My daughter is 4 years old. Her father has rarely been in her life. He told me at the time that we got together that he was in the middle of a divorce. My pregnancy came as a complete surprise as I had been on birth control. I found out at that time that his supposed divorce was not true and that he was married the whole time. He dumped me and had nothing to do with me until I sued him for child support after Melody was born. He never told his wife anything. She found out when he was served with child support papers. The whole thing was ugly and painful.
I was almost 40 when she was born. The pregnancy was extremely difficult and I was in and out of the hospital 4 times. At one point, they almost delivered her 2 months early because they thought I was in liver failure.
My job was great and very flexible with me but I was out of work for over 4 months during the pregnancy and after she was born. Because the pregnancy was a surprise, I had no short term disability and had no money coming in and no help from Melody's father at all. Thank God for my family because I would have been out on the street without them. Gary refused any contact at all and would have completely walked away from the entire situation if I hadn't sued him for child support. The initial hearing took place when Mellie was 9 months old and even then, he insisted on a paternity test. So, the first time he laid eyes on her was when we had the paternity test when she was almost a year old. It is like a bad TV show, but we are grown adults.
Gary's wife told him that she would only stay with him if he promised never to see Melody or have anything to do with her. He saw her sporatically after our initial court hearing and said that he was sorry for being such a jerk and that he wanted to be a good father (but it had to be in total secrecy - he only came when he could lie to his wife and get out of the house), but this last year, he has not seen her at all. I have accepted long ago that he is a loser and will never be a real part of Melody's life. It is beyond me how anyone could not be involved with a human being that they created, but I can't make his choices for him. I still struggle with the grief I feel for bringing a child into such a terrible situation. She is a lovely and wonderful little girl, and I consider her my late in life surprise angel. She deserves better.
I try not to feel guilty for her growing up without a father. I am divorced with a teenage daughter who spends a lot of time with her father, and so it is even more apparent to Melody that her dad is not around. She talks about him and is always talking about the time he picked her up from daycare and took her to lunch in his "big red truck." She thinks it happened recently when in reality it was the last time she saw him over a year ago. I believe that she may never see him again at this point. How do I deal with that? How do I answer her when she asks about her father? Do I give her presents and say that they are from her dad? Do I tell her she may never see him again? It is so hard to know what to do. When she asks, I've been telling her that he lives far away and can't come to visit her, but she's growing up and that excuse will not suffice for long. I would really appreciate any advice and suggestions that anyone has for me.
All my best.