Going Solo: Single Parenthood

fatherless.

One of my biggest worries about my daughter is that she will grow up without a father. Not only does she not have a father, but my father has passed away and my brother and brother in law will only see her once in a while, but do not live close enough to be in her life everyday. A male influence is so important for a girl and the thought of her without one instantly causes me to imagine her dancing on a pole or working her way through a series of horrible men. I mean, that is what society tells us will happen if a girl grows up without a father, right?

All throughout the pregnancy I kept thinking her father would come around. After she was born, I kept thinking I would get a phone call from him saying he changed his mind. No matter how many times he told me he wanted nothing to do with me or Isabella, I kept believing that things would change. The person I thought he was and I thought I knew him to be would never just walk away from his own child. But things didn’t change and he never called or “came around.” The reality of him never being there for her is finally settling in and my naïve hope has faded.

It’s funny. When my dad died, I kept thinking I would get a phone call from him or I would see him walk through the door again. The sound of his voice was so close I felt like I could touch it. Images of him in my passenger seat or sitting on my sofa were so real that I couldn’t fathom not seeing him again. As time went on and I realized I wouldn’t see him again, there was a void. No. A huge gaping hole.

When a baby is born and the father is not there, there is also a hole. No matter how many people surround this child and love her, there is and always will be something blatantly missing from this picture. There is another side of her that should be there and is not. This absence, like that of my own father, is something I think about everyday. When I think about my father, I literally feel my heart tighten. It is a feeling I never want her to feel, but know that she will. This is the feeling that theoretically messes girls up.

I recently saw a video that made me feel a little better about it all.

Miley Cyrus has a song called “wrecking ball.” In the video, Miley is swinging around on a wrecking ball either nude or in nothing but her underwear. She is also sucking on a sledge hammer. I don’t know if I’m getting old or I’m just a normal human being, but I think the video is repulsive. The entire time I feel bad for this girl and feel bad that despite the fact that she has a beautiful voice and face, somewhere along the way she decided that this was how she was going to get attention. Miley was raised in a nuclear family with both parents fully involved. She also had money and wanted for nothing.

In the same light, Alicia Keys, who was raised by a single mother in a lower middle class household is beautiful, has class and talent, and puts out videos with images of strong women taking charge of their lives and having confidence without flying across the screen naked.

I had an amazing dad. We were tight and had an inseparable bond that we shared. He loved me, respected me, taught me right from wrong, and supported me. He was there all the time and loved my mom with all of his being. However, I have never had a successful relationship or chosen the right men. I have somehow always screwed up in that department. So, before society puts my daughter in a box with a bunch of statistics, I would like to argue that she has a good chance of turning out ok, father or not.

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