Single mom trying to work with an inconsistent father

by Ashli
(Yuma, az, USA )

I am truly trying my best to work with my child's father. However, I believe there may be better ways to do so.
I know my son's father loves him.
He promises many things and doesn't follow through with them.
He doesn't really ask for many weekend with him even though I do offer and I am totally okay with him taking him. When we do plan for a weekend many times he cancels ask for the next weekend and sometimes this goes on for a month or so. Its frustrating to me because I can't make any plans for my weekend without my son. Do something nice for myself. I know as a mom my plans do revolve around my son. My son always comes first. I do sometimes want break. I currently live with my mom since we split until I can buy a house. I have been trying but the housing market is crazy. So my mom is not typically willing to watch my son unless I have an appointment. Or in serious need of a baby sitter do to illness or something of that nature. I do not get anytime to myself except when he takes my son. However, it is unpredictable and always rescheduling. I know he is irritated when I try to talk to him about the unpredictability. I am not sure how to approach this in a better manner. I am not typically angry when I talk to him about it. I try to stay calm and understand where he's coming from but I do not get clarification. Just short answers that seem irritated as if I am inconveniencing him. I am trying to create a good relationship between the father of my son for my son sake. It is hard I am struggling to keep my feelings aside from our conversation. Is there anything you can suggest to make this transition better for the two of us?

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Dad's not consistent
by: Sara

Hi Ashli!

First let me just applaud your attitude about the situation! You sound very mature and respectful, and you are examining the situation correctly. Well done!

He is grumpy when you ask about his missing weekends because he knows he's screwing up.

The question here seems to be why he's screwing up. Is he overwhelmed and chickening out? Does something come up? Is he afraid of something? Does he know what to do with a child for the weekend? Is he afraid he's not a good father or doesn't have a good relationship with the child so he backs out? Does he have age appropriate activities at his house? Etc. Finally, would it be easier if he just had a more regular schedule? Would that take the pressure off? Something else?

Clearly he wants to have a relationship with his son, and it sounds like you want that too. Maybe starting with that premise and asking how you can support him to have such a relationship. What does he feel he needs to be successful?

It sounds like once he can get through the anxiety and experience some success, he can build upon that success and further his relationship with his child.

I wish your family the very best! I see success in your future!

All my best! \

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