“My baby daddy!” How we went from rash to reconciliation

A few months ago, I felt led to co-write a blog with my daughter’s father, David, about reconciliation. We were able to make it happen on May 22, 2014.

David & I #2

So, “Who that is? That’s just my baby’s daddy.”

Yeah, these are the lyrics to a chart topping song from the late 90’s. –As ignorant as this song was, it did speak to the core of how a lot of young mothers and fathers felt at that time. ‘Oh, him, girl-l-l that’s just my baby daddy!?’ Blame it on apathy, urbanomics or just a timely hook, but that song had a little bit of everyone using the words, “baby daddy” and “baby momma.” Did one song have the power to contribute to the breakdown of how parents related to one another in hoods and burbs throughout the U.S.?

Of course, there are a myriad of complex and deep issues that feed into the breakdown of relationships, and this blog can’t possibly try to address every systemic issue. However, it is meant to speak to the hearts of parents like us that allowed our personal conflicts and unresolved feelings to supersede our ability to co-parent well. This unresolved combustion of mixed emotions and feelings has caused some parents to be vindictive, unbearable or just plain disengaged to their role as a parent.

Iyanla Vanzant’s “Fix My Life” episode with Erica Jean and Saigon from the reality tv show Love & Hip Hop is a great example of the struggles and uphill climb that can result from trying to co-parent when unresolved feelings and issues are present. David made a good point, “we were fortunate to meet up at the right time in our lives, when we both were ready to put the past behind us and reconcile.” Some people don’t ever get over the disappointment, resentment or heartache, which he and I totally get. When I was young and delusional, I wanted David and I to work out, but we just didn’t have enough to sustain a relationship. I had to decide to do a lot of personal development work in order to get me to a place where I could really say, “I forgive you and I’m over you.” With God’s help, I finally learned the right thing to do (James 4:17), make peace within myself and with him, not war.

Okay, so we continued to dig deeper into why some parents have so much drama and disrespect towards one another?

David mentioned how some people “just so happen” to have children together. It wasn’t an intention to get pregnant, but it happened, so when these people (who are often strangers) have children, when they come around one another –it’s now an uncomfortable space to be in. He also said some men are thinking, “You’re just a girl I had sex with without a condom and now we have a child.” Can you see how disastrous this can be –ladies?  As I reflect on David and I, back in the day, we were wearing matching Members Only jackets and were known as the cute teenage couple, but we didn’t have a clue about how the emotional, physical and spiritual strain of our so called “teenage love” (in my Slick Rick voice) would impact our lives. David was 17 and I was 15 when our daughter was born. Unfortunately, our “relationship” ended before our daughter could walk. So, we had a relationship for 226 seconds or so, but we were suddenly tied to each other for a lifetime. Our new role as teen-parents was to relate to one another cordially and responsibly for the sake of our child, –yikes! We were so in over our heads.

I will forever proclaim that being a young single mom was incredibly overwhelming for me. Therefore, I could never glorify it. However, it’s also what helped me be who I am.

David did chime in about how he and I defied the odds, though, since we both are in the midst of receiving our Masters degrees, but for me, I’m mostly grateful that I didn’t drown in my vulnerability and my sorrows of raising a child, mostly on my own. There were times when I just wanted him to feel the same day-to-day pressure I dealt with raising our daughter. Yes! David did commend me on gathering up the strength to “make it through” during his neglectful episodes and admitted shortcomings as a parent, but I am confident, God was guarding our daughter and I through it all. I didn’t know it then, but I know it now.

Despite David’s shortcomings, I knew he loved our daughter and was giving what he had to give at that time, but when he didn’t do his share, I definitely had to take it to another level. Yep! We both made mistakes. I know some young moms and women that are trying to take vengeance into their own hands, by not allowing the father visitations or slandering his name. It seems wise in the moment, but ultimately it will hurt you and your child. Instead of fighting in your own power and reasoning in your own mind (James 1:5), focus on being the parent your child needs and give your pain, your frustration, to God.

David & I #1

David & Tiffy, we really was rocking out with this “reconciliation” topic 🙂 Photo Cred:@herodrade

Now, I don’t want you to think David and I see eye-to-eye, we don’t and we don’t have to. Nowadays, it’s more about respect, and whenever he does say something rude or ridiculous, I just hit him with a blank stare. 😐 For instance, at one point during our chat, David mentioned, “for what it’s worth, it’s not like me and you have gotten on better terms and my quality of life has improved.” See, blank stare! This comment struck me on a few levels. First, you must not worry about what reconciliation means for the other party. If God or your gut is nudging you to reconcile, do it! Despite David’s arrogant comment, I know that for me, reconciling with him was more about forgiveness and doing what’s best for our daughter. It was an all around win. (I will say, he did note that he is constantly evolving and growing and doesn’t want to have discourse with anyone either.) Second, don’t let your ego or differences keep you from making peace or coming to an agreement to co-parent. Allow your love for your child to build a healthy co-parenting bridge. Third, don’t live in the land of regret. The other parent may be unbearable or difficult at times, but your child is no mistake, so ignore the foolishness, like I do. 🙂

Seriously though, David and I are friendly, but we are very different people, therefore we needed some divine help along the way to get to this point. I know that if he and I can be on this blog together after chunks and chunks of ridiculousness over the years, then reconciliation is possible for many of you.

