(Be warned. This story starts off very vague).

About two months ago I found myself in a situation where I didn’t know how it would be best handled. I asked my friends “what do you think is best? How would you handle this situation? If Alex were in this situation, he would do it this way, so should I just do it that way?” Most of my friends said “Yes. If Alex would do it to you, then you should too. Why would you do more than what he deserves?” I thought “fair enough”, but still questioned it, because I wash’t sure if other options would cause less problems. Well, I had the conversation again, but with another friend, I’m pretty sure I know which friend it was, but I don’t completely remember… Her response was simply: “Well I don’t think Alex is a very good example of the choices you should make. Don’t you want to make your choices to set an example?” And that was that. She was right with such a blunt, easy, commonsensical statement. Just because someone might do something to me, doesn’t mean I should do it back to them. I want to BE the example, and not just the example, but a really good example. 
Well, that situation came and went, it wasn’t a big situation, just something minor that I didn’t know how to approach, but thanks to that little moment, and the smart words of a friend, I’ve been (even more) conscious about how I handle situations, especially with Alex, when the relationship we have can and will affect our daughter so much. 
Mother’s day came and went, and as I mentioned, I was hurt by Alex’s lack of acknowledgment. Part of me always excuses him, it’s just who he is, even when we were together, this was a common occurrence. But, I’ll say it again: it’s just who he is and I’ve come to a point of acceptance with all this. This father’s day, I didn’t want to be bitter, I didn’t want to hold resentments, and even though I know Alex will not follow my example, Marlowe will, and thats reason enough to be the example. 
We made a card, something I hope would be sentimental for him. He’s mentioned they like to take a walk to visit the ducks. I hope they always continue to do this, at least until she’s old enough to hold on to that memory. I was so pleased when Marlowe woke up from the nap and I showed her the image. She took her little finger and immediately starting pointing exclaiming “dada dada”. I said “Yes! That’s dada! We are going to make a card for him!” I kept the lines simple, I wanted the focus to be on her colors. I pointed to each space, directing her where to paint. She did an amazing job. Being a little artist is in her genes. She loved it, and much of me loved it too. 
I’m never-ending amounts of grateful for my father (and step-father) on the father’s day (and always). I’m so incredibly lucky to have my dad in my life and to have our relationship grow so much in the recent years. But even still, father’s day is still a hard situation for me. For the most part I’m fine, but I do feel a quick hit of hurt from time to time. I stayed off instagram and off the internet in general yesterday. Like on mother’s day, it still hurts to see the families celebrating father’s day together. Our family didn’t work, and I suppose that okay, considering I’m happier now, and life is much easier now, but I still feel the sting from time to time, especially on celebratory days like these. Sometimes, as terrible as it sounds, the thought of Alex not being in the picture at all, still comes to mind. I know, it’s terrible, but it still seems like it would all be much more simple that way. Regardless, I told him yesterday (and I did and do mean it): “Thank you for coming back into her life. She loves you a lot”. I know Alex loves Marlowe a lot (a lot a lot). And I am certain he is tremendously caring with her on the two days he has her, but I still feel and know that I carry the brunt of the work. At the end of a long day, it’s still just me to tend to her every need and no one to tend to mine. That part doesn’t hurt so much, because like I said, I am happier now, and it brings me satisfaction everything I am able to do, for my daughter.
I hope everyone had a wonderful day celebrating the father’s in their lives. Squeeze the one you love extra tight if he is there through thick and thin, through the good and the bad, and comes home each and every day to help you and your children, because without them, life would be much harder. 
Happy belated father’s day to all you loving fathers and single mothers. You deserve nothing but praise. 


  1. Hey doll…I've been MIA in the blogging world for a bit…slowly coming back. I just read this post and cried. My thoughts exactly. If he were out of mine and my daughters life entirely it would be so much easier, simple. Although I did get flowers on Mother's Day from him…I felt I deserved more. We also painted him a picture for Father's Day…I felt bitter having to SHARE the day with him…He doesn't deserve it. I do. It's my day along with all the other days…So happy belated Mother's Day and FATHER's Day!



  2. Did he like the painting? I hope so. Even though you did it to set a good example for Marlowe, I also hope that one of the side effects was that he felt like a real a-hole. 🙂 That's so negative, I know, but I'm just so annoyed and aggravated on your behalf, even though I don't know you!

  3. You are so right to be the one to set the good example, it is the best thing for your daughter! My boyfriend has always had to be the one to go out of his way to be nice and set the good example and it used to make me angry because his daughters mom would not only not appreciate him, but would lie to make him look bad, now I'm glad he does it. I can see what a positive effect it has had on his daughter! You are a great mom and are doing the right thing by letting her dad in her life, even if he isn't doing the best job. My boyfriend is a great father and his daughters mom moved her away, bc she wants to be a single mom, its so sad when parents do selfish things like that. It warms my heart when I hear of a mom who is going out of her way to include the Dad (and the other way around), its so great you the kids!

