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Flakey dad better than no dad?

(13 Posts)
1indsay Tue 21-Jun-16 16:39:01


My son's father left us to move abroad to live with a girl he met online, a few weeks ago. I wish I could accept this situation more fully, but honestly right now I'm mainly exhausted, overwhelmed and angry.

He wants to keep in regular contact via Skype, but since ds is a baby it's basically just me holding him on front of the camera whilst his dad talks to him. It's sweet, and part of me really wants them to have a relationship...but there's another part of me that feels like 'fuck this guy, I'm not bending over for to help him' and also that maybe no contact with him is actually good since he's a flakey loser.

Am I justified in this or am I just taking my anger out in a way that will harm my son? That's obviously not my intention but it's hard to see the wood from the trees whilst I feel so angry.

I know I don't have to make any final decisions now, I guess I just trying to process my thoughts a little

Fourormore Tue 21-Jun-16 16:58:28

I don't think anyone can really know the answer. Not having a father at all and having a flaky father are both far less than ideal. I can only offer my personal experience, and that's having a flaky dad. I would rather have a flaky dad than no dad at all.

Hopefully his father will grow up a bit and play a more involved role in your son's life as he gets older.

meridithssister Tue 21-Jun-16 17:12:05

My Son's Dad is flakey to the extreme. For the past 15 years he has let him down at the last minute, provided nothing ever financially, and generally been an absolute shit.
However, when he was younger my Son adored his Dad and lived for the occasional visits flakey dad could be bothered with. I tried really hard to keep their relationship going and kept in contact with my ex in laws to try to remain him he had a Son.
Son is now a grown up and doesn't want anything more to do with his Dad. He came to realise by himself how bad he was as a father and has cut contact.
I do wonder if I would have been better doing that while he was younger, as it would have saved him years of upset waiting for Daddy to call or visit but in coming to his own conclusions at least he will never have that doubt in his mind about who his Dad was and what he is like.
In conclusion, I don't have the answer except to say if you cut contact now you will have questions later about why that happened. Be sure it is worth your son maybe blaming you (rightly or wrongly) in the future when he is looking for answers.

starry0ne Tue 21-Jun-16 23:40:35

No way would I do this for a baby....

I would offer to send updates and pics.. see how that goes...Baby will not have a clue.

ColdTeaAgain Tue 21-Jun-16 23:49:43

Nope I wouldn't agree to this. No way. He is trying to have his cake and eat it. He has moved abroad with someone he's only recently met, hardly sounds like his child is top of his priorities. Where will he be when DS learns to crawl, walk, starts to talk, goes to school?

If he wants a relationship with his child he should build it himself, not get you to do it for him.

1indsay Wed 22-Jun-16 06:36:08

Thanks everyone!

Starry, that's exactly what I've been doing and skyping too. It's just really draining for me, being that right now he's the last person I want to see! He absolutely can't handle that his actions might have detrimental consequences too, and in a way I think I've been trying to bend over backwards to protect him, which is obviously more exhausting. Sheesh.

I guess it's just so recent I should probably cut myself some slack, give myself the time to be angry, and not make any big decisions about the situation from that frame of mind.

For now I'll cut contact, I think, unless he wants to visit himself, in which case he's welcome to. Even if it's just for a couple of months, in the long run that's nothing. I definitely want him to do the leg work if he wants to keep in touch, he's doing literally nothing but hanging out with this girl, and I'm running around after DS all day like a headless...mother

Sighh the joys

starry0ne Wed 22-Jun-16 08:02:06

Yes looking after a baby on your own is exhausting..Add in skyping someone is just another job that baby doesn't benefit from..Is he paying maintenance ?
I used to send my ex updates but in the end he wasn't interested . I got no reply so I just stopped giving myself another job to do that seemed to benefit no one and said I would answer any question. which would of included how is DS?
It really does get easier but don't burn yourself out on him who is doing nothing, not even staying in the same country to get to know his child

MeMySonAndl Wed 22-Jun-16 08:52:34

No, no, no, NO!

You are NOT responsible to make up for his dad's lack of concern for his own child. What you are responsible for is to help him grow up happy, with as little resentment as possible towards the dad who abandoned him. To provide for him as his dad will not be there to support that growth with his presence, but that doesn't mean you need to make up for him, you are NOT the parent who left, it is not your fault so you shouldn't be guilt tripped by society into fostering a relationship that was NOT there in the fist place.

If your child was older, I would understand Skype sessions (even when my DS was often left in tears at the end of talking with his very flakey dad). But requiring you to hold a baby for him in Skype when DS cannot even imagine what that person means in his life, when he left for OW is so twisted I can only imagine it counts as emotional abuse.

He wants a relationship with his son,it is his responsibility to build it, your responsibility is to stay strong and be happy, as if the mum is happy the kids are happy. So feel free to protect yourself from more pain by turning that screen off.

It took me 3 years of having my son's heartbroken by his idiotic parent to accept that I was facilitating contact at the detriment of DS' happiness. At that point I give DS the power to decide whether he wanted to reply to letters or call him. Once DS had that power, he prefered to keep at a safe distance sad. But DS is much happier now his dad is out of the picture so although it still breaks my heart that he has been abandoned by his dad, I know DS decisions to keep his distance were the best solution for him.

Now, my son had a very strong relationship with his dad for years, until his dad decided to stop seeing him. Your son doesn't have that to underpin a Skype only relationship with his dad. (Not to say that being forced to see your ex in the screen should be, for you, as if someone who has gutted you so much is forcing himself into your house). It just doesn't helps if you want to move on.

MeMySonAndl Wed 22-Jun-16 08:54:25

Hurt not gutted

1indsay Sat 25-Jun-16 20:17:26

Yes, MeMySonAndI!

I really appreciated your comment. I'm totally struggling with the guilt tripping, it feels validating to have someone else notice it where he denies manipulation.

It's tough at the moment, I just don't have the time or the inclination or the free hands even to be taking photos and videos all the time to send to him. He says its 'painful' for him that I don't send anything. Urgh. What a turd.

I told him that he knows where his son is, he can take responsibility for their relationship. It's not me that's depriving him, being that he chose to leave and move abroad. I still feel guilty though :/

Not easy this...

MeMySonAndl Sun 26-Jun-16 09:19:08

I feel the guilt tripping is horrendous, it has taking me years to get out of this internal conflict where you know that inconsiderate contact is damaging and the fear you may be jeopardising a relationship between your son and his dad.

My son needed months of counselling to deal with the abuse he received at the hands of his dad, SS had put some controls on contact to reduce risk, which are irrelevant because exh doesn't want that contact. But I am still taking flack from people, from my parents to my ex mil because I should be doing my best to convince the abusive dad of my son that it would be a good thing for him to see with his son. How ridiculous is that?

There is something that you should keep in mind, stressed worn down parents don't make good parents. Happy ones do (mostly because your threshold of tolerance is much higher when you are not stressed so you cope better with the challenges of raising a kid on your own). If at this time you need a break to recover from the hurt of the last months and settle down as a single parent, give yourself a break and come back to the contact issue when you are stronger to deal with it.

Remember, the important person in all this is YOU, because you keep the boat afloat, you cannot take good care of your child if you are unwell. So put yourself and your feeling first until you feel stronger.
Don't block contact, just take a more passive approach.

MeMySonAndl Sun 26-Jun-16 09:20:52

Oops, just re read your post and noticed you are already doing that. smile

Keep strong!

TallulahTheTiger Sun 26-Jun-16 09:32:56

Absolutely you should not facilitate Skype 1indsay! If he's keen to portray doting daddy he can get his arse together in a way that provides the benefit to his child and not soley him!

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