No Show

by mssinglemama on February 10, 2009

I got a text message at 5:27 a.m. this morning from Benjamin’s father.

“So not coming.”

That’s all it said. No reason why. Nothing. Normally I would have rolled back over and kept sleeping but given that tonight is date night I shot up like a bullet. 

“Why? He is expecting you, I’ve been puking all night, ” he says. 

A wave of memories hits me – the sick days I’ve had with Benjamin, the long voyages to the store or to grandma’s nauseated as hell. 

“That’s bull shit,” I said. 

Then he hung up the phone. 

When Benjamin woke up I had to break the news. He’s been expecting him lately, more than ever because he’s getting older and is now much more aware of Daddy’s presence or absence, whichever it is that week. He took it like a champ and gobbled down his cereal but I know tonight he’ll be crying for him.

I get it that he’s sick but why not give me a heads up the night before? Or even let me sleep in a bit before waking me with the news? Why is he so inconsiderate? And why can’t he just suck it up and show up on a consistent basis. If you’ll notice Benjamin’s father has now consistently skipped every other week since January 1st. (I think).

Last night my stranger  date called and I quickly picked up on the fact that he’d be picking me up. So I scrambled to clean my house, just in case he got a peak inside. Which I hope he does because from the outside my place looks like a shithole. Rusty awnings, siding from the 60’s and a messy yard. I am extremely lacking in the yard maintenance department – it’s just a tad embarassing. But on the inside it’s a sweet, sweet and super cute/comfortable little apartment. 

I called my babysitter this morning, probably woke her up – but she can watch Benjamin – a miracle. Now I have to decide if I should cancel those pick up plans. I may have to meet him at the restaurant so Benjamin doesn’t see him – God forbid if my son actually sees his mom get into a car with a strange man, could mess him up for life. 

No, seriously, I don’t want him to see that. 

The other option is to send Benjamin and the sitter off to the coffee shop during date pick up time. And I’ll also be returning the new dress I was going to wear so I can afford to pay the babysitter. 

I wanted to share this all with you because, well, I had a feeling you could relate. And while I laid awake this morning (only ended up with 5 hours of sleep) all I could think about was using the little savings I do have to hire a lawyer. 

I want full custody. 


And now I must work. Yeah, that job thing. There’s that too. Oh, and the whole date thing. By the time I land in that restaurant I’m going to be the happiest date that guy’s ever seen – just because I’ll be out of my house with a bottle of wine in front of me and a handsome man to make me smile. 

Single moms rock. 

And today would be a great day to fill out your ex’s real name here.

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Confessions from a cubicle… « I Used To Have Hair
February 10, 2009 at 9:23 pm

{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

wyliekat February 10, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Full custody. Gawd, that was a scary time for me, taking my ex to court for an emergency interim order of custody – it was the moment I knew that all relationship with him or his family was severed. And this was all of six weeks after the split.

That really was a fun summer for me.



mssinglemama February 10, 2009 at 7:57 am

Fortunately the worst is behind me… and my ex can’t afford to fight anything. I just need to explore the option.


Zoeyjane February 14, 2009 at 5:40 am

I know exactly what you mean – but I did it 3 days after a split, after having my locks changed.


pt-LawMom February 10, 2009 at 7:45 am

((HUGS)) I am so sorry. What an inconsiderate ass.


mssinglemama February 10, 2009 at 7:56 am

I know it. Crushes me every time too.


upbisb February 10, 2009 at 2:45 pm

I think it's great that you want to protect him from that. I'm the child of a single mom and love reading your blog because it makes me appreciate my mother even more.
I have very few memories of my childhood but I do remember this one time when I was probably 3 or 4. It was the only time I ever remember my mom going on a date and I was supposed to go with her. I remember her getting me all dressed up and then us going to the front of my grandmother's house to wait for the guy to pick us up. When he got there he said I couldn't go and my mom left me at home with my grandmother and I distinctly remember her getting in the car. I don't hold any grudge against my mom…she had me when she was 19 so she was still very young. My grandmother on the other hand used this to her advantage for years and when my mom got serious with my now stepfather (I was around 7) she told me he was the same guy. He wasn't…but for years I hate my stepfather with no good reason. I'm now 25 and a few years ago I put the pieces together.
So yeah….better safe than sorry.


mssinglemama February 10, 2009 at 7:57 am

Thanks so much for reading. So glad this gives you that insight into your mother’s life. What an interesting story too – of her bringing you along for the date and then the date saying you couldn’t come. Glad she didn’t end up with him.


