Posted by: Foxybrown | 2006/10/28


I read the threads below with interest. One thing has struck me though, why exactly are you living with this man?

Your salary takes care of the finances in the house plus his expenses. So you don't need him for money.

I am sure you are a vibrant and attractive young lady. So you don't need him for sex.

Living away from your parents and child would imply you have the time to meet new people. So you don't need him for companionship.

Do you have an emotional dependency on the man because he is your child's father?

Millions of women make this mistake the world over. Being with a man, insisting you must live together, insisting there are no other options - just because is he’s your child’s father. That boyfriend of yours might be your child's father but he doesn't sound like he is your child's daddy. What I mean by that is what contributions has he made, does he have a picture of the child in his wallet, what does he send on special dates, how often does he call, what does he know about the child’s life at school, when has he visited? Does he know her favourite colour or what cd she has been eyeing for Christmas? In what ways is this guy being a daddy as opposed to just a father?

You have not had another child with him and you have not married him. He compromises the financial standing in the house, seems full of empty promises, appears unreliable and judgmental.

So again....why….?????

I'm sorry but 'because he is my child's father' is not good enough. Neither is 'well, because I love him'

Come up with something better. Whatever money you are spending on him, should be spent on your child. Whatever emotional support you are extending him, should be extended to your child. This one may hurt - whatever effort you put into accommodating him in your life - is effort you should be putting into accommodating your child in your life.

I do understand Missy that it’s not easy and that your job is demanding etc. That you live far away from her etc.
But your window of opportunity is closing faster than you think. Her teen years are just a few years away. By 2010 she will be a teenager. Teens are a very different breed to 8, 9, 10 yr olds. Teens ask questions ten yr olds don't ask. Thru her teen eyes she may begin to ask questions about why it has taken you over decade to come and live with her or take her to live with you. She may begin to ask why you made space in your life for her dead-beat dad but not for her.

I may sound judgmental, I am trying very hard not to be so. I am a single mum myself, with a toddler. Her dad wanted to be in my life just as a 'guy', not as a committed boyfriend or husband. I decided that in certain situations you can do what the father of the child wants or what the child wants - but not both. You can see to the guy’s needs or to the child's needs - but not both.

Over the next few years you need to totally restrategise your life. You have lost ten years of a mother-daughter relationship. Phone calls and cards cannot make up for this. Ask yourself some brutal questions about what you have done to mould your life such that it is accommodating of your child. Yes, you were 18 when you had her. You are now not far from 30 and she is not far from her teens.

In 8 short years she will be old enough to live on her own. You have just 8 years left to live with your child.

I am not you but were I you, I would move heaven and earth and everything in between to be with my baby. Swallow my pride and go back to the town where she is living with my parents and get a job there. Eventually work my way up until her and I can move out together. Or improve my qualifications so I can get a better job which pays me enough to bring my daughter to live with me.

I totally agree with you that emotional upheaval is a real cause for concern. For all intents and purposes, your parents are your child’s parents. This is the emotional truth but not the biological one. The situation has created a picture in which the biological truth no longer matters, only the emotional truth does. Redefine the emotional truth. That child is your baby, your flesh and blood, you are the one who carried her and birthed her. YOU are the mother. Not your mother. Redefine the truth and work towards making it a manifest truth.

If I have sounded judgmental it was not the intention. I am just worried that a woman who loves her child has not lived with her in a decade. If your girl is to move out or go away to varsity when she is 18, then you do not even have a decade left. Over half the time you could possibly spend living with your daughter has already gone.

My advice - lose the dead-beat dad and work towards going back to be with your baby and parents, or getting a better job so you can bring your baby to you. I would suggest initially moving back to where she is. Live with her for a while in her comfortable and familiar surroundings then consider taking her with you. That process will be easier on her than you simply sending for her.

You are not in an easy situation and I do believe you deeply love your child. Live out this love by being there WITH her. It is not enough that you have been there FOR her. For a while, yes. For ten years, no.

All the best

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Our expert says:
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I rather agee, especially as regards the issue of the child's needs being primary, and the dead-beat bio-dad's needs and wishes being of the lowest priority.

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