Now and again all parents will face moments when life seems almost impossible. At a very personal level the last few weeks have seen me stretched to near breaking point.
Readers of this blog will know that OnlyDads itself is stretched: a simple problem of demand for our services outstripping out ability to offer the first-class support that we want to. (I can tell you that after this “moment of madness” talks are in hand which may well find solutions for us).
All of this stress has coincided with Preez (15) announcing that she wants to spend extended periods living with her mum. This came out of the blue about three weeks ago.
I heard her tell me on a Sunday evening that “after school on Monday, I’ll go to Mum’s and come back on Thursday”. This has been followed up by further three-day stretches away from her “home”.
Well for the last 8 years both girls have lived with me full-time. There have been (extended) periods where contact with Mum has been non-existent. But in the last three years all of us have worked hard to rebuild the girls’ relationship with mum. Let’s just say it has not been straightforward or easy.
But I have persevered. So too have the girls. And to her absolute credit, so has mum.
My instinct – and by that I mean every bone in my body – now wants to cook Priya roast lamb dinners and make her chocolate puddings and buy her a new chest of drawers and buy membership to a local private leisure centre where she can go and treat herself to spas and saunas (none of which I can afford) and I basically want to wrap her up with love and attention like never before. What’s the expression? “to wrap her up in cotton wool”
I don’t want her to go!!
The final words of our Judge
After three years of court room hell, our Judge ordered that the girls should live with me, and that I should facilitate day contact with Mum for the first few months, extending to over night contact on alternate weekends. We have all tried to follow this to the letter.
But, when all this had been agreed in the form of a contact order, the judge turned to me and caught my eye.”Perhaps”, he said, “you may find in time that you can all go beyond what I have ordered”. Well here we are…
…the saying that there are only two things you can give your children, “roots and wings” is now haunting me. Through thick and thin, I done my level best to give my girls the roots they deserve. Now it calls upon me to blow gentle supportive breath under Priya’s wings.
And so it must be!
Finding the warming and supportive breath to inflate my daughter’s wings, when I feel like I have been punched in the stomach is (and will be) hard.
It’s time for Bob to “man-up”. If this is what my daughter needs – then my job as her Dad will be see that her wishes are supported. She won’t see my tears. She will feel my support.
And Preez – that is my promise!