Prasenjit February 3, 2015 at 4:43 am

My husband has a 7 year old that he has not seen in about 5 years. Not beacuse he hasnt tried!! His ex has been remarried, and has moved, changed her phone number etc. We ran into her 1 day, and she told him to call her *gave us the new number* the next day beacuse she was wrong and he needed his father. Well, we called the next day, and she screamed that she had made a huge mistake, and hung up. We called back and the same thing. The next day, we called and the number had been changed. About 4 days ago, we learned that she had placed an ad in the local newspaper for my husband. She wanted for him to release his parental rights. Knowing he would NEVER do this!! Long story short, its now done, and according to the court system here in NC, we have no rights anymore without an attorney. We are currently starting this process. Any advice on what to do next?? Heartbroken in NC


mssinglemama February 12, 2009 at 2:01 am

This story is so interesting. I can't even imagine… being a single mother in another time, with even harsher views and stereotypes.

Thank you so much for reading. I am so happy you are here.


Lyjohn February 4, 2015 at 3:35 am

I to have a difficult sioautitn. My wife left me in July of ’07. She took our three yr old son with her and our 11 yr old son elected to stay home. Well, she was pregnant with another man’s baby and moved in with him about a week after she left. She has only attended 3 counseling sessions with our oldest son in 9 months. By not having any contact with him he has grown very bitter towards her and will not have anything to do with her much less speak to her. When will my eleven yr old have the final say so as to when and if he wants to see his mother? Now that the excitement of the new relationship has worn off she is trying to throw her guilt on him and it has affected his behavior and his grades. Will he have to go through the rest of his adolescence worrying about her mouch or can he say I’d rather not get involved with your new baby, and your boyfriend that caused a lot of anxiety for him?


SingleParentDad February 10, 2009 at 2:48 pm

From a personal point of view I would send Benjamin out to the coffee shop, just so you are operating a him leaving you, rather than you leaving him protocol. Found it easier when Max was younger. And you are right to be considerate, unlike his other parent.

Have a pleasant evening.


mssinglemama February 10, 2009 at 7:57 am

Agreed. He will be going to the coffee shop or I’ll be meeting him there.


Rebecca February 10, 2009 at 2:58 pm

That sucks, but I'm glad your babysitter can come. And kids have a good memory. My father died when I was young and my mother never dated again (he was the love of her life), but I remember when a couple friends of my fathers came by the house.

Also, your open dating life inspired my post today – so thanks! 🙂


Canadian Bald Guy February 10, 2009 at 3:05 pm


I'll never fathom a father *NOT* wanting to see his child, regardless of his personal situation…especially if he doesn't already have joint custody.

If that had been me, I would have probably waited until at least 7am (my ex calls me sometimes around then to discuss Ben since she'll know I'll be awake) and then let you know of the situation.

"I've been puking all night, just to let you know. I'll still pick up Ben but I wanted you to know he might catch what I have."

At least then the decision is yours to make.

I'm very happy that you're able to find a babysitter. And I really hope you enjoy your date tonight. You absolutely need and deserve it.


Sarah February 10, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Good grief.

I'm with you on the full custody.

I hope you're able to have a nice time tonight. You deserve it. I'm sorry things are so hard sometimes!


Federico February 4, 2015 at 9:00 am

I have a 8 year old son from my first marriage. We have been dicroved for 3 years. I have primary custody and have final say in all major decisions involving our son (my husband signed that over). We currently live 4 hours apart and my son visits one weekend a month during the school year and 8 weeks during the summer with holidays split. My husband is looking at a job opportunity in London, England. What roadblocks regarding visitation would I have involving our son if my husband takes the job? All custody hearings have been in NC; however, I currently reside in SC. Can the court tell me I can’t take him out of the country?


TsQuest February 10, 2009 at 3:29 pm

Wow! Thankfully everything is working out perfectly! I do like Single Parent Dad's advice of having he and the babysitter head off to the coffee shop so that your handsome date can pick you up at your place.

And I too seriously lack in the yard maintenance department. Too much stuff to do indoors!

Have fun tonight. And whew! Good luck with the full custody thing.


debra February 10, 2009 at 3:45 pm

I had a similar situtation just last week. Son's Dad (who I will fully admit is really, typically, very easy to co-parent with) emailed the day before his scheduled time to say he had strep and didn't want to give it to the Boy. I responded back immediately, to point out that, while I appreciated his concerm for Boy's well being, it was, in fact, said Boy who gave him strep. I knew this because I had spent 3 days the week before halucinating from the fever caused by MY strep throat! I didn't get to call in sick for that one! No one came to take the Boy so I could rest! I was proud that I refrained from pointing these things out to him though. And to his credit, he responded to my bluntness in explaining that I had special plans I would prefer not to cancel, by confirming pick up time the next day. I realized at the time, and am reminded now, how lucky the Boy is to have a father that will step up, usually, no matter what, and how lucky that makes me. I wish this for all single mothers, and realize very few are fortunate enough to have it.


