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Absent Father: Advice For The Single Mom Without Dad

Updated on July 25, 2011

So, here I am, with my two beautiful, kind-hearted, wonderful girls and no father for them.

Once upon a time I was in love. I dreamt of a family with Mom and Dad snuggling on the couch as the children sit closely by while watching a movie together. I dreamt of the family outings and dinner at the table, all of us laughing while we ate, happy to be together.

That dream fell away as he walked out the door and out of our lives.

I don't put the blame entirely on him for the fail of our relationship, but I do blame him for deserting his children and I blame him for them not having a family of a Mom and a Dad.

Heres What You Do Dads

How Can You Just Walk Away?

I want to know what gives men the gull to walk away from their children and not think twice!

I want to know how they can watch them be born, even cry at the birth and yet leave. No regrets- no remorse.

They go on with their lives as if they have done nothing wrong, never wondering how their actions have affected their young.

Well, I'm here to say- You have!

You have left your children wondering what they did wrong for you not to 'want them.'

You have your children crying because they feel abandoned and sad.

You have them questioning themselves about who they are and if they are good enough!

If anyone can explain how men can do this, then please let me know, because not only I am wondering but millions of children around the World want to know as well. I am sickened not knowing the answer and afraid to know the truth.

Mothers in this situation, I hear your pleas.

Just like you, I have wiped the tears, hugged and comforted my girls, only to find that the feelings within them remain.

There is no erasing the loss of their dad. And really that is what it is. It's comparable to an unexpected death. There is no reason to it, he is just gone.

I have been both Mom and Dad to my girls. I play sports with them, I go to Daddy/ Daughter Day at school, I do the yard work and other stereo-typical chores around the house.

I do this so they know that, first, you don't need a man, but secondly, to give them the support and love needed to somehow make up for the loss. I want them to know that just because Dad isn't around, doesn't mean we cannot do Dad activities. I want and need them to know that I have enough love inside me of both a Mom and a Dad to offer them. 

Fathers Day

My oldest daughter celebrates Fathers Day. She makes me a card and tells me what a great Dad I am. She tells me that I am better than any Dad she could ever have. I am truly blessed.

My advice for mothers who are raising children without a father is this:

  • Talk to your child about his or her concerns, fears, or frustrations. You will never know how your child really feels unless you talk about it. Just be sure to Listen.
  • Do not put-down your child's father. As easy as it may be, your child still holds feelings for the idea of or the memory of a dad. Don't lessen her/his feelings.
  • Have your child spend extra time with a male role-model. This does not mean your new boyfriend. This is a Grandfather or Uncle, or even a mentor from a church or group such as Big Brother/Big Sisters.

Statistics claim that parenting alone can puts your child at high risk for drug use, early sexuality, assaults, depression and suicide attempts. I could go on and on, but the ultimate thing I want moms to know is that these are just statistics. This is not your family....This is not you!

You are in charge of your destiny. You have the power to make your family consist of well-educated, self-confident and happy people. Don't allow HIM  the power to do your family more wrong.

Are You A Fatherless Child?

See results

Is this purely a man-bashing article? No, although it easily could be.

I realize that men may feel like the outsider after a divorce, or unconnected to their children. But by all means, don't just walk away! That is where I am confused about. Walking away and never connecting again, as if that child never existed in the first place.

Many men, my child's father included, used the excuse that we lived too far away. Too far away for a phone call? An email? Excuses once again. He doesn't talk with them to punish me. He still has so much hatred for me that he cannot see past it to see what he has done to his kids. Whatever your excuse...It's time to grow up boys...You made these children-Step up and be the Father you were intended to be.

Moms, stay strong and care for your babies and yourself.


