September 21, 2006


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Pinings: Baby daddy
by Sherry Hughes

Dear Pinings,
My son is 4 and lives with me full time. His father has been around for his whole life, but he is never very consistent. We never married. Now his dad is moving across the country and doesnít know how he will see his son. He is taking a job but doesnít have a place to live yet.

Iím really mad that he is leaving our son and has no plans to see him anytime soon. He says that I need to trust him; that heís not just going to abandon Jarred (our son) but I donít know if I can. Also, what about child support? Heís been really sporadic about that, too.

I donít want to be a screaming bitch about this but what am I going to tell my son? And when do I ever get a break? I never felt like I could just pick up and leave ó because I wanted my son to always be close to his father.

Dear Anna,
Iím sorry you are in the midst of this struggle. Parenting is hard enough when two people live together; itís very challenging when the parents separate or when there is conflict.

Since you are clearly the more responsible parent, you are going to have to put this in the most positive light you can for your sonís sake. I donít think you should lie, but I donít think you should give him the impression that his father is abandoning him either. At 4, he wonít understand that. At 14 he wonít either. Get your ex involved in the conversation if you can. Let him know that itís his responsibility to talk to his son. Tell him that the very least he can do is to explain to Jarred whatís happening.

And itís time for you to go to court and secure child support. It is your sonís fatherís job to support his child. Unless you are in a position to take care of him without any help, financially, from your ex, and donít want any, you owe it to your son. This isnít about being vindictive or pissy. Itís about taking care of him. You never know what the future holds. Maybe your ex will prosper in his new environs and send you checks regularly. But maybe he wonít. And you may fall on hard times, too.

And if I were you, Iíd be sure you have a legal document in place that states that primary custody for Jarred is with you. You want to be sure that your ex canít fly your son out to see him and then end up in some legal wrangling about when he will return.
Good luck.

Sherry Hughes welcomes letters from readers at

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A Few Words From Sherry

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Abusive Relationship
Abusive Relationships
Advice to young mother
Annual Tips For Avoiding The Holiday Fight
Any Way To Return To 'Just Friends'?
At The Women's Expo

Back In The Same Place
Back Off, Buddy
Bad Breaks
Being Patient
Blog, Blog, Blog
Broke up

California Dreaming
Changing My Mind
Clearing It Up
Cooking Help
Confused and Angry
Consumed By The Internet
Crying All The Time
Dating Again
Falling Short
Family Friction
Friend, With Benefits
Friendly Secret
Gift-Giving Season
Go to Funeral?
Hunting Season
In Love and Confused
It's the most "beautiful" time of the year...
Keeping Things Secret
Just Sex
Lying, But Not Cheating
Might Get Married
Move Back Home?
My Boyfriend's Computer
My Roommate's Family
Mutual Intrigue
Needs Support
Newly Single Mother
No Explanation
Nosy Neighbors
Nothing Happened
Oh, Grow Up

On Her Way To 'Trouble'

Our Pal Al
Pretty Tight
Publicity Stunt?
Quiet, Please
RSVP, Please
Ruthie's Secret
Should I Stick or Should I Run
Should I Tell Him
Shy Girl
Splitting and Sharing
Stuck In A Sticky Situation
Sucky Gifts
Taking advantage
The Boyfriend & The Friend
The Difficult Coworker
The Letter
The Pain In Spain
The Sad Bride
The Ultimatum
Two Men At The Same Time
Vacation, Not

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