He is driving me insane! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 10-19-2009, 03:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Let me start off with a little background. I was with my son's father for two years and when I was 7 months pregnant, we broke up. He moved out of state and I moved back in with my parents to save money. After being away from him, I realized that he was emotionally abusive (ei: threatned to kill himself if I left him, called me horrible names, told me I was worthless the day I gave birth).

I don't really want him around, but I am respecting the fact that he is the father of my baby. However, I am getting tired and to the point where i am about ready to take some action to change things.

My son is 6 months old. His father quit his job last January and still hasn't found a new one. He isn't looking either. He bums around all day and just "kicks it with his guy friends". I am full time college student and full time mommy. My son lives with me and has only seen his father about 10 times.

Now that my son is very alert and learning new information so quickly, I know I am to a point where I have to decide what I am going to do about his dad. My son's father hasn't paid one dime of child support and hasn't provided anything. However, he has high expectations that he can see his son whenever he calls up. I told him that I am not planing his life with his son, and if he wants to be an active role in his life, he has to call me and set things up. He calls rarely and when he does, the convo is all about him. He never asks how his son is doing until the end of the convo. And some days, he "wants to be a father" and other days he "wants to go traveling around the world and leave everything behind for 10 years or so"

My issue: What are his actions doing that are going to affect my son? I have told him that he can't come in and out of his life whenever he wants. That is going to bring confusion and resentment into my son's life. My son is going to wonder if he is doing something wrong because his father "doesn't love him" or something. I don't want my son to grow up with that baggage. What can I do? I'm so unsure.

I know that I am doing everything it takes to provide the best life to my son. I am a college student who will graduate in about a year with a BA and then after one more year, I am going to have a masters of education. My son's father is so wishy washy about the whole situation and won't come to terms with the fact that he is a father. He wants to travel and leave his son in the dust, yet he wants to be the "supportive" father he "knows" he can be, yet he has no job and just sits around all day with his friends smoking bowls, which IS NOT around my son at all. Part of me wishes he would just leave the picture so I can focus my whole energy on my son and loving him with all my power. Yet, part of me wants my ex and father of my son to grow up and get his life straight so he can be in my son's life.

I don't know what I should do. Any advice? And sorry, my initial post turned more into a rant. Cie la vie.
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#2 of 10 Old 10-19-2009, 06:16 PM
 
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Here's my two cents...

Someday your son will grow up and he will meet his father--most likely he'll end up meeting him someday whether you like it or not, either by your ex's insistence or your son's. If he learns the reason he never had a dad in his life as a child was because of "you," I believe you'll have a lot of explaining and in the end it won't be worth it. Even if he doesn't pay child support, even if he's a UAV to you and "kicks it all day smoking bowls with his guys," he's still your son's father. If he wants to be in your child's life, your child deserves to have whatever his father is willing to give him. Your child will never understand that he didn't have a father growing up because he didn't want to pay CS. It puts a mere price tag on a relationship between father and child.

I speak from experience. My dad left my mom when she was pregnant. He refused to pay child support, dodged orders, etc... But he did try to see me and contact me but my mother refused and kept me away from him until I finally did meet him at age 22. When he told me he couldn't see me because my mother refused, I felt really violated. I could've had a DAD all those years!! Trust me, I GET with every fiber of my being why my mom acted the way she did. OMG my dad was SUCH a loser, really, but I had to know for myself.

If it's about CS, involve the courts. You should go after it, after all it's for your child not you, per se. Do what it takes to get it, but don't refuse visits because he has no job or motivation. Your child will still want to know him.

If he's unreliable and comes and goes as he pleases, you can't do anything about it. As your child gets older, he may very well get hurt by his father's lack of commitment, so you're going to have to do your best to explain it without badmouthing him.

All that said, there are times to keep a child away from a father, if he's on drugs and abusive, then yes. But childish and unreliable? Sorry. I get how hard this is, but in this case, I think you really need to be the big person here.
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#3 of 10 Old 10-19-2009, 06:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ZoshaMosha View Post
All that said, there are times to keep a child away from a father, if he's on drugs and abusive, then yes. But childish and unreliable? Sorry.
I agree with this, but...


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Originally Posted by Artisticmama View Post
(ei: threatned to kill himself if I left him, called me horrible names, told me I was worthless the day I gave birth).
and

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Originally Posted by Artisticmama View Post
....yet he has no job and just sits around all day with his friends smoking bowls,
sounds like it's closer to 'on drugs and abusive' than it is to 'childish and unreliable'.