  4. I know what you feel, my hubby also like yours. We never celebrate
    anniversary or mother's day or fathers day. There is nothing i
    can do about who is he but to accept who is really is.

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  5. I'm one of those lurkers (the good kind!) and I just wanted to say "Way to Go!" for the way you handled it. Sometimes the higher road is difficult but at the end of it all, your little beauty will learn amazing things from your example!

  6. Kudos to you for the way you handled this situation. You're a wonderful example to Marlowe. One day you will see the results mirrored back in the way she treats others and the reward will be priceless.

  7. When someone treats you poorly and you react in a similarly unkind manner, it only perpetuates an awful cycle and accomplishes nothing good. (Heathcliff, Hindley, and Hareton of Wuthering Heights, anyone?) When I see this, I just want to ask, "Do you really hold yourself in such low regard that you would stoop to that other person's level?" Why would you want to set the bar so low for yourself? I believe in rising above the pettiness of others, otherwise, what's the difference between you and them? Kudos to you.

  8. In the past five years since we've split up, I've never been able to withhold a holiday gift from my daughter's father. He has not returned the sentiments. He has not given a holiday gift or a card to me. Mother's days have also come and gone and nothing. This year was actually the first year he gave me a gift. We were at a small picnic with his family and he gave me a jar of jam and a small painting he purchased at a crafts fair that was going on on the grounds. I was touched, yes. However two weeks later he left for a two week vacation…a vacation he planned without putting one day aside for our daughter. She was very hurt, being almost eight…and even after promising he would call and write, sadly he did not make any contact with her. This was a month ago.
    This past Father's day he must have been hurting. He began texting at 8am to speak to her. I finally convinced her to call her dad…and then I asked if she would like me to take her to get a donut with him. (Our situation is complicated.) Although he had made no previous plans to see her on Father's day…He made it obvious he wanted to see her. I fit in an hour of our time to take her to play hang man in a donut shop with her dad. I did not bring a card or gift and as usual, she forgot the ones she made for him at home. It is what it is. I did what I felt was fair and just considering the circumstances. But I no longer feel compelled to do more than I feel comfortable with in my particular sitation. Yes, yesterday I celebrated myself…I am a single mom who is both mother and father to my daughter and always has been. This day has never been easy and continues to be tough. I understand the feelings of sadness and a bit of the mourning that goes along with these "holidays."

    • I think you were right in this situation. I think in most cases it's good to do a little bit extra, if you can, but in this one, it was last minute and after a very neglectful month, what else were you to do? Like you said, it is what it is. It's hard, I still find myself hoping and wishing he will grow and change, but some people stay the same, and the best thing we can do is, change ourselves.
      I'm with ya, single mamas unite, eff the holidays.

  9. This was a really good thing for me to read today. I am also struggling with how the heck to act toward my own small daughter's papa, who sounds a lot like Alex. Sometimes I take the high road, other times it feels like I'm being weak for doing so somehow. Like, why should anyone reward him? But you're so right, just be a good person for yourself and your kiddo.

    Thank you for writing about your adventures in single-mamahood. It makes me feel less alone in this blogospere overflowing with (seemingly) perfect husbands and fathers, for real.

    I wrote about what fathers' day was like in our house without a father too, here's a link in case you ever feel like reading another single mama's adventures yourself! http://sarahvaneckhughes.blogspot.com/2012/06/fathers-day.html

    You are awesome, thanks for writing.


    • Ah yes, def. Sometimes it makes you feel like a smaller person or not deserving enough when you do so much good for someone who doesn't return it, doesn't it? I think there is always a line, but in situations like this, I'm going to keep trying to give without getting.

      Thank you, I will certainly check it out!

  10. i've never commented before and finally want to say how i love the honesty and true emotion you show us in your posts! you're a wonderful mama to your little one and she is so lucky to have you to guide her through her life! this was a really moving post 😉

  11. You're a wonderful mother! And you are setting a great example, Marlowe is one lucky lady..

  12. That was an incredibly nice thing for you to do. I don't know if I could have done the same, in your situation. Kudos for taking the higher road, and for being a good person, in addition to being a good mom.

  13. You definitely did the right thing and if I had a child I would hope I could be a big as you were given the situation.

    I'm usually a 'you get what you give' kind of person. I'm constantly let down by my expectations for everything and everyone in my life. I'm learning to let go of expectations but in the process I've been letting go of going out of my way for others who don't do the same for me.

    • I understand this very well. It's something I struggle with a lot. Certain situations make it easier. :/

  14. Good for you, Drea. You did the right thing. Any small acts of kindness in this situation are building blocks for a peaceful childhood for Marlowe.