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How to you keep connection when child lives with father?

1495 Views 12 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  eden/averymum
Okay my dd has been at her fathers for a year and a half now.
It was not a pretty situation that led to her going there (she's bipolar, odd, *I was pregnant with ds2, she was flying off the handle, attacked the one year old and when she threw the iron at my head, threatened to kill herself her dad took her)

So I gave her space and allowed her open access here any weekend and she comes for every school holiday (as long as dh is home), so she was in control. And everything now is smooth.. she comes once or twice a month (*her father and I didnt' have set visits, and his family is huge so they have more set activities, birthdays etc). She calls me when she wants about twice a week and we email.

I want to keep the relationship going well, but she's now 12 and 'busy' with friends, school, etc. She's doing very well but I know its the best place for her (her dad and partner she's the only child she gets attention, eating out, they have more $ etc) They are doing a great job with her and I so badly now understand what life is like as the noncustodial parent but sometimes I do feel like the ugly girl at the dance....

Any ideas on how to keep the relationship close without cramping her style?
I still have all that mama guilt on people must think I am a bad mom, that I rejected her. But you got to have boundaries and limits.. Also she does better when its just me and her (as it was for 8 years of her life) she's very cruel to my middle son when she's here and I don't want that but I want to keep her relationship with my other boys...

how do I build in time for just her and I? shopping? dinners out just her and I when she's here? I keep her involved in everything, and get her advice on things in the house (her room, paint colours in the kitchen) I just want to keep things going well
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My ds is almost 12. He lives with his dad. But he has been there for 7 years. The story is long, but here is a short version. he was hard to handle. I had undiagnosied bi polaor. He got a brain infection from the chicken poxs they told me he was going to die and he didn't, I had a breakdown and ds and dd went to live else where untill I could cope. but ds stayed with his dad (diffrent dads)

as for keeping her feeling welcome. I email ds too. I tell him small everyday stuff, new words cory is saying (#2ds) about dd school spelling tests.

He is getting to be at the age where He is calling me to make vistation arangments. but he is a boy, I think that has a little to do with it.

Just keep the comunication open. I have a saying, "I am the fun dad" as in the weekend parent. I also don't disapline ds, much. I feel those days are over for us and we are making conections in ohter ways, I am not telling you to do thid but it works for us.

I rember how I felt after he went to live with his dad. I actually lost friends over it. I felt tremendous guilt. I don't now. ds's dad and his step mom are GREAT. they do not have children of there own so he is spolied, they have money and he has lots of advatages that I couldn't give him, one on one ect...
it took me years to work out that He is doing better there, he is thriving. his stuttering has stopped. He is so loved and so wanted. I only feel proud now. proud that I was strong enough to leave him there. Even thou sometimes I could barley stand it. i know he is happy.
When I gave birth to him, I swore that I would make sure he was happy, secure, and healthy. I fullfiled my promise

I 'll be keeping you and dd in my thoughts.
i don't know if any of this was helful, But i waned to post to let you know I know
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It is nice to be the one that doesn't have to worry about 'did you brush your teeth' every morning... I get to be the fun one, as the fun stuff happens on the weekends (the zoo, parks, shopping) during the week its a lot of stress, time to go to school, forms, homework...I too don't do much discipline but then again I don't have to get her to 'do' much... as the weekends are a more relaxed time.

I only feel proud now. proud that I was strong enough to leave him there. Even thou sometimes I could barley stand it. i know he is happy.
My family was very upset and talked about its too bad they couldn't take her...duh she's with her dad! its not my parents thing to do.

It is helpful to hear from other moms, especially AP moms as well when you value connection, daily contact its hard when your child is a 'visitor' not a part of everyday life.
i forgot to give you a big
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I guess its just not that common to have mamas that aren't weekday parents. People give me that odd look, but they sure don't stay babies for ever and having her apart makes me realise how they all fly the nest at some point and that our relationship being close isn't a 'given' its going to take work and respect from me...not a bad thing I am sure in the long run...
Hugs to you momma, it's not as uncommon as you think that momma aren't always weekday parents.
Would it be possible to set up a weekly/biweekly "date" nite? Just the two of you? That way you get some alone time with her and also still have family time too.
I can certainly empathize with you. My 16yr old lives with her dad, in CA. I live in Europe. It's tough parenting by phone and mail but this is what we have right now. I send lots of care packages with letters and pictures and little things that we can talk about and enjoy together on the phone. I call. A lot.

I'm going to be seeing her in about a month and, as mentioned above, I get to do all the "fun parent" things with her, like shopping and meeting her friends and doing the Disneyland thing.
It's funny how women feel that they have to justify a situation like this. You would never hear a man give an explanation for why his child lives with his/her mother...just a thought.

I also want to point out that it is really neat how you don't think that a good relationship is a given. I think that a lot of parents feel entitled to their children's affection, and I think that sense of entitlement is total BS. Your situation might not be ideal, but I think it is the best that it can be under the circumstances. I think you should just let her know what it is you want out of the relationship, but tell her that you understand it's a busy time in her life and that you're there for her when she needs you. She's old enough to hear that you made a decision that was hard, you may have made some mistakes, but that you think she's in the right place. I mean, just to let her know that you do love her, you didn't reject her, etc.
I also want to point out that it is really neat how you don't think that a good relationship is a given. I think that a lot of parents feel entitled to their children's affection, and I think that sense of entitlement is total BS.
Totally, my dh family is very family is very close despite a divorce. I think that when parents assume their kids will be the 'adults' and that they will always be can loose touch of whats really going on....

Right now I figure that my door is open, she does call often and I email her. But I guess I should ask her what she'd like more of less of. Mother daughter relationships are always interesting/volitile...and that guilt wow. Yeah men don't suffer the same! Or maybe its just me thinking she doesn't 'need' me as much anymore and that she's really growing up that is so scary! how quick they do that!! sigh....
This thread is a little old but what I needed tonight. I have a 14 yo ds from previous marriage, he lives with his Dad and has for the past 8 years. Its been hard but it seems since I had dd 10 mos ago that things have gotten difficult because after years of it just being dh & I and ds when he was over, its like I have a whole family unit and that ds is not a part of it despite wanting him to be.

Guess I am just bummed because ds was due to come over this weekend but its his grandma's birthday so the long and the short is that he is not coming over. After pushing his weekend back because his Dad wanted him to stay home over the holiday weekend.
Dh & I had plans for all of us but now ds won't be over and I really feel like I am struggling to be a good Mama to my eldest. Its hard being a non-custodial parent, and just feels good to vent for a second. However as my son gets older I am struggling to stay connected, we talk and email and when he's here its great but as he is finishing junior high and starting HS in the fall I know there will be more demands on his

thanks for letting me vent.

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sorry I don't have more time to post tonight. Just wanted to let you know I read your post. You are in my thoughts
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