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Ideas for non-custodial mama to keep dd close

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have a messy past. My 2 girls are from 2 different fathers. My oldest dd (12) is being adopted by my dh - the adoption should be final any week now. Her dad was a total sd and never saw her a day in her life (I was 15 when I got pg...enough said, probably). I am so glad that my dh loves us both enough to adopt her.

My 2nd dd (age 5.5) has a wonderful father (who was a terrible bf, but that's another story). He has primary custody (making another long story short, we both wanted it, due to distance we cannot do shared, so I ceded it to him - please no flames, I believe this was best for all of us) and has since I got married when she was 3. Her dad and I get along rather well at this point. He is not remarried or dating anyone seriously, currently.

We live 4 hours apart. Until now I had her one week out of the month plus summers (60/40 custody). Now due to her starting K, I will not be able to have those 1 week/month visits though my mom lives in his area and I will get her and have her at my mom's at least 1 weekend a month (plus holidays/school breaks and summers).

So...what are your ideas for keeping my sweet girl close? When apart, we talk on the phone often (most days) and I do mail her letters, cards, photos and gifts. She is learning to read and write, but can't quite yet. I have given her stamped postcards to mail me. Does anyone have other specific suggestions? Her dad is great enough to keep her calendar marked up with our visit dates, so she can always look forward to the next time she'll see me, even if it will be a while. Anyone else been here? Any brilliant ideas? I love my daughter so much and we are very close despite difficult circumstances, and I want to keep it that way. She is also very close to her sister (12) and brother (7 mo) so any suggestions involving them would be great, too!

post #2 of 9
sounds like it's time for a change. What about having her every other weekend? have your ex meet you halfway for exchanges?
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
That's not a bad idea. I will bring it up to her dad. But what about in between visits? That is more specifically what I'm thinking about... thanks!
post #4 of 9
tracey, i dont have any ideas but i wanted to comment and say what a great relationship u have with ur exbf. i wish circumstances were different for u but its so rare to come across ur kind of relationship. most of us are dealing with many faces of indiff father like ur first. hey that's great that ur mom lives close to ur dd.

the only thing i can think of if money is not an issue is getting those webcam thingys when her dad is home. and setting some specific time to 'talk'.

no one would flame u for making the right decision for your family. no matter how i felt if i felt that my dd's dad could provide a better home for her than me and she wanted to go with him, i would give her up in a heartbeat and then go cry a storm at home.

i like the suggestion of ur ex meeting u half way as then it becomes a 4 hour thing instead of 8. u could do that bi weekly.

you already seem to be doing a great job.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Meemee...thanks so much for your kind words. You made me cry. Thanks for your suggestions also. I think her dad has a webcam, so that is a great idea! I'll look into getting one...we both have high speed internet so that is a great suggestion. That would let her see and talk to the babe and her big sis also...thanks again for a great idea!
post #6 of 9
Dss's mom used to live 8 hours away and we met 1/2 way for weekend visits. Would a video camera be an idea? I know our kids love to watch videos of relatives. That way she could "be there" for even small events and could watch it when she needed to .
No flames. A lot of custodial dads around this forum and it is so nice that you have a working relationship.
post #7 of 9
No flames here!

Heres an idea I had for my sdd and her bio mom. Unfortunatly it didnt quite work out. Anyway, my idea was to buy a journal and have sdd write in it each nite. Then when she went for a visit she would leave it with bio-mom, for her to write in for 2 weeks. Then next visit biomom would give it back; yada yada. I suppose you both could have a journal to write in - then when you saw each other you could switch. Make sense?

Since shes still young maybe she could draw pictures for you? Her dad could read your entries to her? Just a way to have you still "there" each nite while she makes an entry. And you're both still a part of each others daily life.

I love the webcam idea! If I can think of anything else, I post again.

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the great suggestions, and tis the season for cheap notebooks!

post #9 of 9
Definately no flames here. My son lives with his biological father. Thankfully it is only 40 minutes away, so I get to see him often. He has actually been here with us most of the summer.

We set up regular times for phone calls, internet chat (he is 9, and is a puter whiz, so that makes it a bit easier), and once in awhile I will pop in and surprise him at school.

I really like the journal idea. What a great way to stay connected. And you will be able to save the journals and see how she grows and matures as she gets older.

Good Luck!
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