A part of me, Apart of me
Francois Van Rhyn
Over the past few months, I'vebeen following this young mother's blog. I've tried to see the problems she faces and I've tried to understand them. You see, I myself am not a father and I have no idea of any of the logistical requirements of parenthood. I'm honest, I don't even know my powdered milk from baby milk. To me, it's the same thing really, but in reality a vast difference exists.
You see the thing is, I think I'm falling for a single mother, and the only thing that's been racing through my mind is the daunting experience that is fatherhood. Most would say I'm jumping the gun a little, but in reality, it is something one has to give a well deserved amount of thought to when entering a relationship with a single parent. This isn't the type of person you get involved with justbecause she's smart,sexy and funny. You can't simply waltz in and out of a single parents life. The psychological and emotional aspects have to be addressed and keeping her child in mind is the most important thing. What type of example will be set? How long is long enough to see each other before you expose them to your child?
This got me thinking, so I hada look at our situation and realized there are various other things that need to be considered.
She's a mother to a beautiful young boy. They come together as a single unit. I can't have one without the other. I can't have romantic dinners without dirty nappies. At the beginning, yeah sure. But what if things get really serious? What then?
Well, then you do like my father said to me. “Son, best you cowboy the fuck up and stand by your decision because life isn't a game and you can't always run away when times get tough. That's a woman with a heart, you hold it, don't break it. Or I might have to break you” Thanks Pops.
So how does someone like me prepare for parenthood? I can hardly look after myself and here I am considering the possibility of being a dad. The largest portion of my thoughts have been centred around her child. Even though at this point I'm more than ready to accept the responsibilities of fatherhood, I have to keep a very important thing in mind.
He has a dad. And no matter how much I try, I will never be his father. This leaves me with more questions than answers, time and time again. I can try to be the main character in his life, but I’ll mostly play a supporting role. I'd be supporting her in making the right decisions for him. Or so I hope at least.
And alot of what I've been talking about is revolving around a young child. The scenario is vastly different when you have an older child in play. Would they accept me? If they have a father, would theylook at me as trying to replace their father? It changes again when dealing with a child when there was an absent father. Then me coming into their mother's life could be seen as trying to take away their mothers love. It's hard, try as you might to keep everyone happy, it isn't always possible...
Look, I don't have the answers. And it's not like I can go; "Hey Google, sort a brother out, yo" because there is no manual for this. Some of the other questions I've found myself asking; Will I be able to accept and love him as my own? If things even go so far as us having a child together, would I love our child more than him? Would I play favour to my child over their child? Would the child accept me?
My thoughts and feelings are valid. The thing to remember is, to a mother, her child is everything. That someone may not love that child is inconceivable. But, I shouldn't ever question whether or not I can love someone else's child. That should be a given. Even if I'm a man, I am capable of love. The mommy? Well, she's a lady too and there has to be that desire to scrum her mindlessly, otherwise it's a lost cause.
I wish it was as easy as the movies make it seem sometimes. But lifes not simple, all I can do is try. Try to convince her that I'm in it for the long run. That I'm not going to pack my bags when it gets tough. That I'm there to support her, whether she's ready to accept it or not. The rest? Well, we'll cross that bridge when we get there, I suppose.