Kate - posted on 02/25/2009 ( 12 moms have responded )
I'm a newbie, and extremely thankful to have found this site!
I'm a 24 year old mother of a "soon-to-be" three year old girl. I love her very much, and took advantage of the opportunity to stay home with her while I worked on my masters in Social Work. I have met a new guy (whom my daughter and I both love!) and I live close to family and they are extremely helpful! I have worked very hard to establish a strong network of people for myself and my child. I feel confident about a lot of things in our lives..except for one.. My daughter's father.
I was never married to my daughter's father, mainly because when I found out I was pregnant he turned into a complete jerk! (That's a whole other story..) Now, he has made efforts to spend time with her, but not good enough efforts that she feels comfortable going with him.
I try very hard not bad mouth him in front of her. I try to sound excited for her that she gets to spend time with him. She runs and hides when he comes to get her, and cries when he puts her in the car. He says that she's fine once she gets to his house, but getting her there totally breaks my heart! He lives with his mother, which makes me feel a little better, because he has no clue how to take care of child by himself! I know neither of them would inflict bodily harm on her, but the fact that she freaks out at the thought of spending time with him is very disheartening.. Every time I ask her about why she is so upset about going with her dad she tells me that she is scared of him and wants to stay here.
I've tried talking to him about this problem and tried to explain that she needs to trust him, but his reply is "She doesn't have to like me... I don't care of she trusts me.. I'm her father!" Our environments and way of thinking are very different, which is why we are not together! But I feel horrible about making my daughter basically pay for my mistake of being with him in the first place... I feel so selfish about making her go with him, I love the time to myself..but not if I am doing the wrong thing for my child!
I love my daughter, and do want her to have a good relationship with her father if that is what he wants. How can I make things better for her? Are there tactics that might work? Or should I limit the time she has to be there? Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
Sorry I was so long winded- Thanks so much!