I’m a big believer that little girls need good Dads.
I’ve no special knowledge to back this up – unless you count the fact that I’ve seen Father of the Bride three times. Does that count? Still, I am sure that any therapist worth their salt could make a convincing link between the fact that I grew up without a Dad and the fact that I’ve only ever dated older men.
Regardless, I really encourage Flea’s Dad to be around, and spend time with her whenever he can. I was pleased when he moved to live a bit nearer to us, as it’s finally made it possible for Flea to spend the night at his place. Up until now, he’s lived hundreds of miles away, and Flea’s been too young to travel to stay with him.
I will admit, selfishly, there’s a little part of me (okay, a massive part of me) hopping up and down with glee at the thought of having a WHOLE night once a week without the responsibility of a child upstairs.
There’s just one tiny problem: Flea doesn’t want to stay with her Dad.
There’s no particular reason that I can think of for this. Flea adores her Dad, he adores her in return (obviously) and they get along really well. He’s much less strict than me, so time with Daddy tends to involve more late nights, more sweets and lot more TV than Flea gets access to anywhere else.
But when I went to drop Flea off for her second overnight visit with her Dad this week, she got very upset and asked me to take her home. In the end my ex-husband came back to our house with us, and stayed in Flea's room while Flea bunked in with me. Which is fine, but it’s really not what I had in mind for my evening.
My inclination is not to push Flea or to make this a ‘thing’. I’ve downplayed it and said it’s fine, and of course whatever she wants to do is fine with both of us, but I’m sure she’d have loads of fun with her Dad. And I think in time, it will seem a bit less new and strange.
Still it’s the first time I’ve faced this situation and I’d really appreciate advice from those of you who have been through the divorced parenting thing. What do you do if your kids are reluctant to stay with your ex?