know that in the bottom of my heart, that my ex is not going to be a figure in my kids life for much longer. Call it mothers gut, call it common sense, I know that he will bolt before we know it and it is alright to voice your thoughts on the situation because I know that I am not the only single mother out there that can relate to how you are feeling.

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Rachel October 19, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Both the best and worst part of my custody situation is that my ex lives 3000 miles away. If he were here, he’d not be a part of her daily life, so better that he’s not.

I’ll never understand how dads can do that. Clearly they’re not dads or they wouldn’t.

Dreaming of the day right with you when our kids go kick ass in the name of mama… :-)

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MaNiC MoMMy October 19, 2009 at 1:36 pm

I haven’t been by in a while so I wanted to catch up. I like this post. You’re totally entitled to vent. He made his bed, let him lie in it. You’re a rockin’ cool mom fo shiggity sure!

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arscuore October 19, 2009 at 1:39 pm

Yet another mama that is walking in your shoes, honey. Vent away. It’s been 2 weeks since the ex has even talked to the boy on the phone. I think the end is in sight and it still makes me sad and even angry sometimes. I have yet to fully relinquish “control” of that (their relationship), probably because I’m even more protective because of Aidan’s autism.

I, too, will never begin to fathom a “dad” who can just fade away.

It is soo much easier without him around, though. I can’t imagine the stress in our lives if he were still in our area.

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Restless Mama October 19, 2009 at 1:44 pm

Well said lady.

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Anne Y October 19, 2009 at 1:52 pm

Hoping for the best. My daughter’s dad dropped out of her life (he only lives 5 miles away) and has not attempted to make contact in almost 8 years and I have enjoyed every minute of it. She doesn’t ask questions about him anymore and has come to realize he’s a loser and it’s not her fault. According to her, she has a daddy (my husband) and she couldn’t ask for a better one. You’d be amazed what they learn over time and she’s only 9 now!

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April October 19, 2009 at 2:00 pm

I’m secretly wanting the same thing from his father, he seems to just be, doesn’t engage with our son other than come join me on the couch will I drink some more beer. But like you said I can’t control their relationship, I can’t make him get off his ass and enjoy being with his son will he’s young and wants you to be apart of everything. And, so I don’t know how I’d answer the question of “we going to daddy’s?”

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Nancy October 19, 2009 at 2:21 pm

I totally understand how you feel. The boy’s Dad moved away almost a year ago, and it has been the best year.
I used to dread the weekends where the questions would be asked
“Do we have to go to school today?”
“Nope”
“Do we have to go to Dad’s?”
sometimes the answer would be yes and the tears and the worries would follow. They wanted to stay home, they wanted to stay with me….I’m so glad I don’t have to put my babies in the car crying anymore….

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Sheila October 19, 2009 at 2:30 pm

I do very much understand where you’re coming from. And it’s something I have to figure out myself when Andre is old enough to figure out his dad isn’t around.

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Jeff October 19, 2009 at 2:35 pm

So sad. Difficult to read this post as well as the flurry of responses…If I may interject the OTHER side of the coin, there are often times I wish MY EX would vanish, leaving ME with full custody (especially when I ask him what he ate for breakfast the morning before at his mom’s and he happily chirps “Luna Bar”.) – He’s almost 4 and after my divorce I was given no LESS than 50% custody at any time and often it can be more. But I realize how important his mother will always be to him, and so I make every moment of my time with him count. Being an irresponsible, negligent parent is NOT exclusive to sex, yes there are tons of deadbeat dads out there, but they are NOT all like that. My greatest reward is when I pick up my son from his moms and he runs into my arms and hugs me tightly.
Some of us get it.

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Rachel October 19, 2009 at 8:18 pm

Definitely agree that it’s not tied to gender.

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Amyinbc October 20, 2009 at 8:04 pm

Great point..

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Erin B October 21, 2009 at 11:36 pm

Agreed. It is a stereotype, largely because it is true in most cases… but not ALL.

