View Full Version : My twins' father...what should I do?
07-08-2004, 12:52 PM
I'm not sure what I should do. The father of my children is asking if he can come up here and stay with me for a couple weeks to spend time with the boys.
Let me give you some background info so you understand. We broke up 3 yrs ago after a very rocky relationship that included me supporting the whole family while he controlled me, lied to me, and occasionally abused me. He moved down south, hasn't paid child support until last month, and has only seen the boys last Thanksgiving when I made arrangements for him to visit them at my mom's.
My family, of course, hates him. Through these last few years, we have remained friends when we weren't fighting about child support. To this day, he is the only person I can talk to that really understands me and lets me vent when I need to. Unfortunately, the way he was raised (IMO) has caused him to have many problems that he has not been able to admit to yet.
My kids adore him. Even though he really is a dead beat dad, I never say a bad thing about him. I don't want to influence my children's opinion of him. I know that if he doesn't change things soon, they will realize what's going on and dislike him for it on their own. That's their dad's choice and I'm not going to be responsible for causing those feelings. They miss their dad, or rather, having a dad I guess. Cry for him when they are mad at me. We'll pass a truck on the highway and they'll say "That's my daddy's truck!!" Just their fantasies. The boys need their dad in their lives, but regular visitation just isn't possible because he can barely take care of himself, much less 2 little boys.
So now I'm trying to figure out what to do. The boys would LOVE to have him come visit, but I know it would be very hard for them when he leaves. Should I let him come up here and stay in my house? (That's the only way he could come...he wouldn't have money to stay in a hotel) My family will be dead set against it, I know. But all that matters to me is what's best for my children. They are going through a rough time with me in a wheelchair now.
I'm not worried about my safety or the kids' (not that I EVER fear their safety around him) if he were to stay here. He does have warrants out for his arrest up here still, from when we were together. He wouldn't get out of line knowing what would happen if I called the police. But then there's the issue of my family alerting the police and him being arrested in front of the kids. They don't need to go through that! I'm not sure if they would or not.
So the question is, what's best for these 2 little boys who want a daddy sooo bad? Should I let him come up? Or would it be best if he didn't come? Please give me your opinions, because I really have no clue what to do.
C5-C7 Walking Quad
07-09-2004, 03:58 PM
Well, I guess no one's gonna touch this one. I've found that this is one of the hardest parts of being a single mother-not knowing what's best. I don't have a partner to share in the decision making. If I make a bad decision regarding my children, it all comes back on me. I have no one to share the blame with. So when I do something that does ultimately hurt my children I feel soooo guilty and feel that I'm a horrible mother. I live in Michigan now and all of my family lives in the south. The closest thing I have to family here is my exhusband (who I am still very good friends with). None of my family really knows my children so they are no help in making decisions about them. I have to say that I am very proud of my children and that anyone who spends any amount of time with them falls in love with them. I guess I'm not doing such a bad job after all, but it's so scary knowing that you alone are responsible for EVERYTHING!!
I still haven't decided what to do about their dad coming, but I'm still considering it. I'll have to think on it for a few more days or so and find out how serious he actually is about coming.
C5-C7 Walking Quad
07-09-2004, 06:00 PM
TinaMarie, it's a tough call. I know when I first read your post, I had no idea what to advise. You know him, the history, all the surrounding circumstances better than anyone.
One thing for sure though, children need their fathers, no matter how little we may think of them. It's simply a fact of life. Do what you can so they can spend some time with him, as long as they (and you) are safe.
Tina, I am sorry. The father of your children has felonies out for his arrest.
07-09-2004, 07:41 PM
Thanks Martha, that's how I feel too. I don't want them to resent me later for not letting them spend time with him either. I'm gonna have to find out how serious he really is about coming up here.
Paul, he doesn't have any felony warrants, all misdemeanors for stupid stuff like trespassing. But thanks!
C5-C7 Walking Quad
TINAMARIE, I read your post the other day, and I felt so for you, but I did not reply, because I don't have children and so I felt totally unqualified to form an opinion on this, and I still do. But, I could have at least posted that I cared, and I'm sorry that I didn't do that. I thought that with quite a few members here being parents, you'd get all the replies you needed and they'd be way more helpful than anything I could say. It's such a complex issue and maybe that is why you have not received many replies...kind of a tough call to make. Anyway, hang in there and I will be thinking of you, and again, I'm sorry I at least did not post my support for you! http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif
07-09-2004, 11:21 PM
Tina, what a tough situation your in! I am a mother so I know exactly what its like to have the responsibilities, I am not a single mother but from my experience it is very important to have the father of your children around.My son adores his father also(what little boy doesnt)So I think that as long as he is not a dangerous man and is wanting to take part in seeing his sons let him.but then you have to worry about it upsetting your boys when he leaves,my best friends sons father will come around every weekend for awhile then all of a sudden he wont show up for a month or two and this really confuses the child.Basically what I think is that if he wants to be a dad then he needs to be responsible and be there for them physically,and financially,and get his life in order for his self and his children. I know I went both ways but I hope this helps!
