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Single Dad needs some help?

(126 Posts)
Cotsta Fri 18-Jul-08 20:17:25

I?m new to Mumsnet and only registered today, (I hope you don?t mind a guy on this website). I?ve only just worked out what all the abbreviations like DC, DH, MIL etc. are so go easy on me ;-)

OK, here?s my story?

I?m 31, and have a two year old son that I love dearly and who lives with me. My ex-fiancé had an affair with a Kiwi guy she met at night school and now lives in New Zealand with him. We haven?t heard from her in over six months now and she didn?t even send my son a birthday card last month so I added ?and Mummy? to my card even though I can?t stand her, and told him that one of the presents i bought him were from her.

I have brought my son up for the last year on my own, which has been pretty tough but very rewarding; I work full time and don?t seem to have the opportunity to have any kind of social life for myself. My son is my world and everything I do revolves around him, I like it this way and am happy most of the time.

I?ve kept in contact with some friends but I find it hard to tell them everything I feel and simply pretend that life is great when in fact some times I?m crumbling on the inside. I guess most blokes are not very good talking about ?feelings?.

Recently I?ve been worrying that:

A) I would find it hard to let someone in our lives and trust them
B) I?ll never find someone special who would be willing to take a single father on
C) I'll never find someone who will understand that my son will always come first
D) She will come back and take my son from me
E) She will take him to New Zealand

The thought of meeting someone new is exciting, but the truth is I never really have any time and don?t really trust babysitters as he is so young, plus he hates it when I leave him (screamed the house down on the one occasion I did).

Are there any other single fathers/mothers out there in a similar situation and how do you cope with dating or having a social life of your own?

I don't mean to moan because i know how lucky i am but its just another Friday night, at home on my own, with my best little bud asleep upstairs.

ChasingSquirrels Fri 18-Jul-08 20:20:16

I can't really help, am newly single and know that in the future I would like to meet someone but have the same concerns re no's 1-3 on your list.
Do you have family nearby who can help with babysitting?
As with everything time helps, as your little boy will get older and you will be happier leaving him.

fryalot Fri 18-Jul-08 20:24:20


Moan away, it's the sole purpose of Mumsnet for lots of us wink

If you want to chat with some other dads, there is a section called dadsnet here where you could put a posting.

As to your worries:

A) I would find it hard to let someone in our lives and trust them - probably, but give it time. It's early days, when the right woman comes along you'll figure it out.
B) I?ll never find someone special who would be willing to take a single father on - there will be tons of them!
C) I'll never find someone who will understand that my son will always come first - ditto, tons I tell ye!
D) She will come back and take my son from me - Make sure you have something legal to say that you are the main care-giver. At the very least make sure you have parental responsibility for your son (it seems daft, but tis a legal term)
E) She will take him to New Zealand - If you have parental responsibility, she cannot take him to NZ without your permission.

Good luck.

ALMummy Fri 18-Jul-08 20:24:24

Hi there. Just to help out there is an acronym list at the top that I found helpful when I first came on Mumsnet. Also a lone parents section that you could look at as well.

I think all your concerns are valid but I can assure you that there are many women out there would be interested in having a relationship with a devoted single dad, a lot would find it very attractive. As for your ex coming and taking your son, it doesn't sound all that likely as she has not bothered to be in touch for over 6 months and I think it highly unlikely that she would be awarded custody under the circumstances. I am sure someone with more experience than me will come along to talk to you soon. Think it is perfectly natural to have these worries by the way. I have terrible dreams that someone is taking my kids - think it just goes with being a parent.

You will get tons of great advice on here, really is a great site, life changing in some ways probably. Certainly sorted a lot of my ishoos out smile.

Cotsta Fri 18-Jul-08 20:29:30

Thank you all for replying so quickly! I don't know what has come over me the past week. I just put my son to ben and watch TV on my own with a lump in my throat.

