Would it be wrong of me to not send my kids to their dad?

I left my husband in 2019. Since then he has been very minimal in helping with our two daughters (now 5&6). No child support because he wouldn’t provide me with an address etc. I got a restraining order from April 2021 to April 2022 and he was supposed to have them every other weekend but it ended up being more like one weekend a month. He was living close but he moved to his moms house which is 2.5 hrs from where I live with our girls in June. He then lost his job and car. The last time he has seen them is the beginning of July. The only time he talks to them is if my daughter texts him first. I asked him if he would like them for the winter break and I would drive them down and pick them up and he said yes. Then a few days later said that I would need to send them with money for food, gas, and incidentals. He is an able bodied male and hasn’t had a job for 5 mo. I’m having a hard time because my kids really miss their dad but I feel like he’s asking me for child support to keep them 3 weeks and I have been doing LITERALLY EVERYTHING by myself. Is it selfish for me to not allow them to go?


No ma’am! Keep them babies at home!

Just simply communicate with him that if he wants his kids then he needs to provide the food & everything else while he has them, just like you do & if not then they can’t come. Simple as that.


What he can’t get food at a food pantry?! I’d love my kid(s) to see their dad but he has me curious if he’s gonna eat some ur kids food and spend some of their money on him


Do not enable him to continue on his path to destruction. They need to be where they are safe and considered. Being a concerned mother is absolutely your job. If he cannot be a responsible parent consistently, your girls will suffer for it. Better safe and stable with you then God knows where with him.

If his mom is not willing to help with food and etc… You be their stability. Take it from a mom whose kids are now 21 and 17. They’ve grown to be happy, peaceful and stable. Protecting them was the ABSOLUTE best call I made.


In the courts eyes, both parents have to provide all necessary essentials for the child at BOTH houses for use during their parenting time. I would say no, do not send them. If they are hurt, explain to them that he does not have food, money, or even clothing to put on their backs and that he is an adult. That the things he should be doing to be a healthy parent and provide a safe environment, he isn’t doing. Reassure them that you will have fun on winter break and they are safe, secure, and loved in your home. It is not selfish. You’re putting your children’s health and well being first. You are not responsible for the feelings and actions of another adult.


Well if it was a one time deal , because he just lost a job or was unable to work then ya work with him . In this case he needs to step up .


I would never trust him enough in those conditions to leave my children with him. Men who are in situations like that can become desperate, and mental health being what it is today I would not put my kids in the middle of it. Take them down for a day or two, maybe stay somewhere in town while he has them and then bring them home. Providing a safe environment is your number one job, and with the conditions you’re describing, you can’t guarantee that.


I definitely would nit let them go. I’m sure it’s hard knowing they miss him,but at this point he doesn’t seem very good person to leave your daughters with. And kids are resilient. Doesn’t sound safe to me to let him have them for weeks and hours away. That’s just me tho


Honestly in my opinion send them with what they need if you have to provide for them on your own and you do that then you know your kids have what they need and you have done the right thing by them even send them for a shorter time so they can see their dad doesn’t have to be ongoing he needs to step up also


I’d just take them to see him for the day and bring them back home.i would be worried about them being there for three weeks


I’d tell him that if he can’t provide for them while they are there like you have been doing all this time then it’s best they don’t go.

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It doesn’t sound like a safe situation to put your kids in. Once he can get it together enough to care for them a whole week then they can go, in my opinion. Hopefully he grows up before they do.


what if he runs out of money and can’t feed them? Or get them anywhere?
I wouldn’t send them at all.
You could send them only for the weekend with all that stuff, just for a tiny break, but parents, mother or father skills be able to provide basic needs, like food.


Nope, he gets off his ass and supports his kids.

Nope, not selfish at all!. You need to file child support with social services and you need to file custody arrangements with a lawyer. if you don’t have a court order in place, he doesn’t have to give them back to you if there’s not a court order. Make sure you put in the court order that he has to provide everything for them while the children are in his care. I understand if it’s a one time thing but if you keep doing it, he’s gonna expect it.

