She's had a hard time wiht daddy leaving. According to him, she has never expressed this to him, she always tells him she wants to live with him, etc. But she cries to me all the time saying she misses her daddy and just wants us to be a family again.
Now, she tells me she doesn't love me. She doesn't miss me when she is with him, and she tries to extend her time and days with him it seems. This is all so new, but I fear she will beg to live with him full time. She told me that our house isn't a family, that we are just two people living together. At Daddy's house, because ow is there, she may view that as teh "family" that she wants, and may want to be there because of that. How do you get past this? How do you talk to a 4 year old about stuff like this? I am the one who has always been there for her. I have never left her side. This is the second time her father has left. I feel sick to my stomach and keep fighting the urge to throw up. I can't handle this!
There are probably age-appropriate books about non-traditional families that you guys can read together, too.
She's 4. She's trying to sort things out and figure out *how stuff works*, so keep voicing your own opinions, morals, and values whenever the subject comes up. Try not to take it personally.....even though that's a hard thing to do.....
In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.
She is four years old. No court is going to listen to her in deciding what the new living situation should be. Worst case scenario is 50/50 most likely.
What you are describing in her behavior seems typical. She has an idealized view of her father. Wishes that he was back home with you, and at the moment is expressing these wishes by punishing you.
In many cases, if you read through posts by others, the child acts out for the parent that they feel most stable with. They are on their best behavior with the parent they feel most threatened by (threatened by lack of stability).
As best you can set your boundaries with your WH about what will and won't happen with the overnights, and be as gentle as you can with DD and yourself.
Find your niche that you want to give your daughter. I knew that ex-shat would do big, showy, flashy shit with Teslet. (Before he was broke, they did the big Disney world vacay). I can't compete with those big ticket items. So I don't. But I'm awesome with structure and the weird things. We always have bedtime stories. We always eat dinner as a family at the dinner table. We just started weekly family movie night...complete with popcorn, jammies, and comfy blankies. We go on hiking trails...biking trails...do weird little kitchen science experiments. We cook. I emphasize that we are a family-team and that we have to work together.
When he tells me something fun he does over at the bowels of chaos...I am happy for him. When he says how much fun stripper whore is, I remind him to talk to her politely and use please and thank-yous. When I have to constantly hear about how strong his dad is, how he's the best fixer in the world, how he's so smart...I smile, give him a hug and tell him that I think that is wonderful.
Play therapy was a big help for Teslet when he was 3/4 years old. It helped him develop his ability to identify and share his feelings. Any kind of children's books that you can find that help cue her in to feelings I think is helpful. I read "Happy Hippo, Angry Duck" by Sandra Boyton a lot to Teslet.
When ex-shat and stripper-whore were expecting OC, I was terrified that they were going to give Teslet a real family that I could never give him. The thought had me tied in knots. But they don't know how to create a true, accepting family that does family things. Over time, it is obvious that they aren't capable of providing those things to him.
I've said this before and I'll keep saying it: Nothing replaces mom. Nothing. She says she doesn't love you because she is hurting. Teslet will say that if he does something bad that he knows I'll kick him out of the house. Nope, I tell him, you are stuck with me because I love you soooooo much. Stay strong, keep expressing your unconditional love for your daughter, and keep finding ways to do the little things that will cement your bond and create security and stability for her.
I dont' want to just TELL my dd how much I love her, I will work on our routines and work on SHOWING her more. I feel like a terrible mom even admitting all of this, but yes, ex was right. I didn't do a whole lot of "quality" time things with dd. Everythign is about to change. I want her to know that I would never leave her. She is my everything.
Remember, quality does not mean it has to be a big thing. Teach her to set the table for dinner. Wash the car together. You know, those little chores that kids are fascinated by and want to help out with.
I became a much better mother after I got divorced.
She does have an IC appointment set up for next week. I really hope this helps her with expressing herself better and understanding it is ok to love both mommy and daddy.
My DD was just three was exwh left. There were a few times when she would cry and not want to leave his side when he dropped her off. It was heartbreaking, but it was also normal. She really had no clue why this was all happening and she was just trying to have her family together.
When exwh introduced my kids to the slunt and her kids, I got scared too, just like Tesla. I thought it would be a big "family" environment and that my kids would want to be there more. That is not the case at all.
My kids love their father. He's a lazy somewhat uninvolved father who couldn't plan his way out of a paper bag, but they love him. They don't consider the slunt to be their family. She has shown her true colors and the fact that her and her kids always come first. She's essentially the admission price for my kids to get to see their dad so they put up with it. They don't hate it over there for the most part, but they also would never want to leave mom's house for good.
Tesla is absolutely spot on. The quality time that we spend with the kids now that we have to lose some days with them gets much better. We also have movie nights with popcorn, blankets, and the bean bag chairs. We have friends over for cookouts. We go to the movies a lot and we always have ice cream after an event or one of their performances. My DD is getting into baking so we have those times too where we just bake muffins or cupcakes or a cinnamon bread after dinner. I lay with my DS for a few minutes every night to talk and see what's on his mind. If one kid goes to a birthday party or a sleep over with a friend, the other kid gets a special night out with mom.
