Being a parent is one of the most amazing feeling in the world. Yet, some people don?t see it that way. Nor do they deserve such a title.
Many children in the US grow up without ever talking to or seeing their fathers. In fact, the US Census Bureau puts the numbers at 19.7 million as of 2017 or more than one in four children.
Some fathers in this statistic might have never known they?ve got kids. But we know that an overwhelming majority of fatherless kids today is the result of a parent who just don?t care. We call them the ?deadbeat dads?.
Although the term is commonly used to refer to those who can?t provide child support, there are other ways someone can be called such. In general, they are those fathers who chose to ignore the responsibility of being one. Often, they are not married to the mother and play no role in raising the kids. Abusive fathers, even though still living with the family, also fits the bill.
More often than not, when the father is not around, the mother has to assume responsibility of both parents. She has to work and provide for the family while taking care of household matters. She often sacrifices a lot while the deadbeat father continues to live a carefree lifestyle.
Then, as if that isn?t enough, some would even go so far as to play the victim card. Out of pure spite or to save face, they spread lies against her and paint her the evil. Some would say the mother doesn?t allow them to see their kids when, in fact, they?re very much free to do so. Others would put the blame on the woman, complaining about them for being too disagreeable.
If you are in this situation, it can be downright frustrating. After all the sacrifices you?ve done just to fill their role in your children?s life, they still have the guts to turn the tables on you. So, what are you to do? Here are five advice we gathered from solo moms around the world on how to deal with a deadbeat father who paints himself the victim:
Don?t Stress Over It
Don?t give them the satisfaction of knowing they?ve wrecked your life once again. They don?t deserve your tears nor being stressed on about. It might not be that easy but consider it a gift to yourself too. You deserve to be happy and being constantly bothered by his mind games won?t do that.
Just let him say what he wants against you. Those people who will judge you without even knowing your side don?t deserve your explanation. Your kids know the truth and that?s what?s important.
Just like school bullies, he is just trying to provoke you. He?ll eventually stop when you don?t pay him any attention. Let your actions speak for yourself and sooner, people will realize who?s telling the truth.
Just to be on the safe side, keep a record of all your interactions. Save screenshots of his posts, your conversations, email exchanges and the like. If you can, record your calls too. You don?t know when it will come in handy.
When he sees that his mind games don?t work on you, he might try to go the legal route. At least then you?ll be ready and you have all those recorded conversations to back you up.
Reach Out For Support
Women who are in a relationship with deadbeat fathers often finds it hard to reach out to others for support. But that shouldn?t be the case. You might be surprised to find a lot of other mothers out there who are in the same boat as you.
Reach out to family members and friends who understand what you?re going through. You can also join online forums. Many single moms out there are more than ready to share their learnings and experiences. Remember, you don?t have to go through this alone. Do this not just for yourself but for your kids too.
Focus On The Kids
Instead of worrying about their deadbeat dad, you can instead focus your energy on the kids. Their welfare should be your priority at this time. Show him what he?s missing on. Let him know that you and the children can thrive without his help. Continue being a great mother and father to your kids. When they are all grown up, they?ll remember your sacrifices and what you have to go through raising them on your own.
Know Your Legal Options
If he can?t be persuaded to stop what he?s doing and play the father that he?s supposed to be, then its high time you look for legal options.
If he?s not paying for child support, then have the courts make him do it. You can also consult an experienced lawyer on what other legal course of action you can take against him.
Of course, this should be your last resort. Lawsuits are tiring and very costly. It will affect not just you but your children too. So if you can settle it outside the courtroom, then all the better. Your attorney can help you with those out-of-court negotiations too.