Monday, December 8, 2008

The Greatest Love of All

I'm a mother. My children mean more to me than ANYTHING in this whole world. I would die for them without a second thought. I would starve so they can eat, I would wear the same shoes for 3 years so they can have everything they need, and I have. They are my LIFE. I have 3 children, a daughter (7) and two sons (4 and 3), I was with their father for 6 years, waaay too long. He was emotionally and physically abusive towards me. In the beginning I would have never seen it coming. He treated me like a princess. He brought me everywhere with him, introduced me to everyone as "wifey", made me feel like I was his grand prize. Then after I moved to Atlanta with him, 17 hours away my entire family, he switched up on me.

He would drink heavily and alcohol is NOT his friend... at all. He would get violent over the stupidest things, then cry the next day and apologize. And I would forgive him, because as they say, love is blind. It was sparatic at first but as the years went by it got to be too frequent and just too much to put up with. I was trying to make our family work and raise my children the "right way", I never wanted to just be somebody's "baby mama." I wanted the husband, the house, the kids, the dog, all that. But I've learned all those things don't make a family. Undying love and respect is what makes a family, so just because Mommy and Daddy were under the same roof didn't make it the "right way." Not when Daddy was calling Mommy an ugly bitch right in front of our daughter and at the age of 4, she was consoling me. Telling me "Mommy, why Daddy call you ugly? You're so pretty, don't cry Mommy." and wipe my tears with her little fingers. I didn't want my daughter thinking it was okay for a man to treat a woman, the mother of his children, that way. And I didn't want my sons to be given the impression that was acceptable male behavior. But if I didn't leave, that's what would happen.

Three months after moving here, I learned I was pregnant. My immediate reaction was not fear, it was happiness. Yeah I was 19 years old, my boyfriend was abusive at times, and I had no family around but somehow none of that scared me. That's how I know I was meant to be a mother. Every decision I make, I consider them first and me second.

I left him in December of 2005 and from that point until very recently, he's hardly been there emotionally or financially for the children that he created, the children he saw born, the children who got excited at the very sight of him. He thought he could be a father just whenever he felt like it. Last Christmas, he called to wish them a Merry Christmas after months of not even calling them to say hello nor giving me a contact number to reach him if they wanted to speak to him.

So I didn't give them the phone. Because I am their protector.

I told him "You don't get to pick and choose when you want to be a father. I'm a parent every day until I die. I am teaching our daughter how to be a lady. I am teaching our sons how to pee standing up and catch a football. And you think you're doing your part by calling on a holiday? You aint doin shit. They deserve a father who is going to be a father, not a distant relative. So until you can be a real father to your children, don't call my fuckin phone again." Click.

Eight months went by before I heard another thing from him. He let his sons' birthdays pass without a call, let the first day of school come and go... not a single word. So when he did call I gave him an earful, even cried. I cried for them. The man they look up to most in this world didn't express a single care for them for almost a whole year. Once while moving, I was packing my daughter's closet up and she saw a picture of him holding her in the hospital the day she was born, and picked it up and looked at it for a minute.

"Mommy, is that me?"
"Yeah it sure is."
"I love Daddy."
"Okay baby."
"But I don't miss him anymore."

Wow. Only 6 years old and she could say something so deep. I was so mad and hurt for her that she went from his little princess to a little girl who has to face that kind of emotion. Remembering this, I went the fuck off on him. Made him cry. He asked to see them and I said I would have to get back to him on that. I know I sure as hell didn't want to see him, but like I said I consider my children first and me second.

I called them into the room and asked them, "Would you like to see your Daddy?" They all smiled big smiles and said "Yes!!" So I called him back and said "Okay, you can see them. BUT this is your last chance to be the father they deserve to have. If you don't have money to help me, then whatever. Money is resolved between you and me, they won't be effected by that. I've been doing that by myself for over 2 years anyway so that's not gonna hurt me. But you're not gonna hurt them again by coming in and out of their life as you please. So let you pull another disappearing act and I promise you won't see them again until they are old and wise enough to make their own decisions on how they feel about that."

And so far, so good. He's still crazy (as fuck. believe me, I have stories for days.) but he's also doing his share now, having them over to visit, paying for daycare, calling them to say goodnight, buying them coats and clothes, etc. That's the only change he's made, he's still one of those types of people who make you pull your hair out and say "what the fuck?!" on a regular basis but he is making a sincere attempt to be an actual father, so I'm willing to sacrifice a bit of my sanity for my children's sake. I could never be truly happy unless they are. They will always come first. Because my children are the greatest love I will ever know.


Ava Dior said...

i loved this post. and i totally uderstand. for you to be strong enough to put your emotions aside for your children really says a lot about you.

you are making great decisions as a mommy! keep up the good work :)

Me said...

it seems like you're a great mom. you make it seem easy and effortless. stay strong.

RAEthoven said...

omg i can really relate to this post. my father is the SAME way. i used to think my mother was just trippin and needed to chill out but once i got old enough to realize stuff on my own i built up a lot hatred towards that man. i used to think he wouldnt send us money because he actually just didnt have it, not outta spite towards my mother . and once i found out her called her out her name that was all i needed to hear. ive never seen my mother cry before and once she just finally let it out it mad me angry!!! what you're doing is so nice for your children. it sucks that i had to teach myself on how a man should treat me and i partly have my mother to thank for that. even when im "gettin down" lmao .

great post though, many men need to get hip to being fathers out here. any man can make a baby but it takes a real man to raise his children properly.

Naomie said...

i just came across your blog and i can totally relate so i had to comment.

I've learned to just focus on my son & keep what me & his father had in the past

Judging from the post you're a great mother, keep on doing what you have to do you keep yourself & your children happy

Jeanette said...

Love this post. Reading it, I had goosebumps because I can relate in so many different ways. My son's father is pretty much the same. Luckily, he doesn't call me on some bullshit tip anymore. It's been a while since him and I stayed on the phone for longer than 3 minutes. Being a mother, is a beautiful thing. I love my son more than anything. The older they get, the more they will realize the sacrifices you have made for them and they will appreciate it.

Thanks for a wonderful post. :)