to be pissed off with ex and his pregnant missus?

(233 Posts)

so ex and I have an eight year old son together who he sees every weekend.
they are expecting a baby together and so are my oh and I(bit Jeremy kyle I know!).
its ds's birthday in a couple of weeks and it will be falling on a weekend when his dad has him.
I presumed his dad would be happy about this and would be doing something with him as he has whinged for the last six years about how he never has him on his birthday and never gets to take him out for birthday either.
considering I have arranged and payed for trips to theme parks,animal parks,parties etc for his birthdays for the past six years I don't think this is a unfair expectation.
I have also arranged to take him and a couple of school friends out to the cinema and pizza hut the Friday before his birthday as my b'day treat to him.
however,son comes home last weekend and says that dad wont be doing anything for him on his birthday as pregnant missus doesn't really want to be on her feet much and cant go on rides etc.
im royally pissed off about this as I feel that that's her rigfht but why cant they go out without her?
it seems that since she has been pregnant ive had to pull ex up on a lot of things regarding my son being affected by her needy mood swings.
imten years older than her,on my second pregnancy and just getting on with things as normal.
very worried that ds will start to feel pushed out by them and new baby and also as a result may start to feel that it will be the same with my bubba too which it most definitely wont!

Sparklymommy Thu 18-Jul-13 07:08:54

Your poor son! Ring ex and tell him how upset your son is. He could do something with him surely?

ZillionChocolate Thu 18-Jul-13 07:16:34

She might be having a more difficult pregnancy than you. However I don't see why dad and son can't go off and do something with her staying home relaxing.

Sirzy Thu 18-Jul-13 07:24:32

I can understand her not wanting to do something which involves all day on her feet/rides but there are plenty of other things they could do.

FredFredGeorge Thu 18-Jul-13 07:25:15

Just because you've decided birthdays need to be celebrated with big outings, doesn't mean that other families have to do the same, so I think YABU.

SanityClause Thu 18-Jul-13 07:27:41

Stop trying to control them.

Get on with your life, and let them get on with theirs.

MidniteScribbler Thu 18-Jul-13 07:27:44

I agree with you, but on the other hand, he's not your problem anymore. You can't force him to do anything when it's his contact time, just like he can't force you to do anything. And trying to do so will only end up in an argument and break down of any communication you may have. Be the bigger person and do what you need to do to make the day you have planned exciting and fun. He'll know himself as he gets older which parent was the one that looked out for him.

raisah Thu 18-Jul-13 07:30:16

Cant your ex take your ds out for a meal or to the cinema? That wont involve traipsing arpund for hours.

yeah I can understand where shes coming from but shes kind of implying that if she cant do anything then why should they?
the fact that he has been banging on about taking him out for his birthday for years and now he has the chance he wont.
and as far as im aware she is having a pretty straight forward pregnancy as I see and speak to her quite often.
we usually get on quite well and shes quite a nice girl but this isn't the first incident of my son being pushed to the side since she has become pregnant.
im just worried about the affect this will have on his outlook to these babies once they arrive.

ivykaty44 Thu 18-Jul-13 07:35:24

It has nothing to do with you what your ds father arranges to do with him in his access time.

The only time it is of concern to you is if your ds would come to harm and it is not going to harm your ds if he doesn't go to a theme park or out for dinner on his birthday.

Concentrate on your relationship with your ds and not trying to control your ex and his g/f

Euphemia Thu 18-Jul-13 07:37:20

You're far too emotionally involved in your ex's life. He will parent as he sees fit.

Whether or not she's having a hard pregnancy is none of your concern. Focus on giving DS a good time, and let his dad get on with what he wants to do.

erm sanity I am not trying to control them.
and when their life affects my son I have every right to pull them up on it.
like when my son was sent home the other week after being with his dad for ten hours and had only been given a bloody pot noodle all day?

Fenton Thu 18-Jul-13 07:43:15

He has his son every weekend but this is the first time in six years he gets to have him on his Birthday?

I think I would be wondering why you chose this year to allow it and decide what he should be doing with the day.

Pregnant with a first child in the heat of the summer I wouldn't want to be trudging around a theme park either.

I imagine they will be doing something nice for his birthday but have chosen not to be controlled by your wants.

OddBoots Thu 18-Jul-13 07:44:57

Talk it over with ex, maybe they are downplaying it to your ds in order to do something huge as a surprise but if not then mention that ds is disappointed and if you are willing then maybe offer to do something with him instead.

it has everything to do with me if my son is upset and being pushed out.
as a mother its my responsibility to make sure hes being treated correctly when hes not with me surely?

Euphemia Thu 18-Jul-13 07:45:38

If he's not being fed properly, that's one thing.

If he's not being taken out for his birthday, so what? You're doing something special for him, something you think is nice - what more does he need?

Euphemia Thu 18-Jul-13 07:46:42

But he's with his father. You don't have the right to tell him how to live his life.

Yanbu at all. Your son has certain expectations and a birthday treat is normal for him. To let his birthday pass with no fuss would be unkind and upsetting for him. You have every right to question this. Maybe don't go in all guns blazing and suggest something sedate like cinema - frame it in terms of concern for both DS and his partner and try to sound caring and you might get somewhere.

because sons birthday falls in summer hols we tend to just take him out on his actual b'day which has fallen on weekdays.
ive asked ex before does he want to take one of his holiday days off work to have son on birthday but hes always refused.
and just to make it clear I am not emotionally involved in their life.
I don't actually give a monkeys what they do UNTIL it affects or upsets ds.
and as I said earlier I can understand her not wanting to do certain things so why doesn't she just say bye,see you later and have a nice time?

MidniteScribbler Thu 18-Jul-13 07:53:27

How would you feel if your ex came and told you that what you were doing for your son's birthday wasn't good enough and that he expected you to do something else? You would be furious, and rightly so.

Setting a child up for expections of expensive outings and major events for a birthday is not necessarily healthy either.

MammaTJ Thu 18-Jul-13 07:54:08

That is more than a little bit different to not being taken on a big expensive day out! SS would be interested in a child only getting a pot noodle but they would not care about a child not being taken to a theme park!

You cannot control them and what they do, it wouldn't be reasonable to expect to, but you can help your child to deal it!

Maybe they are concerned about finances and are being extra careful with the baby on the way. Maybe they will actually not push your child out once the baby comes along. Be a little more positive with your child and I am sure it will be fine!

thank you ehric.
im not going to kick off at him at all as we have always been on quite good terms but im just going to casually mention it.
I think the fact that hes been promising my son a nice day out for years and has now retracted the promise is a bit off too.

jamdonut Thu 18-Jul-13 07:56:59

So...he's getting a birthday treat, from you, the week before?

So,he's not exactly missing out is he?

It's not his Dad's fault,as such, that having moaned about not having him for his birthday, that this particular year it turns out to be difficult to do anything major.

I'm more concerned that your son thinks that he's "not doing anything", when in fact he will be at his Father's for his birthday. I'm sure they will do "something",just not the all bells and whistles type !hmm

ANormalOne Thu 18-Jul-13 08:00:16


He's still going to get treats from you, so he's not missing out. It's not your ex's fault that the one year he gets his son, his 'missus' happens to be pregnant in the middle of a heatwave. I certainly wouldn't want to be doing anything strenuous if I was pregnant in this weather.

PrettyPaperweight Thu 18-Jul-13 08:01:00

I don't actually give a monkeys what they do UNTIL it affects or upsets ds.

But surely your parenting sometimes upsets/affects your DS? Why are you right when your DS is upset but his Dad is wrong?

DCs are often upset, hurt, angry etc about decisions their parents make - just because YOU wouldn't parent the way your DS dad chooses to doesn't make him a bad parent - just different!

I can totally see the points some of you are making and ive taken them on board but I need to clarify a few things.
this is not the first and only incident that has occurred since pregnancy.
father has promised for the last couple of years that this year he will take him out and has now gone back on his promise.
i used the theme park as an example but am not saying that's what they should be doing.just the nice trip out that has been promised.
and up until now we have all been very amicable to each other and these problems have only arisen in the past three months.
it makes me laugh to hear people say im too'invested'in their lives.

HarryTheHungryHippo Thu 18-Jul-13 08:06:14

Your getting a bit of an unfair response I think op. if I was you I'd feel the same. Yes he's getting a birthday treat from you but why should you always be the one to have to make sure he has a special birthday, why can't his dad step up to the mark for once?
normal did you miss the bit where the op said she is pregnant too? The new girlfriend doesn't have to go with them she could stay at home and let them go have fun

Inertia Thu 18-Jul-13 08:06:56

You're right to be concerned over lack of food - that's a form of neglect.

WRT the birthday, you just need to make ex take responsibility for organising his celebration with DS. You can then have whatever celebration you and DS choose in your time together.

ANormalOne Thu 18-Jul-13 08:10:32

father has promised for the last couple of years that this year he will take him out and has now gone back on his promise.

Yes but he couldn't have predicted that he was going to have a pregnant wife in the middle of a heatwave, could he? hmm

Inertia Thu 18-Jul-13 08:11:11

Cross post - if your ex is breaking a promise your DS believes he made then it's up to ex to take responsibility for dealing with that. You can't win here by interfering - all you can do is arrange a great celebration in your time.