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    • Ebonny profile image


      5 years ago from UK

      I still can't fathom why a father, or mother, would leave a child to agonise that he/she was not worthy enough to warrant the absent parent's love and attention. :-(

      Great advice for single mums. Thank you so much for sharing. Voted up.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I am reading this shaking my head. Four years ago I would have agreed with you. But not now. My husband has four lovely kids and we have tried evrything to have them in our lives. His ex wife left him for someone else. He met me three years later and she has made our lives a living hell. Nothing he ever does is good enough. She harrasses me, my family and has even threatened my own children. More recently she has threatened my husbands life. Courts won't listen to us or will child services. I have a great relationship with my kids dad; but it is not always the mans fault. I have seen my husband shaking and in tears and seen him physically assalted by her. But she plays the 'victim' and always gets a slap on the wrist. My husband has tried everything to see his kids. And he feels like he is doing them more harm by doing so.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I thank God that my son's father left. He was my first boyfriend but I didn't let him take my virginity. 23 years later he shows up on Feb 14 2011, Valentine's Day and not to soon after that we made up for lost time. I was married before him but it didn't work out, plus I had lovers and none of them could give me a child. I WANTED A CHILD, I NEEDED HIM. I felt like Srah from the bible, like God had forgotten me. My sons father was the vessel used to give me that gift. I don't regret a thing. On the other hand he had changed drastically from when we were children. While I was pregnant, he threw women in my face, slept around, used hard drugs, drank heavily, stole money from me, pawned my things, tried to get me fired, evicted, alientated me from friends and family, sniffed after my sister, snuck into the hospital while I was giving birth to harass me for money, even changed my baby's name without my consent. Thats just the tip of the iceberg. So the day he packed his glad rags and hopped onto to the greyhound to go to Florida to give the women their a good ol dose of HPV that he left me with. I was relieved for my son and I and saddened for the rest of the female population who will unknowingly fall into the trap. How can I date a man like that you say? Sometimes you can never tell a wolf until your laying next to him with his hands around your throat. By then its too late

    • profile image

      mr singh 107 

      6 years ago

      Hi. Well done for being a strong parent, and being focused on raising self - confident, assured children.

      As a man, I am shocked that any other male could walk out on a child. We are not all bad.

      I met a woman who from the third date talked of how much she wanted a child. about a year later she gave birth to our beautiful baby daughter.A few weeks after her birth, i noted some bizzare behaviour, shouting at the baby, etc...and she was quite jealous of how i was bonding with our daugther, whilst she felt quite removed.

      To cut a long story short the first time any of my family were allowed to visit , she caused a massive scene claiming that i was aggressive, a drug addict and that i wasn't helping, and ran off with the baby saying i had seven days to remove my stuff or she was going to going to say i was aggressive and report me ?.

      for the past 6 weeks i have been patiently asking her to attend mediation so even though we may not have a relationship, at least we can sit down and map out a parenting plan for the next two years.

      Instead she refuses and wants to go to court as she feels she will limit my access. and keeps demanding money off me.

      My focus is on my daughter. i do believe a lot of the research that a child needs to have close bonds with both parents. My former partner is now playing power and control games, continualy making up more lies. in those six weeks i have spent less than four hours with her. Her excuse is that she thinks i will run off with the baby ?.

      in those brief moments, i just want to relax and hold my daughter in my arms and press her heart against mine. but the mother only brings her at times she is sleeping, and then rants on and on, making it uncomfortable for me. i find the situation so distressing, that i am thinking that she is playing a power and control game, and that the best thing i can do is walk away for two months whilst i try to go to court and get shared residency. yet i am a student trying to do a phd, whilst she is from a family of lawyers, and has sued every company she has worked for, with no commitment to able to do the job she is paid.

      so whilst i empathise with your situation as a parent to a parent, all i can say is that there are many heartless people out there both men and women, for my situation i have to resort to fathers for justice ?.

      I wish you peace and blessing on your journey.


    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Paula.....This is sadly an all-too-common issue. To walk away from one's own flesh and blood and just go on your merry the majority of us, is unthinkable and unforgveable. Yet, it's done, every day by far too many parents (largely "Dads")

      Those of us who are dedicated and determined, pick up the slack and go above and beyond, to attempt to fill the gaps. Our children are much too precious and deserving, to give them any less than our very best at all times.

      I don't know that it would matter or change much of anything, to know HOW or WHY a parent can abandon their own. Quite obviously, they can and they DO.