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I wouldn’t personaly send the kids…if he’s asking you for money for there food I rather them stay home with me if the boot was on the other foot.

They would not go. Sorry girls

Nope. My kid wouldn’t be going.

U would be spending the money to feed them if they dont go . How important is ur kids happiness ?
I would help him


I wouldn’t send them. It sounds like he’s just getting them to be able to get money from you and that’s not right he should take care of them while he has them.So no mom your not being selfish keep them with you.


No it’s not selfish.
If he’s not in a position to support their needs while he has them then no. They can’t go.
Believe me I was a fool long enough with my ex husband.


3 weeks i would not do. Start small amount of time. Send some food THIS time and let him know he needs to get it together to see them more. Check out his mom and how their rooms and place they will lay their head is when you get there. I would do maybe a couple days to start. Make sure the girls have a way to call you anytime they need to. I dont know how the environment is there but i would check that out. If this is the only time he will see them then it could also be more harmful so maybe start out with a one night stay. He needs to prove himself. I would never do 3 weeks to start. Good luck. This is a hard one!


This is a super tough spot to be in mama and I’m sorry that your family is dealing with this. My first concern would be the reason for the restraining order- it’s not shared (nor does it need to be) but something to think about. Secondly, I’d think about the time frame. That’s a very long time for young kids who haven’t seen their dad in 6 months. Finally, before sending anything (I wouldn’t send money- trust issues for me), but find out how he providing the essentials for himself? Is he not eating? Is he not bathing himself where they don’t have bathroom essentials at his house? If he is able to provide for himself, then he can find a way to provide for the kids- it’s for a short time. He may have to give up other things. Finally, if it’s his mother supporting him- I’d be questions why she isn’t willing to provide additional support not only so he can see his kids but her grandkids.

I’m sorry but it’s be a no for me and if he can’t provide the BASIC ESSENTIALS, he’s got bigger issues to work on first.


I would send some food for a few days & let him know you’ll be back to get them in a few days to a week but that he’s not helping money wise & he admitted he cannot care for them. You simply cant afford to be the parent for the both of you


As a divorced mama who’s babies were 1 and 3 when I left, I ask you, is this about you? Your daughters miss their dad, you just said that… THEY are watching YOU… and momma I KNOW that your plate is full and he IS asking for wayyyyy to much …. But those little girls are watching YOU.
You can either be bitter and deny him and really show him and the lesson you’re teaching them is simply that, bitterness.
Pick your battles wisely, this is NOT about you & his lack of responsibility; and is NOT one that needs played out.
Your “end game”, your “win” are those girls … and I can tell you from over twenty years of experience as a divorced parent you will take it on the chin and swallow your pride too many times to count. But in the end the young adults that you are raising and the life lessons they will take away from their childhood are impacted by you …. Give them GOOD, give them that. Let them see your sacrifice and take it like the champ you are momma!
Let them go :heart:


I’ll be the odd man out and let him know you will provide transportation, food and send them with clothes this one time because the kids really would like to see him but this can not happen on a regular basis because your funds are already low since he doesn’t help. I feel like if this was the other way around people would be a bit more compassionate.


If you could I would just take them for the weekends and pack them lunch style food. 2 days and one night of this would be OK. I wouldn’t send money and I would not let them go 3 weeks. That way they can see their dad but in a more monitored way since he can’t provide properly for them.


