The child’s best interest

I fell into bed last night at 9:30 pm. I still slept through my alarm this morning. I don’t know how much sleep is going to satisfy me. I had 9 hours and 15 minutes of sleep last night. Why am I still tired?

Still having crazy dreams. Saturday night I dreamed Michael Jackson was married and had been hiding his wife in the basement like that sicko in Austria. I had other dreams involving my friends Curmudge and Jiji, but I can’t even begin to make sense of them. My brain is exhausted. The moon looked full last night, maybe it was effecting my unconscious.

Still no word from Rooferman. Its been 7 weeks since he’s seen LB. No dreams about him this weekend, thankfully. Apparently his presence has made his way to Boulder to infect my friend’s dreams. Sorry Elly.

There was minor chaos at daycare this morning. A little boy who has been in the same class as LB since he was 18 month and she was 12 months didn’t want to say goodbye to daddy. He is the youngest in a family of 7 girls. He LOVES his dad. Since he was a baby he has cried miserably every time his dad drops him off.

My own daughter barely mentions her dad. She sometimes says “Daddy gone” or “Daddy not here.” Occasionally its been “Daddy’s truck broken.” Other than that, she doesn’t cry for him, ask me when he’s coming, or even acknowledge the fact he exists 90% of the time.

 I can’t decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

I want my daughter to have a dad. I want her to have his support and his love, and to reciprocate these feelings. I want her to have as normal a life as she possibly can. I want her to bond with him. I want them to value each other’s presence.

 However.

I don’t want her to feel pain because of her dad. I don’t want him to disappoint her. I don’t want him to abandon her, or chose other things over her. I don’t want her to feel like she is somewhere on his priority list under his job and his new family. I don’t want her to be emotionally and mentally damaged by her father, and I think its natural for a mom to want to protect her child from that.

The courts want you to have the “child’s best interest” in mind. How can a relationship where a daughter’s trust in her dad is constantly being shattered, be considered in her best interest? How can regression in emotional (separation anxiety), mental (sleep disturbances), and physical (potty rejection) development be considered in her best interest?

I know I have to look at the bigger picture. If I bring up potty training issues, a judge will most likely look me in the eye and say “She’ll survive.” I have to remember that one day she will be a semi-self-sufficient school aged kid who is capable of making her own decisions. Its hard to keep that in mind when I’ve been making all the decisions for her. She’s only 2, she’s still dependent on me. Her best interest has been my sole responsibility, and I think I’ve been doing a pretty good job of it. Its especially hard to keep the big picture in mind when I’ve had to compensate for her dad when he doesn’t keep his promises.

I’m trying really hard not to become that bitter single mom who shoots herself in the foot in front of a judge. Cause I’m not that mom. I’m only 26. I’m too young to be jaded, broken and hating the world.  I’m a good mom who wants the best for her daughter, who will support and encourage a text-book “loving, meaningful relationship” between her daughter and her ex. At least I will try.

This must be my mantra. This will lead me to the promised land.

Right?

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10 thoughts on “The child’s best interest

  1. Oh my friend! You are the BEST mommy – she is doing super great and will be fine no matter what Rooferman does cos she has YOU to remind her she has security and love!

    I battled with this exact same thing. Kiara was LBs age when I moved out and also didnt (and still doesnt really) ask for her dad!

    It did bother me but then I realised that I have done everything in my power to maintain THEIR relationship! I begged and pleaded with him to visit. I told the kids about him. I lied for him! Then one day I decided NO MORE!

    They are here ready and willing to see him and I have never once not allowed him to take them! That is all that I can do!

    And when he does flitter back in momentarily all I can do is pick up the pieces with the kids and remind them how loved they are!

    We do the best we can and we pray that its enough!

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  2. Crazy dreams. As far as LB goes, I know you will do what’s best because you are such a great, fabulous mom. She is so lucky to have you. She will always know she is loved and will always have you as her rock, no matter when and if Rooferman surfaces again. Love you both!

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  3. I think LB is blessed to have you for a mommy. Keep doing what you’re doing and she’ll be fine. I understand about wanting to protect her from all of life’s pain and disappointments. I wish we could… She may have some pain, knowing her father isn’t there for her, but as she gets older, she’ll appreciate the fact that you are there and you don’t try to talk bad about him in front of her. She’ll see him for what he really is, and she’ll be glad that you didn’t try to divide her affections. Keep up the good work!

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  4. Oh, yeah. I could’ve written this post myself!
    But I have learned that it’s better for them to know and understand sooner rather than later that their dad is someone who cannot be trusted or relied upon.
    Yes, he’ll let LB down. Yes, you’ll want to kill him for that. All you can say, really, to her is “I know how you feel and I’m sorry.” As she gets older, you can go into more detail.
    If it makes you feel any better, the girls really have come to a place where they accept and love their dad for who he is. And it’s better for them to learn that now than later. It sucks, but it is better. As Riley once said, “I love daddy but I don’t miss him.” And that is how it should be.

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  5. My daughter is 7 years old. Her father has never been around. And you know what? She’s happy, healthy, and perfectly well-adjusted because she knows she is loved. By me, my family and friends, her friends.

    That is all kids need. They don’t know the difference between a single parent family, a nuclear family, and a family headed by same-sex parents. My daughter has one mom. My surro-kids have one or two dads. They’re all okay because they’re all loved. Kids just don’t give a crap as long as they’re loved and provided for.

    It is the parents who buy into the hype that the nuclear family is the only way for a family to be. WE are the ones who think our kids are lacking something and we doubt ourselves and our value in our family. We have to stop doing that before we teach it to our kids.

    You do your thing. You raise your child and don’t think twice about her father. If he gets his head out of his ass long enough, he can go to court for visitation. But until that happens then you don’t mention say anything to him. If he makes no effort, well, then, at least your daughter has you.

    Lynlee

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  6. You’re not a good mom… YOUR A GREAT MOM! You are accomplishing the impossible all while worrying yourself sick over all of it.

    I just constantly tell Will that he can count on mommy. At 3 years old I think he gets that I”M HIS ROCK.

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  7. You are doing a great job — She’s lucky to have a mom like you!!!

    Her father will disappoint her. He will let her down. But you will always be there for her, and she’ll understand that.

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  8. I don’t know about Colorado but here in Idaho, those very things you mentioned made it clear to MY judge that I was definitly in a place to make decisions based on my child’s best interest, because the things that my ex did that rooferman is doing is damaging at best; I documents every incident of a missed phone call, a drive by the house on the way to fuck the crack whore on the next block and WAVE but not stop, every incident of name calling and abuse and copies of letters from jail where he threatened all sorts of awful things and finally, after two years, the judge decided I could be granted full legal and physical custody. I think that they key is doing what you are doing and making it truly about LB; we ALL know that it is in our children’s best interests to have both parents, whether we are together or not. However, there come a time when you have to decide whether or not you are willing to let her continually be damaged by his actions. It is a catch 22; Sam is better of NOT seeing his dad, EVER again, but it opens up a whole other set of issues and problems. I had a really, really great insightful reply but I got carried away and missed the whole point; sorry.

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