      Children will ultimately come to terms with most of the hurts they endured, especially when they have a loyal and loving parent with them, extended family and friends to help and support.

      As for the "runaway" parent....they have sealed their fate and made a date with Karma. In these cases, this is NEVER a good thing. UP++

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      To Cory I see where you are coming from. But Really you would have to be a pretty immature parent to allow the ill feelings between you and a spouse come between your kids..In my case I will own up to my mistakes and say that with my daughter's father I allowed our relationship to go on way beyond what it should have. My door has always been opened to him and for him to come see his daughter. At the end of the day it comes down to choice. He chooses to not come around and I can no longer blame myself for why he doesn't show!! Being a single parent has made me stronger!! and For My Baby Girl I am Truly Blessed!! God is Love!!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      My ex-boyfriend also decided he doesn't want anything to do with our 2mnth old beautiful daughter. We had a rough relationship and I kept trying to keep us together because I genuinely cared about him and also for the sake of our child. But after a big argument, he decided he'd rather leave me to take care of her. I'm done blaming myself for him walking away, if he cares about her, he will be there for her. I just don't know when or how to explain the situation to my daughter later in life. Good on you daddies and mummies who are playing a double role. I hope I will be able to do the same :)

    • savvydating profile image


      6 years ago

      You are doing a fine job as a mother. Congratulations! If you decide to marry again one day, you will have to choose differently. Many men are predisposed toward "leaving" because they never learned the role of the masculine, which is to seek, provide, and protect. These types of men can be detected during the dating process, but it takes self discipline to truly recognize who is standing in front of you. Best wishes to you and thank you for a fine article.

    • EuroCafeAuLait profile image

      Anastasia Kingsley 

      6 years ago from Croatia, Europe

      Great, but sad hub. Life isn't fair. I like what you said about using a male role model "not your boyfriend". It seems like you are doing a great job. I personally would be happier alone than with someone who doesn't love me. Thanks for sharing and please take care of yourself as well!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I can tell you how people leave their children. It's simple they're either sick and elect to remove themselves for the health of the family (i.e. addicts) or they are true sociopaths. More research and awareness should be done on sociopaths. Sociopaths have no emotions, they are dying slowly of an extreme boredom we will never feel because of it. They only want power and sex and they only have children to use as pawns over partners or to manipulate and toy with due to their boredom. My baby is only 9 months and we have recently been abandoned. I don't know how I'll explain it to her when she is older but I know I will explain that her daddy was sick (sociopath) and if he has stayed he would have made they family sick too (abuse). Great article. I love you. More importantly God loves you and God bless you and your girls!

    • Glecy lariosa profile image

      Glecy lariosa 

      6 years ago from Davao City

      i can really relate to this article because i am too a single mother of my two years old daughter and even though its just me she have right now, still I am trying my very best to make her feel that she has everything and love that she'll ever need.

    • Ruchi Urvashi profile image

      Ruchi Urvashi 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Reading this article, I feel a great respect for all single parents. I am a mother of 2 year old girl and I take care of her with my husband. We still find that parenting is lot of hard work, I can't imagine the amount of work required by single parents.

    • armygirl profile image


      7 years ago from Rushford, MN

      I am currently the single mother of a 2 month old baby girl. Her father left after she was 2 weeks old and hasn't done a thing since then. I don't understand it but all I can do is care for my daughter. I lover her so much

    • satice_j profile image


      7 years ago from via the Bronx, NY

      Well written hub. I am there right along with you on being the best 'Daddy' I can be for my kid, I go to every Daddy Day celebration his school hosts. I run the sports gigs with him, I spend time with him, quality time. I dream of having a man around, but I am not in the space for that right now. I have had my son since he was two weeks old and he will be a solid citizen and a contributing one also with God's grace. Stay strong and find fulfillment in being the one who stayed! God Bless you and your girls!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Good article. I am new to writing and I think I could learn a bit from your writing style. I am going through the beginnings of my kids' mother walking out on them. i try to be the best father and mother I can. My girlfriend jokes and calls me mother of the year for all I do for the kids.

