My kids don't know their real Father, and that's okay!

4 years ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

I’m sure some of you are judging me simply from the title – and that’s okay too.

It’s not because I hate him, or I was trying to play a game, or because he never paid child support. It was never about that for me because, well, it’s NOT about me. I chose to make an executive decision, in the best interest of my kids. 

“Kids need their Fathers, whats wrong with you???”

No they don’t. What they need are positive male role models in their lives. Uncles, Grandfathers, Step-Fathers, or even family friends. Now don’t go twisting my words up and thinking that I’m hiding half my children’s heritage from them, because I’m not. They know they have a biological father. They know about his family, his ethnical background, his quirks and how they both have his smile. But they also know he has an “illness” that prevents him from being a part of their lives. I put quotations around the word illness because I no longer belive addiction to be an illness. It is a choice made everyday to either get help or get high. With the family history of addictions in my family (and his) I want my kids to be able to make their own conclusions about illness vs choice, when they are old enough to comprehend it. For now, I relay his addiction as a sickness, when talking to them and answering their questions, for fear of overexposing them. I’m usually all about honesty and transparency when it comes to my kids, so maybe I’m wrong in doing so, but I’m doing the best I can and that’s what matters.

I gave him a chance, actually many chances, to be a good role model for our kids. It was his decision to continue down a path of self-destruction that I refuse to subject my children to. All I asked was that he get clean and sober. Until then I offered supervised visits with me or an agreed upon individual, which he had no interest in, leaving me to file court papers for Sole Custody. Think he even showed up to court? He made no effort to better himself and at that point became more of a risk than anything else. I knew my children wouldn’t be safe with him and it’s my job to protect them, regardless of the scrutiny I knew I would face. And face it I did.

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Being a parent means growing up and putting your kids’ needs before your own. Period. Your problems are not their problems, and never should be. I wasn’t the ideal parenting candidate when I got pregnant with my first, I mean c’mon I was 19! But guess what? I took care of my business and took the necessary steps to ensure I was going to be the best damn Mom I could possibly be. He did no such thing. He liked the idea of the white picket fence with the 2 children and dog playing in the yard, while I cooked us dinner. He used to say it was his dream. I would look at him with doughy eyes, hanging on to every world, only to find out later it was all a facade. He didn’t want all that. He wanted to get high and party while holding me and our kids under his thumb.

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I guess some would say its my own fault for having kids with a man like him. Not once but twice even! His “lifestyle” and sometimes volatile nature were no secret to anyone. I was just a dumb kid that thought I was in love and that I could be the one to save him from it all. We met when I was only 15 and i thought he was the coolest thing since sliced bread. In retrospect, sliced bread isn’t even all that great. I much prefer a nice french loaf nowadays.  I sometimes feel that guilt, but I don’t let it eat me up, what’s the point? I wouldn’t change my decision for anything in the world. Long story short I was out of there 14 months after having my son. With a 2 month old daughter as well at that point, I knew I couldn’t subjuct them to their fathers booze and drug fueled fate. So I didn’t.

Now the only men in their lives are those who will nurture and support them, who will teach my son to be a proper man, and who will teach my daughter what to expect when shes grown. I am grateful every single day for those men and if they read this they will know who they are. Heres to all of you! For stepping up and being the role models every child needs. Your efforts do not go unnoticed

Thank you.

Who is the most positive male role model in your kids’ lives? Leave a comment and lets talk about it.

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