Dani Soares Says Baby's Father 'Needs to Do More Than Just Talk' to Be in Daughter's Life
Dani Soares tells PEOPLE the "door is always open" for the baby's father to be part of her daughter's life, but first he needs to "do some action"
Dani Soares is opening up about life as a single mom and whether her baby's father will play a role in her daughter's life.
Since welcoming her first child, daughter Lilly Rose, last month, the Below Deck Sailing Yacht star, 33, tells PEOPLE things have been "really, really hard" as she becomes acclimated to life as a new mom.
"It's quite frustrating sometimes when she cries and I'm not sure what's wrong with her," she shares. "And I had quite a bit of problem breastfeeding, but thank God that's solved now ... I'm getting used to it now. Just the first and second weeks are really scary."
The reality star says being a single mother has already shown its challenges, and her current situation is "definitely not how [she] imagined" it would play out.
"In my head, I always wanted to meet somebody, get married and then have kids. Have a traditional 'family,' " she says. "I definitely didn't want to move to a new country ... get a job and then [have] a new baby, about to start university."
Soares says her support system is made up of work friends, who "come by sometimes and they hold Lilly for an hour or two so I can get things done around the house."
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
"It's just my work friends because I was already pregnant when I got here. So, I didn't get the chance to go out, meet people. They are super supportive, but they are all I have," she adds. The star says "as soon as the borders open" she plans to fly her mom in from Brazil to help her with Lilly.
As far as the baby's father, Soares says she's "not going to force anybody to do anything," but she is "absolutely" open to having him in her daughter's life should he choose.
While Soares has yet to reveal the identity of her daughter's father, rumors have been swirling that deckhand Jean-Luc "J.L." Cerza-Lanaux is the dad, ever since a preview for the Bravo show's season 2 reunion showed Soares saying that her baby's father is keeping a distance from her and his offspring.
"He thinks it's not his child, he doesn't want to have anything to do with it," Soares said in a teaser for the episode, which dropped on Monday.
"I'm not going to badmouth anybody because my daughter is going to see everything that I'm saying, everything that I'm doing and I don't want her to see things going back and forth on social media or things being said in a moment of anger," Soares tells PEOPLE. "As I said, the door's always open, but you need to do more than just talk. You need to actually have some action, do some action."
"The father was part of it, I didn't make her alone," she adds of her daughter. "So, if he wants to be part of her life obviously [he can]. But he needs to do more than talk."
In an Instagram post on Saturday, Cerza-Lanaux tried to "clear the air," hitting back at Soares' reunion comments in the process.
"While others are off chasing their 15 minutes of fame, I am working on a yacht in Central America and heartbroken to have to hear about the baby's birth on social media and read headlines like 'Dani Soares Says Her Baby's Father Doesn't Want Anything to Do With It,' Cerza-Lanaux wrote. "All I can say is if she's mine, I want to be involved 100%."
"As someone who grew up with parents who weren't together, I wouldn't wish that on any child," he added. "Not looking for a pity party. Just want everyone to know how strongly I feel about this, especially the haters who are so sure I am neglecting my responsibility. No one wants to know more than me if this is my baby girl!"
Cerza-Lanaux followed up the post with another on Sunday, in which he addressed why he hadn't gone to see Soares or her daughter yet, writing: "No, Australia isn't open yet or I would have already gone so those of you saying 'just go' must not know that. We are truly on different continents so easier said than done."
Soares first announced her pregnancy news in April, sharing a picture of her baby bump on Instagram with the caption: "It's just you and I little baby." She announced the birth of Lilly in May, captioning a photo of herself holding the baby's hand, "She is here. She is perfect. And we trying to figure this thing out."
Below Deck Sailing Yacht The Reunion Part II airs Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.
- Jennifer Lopez Dazzles During Global Citizen Live Performance: 'This Is an Important Event for Her'
- Elvira's Cassandra Peterson Was 'Most Worried' About Her LGBTQ Fans' Reaction to Her Coming Out
- Prince William Promises 'We Can Create a Better Future' in Earthshot Limited Series Teaser
- Riley Green Hangs Out with NFL Football Legend DeMarcus Ware: 'It Was as Close as I Get to Being Flustered'