I'm usually such a happy go lucky bloke.

humanbean Fri 18-Jul-08 20:32:36

Marry me. My ex left to go abroad too. I am lovely.

Also though, perhaps I don't believe your story.

If it's true you will be fine. She is the one who has lost out. New Zealand is like something out of Heartbeat (all olde englishe ye this and ye olde that and red phone boxes-pass-the-sick-bag though the green bits of grass are ok) and kiwi blokes tire of british birds easily because secretly they all want to be like that famous kiwi rugger player, think they have a right to put it about and she will feel inferior and insecure.

And when they say the number "6" it sounds like "sex" which is incredibly tiresome. So she will then feel superior and her mind will explode and eventually it will all fall apart.

And even if it doesn't she has left her boy so she must be in a bad sweat.

Just carry on doing what you are doing - raising your buddy. For GODs sake stop putting stuff about her in his cards though. It aint true and kids need the truth.

Take him to a rugby match in his buggy and cheer for england and just remember that the All Blacks have short legs and correspondingly short.... blush

ALMummy Fri 18-Jul-08 20:33:26

Do you have family near by who could babysit so you can get out? Get on mumsnet when you feel low, always something to cheer you up on here.

kama Fri 18-Jul-08 20:36:38

Message withdrawn

IllegallyBrunette Fri 18-Jul-08 20:37:17

HB you are managing to make me chuckle all over the place tonight and that is a great achievement tonight I can tell you.

Cotsta - You sound like a lovely bloke, but I agree with HB, don't pretend to your son that his mother is interested if she isn't, it will just cause more upset in the long run.

In answer to your particular points though

A) I think every single parent does, I know I would
B) I am special and would be willing to take on a single dad, so you never know, it can happen LOL
C) You will eventually, you will know if they are right or not.

D) & E) - She abandoned him so it is highly unlikely she'd ever get custody.

piratecat Fri 18-Jul-08 20:37:26

there are lots of us,and you will find alot of support on here, esp on ,lone parents.

we all have the same feeligns, worries and insecurities. with regard to trust, and general parenting.

i am singe too now, and always looking/hoping for love wink

Cotsta Fri 18-Jul-08 20:37:36

My parents live about an hour away. Her parents live only 25 mins away but they only see me so they can have contact with my son.

Plus i would feel weird asking them to babysit while i'm out with another girl who isn't their daughter?!?!

piratecat Fri 18-Jul-08 20:39:43

cotsta, what part of the country do you live in?

IllegallyBrunette Fri 18-Jul-08 20:40:17

Don't tell them !

I can see why it would be hard for them, but they can't expect you not to move on, their daughter did afterall.

girlnextdoor Fri 18-Jul-08 20:43:31

Babysitting groups? Your son should get used to to other people- and he ought to be asleep by the time you go out anyway smile

Parents an hour away sounds feasible to me, if they are supportive.

I think you are looking too far ahead- things will work out- why worry about things that have not happened yet?

windyweather Fri 18-Jul-08 20:43:51

What a guy, You really do sound lovely.

Not got much advice really only I am sure in time you will meet somebody, probally when your'e least expecting it too (bad hair day eh).
Good luck and keep posting.

StellaWasADiver Fri 18-Jul-08 20:44:06

Cotsta they don't need to know who you are socialising with, do they? I am sure they don't expect you to sit sobbing over her photo night after night.

If I were single I would probably find a single father more attractive than a single childless man - you can make certain assumptions of things that are important - eg knowing the children are always going to come first - sometimes things have to be cancelled at short notice - sometimes you can't have a conversation without being interrupted - and so on. The little things that can really piss you off if you don't have kids, basically!

I am sure your little boy makes you so so happy but you are entitled to a bit of an adult life for yourself too - companionship. I am sure you will find it. What about going to a speed dating night with a mate? Non committal, not a date, but a good way to ease yourself into meeting new people maybe?

