need advice about babys dad

Hailey - posted on 12/27/2013 ( 6 moms have responded )

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I need advice... Not many of my friends have kids and it seems like the rest of the people in my life have been with the same person forever!
I am a single mom to a 2 1/2 year old boy. Me and his father were together on and off for 3 years until I got pregnant and we broke up for good. It was not a healthy relationship. It was built on partying and fun. He is also 11 years older than me. I was intrigued by his world I guess. I was madly in love with him I would have followed him anywhere (and did) but he never loved me that way. In honesty I don't know if he has the ability to love anyone like that. But getting pregnant made me grow up and unfortunately he's already about as grown up as he'll ever be. And I decided, that life was not for me or my son. I always knew my sons dad didn't want kids. So I knew I was alone from the beginning.
From the beginning he has not been very involved with my son. He will visit once every couple months for an hour or so. Usually after I have "reminded" him. Anytime we have a serious conversation he says he wants to be a dad. But his actions say differently. He has always payed child support on time. I told him in the beginning he could choose to pay child support and be in his kids life or he could sign over his rights and that would be that. So again choosing to pay to me means he wants the option to be there. In the beginning he said once our boy was 2 he would be around more, "once he didn't need his mama around so much" but he is 2 1/2 now and no difference. His excuse for everything is that our son is too young to know what's going on or miss him. I think this is ridiculous cause if he had been around from the beginning his son would know him just like he knows the rest of us in his life. I am always extremely accommodating with my sons dad. Whenever he visits he ALWAYS comes to my house and he knows he is always welcome here even tho quite honestly I don't usually (ok ever) want to spend time with him that is the only way possible he says because he is never living somewhere that is acceptable to take a child. My thing is I have always gone above an beyond to be accessible to him because I don't ever want my son to be able to blame me for things (even tho I'm well aware regardless at some point in his life he will). There is really no drama between me and my sons dad. The only thing we fight about is him not seeing his kid.
Now with Christmas just passed I still have not heard from him to wish our son a merry Christmas. I texted him end of November an let him know I wasn't going to plan anything for his family this year. ( the last 2 years I have invited my sons dad and his father and sister to my house for a Christmas meal because like I've said I feel strongly about my son knowing that side of his family) but last year they all stood us up without Even a phone call so I was letting my sons father know it was up to him this year to plan it and I would make sure my son was there. Well at the time he said ok but it never happened. And it's 2 days after Christmas an he hasn't Even sent a merry Christmas. I know what he'll say, that he's too young it's a waste to text me to tell our son merry Christmas when he doesn't know one way or the other. But if he knew his son at all he would know many people called him that day to say merry Christmas and my son spoke to all of them. He is 2 1/2 now not a baby he knows well what is going on! No he didn't miss his dad saying merry Christmas but that's because he doesn't know what a dad is to begin with. He also makes stupid remarks all the time like posting things on Facebook " wrap it with latex or she'll get your pay checks" am I being over sensitive thinking that is a straight negative comment towards his son? Also he pays me $100 a month whoop dee whoo big deal.

Ok so my question is. What would you do? I realize I can't protect my son from the hurt this will one day cause but I would like to minimize it. Is it better to tell his "dad" to f*ck off completely or let him keep coming around every couple months and calling himself "dad" I feel like it's confusing for my son. And my son has no shortage of live in his life. He also has many strong male figures to look up to. (Which even if his dad is around he is not exactly someone I want my son modelling himself after). I know it is wrong to keep a child from his father but is there exceptions to that rule? If my son later wanted to know his dad I would never keep information from him or speak badly about his father (even though I could write a book!!) also I don't want visits at my house anymore after he leaves here I am literally sad for 2 days because I just can't understand how he can reject this beautiful smart lovable little boy. Everyone who meets him is obsessed with him... Why isn't his dad? He comes from a 2 parent household just like I did. I just can't understand hi side of things. Please advice anyone. I would like to note I am not worried for my sons safety at all when he is with his dad. I know he is safe and I know there is no hope in hell he would run off with him. He'd be returning him that night so he could go to the bar

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Jodi - posted on 12/27/2013

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Actually, you will always need his dad's permission to take him out of the country. I personally have 100% legal responsibility of my son, and yet I still needed his fathers signature on the passport papers. The court orders meant nothing in that situation (unless, of course, they specifically stated that I could get a passport and travel without his father's permission). That is one situation that it won't help you with.

You will never have full rights over your son. He has a father, like it or not, that's how it works. Sure, I can see why you think you should have full rights, and I can tell you there are women worldwide who feel the same. But there are also men worldwide who curse the idea that the mothers should have all the rights because that isn't fair to them. So for that reason, mothers don't get all the rights. Fathers have rights too. Only the court can change that., not you, not the father, not anyone else. The objective decision of the courts.

Hailey - posted on 12/27/2013

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I agree completely with everything you are saying Jodie. That is why I'm here last resort asking strangers, because I am so back and forth in my thinking. I know you are right in everything you say. But the selfish biased part of me can't stand the thought of the hurt I KNOW my son will one day feel unfortunately over and over again as his dad never has been and never will be reliable to anyone. And I can't help but think he is still young enough his dad could completely disappear and my son would be no worse off. And I'm sorry I said I DONT fear for his safety. That is not a concern at least not his physical safety. I have for the last 2 1/2 years done nothing but encourage a relationship between them as you can tell by having visits at my house and trying to get my son to see that side of his family on holidays.
Ok so the proper thing to do would be to go to the courthouse and have custody papers done. I understand the way things are now I would need his fathers permission to take him out of country for vacation which in our personal situation is a joke. So hopefully custody papers would help in that situation. My other concern would be that he works under the table so I don't know what would happen to my child support if the courts decide on the amount. I am not against visitations trust me if I could court order him to see his son more I would! but I think I should have full rights to my son rather than share them with a man my son doesn't even know. And no I do not want to be the one he blames for keeping his dad away it is my biggest fear. But I would take the blame if I thought it would save my boy some hurt.

Jodi - posted on 12/27/2013

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Do you want to be the one to tell your child in the future that YOU prevented his father from seeing him? Your son will be fine. It's not up to you to "let" his dad do anything. It is up to you to encourage a relationship with his father to the best of your ability. You don't have to let the visits take place at your house. You can let your ex know that he needs to find somewhere else for the visits to take place. Why is there a concern for your son's safety? if you have concerns for his safety, then document whatever evidence you can.

In the best interest of your child, I believe it needs to be spelled out in court orders. If you have safety concerns, present the evidence and THEN and ONLY THEN if the court is satisfied and orders such, will you have the right to deny visitation.

Your view is not unbiased. It is subjective and when that is the case, your decisions will not be objective. This is why we have a court system. Your rights as a mother do not extend to deciding that the man YOU chose to sleep with (apparently, he was good enough then - subjective viewpoint) isn't good enough for the child you conceived together. That is the duty of the court.

If you have a problem with the amount of child support he pays (which clearly you do), then file for child support. Otherwise, you get what you get.

Hailey - posted on 12/27/2013

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I do not have court papers filed or a child support order. It is just what we agreed on. So you believe it is in my sons best interest to let his dad continue to come and go as he pleases?

Jodi - posted on 12/27/2013

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Do you have court orders and have you filed for child support? Or is this just an agreed arrangement?

There are no exceptions to the rule of keeping a child from his father, especially if there is court ordered visitation. The only person who has the right to make a decision about removing a father from a child's life is the judge in the courts. It isn't your decision to make.

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