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Discussion Starter #1
To quickly summarize, I am on my second separation from DS's father. The first time I left my son never wanted to stay with me. I had a dumpy little apartment, worked nights and was in a pretty bad state emotionally. Needless to say, I went back because while I was prepared to lose the relationship with his dad, not being with my son was unbearable. A year later, and with all my ducks in a row, I did it again. Gave everyone lots of notice, got a better job so I could be with my son during the day and afford a nice place for us to live. I am healthy, happy and really believe this is the best for everyone, although the transition is hard. The agreement was that it would be a 50/50 split and I moved less than 5 minutes away. Long story short, my son still doesn't really like to stay with me. He will, and we have a good time together. I make sure to give him all of my attention when he is here, I plan activities, we paint, and we cook good foods, I help with his homework and take him to play groups, beaches etc.. But if he had the choice, he would always pick his dad. It breaks my heart really and I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I've always been super close to him and we breastfed for two years, still co-sleep, I was a stay at home mom for over three years just me and him. I don't know if he blames me for the break up. He's four, so I don't even really know what his level of understanding is. When I talked to him about it, I simply stated that I was tired of the fighting and wanted to focus more on him. Why didn't he pick me? What does his dad do that's so awesome. I'm fun, and nice yet somewhere I went wrong and maybe there's not even enough information in this post for anyone to help me. I just feel sad that my little boy loves his daddy more than me, and feels more safe to be with him. I feel like in spite of my best efforts to make it right this time, I've lost a huge piece of our relationship that I can never get back.
 

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<p>aaaah mama. dont lose heart. he is only 4. many children at that age - even with married parents - choose favourites. it is no fault of yours. it can be a totally age appropriate reaction. </p>
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<p>also the personality factor might play a role. even though my mom was a SAHM i was always closer to my dad because of our personality. my mom's and mine clash. its not anyone's fault. its just the way it is. </p>
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<p>dont take this so personally mama. dont let it get you down. carry on doing everything you can. </p>
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<p>he is only 4. you can never never lose the connection so young. just coz he is being transparent doesnt mean he doesnt appreciate what you are doing. </p>
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<p>i will turn the tables on you and ask you why are you taking this so personally? why is this upsetting you so much? your son is being his normal self. why are you turning his choices into personal failure? what do you need to heal yourself. </p>
 

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Discussion Starter #3
<p>Yes, I can see how I may be taking this too personally.   It's just hard to hear your one and only child say that he doesn't want to be with you. </p>
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<p>I am working on myself, constantly.  All the time.  Trying to be better.  I guess it was just more fear of how this could spiral into something a lot worse. </p>
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<p>I appreciate your response meemee.  I will try harder not to let it get me down.  I just know that most kids pick their moms when the time comes to end the parent relationship.  So I thought maybe I had messed up somewhere along the way. </p>
 

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<p>my boys do this, and it kills me, too. i take great care of them, and we have lots of fun, but it's their daddy that they want, a lot of the time.</p>
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<p>there's a theory in one of my classes that i think partially explains it. the person with less invested in a relationship has more power, since it's up to the other party to maintain the connection and do all the work. i think my kids want to be around their dad all the time because he's so clearly disinterested. i believe they think that they can earn his love by being excellent little kids for him. the outcome of this is that he gets two kids on their best behaviour and i get the fallout - the exhausted, hungry, miserable kids that have been holding their own needs in all day so they don't bug daddy. this might not be the case in your situation. there are a million different explanations, each appropriate to a different relationship, right?</p>
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<p>anyways, hang in there. it's really, really hard but you're doing well.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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<p>Thanks Josey Bear....</p>
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<p>I agree.  I also wonder if it's that his Dad was always working, and he was with me all day so  I, in turn, end up being a little less fun and more needs oriented.  I guess whatever the cause, it is important not to take it personally or even examine it too much.  It is what it is,  you just do your best and know that it all works out in the end.  </p>
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<p>The reason it really freaked me out too was that I may need/want to move away in the future and I was hoping he would pick me if and when that should happen.  Of course it's way too early to even think about that so I will just try my best to enjoy and be grateful that he has such a loving dad that he wants to be with.  </p>
 

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<p>Hmm... I would make sure never to put him in a position where he has to choose (if you move away in the future).  Because he's sure to feel guilt either way; not a fair choice for a little kid to have to make.  Good luck.</p>
 

