Anyway, current problem. Visits. LO is almost one year old. He is not on the birth certificate, and as he has a drinking problem and has been very drunk a few times he wanted to visit, I am not comfortable with him having her alone, so I have to be there. We did not set up formal visits, but agreed on Sundays for visits, and my door has been open if he wanted to come see her. He complains that he does not get to see her enough, but it's all in his hands and he does not make the effort. AND lately, he has been scheduling BBQ/parties when we're supposed to come visit. Am I being overly controlling, or is that not really a visitation? I pack up all of our things and drive across town (because he can't seem to come to my place), and I don't feel like sitting through an effing party. I have more important things to do if he doesn't really want to bond with her. The visits are very taxing on me, and I just don't feel like driving all the way over there for him to BBQ with buddies and drink. I'm driving there for him to have a relationship with his daughter. He argued that I spend time with friends with her, why can't he do the same? My thought, because that's the ONLY time you spend with her.
I'll be honest. It also partially bugs me because he has been lying to me and trying to get back together with me while seeing other women. Said other women/woman will probably be there. He always lies to me about them and I find out later. So that is the kind of people we would be spending time with during our visits. I don't want to get back together with him, but the lies and manipulation really bug me.
What should I do? Am I being silly? Controlling? Are these visits his and he can do what he wants with them? Or should I say hell no, I don't have time to party with you, I have dishes and laundry and bathing to do, and your place is a dangerous mess, but if you want to spend quality time with her, you are welcome to drive your grown self over here?
What do y'all's visitations look like?
Yeah, that sounds like a good compromise. He will hold her for a bit, but he's usually busy jamming or talking to people. It almost seems like a "look, I'm a great dad," to everyone. And it irks me because it feels like such a lie. He can be really sweet with her, and I'm very glad about that, but he does not share in any responsibility one single bit. No child support, no help watching her if she's sick, etc. He's unreliable, and also manipulative. But he does say that he loves her and misses her, doesn't see her enough. That's one of the things that bugs me, he says that all of the time like it's my fault, but he won't come see her, and if we're driving all the way over there for him to be "hands-off," why the hell does he get to complain that he doesn't see her enough?
It just…it definitely seems like he's wanting to have his cake and eat it too. For free. No effort. But make it look good publicly. And if you ask me, I'd much rather her get quality time with him than these barbecues. But maybe I shouldn't be controlling that? It's just a long way to drive for a freaking barbecue that I don't want to be at, for him to be "hands-off" with her.
I agree, it sounds like he just wants to look good for his buddies. Or maybe, benefit of the doubt, he does truly want to show off his daughter to his friends/family, but he needs to put in the time to bond with her first.
Does he not realize how awkward it is for you to go hang out at his house for a party?!!!! I would not be comfortable doing that at all. I think it is more than fair to offer him the chance to come to your house or to meet out at a neutral location (i.e. a park, restaurant, library, indoor playground, etc.).
It seems like he is not taking this seriously if he thinks that parenting means you bring your daughter to him once a week to hang out with at a party where he is drinking and hanging out with his friends too.
Yes, that's what you should say.
My son's father was like that when he was a newborn before we had court ordered (supervised!) visitation. Here I was recovering from a C-section, letting this creep come into my house for a planned 2 hours every Sunday, having him actually stay 4-5 hours, and then he wanted to start parading his friends over during visits, 3-4 friends at a time, every visit. It was all about appearances, no interest in the baby besides "pat me on the back, aren't I such a good Daddy?" Even now, 3 years later, every once in a while, 2-3 months, my son's father wants another visitation just so he can show off pictures of him being a "Daddy" on Facebook. Or my favorite... I saw his profile on a dating website- apparently, he's singlehandedly raising his son who's the center of his world and who "loves his Daddy more than anyone else in the world". Ummm... yeah, whatever. In my opinion, narcissists don't change, so best not to make it easy on them, maybe if they have to work towards it, they'll learn to appreciate it, or at least if they lose interest and faze out, the child doesn't have to face the constant rejection of being used as a toy and put on the shelf when their parent is done playing.
If there's no court order, then you aren't actually required to give him visitation (though it looks good to the courts- make sure you're recording everything, by the way, that you're always bringing her to him, that your door is open to him and you've made this clear, etc). Set the ground rules- splitting transportation costs (either he goes to yours half the time, or he covers the cost of your transportation half the time), not always at parties, etc- and stick to your guns. If he has a problem? Have him go to court, file for paternity, and have to pay @#$@# child support! (unless you don't want this to happen, and if so I'm sure you have your reasons, then it's a little complicated as you'd have to be careful to keep him happy enough not to go through court)
Can you have friends go with you to these parties? It may help you be more comfortable, at least. You could have people you know to talk to rather than having to get along with people you aren't comfortable with. It sounds like you're practically the only one taking care of the baby there as well, so at least there'd be someone you can trust to help you with the baby.