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Erin B October 21, 2009 at 11:37 pm

And, I must say – kudos to you for being there for your son. Not all children are so lucky. He will be incredibly blessed!

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Glenda October 19, 2009 at 2:39 pm

Sometimes the kiddos are best with the mom especially when their dad is a deadbeat one. He definitely is not worth the “role model” for Benjamin. Keep doing what you’re doing…be proud of yourself…and keep rockin! it’s okay to vent! :)

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Robin October 19, 2009 at 2:41 pm

ah, interesting … transitions and transformations are always exciting and never racking, but it equals an adventure every time. Listen, you are not a bad mom when you secretly wish the ex- to drop off the face of the Earth, it’s not because it’s an inconvenience for you, rather it’s coming from a mother’s instinct to protect her offspring from being hurt by anyone or anything that poses a danger. Sadly, some parents are an emotional and psychological threat to the well-being of their own children. Take deep breaths … and don’t worry Benjamin is still really, really young in the scheme of remembering things to the point of long-term harm/damage. He’ll grow up knowing you … and the man of your dreams!

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famejane October 19, 2009 at 2:53 pm

Aren’t you concerned because of the fact that your ex-husband’s girlfriend reads your blog that she (or he) might print your comments out and show them to Benjamin someday?

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big ole mama October 19, 2009 at 4:55 pm

OMG – YOU, famejane, are a real downer! I agree with others who noted: you downed the potential of an engagement, then downed ms single mama’s new job, describing it as a “yawner”. Now this? At what appears to be one of those miracles of fate that turns out for the best? You just don’t get it. Or just don’t get happiness for others. Sadly, you will never, ever be happy yourself until you get rid of all of this negativity. So sorry for U.

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mssinglemama October 19, 2009 at 6:00 pm

No. My ex and his girlfriend don’t read my blog, in fact, I don’t even think they have a computer in the house.

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Katie October 19, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Alaina…I love you :)

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carrie October 19, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Not commenting on your writing as I don’t really agree with it but, Benjamin looks ADORABLE in the costume!

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Anonymous October 19, 2009 at 4:25 pm

No one is commenting on Ben-jammin’s kick-ass Transformers costume!

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Kaye October 19, 2009 at 5:08 pm

I am not single but I am a mom and I read your site regularly. I found it through Matt Logelin’s blog. I just wanted to tell you that I can’t imagine anyone judging you for ranting about your ex. He deserves every rant you have. Personally, I believe that him not being in yours or Benjamin’s life is the best thing that could happen. 18 years ago my brother met a woman who had three children, ages three, two and one. She was working three jobs to support her family because her husband never had. She was separated from her deadbeat husband and he was actually in jail for a third drunk-driving charge. He came in and out of his children’s lives for awhile, always reeking havoc (like never changing their diapers when they visited him or giving them potato chips for dinner, or just not showing up when he was supposed to). Eventually he just stopped coming around at all and disappeared altogether from their lives. My brother, a 19 year old man at the time, fell in love with this woman and her children. They got married a few years later and started a search for the kids birth father, because he had not relinquished custody and my brother wanted to adopt those children, because they truly were his.

In the end, my brother adopted those children, they are all grown in and in college now and my brother has been their Dad since the day he walked into their lives. He has may not technically be their blood, but there is no doubt those children are truly his. Their sperm donor is not their father, my brother is. I know that

I guess what I am saying is, even though it can be painful to have a child’s father leave the picture, even when he is a complete asshole of a person and a father, and it can be hard to try to explain someday why to the child, in the end it will be only for the best. It may open the door to giving Benjamin the father that he deserves in the form of someone else like it did for my sister-in-law, or it may mean that it simply restores a sense of structure and calm to Benjamin’s life that he didn’t have because he had a father who wasn’t at all father material.

I think you are a great mom and I have the utmost respect for single mom’s everywhere…thanks for sharing your story. Sorry my post was so long…your post brought back the pride I have in my brother.

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Bobbi Janay October 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm

I am not going to condemn you for putting your feelings out there, who cares if they read this he should know the truth about his dad.

