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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Phantom Presence of My Baby Daddy

I talk very little about my son's father. Im not trying to hide anything or keep secrets, it's more that there's nothing really to share. Currently he hasn't made any efforts to be part of his son's life. I did email him last xmas a photo of our son with Santa. That was my small steps towards trying to include him. But no return response came back from his side....cyber or real life. So I've accepted that's how it is and I've gone on living. But still his phantom presence lingers

Phantom Baby Daddy

I see him everyday in my son from the way he smiles to the way he scratches his head when he's upset/tired/bored. The head scratching/rubbing is SO his dad's trait. While he mostly has my features there's no denying his fathers asian "mark" on my son. I wondered if as my son grew he would become more "black" looking. I've accepted it aint gonna happen. Except for his legs becoming a darker shade of caramel and his hair becoming just a bit more curly....he still has asian features.

As my son grows he's going to become aware that's he's different looking then mommy...what then? I've been thinking about this since he was born. I've tried to lay a base of examples through books, TV shows and taking him to different culture events. I hope he will understand from a young age that the world is made of many different people and it's a good thing to be from different cultures. But still I worry it might not be enough.

At a recent single mom support group there was a guest speaker, a clinical psychologist who specializes in family therapy and parent/child relationships, who came to speak to the moms about "Connection & Conflict In Separated And Divorced Couples." I went to cover the event for the blog but ended up taking part in the discussion. I shared how lately I've been thinking of once again trying to make contact with my son's dad but the thought of dealing with conflict holds me back.

My son's father and I didn't exactly breakup on good terms. Nor did we have good communications after the breakup. For weeks after over emails, voice mail and txt msg we fought bitterly. But really when it comes to our son what does it matter? Cant we find a successful way to co-parent the child we both wanted so badly!?

I discussed the pros and cons with the moms and psychologist. Having his father in his life would help him see why he looks different and let him know he's part of someone else. But having a father who's struggling with issue of maturity and alcoholism might be damaging. Can he teach my son how to be a man and father from his example?

In the end it's up to me and what I want for my son. What that is...Im still struggling with. But I feel I need to decide soon cause I cant deal with the unresolved haunting presence of my son's father for much longer

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Ruby says:
at: January 27, 2010 at 1:59 PM said...

That's a tought one. while you want him there for your son now it may not be the right time id trust your gut. You've tried maybe later when he gets better he'll come around. I also struggle with my childrens apperance I don't want them to feel they are less then the other or don't fit in. My son is light my daughter a bit darker. We have already got the are you the nanny question. Kinda fustrating but will be dealt with!

Suzanne says:
at: January 27, 2010 at 3:22 PM said...

Hey Nikki, that's a tough one when the dad might not be the best for your child... but letting him have the open opportunity is still awesome. People can change and maybe over time he will be the father you want him to be for Daniel. To know that you haven't done anything to take that away will always make you feel good. In time Daniel will be old enough to make his own decision and he will be happy to know that his mother loved him enough not to take the choice from home. All the best to you on this journey!

at: January 27, 2010 at 6:18 PM said...

Whether he decide's to be a part of his son's life is ultimately his choice...give it some time. this coming from a person who didn't grow up with a father figure in her life..nevertheless, i turned out pretty take comfort in the fact that u have been accommodating & mature enough to invite and allow him to be a part of your beautiful son's life. i recommend you talk about it with Daniel when he grows up enough to understand..don't try to sweep it under the table like my mom made me ten times more curious about what really went down and who my father was...i only learnt about my dad a few years back after begging my grandma to tell me what little she knew of him....once she told me everything, for some reason, i felt a sense of calm...somewhat like a closure...i no longer find myself yearning to know more about my biological 23 years old, i've come to peace with the fact that i never had a relationship with my father nor will i ever...and i sincerely believe this feeling of calm could have come a lot earlier to me if my mum had only be more open.but i don't blame her for anything..i love my mom with all of my heart!

Dancinghotdogs says:
at: January 27, 2010 at 9:30 PM said...

Thank you so much for your honesty in the post. Babyboy looks exactly like his daddy and if he was not around it would make every day filled with such joy and a little sadness. You are strong and brave and your son cherishes you.

humpsNbump says:
at: January 27, 2010 at 10:26 PM said...

Thanks so much for story. I think that you are doing all that you can in this situation: celebrating your son's background, providing a loving environment and being honest. You have given his father the opportunity to be involved. Hopefully as time passes, your son's father will realize what he is missing.

~ humps

Mama C says:
at: January 27, 2010 at 10:31 PM said...

I don't have much new to offer in way of comments--but as an adoptive single mother --who has many questions out there about who/how birth fathers/donors might one day evidence themselves, I can say the phantoms turn into something softer as time passes. The book "Blended Nation" is a great one for you, and him later on. By the time your son is twenty, being mixed is going to be so commonplace, it may present less "where do I come from" kind of wonderings for a child. That's my take anyway. Powerful post. Keep checking in around it.
Mama C

at: January 27, 2010 at 11:04 PM said...

that has to be the cutest smile i've ever seen on a human's face, let alone a child's have a insanely handsome son.

Nikki @ Blasian Baby says:
at: January 28, 2010 at 12:58 PM said...

Thank you everyone for you comments and advice. Only time will tell how things go.

Onika Pascal says:
at: January 28, 2010 at 7:13 PM said...

I commend you on being open about this topic. I think its the biggest step to overcome any possibilities. There are definitely things in life we can't control. Can't make others do what they must, but we have the power of forgiveness...which is a magical feeling for ourselves.

All the best to you hon. Stay strong. It looks good on you :)

T.Allen-Mercado says:
at: February 5, 2010 at 12:50 AM said...

Wow, first I appreciate your candor and commend your strength. I'm green in the way of single parenting, so while I understand those questions like "Why do I have this kind of hair, eyes, etc." I can not begin to answer from your perspective. What I can offer you is the assurance that even in two parent households, there is conflict, there are phantoms and there are times the desire to be both parents to avoid said conflict with said phantom is BRUTALLY apparent.You are not alone.

Tina West says:
at: August 3, 2012 at 6:07 PM said...

I hate to tell you this but as a Korean man he may never step up to the plate. My mom once told me that in Korean culture if you have children from a previous relationship then you either stay single forever or leave them behind. Its why my mom left my brother and I behind with little contact until I was in my twenties, but that is another story, and why my stepdad has no contact with his two sons from a previous marriage. Its a norm in thier society. In los Angeles it has even gotten to the point where parents after divorcing or single women who get pregnant abdonden thier children. Its a sad state of affairs and as a mom I can not belive these women are so selfish to do it.