If you do cut him out of your lives, I think you should be upfront about the fact that it was your decision to do so, and be open to revisiting the issue when he's older.
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#4 of 10 Old 10-20-2009, 01:52 AM
 
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I suppose... I guess I don't consider pot that much different from beer. Sitting around all day drinking beer or smoking pot is, admittedly a lame way to live your life, but doesn't seem to me to be a contraindication to having contact with your child (unless the dad gets intoxicated while caring for the child, that's not acceptable).

I also don't think emotional and verbal abuse between parters or exes should stop parental contact, necessarily. If that were the case, my STBX should never get to see his kids! But, in general, he's a decent dad, though he's called me every single name in the book.
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#5 of 10 Old 10-20-2009, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your responses. First off, I did not say that I am keeping my son from his dad. I simply am not going out of my way in doing his dad's job of arranging times to get together. I have never turned down a request he has made to see his son. My son is six months old and his dad has only wanted to see him about 10 times.

I do want my son to make up his own idea about his dad and with that said, i find it very important not to bash him when my son is around.

And it isn't that he is only unreliable and immature, he is abusive and addictive. I agree with zoshamosha, pot isn't much different than beer. But when you look at the way he does, it is bad. He pawns stuff off and pushes bills off in order to smoke all day long. When we were together, he use to tell me pot was his number one and nothing was equal to it. When he doesn't smoke, he is angry and explosive.

But I do disagree with zoshamosha with not thinking emotional or verbal abuse is not a reason to stop parental contact. Emotional abuse leads to physical abuse, and my son's grandfather on his dads side was physically abusive towards his family. This is another reason I am fearful of my son being around his dad. His anger issues + being exposed to physical abuse = potential to harm my son.
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#6 of 10 Old 10-21-2009, 07:47 PM
 
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It's hard to tell from your post what your choices are. At this point it sounds like you probably *could* stop him from visiting. If nothing else, he doesn't seem to have the energy to fight anyone on anything. But it doesn't sound like you want to do that. It sounds more like you want him to either s**t or get off the pot, and either be involved or quit bothering you. That's totally reasonable, in my opinion. You have an obligation to facilitate their relationship, especially since ds is so little, but that doesn't mean you have to have an open door at all times. You have a life, and I happen to believe that an inconsistent, unreliable parent is harmful to a kid. Parents who truly can't handle the job shouldn't be allowed to totally smear their issues all over their kids for the duration of their childhoods. If I were you, I would take this to the courts and get a parenting plan approved. If he can't stick with a reasonable schedule, he should lose his rights. Courts do that, and it's because it's bad for kids to be treated like a toy that's only interesting once in a while. While you're at it, you can have a child support order approved, just in case he ever gets a job.

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#7 of 10 Old 10-22-2009, 01:00 AM
 
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I feel your pain! My son is turning two at the end of the month and his father hasn't seen him since June of LAST year, nor called to check on him. I am a mommy, full time employee and full time student. In that order.

I spent a LOT of time and energy for the first eight months of my son's life to get his dad to see him, talk to him, come over for dinner, go OUT to dinner, whatever, etc. etc. It got to the point where I'd be at a restaurant or at home sitting for two hours past the time when he was supposed to be there and finally call to ask, "Where are you?" And he would say, "Oh! I forgot!" and we'd have to reschedule because he "had a headache" or "was too tired" or "forgot he had been invited to go get margaritas with his friends" or EVEN "suddenly had a date." He was VERY inconsiderate of our time. Finally, after painstakingly keeping in contact with him and trying to get him to come over and being left in the dust 99.9% of the time, I had to give it up. It's emotionally draining as all get out to try so hard for someone that just plain doesn't want to be there. A "whenever I want to be" parent is a lot more painful then a "I want to be there" parent.

Here's my theory along with the sob story.
A "whenever I feel like it" parent is a recipe for disaster. Sorry for the snowball effect theory but I just picture my son standing impatiently at the window, wondering why Daddy isn't there and me receiving a last minute call saying, "oh, I'm sorry I forgot about this something or another, can't miss it, can we reschedule?" I picture my son's excitement deflating and his heart breaking. Call me crazy if you want but you can't MAKE someone want to be there. It's the sad truth.

On that note, I did try again at the beginning of this year to get his father to come see his son. Surprise, surprise...he didn't show. Haven't heard from him since then. Every situation is different, but Momma, I wouldn't stand for that crap. REAL Daddy's have the god given right to be there for their children when they want to. Not "oh, everyone else is busy, guess I could see how my donation is doing."

Single Mommy to DS born Halloween 2007.
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#8 of 10 Old 10-22-2009, 02:14 AM
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Alright, mahna_mahna dragged me here to this thread. I've lurked for a couple of years, just never registered until now.

