Hi A Tired Ass Mom,
What you’re experiencing is very common so rest assured that you aren’t alone. Your kids have a void from their father not being there and when he comes around that void is temporarily filled.
It’s not that what you are doing with them isn’t as fun to them, it’s the fact that no matter what you do the void will still be there. Unfortunately it’s a void that only he can fill.
Have you tried sitting down having a conversation with him on the importance of being consistent in their lives? I would sit down with him and the kids and map out a schedule for visitation, and let them know when he is supposed to come get them. This will let the kids see you trying, because even though you are trying by allowing him to come in and out, they have to visually see it. Hopefully he sticks to the schedule since he knows that they are aware of it.
They need to see you guys converse to know that you don’t hold any hard feelings towards him. Also be very careful of your body language when you are around him with them present. Kids pick up on any sign of animosity.
Lastly it’s important to know that it’s less painful for them to blame you than to come to terms with the fact that their father is willingly not coming to see them. This is a very hurtful thing to process, especially at such a young age. If things don’t work out with creating a consistent schedule, and they start to realize it, I would suggest getting them therapy and consistently letting them know that they are special and loved. They are going to need an extra dose of tender love and care.
Time will reveal all things and as long as you try, things will work out in your favor. I know it sucks to have to be the one to do all the work, but those babies are worth it. They will always remember that their mom put their feelings first.
Good luck and we wish you the best!
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