Dear Ask Ashlee,
I think the mother of my child is abusing our daughter. Since we broke up and I removed myself from the home, she has been extremely short and impatient with our 4 yr old. I notice how aggressive she is when she speaks with her and she was never like that before I left. This past weekend, my baby came to me with bruises on her legs and when I asked her about them, she said “mommy said they are just my bad marks because I wasn’t being a good girl”. Now what does that sound like to you? I care about my child’s mother and I do have love and respect for her, but I refuse to stand by and allow my baby to be abused for whatever the reason is! I did ask her where the bruises came from and she told me she didn’t know and tried to blame it on whoever I have at my house, which is no one. Fathers don’t usually get the best results from the system, so what do you suggest I do?
So here’s the thing, you’re right! Father’s do experience a lot of loss and unfairness when it comes to the courts and how the system works, but I implore you to fight anyway! Get your daughter in a safer environment and if that is with you then be so be it. She is your main focus and as a parent it is your job to protect her from any and everyone as best as you can. I do love that you still care for her mother, because you should, she has given you the most precious gift and that will never change. I do want to point out that being a single parent can be so hard, and sometimes you do lose your patience. I am not condoning abuse of any kind but I am saying, if this is unusual behavior for her then a little grace her way is ok, while still protecting your child of course. As you fight with the courts through this transition, request counseling for her mother. Losing you, work, life, motherhood and things you may not even be aware of could be weighing her down heavily right now. Protect your child, and encourage her mother to get the help she needs.
I hope this helps!
Love & Light,