Fatherless Daughters

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I once read a quote that said, the best thing a man can do for his kids is to love their mother. I couldn’t help but disagree more. The best thing a man can do for his kids is to invest time with them daily and love them unconditionally. I believe that fathers, more than anyone else, set the course for a daughter’s life.

I know this first hand because my daughter longs for the love of a father. I say a father because her absent father chooses everyday not to be in her life. As a mother this has been the most challenging aspect for me. How does one conceive and have children and not love and spend time with them?

I remember feeling so guilty leaving her with my mom after work when she was younger (3 – 4 yrs old) so I could go to classes for Grad School. The guilt use to eat me up inside. I used that guilt as motivation to complete my M.A.Degree in two years instead of three and graduated in the top of my class. To this day I still suffer with moments of guilt when I have to work late or travel off island and I’m away from her. She hasn’t spoken to her father in person in many years, even though we live within a short driving distance.

I know people say you shouldn’t have regrets in life only lessons. Her father has always been my biggest regrets. The one thing a mother cannot give to her child is the role/relationship of a father. Even though I try to go above and beyond to fill in the gap, that is something that is irreplaceable. It is the first relationship a daughter has with a man and therefore teaches her how a woman should be treated. I know this first hand, because the relationship I had with my dad has molded me into the woman I am today. Even though I only had 10 years worth of molding, the impact will last my lifetime.

My daughter has (2) pictures of her and her father. One was taken at her 1 year birthday party and the other when she was about 7 years old for Christmas. She has no good memories of her father, only false promises and let downs. I can recall so many times her father would make arrangements to come and see her. She would get up early in the morning and prepare her clothes, and I would do her hair etc. As the time drew nearer for him to pick her up she would get anxiety just from waiting. Then, as usual he wouldn’t show or even call. She would call his phone and leave so many messages and he wouldn’t even answer. This happened so many times and watching her go through this was very frustrating. I would then have to take her out and try to cheer her up.

For me I just accepted the fact that he didn’t want to be in her life. However, for my daughter that is easier said than done. To this day she still leaves a glimmer of hope in her heart that one day he would be in her life. I’ve always encouraged him to be in her life, but my encouragements can only go so far.

The affects of not have a father in little girls life is far reaching. Feelings of low self-esteem and unworthiness are very common. There is void that is left and most girls including my daughter try to fill it in a variety of ways.

Fathers need to nurture their daughters in order for them to have a secure sense of themselves.

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