Who's your daddy? One of the most important decisions you can make.

I see a lot of posts on moms.com and other "mom sites" that talk about decisions on parenting, such as breast or bottle feeding, working at home or staying home, cry it our or rock to sleep, etc etc. And I think all of those are important - there are so many daily important decisions of parenting.

HOWEVER, I personally think that one of THE MOST important decisions you can make for your children is choosing your partner. (Caveat: for purposes of this discussion, let's focus on the majority of relationships that result in a pregnancy, being a heterosexual relationship where sex results in pregnancy. I realize there are other family models, but my purpose her is to focus on how most - though not all - people have babies.)

Just yesterday, I saw a post here about a young woman pregnant, with the father of the baby being a married man. She has no money or means of support. Another post in the past few months discussed a verbally abusive boyfriend who didn't want to have a child. And even the less extreme examples are worrisome for the future of the child - lack of a committed relationship, multiple fathers for multiple children, men who don't help or support their partners in raising the child etc. To be honest, I sometimes find it hard to understand why anybody would want to be in a relationship like that, but let's put that aside for a moment and focus on children. When a woman chooses to have a child in that type of relationship (or doesn't take pains to prevent pregnancy or consider adoption if pregnancy does occur), she is setting up a very difficult life for her child. Not to mention that children grow into adults, and they learn much more from our actions, such as how we treat our partners and ourselves, than they do from our words. So if we want to teach them to have good, healthy relationships, we need demonstrate those relationships ourselves.

Anyway, I know things happen in all relationships and people change, and therefore, even the best relationships can sour and end. But, I do think that one of the best decisions we can make for our kids is to at least try to start their life off in a good, healthy, committed relationship.

What do you think?

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4Rina
    05/22/14
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    05/22/14
    4Rina
    So your husband is not the father or your children? People changing - or turning out to be not who you thought - is one of the toughest things to deal with. I also think there is a big difference between choosing not to enter a relationship (or not have a baby with that man) vs. choosing to end a relationship. I think the latter is much more complex. Have you tried to raise your concerns in a non-confrontational way or considered doing some couples therapy together? Having kids can be very stressful (as well as joyful), and your relationship may just need a bit of a reset. This may also help with his relationship with the kids.
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    05/22/14
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    05/22/14
    4Rina
    No, it is not. And I think there is a certain stability for children in a marriage, even if it is not a great marriage. Maybe you could do individual counselling about how to deal with the situation?
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    05/22/14
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    05/22/14
    4Rina
    Good luck with the decision! You are a good mom for thinking through these things and the impact on your children. On balance, I think it is better to let those feelings out. If the build up, they can explode!
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    05/22/14
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      amanda
      I think its unfortunate for not only the mother but more so the child when you are not in a stable and loving LONG TERM relationship. It is something that should be carefully thought out. I have watched people struggle and I always feel so bad for the baby. My friend an her boyfriend had a baby unplanned of course. They constantly fight and his father who they live with has no problem with calling her horrible horrible things and spitting in her face while shes holding her child. Its terrible to watch her go through this and then it makes me think how that must be for the baby being in that situation. He is such a sweet kid and I am 100% sure that's not how she wants her son act or treat women when he grows up. But you know what you see. Its a real shame.
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      05/22/14
      4Rina
      Exactly, Amanda! That is exactly the type of thing I am talking about. The children suffer the most in these situations. Of course, your friend is suffering too, but she is an adult and has "made her bed", so to speak. That baby didn't ask to be born in this type of situation. Really, people who aren't in good relationships should (a) get out of that relationship (the preferable approach, in my mind) or (b) use REALLY good methods of birth control.
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      05/22/14
      amanda
      I agree. When I was a teen I wound up in an abusive relationship. I was raped by my boyfriend and got pregnant. I know it sounds messed up but its kind of a godsend that I miscarried early on in the pregnancy. I think back on it all the time and not only would I have a 10yr old child had that not happened but I couldn't imagine being tied to that man for the rest of my life. That was also my breaking point and when he sent me messages saying he was going to have me jumped so that I would lose the baby because he didn't believe that I was no longer pregnant I took action and got a restraining order and he was actually locked up in a mental institution and was sent to a rehab center after we split up. (He became a coke addict after we broke up)
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      05/22/14
      4Rina
      OMG, that is a f&$&ng insane story!! I am so glad you got out of that relationship and yes, I'll say it, I am relieved for you that you didn't have that baby. Being connected in any way to a man like that would have been a nightmare for both of you!
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      05/22/14
      amanda
      Thank you. Me too. I am glad that I had my family with the right person.
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        05/22/14
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        05/22/14
        4Rina
        Brandy, this is very profound! You are a strong mom and a strong woman to recognize these things about yourself and your own life. And you know what, it's not too late. Your children are still young but are also old enough to see that you make hard choices for the benefit of the family.
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        About Rina
        Birth: September 08
        On Moms.com since: Dec 16, 2013
        I'm a working mom of 4. My husband, kids and I live in Toronto, Canada. I love to read pretty much anything I can get my hands on, am addicted to chocolate and kissing my kids' necks (they all still let me do it!) and am a bit of a political junkie.