Look, you're not a perfect mother and never will be. No one is. Your DD will test your patience and you will get angry, lose it and have your own meltdowns every once in a while. That's the job. You can't make life a party for her every single day even if daddy tries. Kids thrive on stability and traditions and learning new things. You have a whole world to show your DD and you can do all of it just how you want.
You will get through this. Just breathe and know that no one in the world will ever replace you. OW can never ever compare to you in that department.
I became a much better mother after I got divorced.
Ditto this times a million.
One of the MOST unfair things about this is that your past was a lie, so now you have to spend all this time figuring out what the hell happened. This really sucks up your energy and time being focused on your past, but there's this need to figure out what happened and put the pieces back together. But once you've done enough of that where you can start accepting it, then you can start focusing more on your present and future.
Do NOT feel the need to compete with them over there. Do NOT worry what they are doing, spending money on, etc. Worry about YOU and YOUR time with DD. She needs to be loved and reassured that even though mommy and daddy don't love each other anymore, both of you still so very much love her, and that everything is going to be okay.
Not to break your heart or anything, but your post reminds me of "Family Portrait" by Pink. Look up the video on YouTube if you want. I've been having similar issues with DS7 wanting us to be a family, and wanting to spend more time with "fun old dad." Too bad the fucktard ex doesn't want to see them nearly as much as they want to see him
I cried my eyes out all weekend a few weeks ago while the kids were gone listening to that song. It just really showed me where DS7 is, and that I just can't neglect him or be more focused on myself than on him. Single motherhood is REALLY FUCKING HARD, but it can be done. I promise, it gets easier.
So, now she is almost 4. She usually comes to my house about once a week. She tells her mother she wants to go stay with Grandma, she misses Grandma. And when she is here, she screams to stay over and tells her mother she doesn't want to go home. She pushes my daughter and son-in-law out the door and tells them to just go and that she doesn't want them here anymore. My daughter says that at their house, she talks about me constantly and paints my picture all the time.
Numb, I really think a big part of this is the age and the fact that he's Disney Dad. Let's face it, it's all fun and games at my house. We play, she eats what she wants, the tv is always on her shows. Since I don't have her all the time, nothing she does irritates me so there are no punishments unless it's a huge infraction. And since she's only 4, the fact that she might be hurting her parents' feelings when she tells them she wants to go to Grandma's house and she doesn't want them here anymore never hits her. She's self-centered right now like all kids her age.
Of course, your daughter probably wouldn't be doing this if the marriage were in tact because there would be no back and forth. My granddaughter probably wouldn't either. Daddy wouldn't be able to be fun and games daddy all the time just as I would have to play the heavy more often if my granddaughter lived with me full time.
Continue to handle it the way you have been. She will outgrow this stage and move on to a new one, too, and you will have fostered a good relationship with her father while making sure that she knows that you will ALWAYS love her no matter what she says to you. She will come through this divorce as well adjusted as possible because she'll be able to count on that. You're a good mom to let her express her feelings about her father despite that it sometimes hurts yours. My daughter does the same and doesn't take it personally. She knows that kids go through attachment phases at different periods and that circumstances can change the dynamics of those phases. My granddaughter will probably always love spending time with me and your daughter is always going to love her dad. But soon enough, they will both learn better ways to express it and more diplomacy. Then it won't hurt you so much.
I'd correct her that the 2of you are indeed a family. Otherwise I'd try not to take what she says to heart. She's been baited by her dickhead father. Nice way to spend the time you have with her tool boy. I think it's still an attempt to hurt you and she's the innocent pawn.
Delay is the deadliest form of denial. - C. Northcote Parkinson
Your standards aren't up for negotiation just because he/she can't meet them.
DD is 11.5 and already very impressionable. Her father is a big personality and even in the past, she doted on him and was fascinated by him...truly daddy's little girl and he her knight in shining armor.
She is opening up more to me now about where he lives with OW and he is becoming her hero again, as his finances settle down and he is buying her affection with stuff or outings that I cannot do right now for various reasons.
Instead, I do my own things with her and since I also have a baby, (his) I include her in his care also.
When she goes on and on about her father, I listen politely and remain as neutral as I can and then go scream into my pillow or whatever later. I don't want to hear it but it's part of her life and her sorting process, as it sounds like your daughter is doing.
It's really weird to think that I'm her parent but have no right to butt in to her relationship with him and am no longer a needed buffer when he yells at her but not OW Junior.
All I can do is support her and understand that she idolizes the parent who left, who creates more sensation than I in her young life. I am the more quiet ever-present personality and therefore she takes me for granted and her tiny brother as well.
Also, I've heard and been told by counselors that oftentimes, kids will be harsh with people they trust but hide their feelings with those they don't really know deeply.
And in some sense the two of you will always be her family, but her world is changing and I'm glad you're there for the support system she will recognize one day.
[This message edited by Ashland13 at 2:02 PM, August 4th (Monday)]
A person is a person, no matter how small. -Dr. Suess
Perserverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.
Great advice up above.
I have zero wisdom, but wanted to pass on this link I just found: http://www.raptitude.com/2014/06/fear-is-your-mind-at-its-dumbest/
Also, my kids are rocking it in play therapy. It helps them make sense of all this and makes sense of all the new roles of new type of family.
Good luck! Hang in there and don't stop what you're doing. We will come out ahead eventually. Just a bumpy road!!