OHforDUCKScake Thu 18-Jul-13 08:12:40

Im baffled as to why you're getting a hard time on this thread OP. I can only assume its the typical AIBU argumentative mentality and the sheep that follow.

You've done nothing wrong. You've done nothing to the couple, you said yourself that you get on well with the pregnant woman, so you're clearly not an arse hole. In fact you've been incredibly diplomatic considering you're son is feeling hurt here.

There's no need to rock the boat and it certainly seems as though you have no intention of doing so, but I think you are well within your right to speak to your ex and tell him DS feels disappointed that he'll be doing nothing on his birthday.
Perhaps suggest his das can take him swimming and something to eat, just them. Or cinema? something at least.

And as for pp saying 'kids get hurt' deal with it, is shocking!! Its the childs birthday, surely he's allowed to want to celebrate this somehow?!
Im 30 years old and I would be disappointed with just being stuck in all weekend. Id be more than happy with a cinema trip, it doesnt have to be anything huge or expensive, just marked.

OP you sound fair, and nice and not as though your guns are blazing. Of course you're feeling for your son, how cold hearted would you be of you didnt? Its his birthday!

OHforDUCKScake Thu 18-Jul-13 08:14:00

anormalone what has that got to do with it? She can stay home with her feet up for 2-3 hours. Or might she need DH to fan her and feed her grapes?

that was the point i was making hippo thank you.
he has been making such a fuss about it for years even though i have given him the chance to have son on b'day before.
he has promised son they will be doing something special for years and has now said no.
they are just as financially stable as me.
i am preggers and am still going to do something for ds so why cant dad?

OHforDUCKScake Thu 18-Jul-13 08:17:30

I have a summer baby, when heavily pregnant in the heat Id never have stopped DP taking DS1 out, more so if it was his birthday!

phew thanks girls.thought i was about to go up in flames there! ;)

I agree with you. Yes ok so he's still getting a birthday treat but in our family we always make a big fuss of birthdays. We would never not mark the actual day of their birthday.

I'm also divorced from my children's father and we would both complain if either one of us thought the other was letting the children down. Fortunately he's not a selfish arse and despite remarrying he would never let the kids down. In your position I would feel exactly the same. And if that's being over interested in my ex husbands life so be it!

Harryhairypig Thu 18-Jul-13 08:20:18

Yanbu and I think you are right to be concerned that this baby will push ds down the pecking order as sounds like the pregnancy is already taking priority. I'd approach it like suggested by duckssake suggests or offer to take him out yourself as they aren't able to.

SinisterBuggyMonth Thu 18-Jul-13 08:21:03

So, if your just getting on with it during pregnancy, everyone else should behave exactly the same way?

I had a fairly normal pregnancy, which involved daily vomiting, back pain and chronic constipation, I actually lost a stone in weight. Funnily enough I wasn't falling over myself to impart this info to my dp's exwife.

lunar1 Thu 18-Jul-13 08:23:58

Sounds like the perfect time for a father son day out. Maybe he could hire a sitter for a few hours to attend to grape peeling duties?

no sinister but she can stay at home and chill out for gawds sake!
goodness why does son have to be stuck in doors on his birthday pampering to a pregnant woman.
i wouldn't expect it of him so why should she?

Thyeternalsummer Thu 18-Jul-13 08:32:50

Sorry but YABU.

You don't say at what stage of pregnancy etc new girlfriend is, but I can understand why she might not want to be on her feet for long periods in this heat. And can understand why your DS's father might not want to leave his partner for long periods if its in the later stages of pregnancy.

My DP and I have a similar situation in that I'm due to give birth in a couple of weeks, which has often meant that days out with DSD have often had to be curtailed because I've not been feeling well etc. It's all part of kids learning to be considerate of other family members too. We went to an activity centre as a treat for DSD's birthday recently and I sat in the cafe whilst he did the activity with her for an hour. Afterwards we explored the outdoor play area, but didn't stay as long as she might have liked as it would have been difficult for me to have been on my feet in the heat for much longer. My partner would have been unwilling to leave me alone at home, mainly because it was over an hour's drive from home but also because he wouldn't have wanted to leave me out. We're a family. I figure it would be like this in any 'regular' family - dad isn't going to leave pregnant mum at home to take out their son on his birthday, they'll all do something together instead.

I'd give your ex the benefit of the doubt. He's likely to do 'something' for your DS's birthday - maybe not a theme park trip etc, but something else fun.

Just concentrate on your own relationship with your son and you'd probably be a lot happier.

Nomoredramaplease Thu 18-Jul-13 08:34:09

I think you may be the one who needs to chill out. You're taking the word of an 8 year old child before you've even spoken to his othe parent and in the course o this thread it has developed from they won't be going to a theme park (which is fair enough) to your son having to pamper this woman. Speak to his dad, see if anything is planned, if not keep him at home on his birthday. Simple. And try not to show too much bitterness about their new baby unless you want your son to resent him or her.

bootsycollins Thu 18-Jul-13 08:36:02

YANBU. Birthdays happen once a year ffs, he should make an effort.

PrettyPaperweight Thu 18-Jul-13 08:44:48

goodness why does son have to be stuck in doors on his birthday pampering to a pregnant woman.
i wouldn't expect it of him so why should she?

Because everyone is different, your DS has two equal parents and because your "ex" doesn't have to do things your way to make him a good Dad.

This thread is so stereotypical - mum complaining that Dad doesn't do enough, but when he does up his game, mum complaining that he's not doing it right.

BigW Thu 18-Jul-13 08:50:59

I'm afraid I have to disagree with a lot of the posters on here (what's new?!). What your DS does when he is with his father is 100 per cent your business. He doesn't stop being your son the minute he waves goodbye for the weekend.

I am sure you don't particularly care what your ex does, but you are concerned about your 8yo feeling upset and pushed out. As is your job as his mum. Yanbu at all.

That said, I don't think it has to be a big deal. If it were me, I'd play it down to your ex and just mention something like 'gosh, hot weather like this you probablywill want to take DS somewhere aiair conditioned like bowling or cinema - wouldn't fancy dragging myself round alton towers in this heat!'

I wouldn't say DS has even mentioned it to you. If you assume he will be celebrating his son's birthday (as he absolutely should) he might step up.

brilliantwhite Thu 18-Jul-13 09:01:42

agree with you , if she doesnt want to be on her feet stay home ,or they could all go swimming , cinema , meal out , shame if they do nothing special for him.

ReindeerBollocks Thu 18-Jul-13 09:19:05

I agree with you OP - surel tthe dynamics of their family are about to change with the arrival of a baby so its the ideal time for one on one father son time. Not only so they can celebrate your sons birthday but so they can spend quality time together before the new baby is born.

Don't know why some people are defending the pregnant wife - she can stay at home and rest, which she probably would appreciate. I would agree that it would be wrong for the OP to demand ex and pregnant wife take DS out, but shes not - shes asking the ex alone to do something.

I think it's a bit crap of Ex not to take him out to something for his birthday/ celebrate in some way. I would expect my DS to come home able to tell me of something he was going to do with his father for his birthday that he was looking forward to. (In your position)

But then it does always surprise me when people say they're doing nothing for a child's birthday. Even a first birthday - surely you can get a cake and maybe have a friend over ! Bloody hell, some people are miserable buggers ! grin

"Oh, are you doing anything nice ?" "No"
(convo with parents of soon to be one year old at toddler group hmm)

Could it be that your son has said to his father that he wants to go to a theme park and that is what the refusal is based on? I can understand not wanting to stand around for ages at a theme park in sweltering heat. Maybe suggest to ds that swimming or the cinema could be better ideas. Swimming when pg is bliss in the summer. I can see why you might be concerned about him being pushed out in the longer term and I agree his birthday should be about him, but the reality is with a largish age gap they probably will be doing activities which aren't all focused on the needs of an 8yr old, and neither will you otherwise your new baby will never go to soft play areas, U certs at the kids club, swim in the toddler pool. It will be hard for him because for 8yrs on both sides his entertainment needs have come first but now he will have to learn as my 3 have that family life involves compromising so that someone else can do something fun for them.

DaffodilsandSnow Thu 18-Jul-13 09:47:22

YANBU totally agree with you OP and would feel the same in your shoes. Of course it's everything to do with you, he is your DS and its his birthday which you are not spending with him. Absolutely understand you wanting to ensure he has a special day.

If I was pregnant I would not expect my OH to forgo a special day out with his DS just because I didn't fancy it - assuming this is what has happened.

Don't doubt yourself.

SanityClause Thu 18-Jul-13 09:50:13

I'm sorry, OP, my first response was more abrupt than it should have been. <note to self - engage brain before pressing post>

But I do think you have to leave them to it. By all means mention to your EX that DS is upset about not going out, as he had thought it was a promise.

But then leave it.

Your EX and his DW/DP(?) need to form their own relationships with their DS/DSS, just as you do.

This equally applies to parents that are not separated, of course.

As for being fed only a pot noodle in 10 hours, was he forbidden to eat anything else? Because an 8/9 year old can usually help themselves to snacks and fruit, at the very least. Perhaps you could suggest that he does so, in future, if no meals are forthcoming.

