Daddy not in the picture...

(12 Posts)
Lonz Sun 24-May-15 22:34:36

I see a lot of thread's about dads getting contact, seeing DCs etc. but none about dads not even being there in the first place! I was left on my own, and my next worry is how to explain to my son 'where is daddy?' and 'who is daddy?'...

I'm just wondering what are other people's experiences with this if you're in / been in a similar situation? Telling DC current partner isn't their dad etc.?
Feeling like current partner is "encroaching" on your parenting territory when they want to be the other "parent"..? Where do you draw the line with their "parental responsibility"?

pricklypaws Sun 24-May-15 23:05:15

My DD's dad has never been involved in her life, I left him when I was 5 months' pg. She is 13 now and has never had contact with him and doesn't ask about him at all. She asked some questions around the age of 5, when I gave her age appropriate answers but basically being truthful. It was all straightforward, being honest is the key.

I have only had my current partner involved in the past 3 years, so she has never thought that he or anyone else was her dad. I was very cautious and didn't want to bring anyone else into our home life until I was very secure in the relationship (so although I had dated other men when she was younger, she never met them as I didn't quite feel they were the right men to commit to - DP is the only man she's met as Mum's partner). DP doesn't take on any parenting role, which suits us well as we don't live together, but we're engaged and he'll gradually take on more of a role when we're part of the same household.

Lonz Mon 25-May-15 00:32:17

That sounds very sensible.

I myself never really grew up with a dad being there, saw him through contact centre but now not at all so I know my son will be fine without a dad. I sometimes wonder if my son will blame me for dad leaving. I feel like my current partner wants me to forget about that part of my life. But it's had a big impact on me (I was left with our unborn baby), so I can't just forget about who my son's dad is. It's not him so then I feel like it's my duty as his mum to do everything myself. People on the outside think he is dad, then I feel discredited because I went through so much shit on my own to get me to this point.

I want my son to have a "father" figure but on the other hand, I don't want him getting too attached as we may not be together forever. He doesn't know that if we did split, he wouldn't see him.

Pipsqueak23 Mon 25-May-15 10:09:02

My DS is 19 month and his father has never seen him. We split up not long after I found out I was pregnant.

With ds's age I havent yet had questions but worry about what to say when he does start asking, as don't want to sound spiteful or make my DS feel rejected, as it turned out 2weeks before I had my DS, that his father in fact had a wife and children.

I spoke with my friend about it and she said to stick to the truth but to word it in a way that isn't going to make my DS feel hurt by saying that his dad needed to be with his other family but knew that he would be just fine with me and wouldn't be short of love or support as he is surround by the love of all the family and friends he has in his life.

Hope this helps in some way smile

Lonz Mon 25-May-15 23:15:54

Thank you. That is what I'm trying to aim for.

I found out my ex had another baby on the way while I was in late pregnancy. So that got to me as I felt he left my baby for someone else and started another life, like MY baby and I weren't good enough. I think I just have a lot of built up emotions about that relationship that I didn't deal with at the time. I tried to push forward for me and baby.
Then got into a new relationship when my son was a few months old which I think was too early maybe? Like I suffered after having my son (not that I realised) and everything has been set into place without me being "there" and I can't regain it...

I just feel like I'm crying out here!

Ladymoods Mon 25-May-15 23:22:39

I left my EA husband nearly four years ago when my dc were aged 3 and nearly 2. He saw them infrequently for the first 8 months after the split before going NC about 3 years ago. The weird thing is that the kids have never once asked for him, they just state that they don't have a daddy in a very matter of fact way. I think even then they could sense the awful atmosphere he brought with him. I love not having him in my life but it still breaks my heart every day that he could turn his back on them so easily.

However, I'm sure they will ask one day and I still don't know exactly how I will handle it. I won't paint a fantasy image of him, I will tell them that he made me very unhappy but I can't think of anything that can ever make them understand why he wouldn't see them anymore. I dread this day, so will be watching carefully for any tips.

Lonz Tue 26-May-15 00:36:51

Bless you. The heartache...

I think my problem is wishing my son had his dad but don't want someone else to replace him because they wont have the same feelings and protective instinct as me. My heart would break if my son got left out of something or if he was upset- would theirs?

Lonz Wed 27-May-15 16:21:25

Hm. I guess what I'm trying to get at here is how do you let your partner know that just because they've known your kid from a young age doesn't mean that they have any rights or any parental responsibility?

Like my son's nursery stuff, that's for me and for me to agree to and sort out. It's no one else's job. I'm the only one on the birth certificate. But he seems to think that he has rights and a say in my son's life. He needs to understand that he isn't my son's dad without getting fart-arsey about it and offended. I'm sorry he wasn't there at the conception, ha! God forbid I had relationships before him!

