“Mama’s baby daddy’s maybe” is what I’ve heard from many older women in my life. They would tell me stories and emphasize that you will sacrifice for your children as a mother unlike your child’s father ever would. They weren’t trying to give me a “men ain’t s***” lecture by far. They weren’t saying this was the case for ALL situations. And all of these women were and are still married. However, they wanted me to know that sometimes things aren’t what they seem or what they should be.
When I found out I was pregnant I was ecstatic. I was going to have a baby by my high school sweetheart. My best friend. But life started to happen. Men are different when they are unemployed and can’t provide. Understanding this I found myself working extra hard to prove to him that he was still the man and most importantly my man. But life continued to happened and we lost us in the process.
The closer it got to my son’s birth I began to blame myself for any and everything that went wrong. Maybe it was my fault for not finding HIM a job. Stupid right? Maybe it was my fault for not pushing him harder. Crazy right? Maybe, something was wrong with me for believing the man I’ve loved since the age of twelve when he said we would get married as soon as the baby was born. I had faith in someone I loved…sue me. No matter what went wrong, I made it my fault. Even him walking out without saying a single word.
As time went on our relationship ended and I was left fat and depressed with a baby inside of me in my quiet home. I was high risk, due to the fact that I was a diabetic and I suffer from Graves disease. He rarely checked on me. He was rarely concerned about the health of our unborn child. If he was, he never told me. And I’m sure he was, he probably didn’t know how to function in that space. A space that as time went on WE agreed he created.
I started to think about my life more and more in a future tense when I was pregnant. I remember thinking about going up to my son’s school one day for the teacher to call me Mrs. Williams and for me to correct her saying “I’m sorry it’s Russell”. How would that make me feel? I thought about traveling with my child and not being able to get a passport and take him out of the country without having the other parent sign and give permission when I could barely get the other parent to answer my phone calls. I thought about the fact that I was carrying a child, adjusting my diet, changing my life completely…to NOT share the same name at least? That didn’t seem fair to me. Because he is the man I’m supposed to give my son the name of a man who doesn’t even have his own fathers last name?
It’s funny, I hear people (mostly men) on social media say things about how women are upset about their choices in a father when that’s the man they picked (like people don’t change). How many men and women have dated someone only to discover things about them years later? Or only to discover that after life happens they become someone else? People change, right before your eyes.
I labored with my son for 26 hours. A baby that doctors told me would never be here. He’s a miracle baby. He sucked from my breast for nourishment for over a year. I changed his diapers alone in my home. I sat up at night alone with my baby. Why should I be pressed over the fact that I chose to give him my name when it’s me that’s carrying him through every single day of his life?
I’m not. My son is a permanent fixture in my life. He gives me life and I will forever help him to live his at its peak. I sacrifice for him happily. I have not been able to enjoy many spoils of adulthood like lavish vacations but I don’t care. Playing Batman and Robin in the living room beats that any day (feel free to gift me with a vacation though). I don’t feel bad for making a choice in my life just like no one else feels bad about their choices. All I know for sure is that the Russell’s will continue to love and support each other as long as the Lord allows.
photo credit; http://www.blackinfo.com