How Little Is Too Little?

My husband doesn’t spend much time with Miss Rose. When he does see her it is never for longer than an hour, and although he requested visitation twice a week it is usually once if at all.

This makes me very sad for Miss Rose. She adores him.

When we got pregnant I said that no matter what happens between us as a couple, and no matter how we feel about each other, I would never stop him from seeing her. I didn’t actually believe something would go wrong but I saw how devastated he was by the lack of access to his son, who was 18 months old when we first met, and wanted to reassure him that he would never be prevented from seeing his daughter.

When he left I didn’t hear from him for several days and I was hurt and I was angry. But when he did eventually get in touch to see Miss Rose I agreed. I reiterated what I had always said. He could see her whenever he wanted, assuming I didn’t have prior arrangements, and for as long as he wanted. All he had to do was let me know. I requested me make more effort, get in touch to ask how his child is, message to say goodnight. Just regular parenting contact.

He doesn’t, or very rarely does, make contact regarding her unless he wants to see her. A couple of weeks ago he requested we meet him at the playground in the town, a fifteen minute drive away plus the cost of parking. He managed half an hour.

After he first started visiting Miss Rose would spend a significant portion of time afterwards crying daddy. She would curl in a ball, weep for him, and nothing would comfort her. I couldn’t make it right. It destroys me.

Fortunately she’s adjusted now and is alright after his visits. Occasionally she cries for him but generally she’s coping well. It is a massive relief to me.

But the question I find myself pondering is whether the minimal contact will one day become damaging. Will his distance start to have a negative impact?

I’m hoping that as she was only just one when he left, and therefore she will be growing up without any memory of him living with us, that it won’t. That seeing daddy occasionally will be a treat that she will enjoy, but nothing that she needs to get by in the day. I am hoping that she won’t miss him in her day to day life.

What happens when it becomes a problem? I never want to prevent him from seeing her. He is her daddy, and when he’s around he’s a good one. He can’t cope with looking after her alone, and he doesn’t handle long periods of contact, but he’s lovely with her whilst he’s doing it. And as I said, she utterly adores him.

I hope that, over time, he realises what he’s missing out on and keeps more in touch. That he sees her twice a week as he wanted, maybe even more. It would be lovely for her anyway. Hard for me, I find the visits emotionally difficult and draining, but for her having regular contact with her beloved father would be lovely.

I don’t know how he can cope with going so long not seeing her. It baffles me. She’s exhausting and demanding and stroppy. She’s a toddler. But she’s fabulous and I miss her when she’s napping let alone in a different building.


About J.J. Barnes

Author of The Lilly Prospero Series Writer and Podcaster at Blogger at Rose And Mum And More Contributor to The Huffington Post
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9 Responses to How Little Is Too Little?

  1. Hmm! maybe he’s finding this break up hard, walking away from his daughter might be killing him inside? Men tend not to talk about feelings as much. Try asking him why he can’t face more than 30 minutes with his child there might be a reason you could both work at together.

  2. Jess says:

    I was about 4 when my mum and dad separated. In all honesty I cannot remember a time with both my parents.
    When mum left dad we lived at my nans house for around a year (only now can I think that during this time my nun would have been applying for a council house). I don’t really remember how much my brother and I saw dad during this time. At some point my parents made the arrangement that my brother and I would see our dad every first, third, and fith weekend

    • Jess says:

      ^^ didn’t finish ^^
      We also saw my dad every Monday.

      I won’t go into loads of detail but I didn’t resent either of my parents for any of the time that I was with one without the other.

      If you want to know more about how I felt when I was growing up just message me.

    • judieannrose says:

      It’s good you can’t remember. I don’t want Rose to remember.

  3. My kids were older my husband left so I can’t speak from experience for kids at that age, but I just wanted to reach out and say it’ll probably be okay. Just erased a long comment. I just wanted to reach out.

  4. jodiebloomer says:

    sorry, my post appears to have vanished!
    It took 4 months for Caiden’s daddy to finally arrange a regular two day visitation. He still saw him sometimes for a few hours at first, then for a full day, and there have been many glitches and disagreements along the way, but now finally, hopefully, we have come to a decision that suits us all.
    It’s not easy for me, when he is with his daddy I find it very hard, Painfully so. However I have always said the same that I would not stop him from seeing him, unless he hurt him in any way or put him in imminent danger. It is necessary for all of us that they have time alone together. Daddy needs it, I apparently need it, and Caiden definitely needs it. He is a good daddy, very good, and I am lucky that now I know deep down that when he is with him he is safe and well. Yes his routine may not be followed, and he may do things differently to me, but I am learning to try to let these things go to avoid unneccesary arguments.
    So hopefully Miss Rose’s daddy will realise before it is too late. I really hope so. But please remember that he is also going through a phase of adjusting; yes it is his fault and his making, but he is also in a different situation and so hopefully in time he will realise.

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