A mom writes in asking for advice about her ex, the father of her two-year-old daughter. She says her daughter’s father has had very little involvement in her life due to being in and out of prison. Though this mom has no interest in any kind of meaningful relationship with her ex — and refuses to let him live with her again — she is conflicted about to what degree, if any, she should let him into their daughter’s life, given his history. Other moms share their advice for her below.
A member of the community asks:
“My ex gets out of prison soon and I am unsure if he should be in our daughter’s life: Thoughts?
My daughter is almost three years old; I have been raising her on my own all but a couple of months. Her father is in prison due to a series of stupid choices that he made. He claims he wants to be there for her, but every time he has been out of jail, he spends time living with me rent free and messing up his life.
About two years ago, he went to prison, and my daughter witnessed his probation officer cuffing her father and taking him away. He was put in a halfway house last November, but failed a drug test and got sent back to prison! I am past caring at all about him at this point. My daughter and I make a great team; we are very happy with our two-person family.
But I got a phone call yesterday from HIM at the prison (free call, I won’t accept collect calls) saying that he is being released in a little over a month. I am worried, scared, upset, confused, and really lost. We’re are not in a relationship, and I refuse to let him stay with me again. My daughter is my number one priority, and he has proven that having ‘fun’ and being a ‘free spirit’ is his. I have told him that I wouldn’t prevent him from seeing her, but she doesn’t even know who he is! I need advice.”
Community Advice for This Mom Who Doesn’t Know if She Should Let Her Ex, Who Is Soon to Be Released from Prison, Be Involved in Their Daughter’s Life
To see what advice the Mamas Uncut Facebook community has for this mom in need, read the comments of the post embedded below.
The community offered this mom in need a lot of great advice. Read some of their responses below.
“I would let him get to know her because she deserves to know who her father is. Put boundaries on it. It would be at a park. We would ease into it and take it as it comes. I’m glad you aren’t letting him stay with you.”
“I would make it very clear that if he wants to know his daughter he has to stay clean, contribute to society and be a good role model. If not, he can kick rocks.”
“I would make a list of my expectations and if he can’t maintain them he doesn’t WANT to be around. It’s simple: stay clean, get a job, start helping me financially with your child, and make a visit schedule! And make him stick to it. These are little things. But if he can do them then it shows he’s putting in effort. If he refuses we’ll then he doesn’t really want to see her, he just wants to use you.”
“I would absolutely not reward him with a visit. He should have to earn something like that. I’m sure the courts would back you up. If he cares enough to be a part of her life, he should definitely put in the time and effort to show you and her that he’s worthy of that relationship. Good luck!”
“Protect yourself and your daughter. He needs to worry about himself. If he does come back into your lives in whatever capacity, there needs to be a clear plan, and not anything too soon. Talk to a lawyer or therapist for a list of things he should accomplish before moving forward examples:
1) drug-free for X time
2) job for x time
4) his own living situation ( apartment, home, rent or own for x time.”
“I would suggest supervised visits through the courts at this point for the protection of your daughter.”
“Coming from experience with an almost 9-year-old who hasn’t seen her bio dad in 4 years and even before that he was in and out of jail. He has to make some serious effort and changes to his life before I would even consider him coming back in her life. Consistency is mandatory. My girl doesn’t know struggle and heartache and I’m not going to openly allow heartache. House, car, job, and consistency. He has to prove his worth.you are your child’s protector. Don’t allow a childhood that baby will have to recover from.”
“He still has a right to be in her life but he also needs to create a safe and stable home situation for your daughter. He needs to work on himself first and maybe start off with supervised visits.”
Do you have any advice for this mom? Leave a comment to help another mom out!
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