to start doing less for unappreciative dd?

(69 Posts)
LittleLisa78 Wed 08-May-13 23:38:16

I fully accept that I am overly keen that my daughters have a great childhood because I didn't but recently I feel as though my eldest, who's 5, doesn't appreciate anything I do and am wondering whether I should do less or it's just one of those things - having to accept she won't appreciate it until she's older. Her father and I are separated and he sees her twice a month, I have offered more contact which he doesn't take up even in holidays. He regularly makes promises like trips to zoos, theme Parks, abroad etc which he always breaks. He spends no time with her, fobbing her off with the Ipad while he has friends over etc. He goes abroad at least three times per year but never takes DD. He regularly has weekdays off but has never arranged to collect DD from school or take her to any of the three extra curricular activities she does which I do with baby in tow.
I dedicate my life to my children yet if I ever broke a promise she wouldn't let me live it down. She moans at me for not spending enough time with her yet he spends none with her and she says nothing. Tonight he arrived for midweek contact for the first time in months, having cancelled various times, and he gets treated like a hero. I had some spare money at the end of last month and could really have done with some new clothes but decided to buy Walking With Dinosaurs tickets instead as I know she'll love it but when I told her she treats it like 'i should think so too' whereas if her dad had booked it she'd go on about how kind he is for weeks. He never has contact if she's ill, never helps with things like dance shows - I run around constantly for her and of course I don't expect thanks and it's my job as her mum but WIBU to start doing a bit less if her dad gets away with doing bugger all?

Ijumpalot Wed 08-May-13 23:44:42

Oh poor little thing! She obviously knows she can completely and utterly rely on you to be there for her...and her dad...not so much.

So of course he's the bees knees because she sees him as unobtainable.
You sound lovely!

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Wed 08-May-13 23:49:27

Hang in there. At 5 she doesn't know she's far far down her dads list of priorities, but as she gets older she'll realise and her attitude to him will change.

squeakytoy Wed 08-May-13 23:50:41

why punish her for the fact that her dad is a useless twat???

yabu... she is only five and you are a constant in her life.. perfectly normal behaviour.

Lj8893 Wed 08-May-13 23:51:24

My parents split when I was 9 (I'm now 25) and I was just like your dd! And my dad, as much as he loved me, was just useless but at the time he was my daddy and I guess because I saw him so much less than my mum (who was brilliant) I didn't take him for granted the same way I did her.

Roll on to me getting to about 15 and things sure changed!!! I started realise just how much my mum did and how little my dad did, which among many other things (a whole different thread) led to me falling out with my dad at about the age of 20.

Now at 25 and about to have my own child I have a great relationship with both my parents, but as harsh as it sounds, the respect I have for my mum is unreal, she is not just my mum, but my best friend too.
I love my dad and enjoy spending time with him but not in the same way as my mum.

So it will get better for you I'm sure!!!

Bringmewineandcake Wed 08-May-13 23:53:07

brew for you
Her dad "gets away with it" being crap because your daughter has no other choice. When he does come good, she's much more grateful because it's out of the ordinary.
If you want to do less, fine, it's your choice. But you would BU if your reason for it was he gets away with it so why shouldn't I?
My DB is rubbish with our mum, I like to do things for / with her, and yes sometimes it's to make up for the fact that he doesn't. If I stepped back, I wouldn't feel better or even with my DB, just more guilty that she was being let down by both of us.

FiftyShadesofGreyMatter Wed 08-May-13 23:57:40

She knows you love her unconditionally, so you will always see her worst side as she knows she is safe to show it to you.

She also knows (which is so sad at this tender age) that her dad does not, which is why she behaves as she does with regard to him.

That is not to say that you should always put her before yourself. If you NEED new clothes that should trump her want to see a show.

Don't make a martyr of youself (I have learnt this the hard way).

In time she will see 'disney dad' for exactly what he is.

LittleLisa78 Wed 08-May-13 23:57:55

I don't mean punish her squeaky, I just get fed up of her expecting me to be perfect yet him being an absolutely useless selfish tool and that being fine. Tonight I didn't take her a snack for after her activity like I usually would as she was going straight to tea with her dad when we got home, I got moaned at because she was starving apparently. She asked him if they could go to MacDonald's for tea, he said yes in front of me then decided he fancied something else so they went to a Chinese buffet place. DD doesn't like Chinese and didn't eat anything - did she moan at him? Hell no.

I understand your frustration, I really do. However I think it would be wise if you can separate your frustration with your DD with her relationship with her dad.

Try not to get caught up in the competitive parenting game.
If you have a problem with her behaviour then deal with that but try not to make comparisons with how she behaves with her dad.

It sounds like it's still pretty raw between you and your ex and how things have worked out. The break up of a relationship can be like the loss of a loved one. You can go through the same grieving processes and it sounds like you are pretty angry. Please don't let your anger get displaced and make your DD the focus of that anger.