Your daughters need their Dad. I know it’s hard because he has not been the father he should be but maybe he is in a deep depression due to the loss of his family. You married and had children with this man, only you know him, not anyone on here. Christmas is time to mend bridges and new beginnings.
The circumstances, timing and monetary things you can work through but don’t withhold his girls from him. Sending you so much love, you sound like an amazing mother who cares deeply for her children :smiling_face_with_three_hearts::heart_hands::pray:
From a loving step mum :kissing_heart:


I wouldn’t. If he can’t get them where they need to go, nor provide simple meals for them while there, that’s a deal breaker. Man up, dude. His mommy may think that’s fine, but when you’re an adult with children, it’s not his mother’s responsibility, it’s his responsbility to meet. Meaning you dont try to guilt trip your ex wife into doing it for you, in order to continue your lazy lifestyle that your mother enables and allows. If he cared enough, he would do whatever necessary to see the girls. Since he’s not, tell him no and don’t feel bad about it. It’s on him. If the girls ask why, tell them the truth. Daddy lost his job, and for whatever reason hasn’t found another one yet. You dont have to tell them the details. He can’t provide for you while you’re at his current home, so I’m sorry, but visiting isn’t an option right now. If they have further questions, they can ask HIM. It’s not your job to do it all, but if that’s the only option, be honest with your kids and don’t sugar coat their reality. Let them hold him accountable and ask the hard questions. Don’t protect him. He’s made choices that affect them. He should have to answer those questions directly.

Edited to add: Do you not have a custody arrangement or are you only separated, not technically divorced? If you’ve got an address for him now, take him to court for child support. That’ll force him to get a job while he lives with mommy. Let the courts deal with him.


If he can’t feed them, I wouldn’t send them. :woman_shrugging:t3:

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It’s not selfish at all, from a mom who was in this same situation, I always took her, picked her up, sent food, etc… because I felt like she needed that relationship with her dad. She’s now 22 and refuses to even talk to him. I quit making all the effort when she was around 12 and just let her see for herself how her dad really was. There’s no easy answer just do what you think is best for your kids.

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I’d tell him that I’ll drop them off, but I don’t have the ready money to give him for all that. If he wants them, he’ll figure out a way to make it happen. You can’t be both the mom and dad. Believe me, it’s very hard.

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You are far from selfish, he should be doing a lot more to help you and those girls!!!

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He didn’t want to pay child support and hasn’t been much help for years? But wants YOU to send money for the kids while they are in his care, almost like it’s… I don’t know… child support? How weird. Definitely don’t let them go, he doesn’t even bother to communicate unless spoken to first. He may miss them, but he doesn’t put an effort in it looks like. I know your kids miss him, but they don’t just “need there dad” they need a consistent one. Put your foot down, your kids may up upset for a little bit, but that’s better then being hungry and stranded 2.5 hours away because there dad can’t provide what he needs for his kids.

Why would you put your daughters in jeopardy?? Have you never heard of child abusers taking their anger out on their own kids because they hate their mother and they don’t want to pay child support for them!! He knows he can give you the worst heartache ever by abusing your babies or disappearing with them. I let my X have my 2 kids for his weekend, when I went to pick them up, they were gone, being spiteful my X refused to give them back to me, .he didn’t have them with him, he hid them out of town with his sister. It took me 3 weeks to find them, the only reason he gave them back was because my daughter wouldn’t quit crying for me. He never willing paid child support or took them on his weekends after that. I never forced them to see him, .it wasn’t worth the stress of not knowing what he may or may not do. But 20 years later Child Support caught up with him, he had one hellofabill. Ya can’t file bankruptcy on Taxes or Child support, so never give up.

Nope, he hasn’t been in their lives and if he can’t provide for them while in his care, that would be a hard no for me. He needs to do better!

So… this man pays no support and contributes nothing to the care of the children that he made, is inconsistent in their lives, and you’re the one reaching out to him to arrange visitations… now he wants them for winter break, but wants you to take care of them while they’re in his care? Does that sound about right? I hope you pissed yourself laughing at him!

No! If you’re going to have to both parent and support the kids when they’re with you as well as when they’re with him, you might as well just keep them with you. Then, at least, the money you’re spending on them is for something that you get to enjoy with them.

Since you now know where he lives (at his mothers) I would revisit the child support issue. Do it through the courts and you just sit back. The courts will locate him and serve him. If he doesn’t pay support, the courts will track him down and hold him in contempt.

It sounds like you’re already doing everything on your own, so any support you would get from him would just be a bonus for you and the kids.