keeshabee February 10, 2009 at 3:56 pm

Oh lawd. That's so sad of him to do that. Why do they always seem to have perfect timing? My ex has done this too, time after time. That's why I haven't been able to go out since we separated. Thank God the sitter is available. Girl, you go out and have a good time!
And as for the custody issue, do what's best for your son. You've been very mature and unselfish in handling the situation with his dad. As you can see, the dad is only going to expose himself to your son.


jenn February 10, 2009 at 4:03 pm

I'll be dealing with the full custody thing soon. Well, I actually have full custody, but I need to go back to court to sue for all parental rights. I'm not looking forward to that. (The money or stress.)


phenomenalmama February 10, 2009 at 4:05 pm

I love how single moms are expected to "suck it up and deal with it" when they're sick, yet dads aren't. I mean, would you call HIM at the last minute and say that you couldn't take Ben because YOU were sick? Of course not. Parenting even when you're feeling like crap is part of what you signed up for. Sure, it sucks having to do that as a single parent, but sometimes its just gonna suck.


wyliekat February 10, 2009 at 6:59 pm

Oh gawd, isn't this true? There are no sick days for the primary parent.


Ms. Single Mama February 10, 2009 at 7:07 pm

I hear that.


Brittany February 10, 2009 at 10:46 pm

Yes, thats very true but that is not just the way it is for single parents… I'm married.. to a very selfish man that doesn't know how to parent…. when he was sick a few weeks ago, the world stood still… I'm NEVER afforded that luxury.


noringsattached February 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm

Oh yeah…I have had this happen countless times. It is always at the last minute and always always with a LAME excuse which we both know is a lie. I'm glad you were able to get a sitter though.

I totally agree with phenomenalmama-I would never even think of calling and saying "oh sorry Im sick…cant keep her today" yet I get those calls from him all the time!

Cant wait to hear about the date!



wyliekat February 10, 2009 at 6:54 pm

Good dads and bad dads. I think I'd still have fond feelings for my ex if he was remotely engaged in parenting, or demonstrated any interest in more time with our daughter. As it is, he spends his quota of time with her (when he's not doing other things) and that's the sum total of it. She has him in her life, which is good, but my partner now does most of the "heavy lifting" of parenting my girl.


Bavani February 10, 2009 at 7:03 pm

I follow your blog – I don't always comment but I just felt like I wanted to today. I was going to wish you "good luck" on your date – and then I read about all the trouble you had to go through. I'm really sorry to hear that – I really felt sad to hear that you even had to return your dress. I'm sure you'll look good in whatever you already have – so don't worry about it. Just remember, that your heart and your personality are the "biggest" things your stranger/date will see 🙂


Ms. Single Mama February 10, 2009 at 7:06 pm

Thanks for your concern about the dress. I could keep it if I really wanted to but I'm super thrifty and will only let myself spend a certain amount on a date night. You know?

I did find another outfit though – I'm borrowing a dress from Mia! So no worries about the dress everyone.


Ali February 10, 2009 at 7:11 pm

Ugh, at least you got a text. I typically do not even get that…we just sit around and wait. Then figure out how to pick up the pieces. B will be fine (with all of it) too…you are a rock, he sees every day and knows this.


Jennifer February 10, 2009 at 7:27 pm

That seriously sucks. I hope your custody thing goes well. I have full custody of my son but it didn't change the visitation.

I go through this sick thing with my ex-husband too. If there's even a hint our son might be sick, he won't take him. Even though he only takes him 2 Saturdays a month as it is! God forbid the ex is sick because I won't hear from him for weeks, no calls, nothing. He just vanishes. I don't get it. I didn't get a break when both the kid and I were sick last week. Is it too much to ask that they be a parent in sickness and health a few times a month?


April February 10, 2009 at 8:04 pm

As a single mom with full and sole legal custody, I highly recommend it. Our lives (me and the girls) were much worse when we tried to make visitation work because of X's lack of commitment. While they have visited him a few times since, it's all completely under my control, and SO much better this way!


Jen February 10, 2009 at 10:37 pm

I found your site through that Matt Guy's site. I have been reading (and catching up), but have never commented. I felt compelled to do so today.

My heart breaks for your son. In reading your posts (a lot but not all), I agree that your ex will most likely leave Benjamin's life one day. Sad – yes. Unfair to your son – most definitely. Family's come in all shapes and sizes though. I believe you are doing an excellent job raising a well adjusted, happy son. All you can do is keep on doing what you are doing and try to pick up the pieces along the way. Speaking from experience, it is amazing what kids "see". Even though tough, know that he will grow up knowing that you did nothing but love him and support him through every step of his childhood!