LittleBearPad Thu 18-Jul-13 09:53:43

YANBU at all. Not quite sure why stepmum can't stay at home if DS does want to go to a theme park.

Also not sure why one poster referred to the dad stepping up. How is he stepping up - the birthday just happens to fall on one of his access weekends. He's made no effort whatsoever.

roundtable Thu 18-Jul-13 10:04:09

I've never known a person's birthday not to be celebrated on the day. Even just with a special meal cooked at home and presents but people tend to do something.

I don't get the your child will get over it attitude. Isn't there copious threads on mumsnet from adults who haven't got over their childhoods? Not being arsed to celebrate a birthday would be a rather hurtful event.

Op, yanbu. Could you suggest a low key activity or just father and son activity as some of the more balanced posters have suggested?

Dahlen Thu 18-Jul-13 10:09:49

I don't think YABU OP. I think your X not wanting to go to a theme park or something is perfectly reasonable, but he should be doing something to mark his DS's birthday and this is more important than ever with a new baby on the way. Your DS should be made to feel he matters and is important and that he won't be sidelined by the arrival of a new baby.

That could be nothing more than a really special birthday tea and playing games with dad so that he has his full 100% sustained attention. It doesn't have to be an expensive no-holds-barred fun day out. But it should be something.

Have you spoken to your X about this yet? Maybe he has something in mind but because he's knocked the theme park idea on the head your DS has interpreted that as doing nothing. Not quite the same thing, but the fact your DS has interpreted it in that way is a useful way to start the conversation about your X making sure your DS doesn't feel excluded by the arrival of the new baby.

neunundneunzigluftballons Thu 18-Jul-13 10:37:27

In so far as I agree with you completely YANBU but if you carry it further YABU it is up to your exH how he parents his son. This year for various reasons we could not do a party for dd near her day so on the day we did cake and candles and had a family tea and the 3 weeks later we did a cinema kfc thing with her friends. Those treats sound exactly like what you son will have assuming your ex and his partner do not just ignore the day. If you do not make an issue and then your ds will not be any the wiser. Seperated parents should not necessarily mean 2 big birthday treats but this year you should have been able to forgo your event because your dh stepped up so he is being incredibly thoughtless.

Hellonewworld Thu 18-Jul-13 11:02:13

I'd be annoyed tbh. Why does his partner have to go? Cant just the two of them just have a nice day out out or evening together and she stays at home?

sashh Thu 18-Jul-13 11:05:57

YABU for using the word 'bubba'.

How far along is she? Is she is due in a couple of weeks I can see her point, if she's not showing yet then I can't.

Suggest Dh takes ds and dw to a water park.

DownstairsMixUp Thu 18-Jul-13 11:07:12

Well I think YANBU, i would say something if it was my lo's dad to. I had a hard pregnancy so can understand that, but then surely the wife can stay at home with her feet up and let the boys go out and do something? Just seems like the sensible thing to do rather than just sit indoors on the boys birthday. That way no one misses out.

HoldingHigh Thu 18-Jul-13 11:19:01

YANBU. Just because the girlfriend doesn't want to be on her feet all day doesn't mean your son should miss out on doing something with his dad on his birthday. If it's a theme park (fair enough she can't go on rides), but I went to a theme park with my DH and ours once whilst pregnant and pretty much sat on the benches while the kids enjoyed the rides.

If she doesn't feel up to it what is wrong with her planning to do something with her friends while dad does something with his son?

Also she doesn't want to be on her feet so there not doing anything. What's wrong with going out for a meal together to celebrate (if he's young enough somewhere with a nice play area and a park?)

NicknameIncomplete Thu 18-Jul-13 12:00:48

I had this with my ex.

He couldnt do this because of gf.
He couldnt do that because of gf.
In the end he decided that gf was more important & now doesnt see our child.

Why does the gf need to be involved?
Why cant father & son go out for an hour or so just the two of them?

DontmindifIdo Thu 18-Jul-13 12:15:19

Wait a moment, so your ExH left you 6 years ago for his current DP, but both you and her are pregnant by him now? so you've gone from being the ex, to being the OW, to being the ex again? If I was his DP, forgiven him for cheating with his exW, I wouldn't want the ExW to be telling me how we should be managing our time when DSS was staying. And considering your exH has got someone else pregnant while his DP is pregnant, it's hardly surprising he's still at the stage of doing whatever she wants and not leaving her for the day at the weekend. If you are still pregnant now, then his cheating on her is quite recent, they are unlikely to be at the 'fully trusting again' stage yet.

However, it is rather shit he's not doing anything with his DS on his birthday, but are you sure he isn't and isn't just planning a day out that's not a theme park and hasn't told your DS about it yet? I'd start by asking ExH if he's got plans for DS's birthday and if you need to pack anything different (like swimmers etc) for that weekend.

OHforDUCKScake Thu 18-Jul-13 12:40:29

This is a question for all those saying 'YABU'

If it was you that was pregnant in this heat, and it was your eldest childs birthday but you werent up for going out and about but your eldest son desperatetly wanted to out and celebrate his birthday with his dad, your DH, would you seriously tell your son and your husband that this wasnt happening because of your predicament? Why because you 'do things as a family' so you expect everyone else to stay in and suffer just because you are big, hot and pregnant? You would let your eldest child miss out on their birthday? Really? hmm

fedupofnamechanging Thu 18-Jul-13 12:58:09

YANBU OP. If the exh was pg then he'd have a fair point in not wanting to do anything too active. However, it is only his partner who is pg and I fail to see why this state of affairs affects his ability to keep his promise to his son.

As a parent it is absolutely your right to step in if you see your child's other parent breaking promises and pushing your child aside in favour of his new baby. If you don't look out for your child's best interests then who else will?

You are being a good mother and I do not think that being divorced means you have no say in how your child is cared for when with his other parent, if you feel his interests are not being best served.

ModernToss Thu 18-Jul-13 12:59:06

You have got the wrong end of the stick, DontmindifIdo. See the second line of the OP.

I agree with every word ReindeerBollocks says: a) this is a great time for some last-minute father and son bonding, and b) she can stay at home and enjoy the peace and quiet.

DontmindifIdo Thu 18-Jul-13 13:04:33

aha! sorry, ignore my post!

Owllady Thu 18-Jul-13 13:14:37

I don't think you are being unreasonable either tbh but I think the blame lies at your ex's feet really, he should just organise to do something without pregnant girlfriend or otherwise do something they can all do surely?

Owllady Thu 18-Jul-13 13:16:59

lol at the mix up dontmindifido
you are like my Gran when she mishears something and then goes off ona tangent mid conversation about something elsegrin

BridgetBidet Thu 18-Jul-13 13:19:57

When you say they're not celebrating it do you mean they're not celebrating it at all? Like, nothing. Or do you mean that they're not celebrating it in a way you want them to e.g. they are going to cook him a meal, buy him presents and have a cake.

TBH if they're doing something (like having a meal and a cake) I really don't think you have a leg to stand on. There could be other reasons like finances to consider and to be honest as long as they are doing something I don't think you can dictate, they aren't obliged to explain to you their exact personal financial circumstances or her medical history.

If they genuinely are doing nothing at all then just don't send him.

OctopusPete8 Thu 18-Jul-13 13:23:13

Is it her first? I was very mood swingy with my first.

you're getting on with it because its your second and right now in a biological way your son is not her priority,

What is she doing that is so bad?

SpecialAgentTattooedQueen Thu 18-Jul-13 13:23:49

This is a question for all those saying 'YABU'

If it was you that was pregnant in this heat, and it was your eldest childs birthday but you werent up for going out and about but your eldest son desperatetly wanted to out and celebrate his birthday with his dad, your DH, would you seriously tell your son and your husband that this wasnt happening because of your predicament? Why because you 'do things as a family' so you expect everyone else to stay in and suffer just because you are big, hot and pregnant? You would let your eldest child miss out on their birthday? Really? hmm hmm

OhforDUCKSake got it in one.

OctopusPete8 Thu 18-Jul-13 13:26:50

reading it more I think if she is saying no to the theme park, then she is wrong to do that , but your ex needs to step up and but his son first.

Cravey Thu 18-Jul-13 13:27:40

I can sort of see your point but like others have said maybe you need to back off a bit. Surely as long as your son is seeing his parent not being abused, starved or beaten then its nothing to do with you. Maybe the stepmother is having a bad pregnancy, maybe not. However it's your sons time with his father and stepmother and what they do is up to them. As long as your son is cared for then that's all that matters. I think you need to take a step back and leave dad and step mum to sort it out.

OHforDUCKScake Thu 18-Jul-13 13:52:29

I wonder if anyone will answer my question?

