The one thing I really admire my mother for is that she never spoke ill of my father in front of us kids while we were growing up. She allowed us to form our own relationships with him, based on our feelings, not her feelings projected onto us. I know this wasn’t easy for her, and it’s something I promised myself I would do for Ladybug. I promised that I would not speak ill or bad mouth her father to her or in front of her, which is proving to be harder and harder as the years go on. So this is my venting post, its not often I do one, but its something that has been burning me up inside and now Im putting it out there in the interwebs because I cant keep it bottled up inside anymore. One day when Ladybug goes back and reads this blog about her life, I hope she understands.
Ladybugs Father has never been involved in her life, despite promises being made, he does not contribute to her life at all, be it time or monetary. When I was pregnant he was all keen to come to my checkups to show his “willingness” to be involved. I made sure my checkups were on a Friday afternoon, as late as they could be – he didn’t show up to one of them. (Maybe I should rewind a little and say that Ladybugs Father and I were not together at this stage, I had ended our relationship when I was 8 weeks pregnant but we remained friends, there was no resentment between us). The first time he met Ladybug, she was a week old already.
As the year progressed he saw her maybe once a month, maybe once every second month, the visits became progressively less and less. A Wednesday night, was our “slot” which really didn’t leave much time for him to get to spend time with her. Generally it would be a quick 30 minute visit then bed time for her and we would catch up on life. Let me give him credit where credit is due, he has been watching her grow up through Facebook, the Whatsapp pictures and comments I send him and he has been to all her birthday parties, he also helped us move in June last year and he helped with my Telkom line issues I had.
There have been promises made of joining us on weekends away so that he can spend time with us and really get to know Ladybug, empty promises… none ever materialized. In May last year when one of the empty promises weren’t kept (again) I requested a meeting with him and really pointed out some hard facts to him, like the fact that he had seen his daughter ONCE (for her birthday) in 9 months which was not OK. She was getting to an age where she was forming relationships with people and he needed to decide if he was in or out. He made the choice, he choose to be in and be part of her life, I never asked him or expected him to be part of her life, he chose to be there. He promised to see her at least once a week; that lasted one week. Then it was once a month; that lasted a month and again we were back to sporadic visits. From November to early February he never saw her – sure we were in Australia, for 3 weeks and he was away over Christmas but it was almost 4 months he never saw her.
The end of February was a huge turning point in our lives, he told his kids about their 3 year old half-sister. Suddenly it made sense to them why they came to her birthday parties and that she wasn’t some random person, Ladybug was family. 1st March 2015 was the last time Ladybug saw her half-sister. 16th June 2014 was the last time Ladybug saw her half-brother. Because the decision was made to tell the older kids, I prepped Ladybug, I explained to her that she has a Sussie and a Boetie, she knows they live in the Pretoria house, she knows who her Daddy is (because I show her photos on whatsapp and facebook), she knows he lives in the Pretoria House, she proudly told EVERYONE at her birthday party that “This is MY Daddy”. In April I asked him to join us in Cape Town for the Two Oceans weekend. I thought this would be an awesome opportunity for him to bond with his daughter, and also for him to see his family. He decided to tell his family about Ladybug in April… “Surprise you have a 3 year old Grandchild”. She met her Ouma and Oupa as well as some cousins and an Aunt, we explored Cape Town and I thought the plan had worked.
That, my dear fellow humans, was the last time he saw his daughter. He ditched his son’s 13th Birthday to go to Cape Town with his “now not so secret” daughter (something I was not impressed with at all and only discovered while sitting on the plane – if I had known before I would have never allowed that to happen and I would have stuck to my original Cape Town plans). He has tried to see her twice since then, but both requests were for the day she had her op – which I declined because well hell Ladybug would have just come out of surgery that day and I wasn’t sure how she would be (it is the only time I have declined him visiting her…. EVER).
We are now sitting at 4 months and 1 week that he has not seen his daughter. When I pointed this out to him about 3 weeks ago that he hadn’t seen her since Easter a whole bunch of excuses were given but no action was taken to actually see her, I think at some stage he tried to blame me for not coming to Pretoria 2 days after my Grandfather had passed away as to why he hadn’t seen her in 4 months. It’s not like he lives in Cape Town or Durban, he lives in Pretoria, he travels through to Randburg every weekend, sometimes twice a weekend, but he can’t make the effort to see Ladybug.
After 4 years of trying, I am now giving up. Im done trying to forge a relationship where one of the parties concerned is not interested at all. The other party concerned in this relationship is however asking now “Why doesn’t my Daddy see me” “My Daddys is not my friend Mommy” “Mommy where is the Pretoria house?” and the one that broke my heart “Mommy my Daddy never ever loves me” What do I tell Ladybug? I would love to answer “Sorry my love you just not important enough in your Daddy’s life for him to actually make some sort of effort to get to know the awesomeness that is you” but that would be putting him down in front of her and I promised myself I would never speak badly of him to her. So instead I just change the topic or tell her that he is busy.
It breaks my heart that this beautiful soul will never know her father and that she will never form a relationship with him. Not because of me, not because of my lack of trying, but because he just couldn’t be bothered! She adores him, she craves his attention, she craves his approval, he’s her Daddy and she will always have a soft spot for him.
I can never flat out refuse him access to her, but Im not exactly going to go out of my way to make sure he sees her or contacts her. Im done, Im calling it quits. At some point a person has to stop flogging a dead horse. Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Daddy, any fool can make a baby. Ladybug doesn’t have a Daddy, but she has one kick ass Mommy who will never let her down, who will always be there and who will love her to the end of days!