I hope you have a great time tonight on your date and will be looking for an update (should you feel the need to share).


mssinglemama February 12, 2009 at 2:00 am

Thanks so much Jen, for your sweet thoughts. And for coming out of your lurker state!


Rebecca K. February 10, 2009 at 10:59 pm

Hang in there … my ex was like that too in the beginning … would call last minute and just wasn't considerate. Somehow, over the past year, his attitude has changed and he's much more proactive with the girls and their schedules. Not sure exactly what happened other than he must have realized that it's "all about the kids now" … but glad something changed because dealing with him as a coparent is much easier now and a lot less stressful.


Victoria February 11, 2009 at 12:59 am

The thing I'm most thankful for in my divorce is that my ex is a good father. He may change weekends around, but he always "makes up" his time – he *wants* to. I'm sorry yours is so sucktastic in that arena 🙁

Have a great time tonight!!


DesperateSeekingMe February 11, 2009 at 2:56 am

I'm so glad you ended up being able to go tonight. It sounds like you have every reason to want full custody. That would totally infuriate me, nothing is worse than watching your child in pain and not being able to do anything about it.


Anna February 11, 2009 at 5:44 am

He's lucky he's got one awesome parent to make up for the slackass parent. Hope you have (had) a good time on your date!


snglmomandmore February 11, 2009 at 1:46 pm

ARGH, your son's father sounds about as retarded as my ex. Although I didn't have full custody, I'm thankful we lived in different cities and he didn't have enough get-up-and-go about himself to visit.


LucasGo February 11, 2009 at 3:16 pm

Um seriously being sick is no excuse not to pick up your son when he's expecting you. Everyone gets sick and still deals with 'life' – unless you're practically comatose or something. Not like when you're sick you get too push aside your responsibilities too Benjamin? I handle two kids while sick { intermittent puking included 😉 }. Sounds like someone needs to grow up… fast.


littlemansmom February 11, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Ugh………………I Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo know this scenario! I'm so sorry angel….what a azzclown!


Elizabeth February 11, 2009 at 8:28 pm

The whole thing makes me sad for you and your little boy. But the thought of you returning the dress so you can pay for your babysitter broke my heart. It is very telling of what a responsible mother you are. It's good to be thrifty.


Tricia February 11, 2009 at 11:56 pm

I feel for you. There have been times when my (not yet ex) husband has said things like : "Well, I'm doing you a favour…." when I've asked him to help out or switch times around, but he does for the most part do his part with the children. But, that said, he is the one who has all the flexibility, gets to do everything he wants and needs (including flying to Chicago from DC to see the woman that he cheated on me with), play golf, be sick, etc. etc, because he only see them twice a month. It's hard not to get resentful and angry, but I really work on it and try and take what I can get. The children are better off with a schedule that is regular, he used to come and go and that really affected them. Personally, there are days when I really wish it was just me because then I wouldn't have to deal with all the drama he creates when he comes over to pick them up. It's stressful for all of us. You are the single parent here in every sense and I think any court would grant you full custody, even though I know that is very hard. You do what you know is right for him. Hang in there! 🙂


mssinglemama February 12, 2009 at 2:02 am

Thank you everyone for your comments. SO much. You have no idea how inspiring you all are to me… really, thank you and – as usual – I will definitely keep you updated on what's going on.


30somethingmama February 13, 2009 at 1:11 am

Excuses, excuses!

I really believe in the saying, "If the heart is willing, it can find a thousand ways" You are such a strong mom and good person, i'm sure you will have full custody of your son. Will pray for you! Have a nice day alaina!


Zoeyjane February 14, 2009 at 5:43 am

Are you really going to do it? Are you all nerves? I wish you the best of luck.

Personally, everytime my ex calls because too sick or 'sick' (he's an alcoholic) to have his visit with our daughter it adds more resentment to the pile of reasons I have to lack respect for him. It's doubly stellar the times when he's shown up, still drunk from the evening before and said he didn't call because he knew I'd just get mad.


confused April 1, 2009 at 1:38 pm

confused as to how you let him have your child at all if he physically abused you. you know it's inevitable that he will do the same to your son.


NotADad April 18, 2009 at 8:35 am

"“So not coming.”

You might think this odd MSM but this guy's level of brevity in relation to you makes me laugh. He already speaks in telegraphese, so SMS is his ideal medium, he was born to it. LoL! There are lots of guys that communicate in morse code grunts like this.

Whereas you, one the other hand, are clearly an extrovert and addicted to words and I imagine are anything but taciturn. It's hard to imagine you were ever a good match, unless the telegraphese only started after the split.


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