Greetings to the fathers out there,
As a mom who has struggled, divorced and remarried adding two more children to our family to make five total my best advice is to just be there for your kids. Listen to them, observe them and just be there for them even in the hard times where you may not feel loved. My boys miss that connection with their father, he never has time for them unless he needs something. It is sad.
My stepson and stepdaughter have been 'poisoned' by their mother and my husband is hurting inside. When that phone call goes unanswered still leave a message with a positive tone and always end with I love you and miss you and can't wait to see you. Kids even as they grow, go through phases of love and hate, but if you remain that positive force, no matter what anyone throws your way over the years, in the long run, you will stand out as being the constant positive force that sooner or later, every child needs.
As a mom, I took the high road and never bashed the father of my kids, never asked for anything from him including money, only asked that he give his time. We struggled but in the end they are all entering adulthood now and have a better respect for life and if more mothers would be less about getting even and getting paid and more about just loving their kids, trying to show them hard work pays off and that they are here because of both mom and dad and just because parents are not together and may not agree on things at the end of the day it's not the kids' fault and they are only seeking love, safety and guidance from the adults, well then those kids will grow up to be productive, responsible and caring adults themselves.
Just love your kids. My daughter loves her father but he still sees her as a helpless child, and she is so much more than that, and growing up fast. He was missing the most important times in her life. I spoke with him about this and now he makes it a point to send a simple text telling her he loves her, she is beautiful etc. This has begun a connection that has created a bond just between them. Lunch or dinner once a month, a random call to say ‘hey want to get some ice cream and we can catch up’. Yes, she had an attitude at first and he blamed me but really it was her missing him and wanting to know about her dad.
Take that first step and even on days where things may not be so nice, it is free to hug your child, tell them you love them and when you think they hate you because of words or actions, just know that always telling them, showing them your love for them they hear it and see it and know it on the inside.
Keep your promises to your children, be on time and never speak bad about their mother or allow others to do so, they get enough of that the other way around and kids actually hate that kind of stuff, it makes them feel at fault.
Just be you and the best you, you can be because they never asked to be here, we as parents made that decision and it is not their fault whatever the circumstances came to be between mom and dad. It's hard work that really does pay off. Money will only pay bills, your time creates the memories that last forever.
Be the man you hope your daughter will model her future spouse after. If you want that man to love her, cherish her and treat her like a queen, then you as a dad need to set that ideal in her now so she chooses based on what she knows later.
I wish all of you the best in your journey. No one gave any of us the answers as parents, so go with your gut and be the best dads you can be. Love your kids. Love yourselves. We only get one chance at this, make it matter. ~ Mother of 5 (Wisconsin)