    • PaulaHenry1 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from America

      Oh my goodness Jessi I am so sorry to read this...stay strong and be the great mother I know you will be!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great article. just got done writing one myself about single motherhood. I'm here with you lady. 2 small children and no father, actually got an email last night that he wanted to sign all rights over and doesn't even want to meet his newborn baby! how sweet. I really wonder what the world is coming to. Men have changed over the decades, why cant they be like our grandfathers who stod by their flesh and blood no matter what. i'm so dumb founded.

    • Jeremey profile image


      7 years ago from Arizona

      i can relate, but from the other side of the pond. I was a motherless child. I didn't meet my real mother until I was 19yrs old. My father remarried when I was two and had a step-mother, but she wasn't 'my' mother. Now i find myself a father of three, struggling just to eat, but my support is paid, my children have a roof, food, clothes video games and so on, but yet their mother tries most anything she can to make me look like a dead beat homeless man who couldn't care less. I am homeless but still see my kids, unfortunately only when their mom says it's ok, she has failed to show up in court, I have had police try to enforce the court orders but because I lost my job about four months ago, after many other obstacles, the system sides with the mom despite her drinking she has stopped treatment for and her bi-polar disorder. When a couple have children it isn't always the dad, who makes the decision to leave it all behind. I love my children more than I love life its self, I have made every sacrifice but yet I am still the bad guy, in the eyes of everyone. My children see it differently, and that in the end is all that matters. God bless the children! I could go on forever on this one.

    • PaulaHenry1 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from America

      LongHunter- you are wrong- you ARE special as you know how and will teach the next generation of dads....good to know there is men like you to fill the void and step-in when "sperm donors" decide it isn't. Thanks sooo much for your comment!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I've never been able to understand a guy who can just walk away from his children. I say guy because, if he does that, IMO, he's not a man.

      I've found most men that walk away do so because they don't want to pay their ex-wife or baby momma child support. I paid mine gladly. Not because it was presented as penalty nor a fee to spend time with my children but because it was my responsibility. My children were my responsibility but, first and foremost, I wanted to spend time with them. They're grown now and I just married a lady who has a 3 YO son. Her son's "sperm donor", as she calls him, hasn't been in the picture since he was four months old, choosing to desert them while she was away at work one day. He chose to slink away and leave his son behind. How does someone do that?!?

      I met the little guy when he was eight months old and knew he and his mom were a package deal. He now calls me daddy and I'll be adopting him soon.

      I'm not writing this to say I'm anything special. I'm not. I'm just a guy that was TAUGHT what responsibility is and not to run away from it. We unfortunately have a whole generation of young men that haven't been taught to accept responsibility for their own actions. Nothing is going to change until that's taught by parents to their children, most importantly a father teaching his son to take responsibility for his actions. To step up. To be the head of the household spiritually, financially, and emotionally.

      Do that, gentlemen, and you won't just be a man. You'll be be something a lot more important and special. You'll be a DADDY.

      Great hub, Paula, from a new follower.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I agree that the single father should never neglect their kids. If the single dad is not happy with the marriage, for whatever reason, then get a divorce but never disregard your kids. Always be there for them, for them to not feel abandoned and it is good to tell them the reason for your leaving. I mean for them to understand you but just leaving the kids alone are not good. You just have to take responsibility, if you're not happy with the mom get a divorce but be there for your kids.

    • PaulaHenry1 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from America

      tp- so true. Some "dads"- and I use the term lightly- play the pity card,when in reality they use the card to dismiss themselves from the children and ultimately blame the fact they are single as the excuse to be an absent dad. Pathetic really.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      What gets me, in some cases, is the fact that they walk out all the while claiming they are a single dad. They through a "poor me attitude" around to everyone who will listen whenever they are the ones who were miserable to be around. Si their absence is better for the kids in one aspect, but they leave their kids feeling abandoned and rejected while they spend all their time living the single life. There is no excuse for this behavior other than complete self centered, abuse!

