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I was with my baby daddy for three years, and we have a 1-year-old son. We separated in April, and he’s now dating a girl he met on Facebook. I hate him for hurting me. I loved him with everything I had, but the three years apparently didn’t mean anything to him. Will the pain stop? Will it get better? My son is the only happiness I have, and the reason I’m trying to move forward. Should I let this man see his son? He does nothing for the baby, and neither does his family. Does he deserve to see his son? Is it healthy for him to be coming in and out of his son’s life?
Yes, it gets better. I know you can’t see the brighter skies yet, but it does get better.
Your use of the phrase “baby daddy” says it all. Anybody can be a daddy, but it takes a commitment to be a father. Whether your ex has the courage to take on that commitment, only the future will tell.
But you owe it to your son to give the man a chance. It may feel good to exclude him from the boy’s life, but who gains when you do that? Children benefit from the presence of a father in their lives, even a part-timer. The simple fact that this man fathered the child gives him both the legal and moral right to be part of the boy’s life unless his conduct suggests he would be a danger to the child. So if he wants to see the boy, let him.
However, the fact that he fathered the child also gives him the legal and moral obligation to support that boy. You said he does nothing for the baby. Well, that’s not really his choice. Regardless of whether this man contributed to the care and feeding of his son while the two of you were together, that child has the right to support. If he won’t step up on his own, then you need to take the next step and see a lawyer.
You are writing about two problems. The first is a relationship problem, the type that normally sorts itself out after awhile. Time truly heals wounds if you let it. The second is a parenting problem, the type that does not go away unless you address it. Start by getting the law involved and setting up a custody and support arrangement.
Your son’s father may not like it if you take him to court. In fact, I’m pretty sure he won’t. But again, that’s not his call.
You said your son is your only source of happiness. Hopefully that will change over time, and you’ll find other reasons to rejoice. But in the near term, you can best help both that child and yourself by establishing a sustainable home. Find a place to live. Arrange a source of income for yourself by getting a job if you don’t already have one. And supplement that income by ensuring that the baby’s father meets his obligations. Once you prove to yourself that you can support the child, you will find it much easier to move on in other areas of your life.
At what age can you safely leave a kid alone in a car? Obviously you can’t leave a toddler alone, but I think leaving a 17-year-old in a car is safe. What is the dividing line?
It depends on the child’s level of maturity. It depends on how long you will be gone. And it depends on the neighborhood.
Never under any circumstances leave a child in a car unless he is old enough to exit that car in an emergency and wise enough to recognize an emergency when one arises. Beyond that, let the circumstances be your guide.
Don’t look for an age cut-off, as such arbitrary points will be too old for some kids and too young for others. Gauge each situation – and each child – on its merits. And if you have any doubts, bring the kid into the store with you.
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