We often talk to single moms whose exes are not in their kids' lives. And we understand this experience firsthand.
Quite often, these single moms find that a male relative offers to step in as the "dad substitute." He might be a grandfather, an uncle, a brother. If he's from your ex's family, however, it can get complicated.
One single mom who recently wrote to us finds herself in a dilemma. Maybe you can offer some advice?
This woman's ex -- the father of her daughter -- left the relationship during the pregnancy.
"He made it very clear that he wasn't going to be involved," she says. "I decided to move forward with the pregnancy, knowing full well I'd raise this baby 100 percent solo.
"I also cut all ties with anyone connected to the GD -- including my friend who is married to his brother. I just couldn't see how we could still be friends when her brother-in-law was keeping my pregnancy a secret. Actually, the GD had reunited with the mother of his first child and got her pregnant again. I wasn't even aware of this until I was six months pregnant. Our children are now two weeks apart.
"Maybe I was wrong for cutting my friend off," she adds. "But I just couldn't see how our friendship could continue."
Now, here's the dilemma:
"The GD's brother -- my friend's husband -- called me out of the blue recently to ask to be in my five-month-old daughter's life. He said he doesn't agree with his brother's decision. 'I want to be a dad substitute for my niece,' he said. 'I want to be there for her.'"
But this mom says: "I'm scared to allow him into our lives, and I'm not even sure why. The GD and his brother have an up-and-down relationship (right now they're not on speaking terms). I've steered clear of the GD's girlfriend and new baby -- I just don't want the drama. The GD lives literally four blocks from us and has yet to see my daughter.
"I've come to accept that the GD will likely never be in my daughter's life."
So, here's her question: "Should I allow his brother into my daughter's life? Is it better to cut off all ties? Or is it worth the risk to let this uncle assume a 'dad substitute' role?"
We're wondering how other single moms handle the offer of a "dad substitute"?
|Rachel Sarah, a.k.a. "Single Mom Seeking" blogs at SingleMomSeeking.com and co-founded SingleMommyHood.com, the first-ever website to offer "a whole new way to think about life."|