Open letter to the father of my child

Subject: Open letter to the father of my child
From: Anonymous
Date: 11 Jul 2016

Since before the birth of my daughter, I’ve been a single parent. We were two near strangers who had a child together. I was guilty of dreaming that we could grow together and eventually be a family. I imagined what our lives would look like, the things you described we would do, the kind of mother I wanted to be. But in my heart of hearts, I knew I wouldn’t be able to depend on you.
I was only 4 months pregnant when the stress of it all sent you to rehab. Your excuses were “I’m doing this so that I can be a better parent for our daughter”.
Her birth came and by whatever good graces, they allowed you to attend, if just for a day. I was alone, a new mother leaving the hospital with a brand new baby, waiting to be picked up by a family member while other happy parents left with their bundles of joy, starting a new life together.
Those first nights were filled with sleep deprivation and worry because she wasn’t latching correctly and ultimately giving up and giving in to formula feeding. Then a week and a half later returning to work part time. Not by choice, but because I was now a mother to someone and had to sacrifice myself to take care of us. During this time, I had the support of my mother, who herself made sacrifices and sold her home in sunny California to help. I would have loved to be home with her and get to know her but I never had that luxury.
During your “stay away”, we sent letters back and forth and developed a foundation that we lacked in the beginning. We made weekly visits to ensure you saw her grow. You were wholly supported and encouraged. Then the light at the end of the tunnel. Two months left to go and we could make our dreams a reality. It was for naught. You said you needed to work on yourself, that you didn’t want to relapse. So you decided to stay another 6 months, essentially yet again abandoning me, and consequentially your daughter as well. All the fantasizing and dreams dashed.
It is quite delusional to think you are virtuous, that prolonging your stay will lead you to keep your sobriety. I doubt it. The 4 previous stints and thousands of dollars wasted did nothing to keep you from relapsing. All they equaled was a stay from daily worries and stresses. Those same stresses that myself and everyone else deals with. The new stresses that I faced as a parent alone.
There are so many sacrifices that my family and I have made to welcome our daughter to this world and provide for her. None that you have ever made. I’d wallow in self-pity because I couldn’t afford new and pretty things for her. Everything was gently used and gifted by close friends. Wallowing only got me so far and I realized that it could have been much worse.
If I was cold and callous, I would not allow you to see our daughter. As I see it, you’ve done nothing to earn that. A string of Facebook posts and few hours visit on a Sunday afternoon amount to what you’ve been thus far as a father to her. Nothing with substance. You say you shouldn’t have to prove yourself, but that’s where we differ. Earn your daughter by caring for her and going out of your way to be there for her. As it stands, I’m no longer facilitating the process. It’s time for you to earn being her “Daddy” as you affectionately call yourself.
You are lucky that she won’t have memories of this, but it is forever etched in mine. Maybe when she is older she can look back at your Facebook posts and make believe that her daddy was there the whole time.
That’s ok though. What she lacks in you, she gets double in me. #strongmamas