Dads and their children

goodlife2010June 7, 2010

I hope someone here can give me some perspective.

I am a bit postpartum and I don't think I am thinking clearly.

I have a 3month old by my bf. I do not live with my bf. I am a divorced mom of a 7yr old as well. Part of the reason I do not live with my bf is because he has hard a hard time adjusting to having a 7yr old around. He is good with her but..anyway, I digress.

My question is this: should a 3month old be allowed to stay with her daddy 3 days a week?. My bf and I have argued about this. We started this schedule this month. As soon as I came back to work from maternity leave he took a couple weeks off from work to take her to his place for a few days a week.

I cry every time he takes the baby. He says he feels the same way when he is not with his daughter. He also says a dad needs to bound with his child. I get that..but he also tells me he will not accept not seeing her at least 50% of the time. He also says if I make him a "weekend dad" (only seeing his child on the weekend) he will take me to court and try to get custody.. A child needs to bound with their mother too...right?.

Please help me with this.

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asolo

Can't believe a new mother would give up her new baby to anyone for any reason. Astonishing to learn.

Your boyfriend is being a real jerk and his chances in court will be near zero unless he is able to demonstrate an ability to lactate. Keep the baby close to you at all times for now. Worry about the rest later.

If you can stand him, let him visit but the infant stays with you ALL the time.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 6:11PM
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popi_gw

Yes, I think baby should be with mother at this early stage.

What is best for baby...this is what should be done.

He sounds like a tough cookie. Sure he should bond with the little one, but there is plenty of time...a whole lifetime..for that. He seems to be in panic mode at the moment

Sounds like going to court to get a custody ruling is what you are heading for.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 1:01AM
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moonie_57

Unless you have reason to feel the baby is not safe in his care then it's my belief that the father has as much parental rights to the baby as you do. He is good with your 7 y/o, took time away from work to spend with the baby, wants to build that all-important bond, and is willing to stand up for his rights. Sounds like a good dad to me! :)

Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 8:44AM
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imamommy

moonie is absolutely right. The father is as much a parent and has equal rights... lactating or not! (ever heard of milk pumps?)

What is best for the baby is to have TWO parents that love him/her and that don't argue & fight... especially over them. If you work, then the baby will go into daycare... how is that any better than spending time with the father? You made a choice to have a child with someone that isn't willing to marry you or even live with you because of your other child. Your feelings of sadness when the baby is with him are no more important than his feelings when the baby is with you.

He may go for custody and maybe he won't get it (though it is happening more and more, fathers getting their children when the mother tries to cut them out or limit their time/involvement) but a custody battle is sure to create some negative feelings, animosity, and conflict that is not good for children and certainly not the best way to start this baby's life. Many courts are likely to give shared custody, which is the same arrangement you now have unless it can be proven that it would not be in the child's best interest to spend as much time with the father as with the mother. The courts do NOT care how sad you get or how sad he gets when the child is with the other parent. However, Father's rights are evolving & that is becoming more common when the father WANTS to be significantly involved to see 50/50 or very close to it being granted. because courts recognize that both parents are equal, even if they can't lactate!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 10:10AM
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asolo

Well, OK, I guess I can see it. Guess I'm just pretty old-school in some ways. Sure do wish people would get their lives in some kind of shape before they start having babies. Alas, brainless whoopee always gets priority #1 and the kids that result always pay the price.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 10:54AM
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vala55

I hope you have gone to court with this. You need visiting rights and child support set by the court. If he takes the baby for a week end and doesn't bring it back you will need to prove you have custody.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 8:56PM
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mkroopy

I am glad a few people here came to the defense of the dad. While I think he is a little quick to take the "I'll take you to court" tactic....how about in a world full of dead-beat dads we give this guy a little credit for wanting desperately to be as involved in his child's life as he can?

Having breasts (and the OP did not even mention if she was breastfeeding, btw), should not give women automatic custody.

When she said that he stated "..but he also tells me he will not accept not seeing her at least 50% of the time.", I could totally relate. I told my ex the same thing when we were splitting up and were in the mediation process. My kids were older, 10 and 7 at the time, but that is irrelevant. I was always an involved father, and just because SHE decided to check out of the marriage, there is no way that I deserved to be relegated to a dad who has "visitation rights" - ugh I hate that concept. They are just as much my kids as hers....we both created them.

Luckily for me (and the kids), while she resisted at first, she eventually came around, and have (successfully) shared 50/50 custody for the last 2.5 years, and, while I will always feel guilty at not giving my kids the stability I had as a kid, the arrangements are probably going as well as possible, considering the circumstances.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 3:59PM
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azzalea

I don't think there's anything at all wrong with going to court so that all the I's are dotted and the T's crossed. Just makes sense to have everything done legally.