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<p>He's just a child and thinks like a child, and right now may view you as the "homebreaker". You're the one who has moved out twice, that's all he sees. I would advise you to NEVER put any of these thoughts on your kid (ie. your concern that he prefers his father), for it would only isolate you further. It would create a lot of pain and guilt for your child, for he would feel caught in the middle and responsible for your feelings. Just go with the flow, shower him with love, provide as much security and stability as you can, and continue to build upon your positive relationship. Never say negative things about his father. Let the focus be on your child alone. He's only four, and it may take several years for him to feel comfortable with having 2 homes. However, all your love and dedication will pay off one day, have faith.</p>
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<p>Your child really does love you intensely and deeply, but it may take a few years for him to feel safe enough to express this. But you've handled things thoughtfully for the most part, and consistency of presence over time will eventually have an impact.</p>
 

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<p><br>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>mexicali mami</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285147/i-m-not-sure-where-i-went-wrong#post_16118710"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>.....</p>
<p>The reason it really freaked me out too was that I may need/want to move away in the future and I was hoping he would pick me if and when that should happen.  Of course it's way too early to even think about that so I will just try my best to enjoy and be grateful that he has such a loving dad that he wants to be with.  </p>
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<p><br><br>
It would be TRAUMATIC for this kid to lose his Dad. A kid should never be in the situation where he has to pick one parent, nor would you be wise to prevent access or try to move the kid to another town. My son is 6, and it's really now that I'm beginning to see how much he receives from his Dad. Fathers teach their sons so much about what it is to be male, and it's so important for sons to feel affirmed and loved by their fathers. The male-male relationship really is an entirely different dynamic than the one b/twn mothers and sons. If he has a loving father, this kid is blessed. I hope that the two of you do everything in your power to effectively co-parent within the same town, so that he has access to both of you & knows that both parents intend to be present forever, for better or worse.</p>
 

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<p>Things change. Yes, work on not taking it personally. I remember when one of my sons was all gaga over everything dad and it drove me a little crazy. It mellowed out over time. Just because it is like that now doesn't mean it always will be.</p>
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<p>And yeah, because you moved out and his dad is presumably (?) in the family home that would perhaps make that feel more stable.</p>
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<p>If you do move away, please don't put the choice on the child.</p>
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<p>And maybe play therapy? I found it really helpful when my guys were little. It really can take several years to adjust.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #10
<p>Great advice from all, thank you.</p>
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<p>The only reason why I would leave is because we live in Mexico, and I only moved here because his dad is Mexican and is not allowed back into the US right now.  I'm an adventurer, I don't mind and really like living here.  I just can't say that will always be the case.  I have dreams of going back to school and doing the USA thing again too someday. </p>
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<p>But thank you for reminding me not to put this/these choices on my son.  I forget that he is so little,  He has handled the whole thing so well.  Or is hiding his pain well.  Either way, I need to be the grown up and not let him feel bad AT ALL for choosing his dad.  I'll just bite my tongue and wish him well, wherever he wants to be, and know that he does love me too.   </p>
 

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<p>lol this is funny mama.</p>
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<p>i hear you. i am from asia. moved here only to be with dh and then kaput.</p>
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<p>my mom is all alone and ii feel terrible but its only coz of my dd i stay - poor and alone with NO family support. </p>
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<p>however i AM happy with my decision. it is really two things that kept me. </p>
<p>1. that never ever could my dd ever tell me mama you took daddy away from me - if we moved back to asia which we could have done coz we separated and ex would have been willing to.</p>
<p>2. as much as ex and i dont get along, he loves his daughter. he tries his best to take care of her. i could not ethically take him away from his daughter. </p>
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<p>however there is a huge difference between mexico and the US.</p>
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<p>and here i am mama. i am laughing because hopefully in another 8 years or so i hope to be going to school either in mexico or nicaragua and do most of my research and dissertation there. in fact i was due to take classes in mexico in a months time for a few weeks, but financial aid fell through and i cant afford it.</p>
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<p>however i will say - its tough - but i dont regret this decision ONE bit. not ONE bit. </p>
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<p>oh and one more thing. as your son grows up he will feel the pain differently thru different ages. dd has been up and down with this. somedays she is so relieved we are not together. some days esp. when seh sees others she is so sad. </p>
 
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