Wednesday, 25 March 2015

How many second chances do you give?



It's been an ongoing battle with The Sweetpeas' "father" and CSA in order to obtain any kind of financial support. Yesterday they must have finally got hold of him as I received a text from him asking how I'd like it to be paid. This is the only contact I've had from him since the start of January and we are now nearing the end of March. He's then gone on to force the issue of access to them. Pay-as-you-go parenting as he must view it. "If I'm going to pay, I want to see them" kind of attitude.

I've never stopped him from seeing either of them, even though he's never paid them a penny in years. (They had one CSA payment and that was it!) I was always aware that access and money were two completely separate things. He has always chosen in the past when he's seen them and also for how long. It's been a long-standing joke that you can see him starting to feel uncomfortable around them after about an hour as he then starts to make excuses as to why he needs to leave. It's like he just doesn't know how to interact with them anymore. That's not at all surprising to me as how can you be a father when you show limited interest in your children and only when there isn't something better to be doing?

I truly hope that he reads this post (yes, I'm talking to you ;) ) and sees that his actions have demolished all kind of trust that they have in him. I've really let them decide what they want to do with regards to seeing him and both now accurately say that "what's the point in messaging him as he won't reply?"  That's really hard to come to terms with when you are an adult let alone when you are 5 and 7 years old. I actively do not belittle him or try and brainwash my children into hating him. They are little people that have their own minds and will decide what they want to do. Harvey often comments that he wants to see Daddy so that he can go to Frankie & Benny's. The conversation moves along and it turns out that he really just wants to go out and doesn't truly care who takes him.

So,how many second chances to you give an absent parent that continuously let them down? How many times do you let them get their own way when it truly isn't in the best interests of the children?

We've been in this situation many times before so this isn't a second chance. It's more of a second chance of a second chance of a second chance.....of a second chance. Yes, I have lost count of how many times I've had to read how he's changed and he'll not let them down again. Read as in text messages as he refuses to talk properly and he notoriously cannot read texts in the tone that they are sent. That makes the situation even worse and infuriating. If I had hours to trawl through the messages, I'm sure I would find plenty saying how he wants just one more chance and if he messes it up again, he will leave them alone.

When I sat watching their Christmas performance and looked over to see the empty chair where their father should have been, that was the final straw for me. The look of pure sadness in their eyes after he had promised them he would be there. That's a picture that will haunt me forever.

He's shown no remorse for that evening. It's not much to ask to have consistent, quality time with them and actually be contactable when they want to talk about their day? The reply I often got from their father was that he was "scared".

There is a word beginning with C that truly sums him up.

Coward.

I'll continue to let The Sweetpeas decide what they want to do at the moment until a court potentially forces things differently.


They will be watching and remembering every wrong move that their father makes I'm sure.

UPDATE : An actual apology was forthcoming about how he has treated them. Thank goodness I was sitting down! He wants to be in their lives and make an effort but I can't help but want to try and protect them from being hurt once again. There's nothing more that I would like than for them to be able to see their dad and have quality time with him. I want them to be a part of his life and get to learn about what he does and have conversations with his friends like they do with mine. 

I've tried very hard to be amicable with their father in the past but I think that this time there does need to be some kind of formal ground rules laid down on both sides. I'm not a perfect mother by any stretch of the imagination. (I apologise now to the people that had the unfortunate view of me running home this morning to collect Harvey's "muddy clothes" that he needed for school. It's not a sight that I wish on anyone.) I also need to be more aware of what their father can and can't do with them due to  his own work and family commitments. 

Life as a single parent can be extremely challenging at times so I'm going to approach this "second chance" as a way of us getting The Sweetpeas the best of both worlds. 


UPDATE OF THE UPDATE : It was short lived. He saw them once and then no contact either by text, phone call or visit.







27 comments:

  1. You are doing everything you can and its all in the best interests of your children. I wish you all the best x

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  2. I think when it comes to children that it is always their best interest you put first - every time and continuously

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  3. i know how your feeling , im mum to two girls who share a different dad , their biological dad sees them (his choice) once a fortnight for one night but only becasue i told him that once a fortnight for 4 hours was not enough after two years and he needed to have a little more responsibility, i also have three step children who live with me permantly , their mother has neither seen nore tributed to them for now nearly two years and has no contact whatsoever its no bother of mine what so ever but i know it effects them and although they know deep down ive tried to get her to see them and she simply doesnt want to nor cares to , they ust feel somewhat rjected by her

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    1. That rings a few bells here too. Alyssa says she's not bothered but you can see she is. Her face lights up when he talks or texts her. You are doing so well! Must be really hard for you x

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  4. So difficult. Hope this time he really has changed and means to give them the support they deserve and should be able to expect from their father.

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  5. It's such a difficult and emotional situation I hope that it will mean that the situation stays positive and you can work through it xx

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  6. You are in such a difficult situation, one hand you have your feelings on the other side you have your kids best interest at heart. Its going to be hard but stay positive and things will work out.

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    1. That's exactly it! I've now put all past feelings behind me and a clean slate will commence.

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  7. 'pay as you go parenting' That's so sad to read, it breaks my heart.

    It must be so difficult for you all, I hope this second-chance turns out positively.

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  8. Always here for you .

    They are your world and it is a shame he can't see that .

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    1. Love you Claire! Thank you so much for everything you have helped me with through the years x

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  9. i have been through this with my daughter who is now 14 .. she has now chosen to cut contact to a bare minimum as she is hating being let down. As much as i dont want to see her hurting she has thanked me for letting her make her own choices .. you time will come lovely x

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    1. I'm so glad to hear that eventually they feel like they can be in control of the situation. Thank you so much for your comment.

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  10. Tough times. Keep doing the best for your children, putting them first. I'm sure you're doing a brilliant job.

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  11. You are doing everything you can, good luck with everything x

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  12. We have been through this and more and it is heartbreaking every time. My children are older now and can see their father for what he truly is, rather than blaming me for "keeping them away" - its tough and the decision can only be yours and theirs to make

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  13. This is a difficult situation but you are right in putting your children's first and their father should also put all differences aside and put them first. They grow up fast and this is the age when they need both their parents.

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  14. I think you are being amazingly calm and mature about the whole thing, shame the same can't be said for Mr Top-Up ;) I think letting the children decide how they wish to have a relationship with him is probably best in the long run, even if you have to be the one to constantly mop up tears and brighten dampened spirits xx

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  15. This is heartbreaking. I find it so hard, no impossible, to understand why a parent wouldn't walk to the ends of the earth to see their children. What's wrong with him? Ultimately it will be him that's missing out but I really feel for your children, they deserve better.

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    1. They truly do deserve better and I wish he would keep to his promises each time.

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  16. This makes me truly sad. As a child of an absent father I know how much it hurts. As a mother all you can do is keep the door open and never slag him off (as you are doing). Unfortunately you cannot shelter them from the pain, you can only be there to cuddle them when they cry. When they get older they will appreciate everything you have done and will make up their own minds about their father. Keep strong and keep up the incredible job. All my love xxx

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    1. Thank you so much as it's great to hear from the child's viewpoint.

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  17. I can imagine this such a hard relationship to navigate. Wanting to protect your children and do the best by them all while hoping they can have a good relationship with their dad and seeing it fail. You're doing a fab job x

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  18. sounds like you are doing amazing job in a really tough situation. Always remember you are doing fantastically and you children will always remember that x

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  19. It makes me feel so sad reading this, you're definitely doing the right thing lovely xx

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