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Old 03-27-2012, 10:17 AM
 
Location: NC
169 posts, read 516,141 times
Reputation: 102

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jhanson,

I think, in general, you've gotten great advice. And you sound like you're already on the right track. As a mom and step-mom, I understand how complicated and wonderful blended families can be.

You can always try something temporarily to see how it works/feels and then talk about it again in a few days or weeks to see if changes need to be made. Just make sure that the kids understand that it's an experiment and that things may change especially if someone feels bad. I also think it's important for the kids to learn that you have feelings too (they will probably need reminders) and if you feel uncomfortable with being called "daddy" then that's an important consideration in addition to how the girls and your girlfriend feels.
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:18 AM
 
13,473 posts, read 10,297,744 times
Reputation: 17025
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mt-7 View Post
My first advice would be to you to raise your children.
Forget your love life.
Be a father first before taking on another person's child to raise. You have two very young children, why would you complicate your life this way?
But you have chosen to do so.
What to do?
Apologize to your children for not putting them first and then spend the rest of you life doing that.
I have to go on record objecting to this for the sake of the OP. Putting one's children first is not served by not having a life oneself. That will do nothing but raise a selfish, entitled child. There are many successful, loving blended families. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with bio kids learning that love is not limited in quantity, and that loving another child does not lesson Dad's love of them.

OP live a loving life and your children will be fine.
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Austin
4,103 posts, read 6,136,676 times
Reputation: 6713
So if you have a baby with your gf, that will be 3 children calling you daddy..will the 5yo still not be allowed to call you daddy? You marry the gf you gain her child. If you don't want to do that then don't marry the gf. You have to explain to your oldest that it is hateful to be mean about the 5yo calling you daddy and that she can't be like that. That this girl will be her sister even if not by blood. I feel bad for the 5yo. Her bio dad is unreliable, the more reliable man won't let her call her daddy even though he's playing daddy and the other little girls are allowed to be mean to her because she called him daddy. Where is this girl supposed to fit in? She is a LITTLE girl. If you can't love her like your own then don't be there.
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:48 AM
 
452 posts, read 750,074 times
Reputation: 567
I am not going to sugar coat it; you have 3 great children that have had their small worlds and time confused. Your oldest has a right to be selfish she was the first born and she is most likely wondering where she stands (used to be the rooster in the hen house but is not because she does not see you all the time like girlfriend's daughter does). You have been divorced and not knowing anything about the situation, kids have great minds and hopefully you have let your girls know children cannot divorce their parents and parent cannot divorce their children and reassure her of this first and foremost. Your oldest daughter needs to have some one on one time with you maybe without little sister along maybe leave the youngest with your girlfriend and go get some ice cream and let her know she will always be your first baby girl even if another child calls you daddy. See what her reaction is and let her know if it is ok with her (and of course with you) that the Girlfriends daughter calls you dad also so she can feel like she is not left out. Leave it up to your daughter to let her know her feelings on this and do not say much until she tells you how she feels. With that being said then it would be on to your feelings if you want have a little girl calling you daddy and if something did not happen (marriage) then you have not just broke 1 heart but 2 and possibly your girls' hearts depending on the bonding throughout the relationship. Also, check with GF and see if she has an issue with your daughters calling her MOM and if your ex wife has an issue-switch it around on the GF? If they have no problem then you can let your children know that they have 2 moms. Good Luck!
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:21 PM
 
1,226 posts, read 2,078,615 times
Reputation: 1864
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhanson7183 View Post
no i wont

any and ALL opinions would be appreciated whether its what i want to hear or not

i already know we rushed into this, that i cant change

thats why im here, i dont want people to sugar coat anything, i need to hear it like it is so i know how to approach this issue and make things work
Oh good, because that was what I was going to say. You made this mess, this 5 year old didn't, so man up. You chose to wear the Daddy boots... take the name. She's opening up to you and accepting you, be grateful, and open up to her. Don't confuse her by telling her she's different, your children are special, she's not, so don't call you Daddy.... then, when you're comfortable with it a few years down the line, expect HER to conform. If you're committed to the mom, committ to the daughter.... 100%. Don't tell your kids you will always be their dad and you're not hers... that's awful. If you want to be a blended family, concessions have to be made.

How would you feel if your kid's mother was a loser, and they wanted so much for that relationship that your GF and her daughter had, that they didn't have, that they started calling her Mom. And your GF rejected them, said that her daughter was special and they were not, she was not their mother, and then showered her own child with individual attention when yours were left behind so that her own child could feel even more special.



Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJulia View Post
I'm torn. I understand that you are uncomfortable as Daddy to your girlfriend's daughter, and in general I think that people should be called what they want to be called. However, you moved in with this little girl, not just her mother, and you plan to marry this woman. One thing did pop out at me:

Two sentences with apparently opposite statements. As far as the little girl is concerned, you "just never know how things will work out" and aren't ready to be Daddy. But when you speak of her mother, you are madly in love and definitely getting married. When you definitely marry your girlfriend, you definitely become a father figure to this girl ... but you already are one because you live there and presumably share a bed with her mother.

