Newish first serious boyfriend since her dad... sad daughter... help! - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-08-2011, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter's father and I have been apart for 6 years. My lovely girl is 9 years old. Although I have dated a little in the past few years, I haven't had a serious relationship and introduced any man into our lives until recently. I began seeing my boyfriend last January and although Lisa (my daughter) met him a few times very casually after a few months, this past July we decided we were serious and have been doing our best to gently bring him into our home life.
 
It isn't going too well (I think) and I feel so exhausted. Lisa has always been extremely demanding of my attention and is used to having much of it undivided. Her father has her about a 3rd of the time which has made it easier to focus on her when we are together but also to get my needs met outside of my daughter. My daughter hasn't really had to share me too much. She is trying very hard and it pains me to see her struggle with the conflicting feelings this new situation brings to us. No matter how much I reassure her that I love her more than anyone, she still feels insecure much of the time. She also gets sad when my boyfriend and I show affection to each other (just hugs and a quick kiss, or a rub on the back).
 
Her father has been away for just over 5 weeks which is also a new situation for us. She is missing her dad... and my partner and I have almost no alone time together (I can't often afford a babysitter and can only rely on playdates, etc. so much). Her dad has had 3 serious girlfriend that lisa has been introduced to. He has been living with the most recent since February. Lisa says she likes her (she has liked all of them and has been sad when they spilt). She says it is really hard to see me with a boyfriend as I am her rock and help support her when she struggles with her dad's relationships.
 
Lisa is really great at talking about her feelings... sometimes I wonder if we do this too much... is that possible!?!
 
Lately, my partner does stay overnight sometimes as he is working in my neighborhood right now, he lives 1/2 hour away by public transit and we get a little time after she goes to sleep. He is sleeping on the couch (or once or twice in Lisa's room with her permission and she sleeps with me). I told her that him and I would begin sleeping together in my bed somenights and she asked for a couple of weeks to warm up to the idea (which I agreed to). She sleeps with me a few nights per week and often wakes up when sleeping in her bed and crawls in with me. I have told her that I will crawl in with her if my partner is sleeping with me in my bed.
 
I make sure Lisa and I still have good quality time alone together.
 
My partner is awesome, he is not demanding at all in this process. He has insights but really just listens to me trying to figure out the best way to proceed and works with what I decide. He cares about us as a family and wants to do what is best for us. Twice he has looked after Lisa on his own when I was stuck and they get along wonderfully when I'm not around. Lisa says she really likes him but doesn't like that I have a boyfriend. She often gets quiet and sometimes sulky when we are all together.
 
I so so so want us to grow into a loving family unit that supports each other and has fun... it just seems so hard right now. I hate seeing my daughter sad.
 
Any insights, similar experiences or advice is welcome!!!
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:22 AM
 
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I don't really have any advice, except maybe these things take time and how much time is to be determined. I was very impressed by your post. It just sounds to me like you are doing everything right, and I think it's a good sign that you see your daughter trying to adjust to this...she understands it is important to you and ultimately to her, and yet it is going to take some time for her emotions to catch up, maybe? The only other thing I could think of would be to maybe have your daughter talk to a counseler...maybe having a third party to work out her emotions with would be helpful. Otherwise hang in there and again, good job on the thought and care you put into this processhug2.gif


Happiness despite misery is a great victory, I think...

caffix.gifSingle coffee loving and making mom to fencing.gifds, age 12, hamster.jpg dd, age 10, dog2.gif dd, age 7, flowerkitty.giftigress, cat.gifquinn, hyena.gifblack cat, and wool.gif beatrice the spider. Yeeehawww!!!

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Old 09-08-2011, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Hazeldust... the props mean a lot. Lately I've been more easily frustrated with her jealousy... and am not always being such a good mom in my reactions when she whines, asks for tons of attention, etc. Can her dad just get his ass home NOW so I can go out, have 3 beer, listen to live music and get laid already!!! Then, I can be patient again!

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Old 09-08-2011, 07:37 PM
 
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You're welcome and you deserve it:-)...sometimes it's the most difficult thing to just wait it out. I don't know about you but i get very anxious when my kids are unhappy, and for extended periods it's even worse! I feel like I should be able to fix things, to make them happy but it just doesn't work that way. I like your rant, lol! Sounds like a perfectly reasonable request!!


Happiness despite misery is a great victory, I think...

caffix.gifSingle coffee loving and making mom to fencing.gifds, age 12, hamster.jpg dd, age 10, dog2.gif dd, age 7, flowerkitty.giftigress, cat.gifquinn, hyena.gifblack cat, and wool.gif beatrice the spider. Yeeehawww!!!

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Old 09-11-2011, 05:53 PM
 
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My split is too new for this to be an issue for me, but it sounds to me like you are doing everything right and thinking through all the issues carefully.  I too have  nine year old and she is taking the split much harder than her younger brother -- it is a tough emotional age in terms of attachment to her dad, and we are in a different state so the separation has been increasingly hard on her.

 

Keep being gentle with yourself, her...and taking good care of yourself...


Mom to two terrific kiddos, affirming every day that the Universe is unfolding as it should and all is well...

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Old 09-12-2011, 11:08 AM
 
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I think it sounds like you are doing things right too.

 

My dd is very young and I have never introduced a man as a boyfriend; only friends (which I expose her to both male and female friends anyways).

 

The closest thing I came in contact with in this situation is when we got a new dog and dd was jealous of the new dog because we had to do a lot to take care of him. We had other dogs previously but they were already there when she was born so she was never jealous of them. I just talked with her about it and eventually she overcame the jealousy.

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