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Baby Daddy

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Single Parenting
and the Father!

(the first in a series of articles on how to deal with your baby’s father to develop a positive co-parenting relationship)
Dealing with your baby’s daddy doesn’t have to be drama. If you stay focused on the child and keep anger and bitterness at bay, you can work to build a solid co-parenting arrangement.   
 


      

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Parenting
Baby Daddy:  Single Parenting  and the Father
(the first in a series of articles on how to deal with your baby’s father to develop a positive co-parenting relationship)

Dealing with your baby’s daddy doesn’t have to be drama. If you stay focused on the child and keep anger and bitterness at bay, you can work to build a solid co-parenting arrangement.

“Girl, you don’t need him.” That’s a common thing to hear from girlfriends and relatives about the man who helped you create the life you are now caring for. But the truth is, you do and more importantly, your baby does. As a single parent, it is very important for you to put aside whatever bitterness or anger you may have toward the child’s father, you need to focus on what’s best for your child. Even if you don’t personally agree with his life choices or habits, that doesn’t necessarily mean he is or will be a terrible father to your child.

Also, the truth of the matter is, it’s very difficult for most women, even with a sizable paycheck, to raise a child with no contribution whatsoever from the other parent. Everybody knows someone who has done it, but everyone will also tell you how incredibly difficult it was. Ask yourself, is this about my pride or my child?

Begin thinking of ways that the two of you can share responsibility for this child, including financial support, child care and school costs, custody and visitation, emotional involvement, family participation, life insurance for the father with the child as the irrevocable beneficiary, armed forces benefits, health insurance, and college savings. You may hate his guts now, or even love him again later, but focus on what’s in the best interest of the child. Of course, barring any physical or emotional danger, it is never in the best interest of the child to keep her away from her father because of emotional mind games, power struggles or because you don’t like his “skank” new girlfriend.

A special word of caution here: Like I said, sometimes our girlfriends are looking out for us or think they are looking out for us with a lot of, “You don’t need that loser,” or “Forget him. You got us,” kind of talk. Now, if they are trying to keep you out of a bad relationship or from getting your feelings hurt by carrying a flame that isn’t reciprocated that’s one thing. But if they are talking about cutting the child off from the father, then that’s another matter.  That child most definitely needs her father—and has less discriminating standards than you do.

Get legal help
Think of several options for contributing or co-parenting and write them down. Get your legal research on. If you don’t know what type of support to expect, find your State’s Child Support Enforcement Office, county courthouse or librarian to help you find your state’s guidelines as defined by its Family Law Code.

As one very sassy lawyer friends says, “Every unmarried pregnant woman should be seeing a doctor and a lawyer.” 

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