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Lori October 19, 2009 at 5:27 pm

Now you don’t have to wonder if Ben’s getting the kind of care you expect while he’s at his fathers. Obviously I don’t think you’d send him where he’d be neglected- please don’t misinterpret. But I always wonder if my son is being attended to the way I’d like- eating right, did he get his nap, consistent discipline, interaction, etc. while he’s with dad. And we’re together. But I’m waiting for our other shoe to drop. He’s facing a significant amount of prision time so… I’m on the same page (Well, not entirely, but I get it…) Hope Ben’s ok = )
Loved the book and have got nothing but compliments on the set!!! Thanks again!

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Heather Kendrick-Gerlaugh October 19, 2009 at 5:49 pm

Gosh, this is wonderful! Congrats, mama. I know this will be so very good for you all. <3 <3 <3

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cibele October 19, 2009 at 5:54 pm

“that he may finally be out of our lives instead of just kind of here” Oh how I know what you mean.Sometimes is better for them to be all gone than just kind of here. Benjamin looks awesome in his costume!

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T October 19, 2009 at 6:07 pm

I certainly don’t blame you for venting but I liked Jeff’s point of view too. There are some dads who do give a damn.

Your vent reminds me of a situation with my b/f. He has full custody of his oldest son because his ex does the same thing. The “kind of” in their lives thing. And my b/f vents much like you do.

I now understand it. It is not his own pain projected (well, partly) but mostly, he hurts for his son who repeatedly gets the short end of the stick in a maternal figure. As the prime parent, of course our natural instinct shows in these situations. Our first impulse is to protect our child.

Great pics of your son, per the norm. He’s gonna have a Happy Halloween!

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BriBedell October 19, 2009 at 6:51 pm

My sperm donor has lived in the same city as I my whole entire life. Sometimes even streets apart. Do I feel sorry that we don’t have any ounce of a relationship. Nope. He was never a father. Just a worthless scumbag. My mom married my DAD when I turned five. He’s the only dad I ever care to have a relationship with. If it is meant to be that he remains in your sons life it will happen. But if not? Well I think I turned out alright and thank god that my single mother mom of three found a dude who cared enough to date her even though she already had a butt load of kids :)

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Angie October 19, 2009 at 7:54 pm

I have to confess that I wish Little A’s dad would just vanish since he visits for a few hours every four to six weeks. But I am also heart broken to hear Little A say that she doesn’t want to see or go with her dad, because I have so many cherished memories with my dad. If there is anything I have learned from being a single mom, it’s that you can’t make him be a dad and neither can they.

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Megan J in Ohio October 19, 2009 at 8:47 pm

For those of you looking to make an ex magically disappear…
I was twenty years old when I finally figured out that my then husband could not be counted on, so I made a decision to not count on him. Fast forward 3+ years, my daughter doesn’t really know him, I am getting married again, and all I have to say to get him to go away and quit tormenting her (no-shows, nightmares, hating other men(her), and on and on) is tell him that he doesn’t have to pay child support. If he just leaves us alone, I’ll call off the dogs. Well, worked like magic – and I honestly feel no guilt about this because if he really loved her, he would have fought for her, and he would have wanted her to have the money she needed. Instead he let me sell everything I could to buyher perscritions. Not a dad you need around!

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Amyinbc October 20, 2009 at 8:06 pm

Sad Megan, but you did the right thing. He made his choice.

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Jenny S. October 19, 2009 at 10:18 pm

I was once told that I cannot control everybody else’s happiness. Meaning, it’s not my job to make sure everyone else gets along and is happy. So – given that you have done everything in your power to facilitate a happy relationship between your son and his father, the fact that it may now be in jeopardy is not your responsibility.

The blessing in all of this is that you and Benjamin have John Bear. And it seems to me that he is a much better influence on your son than your son’s father is. Sad and unfortunate, but true. My sister found herself in a similar position a few years ago. The father is still in the picture, but it is the step-father (my sister’s new husband) who picks up the pieces and loves her kids unconditionally. And it is from him that they are learning what a real dad is like.