Don’t let the deadbeat get off scott free!

Not selfish at all. You do what is best for your babies. If he really wanted to see them he would make it happen. Just like as us mothers- we do whatever we need to make sure our children are taken care of etc… obviously his effort isn’t there. Go with your gut.

I would just take them down for the day and bring them back home, you shouldn’t be providing in his care he should be responsible enough to do that himself I’d be worried to let them stay in his care, so no it isn’t being selfish


Send them with Money for “Food, Gas, and incidentals”" No way would I send them if I had to provide money. Take them to see him for the day, see where he lives, but take them back home where you know they are safe. He sounds like a dead beat dad. You know where he lives, make him set-up and help you provide for his children.

He’s still their dad. They don’t need to know all the grownup problems. They would hate you if you didn’t. 3 weeks is a little to long. A week would be good enough. Besides it’s his mothers house. And snacks for there is good enough. She can feed them

We’d make a little trip of it for a couple days and then come back. I think it’s safer to access where he’s staying and where he’s at mentally before sending kids to stay with him that long. Esp kids he doesn’t know and they don’t really know him either.

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We went through this mom would call and say she didn’t have clothes or this or that for them. We go to goodwill and by both girls some clothes, we would send snacks in there bags, whatever it took because they legally had to go. As a parent there is no way Im not taking care of kids needs no matter where they are. They miss dad they are children and even if he sucks they love him. The one thing you never want to do is keep kids away. One day those kids will see who stepped up. And you definitely need to talk to dad. Let him know that it’s time for him to get it together.

I wouldn’t send them. Tell him you can’t afford to provide food for both households. If he wants to see his children he needs to step up. Besides that he doesn’t seem like he’d be able to provide any other type of care for them anyway since he hasn’t done it

My opinion…I would let my babies see their dad, if they only seen him, or talked to him once a year, that is still their dad, abd they love him! I would send them, and send money for them all to enjoy thereselves, its for your kids, let them have memories with their dad…its a win, win situation, they get to make special memories with dad, and you will be doing the right thing in the kids minds by making this possible for them! He may be going through something that we don’t understand!!

Nope. I’m sorry, he clearly cannot act as a caring, providing parental figure and not that job is entirely yours. Own it, rip off the bandaid now. The things my daughter had to witness early on while I was in the same position as you could have been avoided if I had put an end to the charade sooner. I did the driving for years. I sent clothes, dropped off food. He still lives in his mothers basement at almost 50 years old, unemployed and addicted. He’s contributed nothing of positive merit.
They will be sad now but their self worth will be wort it later. Don’t enable him. You’d walk through fire to see your girls, wouldn’t you? Make him do it.

If at all possible for the girls I would take them down to see him and bring them back with you.and explain it’s his job and until he has his crap together there not staying with him. And I would report to the court. Hope the girls have a great Xmas


I would tell him that he needs to get his life together first. If he can’t even provide food for them while they are with him then hell no my babies wouldn’t be going. Try to set a time to do video chats with him so they can still “see” him but you know they are safe and being taken care of… at least until he can take care of them on his own. Believe me (I’ve been there with a drug addicted co-parent) the kids might be mad or hurt because they can’t be with him but at lease you know they are not in an unsafe/unhealthy situation

My sister has a similar situation with her oldest baby daddy. She has my nephew all year , pays for everything, doesn’t get any child support then pays to fly my nephew to Washington to see his dad (his dad moved out of state for his girlfriend ) … it’s crazy. Usually he’ll take my nephew to an amusement park or do something cool/expensive while he has him but he’s never really helped pay for ANYTHING he needs !

Let them go but tell him it’s not your responsibility to provide them with money for food gas etc it’s his responsibility.

Ummm no…hes doesn’t need to see them if he isn’t trying.to make it happen…and why should u pay? Hard on kids I get it but…it is wht it is…

I sent mine with food for a weekend once, apparently it embarrassed him because I never had to do it again.