First of all, regardless of what anyone tells you, it is NOT your obligation to make sure your son hasa relationship with his father. It is HIS obligation as a father to get off his ass and decide what kind of father he wants to be. If he wants to be there, HE needs to take the time to make the arrangements and see him. He needs to be respectful of your and your time and not expect you to drop everything for him. Regardless of it being "his son, too," YOU are his mother and primary caregiver. Your schedual is the one he needs to arange around, not you his.

I don't mean to sound like a bitch, I've been in very similar shoes to where you are. Next month will be two years since my son's sperm doner has seen him. I haven't heard anything from him since I took him to court for child support and for custody when my son was a year and a half old. Up until then, I bent over backwards for him to try to keep him in my son's life. He went to stay with him every weekend. I never told him no when he wanted to come over or wanted him for longer than two and a half days. But you know what I came to find out? My son wasn't even with him on the weekends. As soon as my son was picked up, he'd be shipped off with his fathers roommate/exgirlfriend and her fiancee. My son was always with her. Most of the time, she woudl be the one that picked him up or dropped him off at my house because his father was at work or sick or playing paintball. Yes, playing paintball was more imporant than bringing his son home.

The last time my son went with him for the weekend, his father had to pick him up because I had a major fallout with his roommate when she tried to tell me how to be a parent and she was never allowed at my house again. Do you know what my son did when his father took him from me? He screamed. He screamed and cried his eyes out and fought to get back to me or to my mom. That was when I knew for sure he never spent any time with him. That was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, letting my son go with him. And that was when I decided enough was enough. I sat down with an attorny, filed for child support and custody and haven't heard from him since. He never responded to any of teh court documents and didn't show up for court so he was defaulted against. He has visitation, it says so right in the paperwork, but he never tries to see him. No phone calls, no emails, nothing. And I will be damned if I chase him down again. If he even bothered to answer my calls or emails and came to see him, he wouldn't want to be there. And children can feel that. My son would know, just as he always did, that his father didn't love him or care about him. The times I DID see them together, my son had nothing to do with him. He didn't like it when he picked him up or tried to play with him or anything. It was really sad.

The best thing that you can do is file for child support. Either with an attorny or DHS is up to you, but it is something you need to do. This will make him decide what kind of father he wants to be. Regardless of whether or not he has a job, they will add up how much he owes you and will start adding onto it. If he still opts to not seek employment, they can throw him in jail for willful unemployment. That, if nothing else, can give the incentive to shape people up.

There is nothing wrong with wanting help from him financially. That doesn't make this about the money or "put a price tag on the relationship," as someone put it. What CS is about is ensuring that he is at least being somewhat responsible for their child. My ex only pays CS because it was court ordered and garnished from his check every pay period. I know the only time he ever thinks about my son is when he sees the deductions on his check for the child support.

Trust me, this is something you need to do for your son more than yourself. Don't wait as long as I did. I put my son through a lot of unnessecery shit in hopes that by bending over backwards for his father and letting him walk all over me he would be in his life. It didn't work. It will never work. If he isn't in your sons life because you don't call them, then that's on him. And your son WILL understand this. As long as you are not keeping him from him, your son will see what kind of a father he is. And he is not going to blame you for not trying. Your son will blame HIM for not trying.
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#9 of 10 Old 10-22-2009, 04:36 PM
 
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It's hard to tell from your post what your choices are. At this point it sounds like you probably *could* stop him from visiting. If nothing else, he doesn't seem to have the energy to fight anyone on anything. But it doesn't sound like you want to do that. It sounds more like you want him to either s**t or get off the pot, and either be involved or quit bothering you. That's totally reasonable, in my opinion. You have an obligation to facilitate their relationship, especially since ds is so little, but that doesn't mean you have to have an open door at all times. You have a life, and I happen to believe that an inconsistent, unreliable parent is harmful to a kid. Parents who truly can't handle the job shouldn't be allowed to totally smear their issues all over their kids for the duration of their childhoods. If I were you, I would take this to the courts and get a parenting plan approved. If he can't stick with a reasonable schedule, he should lose his rights. Courts do that, and it's because it's bad for kids to be treated like a toy that's only interesting once in a while. While you're at it, you can have a child support order approved, just in case he ever gets a job.
Great advice. That's exactly what I would do.
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#10 of 10 Old 10-24-2009, 03:13 PM
 
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Maybe the two things, smoking pot and not having a job are related. So many places require drug testing. Getting child support ordered might motivate him to provide for his son.

I would not want my kids to be with a parent who was intoxicated by any substance, alcohol, pot, or even rx. drugs when especially when they are little and can get hurt so very easily even with an alert parent.
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