I’t's too bad life is like that, isn’t it. But isn’t it great that there are the “John Bears” out there who make us all smile again, and who teach us to trust again.

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Vijay Eswaran October 19, 2009 at 11:36 pm

The costume is so cute.:)

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Katherine (SOLO dot MOM) October 20, 2009 at 5:45 am

Vent Alaina, vent! Even amidst the bliss we still have to deal with the ties that bind us sometimes. Trust me, I know.

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Star October 20, 2009 at 5:50 am

Here’s to the “other shoe.” May they all drop right away so that no one out there is stuck waiting. It’s the waiting that is the hard part…glad to hear that the sh*t finally hit the fan in your world so you can get on with it :)

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francesca October 20, 2009 at 7:18 am

My son’s father passed away 2 years ago. it was/ is the hardest thing me and my child have gone through. i understand there are some guys out there that dont care, but when you child gets older they can go find them and talk to them and ask them questions and be there. my son wont have that. just remember, just because they are not around right now, doesnt mean they are not there.

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mssinglemama October 20, 2009 at 11:24 am

How right you are… thanks for sharing this. And if you haven’t already discovered her – Mommy Pie is a single mom blogger as well. The father of her daughter passed away just a few years after they separated.

http://www.mommypie.wordpress.com

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KA October 20, 2009 at 8:51 am

My daughter’s father has never been involved and I have been scared to death about the subject coming up more as she gets older. I have answered some questions. I told her that some people aren’t ready to be parents but I was so I am her parent. She was perfectly happy with that. I answered her questions about him = and away she went. That was when she was 7. I know there will be more questions and have no idea how I will answer them but I do know that our stable little world is best for her.

For years I have watched her reaction every time anyone says the words dad or father and she makes no reaction what so ever. This is her world and she seems to accept it as it is (and the therapist I took her to to help delve into that little mind of hers said the same thing. She is a very well-adjusted, happy kid). Benjamin is young enough that he will get over it and grow up to be a better adult because he has a great mom that created a world of stability for him.

And vent away! It’s frustrating and we all need to vent sometimes. It’s better to do it here then at a moment when you are completely frustrated and crap comes out of your mouth in front of Benjamin that you would, in a normal state, never, ever say.

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Amyinbc October 20, 2009 at 8:09 pm

‘Canadian passport has expired along with his drivers license and permanent residence card.’, well that kind of says it all doesn’t it? If Benjamin was my child I would move heaven and earth to make SURE I could see him.

Your ex sounds like an irresponsible child! Good riddance. Should your son seek him out when he is older so be it. But for now I think his absence is a GREAT thing!

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Loops October 21, 2009 at 2:26 am

Don’t be too pleased. I’ve just had to tell my 13 year old his father has died

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Laura October 21, 2009 at 7:38 am

I didn’t read all the other comments, so I might be repeating everything. B will figure out who his father is in time. You said you are going to let him make his own decision and he will, and he’ll probably end up kicking his father’s ass, just as you said. I’m glad you won’t put pressure on him and you’ve let their relationship develop. His father let the relationship fall apart. What an irresponsible ass.

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wyliekat October 21, 2009 at 7:48 am

Can’t blame you for the venting. Don’t want to, either.

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June'Bug October 21, 2009 at 12:22 pm

I love your post, and vent all you’d like, no need to apologize! This is your blog…a place to spill your feelings out over your keyboard….quite honestly, I think you put it nicely! That ex of your has made his bed and is lying in it….hope he likes sleepin’ in, cause it sounds like he’ll be lying in that bed that he made for quite sometime!

As for Benjamin….love his costume, and he’ll figure out all that dad stuff for himself a few years from now, and that ass kickin’ your talking about….it’ll come around….you’re spot on with that one!

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Erin B October 21, 2009 at 11:39 pm

I don’t think Benjamin will have a problem with you feeling this way when he is old enough to understand. Well said.

