Karma Cleanser - October 19 2005
Dear Karma Cleanser:
A few years ago, I had a baby. I thought things would work out. They didn't. So I'm walking the single mom walk, which I can deal with except for Baby-daddy drama. I have full custody, but I let him see our kid. But Baby-daddy's broke, so he doesn't pay child support or day care. He sees the kid when he wants to, but isn't reliable enough for anything like a schedule. I can't plan to have a night off; it's at Baby-daddy's whim. If he's busy, I gotta find a sitter, which I can't afford. I pay all of our kid's bills.
For that B.S., I seek no advice. It's the terrible, deep, dark wishes I harbor for Baby-daddy. Every time he cancels a visit, I have to tell the sad puppy eyes that Daddy isn't coming. In the back of my mind, I'm praying he gets in a life-ending car accident so our kid doesn't have to deal with constant disappointment. I think about dusting off the voodoo doll a friend gave me as a gag gift to see if it works. Are my bad thoughts going to come back and bite me on the ass? I mean, isn't no dad better than one who doesn't seem to care?
You're being too easy on Mr. Baby-daddy by letting him participate in the child's life without assuming the financial realities of fatherhood. Anything freely given is almost always taken for granted, and his behavior proves that. But praying for his death feels too harsh, even considering his notable fuck-ups. There's a middle path here, one that puts you somewhere between voodoo priestess and doormat. First, you need to get this situation back on your own terms. Black magic is not required; be friendly but be firm. Imagine a new reality where you're getting what you want and what the kid needs. Now make it happen, before it's too late.
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