I, too, agree that the father has every bit as much right to spend time with and raise his child as the mother. If you choose not to live together, then that means he should have the child half the time. If that arrangement isn't to your liking, then you have to remember--as Judge Judy would say--"You picked him" (to father your child). Maybe next time it would be a good idea to develop the relationship a bit more, so it's a truly solid foundation for the family life of your next child.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 1:24PM
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flowergardenmuse

If you think you may be suffering from postpartum depression and not thinking clearly, then see a doctor. You can make the choice to see a doctor for treatment. That may help you to not only think clearly, but also help you to be a good parent to your 7 year-old, who needs you as well as the new baby.

As to the other problem you posed I agree with moonie and others that he is the father and unless you have reason to feel the baby is not safe in his care then the father has as much parental rights to the baby as you do. He has a right to build a bond with his child and to be an involved parent. He is just willing to stand up for his rights, which I think is good. He sounds like a good dad to me too.

Azzalea also brings up another good observatioun, "...as Judge Judy would say--"You picked him" (to father your child)."

I agree with this insightful comments as well, "Maybe next time it would be a good idea to develop the relationship a bit more, so it's a truly solid foundation for the family life of your next child."

Best of luck with you in dealing with these issues.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 9:17PM
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momj47

I think your daughter is too young, even now, to be spending days, but especially nights, away from her mother, her primary caregiver until she is much, much older. A few hours at a time is appropriate, and it should be with other adults present, too, but absolutely not a few days.

Attachment studies around the world have found that babies, in particular, cannot cope with changes of their primary caregiver, suffering physical and psychological problems as a result.

It's not in the best interest of your daughter, no matter what his threats. If he really loved her, he, too, would understand that it's her best interest, not his selfish interest, that matters.

His threats are troubling, you should be very, very careful about letting your infant daughter spend time with him, he sounds very immature. Is he going to reject her when she is 7, like he has rejected your seven year old daughter?

And once she starts spending time with her father, it should be only in the presence of other adults - his parents, for example.

Good luck and be careful with your precious daughter.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 12:46PM
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flowergardenmuse

momj47--

The above people are adults, despite it not sounding like they are. The poster stated she is a divorced mom of a 7 year old as well. That qualifies her as being an adult, even if it sounds like she emotionally is NOT!

The poster stated in reference to her 7 year-old that her current boyfriend, the father of the baby is, "He is good with her but.."

She does not elaborate on the problem of his adjusting to her 7 year-old.

The poster stated, "...he took a couple weeks off from work to take her to his place for a few days a week."

This indicates a desire on the father's part to be in his child's life.

"I cry every time he takes the baby. He says he feels the same way when he is not with his daughter. He also says a dad needs to bound with his child."

He sounds like a father who wants to be involved in a relationship with his child, not just a sperm donor or financial means of support to the child and mother. That isn't immature. Good for him for wanting to be involved in his child's life and development. This bond should be protected, not relegated to the role of when it's convenient for the mother to have him around.

I disagree with your post. You've jumped to conclusions about the situation from very limited information.

You cite attachment studies...well there are plenty of studies which demonstrate the essential role father's play in the development of their children. The fact is, children fare better emotionally when the loving bonds of two parents is protected, not just the mother.

The baby is a developing human being, not just an adorable baby. The fact is this developing human being has a natural right to be nurtured and guided by both parents.

What is selfish is both parent's not thinking about the needs of the child--first and foremost!

Here is a link that might be useful: Fathers and Families

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 1:01PM
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momj47

flowergardenmuse you read the post your way, I read it mine.

I agree, it might be worth going to court, or at least mediation, so professionals are involved and the outcome is best for the baby.

This is a wrenchingly difficult situation for this mother and child, and, sadly, I fear there will be no good solution for this already broken family.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 9:23PM
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alan_s_thefirst

Fathers really are damned if they do, damned if they don't. So much criticism for dads who won't spend time with their kids.

Of course, there certainly are deadbeat dads (and moms) out there but I think at times noncustodial dads are so beaten up by the system and society, they withdraw because it's too painful, and it becomes self-fulfilling.

The OP and the child's father have the opportunity to be real parents and support each other in the best interest of the child - it sounds like he's very young and a 7 year old might be an adjustment, especially for someone who might not have many siblings etc.

I hope it works out for the OP and hope she encourages this bond between father and daughter. It really is in the best interest of the child.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 4:53AM
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