Fit the sake of the children I would do a4 day weekend. Don’t send food $ but bring groceries- doesn’t have to be elaborate- milk, cereal, pb&j bread, family size stoeffer/banquet dinners. But I wouldn’t send a single penny.

Absolutely not. Do not send them if he can’t afford to take care of them.

Normally, yes BUT he’s telling you he has no way to support their bare minimum. I wouldn’t let my kids go 2.5 hours away for 3 weeks and not be sure they can be fed or bathed. And I’m sure not providing him money to do so.


I would let him know that when he is in a position to be a father to call otherwise to please keep in contact with his kids as much as possible. But no you should not be supporting him or the kids cuz he still sounds like he’s a kid himself

No mam in my opinion he is not responsible enough to have them

Just listen to your gut…you already know what to do

Money, no money, court order, no court order. Do not keep your kids from their dad. Give him every opportunity to show up. Continue to try. It’s not for him at all, he sounds like a pos but he is their father regardless. As long as their safety isn’t in jeopardy, try as hard as you can.
At the end of the day, you can’t force a relationship but your kids will know it was truly him and not you. Don’t be that mom. Just don’t.

NO!!! DO NOT send your girls to see this man !!! You have no idea if he will be at this address when you go back to get them! Send no kind of food! Call local police and check him out!! We are talking about a man that has no contact with his children unless 6 year old calls him first! He could be anywhere! He could have plans to sell your kids! Get it together! Let him come to your town for a night or two, take kids to hotel and see him like that first!! And he could still take them in the middle of the night! He does not know them nor do they know him! He could mistreat them! Let local police know that your kids are there and please check on them!

He hasn’t seen them since July? He doesn’t want to then. I don’t think I would send a 5 and 6 years old into something I know nothing about. Sorry but its a no for me.

3 weeks is too long. Maybe a week. I would send them for a week and I would send all the food NOT MONEY FOR FOOD that they would need. Sending money is crazy. No absolutely not. Send $50 at the most. Who knows what he’s really wanting that money for. I wouldn’t. Just make up a menu of what your kids will eat each day and buy those things and some snacks and drinks and send the food and all theor clothes and what they might need, some toys and games, and say here’s $50 use it if they need anything else or if you want to take them to do something. That’s more than fair. Way more than fair. And if that’s not good enough for him and he still wants cash then you should know that it’s because he has other plans for that money than buying his kids food while they are there. Work with him in this way. That should solve both issues. His lack of funds is not your problem. But if it makes it so he can’t see his kids because he just can’t afford it then I woukd always go out of my way to make it possible but sending food, clothes, toys, and traveling all the way myself is where I’d draw the line. If he wants to see his kids then he will make it work and work with you like you’ve been doing all along. Also now you got his address you need to pursue child support. He needs to be responsible for his children. It’s been 3 years that he’s been a deadbeat dad it’s time for him to grow up and show up.

Do you have a custody order or parenting plan filed with the court? If so, follow it. If you don’t like it, get it changed. If there is no legal custody and visitation agreement, that would be a STRONG “hell no” from me. If he can’t provide for them when he has them, then he can’t have them!

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If he hasn’t even tried helping since you guys split them he’s definitely not getting his act together now. Sometimes it’s best to not expect things from anyone. Let’s assume you take them and in a few days calls complaining and tells you to go back for them. Which is very likely if he doesn’t interact with them now. It’s hard for your kids but just say daddy is not able to keep you girls right now, at a later time you can gladly go over there. Sometimes we try to accommodate dads and in reality we have to clean up their mess. He might not be the best choice for the girls to be around right now. Best of luck!!!

