by Bri
(New York)

I have a 10 month old, her dad and I split up for couple of months now but I remained in the same house so we could coparent in order for it to be easier. I recently moved out and it’s been tough on my daughter. He has no care in the world on how this is affecting her and how his actions are causing her to be depressed. Imagine a 10 month old moping around all day because her dad is not there. It’s a lot for both the baby and I. How do you do it? How can I explain to home that his responsibility of being a dad comes first before any female, any friends before any one. I hate to see my child like this and I’d love for her to be okay. He’s inconsistent and I’m still heartbroken but I’m trying to coparent properly for her sake. What do I do

Comments for Inconsistency

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What's Up With Dad?
by: Sara

Hey Bri!

Thanks for reaching out. Let's take your concerns 1 at a time.

If I am understanding correctly, you and dad lived together for a bit of time to provide support for your daughter, and now have decided to live in separate homes. You reference that dad's actions are causing harm to your 10 month old, but you don't say what his actions I am going to take a guess here and go from there.

The fact that dad agreed to continue to live with you to support your daughter speaks volumes about his level of love and concern for the child.

A few questions for you. Did you develop a parenting arrangement before you left? Did you do the bulk of the child care and household management when you were together? If so, dad may be feeling overwhelmed and/or at a loss now. He may feel he doesn't know how to connect or entain the child.

He could be pulling away because that is how he processes, and it could be that he isn't around much because he feels the child would be better off without him since he doesn't know what to do.

A few things for you to consider. 1st - ask him if he needs help. Would he like support to develop a routine, to figure out how to keep his daughter occupied and happy, etc. 2nd - what schedule would work well for him? Would he feel comfortable with shorter time, but more often, would he like to meet and plan the coming month together, is there a schedule he can commit to for a couple of months and then revise it based on how things go, etc. Give these ideas a try. You said you were trying to co-parent properly. You and dad will need to have a sincere conversation about what "properly" means. You are not going to ever control his behavior. What you can successfully do is have an open conversation about what you both want for your daughter, and how best to achieve it. No condemning...just a neutral conversation to develop everybody's new normal. With a mutual understanding of what kind of message a lack of follow through sends to the child.

Ok...let's talk about your daughter. If your daughter is walking around depressed all day please call the doctor asap. That would be incredibly unusual behavior for a well cared for and loved child. Kids that age are highly distractable and pretty easy to keep occupied.If she asks about her dad, give him a call. She'll hear his voice and she'll be off on her way. He'll appreciate knowing she's asking about him. Or set up a daily call/Facetime/etc. so they can connect.

You mentioned that you are heartbroken. That is completely understandable. Be certain that you are not projecting that pain onto your child. She needs a healthly, positive momma. Once she's in bed, do all of your feels.

We've all been there. It's hard, and it takes practice. You are tied to this person that you no longer want to be tied to...and they are tied to you as well. As long as you are both committed to your child you'll get through it. And should he decide he has no interest in being around, there's noting you can do other than support your daughter to have the happiest, richest, childhood you can muster.

I hope this helps! Wishing the best for you and your family!

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