Probably not, I cant see an answer to it that wouldnt make you sound like an A-hole.

hi all.
I haven't slunk off with my tail between my legs.
just got in from worksmile
my op certainly divided opinion.
just to answer a few questions.
I don't know a hundred percent what has been said so I will be testing the water gently when I chat to his dad on Saturday when he picks him up.
by the time his b'day arrives ex's gf will be 31 weeks so labour wont be imminent and im sure she could manage a couple of hours on her own as she does so during the week when hes at work for eight hours a day.
to the pregnant step mum who said that its not fair for dad to take him out separately as they are a family and do things together I disagree.sorry.
my current partner has two teenagers from a previous relationship and I have no problem if he takes them out and I don't go as sometimes I just don't fancy going to watch motorcross biking anyway!
I go out with my mum for pamper days and my dad gets left behind.
if he started pouting and said'but were a family!why cant I come?'
we would,quite frankly,think he had lost the plot.
and as for the poster who said I am bitter about them having a baby?
since when does being concerned about my son translate into bitterness?

you post made me laugh.
how could you glean so much wrong info from my post.lolsmile

OHforDUCKScake Thu 18-Jul-13 14:05:21

Well put OP.

Bitter? I missed that one. Like I said in my first reply to this, its just the AIBu argumentative metality that just say YABU for the sheer hell of it, for arguments sake, so they can feel holier than thou.
Its bullshit.

Bitter indeed! Tsk.

MammaTJ Thu 18-Jul-13 14:10:09

I don't think you are bitter and I don't think YABU, except in the pot noodle comparison. I do think you cannot control it! You can control your attitude to it and the way it impacts your DS.

I would be interested to hear your exes response to your question and also how he squirms when you give him some of the replies given here.

I know kids can take things the wrong way and what they say cant always be taken for gospel which is why I wont be jumping in all guns blazin'.

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 18-Jul-13 14:38:48

As a mum of a 9 year DD whom ExH repeatable lets her down I think YANBU to feel upset and sad for your DS.
However, YABU to tackle your ExH on it. He can choose do spend his time with your DS as he wishes. You are organising a birthday treat for your DS with friends. Your DS is old enough to know and remember which parent put him first.

PrettyPaperweight Thu 18-Jul-13 14:50:03

I wonder if anyone will answer my question?

I will - and if it makes me sound like an a-hole, so be it!

I gave up the opportunity to co-parent with my DDs Dad when we split. When we were together, we made joint decision about her life - when we split, we agreed how responsibility would be shared and now we are apart, we trust each other to care for DD even if its not the way we would do it ourselves.

I don't expect my DDs Dad to explain himself, I accept his parenting style is different to mine and I only ever discuss issues regarding DDs safety/health, not get involved in his parenting decisions.

The OP wants her ex to mark their DS birthday - but her ex may choose not to. It is not the OPs right to demand her ex does everything she would do to keep her DS happy - neither can the OPs ex dictate how she chooses to parent him.

two parents who are separated should parent in the same way.
its called consistency.
if you don't have consistency in a childs life it just confuses them.
and your lucky that you and you ex make the correct decisions about your child.
not all situations are like yours.

wharrgarbl Fri 19-Jul-13 09:04:07

This thread is so stereotypical - mum complaining that Dad doesn't do enough, but when he does up his game, mum complaining that he's not doing it right.

Eh? I don't see this at all. And yes, dad needs to do something for boy's birthday.

Ezio Fri 19-Jul-13 09:36:26

I see a mum whos annoyed that shes listened to her ex moan for years about not having DS on his birthday, now he does, he cant be arsed to do anything with DS.

That'd piss me off too.

SoupDragon Fri 19-Jul-13 09:48:16

Op, you are getting an unnecessarily hard time for no reason.

For comparison, my XH (who is generally a self centered wanker) took DS2 to a theme park for his birthday treat. Leaving (as I understand it) the OW his partner and newborn behind.

Unless the GF is nearly due, there is no reason your X can't take his son out for a treat, just like he has claimed he has always wanted to.

Part of being any type of family is realising you are allowed to do things separately.

SoupDragon Fri 19-Jul-13 09:49:20

This thread is so stereotypical - mum complaining that Dad doesn't do enough, but when he does up his game, mum complaining that he's not doing it right.

Where has he upped his game??

PrettyPaperweight Fri 19-Jul-13 09:49:57

And yes, dad needs to do something for boy's birthday.

Why? Because Mum says so? Not all DCs are parented the same way - and there are plenty of DCs whose parents here on MN don't have bells and whistles on their birthday!

If not having a birthday treat is the biggest issue the OP has to worry about when her DS is in his Dads care, then her DS is very fortunate. The fact that she has placed it in the same catagory as poor nutrition and insufficient meals suggests an interesting set of priorities!
Pick your battles - once basic care and health needs have been resolved, then added extras like birthday treats can be addressed.

namechangeforaclue Fri 19-Jul-13 09:53:39

I think you are being ur and ott.

flowery Fri 19-Jul-13 09:55:19

I find it strange that you are getting so angry about this before you've even spoken to your ex to clarify what he is planning for your son's birthday tbh.

If you speak to him and say "DS thinks you're doing nothing for his birthday, can I just check, is that correct?", and he says yep planning to do nothing, then YABU to not be happy about that.

namechangeforaclue Fri 19-Jul-13 09:58:21

Also no two parents that seperate should not parent In the same way and you should not expect it. By parent in the same way do you mean do what you would do in every situation?
Often two parents that live together don't parent in the same way so why you would expect it to be different after a separation I don't really understand.
What if one of the reasons a person left was a difference of opinion in parenting.
Would you still expect them to tow the other partners line.
You sound controlling op, I would let if go if I were you.

PrettyPaperweight Fri 19-Jul-13 10:06:32

melonman who decides what 'correct parenting decisions' are?

I can assure you that I strongly disagree with some of my DDs Dads decisions, around Internet access, personal responsibility, suitability of gifts - as he does about my decisions regarding household chores and independence.

We don't agree - but I'm not arrogant enough to believe that my way is correct and his is all wrong!

Boredwench Fri 19-Jul-13 10:50:13

Oh I love MN hyprocrisy on threads like this, on this site a pregnant woman is the second coming. If a pregnant woman doesn't want do something she only has to utter the words 'I'm pregnant' and virtually all this site will jump behind her and defend the decision. So it's quite funny seeing those sticking the boot in and jumping behind the OP and saying the Ex's missus is being unreasonable for 'using' her pregnancy to decline a day out, and how she doesn't need to be 'fanned and hand fed grapes' to paraphrase some of the responses demeaning her. I've seen no end of man bashing on here and countless 'aibu' hammering men for going out for a few hours (even if it's work) and how his pregnant wife MUST ALWAYS come head and shoulders above everything else. Hmm quite funny now the preganant wife is the 'other woman' and where the MN loyalty lies.....

As far as I'm concerned, the OP is beyond being reasonable, she's being a twat about this. So what if the son doesn't go to a theme park (or something equally as grand), so long as the day is marked I don't see the problem, oh I's the ex daring to do something the OP doesn't agree, of course he's all in the wrong. I've been between two parents vying for control, can see it a mile away. This is far beyond the son's birthday, this is trying to bring the ex 'into line' so he places the OP above his new mrs.

Get a grip OP, you're using this as an excuse to needle your ex and probably deep down (you won't admit it) you're pissed his new mrs is pregnant. Not fun losing queen bee status is it???! I'm sure I'll get a cutting response, truth hurts....

Ezio Fri 19-Jul-13 10:53:13

Errrrrr OP and her OH are also expecting another baby, so the shes jealous arguments are probably a bit pointless.

SoupDragon Fri 19-Jul-13 10:53:29

Boredwench I"m guessing you ignored the bit about the father whinging for the past 6 years that he hasn't got to do anything on his DSs birthday before and the promise that he would.

And the fact that no one thinks the poor little pregnant woman needs to be involved, she can sit at home being fanned by the wings of angels for all anyone cares.

This is about the father and his son.

PrettyPaperweight Fri 19-Jul-13 10:55:03

This is about the father and his son.

Quite. A situation that doesn't involve the mother in any way.

SoupDragon Fri 19-Jul-13 10:55:35

You seem to have invented an awful lot of utter bollocks using what the OP has actually posted.

SoupDragon Fri 19-Jul-13 10:59:41

Quite. A situation that doesn't involve the mother in any way.

No, not at all. If the son is disappointed/upset then it is the mother's business.

What it isn't is any business of the step mother who does not actually need to go on any outing she doesn't wish to. Most normal people would have said "Oh, you go by yourself, I'll stay here with my feet in bowl of iced water. Have a lovely time" and looked forward to the peace. Assuming she is not about to give birth or having complications.

SoupDragon Fri 19-Jul-13 11:05:01

I make DSs sort out any problems that occur at their father's house. Or rather I encourage them to. If they can't/won't I will put their point of view across to him where it is warranted. More often than not I seethe at things and simply sort them out myself. I am not on speaking terms with my Ex, the OP is apparently on good terms with both Ex and his partner.

The OP said I don't actually give a monkeys what they do UNTIL it affects or upsets ds.

Boredwench Fri 19-Jul-13 11:07:16

Bollocks.....There's nothing been said by the ex (the OP herself has said she hasn't discussed it with him fully) to suggest the say will pass by unnoticed. Getting all het on hypothetical what ifs......

Put aside the son for a second, if a pregnant woman posted on here is she being unreasonable for stopping her husband/bloke going off to work or whatever for hours whilst she was pregnant, there would be no end of responses supporting her....