do you have child support and visitation orders through the court? Because if you do you should follow them , and if you don’t like the way they’re set up go to court and petition for them to be changed. You said that your children miss their father and want to see him. As their mother you should help make that happen because that is what they want and have expressed to you . Maybe not for 3 weeks maybe not even for 3 days but you should make seeing their dad happen for them even if it’s only for a day or a few hours because you said that , that is what your children want, they want to see their dad, they miss their dad. It’s a slippery slope if you keep your children from their father especially when they have asked to see him they could grow up to feel some kind of way about that towards you and I’m sure that’s not what you want. yall as parents have to set your personal bs between the two of you aside because it’s not about the two of you, it’s about your children. So maybe not for 3 weeks or even 3 days but you should at least try to honor your kids wishes and take them to see their father because they miss him and at least let them spend a day with him imo. Even if that means you have to pack a lunch for everyone to enjoy while they visit with their father because he can’t or won’t which ever it is, Because again it’s not about you or him it’s about your children.

It’s selfish to let legal and financial issues determine visitation because they don’t understand. I’d simply say if you can not afford to have them maybe we should make it another time. Their still babies and don’t understand the financial part at this point. As long as he is trustworthy and they will be safe there keeping them away is only hurting them. Maybe instead of money take some groceries for them and pack their incidentals. Gas would be on him since you are providing the transportation. I wouldn’t give him money tho. :woman_shrugging:t3:

Whose kids have winter break for 3 weeks? Lol

No you send them with nothing but the clothes on there back and let him figure it out he is there father make him figure it out all on his own

I’m a worry wart. That would be a no from me. I’d be afraid he’d be spending it on other stuff other than them and 3 weeks is a long time plus being 2 1/2hrs away. That’s scary. Now if there are other adults around like his parents and siblings, maybe but that’s a hard maybe. No job, no transportation, no money and having to take care of 2 kids. Nope from me


I personally would not send them if he can not adequately care for them to include food and necessities and would tell him so very clearly. That if he wants a relationship with them he has to step up and make one. I would at best if finances and time allowed drive them over and get a hotel for a long weekend and allow him to see them during the day or a overnight but still would need to be able to provide food.


I would tell him that they are his responsibility too. If he wants to see them, he needs to find the means to get them AND take care of them properly while they are in his care.
However, of there was a restraining order, is it safe? Because if the answer is even a little no, then I just wouldn’t.
Explain to the kids that daddy loves them but isn’t able to see them right now. Nothing more. Just keep Taking care of those babies and putting one foot in front of the other.


Tell them when their father takes responsibilities for his actions, they can visit.
‘Each time you see him, I am allowing him to show you how it’s ok to not be a responsible person. You girls are better than that and I want you to become the best you can be. ‘

He doesn’t help financially with the kids but has the audacity to ask you for food and gas money? The audacity! Boy bye.

You called him
He didn’t even ask for the children. And than your gonna leave them for 3 weeks without knowing the situation over there
Sounds like they hardly know each other
He has obviously checked out . I say big. No way

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When they are with him , he is financially responsible for them, period.

I wouldn’t. He’s not a babysitter. You don’t pay him to spend time with your kids. He hasn’t supported them ever. He needs to grow up. In fact I’d tell my children dad wants you to pay him to take him which would mean less money to support them with.

Be done with that deadbeat. It doesn’t sound like he makes any effort.

I would just send them for the week or weekend.

This is truly heartbreaking, he is just sorry. If you send them your going to have to provide for all three of them, if you don’t send them there going to want to know why and if he tell it your going to be blame. So damn if you do damn if you don’t. But I’ll be taking the DONT because I ain’t taking care of no grown ass man!

Ok everyone is probably going to disagree with me but you mentioned he lived with his mother. Is she a responsible adult? Also is it possible that he is having depression or mental issues related to the divorce or the loss of his family. I’m not saying that’s your fault or responsibility. Maybe he needs more time to get himself back on track. The fact that he wants to see his children is a good thing. He is the father of these children. I think you should try to work something out so the children see their father. Maybe a shorter stay, set up a web cam so you can check on them on a daily basis. He might be a total bum but he might be someone who needs a little help. I would try to help him this time. You can always cut the visit short if it’s not working.


It doesn’t sound like he can provide anything for them without your help. I would not take them as I would feel like they won’t be cared for.