Letterbox

(6 Posts)
JammieMummy Wed 13-Nov-13 19:08:17

Hello

I have been writting letterbox for a few years now and am in the middle of the most recent letter. As a tiny bit of background I write long and detailed (without any identifying information) letters, the type that I would like to recieve if I was a birth parent.

What I am wondering is, is it ok to refer to DH as "Daddy" in the letter? I have never done this before but there is an amusing story which wouldn't make sense etc if I changed the person or the name but I feel slightly uncomfortable writting it as it may upset them. The letter goes to more that just the birth parents but I tend to aim the tone of it at them and then make a few adjustments for the others.

TIA

Lilka Wed 13-Nov-13 19:19:46

Letterbox is hard. I think most of us are very conscious about what we write, trying to be careful and consider everyone

Personally, and this is just me, I would include it. My feeling is that whilst there are definitely some things which I would count as 'rubbing it in', one use of the word 'Daddy' in an appropriate place is not crossing that line at all. It is the reality of the situation, and whilst we would all love our letterbox letters to be positively recieved, we also need to be realistic and honest in them, to a certain extent. Also, sadly even if your letter was written without any reference to you being mummy/daddy at all, his birth parents could still be upset and not like your letters, for some other reason you would never have considered. At some point you have to just say 'I've done it as best as I can, if they don't like it, its not my fault and i won't feel guilty, because I've really tried my best'

For instance, I did not shy away from saying that DD2 has now been diagnosed with x, and DD2 and I are going to therapy, for fear it would be upsetting. I am sure it was upsetting, and I do feel sad about that myself, and yet I also need to not be misleading birth mum or lying to her by omission, so whilst I feel sad, I don't feel guilty. It's very tough to strike a balance! and you really have my sympathies

But yes, I don't think it would be inappropriate to include your story. JMHO though

JammieMummy Wed 13-Nov-13 19:31:16

Thank you Lilka. I think your opinion echos my own. I haven't written it before as I felt it was perhaps too soon and emotions would be close to the surface etc but I think one small reference in an amusing story is a gentle way to break the reality of the situation in a little, without being harsh.

Unfortunately I know people who are not very concientious about what they write or who do the bare minimum (one paragraph saying they are fine) sad but I feel that letterbox is an important thing not just for the parents but also for my DC to look back on when they get older. I have to say I struggle not to be overly positive about them sometimes as I just love them so much and have to rein myself back a bit but other times within the same letter I find myself wanting to let them know about the difficulties my DC are having as it is a real picture of the person they are becoming.

It is lovely to hear from someone else who has the same situation and also works hard to get the right balance smile

Lilka Wed 13-Nov-13 20:10:43

I think one small reference in an amusing story is a gentle way to break the reality of the situation in a little, without being harsh

I find myself wanting to let them know about the difficulties my DC are having as it is a real picture of the person they are becoming

I very much agree with both of those comments, the second really strikes a chord with me because that is what I wanted to achieve in my letters to DD2 and DS birth mum (I don't write any more, because DS doesn't want me to, and DD2 facebook chats with her birth mum a lot and has met her a lot this year, so we're well out of letterbox stage now)

I wanted to make the kids real, good bits and the harder bits. I was always certain that DD2 would get back in more regular contact as an older teenager/adult, so I wanted to give her birth mum a real picture of her, as a lovely girl who has achieved x,y,z but also a girl who does have emotional/behavioural/mental health problems, because I didn't think it would be helpful to only include the 'good bits' and then have birth mum totally blindsided by the girl/adult she would end up meeting

Of course, some birth parents will simply live in denial, and will not ever accept the reality of the situation, even if you do write the word 'mummy' or say that your child has difficulties with a,b,c. But we aren't responsible for that

I know some people write a few sentences and nothing else, and whilst i really understand how difficult letterbox can be, I think it's pointless to only write one paragraph and might be more hurtful than helpful, to everyone. I can't help thinking...force yourself to write a bit more, or if you really can't do that, then why are you doing letterbox at all?

JammieMummy Wed 13-Nov-13 21:20:29

It must be very hard for you that your DD is so in touch with BM, it is my hope that if mine want to follow that line one day I will be supportive but I know I will find it hard. I also think your apporach of preparing BM is exactly right, they would both find meeting much harder if she wasnt aware of the real situation.

I dont think we can think too much about what the birth parents will say/think about letter box as our apporach to everything in life is so different from theirs that I wouldn't know where to begin. I just need to be happy in my heart that I have done everything I possibly can to make letter box "right" for them and DC. I keep the tone light and chatty almost like the letter you put in with your Christmas cards to Great Auntie Mildred! confused Although in my heart I do hope that it brings them some comfort to know how well they are doing.

I have to say and I am not generally an outspoken person but I have taken people to task over lack of quality letterbox contact for exactly the reason you say, if you dont do it properly why bother? It is almost insulting to write so little to the birth parents and what will your child think when they look back on the letters in years to come!!

Devora Wed 13-Nov-13 22:16:58

Another one here who finds these letters hard to write. Mine have been pretty short and formulaic - I'd love to write more but get very frozen between not giving too much identifying information away, not being too gushy (don't want to rub in their faces how lovely their dd is who they won't get to see) and not being guilty-trippy.

It doesn't help that they have never written back, so I can't gauge what works for them. (I understand why they don't write, but I so wish they would.)

I really admire your thoughtfulness over this and I am sure you can have faith in your judgment.

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