Rather than pontificating endless on here about the future, the wisest thing would be to pick up the phone and clarify with the ex what he's going to do to mark the day. All that's gonna happen on here is the OP is gonna get more and more fucked off as every one adds in their 2ps fuelling her anger/frustration even more.

PlatinumStart Fri 19-Jul-13 11:08:30

No idea why you seem to be getting a hard time in relation to this hmm

Frankly any father who cannot be arsed to put on a party for his eight year old is a bit of an arsehole

FredFredGeorge Fri 19-Jul-13 11:10:53

*two parents who are separated should parent in the same way.
its called consistency.
if you don't have consistency in a childs life it just confuses them.*

That is a parenting decision there, I simply do not believe two parents even when not part of other families too need to parent the same way, nor do I think it in the slightest bit confuses people, understanding people.

Your belief is that they need "consistency" (and quite how celebrating a birthday a particular way is consistent I don't know!) but other people don't, you have to get over it.

FobblyWoof Fri 19-Jul-13 11:11:11

I'm on the fence on this one, although I'm swaying more towards YBU. While I can understand your frustration that you do choose to do these kind of things on your DS's birthday and his dad hasn't, it is exactly that- a choice.

When I was growing up we didn't have the money to go on days out for our birthdays and all of us being born in winter it was rarely nice enough to go out and do something for free, but our birthdays were still special. So I really wouldn't say poor DS etc as he can have a very lovely day. There doesn't have to be a big grand gesture on his birthday and you do choose to do this. Fair enough for you, but other people have the choice too.

And I can also understand your point about them being able to do something without the GF but it's not fair to comment on her pregnancy. As I'm sure you know, every pregnancy is different and if she doesn't feel up to then she doesn't. I wouldn't want to walk round a theme park in this weather, pregnancy or no pregnancy.

LookingForwardToMarch Fri 19-Jul-13 11:12:37

Sorry to be blunt but yabu in the fact that it's none of your beeswax how they decide to celebrate his birthday?

It it bothers you that much, and you have a certain idea of what he should be doing (sounds like theme park) then you should have him.

Maybe she is having a difficult pregnancy and her man wants to support her?

And yes yes his son is important but the world will not end if he doesn't have a big party/outing for one of his birthdays.

I'm sure they will work out a compromise themselves.

Cravey Fri 19-Jul-13 11:13:52

I don't get the parents should parent the same way thing. Dh and I parented in totally different ways. And we were together. No two people are the same. My boys grew up fine IMO. Op talk to the ex and find out what's going on but don't tell him what he can or can't do. That's not fair. I'm pretty sure he doesn't spend the week telling you what to do when you have the child.

runes Fri 19-Jul-13 11:18:12

Yanbu!! As another poster has already said, now more than ever your dp should be aware that huge changes are imminent for your ds and he should be making every effort to ensure your ds doesnt feel sidelined by the new baby. Not making an effort for his birthday is not getting off to a great start by the sound of it. "Ducks" nailed it when she made the comparison as to how the gf would behave were your ds her pfb. What part of sitting on her arse eating an icecream whilst watching your ex and ds on the rides can gf not handle?

SpecialAgentTattooedQueen Fri 19-Jul-13 11:30:35

Frankly any father who cannot be arsed to put on a party for his eight year old is a bit of an arsehole


This. Though it doesn't have to be a party, six years of bullying OP for not having his 'D'S on his birthday, then announcing his girlfriend is pregnant so, no, sorry son just accept it seems particularly cruel to me.

Does the father have to have a cake that a clown jumps out of? (scary) Of course not!

However anyone who is saying 'well he's getting a treat from you OP so YABU' is extremely unaware of how children react. He's not stupid. He'll know he missed out because of his stepmother and sibling, all the father is doing is playing favourites and most likely causing resentment in his son.

Oh, I was a stepmother until I adopted DS, don't tell me playing favourites between a stepmum and a child's birthday doesn't cause hurt.

SpecialAgentTattooedQueen Fri 19-Jul-13 11:32:13

I meant to say his father refusing to do anything special for his birthday unless it's something his new partner can tolerate won't go unnoticed by the child.

And yes, IMO it's favouritism of the worst kind and cruel.

PrettyPaperweight Fri 19-Jul-13 11:32:57

If the son is disappointed/upset then it is the mother's business.

Ah yes. Those mothers who complain to the school if their PFB isn't picked for the part they want in the school play, who insist that PFB is invited to birthday parties, who insists on placating PFB every time a disappointment or upset occurs. What are they called? Helicopter parents?

The DS disappointment can be dealt with in two ways by the OP. Either a jolly "never mind, I'm sure you'll have a good time with Dad whatever you do" or a reinforcing "yes darling I think it's dreadful that Dad won't do what you want, how terrible".

I think the OPs ex was wrong to blame his DW for his decision - sign of a weak man who is not confident in his parenting; I wonder why?!?

runes Fri 19-Jul-13 11:33:31

Or if her pregnancy would prevent her from making the effort even if it were her own child's b'day, why can't she sit on her arse in the house and let her dp spend some quality time with his ds before the new babies arrive.

And to the posters who are accusing the op of trying to dictate how her ex parents, she says that he has complained for years that he didn't get the opportunity to do the b'day celebrations before, but now that he has he won't because his gf is pregnant. There is no indication that the ex would have chosen more low key celebrations because of a difference in parenting styles.

needaholidaynow Fri 19-Jul-13 11:40:29

She doesn't have to go. Why should she if she is going to be uncomfortable? It's unnecessary for her to be there.

They should go on their own without her and let her put her feet up smile

needaholidaynow Fri 19-Jul-13 11:44:33

Oh, and thinking the point of view of your ex, he should make the decision how he celebrates his (<---key word there!) son's birthday seeing as it's his turn.

mrsravelstein Fri 19-Jul-13 11:46:41

YANBU ds1's stepmother has to be deferred to at all times. she doesn't like ds1 and his dad spending time on their own as she openly admits to being jealous. and when she was pregnant she frequently said she couldn't "cope" with ds1 having his usual visit, despite the fact that he's only there for less than 24 hours twice a month. there isn't anything you can do about it, and there's no point complaining, unfortunately, but eventually the child in this situation starts to realise who is behaving like a wanker and who is not.

Dadthelion Fri 19-Jul-13 11:49:35

Why hasn't the Dad had his son on his birthday before?

MissStrawberry Fri 19-Jul-13 12:00:30

I would be worried this was the start of the step mum not wanting the DS around much once she has her new baby.


Your ex is being a twat or under the thumb of his wife. No excuse for not doing something for his birthday but is really mean to promise for years (when no chance of having to produce....???) and then refusing too when he has access.

needaholidaynow Fri 19-Jul-13 12:06:12

Why do people suddenly jump to conclusion that the SM won't want the child around, when the baby arrives???

needaholidaynow Fri 19-Jul-13 12:09:26

I don't remember ever feeling like that when I had my sons. I have had issues in the past, such as not going to DSD's dance show due to having to look after my 2 year old and her mum kicked off, but this is absolutely no reflection on my feelings for her in general and she is here all the time!

LookingForwardToMarch Fri 19-Jul-13 12:10:46

Shushhhh it's because all sm's are evil!

There are no circumstances in which an sm not wanting to do something with her sc is NOT a declaration of hatred and spite towards them!

needaholidaynow Fri 19-Jul-13 12:15:50

Oh god LookingForwardToMarch Thankyou for reminding me!

... Not that it is easy to forget society's attitude towards SMs when they have a baby, and of course in general! hmm

erm boredwench.if you had actually bothered reading my other posts you would see that I was going to test the water before going in head first to really see what had been said.
its clear from reading a lot of comments that some people only read(or hear)the parts that they want to.

LookingForwardToMarch Fri 19-Jul-13 12:23:43

Ah Need yes, let us not forget that stepmothers only EVER have babies to...

A) make the first wife jealous

B) to replace the 'first' children, which the father will then want to abandon and love less. This can only be stopped by the selfless mother stepping in and nagging said father constantly.

Not that I'm at all bitter at how sm's are viewed by society...


and for the record I don't think stepmums are evil.
I have had one for 28 years and I love her to bits.
to certains posters
please read the whole thread before commenting because the questions you are are asking have been answered in my previous comments.

Boredwench Fri 19-Jul-13 12:26:28

I've 'bothered' reading your other posts alright....a nice little saga it's turning out to be isn't it??! By the vehement denials and defence of your opinion i'd say you've already made up your mind how you feel and this is all just an exercise in bolstering your opinion for when you 'test the educate' the ex....

Your kid will survive no doubt if something 'grand' isn't planned for the day, all the matters imo is the day is nicely marked by the childs father and step mom, for which you don't know yet....So this thread's all been a bit pointless until you've actually got something concrete to chew on isn't it???

SpecialAgentTattooedQueen Fri 19-Jul-13 12:29:37

Dad shouldn't be forcing a family before the child is even born. Simple as that.

I don't know any eight year old that would truly understand waiting patiently for sibling to be born, mum and DSib to recover before he could celebrate his own milestones. Seems very, very selfish on part of the father IMO. Either he's a coward to put his son second, or he has unrealistic expectations of a child's reaction to a birth and expects him to not remember the forgotten birthday because they're a family now...

