Children First – from a mum

This is posted up with pride. Pride because the Mum who wrote this has chosen to trust OnlyDads to host it, and pride in the Mum herself; this post touches the heart for mums and dads who love their children – whether or not they have residency.

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As a parent without care, I found it very difficult to maintain an involvement in my children’s lives.  Yes I saw them every second weekend and half the holidays.  Yes, we had a good relationship and they would talk about anything with me, once we got back into the groove, but that usually took a few days.

The attitude towards me from the parent with care, in this instance, the father, has from the outset been one of disgust, disdain and disinterest.  This of course seeped into the children.  The mention of my name was deemed swearing by his mother and I became a non-person.

I was told that my lack of financial support was the source for his dictatorial, arrogant and disrespectful communications.  When it came to holidays, I had to do as I was told or not see the children.  For years I lived under that fear and threat. 

I took them to the wrong hairdresser and got it in the neck.  I wanted to share my concerns over the eldest’s panic attacks around water and was shunned.  I gave them an electric toothbrush each and they were returned as I had no right to interfere.  My presence at school events created a conflict for the children as they don’t know who to spend time with, so I stopped going.  In his eyes, I couldn’t do right for doing wrong. 

I gave up a new life, new job, new home and relationship because I was not allowed to take my children with me.  I remained living in a poor area without job opportunities to remain relatively close at hand, just in case I was needed.  I retrained and worked for myself, the financial rewards weren’t great, but my work was my family, my social life, my passion.

By putting my children first I gave them stability and a single home.  The intention was to create a more loving environment for them to grow up in.  I wanted them to be able to live without rancour and nastiness between parents; to have parents who could communicate more easily. Patently, that fell by the wayside.  I still hope though that it gave the children what they needed but didn’t recognise.

My children told me that it was my fault I didn’t see them much as I didn’t want to look after them all those years ago.  It’s a hard thing to hear, especially when it’s untrue and they have no idea of the circumstances leading to the decision. 

As children grow up, they choose to spend more time with their friends than their parents.  This is particularly hard for the parent without care as they see them so little anyway. 

I gave my children the choice of whether to spend time with me or not.  Sometimes they did, sometimes they didn’t.  Eventually, I got over the fear of his threats.  If the children didn’t want to see me, it’s because they had a life to live. 

I pray that one day they will come to recognise what putting them first meant to me, and that no matter what they were always in my heart, if not my home. 

The writer of this post has chosen to remain anonymous

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About onlydads

Single Dad living near Totnes in Devon. I founded www.onlydads.org in 2007 and live with my daughters Priya, 14 and Anya 11. I write about single parenting, work, overcoming trials and tribulations and sometimes not overcoming trials and tribulations.
This entry was posted in Family life, Guest posts, Putting children first, Talking to kids. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Children First – from a mum

  1. ABeautifulMind1 says:

    If I knew where you were, and I had a car, I’d drive right over and give you a hug. It is incredibly difficult; I’ve seen it so many times, some parents will do anything to hurt the other one and it’s usually because they have pain inside themselves.

    I cannot feel your pain but I can empathise as this is completely what would have happened to me if it had been my children’s father with ‘residency’ (I hate that word!) in my case. (I have no idea if you saw my post here last Sunday) I think it is absolutely unforgiveable that any parent would ever poison a child against the other parent. They do not have the emotional maturity to deal with it and it is cruel.

    What absolute rubbish about blaming it on any lack of financial support. That is just bullying behaviour and he is saying that to make you feel bad about yourself and thus make himself feel better. It is not about money, it is about your love and intentions for the children.

    I am so sorry to read your post. I, too, wanted good communication with my ex because, at the end of the day, children just want their parents to be happy. I am ignored by him completely. Sometimes, I wanted to tell the children every single last detail of what I have suffered. But do you know what? I didn’t. I kept faith that one day, everything would be alright. I tell you this because I hope to give you strength that one day, it will be alright for you and your children. They do grow up, as you say, and they have their own eyes and ears. They also have their own minds, thoughts and intelligence….and these take longer to mature. One day, it will all come together for them and they will have the maturity to work it all out for themselves. They will look back over their life and they will remember things; things, that earlier, just didn’t make much sense.

    I have no idea when that day will come for you – what age the children will be. Maybe not until they reach adulthood. Or maybe not until they have a family themselves. But they will understand one day, and they will come to you. And the flip side is: that if they ever realise what their father has done….he could lose them. For life. Children should never be treated that way.

    I am @ABeautifulMind1 on twitter and if you ever want to talk, well… you know where I am. I know you are anonymous so tweet me in subtle way and I will follow you back.

    Stay strong xxx

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Children First – from a mum | OnlyDads -- Topsy.com

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