I believe wholeheartedly that how a man treats his daughter affects the way she views herself and how she lets other people (especially men) treat her. I grew up in a single parent home. My mom raised me and my sister with little to no help from either of our fathers. She never complained, she never bashed our fathers, and she taught us to respect them despite them not being there. Now that I have two daughters of my own, I see what my mother went through. I feel the resentment and the tiredness she must’ve felt. It’s not fair for two people to go half on a child without going half on the responsibilities, but it’s now the new normal. Like my mother, I got married straight out of high school. Because I didn’t have my father around, I tried to create the family I didn’t have. I don’t blame my father for my own poor decisions. However, I do believe that if my dad would’ve been around, I probably would’ve made better ones. A lot of the things I know now, I learned through trial and a lot of error. My father wasn’t around to physically teach me , but his absence taught me some of the most important life lessons.
Family is the most important thing.
My dad was more interested in living his own life than being a father. I am now the complete opposite. I would move mountains for my daughters. I brought them both into this world and I will leave here knowing that I was the best mother I could be.
Consistency is key.
I spent too many years waiting by the door for the visit that never came. I don’t make excuses, especially when it comes to my children. My girls will never be able to say “Mommy said she would do it, but didn’t.” They will always know that if they can’t depend on anyone else, they can depend on Mommy.
Your beauty isn’t based on someone else’s opinion of you.
“I don’t need a man to tell me I’m pretty, my dad did that my whole life.” One of my friends told me that my freshman year of college and it stuck with me. I spent years seeking attention to fill a void. My self confidence was at an all time low for most of my teen years and I constantly looked to my peers for approval. I wasn’t completely comfortable in my own skin and it showed. It wasn’t until recently that I started to accept my curly hair, my dark skin, and my feminine features.
Sometimes, the prince is just a frog in nice clothing.
A father is supposed to teach his daughter what to look for in a husband and what to stay away from. At 26, I’ve been engaged twice, married once, and I had to learn the hard way not to settle. I didn’t have that male role model in my life to teach me how I should be treated. My father never told me what to look for, he didn’t care about who I was dating, and when I got pregnant at 19, he didn’t have much to say about it. I never saw what a stable relationship looked like. I did however see a lot of violent behavior when I was younger and that’s exactly what I emulated. I finally had to stop and check myself for my own behavior. I was emasculating and degrading every man who I came in contact with because the man who I loved the most didn’t love me enough. I also had to come to terms with the fact that I was picking men who were assholes . . . Like my father.
Forgiveness is for you, not for them.
I have to be honest, I still struggle with forgiveness. I can hold a grudge with the best of them. It’s easy for me to cut people from my life with little to no warning, when I see something I don’t like. I didn’t realize how unhealthy that was until I was diagnosed with anxiety. Holding on to all that anger and hurt, only made me bitter and eventually it affected me physically. I had to learn to pick my battles and forgive people for my own peace of mind.
I don’t think some men realize the effect they have on their daughters. A father is literally the FIRST man a girl is introduced to in life. I don’t hate my father. I think he was the best father that he knew how to be, it just wasn’t good enough. I am forever grateful to my Courtlynn’s father for showing me that some men do take care of their responsibilities. He’s the best father to our daughter and he’s really the reason I learned to let go of the anger towards my own father. He showed me that you can be better than your parents and your circumstances, if you choose to be.