TOPIC: Step dad needing advice

Step dad needing advice 1 month 1 week ago #82725

So this is a long one but I'll keep it as short as possible.
I met my current girlfriend 6 months after she split from her husband. They had a little girl together who is now 18 months old
He has decided to move to America. He has a job and has got a girlfriend who lives there who he met through work. He contributes towards his daughters upbringing with money and he sees her one day a week at the weekend.
He plans to come back every 8 weeks on a Friday evening land Saturday morning hire a car then pick his daughter up see her for the Saturday and fly back on the Sunday.
Now I can't get my head round it, surely jet lag is an issue driving a car in general let alone with your daughter.
Then there's the issue that he thinks face timing once a week and seeing her once every 2 months is a valid relationship and also a worthwhile one.
Now I grew up with my parents being divorced and my dad not being there did really effect me.
As much as I'm fully committed to this and I plan on being the best dad she could ever ask for I worry about her and how this will play out for her.
Has anyone been through anything like this or has any advice that would make things easier for all party's?
Me and my girlfriend want him to be her dad and to be the best dad she could ask for but he doesn't seem bothered and is very bitter. Has never asked to have her for longer periods of time although it has been offered regularly and my girlfriend always keeps him updated but it seems to be a waste of time and he really doesn't seem bothered. Is it best to let him outline what he thinks is best and go with it and see if he sticks to it or do we suggest that he makes more of an effort to come back for longer periods of time. We know that together we have a lot more to deal with as we will have to deal with his family wanting to keep in contact with there grand daughter and many other scenarios but we feel like we are trying to force someone to do things they don't want to do.
We want what's best for our daughter but it's so hard feeling like he doesn't care and isn't bothered so in one way we feel it would be best if he didn't keep in touch but then we also don't want her to lose her dad.
Hellllllllllp
  • Dc1006
  • Dc1006's Avatar
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Step dad needing advice 1 month 1 week ago #82727

Hi there

It's great that you want to do all you can to care for your step daughter and I understand your concerns. She is still very young and to be honest I don't think his leaving will have too much effect on her. Whatever routine is put in place will grow to be her normal...and you can't force a parent to show more interest or spend more time with their child, it's his choice and I'm sure your daughter will adjust to the new status quo, particularly as she has two loving parents right here at home.

If you think about our armed forces, they spend long periods of time away, my own dad worked abroad and we would go months without seeing him... there were only telephones and letters to keep in touch back then.

Jet lag is more likely to catch up with him on his return to the US....he would probably sleep on the way over, so I don't think it should cause too much concern....if his family will be involved with her, perhaps they could pick her up and contact could go ahead at her paternal grandparents to allay your fears.

It does sound like a hard routine to keep going, I would go with it and see what happens. As your daughter gets older she may spend a good chunk of the school holidays with him and be happy to Skype and FaceTime...these are ways to compensate for the lack of regular contact and can work for some families.

I appreciate that your dad not being there for you concerns you and I completely understand that you don't want that for your little one, were you as young as she is at the time? With lots of love and reassurance I'm sure you will all settle into the new routine, it will be her Dad that will need to make the biggest adjustments as I see it.

All the best
  • Mojo
  • Mojo's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 4903
  • Thank you received: 1174
DadTalk Moderator

Not legally trained... just plenty of experience and common sense!
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Step dad needing advice 1 month 1 week ago #82728

I'd like to move your thread into our new section for stepdads, if that's alright?

As a society, with the family dynamic taking many different forms, step parenting is becoming one of the new norms. We would be really interested in hearing more about what it means...the problems and the joys!

You sound like a great stepdad and I'm sure she is in very safe hands and you will do all you can to smooth the way for her.
  • Mojo
  • Mojo's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 4903
  • Thank you received: 1174
DadTalk Moderator

Not legally trained... just plenty of experience and common sense!
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Step dad needing advice 1 month 1 week ago #82729

Hi all

We have a number of articles providing advice and support for Stepdads, which can be found in the family section on the main site, or you can follow the link here

www.dad.info/step-dads
  • Mojo
  • Mojo's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 4903
  • Thank you received: 1174
DadTalk Moderator

Not legally trained... just plenty of experience and common sense!
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Step dad needing advice 1 month 1 week ago #82741

Yes please move my thread. It was only afterwards being new to this I realised I put it in a completely random part of the forum.

In regards to my dad, my parents got divorced at 5 and although I don't remember it I'm sure it would of had a profound effect on me. I had a younger sister so in a way I had someone to be with while going through all this which probably made me more comfortable in the situation. But for various reasons I've ended up in counselling and have had lots of issues caused by my dad and the divorce.
I fully understand this is quite normal these days and I know that there will be as many kids with divorced parents as there will be with parents that are together.
I wouldn't say I was great. Parenting is tough and I can only try and do my best and give her what I didn't have. Hopefully this will be enough I know it's a long long road ahead.
  • Dc1006
  • Dc1006's Avatar
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Step dad needing advice 1 month 1 week ago #82745

I would say that your step daughter is very lucky to have two consistent adults to care for her. Unfortunately, you cannot force her father to take more contact or change how their relationship will be. It is bound to have some sort of effect on her, but it will become her normal.

My biological father didn't bother, and at times that was tough. I am however, grateful that I had a stable mother and step-father at home.
  • Yoda
  • Yoda's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 1629
  • Thank you received: 286
DAD.info Moderator

I am not a qualified lawyer therefore any advice should be checked before acting on it. I have experience as a McKenzie Friend giving parents guidance and support, before, during and after the Family Court process.
The administrator has disabled public write access.