My 13 year old daughter has drifted away from me, as I'm a single mom working overseas

Maria - posted on 12/23/2014 ( 16 moms have responded )

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Left Joney with my mom when she was 5 yrs old. She's 13 now, and sad to say she never talks to me, doesn't want to be touched.
I usually come home once year and spend 1 month with her.
She's good at school
Whenever I ask her to go out with me to the Mall for binding, she declines.
She will only write to me if She needs something to be bought for her.. Small cheap stuff . She will never ask for gadgets nor clothes.
Never hug me. I'm an alien to her. I'm so devastated
Please I need help
Thanks in advance
Maria

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Jodi - posted on 12/23/2014

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You can't expect to be away from your child for 11 months a year, then come home and be "mommy". It doesn't work that way. Your child hardly knows you and there is a possibility she is actually angry at you for going away from her. You talk about your feelings of sadness at her treatment of you - have you ever considered how SHE feels? Do you think she might feel devastated too? Her alienation of you helps her cope when you have to just go away again. Why would she form an attachment with you for the month you are with her only to be hurt again when you go away? She is protecting herself.

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Corina - posted on 09/03/2015

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I've let my daughter go live with younger brother,to get her away from boys here,I feel when she comes here she disrespects my home by leaving a mess everywhere,she thinks she dosn't have to listen to me because she's not living here.my brother didn't back me up when I tell her off or to pick up after herself. My brother will take her to anything she asked n buys her wotever she asks for. Should I bring her home n get her back into line

Ev - posted on 12/26/2014

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I agree with Michelle and the others. I even said the same things they did. You are not trying really having that sort of conversation with her and not having an in depth talk with her.

Michelle - posted on 12/23/2014

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The conversation you have had with her doesn't ask her how she feels about you living overseas, it talks about money. Why can't you ask her what she would like (and leave money out of it!!!!!)? A 13yo shouldn't be so worried about money, most 13yo's are so self absorbed that they just want everything and don't care about cost/money.
It's obviously been drilled into her when she's wanted you that you have to be away to make money so that all she thinks about.
So instead of saying you are going to quit your job, ask her if she would like you to stay home. If she brings up a job tell her it will all be fine, you want to know what her feelings are.

Mommabird - posted on 12/23/2014

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After reading Jodi and Shawnn's comments it made me think of one more thing to add to my last comment. Think about this...You quoted the conversation and the questions asked were just as plain as the answers you received. If you want your daughter to connect with you, youre going to have to do better than that 1 minute conversation about whether you move back or stay there. If it were me that conversation would have been at least 30 minutes and I wouldnt have settled for her "Im ok" reply. Thats not ok, for a 13 yr old who has only seen her mother 240 days out of 2920 to say shes ok with it......, that would not be ok with me.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 12/23/2014

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Why couldn't you take her with you in the first place? I'd never have done it to begin with.

These ladies are right. If you want a bond with your daughter, 1 month out of every year isn't going to do it for you. You'll need to make changes. If it means taking a lesser salary, one that you can live on, but may have to cut out extravagances, you need to make sure you can do that without being bitter about it, but it would be a way to be a parent. Right now, you're the strange lady that wants to be called 'mom' for 30 days once a year. The other 335 days, your mom is raising her, and IS her mom, in her eyes.

Jodi - posted on 12/23/2014

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I think you are confusing her UNDERSTANDING of why you have to do it with her EMOTIONS about you being away. As I said earlier, she is protecting herself by the way she treats you. Emotionally, she possibly doesn't cope with it, even though logically, she understands why you have to do it. Emotionally, she may feel removed from you even though she understands your decision. Remember, it's now been 6 years. She is so used to you not being there she possibly already has no real emotional connection with you. I'm not quite sure what you expected when you had that conversation, given the circumstances. A rush of emotion of "please mommy, don't go!!!"? That is not going to happen.

Mommabird - posted on 12/23/2014

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Maybe go more in depth in conversation. Find out how she feels about you being gone so long and how she would feel if you were there more....see what she says then.
Sounds like she is ok with the set up but she may also be covering it up because she doesnt want to be the reason for you making less money and she isnt sure if you WANT to do it.

Maria - posted on 12/23/2014

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I just talked to her
Me: I decided to quit my job and stay here with you
Joney: what?
Me: I will look for a job as a call center agent
Joney: the money would not be enough
Me: are you sure ? Are you ok with the set up ?
Joney: yes I'm sure I'm ok

After awhile, I opened the topic again, in front of my mother
Me: I want to quit my job and stay permanently here
Joney: we need money for my college fund

Will try to dig in more later
My mom have explained well to her why I have to work overseas.

Mommabird - posted on 12/23/2014

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That sounds like a wonderful idea. You wont regret it.
Sounds like youre home with her this month so I hope you both have a Wonderful Christmas!

Maria - posted on 12/23/2014

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Thanks Jody. Thanks for letting me to look at the bigger picture. As much as I want to quit my job and stay permanently home, I can't. I'm already 48. Will ask my friend who works at call center if she can recommend me to have a job. This can fix it. Although I need to save more money to fund her schooling for 8 more years.
I am so lucky that even if I am an absent mother, she is excelling well academically. Will make these remaining weeks worthwhile for her. I Will set 2 more years to work overseas and be back for good.

Michelle - posted on 12/23/2014

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I'm with the other ladies. You can't form a bond in 1 month every year for the last 8 years.
Why didn't you take her with you from the start? Of course if you ask her now she will say no.
Charlotte said it all with the 1 question you need to ask yourself. Unless you are there for her full time she will continue to do what she is.

Mommabird - posted on 12/23/2014

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Honestly, I think you know what do to.
If you dont...ask yourself ONE question.

"WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT TO ME...MY JOB OR MY DAUGHTER?"

I bet she's asked herself that question a few times.

Over 8 years... I cant understand how you just now realized it's a problem.

Ev - posted on 12/23/2014

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So you have to be gone 11 months out of the year away from your daughter? Is there no way you can take time off at other times of the year to visit her? The thing is you have left her in the care of your own mother who has become a mother to her now that you only come once a year for 30 or so days at a time. You do not seem to keep up the contact with her or try hard to do so. Its like you give up. You do not say if you continue to send her messages every day. There is also Skype and it has video chat so you could get on camera set and talk face to face if you really wanted to. Do you not contact your mother to help facilitate this connection at all?

The base line here is that your child does not really know you. She has seen you once a year for a month since she was little. I do not know what kind of answers you are looking for. Maybe you should change jobs and find one at home so you can be with her more so you can form a bond and relationship. But at distance, not really trying to establish anything, and coming once a year for a month is not going to give you time to build anything up. To her you are just as much like the stranger on the street.

Maria - posted on 12/23/2014

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Thanks for the reply. I can't come home often as much I wanted as I am working as an overseas cotract worker. I know that this will be the repercussion. So I am here to ask help on how to make a relationship with her.
The only tool we have is imessage and facebook. Both of which she seldom starts a conversation . I say hi and hiw are you'd without a reply.
I asked her to live with me in the gulf, but refused.

Ev - posted on 12/23/2014

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So, do you contact her? Do you put forth the effort to do so? Its up to you as her mother to make the effort to keep a relationship with her. I do not understand why you did not take her with you in the first place. You left her at the age of five and then come home once a month. What are you expecting? Open arms? She does not know you at all from the sounds of it and her grandmother is more her mother than you are. You should have tried to spend more than 30 days a year with her. I honestly do not know what to tell you.

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