Lioninthesun Thu 28-May-15 05:04:21

I think it sounds as though you need to get some couples counselling to sort this out. It seems unfair to both of you at the moment, for him he probably feels he has stepped in and tried to help. You are starting to see it as taking away control when before you were on your own and had all of the power.

My situation is that dd is 4 in Aug and has been asking a lot of q's about daddy. She also spends around an hour a day telling me all about him and his mother (completely made up as she wouldn't remember him at 6mo). I find it heartbreaking esp since I recently mustered my strength to email him re contact for her - she was desperate to meet him. He basically said unless I cancel CSA he won't consider it as he isn't 'legally protected' hmm So I am now in a situ where I am seething at him, unable to tell her what an arse her father is while somehow trying to explain that daddy still can't see her...yet, in a polite way with minimum stress to her. Ex was going on about getting parental rights through a DNA test, as a threat to make me stop CSA...

I suppose what I am trying to say is, if this relationship is to work you need to figure out if this guy is a good option for a father figure for your son. If you think so then please work on it. If not then you need to sever ties before your child gets emotionally attached.

Lonz Thu 28-May-15 23:10:44

I think you hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately, but yes, you did. I did have all the power before and he was all mine. But now I feel he and his family make me feel inadequate when he is my son! (but that's to do with how I was after having him) I thought I was fine with it as he's mine and not related to them, so they couldn't legally take him away from me. But as he's getting older, he's actually talking to them and they take him out to the park and things. I think he has a cheek though when he asks if HE has to sign a form for my son!

Um, I think this is all stemming from a comment made by my ex. Then I dreamed he took my son when I was pregnant, and I couldn't find him. So when I was by myself, I was safe... Hmm. Just thought about that! That upset me at the time. I protected myself also by not putting his dad on his birth certificate, moving and not telling him and not seeking for maintenance.

But my mum was with my dad around the time I was the age my son is now and I don't actually remember it at all. She's had other partners, even called one 'dad', but never have I had any emotional attachment to them. Or even cared if they left or not.

Lioninthesun Fri 29-May-15 08:48:53

Yes, I think it sounds quite tied in to the father of your son. We all get very protective of our kids - I call it my 'mummy bear mode' as there was a study into female hormones/actions after birth being very similarly protective over anything to do with offspring. I turned into a very angry lady when ex went into hiding over CSA as I saw it as a direct affront to our child.

Him threatening with getting parental rights (whilst still bleating on that £5 per week is too much) continues to put me into 'mummy bear mode'. It hasn't made for a very nice month as I feel drained from going over the same old arguments. What I think is that sadly the father of your child will always be able to ruin a moment (these men are not real men as they walk away and are not 'fathers') but you will always WANT them to pay attention. In a way I feel the only person who would truly 'get' how awesome dd is would be her father (and mine, small family!). I felt really good sending him pics to update him and telling him all about her, and it was a huge sadness that he still insisted on making it about money, rather than wanting to meet his own child.

So, after all that waffling! This guy is better than your son's dad. He has stuck around, done the right thing and wants to help more. He is acting like a father because he feels like one, and I think he has that right as he has stuck around. You may be worried about this because of the ex (hard to trust someone who is taking the place of someone who could run away so easily) but you really need to look at why you are together. This guy sounds great, to me, but I don't know all of the ins/outs. Even families where the couple are married and together get in-laws being a PITA, and actually I think it shows they care. Which, from the prospective of a single mum, is quite a luxury! Having power over every detail of your child's life can be nice but I'd much rather my child had a large family network to rely on and learn from and feel protected by. If they don't do any of that then you are better off without them, as your son will remember things from around 3.5+ in my opinion! Just my thoughts!

Lonz Mon 01-Jun-15 21:35:00

I think it is that; someone taking the place of a person who hurt me previously and made me more vulnerable.

I just don't want someone to come into my life, create things within it and just leave me again, but this time round there's another person I have to think about. So maybe I'm subconsciously trying to protect my son from being hurt?
I know he wouldn't do that. But I guess there's a bit of jealousy too. I'm the only one who knew my son's dad. They don't know each other and I would like my son to put a face to a name. Like I want to share that part of my life with my son.

But on the other hand, if my son was 6 when we started going out, I assume he wouldn't think twice about who has the rights?
The point you made about him feeling like a dad- he got offended once when we were talking about being protective and I said 'yeah, that x10 is how a parent feels'. People without kids think they know what a parent feels like when being protective, that gut wrenching feeling, but they actually don't 'get it' until they have their own.

I don't wanna be like 'Surprise, he's not your dad. Happy Birthday, though'. If maybe I tried giving his dad one more chance, at least he would reject his son to me and not to my son's face if he ever wanted to talk/see/find him oneday..?

Well, I guess this is what you get when you grow up unable to trust men (for above reasons, ha)!

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