Struggling to care for my daughter

February 25, 2021

Dear Pastor,

I am 24 and I have a one-year-old daughter. All I am feeling right now is just hurt, pain, stress, heartbreak and mental instability. I have been so unhappy these last few years.

I am trying so hard to have a good life, but everything just seems futile. I try to put out my best and take care of my child but it is so difficult. I hardly have any emotional support.

The last letter I wrote to you was about my child's father. It seems as if the situation has got worse. He no longer calls or texts to see if the baby is okay or in need of anything. There are times when I get so tired, I need a break, and I would ask him to take the child for even a day. He promises to take her on Sundays but when it is time, he never calls, shows up or answers his phone.

On days when I have to go to work, I have to be begging my oldest sister or her father's mother to keep my daughter. They are always tired or too busy. I have to take her to work with me and it can be a disaster because she can be very stubborn. My supervisor is telling me that I should find suitable sitters for her. In times like these it is hard to find people you can trust to care for your child. The only other option I have is to stay home. I cannot afford to be taking days off from work so often.

As I see it, my child's father is very selfish, self-centred and cruel. He said he is tired, but so am I. I am working at a college and the students are always in need of assistance and I have to take care of my child's needs. Anything you can think of, I have to be doing on my own. Sometimes I think of just putting myself out of this misery. I think I have failed as a mother.

I am having constant headaches and thoughts of suicide. I love my child dearly but there are times when I think that if I had not got pregnant so soon, I wouldn't be in this position. But I can't stand the thought of not having her. I should have just stayed single after my last break-up. I don't even know what to do with my life. I have no luck with relationships.

Some women are lucky to find good men without going through what others have to. I see women treat men like garbage and they still chase after them, and I am here being nice and getting mistreated. I need help.

S.S.

Dear S.S.,

I can assure you of my prayers. I want to encourage you to continue to trust the Lord because you have been a very good mother. You have been carrying the burden of parenthood almost alone but God has strengthened you. If your child's father does not change, the days will come when he would regret neglecting his child. I don't want you to condemn yourself for what has happened to you. Everybody makes mistakes and you can look at being pregnant and having your child as a mistake, but I think that your mistake might become a mighty big blessing.

You should not blame your supervisor for telling you to find a place where you can leave your child while you are at work. Perhaps you should offer the child's grandmother some money to keep her. That might be good incentive. The child's father should be forced to support the child and sometimes the only way that can be done is through the court, because some men behave as if they don't care. So you should seriously consider taking this man to court. Explain to the judge the financial, physical and emotional strain that you have to go through without this man's help, and ask the judge to order him to give you 'X' amount of money to support this child. You should also ask the judge to order him to take the child every week on certain days so that you can get a break. Dear lady, don't give up. I repeat, you are being a good woman. Trust God, read your Bible and pray, and let me hear from you again.

Pastor

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