A Man Like Mom

Good men exist in the world. I know they do.

There are men who understand that being a man requires more than having a penis.

Out there in society, amongst the deadbeats, cheaters and schemers are actual men. Men who not only know what it takes to be a good husband and father, but who are willing to do it.

I know this because I am surrounded by them in my own family.

Unfortunately, my husband is not one of these men.

Dove-Men-Care_Real-Dad-MomentsAs I half way watched the super bowl this past Sunday night, (in between the nightly events of preparing my boys for bed and an early Monday morning wake up call), along with the aforementioned amazing men in my family and their wives, I couldn’t help but notice the infiltration of dad commercials.

While I appreciate them and am touched by their sentiment, I tend to wince every time “Dad” or “Daddy” is said on the tv within ear shot of my boys. This never used to be the case. But things have changed for me over the last few years.

I understand that in the world, people have dads. I understand that ideally, no matter how it happens, it’d be beneficial for a child’s dad to be an active part of their life. I understand that as a mom, single or otherwise, I owe it to my children to foster a relationship between them and their father. And I understand that I cannot shelter my sons from the reality of their own dad, nor is that my responsibility.

I also understand the reality of who my sons father is and his capabilities as a dad. As much as I want him to be the kind of dad we all saw in the Dove commercial, he simply isn’t. Somewhere inside of him, for brief moments, he wants to be; and I think at times he thinks he is. Heck, at times, I believed he was. But over and over again, he proves to both me and my sons that that image is just that. An image.

The Dove commercial posed a question following its beautiful montage of kids with their arms spread wide, running, jumping and falling into the strong, loving arms of their fathers as they yelled, “Daddyyyy!” Across the screen came the words, “What makes a man stronger?” A few brief snapshots later, the answer appeared. “Showing that he cares.”

Showing that you care requires work. Commitment. Time. Sacrifice. Accountability. Consistency. All things my husband has proved incapable of doing. Yet my boys still think he hung the moon.

We began the standard visitation schedule a couple months ago, and for the last 2 weeks, he has cancelled his visits at the last minute with lame, made up excuses and borderline delusional explanations. He then made a request to see the boys on Sunday (my weekend) for just a few hours, with the stipulation that we meet at “a reasonable time” in the morning (because 8 or 9 am was too early for his hangover), and that he gets rid of them in time to be back on his couch for the start of the Super Bowl at 6:30.

After battling my internal desire to scream obscenities at him and walking the tight rope between benefit and harm that comes from my sons spending a few hours with their dad, I reluctantly agreed to this half assed attempt at hourly fatherhood because in spite of who he is, my sons love him. Saturday night rolled around and somewhere in the middle of his plans, likely between shots, he found the time to text me a leading question of, “Tell me what the plan for tomorrow is again?” After we’d confirmed the plan many times the day before, I simply stated, “I’m not sure there’s still going to be one.” Afterall, it was my weekend and he’d crapped out on his, so I was under no obligation to give him part of mine. Within seconds came his reply. A simple, “Ok.” And that was that.

No fight. No questions. No negotiating. Just a simple release with an “Ok.”

He had no intentions of actually spending time with his sons. There is no commitment to fatherhood beyond what’s convenient or serves a purpose of making him look good on Facebook as father of the day to his buddies.

This was one small event of many that have occurred since visitation started. And as things progress, so do the excuses.

The intricacies of my husband’s lies and slimy ways of thwarting any and all responsibility are too much for this post. But the sentimental dad commercials shown during one if his favorite drinking events made me think. And they made me sad. And they made me angry.

 I understand that maybe most men in the world are actually good. Maybe most men actually do care about more than just themselves. Maybe most dads do care about their children and their families. Maybe some fathers appreciate the gravity of that title and take it seriously.

Unfortunately for us, my children’s father is incapable of truly caring about anything but himself. No matter how many times I’ve tried to convince myself otherwise, he inevitably proves me wrong. Usually with vigor. Typically, just about the time I start to believe that maybe he really can at least be a part time dad to our sons, I am once again reminded that even that is too much for someone like him.

I’m not sure what’s worse. The sadness that comes from that truth, or my ability to accept it and no longer feel too phased by it (most of the time).

Regardless, the fact remains that even if I can somehow numb myself enough to endure his pathetic intermittent daddy episodes, at some point, my sons might not be. Right now, they are young and resilient and able to bounce back when he cancels on them because he got a better offer. They don’t really know when he backs out because he’s too hungover to be with them. They’re too innocent to understand that daddy cares more about himself than he ever will about them. But someday, that won’t be the case.

In my dreams my sons have a dad they can admire, trust and respect. A dad that shows them what it means to be a man. A real man. But it’s hard to teach little boys how to be men if you’re still a boy yourself.

I cannot change things that are out of my control, although I have certainly given it my best shot. All I can do is rise above the crap spewed my direction by being the stronger one for my sons. It’s an honor to be the one who cares. To be the one they run to. To be the one they call for. To be the one they can rely on, trust and confide in. And as much as I wish my sons had a father like the one in the Dove commercial, they don’t.

