• My Baby Girl Is Not 'Kawawa' Just Because Her Dad Left Us

    A mom dedicates an essay to all single moms who has to deal with comments like "sayang naman."
    by Effy Padunan .
  • My Baby Girl Is Not 'Kawawa' Just Because Her Dad Left Us
    IMAGE Effy Padunan
  • This goes out to all the single moms out there as well as to the people who said:

    Nasa’n daddy ni Arya?
    Bakit wala siyang daddy?
    Eh ’di broken family kayo?
    Kawawa naman yung anak mo walang daddy
    Would've been better if my dad si Arya
    Sayang naman.”

    In May 2016, my ex-boyfriend left me when I was 10 weeks pregnant. We were together for a year and a half. He said he would come back. I later realized he only said it so I'd let him go. 

    I thought if he came back we would get back together, and everything would be perfect. That was really how I hoped it would be. Hindi naman masama na umasa, 'di ba? For a few nights, I cried myself to sleep. And for so long, I grabbed on to the thought that one day babalik siya because we were having a baby. 

    A baby should keep the relationship together, right? Plot twist: That's not how it works.

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    I was not okay. I was scared, sad and depressed. Home even started to feel like a strange place. I cried at everything that reminded me of us. I just had to leave, so I stayed with my Dad in Cavite. While I was there, my friends would call to check up on me and ask how I was doing. 

    One day, I received a Facebook message with a picture saying, “Hala, bakit may bago na yata siyang girlfriend?” I didn't look at the photo until a month later kasi I didn't want to get hurt. At first, masakit, siyempre. But the more I looked, the angrier I got. It had not even been a month since we broke up and now this? A new girl? To think na buntis ako? But then that's when I also realized that my parents were right all along (trust me, they're always right). He wasn't the kind of guy that I deserved.

    I woke up one day and looked at myself in the mirror. I looked tired, unhealthy, and yucky from all the crying and overthinking. I thought, “This is not me.” So I decided to get myself back together. I got a haircut. I started eating right for me and my baby. I spent more time with my family. I woke up one day, and I was okay again. I was happy again.

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    In November 2016, I gave birth to a healthy 3 kg baby girl via C-section, and just as I expected, she turned out looking just like him. I was happy but sad too. I dreamt of having a complete and happy family of my own. Don't we all? And if he was still here, it would've been perfect.

    I cried again for quite some time, but I stopped. What was I crying for? I have a healthy and pretty baby girl. My parents and the whole family are very supportive, we're well provided for, and the list goes on and on. How does one person's absence compare to all the love my baby girl and I are already receiving? 

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    You will one day learn how to forgive people who never apologized, and that's okay. 

    If you asked me before about my ex-boyfriend, you’ll probably hear me say, “Wala akong pake dun” or even “Wala, patay na.” There was a time when I was so hateful because he left, and Arya would grow up without a dad.

    But, when you've gone through so much, you will one day learn how to forgive people who never apologized, and that's okay. We have a home -- a family that loves and supports us. Arya's biological father is not present, but she has more dads than she can count. She has more moms than she already has, so there's no need to ask and talk about things that aren't there.

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    I wake up every day with a loving, pretty and chubby little girl right next to me whose face instantly lights up the moment I say “Good morning!” and I go to bed every night with a tiny human being snuggled up to me. I thank God for everything that has happened to us, and I pray that Arya's father is just as happy as I am.

    It was not “sayang.” It was the right choice, and it was for the best. It was not “it would have been better if…” because everything got so much better when Arya came into this world. She's not “kawawa,” and she will never be. Our family was not “broken” even if her biological father is missing.

    I know one day my daughter will understand what true love is in the way her grandparents kept our family together.

    When you become a parent, you will appreciate the littlest of things. Two years ago, I spent most of my time past midnight, going out and drinking. But now a three-hour uninterrupted night's sleep can make me happy. I have changed dirty nappies at 4 a.m. with one eye open, slept with a milk soaked t-shirt on and cried in chorus with Arya. Motherhood has taught me so much, and I am confident to say that I have grown as a person.

    Seeing things from a mother's perspective made me love my mom even more. She would always tell me, “Dadating ang araw na maiintindihan mo din lahat ng sinasabi ko sayo.” She was right. Now mas mahal ko yung mom ko, dad ko, ate ko at lahat ng mga kapatid ko. They were the ones who took on the responsibilities of Arya's father, and that's not something anyone can put a price on.

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    Arya has given me a new and happier life. It's hard, but it's a whole new world -- motherhood. She found me when I was lost. And I believe that I kicked postpartum depression in the butt because of her. 

    It's not always rainbows and unicorns, and it may be overwhelming at times. But, at the end of the day, when she gives me that look that’s so pure, so sincere and full of love, I'm okay again. Being a mother is hard, but that doesn't mean you should be hard on yourself too! Paint your nails. Have that hair treatment. Go wear those pointy shoes you love, and put on that red lipstick!

    I'm a single mom. Soon I’ll get back to my college studies, but for now I'm just Arya's mum.

    This piece was originally posted on the author's Facebook account. It has been republished with permission. Minor edits have been made by SmartParenting.com.ph editors.

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