Newly single

Sarah - posted on 02/12/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Hi everybody, I am new to this group. I just spilt up with my daughter's father. We have been together for seven years and our little girl is 21 months old. This has been a long time coming, over a year actually. It is so heartbreaking because we had been together so long and he was my best friend. It was to the point that I didn't even want to be around him, I hated fighting in front of my daughter. We finally decided it was over and had been for a long time.



Part of this happened a year ago when he began an emotional relationship with a coworker when we were having problems. We had tried counseling and it didn't help. I tried, maybe not hard enough, but I did try to move on and I just couldn't trust him. He moved out tonight, and ironically today would have been our seven-year anniversary.



He is a great father to my girl and we are going to be sharing custody of her. This is going to be really hard for me b/c I have never spent a night away from her and I am with her basically all the time, except when I am at work. This is a really hard and confusing time for me. I know it is going to be really hard on my daughter, too. She doesn't understand yet. After her bath, she said "Where daddy? I go get him." As if he were in the other room.



I am just looking for any advice from anyone in a similar situation. A lot of single moms seem to not have the dad around. Well, that is not the case for me. I need some advice on being single and still sharing parenthood. Thank you!

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Sarah - posted on 02/14/2009

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Joan, thank you so much for your kind and helpful words. While reading your post, i had tears streaming down my face. This is all so new to me. I am just so thankful the my ex is such a great daddy. He just picked her up a little while ago. She was still making V-day cards and photo frames for him and his parents when he got here. He waited and helped her finish them. Then he was taking her out to breakfast b/c I hadn't fed her yet.



 



We are both doing whatever it takes to keep K happy. He told me her wanted to take her to the children's musuem next Saturday. I started to cry, b/c I like taking to things like that. He said he wasn't sure if he was going to or not, but that I could go. I'm not sure if I should or not. We talked about doing things together with her like B-day parties, and Halloween. But, i'm not sure if we should so soon. Maybe it would be a good transition for K, though. I am not sure. I don't want to confuse her.



 



I like your suggestions of having a special bag with sepcial things. it's a good idea. i packed her a bag with diapers, wipes, extra clothes, a blankie and her favorite doll. I am sure he would agree to counseling. We both are pretty pressed for time, though.  I think we can keep the communication open and everything on our own. Without the pressure of trying to be a couple, I think we can do what is best for K. I think part of the reason "we" failed was ebcause we both ALWAYS put K first. i don't regret it, but when we were in counseling, we were told we had to focus on each other as much as our child. I just couldn't do it. I have always put my girl first, and after his betrayal I didn't feel like I should give my all to him. I am stubborn and I just couldn't forgive.



 



I think we will both be good about this. My parents have both been divorced twice and on their third marriage, as is my sister. My brother is on his second marriage. My ex's parents divorced when he was a teenager. We both seen a lot of divorce and hatefulness. All along, even before we had K, we always said we wouldn't be lik that. if things didn't work out, we would stay friends, or friendly at least and never bash each other. My sister and her ex are always badmouthing each other in front of my nephew who is now 13. He was 5 when thri problems began and it took them 2 years to divorce. I was there basically every day through all that so I saw how much it affected my nephew and they were so mean to each other. They still can't really say anything nice and certainly can't withold their little "commentary" My sister's current husband is awful about my nephew's dad as well (Who, btw is a much better man than her current husband!!)



 



The first night dad left, After K's bath she says "where dadddy? I go get him!" As if he were in the other room. It pained me so much to tell her he wasn't here. I do plan to fo some things for myself. That is the same thing my BF told me. She went through a very similar situation, she moved out and took time for herself. She did get back together with her son's dad and within a year from her moving out, they had gotten back together, gotten married and were expecting their second child, who is now 15 months old. She wants me to take time for myself and try to enjoy the time K is with her dad. Today my plan is to clean the house and do homework so i can be all ready for my 4 y. o. niece and 9 monthold nephew to spend the night, and K will be back around 4-5 so she can play with her cousins. Hopefully nest weekend, I can go out with the girls since this weekend is V-day LOL...

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Oops. I forgot to mention, that while your child is away with the father, make the most of it. Sure,  in the beginning you will feel depressed and lonely, but use this time for YOU. I saw all my girlfriends on the nights I didn't have my daughter. I scheduled dinners, movies, coffee, etc. all in her absence. I limited my time with friends while caring for my daughter.



My daughter was always on the go back and forth. She didn't have any control where she was going nor when. Try to remember this because establishing a peaceful home for your daughter is primo. I always made the home serene. There was no yelling, no arguments, no slamming doors, etc. So, she always felt safe and secure.



If you are taking time out for yourself in her absence, you'll both benefit from it. Set up hair appointments, do your nails from start to finish, grab a spinning class or a water aerobics class, hit the steam room, go out dancing, attend a single mother's bible study, etc. You'll be able to maintain feeling good for when your daughter comes home and she'll feel the warmth of your glow.



Tootles. Joan

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Hi there. I am so sorry for your circumstances. Your write up is a mirror reflection of what I have been going thru for the past 12 years ~ starting when my daughter was 18 months old. It was so gut wrenching in the mornings for my daughter to open the doors of rooms and closets going, "Dada? Dada? Where Dada go Mama?" I would literally breakdown the first few days.



It is definitely difficult sharing your daughter. I made a committment to my daughter that she came first and I wouldn't date anyone during her time with me. I have kept this promise and its been such a blessing in disguise.



I read the book, "Help, I'm Raising My Children Alone." by TD Jakes. It is in the Christian Bookstores, but its not preaching and an excellent resource. All his books are great for mothers. Here's the link to a page with a picture of the book on it for you.



http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/B...|925063|1010



If your exhusband is a willing participant, you may want to consider counselling as separate parents to your child or setting up a mediation with a counsellor each year to work out any kinks early on before they blow up. If he's not or your not, then you can always do things on your own which will help improve communications.



If your daughter has a favorite stuffed animal, then keep the ex on board with the animal or blanket always travelling back and forth with the child's overnight bag. It's also good to have a mini photo album of members of your family and his family going back and forth. DO NOT EVER put a boyfirend or male friend in the photo album and vice versa for him.



Remember, routine is the best thing for your daughter. So, if you can buy her a special bag for going back and forth (backpack or small bag on wheels), a special blanket or pillow always in the bag, stuffed animal, photo album and/or book always together and only take out to wash. See if these could be done with the exhusband and your daughter.



While your daughter is adjusting to the new situation, its really important to try and maintain a good friendship with the ex if possible (it wasn't possible in my case as he moved into the other woman's house). We took ours together to see the new Barney movie in theatres when she was 2 years old.



It's so difficult. Please refrain from putting the ex down. Don't even say, "That's stupid or idiotic. What an idiot." The child identifies with her father and this will hurt her and make her question herself in relation to him.



My daughter at age 10 won a court order against her father and stepmother for parental alienation. While my daughter was in their care during their shared time, the stepmother continually put me down with friends, family, extended family, clients, etc. My ex did not stop her and only encouraged her. My daughter was so humiliated by her constant put downs and it made her question her Christian beliefs. My daughter after trying to get her dad to listen to her, decided she never wanted to see him again. Awful court battle and a long story. If you need any info, just ask.



It's a good idea to come to an agreement in your court order that MOTHER'S DAY is always with mom unless mom decides otherwise (due to work, travel, etc.) and FATHER'S DAY is always with dad. You just have to accept that a step parent can NEVER take that place on that day except with his own children and vice versa.



If I can help, ask me specific questions. I have tons of memory for that time period and would love to help if I can. God Bless. Take Care. < xoxo

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