Dana - posted on 08/07/2012 ( 5 moms have responded )
Hi, I am a new mother to a 7-week old. The father and I split up a few months before our wonderful son was born. It has definitely been a rollercoaster...
I have read many people in somewhat of the same situation as I am in, and what I seem to take from it is "don't deny your child someone who loves them". I understand that completely.
But my ex, I think, may be an exception to this rule. He frequently lies, about things that don't even matter, and things that definitely do matter. He will say he is coming over and not show up all the time. He will get stranded somewhere for days at least once a week and he will be unable to see his son. I mean... he will tell me he'll be here in 30 minutes and I'll call him and he'll say that he's stuck 2 cities away (he has no car, no friends with cars, no job, no home and no money) without bus money. I'll ask him why he told me he was going to be here and he either will say a) I don't know or b) because I really wanted to be there. He has also blown off planned days with our son together to do things like go to the beach, go to a party and visit his friend the next state over... all on a whim.
He has a lot of mental issues, none of which he will get help for, including bipolar disorder and fetal alcohol effects which cause him to have trouble making connections in his brain such as short- and long-term consequences and some basic reasoning skills, and sometimes be explosively angry. He never directs it at anyone but he will break things and hit himself when it gets bad.
Here's the thing: he loves our son. He loves him wholly and completely. Whenever he is here he is great with the baby, except for a few things I have to continue to correct him on (how to change a diaper, not to leave baby on raised surfaces, etc). But I do not feel comfortable leaving the baby alone with him at all, and due to the fact that he becomes so easily angry when faced with a difficult situation, I have absolutely NO confidence in his ability to discipline or even confront our son about any bad behavior in the future when he is older.
It is almost too much to bear for me. I don't know whether he lies and skips out on his son because he means to or because he actually is that stupid and mentally incapable. I am worried about how our son will feel when his daddy doesn't come to his baseball game or birthday or just to hang out, when he promises that he will. I have tried so hard to get him to understand that there will come a day where his son will resent him if he continues to do this, and that this is not the way a parent should act, and to just TELL me when he can't make it instead of lying, and he never ever changes. He will swear up and down that it will never happen again and it will literally happen a few hours later. And he won't seem to understand why I am upset and will tell me I'm "being a bad person". It's baffling.
So, I don't know what is best for my son. I don't know if I should keep an irrational, mentally unstable man in his life just because he loves him with all his heart. So far I have been very lenient but I have stopped waiting up for him when he says he will show up, because I have been frequently late to appointments etc. waiting for him. I let him come over whenever he wants that is possible, but he ends up eating all my food, and asking me for bus money sometimes when he leaves. I can't afford this and I will not let my baby be alone with him, but I still have been struggling to keep him involved because he is the father... I've told him not to come around until he got his life together before but all he will do is beg me and beg me to see him until I break -- and then he won't show up.
So my question is, should I let him in or kick him out?