I really think you should take a few deep breathes boredwench.
whats with all the double and triple angry punctuation?
im actually quite calm about the whole thing at the mo and will be discussing it in a chilled out fashion with my ex tomorrow.
why do you seem more angry about the whole situation than me?
very odd.....

Mhysa Fri 19-Jul-13 12:43:09

YANBU OP, if his DF has been moaning about wanting him on his birthday, surely he should make it special. Your poor DS, must be a confusing time for him at the moment.
At least he has some time with you the day before. I'd feel like telling the ex, if your not doing anything for him, swap weekends.

Mhysa Fri 19-Jul-13 12:44:53

And just wow at the aggressiveness from some posters shock this is why I never start a thread in AIBU.....

SuperStrength Fri 19-Jul-13 12:48:28

Goodness, why do people post on AIBU? To prove they are right to a bunch of strangers, to let off steam or to ask others to help them see the other side of the this instance, trying to understand why dad is taking a different approach to mum.

I think lots of people have tried to explain why dad sees this differently

IMO what truly screws kids up is conflict between parents...over important things and trivil things. There's mountains of research that show how kids internalise that conflict & that it can have harmful effects on them.

In your shoes, if he were my son, I would want him to know how much I loved him & how special his birthday it is to me because it's the day i became his mum which is the biggest honour of my entire existence. If I could have a calm & rational chat with dad, I would relay any disapointment felt by my son, not to criticise...demonstrating understanding for the fact his partner is pregnant which makes it a bit more complicated, but so that he is warned & can adjust his plans if he wants to now that he has that information, or simply explain things to his son in a different way, taking into account his feelings.

I don't believe 'mums know better'. I also know that it's easier to influence people when you have positive, working together type approach...because they are more likely to listen to you & take your views on board, as opposed to working from an assumption of dominance with an expectation that you are more right.

Boredwench Fri 19-Jul-13 12:51:22

Angry?'s the internet, anything with punctuation looks angry if you want to read it as that. Cool as a cucumber here I'm afraid....

I've been between two parents most of my life, It's not an easy path to tread, I don't think you're going about it the right way and your predisposed to jump to the negative. Not my life though......

lol mhysa.
I was expecting different opinions but some people on here seemed a bit full off hate:/
Im so not what a couple of people have misread me to be but oh well....

so have I boredwench.
my parent split when I was four and ive had a lovely stepmum for 28 years.
on top of that I AM a stepmum to two teenagers.
and I have a son who has a stepmum so I have the experience of seeing things from all quarters.
you may have had a hard time growing up but my situation is not yours and im not your mother,
my son does not see conflict between me and his father and when we do disagree about things we talk it over calmly.
you have a very focused,narrow minded view.

ShuddaKnownBetter Fri 19-Jul-13 12:59:57

I am stunned at some of the replies on this and the rudeness of some posters.
Of course YANBU. Of course it matters to you if someone has let your DS down, regardless of their relationship. People who are saying otherwise astound me.
When the DM of my DSD lets her down I am gutted for her....not because I have the slightest interest in controlling what my DH exW does, but because I love and care for my DSD and do not like to see her hurt. I feel the same way when anyone else hurts her or lets her down too. But when a DP hurts a DC it's so much worse. And yeah especially during this time of change for DS your ex should have a bit of cop on.

When I was pregnant with DD I made sure that DSD was included and went to lengths to make her feel loved. When I physically wasn't up to it I encouraged DH and DSD to go off together. Now that my DD is here I still encourage special time for DH and DSD and to be honest special 1 to 1 time for me a DSD too.
Your Ex isn't not arranging anything because they celebrate differently as some suggest but because his OH doesn't want to. Therein lies the big problem.

I wonder if you would have had these comments if you weren't separated. Being an involved loving mother doesn't mean you are bitter.

Maybe your Ex just isn't thinking. You seem to have a good relationship. Is this something you can casually mention? He may be gutted to think he disappointed his DS and may make plans?

Or could you swap days OP and have your DS for his birthday if your ex isn't planning anything special? Not the same I know but at least your DS may not notice the slight as much?

AaDB Fri 19-Jul-13 13:01:55


Your ds's father had said for years that her would love to do something special for his birthday. When he has the opportunity, he isn't going to push the boat out as expected.confused Your ex needs to fulfill his promises and your ds's expectations (which he has raised). I hope he has something ace planned.

MissStrawberry Fri 19-Jul-13 13:10:35

I said "worried" not would be hmm.

Newsflash - my posts are just an opinion not legally bound facts.

shudda you sound like a lovely stepmum.
just like my stepmum is and how one should be

gotthemoononastick Fri 19-Jul-13 13:30:09

Would it be considered goady to send a huge cream cake,sweeties and balloons with him in case there is nothing on his day?Married for donkeys years and have no experience of this situation thank heavens.Poor little chap.

could do onastick.
maybe I should arrange for a few of his friends to go over too(without telling his dad obviously!) ;)

gotthemoononastick Fri 19-Jul-13 14:04:35

Could turn into a lovely little party,untwist.(yellow grinface that I cant do)

I cant do them either:/
I may even hire a bouncy castle to arrive there at six in the morning and turn up with my family considering im such a control freak.

fedupofnamechanging Fri 19-Jul-13 14:53:14

This thread is mad! Can't believe that some posters are implying it is somehow the OP's fault if her ex lacks confidence as a parent, cos she's such a control freak, what with wanting to ensure her child has a nice birthday as promised by his dad. How very controlling of her to expect her child's other parent to actually keep his promises.

PrettyPaperweight Fri 19-Jul-13 15:09:18

How very controlling of her to expect her child's other parent to actually keep his promises.

But that's the point; the OP can't dictate, influence or change how her ex behaves.

If he chooses to break promises, then she can't influence that and she can only do so much to protect her DS from that - not following through on a promise is not a reason to prevent a DC from seeing a parent!

Yes, it sucks. If the OPs ex is a deadbeat dad who fails to fulfil his parenting obligations then that's really hard for the OPs DS - but like a lot of DCs, he may well overlook the failings his Mum sees and adore his Dad anyway.
The OP could try and influence that based on her own feelings, or she could accept that Dad does things differently (including breaking promises) and allow her DS to make up his own mind.

Oldraver Fri 19-Jul-13 15:12:19

In normal circumstances I would agree that OP should just let the ex get on with it and not interfere.

But she has said that the ex has been whinging for the last x amount of years about not being able to do something special for birthdays and now appears to of I feel she has every right to pull him up about it.

At the very least OP, when you have found out his version of events I would tell him you dont want to hear any 'poor me' whinging...ever

Dadthelion Fri 19-Jul-13 15:41:02

Has he chosen not to see his son for the last six years on his birthday?

on one of my earlier posts I said how he has always been huffy about the fact that sons birthdays have always been spent with me but I asked him on numerous birthdays if he would like him as he could take one of his holiday days of work but he has always refused.
so on one hand he plays the "poor me,never allowed to have ds on birthday" but everytime I offer hes refused.
when ive asked him before its been that hes saving annual holiday for other stuff.

fedupofnamechanging Fri 19-Jul-13 16:03:34

Pretty I think it is instinctive for good parents to try and head off any situation that they can foresee causing hurt to their dc.

I couldn't sit back and say that my dc will make up their minds for themselves, in the long run - I would always do whatever I could to prevent them being hurt in the first place.

It is galling for the OP to have spent years listening to him whinge and then when he finally gets the chance to make good on all his promises, he cba!

Fuzzygel Fri 19-Jul-13 16:41:24

I think initially it's worth pointing out that you've not really got the full story, I'm sure that if he's any kind of a father he'll be doing SOMETHING to mark ds birthday. Perhaps it's all a bit of miscommunication and really he's just told ds he won't be doing theme park due to pregnant dp, but perhaps is planning pizza and cinema instead.

All a bit of a mountain out of a molehill unless he really plans to do absolute nothing, which I doubt.

PrettyPaperweight Fri 19-Jul-13 16:47:07

There's a lot of perfect parents on this thread - not sure where that leaves the rest of us!

Good parents do x, parents who care do y, parenting should be z and yet if everyone on this thread faced the same situation with their DCs, they'd all do it differently!

There is no right and wrong when it comes to parenting! Everyone does it differently and every parenting choice has a consequence - positive and negative.
The OP has made it clear that she offers contact to her DS Dad, who accepts or declines, it is not something that is mutually agreed and discussed. I don't agree with her choice to do that, but it doesn't make her wrong!

The OPs ex seems to have spent many years playing the victim and being unwilling to accept the contact the OP has offered on their DS birthday. Now Dad has what he says he has always wanted, the OP is pissed off because he isn't planning what the OP has delivered in previous years - which is what the OP expects him to do as she stated in her OP.

ljny Fri 19-Jul-13 23:33:45

Actually, the ex 'has whinged for the last six years about how he never has him on his birthday and never gets to take him out for birthday either.

I don't think she's being controlling at all. Her 8-year-old son is disappointed, of course she's concerned.

It's not about what the op expected him to do, it's what he said he would do.

Sure, the kid will learn he can trust one parent more than the other. But it's very difficult to stand back and watch your child learn that lesson, especially when they're still so young.