LittleLisa78 Thu 09-May-13 00:08:52

I just feel a bit like 'if she doesn't care about what I do then why bother?' But I appreciate that makes me sound like a petulant moron. For example, she's taking part in 6 dance shows over the next couple of weeks. It's up to me to make her costumes, buy and do her make up, do her hair, ferry her to rehearsals and shows, have baby out of routine so I can collect from shows which don't finish til 8.30pm etc. He's possibly going to watch (unless something else comes up) using a ticket I queued for and paid for and no doubt he'll get praised for his attendance and I won't get a mention as usual

squeakytoy Thu 09-May-13 00:11:02

she moans at you because she trusts you and knows that she can be herself with you, and you will always be there..

she doesnt moan at him because she is probably scared he wont come and see her again for a long time..

as others have said, as she grows older, she will understand and will appreciated what you do.. but right now, she is way too young

LittleLisa78 Thu 09-May-13 00:12:53

I'm not angry (though I appreciate I sound it!) We've been separated for years precisely because of his useless behaviour towards DD. I'd be fed up of DD being unappreciative whether he was around or not, the fact that she hero-worships him despite him being useless just emphasizes how pointless my efforts feel that's all

squeakytoy Thu 09-May-13 00:16:59

You also have a baby, and presumably a new partner, so maybe she also feels a bit pushed out at times.. and her dad is something that she doesnt have to share with anyone else..

LittleLisa78 Thu 09-May-13 00:18:33

It's just so difficult not to say anything when he lets her down yet again and I can see she's hurt but she doesn't say anything to him whereas she'd never let me forget it. I work from home specifically so I can do the school run every day but one when she goes to after school club which she hates and moans at me for. She doesn't even consider that her dad could/should step up and adjust his life to collect her one day

LittleLisa78 Thu 09-May-13 00:20:02

Not new,4 years. Ex also has a girlfriend and child

thebody Thu 09-May-13 00:30:49

Forget dad.

If your dd is rude to you then deal with that.

AvrilPoisson Thu 09-May-13 00:38:03

A 5yo does not understand the organisation and sacrifices made to give her a lovely, full life- please, please do not try to teach her a lesson and force her to appreciate how lucky she is, you will do long-term damage to her emotionally.

Just teach her to appreciate things in normal everday life, one day she will amaze you by turning round and thanking you, she really will. And she will soon suss what a waste of space her father is. Adults should never break promises to children sad far, far better to never make them in the first place, than have to break them.

StuntGirl Thu 09-May-13 01:18:39

I think you're expecting far too much of her, she's five.

I'm sorry you feel bad and pushed out and neglected but seriously, it's nothing to the pain and sadness and neglect her tiny mind will be trying to deal with with her shitty deadbeat dad.

Keep doing what you're doing. She will realise the truth when she's older.

She is 5, she knows she has your unconditional love. I'm sure the sun shines our of her dads arse because she hardly sees him, so everything seems more exciting. Hang in there, it sounds like you are doing all the hard yards, you will reap the rewards in the long run, respect and love from your DD

NatashaBee Thu 09-May-13 02:04:37

I thought this thread was going to be about a 15 yo. YABU. She's only 5. It's a sign of her complete and utter confidence that you'll always be there for her, unconditionally - you should be proud of that.

Damash12 Thu 09-May-13 02:15:23

Aww bless her, firstly I note you said "baby in tow" I have a fantastically kind, caring 4.5 year old Ds and now a 15week old Ds and my older sons behaviour really did change when the new baby came along. He started to really play up, moan, whinge and generally be naughty. This has now stopped and he has returned to his gorgeous self but only after alot of reassurance and a few harsh conversations. I think you have 2 issues here and the dad one is not the priority, he's quite clearly a twat and she will figure this out as she gets older (can't believe he took her to the Chinese place and so she got nothing to eat).
Basically, I think you probably need to say no to a few things and be honest that you don't feel appreciated. I guess it all falls under boundaries and set some up about appreciating what's done but don't blame her, she's just finding her way in the world and again it could be the new baby causing her to feel pushed out. Good luck.

Mimishimi Thu 09-May-13 02:44:23

I was thinking you were going to complain about your ungrateful tween and clicked to commiserate but , really, five is a bit young to think of withdrawal, especially with all she has been going through. My daughter was ( and still is) exactly the same - if we commit to something, we better stick to it. If we do, she's not gushingly thankful but considers it her due right. My BIL coined a nickname for her when she was about five which has stuck "Little Miss Tax Collector". She needs your support and love but at the same time, if she gets rude, make sure you tell her firmly that it's not acceptable.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 09-May-13 02:56:24

Good lord, she is five!

You do indeed sound like a moron.

CinnabarRed Thu 09-May-13 03:03:28

What the others said. She's 5. She simply doesn't have the intellectual capacity to understand the organisation and, yes, inconvenience you go to for her. Neither does my 5 year old! Give her a break.

And you would be deeply unreasonable to do less for her because your ex does bugger all.

LittleMissLucy Thu 09-May-13 03:23:05

I don't think it should be a case of no longer bothering but how about teaching her some manners, as you'd clearly like her to be politer and more grateful. You do sometimes need to tell them to say "thank you mummy" and things like that, it doesn't come automatically. You can explain this to her, without it being an argument, she's old enough to understand.

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