 But they do have a mom like that!

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21 thoughts on “A Man Like Mom

  1. This post literally brought tears to my eyes. I have been in your shoes. I know the hurt and frustration and anger, and the worry about the day when your sons will come to realize the truth. For me, that day has come and gone, but my boys are no worse off than they were before. They still know who “Dad” is- its Mom 🙂
    Keep doing what you’re doing hun- being the best Mom you can be!

    http://madcraftingmama.blogspot.ca/

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh this gave me chills. Thank you! Its hard to stomach that someone like his is the father of my kids some days…but I have full faith they’ll be ok, and will even thrive in spite of him. Its sad more so for him that he misses the beauty and importance of fatherhood. But like you said, eventually my boys will know the truth, and when that day comes, I’ll be right where I’ve always been foe them. We can’t change the facts, but we can certainly rise above them! Hugs to you mama!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You and those boys are always in my thoughts. The amount of crap you’ve endured makes me cringe. You are such an amazing, strong, inspiring woman. Those little guys are lucky to have such a role model. Keep on sharing your experiences because I know there are women that could use even just a fraction of your strength.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, Rachael! I wish I could just come over with a batch of cookies, hug you, and tell you this, too, will pass. I know this pain all too well. Too many guys out there doing this lazy fatherhood thing! Grrrr. I won’t say your boys will never have pain over this, but I have every faith in you and the love you have for them to pull them through healthy, happy, and sane. Because you aren’t pulling alone. You have family, friends, and, best of all, THE Father who never craps out on us no matter what. Virtual hugs and very real prayers coming at you.

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  4. I haven’t been there, but my heart goes out to you. I know daddies like that, am closely related to some who fluctuate between that and being the dads they were taught how to be, and I want to slap them silly when they’re acting the fool. You can always hope they’ll eventually grow up. If your father in law is a good father/grandfather, the odds are higher that eventually something will click in that immature brain of his. Either way, keep being that solid rock and doing what is best for your boys, whether you or their father like it or not. Thank you for sharing so beautifully on such a painful topic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much. Unfortunately he has followed in his own fathers footsteps…but my father, grandfather and brothers are wonderful men who my boys adore so they are covered by them, as well as our heavenly father! I know there will be pain, but I pray that the positive examples will far outweigh the negative ones! And I have every confidence they will! Thank you again for reading and commenting

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful, touching, moving, and so eloquently candid. Love your writing and your honesty ❤ I really, really admire the grace in your perspective. It could be so easy to get caught up in anger, resentment, fear, questions of why or why not? Your take on this very difficult, dynamic, and ongoing situation is incredible! So much admiration for you!!! So much!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh Rachael…My heart goes out to you and your sons. I know how you feel as a single mom raising children alone when their father continues to fail them.. again and again and again. It’s been 10 years now and I have basically raised them alone except for the occasional attempt at a “father of the year” routine at a school function. I wish that I could say that it gets better but it does get easier as they get older because our children do see the failures of their fathers. A few Father’s Days ago, I cried with my daughter who was with her dad for Father’s Day texted me, “Happy Father’s Day, Mom”. Our children know who is there for them, caring for them and nurturing them…always putting them first above ourselves. That is what parents do… unfortunately, some people don’t know how to be parents. God bless you, my young friend. I am so proud of you and your accomplishments in raising these young boys alone. I pray for that Godly father that God has planned for many of us single mothers to be brought forth. Even though my sons are adults now, I would still love for them to have a role model that they could ask for fatherly advice… not someone who is so drunk that he can barely talk. God bless you!!!

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      • There are good days and bad days in life… but we have to continue to overcome every obstacle before us. You are strong and will success in everything that you do. So many of us love your stories with your 3 little men. Keep up the good work and may God pour out His blessings upon you and your little ones.

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  7. It is with gladness each time i read your posts.indeed you are a great mum!.However,i have noticed the time you take to talk about your Ex husband and i feel somehow,you are bitter cz he dint leave up to expectations..but thank God,you are alive,healthy and sound to stand for your 3 awesom kids.it is my prayer that you would some day get to a point where you would think and talk of your Ex husband with no feelings of disdain and bitterness but smile and say,thank you God,in it all you stil kept me going for and with the boys.as 1 peter 3 :1 admonishes(by my own revelation)..the kind thoughts and actions of a wife evn towards her wicked and underserving husband(unbeliever)could eventually win him over to start acting as she would want him to..#enjoy your motherhood my dear,be there for Ethan,Nathan and Conner no matter what and even when they are of age to understand situations,paint a good picture of their dad to them and believe me you wil see changes in his actions and deeds towards the boys and eventually towards you too though you may never be good as a couple given another chance.#be blessed in faith andstrength to carry on your journey as both a mum and a dad!..

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