PlatinumStart Sat 20-Jul-13 05:56:12

Of course there are wrong ways to parent - suggesting there isn't is perhaps the most ludicrous assertion ever....

Right up there with the idea that trying to prevent your eight year old son from being let down by his father is "controlling".

mathanxiety Sat 20-Jul-13 06:54:02

goodness why does son have to be stuck in doors on his birthday pandering to a pregnant woman. i wouldn't expect it of him so why should she?

This is from way upthread.

Since he is now 8 I think it may well be about time for the DS to start understanding that pregnant women sometimes need some consideration. You are not doing anyone any favours by being super-pregnant-woman in a heatwave here, least of all any future mother of your DS's children. It's not 'pandering' to understand that someone who is pregnant might not be up to a day out in a crowded place with dirty toilets and the sun blazing down, and nobody is getting medals here for being some sort of pregnant martyr.

An 8 year old could be expected to understand that someone else's condition was going to rule out a fancy outing for his birthday and could very well be expected to spend it simply in the company of his dad, inside or in the garden, without complaining. Maybe he could help his dad with gardening or car maintenance or something else domestic. In any case it is up to his dad to decide what the day will consist of and it is actually no business of yours at all what the dad decides. If you have done a good job of raising your DS then he will surely understand that a quiet time is going to be the order of the day this year and will be able to put the needs of another person ahead of what he might want, particularly as you are intending to provide a birthday treat anyway. You don't want to raise a child who thinks he is entitled to some sort of treat, or two treats,
regardless of what is going on in anyone else's life, or do you?

Your fears about him being pushed aside by the new arrival -- every child who gets a new sibling loses out to some extent in the attention stakes when a baby arrives. When DS was a baby he got all the attention due to him. Now it is the turn of his two half siblings. This is something every older sibling goes through and they survive. It is up to his dad to handle the demands of both of his children and his DP as he sees fit. A well brought up 8 year old is not likely to be scarred for life when adults have to devote time or attention to a baby. If your ex is a normal and in any way decent man then I think you should trust him to handle this without hurting his DS.

You keep on insisting that you are not invested in their lives but then you keep on comparing yourself favourably to the other pregnant woman [I wouldn't expect it of him so why should she?] and comparing what you have managed to provide by way of birthday treats to what the dad has done. What are you trying to prove? Are you jealous of the care your ex is giving to his new partner when he perhaps didn't do that for you?

You have no right to expect the ex to live up to your high standards of birthday treats. He has the DS for this birthday and though you may well be hurt on behalf of your DS that he will not be doing what you normally do, you need to see if the DS is upset before feeling anything about this yourself. I really think you may in the end see this as a case of you projecting your own feelings of disappointment at the big picture of your ex's approach to parenting, broken promises, etc., onto this one incident and the DS may not care much one way or the other -- he may well prove what a good mother you are by a display of generous understanding towards his stepmother.

Hopefully you are not going to complain about the ex to the DS. Hopefully if the DS complains you will remind him that you provided a treat and hopefully you will speak more kindly about the pregnant stepmother to your DS than you do about her here and will remind him that a husband taking care of his pregnant wife, taking her condition and her feelings into account when making plans is not the definition of pandering. Maybe the DS will be a husband one day.

PlatinumStart Sat 20-Jul-13 07:27:51

Oh come on math only on MN could taking your eight year old son out for a birthday treat be interpreted as some sort of "high standard" it's not. It is simply what any decent loving parent does for their child unless circumstances dictate it is impossible, and in this case they don't.

There is absolutely no reason why stepmum couldn't stay at home and have a day to herself or they could do something more accommodating of her - cinema or bowling etc. but to do nothing? He is eight.

And I disagree, eight is too young to have to learn that two adults who are supposed to have your best interests are selfish bastards who cannot be arsed sad

it always amazes me how someone can squeeze all that wrong information out of my op math.
what could be the harm of her staying at home for a while while dad takes son out?
is that REALLY too much to ask?

PrettyPaperweight Sat 20-Jul-13 07:46:22

melon My point is, I don't agree that it is your place to ask!

I'd be (and have been) furious when my ex has suggested how I should spend my time/money regarding DD - he believes, just as strongly as you do, that I am upsetting her by asking her (for instance) to do chores in return for pocket money, or delay celebrating

LittleBearPad Sat 20-Jul-13 07:48:05

Urtwisting hope the chat with your ex goes. YANBU to be pissed off if he does nothing and you've said you aren't going to go in all guns blazing. Some of the comments on this thread are shock. Clearly children should accept their birthdays are nothing special hmm

ImagineJL Sat 20-Jul-13 07:48:58

YANBU. Your ex should be going out of his way to make DS feel loved, given that 2 babies are about to come into his life and he may well feel marginalised.

I would suggest to your ex that maybe you should swap the weekends if he doesn't feel able to celebrate your sons's birthday, and have him on a different weekend when he won't feel so disappointed at sitting in the house all day watching a woman being pregnant!

OHforDUCKScake Sat 20-Jul-13 07:49:07

Like I mentioned befpre untwisting certain mumsnetters have a huge holier than thou attitude, but I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that if it was THEIR pescious little darling missing out on their birthday, their response would be very different.

My point was proved when I asked what they would do if it was them who was pregnant, their elder childs birthday and their husband. Out lf all the people who said YABU only one attempted to answer and then didnt even answer the actually question. My point was proved.

If I wefe you OP id hide this thread and move on, you have done nothing wrong whatsoever, and frankly some of the responses on here are quite odd.

PrettyPaperweight Sat 20-Jul-13 07:49:23

melon My point is, I don't agree that it is your place to ask!

I'd be (and have been) furious when my ex has suggested how I should spend my time/money regarding DD - he believes, just as strongly as you do, that I am upsetting her by asking her (for instance) to do chores in return for pocket money, or delay celebrating my birthday until DSC can be with us as well. But, that's my choice - and if my DD spends the evening sobbing because I'm a mean Mum, then that's nothing to do with her Dad.

Your ExP is an equal parent in his DS life and unless he is at risk of harm or neglect, your attempts to influence their relationship is interfering.

BigW Sat 20-Jul-13 07:53:26

No melonman it really is not too much to ask. I can't believe there is really a debate. If she is really suffering, let her stay at home and if she is having a normal pregnancy let her go with.

PrettyPaperweight Sat 20-Jul-13 07:56:30

My point was proved when I asked what they would do if it was them who was pregnant, their elder childs birthday and their husband. Out lf all the people who said YABU only one attempted to answer and then didnt even answer the actually question. My point was proved.

ducks I'm sorry - I tried my best to answer the question but it was a bit odd; how can you compare the way I feel about my DH's behaviour with the way I feel about my ex's behaviour?

The point I made in my answer is that when parents separate their relationship changes - so comparing how together parents would behave compared to separated parents seems very odd to me!

It's interesting though - that you (and others?) imply that i should feel the same way about my ex's behaviour as I did when we were together; I've moved on.......perhaps that's where I've gone wrong, and I'm failing my DD by allowing her relationship with her Dad to be independent!

fedupofnamechanging Sat 20-Jul-13 08:25:42

Independence is one thing, but washing your hands of it all US quite another. It is easier to say that ex's time is ex's business than it is to deal with the fallout of stepping in. But you don't stop being your child's parent when they happen to be with their other parent, so you have a duty to your dc to speak up if you think that parent is doing something that will harm the child - either physically or emotionally.

Now I agree that some people will try to control things that are none of their business, but in the OP's case she is really just wanting her ex to do what he promised and that is a reasonable expectation to have of anyone.

PlatinumStart Sat 20-Jul-13 08:39:26

prettypaperweight I think the focus of ducks question was not your partners/exes behaviour but the behaviour of a pregnant woman.

The point being if you were pregnant and it was your older child's birthday you would presumably do whatever you could to ensure he had a great birthday. If this involved an uncomfortable traipse round an amusement park you'd suffer it and if you really couldn't you'd insist your DP took your son out and probably lay on an extra big cake and icecream for his return.

Hm well the wife sounds princessy. We don't do big things for birthdays here but we try to do something & you would think his father could think of some way to mark it. However, I'm not sure there's much you can do other than be there for your son though. I doubt your ex will see it from your son's perspective (or yours).

bootsycollins Sat 20-Jul-13 09:02:32

I can't believe the crap on this thread melon. Birthdays really are a big deal to little 'uns, it's their day, they count down the sleeps to it and get presents and cake and fuss, it's cute. It's not like your expecting them to take him to Disneyland for the weekend just make him feel special and mark his day YANBU.

Shylepite Sat 20-Jul-13 09:08:51

Yanbu at all! Ds's dad should do what he said he would do, stepmum can stay at home if she doesn't feel up to it.

PrettyPaperweight Sat 20-Jul-13 09:29:59

But the OP has made clear they her ex hasn't said he won't mark the DS birthday in some way - he's just told their DS that they won't be doing what the OP expects (her words) him to do......!

As for the expectations of stepmum - well, if she is going to be actively involved in the birthday treat for the OPs DS then I'm sure they'd be lots of posters saying how she shouldn't be there and she should allow her DP to spend time alone with his DS on his birthday - Stepmums just can't win!

