Introduce toddler to absent family members

[deleted account] ( 1 mom has responded )

My daughter who will turn 4 in November has never really had much of a relationship with anyone on her fathers side. He opted not to be involved and in the beginning would only see her every few months when his mom came to town and he needed to look good and make an appearance. I have since stopped that with him and told him he needed to be all in or all out. He left the state and hasn't seen her in almost 2 years. I should mention he developed a drinking problem which ultimately pushed me to give him the ultimatum. His mother usually came back to our area every few months to see her other children/ grandchildren. During those visits I would typically get a last minute text or email asking to see my daughter for an hour. I always met her and I even have gone as far as to send email updates with photos. However, I quickly realized I was the one initiating the emails and making the effort to keep in touch. They have never gone out of their way to call and ask how she is, holidays and birthdays are always missed and my daughter always gets used clothing that reek of smoke as her present. I always hoped things would get better and I tried to keep the communication open. At one point her father tried to see her which I agreed to. At that particular visit I could tell his drinking had become out of control because he showed up shaking and smelling very strongly of booze(this has happened more then once). I told his Mom (grandma) that he wasn't welcomed to be around my daughter anymore because this was becoming a reoccurring thing and he needed to get help for his issues. At that point I was blamed for his troubles and threatened with court. Grandma was no longer happy that her son wasn't invited to the visits and we have only seen her 2 or three times since then. I have now gone 8 months with out so much as an email from Grandma...however yesterday she texted me saying she was in town and wanted to see my daughter. The problem is my daughter is now old enough to remember people and situations. Shes a very smart child and in daycare she sees other kids with a mom and a dad. She has started making comments like she doesn't have a dad. I am very careful with what I say and I usually just respond with all families look different yours looks like ....(and I name off all of my family) She has accepted this answer and is happy with it. My main concern is Grandma is finally making her rounds again and my daughter has no idea who she is! How do I agree to these random meetings still and not hurt my daughter in the long run. This family is not reliable or consistent and have not been the last 4 years. I told Grandma my feelings on the topic I said this time she couldn't see her because her and I needed to be on the same page as to how we move forward with any relationship. I made it clear that things have not been consistent and I do not want to confuse my daughter by saying oh you have this other Grandma you never knew about. My question is how do I move forward or don't I? In all honesty I don't see things improving. Grandma is rarely involved in her own childrens lives and has never made much of an effort for my Daughter. Do I continue trying to just stop. If I keep trying what kind of boundaries do I set to make things go smoothly for a child so young who can't begin to grasp the complexity of this relationship.

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