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Dear Ann Landers,
I am 19 and a single mother of a 1-year-old girl, "Amanda." I attend college part time and am working to provide my daughter with the best life possible. Amanda's father is the problem. He does not pay child support and rarely sees his daughter, although I have bent over backward to arrange times that are convenient for him. He never bothers to call and let me know when he is not able to make it. He simply doesn't show up. When he does keep an appointment, he is always late, which causes me a great deal of stress, and I resent it. Tell me, Ann, how important is Amanda's father going to be in her future? Frankly, I don't think he deserves to be part of her life. I am troubled by the thought that Amanda may grow up to be a "Daddy's girl" and will want him to walk her down the aisle when she gets married. He has done nothing to merit such a place of honor, and it eats at me that he might get the privilege anyway. On the other hand, I don't want to see her on talk shows when she is 18, looking for her long-lost father. Any advice for me? -- Emotional Mom in Oklahoma

Dear Mom,
Let me get this straight. Amanda is a year old, and you are worried that her father (who rarely shows up) might want to walk her down the aisle when she marries. At the earliest, this will be approximately 17 years down the road. It IS important for your daughter to have her father in her life, but as of now, it appears he has little interest, so don't push it. He should be paying support, however, so push THAT. Please put the wedding scene on hold for a while, dear. The way things are going in our society, Amanda may never get married. She could wind up CEO of General Motors. Or she may do both.



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A Note from Margo:
Hi! It's Margo here. I'd love to know what you think of the letters -- and the answers!

Also, any additional thoughts you might have. Thanks!

Shanika Stewart's Comment
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NY Mom's Comment
I moved across the country to flee a situation like this. As my daughter got older I found he would disappoint her by not showing up at all or (like "moms" deadbeat dad) he would show up with very short notice, or out of the blue and disappoint me by not calling first. Not a surprise that he never came to see her in the new state. She is 28 and understands now.

Reader Comment
My son's father was the same. I sued him for child support and let him decide when to see or not see his son. He rarely did and my son became quite equivocal about seeing him when he did come around. Later in life, when he was grown, my son and his dad developed a relationship for a short time, but his dad being who he always was, eventually, dad reverted to the selfish jerk he had always been, and my son removed him from his life altogether. He has never looked back.

YOLO 's Comment
This is more about YOU than your daughter or her father. Quit contacting him, if he wants to see her, he knows how to contact you. File for child support, and continue your education so you don't have to depend on that child support to raise her and most of all, learn that you should make better choices in the future and know a guy better when you lay down with him...if in the future when he grows up and wants to try a relationship with her... don't get in the way of it...and never speak poorly of him in front of her or behind her back... let her decide how she feels about him.. when she is old enough to make that decision. Otherwise it will later come back to bite you. If he says he will be there and is more than 30 mins late without calling you, leave for the day and teach him that you won't sit and wait for his beck and call... that if he is late he can call and say so..otherwise he misses the chance to spend time with her..and keep a journal of the times and dates he calls, visits and such.. later on he may try to sue for full custody of her and he being unreliable and you having documentation of it, may help your case.
 
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Our Reader to Reader Question of the Week:


Dear Readers,
, My x-girlfriend who lived with my son and I for 16 years died of cancer. Prior before we knew she had cancer-she moved out because of an addiction problem. We did stay very close before she died. Her x-husband an attorney took over her finances and the burial arrangements. I being financially set was okay with that, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.

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"Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them."
-Ann Landers