Cotsta Fri 18-Jul-08 20:44:14

Thank you for your kind words, its easier talking to people i'll never

So do you all agree i should stop mentioning 'mummy' around him? I thought it might make it easier for him if he knew from an early age that she lived in NZ and loved him (even though i doubt the latter).

Regarding those that mentioned legal custody, i agree that i should get something down on paper now. I'm going to look into it on Monday - Thanks

GrinningGorilla Fri 18-Jul-08 20:44:22

Try not to feel weird about asking your inlaws to babysit if you are out with a female. To be honest they should be honoured that you are even bothering to include them in their grandson's life. Its not their business what you do when you go out, they will probably be glad to have him/babysit.

IHadABetterNameButYouStoleIt Fri 18-Jul-08 20:45:25

i think the mere fact that you are bringing up your son alone and doing well at by the sounds would be enough to have most women go weak the knees grin so i dont think you need to worry about meeting some one.

it will be hard to trust someone yes, but so long as you find me the right sort of woman they will understand that your son will come first and will probably end up loving him as much they love you!!

and i agree with the others re getting something to state legally that you have parental responsibility, seems sill but dads arent automatically given that right! once you have that in place she wont be able to take him to nz!

andlipsticktoo Fri 18-Jul-08 20:46:19

You sound like a great dad, of course he is the most important thing in your life.
Who looks after your son while you work? Could they look after him once a fortnight so that you could have some sort of social life? It is important for you to have adult company too, make or female. Just remember there are lots of other single people out there, you just need the opportunity to meet them.

Good luck!

GrinningGorilla Fri 18-Jul-08 20:46:21

If you want someone that understands that your son comes first IMO you are better off looking for a lone parent. There are internet dating sites for lone parents if you fancied starting off on-line. Good Luck!

LongLiveGreenElizabeth Fri 18-Jul-08 20:48:00

I can ONLY imagine getting together with a man who had a child.

A man without a child could not possibly see the World the same way. No, that's not it exactly, but we'd have different priorities. I wouldn't want to be made feel guilty for prioritising my children, or for being old/boring/suburban etc...

So if you have no objection to getting together with a single mother then there are millions of us out there.

If you want a girl with no baggage and a clean slate, then it could be harder. Harder to find and harder to make WORK.

I can't believe your little guy's Mum isn't in touch. I can only imagine that she's in denial. This way she can function. If she has a little contact it would kill her. But it's not a method of coping that is going to bring comfort to your son.

Do you have her address? Send her photos and so on. It would be IMPOSSIBLE not to judge her, but keep it to yourself. You have your son. She has some bloke who can't speak properly! She will never gain custody of your son. Now you are is sole guardian. she has had no contact. His habitual domicile is the UK. Please don't worry.

LittleMyDancingForJoy Fri 18-Jul-08 20:48:09

Hi Cotsta! Well done for finding Mumsnet, I'm afraid now you'll never leave......wink

You sound like a lovely dad and well done for taking such good care of your son. You don't say exactly how long ago his mum left (a year?), but it's only natural that he will get spooked if you try and leave him as well, even for a bit. I would take it slowly - start with taking steps to make some friends that he gets to know, and then seeing if you can leave him with them for short amounts of time.

Or.....You don't say what kind of childcare you have - maybe his nursery nurses or childminder could babysit, as they know him?

As for meeting someone - do you do any playgroup type activities? that's always good for meeting other mums and dads, some of them will be single and understand your priorities. Or they'll have single friends! Look up any child activities in your area and go along, and you'll suddenly be 'tapped into' the local parents network, iyswim. Even if you don't meet a new love, you'll meet people to share child rearing highs and lows with, which is invaluable.

Hope this helps


Cotsta Fri 18-Jul-08 20:49:37

I'm in London Piratecat

StellaWasADiver Fri 18-Jul-08 20:51:54

Have you looked at the Mumsnet Local boards?

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