If you’re tired of being at odds and would prefer to co-parent in peace: Here are 5 things that can help you move towards reconciliation now.

1. You must desire to have peace and reconciliation with the other parent. It starts with a thought, but acting on it can be hard, ask God to help you reconcile through constant prayer.
2. You have to communicate, but it must be an uninterrupted safe time to really talk. Eventually, someone has to take the first step to apologize, compromise or forgive.
3. Your timing has to be right. David and I bumped into each other at a bbq, ah–that wasn’t the right time to talk about reconciliation. It took us a year or so later to make the time to talk privately. We were ready and it worked!!
4. You have to be real and accountable for your part in the breakdown of the relationship or communication. Just because you didn’t intend to have a baby, doesn’t give you the right to treat your child’s mother with disdain. If you weren’t paying child support or if you took the other parent to court without first negotiating, then take ownership for what you did or didn’t do. Also, if you still have feelings for the other parent and are just acting cruel out of your hurt, please, please, please be honest with yourself and address your emotions.
5. You can and should seek outside help if you just don’t have the language or strength to reconcile. Here’s a short list of organizations that can help, www.fathers.com  www.ecparenting.org www.childreninthemiddle.com  and www.fathersmakingadifference.com

I know this was a longer blog post than usual, but this topic hits home. It’s my hope that we as a community face what’s really holding us back from reconciliation and co-parenting well. I know it’s not easy, but it’s definitely doable. What do you think?

With Love, (oh & David)

Tiffy Sign 90
P.S. Don’t forget to share this post and comment. It’s appreciated! 😉

Comments

comments

By | 2017-03-02T16:45:31+00:00 May 30th, 2014|blog|12 Comments

About the Author:

New to TiffyTalks? My name is Tiffany. I'm a mommy to a millennial, which doesn't seem real, a retired social butterfly, who enjoys coaching, speaking and writing about singleness, self-engagement and spiritual development.

12 Comments

  1. Nicole Lewis May 30, 2014 at 2:14 am - Reply

    Hi Tiffy!!
    I appreciate this blog on so many different levels.I will start off by saying that learning to respect and understand that you cant make anyone do what you want them to do,you cant force a man to be a loving Father.Sometimes they have no clue on how to parent a child because of how they was raised themselves or expect them to imagine how it feels to be in your shoes and struggle raising a child on your own.Some people just dont get it and do need help (mentoring) or a support group.You would think that it would be natural for a person to want to be in thier childs life non-stop. I never badger any of my childrens Fathers because they should already know what is needed. Why waste my time nagging a grown man on what should come “naturally” and thats taking care of your child. Everyone has thier own views on what being a good parent consist of. What I can say is that I do communicate with my childrens Fathers. We found that respect,communicating , and not trying to make yourself look like your the better parent will help in co-parenting a child. We all make mistakes and we all are allowed to be wrong. Raising a child or multiple children is not easy. So having support by the other parent is important. Im happy that you and David have reconciled. Life is too short and its best to live your life knowing that you can get rid of old battles and grudges. Its healthier for everyone including your child.Keep the blogs coming Sis! I love them. Also please tell David I said hello 🙂
    Love Nicole

    • Tiffy June 1, 2014 at 2:31 am - Reply

      Hi Nick! Thanks for sharing and it’s so much involved with co-parenting, I could’ve kept writing 😉 I’m so grateful it’s a new day. I will tell David. -Xo

  2. Lola August 7, 2014 at 1:31 am - Reply

    My sister girl! I am so inspired by your courage and strength. I know all too well this road of single parenthood times 4. I can appreciate that you both realized when it was finally time to reconcile. There is a time and place for everything under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 3) My children’s father and I are not there yet but I submit prayers constantly so that when the time is right, I am prepared physically, spiritually and emotionally.

    • Tiffy August 9, 2014 at 6:33 pm - Reply

      Miss Lola! Yes sis, there is a time and place for everything under the sun. I stand with you in prayer that you both are prepared when your time comes. Also, may love win. -XO

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  8. Jamila August 30, 2014 at 6:37 pm - Reply

    Tiffany great topic. I can relate to some of the things you discussed as well as I love the great practical points listed at the end of the blog. I am grateful to the Lord to be in reconciliation with the biological father of my two biological older girls which took much prayer & God’s timing. Even though we are at a place of reconciliation, there are moments that are interesting to me with his point of views pertaining to certain things that he says which I ask the Lord to allow what I say in my responses to him to honor the Lord by striving to make sure I don’t allow the enemy to get me frustrated (which has happened)…but to be patient & respectful. I thank the Lord for how the Lord prepared me & him to get to the blessed place of reconciliation to be a blessing to our girls as co-parents since our focus is the best interest of the girls that honors God. Continued blessings & God’s continued guidance as you continue to be used for the Lord’s glory to continue to inspire others on your blessed blog site!

    • Tiffy August 30, 2014 at 6:46 pm - Reply

      Jamila, Isn’t it humbling to be in a space of reconciliation? Thanks much for your sincerity and sharing a bit of your story. #itmatters -XO

  9. Jamila August 30, 2014 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    Tiffy yes it is. You’re welcome. I’m grateful to the Lord for having the opportunity to do so on your blessed blog since I was able to relate to some of what was discussed on that particular topic! #Godisfaithful-XO

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