1 Fine Spine RN
07-10-2004, 03:28 AM
I am also a single mother. I agree about the importance of children having a father, but I really feel I have to ask some harsher questions here. You say he mistreated you. I say he still is. It seems to me that he has not worked very hard at all at being a father. It sounds like if you do not put him up and support him that he cannot come for a visit. I learned a long time ago that pretty much anyone who plans ahead can afford a campground or Motel 6. I am not trying to sound obnoxious, but I think that if you invite him to stay with you , you are also ushering in a relational dynamic that is unhealthy for you. I do not think your family is wrong, seeing as they have observed the situation from the outside. I am under the impression that this man does not pay is child support? Does not contribute to his children, but still wants to see them? It sounds like you are doing all the work tinamarie, I am proud of you, but you should be ashamed of him. I know it sounds bad but you should have the perspective that a very occasional deadbeat visit at your expense does not make this man any kind of father for your children. I do not disagree that he see them, but I think that if he wants it bad enough he can figure out how to do it, without staying in YOUR home. As far as any outstanding warrants, how do you explain to your children that their father can not freely come and go to see them because of problems, which you describe as minor, that he refuses to be a man and resolve or take care of on his own? I was in a similar emotional situation with my ex husband, and he would also tell me no win scenarios to get me to agree to his plans...meaning..there is no other way but this way. I learned of course that this is nonsense and that there are always other ways..before I open my door to him, I would provide a tent and a campground. That is unless you really want him back inside your home for you. Otherwise it might be best to make him work a bit harder at being a father. Everyone can work. I am sorry if I sound harsh, but I do feel strongly about this. I hope whatever you decide, works out well for you.
07-10-2004, 04:39 PM
You know what, Mary? You are RIGHT!!! 100%!! I was feeling guilty that the boys don't really have a father to speak of, and was considering letting him come stay just so they could spend time with him. But that's something I shouldn't do. If he really wants to see his kids he will get off his lazy ass and get a job, both so he can afford to come up here and so he can support them financially. He has never in his life had to take responsibility for his actions, and here I go trying to make things easy for him. That's the last thing I should do! Yes, my kids are suffering, but him coming up here once isn't going to change a thing for them.
As far as the warrants go, I don't mean they are unimportant...they are, as every single one of them is for something he did to me!! In fact, the whole issue of him staying in my house came up because a while back I told him that he could. My plan was to get him here and then call the cops to come pick him up on the warrants. lol Yeah I can be a bitch. I have decided not to do that because I don't want the boys to have to see it. But your right...how do I explain him not being able to come up here? So far I haven't had to...
I'm going to tell him that he can come up and see the boys, but he will have to find some other place to stay. If he really wanted to spend time with them he could have saved the money he spent on a new tattoo this week and used that for a hotel room. My kids adore him and will be really hurt when they finally realize what a sorry excuse for a father he is, but I'm not doing any of us a favor by enabling him. Being a dad takes more than donating sperm and seeing the kids once a year. It's time he took responsibility-I'm not going to let him have the rewards without the responsibility.
Thanks Mary. You were not obnoxious nor harsh. Obviously you know what I'm going through, and know how hard it is to decide what's best. You have made me see things from another point of view rather than just feeling guilty.
C5-C7 Walking Quad
1 Fine Spine RN
07-11-2004, 03:40 AM
I am glad you are making a better plan Tina. I would also add this for you to think about. Your boys are very young. So far what they know of their father is more of a folk legend than truth. They are too young to know what they have coming to them versus what they are getting. You can teach them to love their father with the understanding of the truth though. You asked what you tell them? You tell them only the truth in words they can understand. No emotions, no angers, just the truth. Daddy is not coming to visit because he has not gone to work to earn money to afford his trip. Boom. Thats all. If they cry they will stop shortly when they are distracted, so go ahead and plan your distraction now. They may ask more questions...answer them on their level and tell the truth. Simple facts. No emotional embellishments...they will accept the truth. It is in the best interest of your kids for them to know who their father really is. They can still love him regardless. The worst thing is for them to start thinking that you stand in the way of them seeing their father...put the responsibility on their father in their eyes now. It is a good life lesson, if you do not work, you cannot enjoy fun things. If they ask why he does this, tell them ..it is just the choice daddy made and leave it at that.
I hope it helps...good luck!!
07-11-2004, 07:33 AM
Mary, I have started doing that with the boys. I got tired of being the bad guy all the time when money is too tight to buy them the toys they want. So I explained to them about their dad not paying child support. They understood better than I thought they would. So well, in fact, that they asked to call their dad to ask him to pay child support. I let them. Surprisingly, their pleas reached their dad on some level and last month he made his very first child support payment in three years. I told the boys when I got it, took them to the store and allowed them to buy a few toys. Then I let the boys call him and tell them about the toys they got. Hopefully that will encourage their dad to keep paying.
On the other hand, the boys are realizing that "Daddy" has responsibility for them also. I don't let them see how angry I am at him. I share the facts, that's it. They will be 5 years old this year and are old enough to understand the simple facts. They have asked why he doesn't work, why he doesn't have a car, doesn't have money, etc. I try to explain in ways they can understand. Since their dad hasn't been around for more than half their life, they don't realize what all he SHOULD be doing, but they are starting to question some things. I'm sure once they start school and are around kids whose fathers are there, they will have even more questions. I will answer as best I can, and if they want to ask their dad, I will let them call and ask. He hasn't had to answer any of those questions yet, but I'm sure that when he does, he's going to end up with a totally different opinion of himself than he does now. Like I said before, I don't say anything bad to the kids about their dad. They will learn soon enough on their own. Hopefully, at the same time it will make them realize that their mother loves them more than anything in the world!!
C5-C7 Walking Quad