I think it's much, much better for you that this girl seems to want to have you for a dad instead of being one of those kids who screams, "You can't make me! You're not my REAL father!" It sounds like you're not ready yet, but you're already in that situation, so I think you should hurry up and get there. I don't think you need to let the child call you Daddy if you really don't like it, but I think it's sad that you need to emphasize to her that she does not belong to you. I think it's more typical to hear the opposite story, with a guy who wishes his stepchildren treated him like a dad. Daddy is a special name, or it should be, so if a child wants you to be her daddy AND you are well on that path anyway, I don't see the harm in something like Daddy Tim or Papa. Your daughters are going to have to get used to the fact that they will have another sister and not pull this "you're not our REAL sister" nonsense.

Edited to add: I do think it's a good idea to take the bio dad's feelings into account. If he is already Daddy, he might be upset if you are too.
exactly... except the "special name" part, she's just going to be singled out... especially if you have other children.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NEOhioBound View Post
Doesn't matter that she has a biological father or not. If you are IN the house doing the things a father does for his child (such as laundry, bathing etc) you ARE her father. How long have you guys all been living together? In my honest opinion, it isn't fair to ANY of the children to be treating them differently.
I agree, and if you're going to treat the 5 year old different, and have her full time, be prepared to have a rebellious, wounded child with emotional issues that will make the household a living hell when its time for your precious biological children to come visit. At least for as long as it will take for you to leave and cause all the children to go through a second broken home.

You need to learn to love this child as you love your own, which is against all male instincts, but something that can be done, and be done beautifully. That means not putting your own kids first, but treating them all evenly and lovingly. Don't stick around if you can't do that.
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:22 PM
 
Location: New York City
2,814 posts, read 6,069,569 times
Reputation: 3167
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mt-7 View Post
My first advice would be to you to raise your children.
Forget your love life.
Be a father first before taking on another person's child to raise. You have two very young children, why would you complicate your life this way?
But you have chosen to do so.
What to do?
Apologize to your children for not putting them first and then spend the rest of you life doing that.
Now also commit yourself to this "non bio" (your words) child.
Find a way to explain to your children why this child has more access to you than they do.
There is your answer, good luck. Too bad you did not work this hard to keep your family together.
Awful, judgemental, non-helpful advice.
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Old 04-02-2012, 01:02 PM
 
52 posts, read 54,899 times
Reputation: 55
just to give everyone an update...

My girlfriends daughter is currently attending sessions with a play therapist due to the ongoing court dealings and her father trying to become involved in her life now. my girlfriend signed her up for these because she has really severe breakdowns when she is told she is going with her dad, etc. She is also having a hard time at night, refusing to go to bed and coming down wanting her mom to go up and lay with her all the time, etc

well i asked my girlfriend if she could mention this situation to see what she thought, and apparently she thought it would be a bad idea to support me being called "dad" at this point, given whats going on.

She feels that if her bio dad is truly going to attempt to become involved in her life, calling me dad might confuse her and cause issues with this process.

she told us not to scold or act upset, but to kindly remind her that i can be like a dad to her but to call my by my name, as she has a father who wants to see her more.

the other point that was brought up was "does his children call you mom" which of course she said no, because my girls only call her by her first name, all the time. She said the reason my children might be so upset with her calling me dad is because they only call their bio-mom mom, and dont understand the concept of having 2 parents of the same gender, and they KNOW deep down im not her real father so it makes them feel like they are being pushed aside

not sure what to think of all this, but between what ive learned here and from the counselor i think im going to have an easier time grasping this whole process

like i said, in the end i love everyone equally and will do what it takes to make things work for everyone, its just been very hard so far without hurting someones feelings
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Old 04-02-2012, 01:10 PM
 
Location: The Hall of Justice
25,906 posts, read 36,755,589 times
Reputation: 42538
Thank you for the update! Frequently we do not get one, especially from new posters. Good luck to you and your family.
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Old 04-02-2012, 05:32 PM
 
Location: New York City
2,814 posts, read 6,069,569 times
Reputation: 3167
Yes, thank you for the update!! You sound like a good guy who is trying very hard here. I wish you the best
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Old 05-04-2016, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Huntsville, AL
2,852 posts, read 963,416 times
Reputation: 5412
I just wanted to publicly post my opinion of you... I think you are a very loving, caring, considerate, respectful man, and one I'd be proud to call friend. Looking at your OP and the follow up posts, I see you have respect for your GF's ex husband, and love for her and your children. It's really too bad that there aren't more people - men or women - in the world like you.


My hat's off to you Jeff.... you are a fine human being!
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