For the first couple years of my bonus daughter’s life, my husband did all he could to communicate with her. He called numerous times and even sent letters. To this day, we are not sure if Bella got all of the letters. Based on her behavior, it didn’t seem like Bella’s mother wanted her to communicate, let alone know, that her father was trying to build their relationship. Her actions were intentional, deliberate, and not designed encourage her father’s involvement.
It would hurt me to no end to see my husband in pain from not being able to hear his daughter’s voice. I couldn’t fix it. I could only help guide him through the hurt as best I could. But, truth be told, most of the help I did was sitting and hurting with him.
We have grown through this behavior, even expect it now. I don’t trip when calls and text aren’t returned. We don’t get excited about the Monday or Tuesday morning calls asking if we could (in essence) babysit the kids because we know that could all change.
Sidebar – Some adults, both married and not, when in need to leave the child(ren) with the parent that does not primarily care for the child(ren), refer to the duties of said parent during that time as babysitting. That is not ok. Neither mother nor father of any child babysits their children. They are parents. They are parenting.
We are used to getting the sometimes Thursday morning, but more common Friday afternoon calls/text that state the children are going elsewhere that weekend. We are used to children coming just the spend the night. We are used to getting the “we are going to play this weekend by ear” calls. That is usually code for “they are not coming but I don’t feel like going there with you”.
It doesn’t bother me anymore. I am used to it. Actually, I look forward to it. It has become a game to me. Whenever we get the call about them coming, I make bets with myself to see what day or time that week will we get the “plans have changed” call. It makes me giggle; especially when I’m right.
No one can afford to live in an emotional box for someone else’s pleasure.
My husband still hurts with longing for his children. He is their father. However, he has grown tremendously through how he used to respond and handle his hurt, pain, and disappointment. Now, he accepts it as what it is (consequence of sin) and parents the best he can in the communication and time spending parameters Tanya has set.