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Mindy October 22, 2009 at 5:41 am

I wouldn’t delete the posts. When the time comes and he is ready, it will help him to understand just a little bit better about how his father truly is. These are your memories and experiences with the man that also gave him life. And who knows… some other man would have already filled the “daddy shoes” and it won’t be that important to him. At least that’s the way my son feels now and he is almost 19. Just giving you something to ponder.

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Tara October 22, 2009 at 8:14 am

I too know what you mean by: “that he may finally be out of our lives instead of just kind of here”. Only I’m the step mom and I wish the mom would either do or don’t. But this middle business is OLD. Sees them once in every great while and maybe takes them to a movie – maintaining her sometime status of “cool mom”. Nevermind that she hasn’t contributed a penny to their upbringing in years. And is a no call no show 75% of the time.

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boardermom October 23, 2009 at 2:26 pm

My X dropped off the face of the earth last May (5 months ago.) I pray that in my situation it stays that way…but probably not, becase I just filed for CS :P

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Marie October 29, 2009 at 9:22 am

Totally understand – and no judgement passing here…that’s for sure.

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Ellie October 30, 2009 at 9:09 pm

I am in the opposite situation. My ex-husband refuses to give me sole custody, he insists on joint custody of our 2 1/2 year old son, but he does not want to have to change his lifestyle. He lives with guy roommates who like to drink often, and there are random people at their bachelor house (our former family home) on any given day. His makeshift room for my son is some carpet laid down in the unfinished basement (he is renting out the upstairs and living in the unfinished basement) and a twin bed in the corner. My son has even told me about a girl, who used to be a former friend of mine, who “took a nap in daddy’s bed”. It drives me insane, and I hate it that I have no control over what my son is being exposed to. When I bring it up with my ex, he tells me that he is just “living his life” and that it’s good for our son to be around a lot of people. He said the girl is just a “friend” and there’s nothing wrong with him having “friends.”
I work a 40 hr work week and also go to school, mainly as a result of his failure to provide anything for our family. Since he hardly works, he has stayed at home with our son 3-4 days a week for the past 2 years. I know that if I tried to fight for custody I would probably lose because he wants to be in his son’ s life. I told my ex I would be happy to take him every night, so I have been. He still parties almost every night with his new fling, my ex-friend. he said he really doesn’t care when he takes our son, but if I try to fight for sole custody he would fight back. I could only wish that he would just walk away, but so far he is not moving. Instead I end up seeing him 4-5 days a week to exchange our son, which is really frustrating to me. He also doesn’t have a car, so i have to drop off my son, see our old home, and sometimes the car of his “new fling/ex-friend” when I drop off my son before work at 7:30 am. The every other weekend thing doesn’t work for us because he mainly works on the weekends, and he saves me (us) money in childcare because he’ll take him during the work week. Any advice for having to deal with the father of your child on a regular basis, or any success stories of how anyone has been able to handle the other parent in their child’s life when you don’t approve of their lifestyle?

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Shannon Kieta November 1, 2009 at 10:36 am

Hi Miss Single Mama…
I JUST found your blog and really haven’t read too too much into it all that well, but enough to see you are a very busy lady! I do not know how you do it! I have two kiddo’s of my own Nico who is 4 1/2 and Abbie 14 months and two step-sons David 9 and Jake 8. My house is NUTS! I am married to Dave, who is a great guy (typical male), but great guy, and I can’t imagine him NOT being in my kid’s life. I can relate to the ex-wife/ex-husband feelings. I call my husbands ex-wife MY ex-wife. She is annoying as hell. The story goes on and on! There is no compromising with her. Seems like when it comes to children being involved in a divorce or a split relationship, they are used as the rope in a tug of war. Always to get even with the other one. I simply could not handle all that crap that you have to deal with. I hand it to you …you are a bigger person than I am. I probably would have killed him by now. I can’t take irresponsible father’s. Hopefully everything will work out for you in the long run. I am here if you ever need advice…on what? I don’t know! But I’m here! Shannon

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