    • profile image


      7 years ago from Raleigh, North Carolina

      Cory - there is no reason for a dad to not be there, period! With all the laws now geared toward co-parenting, if you want to see your children, you can. I, quite frankly, don't care what the woman might say about you, and neither should the man. They should just want to support their children and be there for them.

    • PaulaHenry1 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from America

      Sunny and Whisper: Thanks so much for your comments. It is unfortunate that our children need to refer to us as 'Dad' and it is unfortunate whichever parent abandons the child. But like you said Whisper, stand up and take the responsibility, they didn't ask to be here therefore they should not be punished as if they did.

    • profile image


      7 years ago from BC Canada

      I am a single mom and my mom was a single mom and I love her for all that she has done for me. I too give her fathers day cards even now when my dad and I actually talk. I understand your article and know that it is very important for the dad to remain a figure in a childs life but with that said I also know my fair share of women who have walked out and left the kids with their father. These women carried these children inside them for 9 months and were still able to walk away! So in response to your blog I would like to say that to whichever parent abandons their child shame shame your child did not choose to come into this world nor who their parents would be so like paula said step-up and be a parent. NO excuses you both chose to have a child so you both need to have part in raising that child!! We are the only ones that can control our actions so set the blame aside and think of the children!

    • Sunnyglitter profile image


      7 years ago from Cyberspace

      My daughter used to give me cards for Father's Day as well. It really is heartbreaking.

    • Gleddy13 profile image


      8 years ago from Salt Lake City, Utah

      Cory - I don't care if my wife told me every day for the rest of my life that I was a horrible father, there is no way I could walk out on my sons. I would rather "bash my head against a wall" for the rest of eternity than abandon them!

      If you don't get along with your spouse then get counseling, get over it, or get divorced. But your kids are yours for life.

    • PaulaHenry1 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from America

      Trimar- thank you for the comment and keep doing what your doing...

      Cory- I'm not blaming the man, I am questioning how they can walk away from their child. I find your reasoning to be very lame. If it is a mans 'trait' to give up than they are more cowardly than I originally thought.

      This is THEIR CHILD! Not a job where it's too frustrating and you walk away.No matter what, you stay by them and love them. These are human beings!

      I could NEVER give up being a part of my babies life, bad other parent or not.

      As for most single moms being women walking out with the kids? Yes, they do and I'm sure there are reasons for doing so. Thanks for the comment.

    • Cory Winn profile image

      Cory Winn 

      8 years ago

      Its kind of biased and sad to say sexist to put 100% of all responsibility on men.

      I believe in most single-parent cases its the mother that walks out with the children... And I see no mention of mother-responsibility in the article... Maybe she makes the man feel unwelcomed, that's what most single fathers say. No matter when or how they try to reconnect, its always deemed "the wrong way", by the mother, so they just give up trying.

      Its just like with dating. Most guys who become eternal bachelors do so, because they're tired of being told they did something the wrong way. They approached/asked-out/proposed/dressed the wrong way. They try everything, and everything is the wrong way. But if they stop trying, they're called wusses who won't man up and start pursuing again.

      Its a male trait to rather give up, than bash your head against the wall, and a lot of men feel that way with women, so eventually give up. So its the same with children.

      Most guys who give up on being a father, do so, because they're tired of always being told they're doing the "father thing" wrong. So they'd rather give up altogether.

    • trimar7 profile image


      8 years ago from New York

      I was a single parent for a long time. I made the choice to realize what a gift my children were and how blessed I was to have them with me. It is so true. I will always have a closeness with my children that my ex-husband cheated himself of. True, I had the hardships but, more importantly, I had the blessings. I can recall my daughter coming to me crying one day about all of the changes in our lives. I told her that it is true that I would not have elected for things to happen in the manner that they did. However, I told her that we are who we are because we had to have strength to move forward and become who we are and I wouldn't change who I was. My lovely daughter gave me a hug, went away for an hour or so, returned to my arms and told me she thought about it and she would not want to be anyone but who she was as well. Now how could that not be a gift?


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