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AIBU?

Absent Dad

9 replies

Louiseg1989 · 19/01/2024 09:46

Hi, I think I’m just after a little reassurance I’ve done the right thing? My daughter is 8 months old and has met her dad once when she was 2 weeks old, since then we’ve been in contact on and off but ultimately always end up arguing. We have tried mediation (which I requested) but it’s always felt like I’ve been pushing him to have a relationship with her when he’s not interested, just angry about the financial responsibility he now has! I feel in 8 months he should’ve been to see her more than once! He’s now blocked, I’ve changed my number and told him he’s not welcome in her life but every so often I get a pang of guilt I’m cheating both him and our daughter out of a relationship. Have I made a massive mistake? I don’t want my daughter to grow up to think I pushed him away but I know that a dad popping in once a year is not good for her 😭

OP posts:
VickyEadieofThigh · 19/01/2024 09:49

You'd be setting up your daughter for a life of disappointment and hurt if you try to get a man who clearly isn't interested in her to visit. He's shown his colours - protect her.

What sort of "relationship" would it be?

IDontLoveTheWayYouLie · 19/01/2024 09:51

If he wanted to see her then he would.

ManateeFair · 19/01/2024 09:53

It sounds as if he really isn’t bothered about seeing her anyway.

Louiseg1989 · 19/01/2024 10:26

This is my thinking, I believe she deserves better! Guess I’m just a little worried if he ever does rear his ugly head she’s going to blame me for finally being the one to say enough is enough!

OP posts:
SKG231 · 19/01/2024 10:29

If he wanted to see his daughter he would be chasing you, not the other way around. You requested mediation to help solve these issues, he didn’t.

I think all you can do is be honest and open with your daughter (age appropriate of course)

when she’s older just explain that he wasn’t ready/didn’t step up to being a dad so you put all your focus into creating a happy family without him. Never slag him off to her and let her know that you always tried to do what was best for her and if she wanted to try and contact him you would fully support her.

make sure she has strong male role models in her life. Hopefully you have a dad around or brothers etc.

you say she deserves better and of course she does. She deserves a loving caring father who is consistent in her life but unfortunately you can’t force him to be that. So this way seems better at protecting her rather than having him in and out of her life and letting her down. Who knows, maybe one day he may grow the hell up and want to be involved but deal with that as and when and if it does happen you must lay the ground rules extremely clearly that he has to be consistent.

TempleOfBloom · 19/01/2024 10:35

I’m not sure why you needed to ‘push him away’ , as he wasn’t seeing her anyway.

Louiseg1989 · 19/01/2024 10:41

Whenever we would talk he would say he wanted to see her but couldn’t because of work, family, travel, money etc so I stopped communication and told him he’s not welcome, I think I’m probably concentrating too much on that and not his failure before I called it quits.

OP posts:
Mittemucci · 19/01/2024 10:47

You can’t tell him enough is enough and he’s not welcome. Unfortunately in this you just have to wait for him to make a move and give him the minimum response.

if he ignores you for six months and then texts saying I’d like to see her, you have to say sure, please suggest a day and time.

you don’t have to bend over backwards and meet his every whim but you have to keep the door open and if he gives a shit he will make some effort, if he doesn’t, he won’t.

at the end of it all you can always genuinely say I never put a roadblock up. It’s shitty for your kid, but plenty of kids have a shitty parent, separated and together- you can’t control his actions, just your reactions.

get child support to collect his financial contribution and then just disengage, let him be the one to put the effort in to sort contact- you’ve got your hands full actually raising the kid.

Illpickthatup · 19/01/2024 10:53

Keep a diary for her. Note all your efforts to connect with her dad and his responses. If you're ever accused of not facilitating a relationship then you can show her the diary.

Responsibility is not all on you, he has to take some responsibility as well for seeing his child. It sounds like you've really tried and he's just not bothered so my advice would be to stop trying. It's better for her to have no father in her life than one who will constantly let her down.

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