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My baby misses her Daddy....it's heart breaking to watch(18 Posts)
Ex H and I split up 18 months ago. He was/is a good daddy. Sadly, he turned out to be a shit DH, cheating on me online on multiple occasions and when it was over, it was just over. I've never wanted to be with him since, or him me to my knowledge. However, we were/are extremely amicable for the DDs. He has them every other weekend, (standard). He also comes over to watch a movie with me and DDs on the weekends he doesn't have them and pops over every Wednesday to have dinner, put them to bed. I have them on my own the rest of the time.
Last week he had them all week for the first time. I went away with new DP (8 months in) and ex DH moved back into mine, took them to school and away for a "mini break" too. Thought my youngest might struggle as it's the longest we've ever been apart from each other. Actually, she was fine which I was so relieved about. Since I've been back, she's struggled so much. Been in floods of tears saying she misses her daddy and can't bare for us to be apart, wishes we still loved each other, were together and she just can't bare it when he has to go. She is utterly in pieces and it is heart breaking. I cuddled her and told her all the things I could think to say.....daddy and I love each other as friends who had our babies together....we will never be together again but will always be friends....she sees him quite a lot although I understand that she misses him in between times etc etc.
I don't know if there's any more I can say or do for her? It's so difficult to watch my gorgeous little person so sad. My Ex DH left the house on the verge of tears too. Is there any more I can do??
First of all, congratulations on managing such amicable shared parenting
How old is DD?
Unfortunately you can't make her wishes come true so to an extent you can obk6 carry on doing what you're doing with love and reassurance. But perhaps he could pop over an extra weekday evening (maybe even watch them so you and new partner go out for a walk / cinema / dinner etc. Maybe just a small compromise in seeing her daddy that but extra may be enough to console her. She will readjust... kids are resillient it's just that her 'normal' was altered with daddy staying at her house, and it'll take her a while to adjust back.
What lovely parents you sound !
Any chance she finds it hard because when he's visiting it's proper "family" time and it gets her hopes up that you'll get back together?
It must be quite confusing to be told you don't love each other, but then you all watch movies together and he puts them to bed at your house etc.
How old is your DD? (My DD was 3 when I plug with xp).
Also from reading my gut says that there needs to be boundaries. Great XH steps in when you were away but it's not his home so there will be confusion so your DD (IMO).
In my personal experience the space helps the children to differentiate.
yup - it must be confusing that he comes over for a family movie night or family dinner and bed night.
He shouldn't have stayed in your house, your DD is probably upset because she convinced herself he was moving back.
She is 7, almost 8. Although I don't think she thinks we will get back together and definitely understands that because he stayed here that does not mean he's moving back, there is a chance that the fact that he stayed here meant that she harped back to the days when he lived here. The reason for him staying at mine for those 4 nights was that he lives too far away to get them to school in the mornings from his house. DP and I went away for a wedding abroad and it was too far to go for just a weekend. It just so happened to be in term time.
I really do take on board that the fact that my xh comes here might make things more difficult. The thing is, because he is an hour's round trip away, and with his work etc, if he didn't come here it would mean that he wouldn't see the DDs in the week at all. I feel that they would suffer having less of a relationship with him....and so would he, although I know he's a big boy and should have thought about that earlier and all that.
I Just want them to have a good, close relationship with him as well as me. I am not willing to give them to him every Friday night but am really happy for him to see them, which means me being there too.
Thank you for all your input, I really do take it all on board. Desmondo2016 thank you for your kind words.
You are obviously trying very hard indeed to engage in amicable shared parenting. I think I agree with PP and that the set up you have created to soften the blow in fact lacks proper boundaries and is confusing your DC. Words about the two of you not getting back together are going to be superseded by your DCs' wishful thinking and imagination if you and your exH "bang out" together with your DC. Every time your exH looks after your DC in your home, the memory of having Mummy and Daddy together is refreshed. I fear you may be - totally inadvertently - preventing your DC from processing the split and moving on.
If he can drive to be there on a Wednesday, can't he take them to the park and out for tea instead? I don't understand why he needs to come over and hang out with you for a "movie night" - he needs to take them out and have them at his place, drop them off with you and leave.
Yes, it's nice you all get on but it's really unfair on your DD to see you playing happy families twice a week when you're not one anymore. No wonder she gets upset!
He doesn't have his DD that much so not why not give him the Friday night as well?
Some of the advice here reminds me of my old boarding school, where the received wisdom when I first started was that it was better not to see too much of your children or be able to phone them etc because it "unsettled" them. Basically we'd get homesick and start to cry.
Yes, your DD is grieving getting her daddy every day, and I'm sure it must be painful to watch. But look at what you're offering her - a supportive environment with no rubbish between your XH and your DP to make her loyalties conflicted. And yes, I'm sure that she'd love the two of you to get back together but don't denigrate what you have achieved. At some point your XH will meet someone and you'll probably go to a much more formal arrangement.
It's not old-style at all!
She's only young and getting mixed messages. On the one hand, she's told they're definitely not getting back together, but then they all spend family time together and daddy puts her to bed at mummy's house - no wonder she's upset!
OP, why doesn't he take them out on his contact time?
I think you should just carry on doing what you are doing.
I second AF we have parented in a similar way since we split. My ex partner has stayed at our house since we split, I do 50% of the driving we live 100 miles away from each other and our son has really benefitted from such an arrangement. He has remarried now and they both stayed last weekend when we took our son to a trial sleepover at his new school - I have had partners too since we split. Moving forward its better to get on and we have had massive ups and downs but 10 years on I'm proud of what we have achieved.
I think youve done an admirable job of trying to make the transition easier for yor DD by her having acces to her Dad in your home but maybe it's time to phase that transition period out. Perhaps, the more time your Ex stays in your home, the harder it will be for her to seperate her Dad from the old family unit. In the future you might want to spend more time with DD and your new partner in your home and it might be more difficult for her, if that coincides with Dad (in her eyes) 'being forced out' by the change in circumstances.
Once again, given the circumstances of your split, you've done really well in supporting your DD and her father's relationship but her grief is completely understandable and unavoidable. She's still very young and probably just needs more time.
She needs to grieve. Sadly, you can't rescue her from that.
But the two of you sound like fabulous parents and there's a good chance things will all work out in the end.
Thank you for all your thoughtful comments. There's a lot to think about. The one thing I have am holding onto just now is that, painful it is to see her grieve, at least she is allowing me to comfort her through this. She is bright and articulate and has made up many a metaphor such as broken coins that represent the love that me and xh had etc!
When I was young I had a lot to deal with from a young age. I remember locking myself in the bathroom and sobbing silently, overwhelmed by the helplessness of how I felt. She is allowing me to cuddle her and tell her it's ok to be sad, to cry and talk about how she feels.
As for practicalities, it may be that things need tweaking but these are things I'll have to think about over the next few weeks and months.
parsley it is so good to hear of a similar situation which has worked out well.
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