Looking for better circumstances
11 February 2020 at 3:28 pm #36628
I’ll try not to use too many words here, but i might fail (single parenting gets complicated).
I’m a single dad living with my ex girlfriend and our 1.5 year old son. His conception was not planned, (a car accident left her ovaries damaged and doctors telling her she would never have children) but her dream was to have a child so she proceeded with pregnancy. I never wanted to be a father but I’m doing it despite the guilt of not wanting to on a daily basis, which feels unfair to my son. Every dream I had went out the window (wanted to be a touring musician) and I have to physically try to not harbor resentment or ill thought towards my son and my ex even though I’m plagued by these thoughts sometimes. Fast forward to now, and it feels like I’m participating in her ‘dream’ of parenthood much more than she is. I get up with my son every morning and handle breakfast while mom sleeps in. She handles naptime while I’m at work. Then I get home and handle lunch after he wakes up (mom continues to sleep until she has to be up for work). After some play time I handle dinner and later in the evening I get him down for bed. I usually end up staying up too late because I feel the nights are the only time I have to do anything I want and that leaves my son with a tired and groggy dad every morning. Even when she manages to wake up at a decent time she spends a half hour to an hour on her phone browsing Facebook or Pinterest. How can I reclaim an equal field of parenthood? And has anyone else had to shed feelings of negativity after becoming a parent replaced chasing their dreams?11 February 2020 at 8:37 pm #36637
It’s a tough situation you’re in. I’m afraid I can’t help on the front of dealing with guilt over not wanting to be a parent specifically, but I think all parents have plenty of guilt over something, although your seems substantial and perhaps even existential. The two things I’d say to that is to A: forgive yourself, you didn’t plan to be a parent but are doing your best inspite of that, so I don’t think you’ve got anything to feel guilty about and it’ll only increase your resentment. Regarding the resentment about having to give up your dream, I’d hope that this is something you can work through. It may be possible to return to this dream when your boy is older, or you may indeed have to let go of that particular dream, but if you do it in a positive way (without guilt and shame), then I think there will be an opportunity for a different dream at some point, your life is not over! Remember your son is very little at the moment and it’s hard, things will get easier as he gets older. This is a very simplified path through a very complex situation, so I’m sure it won’t always feel achievable, but for your own and your son’s sake it’s worth to persevere and people on here can always help when you need to vent.
The above would probably be a lot easier to achieve if your situation changed and I’d highly recommend to not continue living with your ex-girlfriend! There may be financial implications I’m not aware of, but if you can at all make it happen, move to somewhere close-by and either take your boy with you or see him as often as you can. That will leave your ex needing to step up a bit more and give you a bit of space from her, which can only be a good thing by the sounds of it.
Hope this helps.
Carol12 February 2020 at 12:11 pm #36644
Does your ex girlfriend work outside the home? Your balance of childcare doesn’t sound very equal if she is home all afternoon & evening.
Either way I think you need some you-time, the same as every parent does. Can you sign up for a music-related evening class once or twice a week that helps you build your skills. Can you find a group and get some local experience before changing your job in a couple of years when your ds is older.
Plenty of parents have jobs that involve travel and there is no reason why you can’t do the same once your son is a little older.
And forget the guilt. I don’t know a parent who doesn’t feel guilt about something and it really doesn’t help.12 February 2020 at 2:48 pm #36657
Carol: thank you for taking the time to write all that. Quite a lot of it came from a perspective I hadn’t really considered before. Also currently the only thing preventing us from living separately is financial dependence on each other, so I’m trying to get some money saved up for a deposit on a new place but it’s proceeding slower than i anticipated.
Kathy: Thanks for your response! To answer your question, mom works from 4 or 5 PM to anywhere between 9 or 11 PM (she’s a waitress), which counters my job of 11 AM to 2 PM or 8 AM to 3 PM depending on the day (as a delivery driver) the only me time I’ve got is a weekly Dungeons & Dragons campaign with friends on Wednesdays (and an hour of gym time, but i don’t really count that. She does though) meanwhile she goes out to the bar twice a week on Thursday and Saturday, but frequently adds other days in, sometimes going out as many as five nights a week.12 February 2020 at 10:39 pm #36664
I don’t have the time to read and reply to your post right now but had to thank you so much for making my night by mentioning dungeons and dragons. I can relate to your post and the adjustment to personal ambitions. Whatever is going on in your life you will conquer. The fact that you’ve held on to the D&D gem you’re a hero in many peoples eyes. That goes to an 11.13 February 2020 at 12:46 am #36667
Thanks Beginning! I’m gonna be headed over to D&D right now as a matter of fact, we’re gonna be finishing up the Rick and Morty crossover campaign. It’s been an absolute blast. I’m glad you found some amusement in that, I appreciate your kind words 🙂 If I’m lucky one day when my boy is older maybe I can DM a campaign for him and his friends!