New dad needs help!

When you get a chance, what would you say to this… Moms response to me discussing visitations, dr appointments etc. She thinks her intelligence is always gonna look down to me. Please help me come up with a response to her! I will never go for this! We have a 3day old son and not married. We go to court for paternity testing on the 15th. I am a high school special education teacher and she is back with her husband who has issues with DV and is currently under 18 months probation for DV.

Hey B. I am responding as I read your text so that I can discuss with you everything that you have mentioned to me. Please let me know if I leave anything out. Jaxon is certainly my primary concern and I have not only prayed and asked God to give me wisdom and guidance to always do what is best for Jaxon, but also have sought advice from two different Christian counselors. I am going to share with you some of what I have learned and maybe you can better understand my thinking. Right now, as an infant, Jaxon needs a predictable routine and stable environment, which he certainly has. Infants do not respond well to disruptions in their routine. Based on these conditions, and a number of others that I will be happy to share, that lead to healthy emotional development, most child psychology experts agree that it is not in an infant’s best interest to spend much time apart from the primary caregiver. Furthermore, visits in the infants home are ideal and enhance the interaction between the baby and the secondary caretaker because the baby is in comfortable surroundings. As the child ages, more flexibility can be introduced. It is certainly important for each parent to develop a relationship with their infant, but dividing up days on the calendar does not take into consideration what the infant needs. As the baby matures, the schedule can be modified. To ignore the infant’s needs when creating a schedule may trigger permanent psychological harm.

While I completely understand your excitement at being a dad, and I am sincerely happy for you, the use of the nursery at your new home and the car seat in your car for a “test drive” right now are more for your excitement than for Jaxon’s needs. I am not saying that in any negative way (I hope you honestly know that) and I am certainly glad you are well-prepared, but I am trying to put everything into perspective as to his needs. I can promise you those things are not important to him at this time, but I respect that you desire to be a dad and I believe he has every right to know you as his biological father. Soon enough, he will need both his nursery and your car seat and he will enjoy being able to go with you when he is older. I have no doubt about that! He would probably love to tag along to a cross country meet with you and I am sure he will one day! Future visitation can be modified as he grows older based on what we feel is best for him. I am only trying to figure out what is best for him right now. I can only agree to what is best for him at this time. I also know that this is not at all how you imagined raising your first son and I am sorry. In discussing this with the Christian counselors, I have come to realize and hope that you can too, that what we did was have an affair and commit adultery and, though it was a mistake, Jaxon is a blessing and gift from God and God knew before we ever made the mistakes we made that Jaxon would be born into this world at this time and be the blessing to all of us out of a bad situation. God has an awesome plan and purpose for this precious little boy! I know this! However, the consequences of not being able to raise this child the way you may have planned in your head is something that you (and myself) are going to have to accept and deal with in the most positive manor for Jaxon.

As far as his doctor’s visits, you have to understand that Jaxon is a part of my family, including Travis, Macy, Carly, Caden, and Grason, who ALL love him as much as we do if you can understand that. In the same way, I understand that Jaxon is part of your family as well and, as he gets older, will be spending holidays with your family and holidays with my family, and will most likely at some point be taking weekend father/son trips with you and those will be memories that the both of you will cherish for a lifetime and I will be happy for you both as well! Things will get easier and better as time goes by. The reason I am saying all of this is to say that Travis will be driving me to his appointments, with Grason most of the time, because I would not make the drive without riding beside Jaxon in his seat. We will take him to his appointments as a family. I have no problem at all texting you after every check-up and letting you know his new weight and height and any information the doctor gives me. They always give me a worksheet with his weight and height and sometimes include printed information on developmental stages during his visits. All important information about Jaxon is always given to me in writing and I will be more than happy to make you a copy of each sheet from each visit, not only for his baby book if you have one, but also for you to have the information. In addition, if he is ever sick, which I pray against every day, I would certainly let you know that information and what the doctor said. When he is older and has overnights with you, then I am sure there may be times you would have to take him to see a doctor and I would hope that you would do the same for me. You will quickly see that there is nothing in this world more heartbreaking for a parent than a sick child, even a little stuffy nose, because you hurt when they hurt. I will always do that for you without reservation in hopes that you would do the same for me. This boy is lucky. He has two families that love him very much, four brothers and sisters, a number of cousins, and he has two wonderful men that will be a dad to him, but you will always be his biological father. And, one day when you are married, he will most likely have two women to be a mother to him and, though that is sometimes hard to accept, I trust that she will love little Jaxon like we all do.

I think it takes 10 days for the pictures to show up online, but I will find out and let you know the information or, if I have to use my account only to purchase them, then I will get you what you want. I will get you that information at your next visit. I will also try to get together as much stuff for you as I can before you return to visit.

Lastly, and probably most importantly to you, I would like to suggest you visit with Jaxon every Monday and Thursday for now if we can work out a time. That way, you never go more than three days without a visit. We can have set times and I can work it out around the schedule of my other children. You can bring extended family to any visit and I will leave you all alone in the den to visit so that I am nearby or even outside if you need me for a feeding. Maybe as you get more comfortable with him and bond more, I can take a walk around the neighborhood while you visit. I will try my very best to make you as comfortable as well when you are here. I can have him well fed prior to your visits to prevent many interruptions from me to the extent that I can. In addition, I will send you a text each day to let you know how he is and I will send you pictures of him as I take them, several a day. Your visits can increase in number as he is older and you can certainly take him for visits when we both feel it is doable and appropriate to his needs. Newborns nurse every one to three hours and today, for example, I have nursed him thirty minutes apart a majority of the day. It is honestly all we have done. He eats and sleeps. That will change as he grows older. I hope you understand all that I am trying to say because I know I have said a lot, but I think you know Jaxon is my primary concern. Could you please let me know what time works best for visits? What about 4:00 on Thursday?

Helping you prepare a response to specific correspondence is outside of the scope of this forum. Responding to correspondence requires more than reading the document, and I would need to understand a history of your custody issues to best assist you. It sounds like you need a consultation with an attorney in your area to discuss your case in detail and how you should proceed.

*** Not a lawyer ***

There are experts that say what she claims. There are also experts who say those experts are wrong and that it’s more important for children to have a chance to develop a bond with both parents and not just the one.

Also, while custody can be reevaluated as the child gets older, you would be fighting an uphill battle against the by-then-established status quo. Not that you aren’t likely to be fighting an uphill battle anyway, since there is still a pervasive mommy-bias in our society even if it has been written out of the laws.

As Ms. Putiri said, giving you help with all of that is really outside the scope of this forum. You’ll probably need to find a lawyer who is specifically experienced in representing fathers facing this sort of situation. If you know or can find other fathers who have succeeded in this sort of situation, you’d probably find that helpful too. Good luck!

Not a lawyer

First and foremost, you need to decide what role you want to play in Jaxon’s life. I personally would not agree to her custody demands for a list of reasons. If an affair occurred, can you imagine visits in her husband’s den? Do you think that your influence on his life is best for Jaxon? I suggest you decide what you think is best, and if you decide to pursue custody, retain a lawyer and request that your ex buy a breast pump since she seems to care so much about his feedings.

I agree that there are significant issues that need to be addressed, but the custodial schedule for an infant will vary from case to case which is why I suggest a consultation so an attorney can help you figure out what is best for your situation and assist you in arranging that. In the least, I would ask to be notified of and present at all doctor’s appointments rather than just being given the information second hand. If you have a specific question that I can answer, please do not hesitate to repost.