Recently, someone asked me to write about deadbeat dads. Knowing my own history with them, I had to chuckle -- a little. My first husband, whom I married too young, neglected to tell me that he didn't want any children. The time for such news was not when one gets pregnant, that was certain.
Another personal tale of woe was on one of my children's visitation weekends in the 90s; the father of my son, stepfather to my daughter, blatantly scowled "You're not my daughter. I don't care what you do." She never forgot it; neither did I. How does a mother deal with such pain? The answer: We can't keep our children from getting hurt; somehow, someway, we must simply show them real love.
Back to the topic at hand…
Deadbeat dads are, well, deadbeats. Most likely, they were long before we met them, and will be long after we're gone.
There are signs that point to their failure in this department. Most of the time, however, we chose to overlook them. We tell ourselves that they'll change; or worse still, that we can change them -- that having their baby will elicit some deep-seeded parenting gene. Not true!
Hopefully, within time (their own time), they'll feel the rewards of fatherhood. Until then, there's nothing we can say, or do, that will change their mind on rearing children. Don't be fooled into thinking otherwise.
If you've read my relationship blogs in the past, then, you know the next words out of my "mouth" are going to be "look at yourself as one of the causes." Why did you have a child without a discussion? Years ago, that was my first mistake. Why are you worrying about a deadbeat dad, anyhow? Get rid of him (If unmarried, of course. Once married, other steps should be taken before walking out the door). There are plenty of other fish in the sea, as the saying goes. Who are the people in your circle of friends? Maybe, a different social structure is needed. Why are you a deadbeat dad magnet? Turn yourself around. Get it?
The personal experience and knowledge of others who succeeded, where we have failed in life, is priceless.
People who were once in a similar predicament, and found a "way out," can be invaluable to us. Ask questions -- and plenty of them. Ask advice; then, take it.
God knows, in my youth, I wish that I would've listened to all the good counsel. I would've saved myself years of heartache.
We all make mistakes, but do we learn from them? That is the question.