Hello dear moms out there.
It has been a long time. I updated a while ago that we found my son's father through DNA and sleuthing. He is married and never visits my son and has almost no relationship besides court-ordered payments and annual birthday present.
I tell my now 6-yr-old son that his father helped me make him and I am very grateful every day for that. I try to ensure he understands that his father and I never planned to be together and I always planned to have him.
My son's last name is not his bio father's name or my name, it is hyphenation of my ex's and mine. It is a good name. I tried to change it a few times but court orders while I was living in another country - the process was expensive with lawyers and I really do like the name he has so I decided a few years ago to keep it and embrace it. My son knows I picked it and picked to keep it.
I wish sometimes that my son's father would be there for my son but I see my sister struggle with her flakey ex and so many other friends anguish over abusive or bad co-parents and I never have to deal with that. I have to make all the choices - hard and easy but I also get to enjoy all the triumphs.
I try to remind myself that 99% of the importance of a "father" is societal convention around two parent traditional family. I surround myself with other strong single moms. I imagine some day my son and I will have a heart to heart with more details that he is too young to wonder about today. I hope I will have raised him to be kind and understanding and forgiving so he will forgive me for the siblings I haven't been able to give him because I lost so many years just trying to identify his dad. I hope he will feel loved enough by me to make up for the love his dad is not around to give.
Be good to your kids and to yourselves.
I recently quit drinking and started going to AA. It has been a great experience that I highly recommend. I remember the darkest days when the paternity test for my ex came back negative and how lost I felt, how guilty I felt for my son, how much shame and fear overwhelmed me. I haven't started my steps yet but I the greatest "amends" I have are to my son and to myself for time lost on this, for tears shed, for being so hard on myself. Despite the mess and complications, I don't regret conceiving or keeping my son. I love him, he is my life. I do regret wallowing more than I should have. I can't forget those times and I am here for anyone who is going through it. If anyone wants to be in touch off this board, I'm available.