AIBU to want to contact DD's Father
Eddings · 22/04/2013 16:15
Firstly I apologise for using AIBU I'm sure there are better places to post this but I only ever read this section (long time lurker) & over time have got to recognise some of you so this is the place I feel most comfortable.
Basically my DD is nearly 5 & has had no contact with her Father since she was 15 months old... We split before I found out I was pregnant, when I told him he said he wanted to be involved said he would attend scans etc.. this never happened.
For the first 15 months he was very off on never saw her regulary at all would frequently go 3-4 months with no contact. We disagreed mainly on what was best for her, I wanted little & often, he wanted to have her for longer periods (week or 2 at a time) with month or 2 of not seeing her. We live some distance apart approx 3hrs depending on traffic. We did go to mediation after several months of him not seeing her (I think he thought that the mediator would agree with him) & it was agreed that he would see her fortnightly at a contact centre, I arranged the application etc but he never repllied to their letters so it got dropped.
I am back together with a ex-partner who has always been part of her life as he is the Father to my much older children & she calls him by his first name or dad all the while knowing she does have another daddy (he does sometimes send Christmas & Birthday cards & presents)
Anyway the problem now is she keeps asking about her other daddy & wanting to see & talk to him... I dont know what to do as I am scared that yes he will see her but that he will leave her again & have no contact... I genuinely do not know what to do for the best so my partner suggested posting this as he knows I am often on here & feels I will obviously get impartcial advice which I wont get from friends & family.
Many thanks in advance
Eddings · 22/04/2013 16:30
Thats exactly my dilemma & I just dont know what to do for the best.
If I'm honest part of me never ever wants to set eyes on him again after he has abandoned her but then I dont want her to be hurt later on by feeling he didnt care about her & I did nothing to help them have a relationship... arghhhh tis so tough but thanks for taking the time to reply.
Maybe there is someone out their who has experience of this (either as a parent or even how they felt as a child)
MammaTJ · 22/04/2013 16:39
Well, I do have experience of it from a childs (well teens) perspective.
My parents divorced when I was 11 and my DSis was 10. Dad did not bother to get in touch till I was 13, he claimed to be allowing things to 'settle down'. Mum left it to us to decide if we wanted to see him. We did. We used to go to his for a weekend once a month. Quite a distance and Dad did not drive a car at the time. His wife would come with him to pick us up. She got bored of that, so he would come on his motorbike, put us on the bus and follow it. One day he just put us on the bus to go home alone. Not something that mum thought was acceptable and we were frightened by some rowdy lads on the bus. She told him that unless he could make proper travel arrangements, then he could not take us. He never bothered.
I tried as a young woman to keep in touch with him. Made all the effort. Even up until after I had had my own DD. I got sick of being the one doing all the running though. Him not telling me my Nanna (his mum) had died until after the funeral was the final straw for me, as well as him promising my DD he would be down to visit soon and not bothering. Letting her down was in a different league to letting me down.
I resent him for his lack of effort and am aware that my own mum did everything she could to keep us in touch with him.
Eddings · 22/04/2013 16:57
Gosh Mamma thats so sad especially after you tried so hard to build a relationship with him, it must have been very difficult for your Mum & sister as well.
I really do feel like I'm stuck between a rock & a hard place with no idea what to do for the best... my fear is even after all this time that he wont have changed & even if he does have contact he will get bored & disappear again
MammaTJ · 22/04/2013 17:25
My sister gave up way before I did.
I am in touch with his sister, my auntie and we are very close. The one thing I have asked is that she doesn't tell him anything about me. I believe her when she says he doesn't even know we are in touch.
She tells me he talks about his grandchildren, who are his wifes grandchildren and she thinks (her words) 'he has three wonderful grandchildren here that he doesn't bother with'. He doesn't even know about the younger two though.
Eddings · 22/04/2013 17:37
Mamma... your experience is exactly what I'm scared of.
Groovee... thank you for replying... I did try.. 2 years I spent begging & then I gave up hence there has been no contact but now she is actually asking herself to see him etc its made me think maybe I should while being scared to do so incase I make things worse for her in the long run
pmgkt · 22/04/2013 17:43
I think it would be best if you tried to contact the dad, without your dd knowing explaining that she has been asking for him. See if he replies. Then arrange a meeting, and still don't tell her. That way if he doesn't turn up again she won't feel upset. You can then deal with gently telling her that he doesn't want to see her at the moment, that will be hard though. I also think it would be worth not telling her about the first few meetings ahead of time, as this would give you chance to see if it will work. Sorry if that sounds really simple just thought I would put it down. Good luck
Eddings · 22/04/2013 17:50
I appreciate all advice & suggestions pmgkt thank you.
I totally agree with contacting him without letting her know, if I do decide to do it thats the way I was planning... with regards to her seeing him if he agrees, I did discuss this with DP he felt that it shouldnt be a suprise as such as that could be overwhelming to a 5 year old but I thought thats the way it should happen because then if he doesnt turn up or sends one of those last minute texts she wouldnt know any different
NynaevesSister · 22/04/2013 18:44
I recommend what the others have said. Some dads find that they can parent an older child in a way they just couldn't with a younger one.
Also I would plan for the possibility that he does decide to re establish contact. He may have good intentions but be flaky for example. I wouldn't tell her when visits are coming up, just say oh look your dad is here! Or if he insists on telling her that he will call or visit then establish a routine for it beforehand along the lines of it might be a daddy daughter day, in which case you will do X but if it turns out that it isn't a daddy daughter day then you will be doing Y instead. So that she knows more about what might be happening and feels some control.
Eddings · 22/04/2013 20:04
Thank you NynaevesSister its looking as if the consensus is that I should make contact with him.
Really hoped that perhaps someone else who has been through similar could have shared their experience (I appreciated Mamma TJ sharing her personal story) & maybe how things are now working out for everyone after.
I'm thinking I should of come up with a punchier title something along the lines of a parent & child parking space war or should I take DD out even tho she has the pox etc ... I have a habit of coming up with good ideas after the event.
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