Family After Children

Now, this post may get me in trouble, but it’s only really about a specific set of people that are on my side of the family. I’ve refrained from writing about this topic for some time. Partly because I know that some of them may read this and I have no way of knowing and people who know them read my blog. But I started writing on here for my own sake and to be open and honest. And at this time this is what has been on my mind, so I’m going to write about it.

I’ve always been quite open about my feelings around peoples involvement in my children’s lives. There are different categories of people:

  1. People who see them once a week or once a month – These people see our children as often as their grown adult lives allow. And that’s what I think is always important to remember. Other people have lives too. Distance, work, social lives and commitments mean they can’t spend as much time with your children as they’d want. But you know that if they had the opportunity they’d spend much more time with them. These are the best type of people.
  2. People who haven’t seen your children before – through no fault of their own these people just haven’t had the chance to meet your children. But they support you via social media or messenger. They take an interest in a child’s life that they’ve never met. I think that is commendable.
  3. Ah, here comes the toughy. These people may have met your children before, sometimes they’ve met one but not another. Usually, this category of people are all for being present while you’re pregnant but when it comes to it they’re nowhere to be seen. They cannot comprehend taking a bit of time to see your children, therefore they never do. These people aren’t present at all.

Some of my friends reading this will know I’ve had a very complicated history with my dad. For the past ten years its been very on and off. We’ve had approximately two years of being in contact and then another two years of not speaking at all. The reasons for the on and off periods are just too long to even begin explaining.

It’s been around a year since I stopped contact with my dad. And having Poppy two years ago was really the beginning point of the newest struggle in my relationship with him. I struggled to comprehend when my daughter was passed to me when she was born how when I was young he managed to walk away. I just didn’t get it. This innocent baby I held in my arms needed her parents and when I was supposed to be soaking her in, in those first moments that was what entered my head. It changed everything.

After some intense counselling session’s about my childhood and rocky relationship with my dad for the first time in my life I am at peace with my decision. Not only for my sake but for my children. My children do not deserve any form of inconsistency from anyone. It is my job as their mum to make sure they come to as little emotional harm as possible. I couldn’t guarantee that would be the case.

Having him in and out of my life for the past ten years, from the age of twelve has been difficult. It doesn’t need to start from birth for them. I’ve always had this longing to have him in my life. Who wouldn’t? But in all honesty, he just can’t be the dad I need him to be. He isn’t capable of it. If that is through any fault of his own, who knows? What I do know is that him trying to be my dad is more hurtful to me than him not being around.

The main cause of the breakdown of our relationship so often probably boils down to the fact we never had an adult conversation about all the things that happened during my childhood and why those things happened. We tried, he couldn’t answer the questions and I’d get mad. It isn’t healthy and it isn’t an environment my children need to be subjected too.

What I think is really important to note here is that as parents (if you are one when you’re reading this) or for anyone in general. You have the right to have whoever you like or wouldn’t like in your life. No one else is the judge of that. No one else deserves an explanation.

Also when you think someone hasn’t been around as much as you’d have hoped. Just stop for a minute and think about their life and if it is even plausible that they could be around more often. Because if we’re being brutally honest here sometime’s people don’t put you as their priority. And if you really think about it, that is okay. Because you may not have them at your priority either but just expect better of them.

I think all of this comes with time and being thoughtful. I say to people “They’re my children, I expect nothing from you.” And this is one hundred per cent true. That is only valid to those people who are honest with their intentions and availability from the start. I and my husband made these girls, we decided to take on the responsibility of raising them one hundred per cent. And maybe that is why I no longer have a relationship with my dad because I am achieving what he never did. To raise and support my children the best I can.

Too simply be present.

Danielle Swan x