Life is a lot more enjoyable if you lower your expectations (and teach your DCs to as well) Then they appreciate the nice things in life.
I spend time with DCs every day who don't have their birthday marked at all by their family - no cake, no presents, and certainly no treats. I suppose that's why I see so many of the posts on this thread as entitled - expecting a DC to have two birthday treats is just so contrasting to the world I experience every day!

Divinyl Sat 20-Jul-13 09:35:58

Assuming that you have checked on whether there are any plans already, could you ask ExH to actually ask your DS what he might like to do? If his dream day is not an option, sympathise ('Oh, I wish we could but we can't, so what about A, B or C? Or indeed not ask in an open ended way in the first place?)

The other suggestion may be to see if ExH might get him a gift voucher for a day out, not necessarily an expensive one, and they could agree that they'd do that together on a certain weekend or holiday day in the future that they could put in the calendar, even though it can't be done on the birthday. All depends on how open to these suggestions ExH would be.

PrettyPaperweight Sat 20-Jul-13 09:42:45

you have a duty to your dc to speak up if you think that parent is doing something that will harm the child - either physically or emotionally

I live in a world where emotional harm is a great deal more than making a DC do chores or failing to live up to a promise of a birthday treat!

which is why im going to test the water first pretty.
have you not read in my posts that I just think the day should be acknowledge and celebrated in some way?
doesn't have to be the theme park!
ive said numerous times im not going to bite his head off the moment he walks through the door and instead will just casually mention it.
if that is being controlling,involved in their lives,bitter and hateful towards stepmums then so be it.
cant understand why you keep banging on about the same old things when ive clearly stated a hundred times that it wont be like that and that is not the ways things have ever been between us.
and for the record I think its more his responsibility towards his son than any problem I have towards her(which is none).

bootsycollins Sat 20-Jul-13 09:44:29

The op only had expectations of what her ex would be doing for ds's b'day treat as he'd mentioned Theme parks and the like previously.I agree about lowering expectations to appreciate greater but I don't think expecting a day out with his dad as a birthday treat is expecting too much. As for two birthday treats that's par for the course with kids whose parents are no longer a couple usually, it's not the kids fault it's just logistics and circumstance.

fedupofnamechanging Sat 20-Jul-13 09:53:44

Pretty, in my world breaking promises to children is harmful, if done for no good reason. As is making a child feel less important than a new partner and new baby.Even in households where the parents are still together, the arrival of a new baby has to be handled carefully. This child is about to get new siblings from both parents and already dad is making it clear that the new family takes priority, even on a day which should be about ds1

PrettyPaperweight Sat 20-Jul-13 09:56:20

As for two birthday treats that's par for the course with kids whose parents are no longer a couple usually, it's not the kids fault it's just logistics and circumstance.

Not in my experience its not! My DDs dad goes OTT for her birthday and I leave him to it - she has a quiet birthday tea at home with me, I don't get involved in the competitive parenting malarkey! Many families just can't afford it anyway!

OP Your first post did imply that you expected your ex to do what you have done previously and as you don't know if he's going to mark your DS birthday in some way then (to answer your question) I think YABVU to be pissed off with him based on what you know. It gets easier the longer you've been apart - these things won't bug you as much wink

bootsycollins Sat 20-Jul-13 10:11:16

Pretty your dd does get two b'day treats though doesn't she? I'm sure that you make an effort to make her quiet b'day tea really special.

Melon has stated repeatedly that she's not pissed off, she's just hoping that after all the years of her ex complaining that he never had ds on his actual B'day that he isn't going to use his pregnant dp as an excuse not to take him out. This is a big year for her ds, he is gaining 2 new siblings, she wants to ensure that he feels loved and important in both of his families.

PrettyPaperweight Sat 20-Jul-13 10:19:49

Melon has stated repeatedly that she's not pissed off

Um - really? Have you seem the thread title and the OP? She's not just pissed off she's "royally pissed off"!

If, of course, that means something totally different in MN speak then I'm sorry I don't know all the nuances grin

yes and I also realised early on in this thread that maybe I was over reacting slightly and would find out the facts for myself when the time comes.
im not the first person in the world to think maybe I was being a bit hasty and ive calmed down since then.
would be lovely to be as perfect as some posters on here eh?

and my op didn't imply that I expected him to do something identical to me.
but everyone reads things differently I suppose.

and we have been apart for six years and he really doesn't bug me that much but you know me better that I know myself apparently.

bootsycollins Sat 20-Jul-13 11:18:21

grin so it does

What I meant was she's not on the warpath, she's just going to gently make enquiries with ex about b'day plans

honestpointofview Sat 20-Jul-13 13:00:27

Op I am a little confused. In your original post you said " and it will be falling on a weekend when his dad has him. I presumed his dad would be happy about this and would be doing something with him and would be doing something with him as he has whinged for the last six years about how he never has him on his birthday and never gets to take him out for birthday either."

So you only presumed his father would do something and he has complained the last six years because he has not had him on his birthday.

But much later on after people criticised you, you the said his father had promised for the last couple of years to take him out and promised this year.

Maybe I am missing something but surely both of these statements can not be true? Either he has not had him last six years and has been complaining about that and he just presumed he would do this year or he has been promising to take him out and failed to so last six years and this year.

Inertia Sat 20-Jul-13 13:05:57

OK, a suggestion for a way forward. How about you ask Ex directly what his plans are to take DS out for his birthday, because you know that he's got big plans based on past comments, and you want to make sure that the celebration you arrange with your side of the family isn't too similar.

That's not accusatory and indicates a willingness to compromise with Ex.

RinseAndRepeat Sat 20-Jul-13 13:12:19

Your ex is out of order not to do anything with his son on his birthday.

But I think anger at the step mum is a bit misdirected. The blame lies squarely with your ex for having his priorities screwed up.

Sure she's probably a mood-swingy, mardy, whiny cow at the moment. I'm pregnant right now too and I sure as hell am all those things!

But if I ever tried to stop DP doing something with his DD, he would tell me in no uncertain terms where to go.

All that said, I don't think there's much you can do beyond mention to your ex that DS is really disappointed and leave it at that.

mathanxiety Sat 20-Jul-13 16:42:14

Oh come on math only on MN could taking your eight year old son out for a birthday treat be interpreted as some sort of "high standard" it's not. It is simply what any decent loving parent does for their child unless circumstances dictate it is impossible, and in this case they don't.

Not sure about MN, but the OP herself recounted her expenditure and the scale of her birthday treats as if she needed some sort of applause.

This child will be having a birthday treat that most children would appreciate (pizza, friends) with the OP a few days before his actual birthday anyway. She seems to be encouraging an attitude of entitlement in him. What child needs two birthday treats?

In any case, it really is up to the dad to do a birthday that he deems fit given that this year he is the one organising it. The OP has no right to feel put out that he won't be doing something she would do. They no longer live together and it does children no harm to accept that parents need not necessarily be on the same page or marching in unison in their approach to parenting as long as neither parent is abusive, and the dad here is not abusive as far as I can tell. Even when parents are living under the same roof they can and often do do things differently when they are in charge. It does children no harm to learn to live with that.

The dad has a right to do as he pleases when the DS is with him just as the OP has the right to do whatever birthday thing she wants or can afford or feels up to when the DS is with her.

Just as general advice -- as for feeling pushed aside -- an 8 year old can be roped in to help with a baby and can be made to feel important and appreciated in his role as older brother that way. It's not always what is done for a child or given to him that makes him feel loved and appreciated and valued. Giving the child the opportunity to contribute is a precious gift.

At age 8 it is important to start getting a child involved in contributing to the household in a meaningful way. Nothing helps an 8 year old older sibling bond with a new baby like being trusted with some aspect of the baby's care occasionally. He could also have some household chores. Measuring the relationship with the child in terms of what each parent gives in material terms to him will end in an attitude of entitlement on the part of the DS and regretful tears for the parents.

At 8 a child really needs to get started on putting the good of the family unit above what he himself may want. It's an important stage in developing maturity. Promising material things that he doesn't deliver is not a good thing, but it is up to the dad to try to explain this to the DS and up to the DS to wrap his head around it. It may well be that the DS will understand that this year's circumstances are different and he may well have enough maturity to get on with it regardless.

It is what contributes to the well-being of the child that counts in the long run and parents doing more than they feel comfortable with or able to provide materially is not going to do that. The quality of the relationship comes from parents investing the time it takes to train children to function well in a group, both in practical and emotional terms and this will pay the most dividends for all concerned. The quality of the relationship should never be measured in terms of what each parent contributes materially.

mathanxiety Sat 20-Jul-13 16:47:38

I think it would be a bit cruel to ask the child what he wants to do and then tell him it can't be done. What the dad should do is make some sort of plan that is feasible for him, and tell the DS what is going to happen.

He could ask him if he would like to see X film or Y, or go to X or Y place to eat (giving choices he is able and willing to provide), but asking an open ended 'What do you want to do Son?' which is followed by 'Sorry, that's off the cards' when the DS suggests EuroDisney is just playing with his mind.

mathanxiety Sat 20-Jul-13 17:02:57

it always amazes me how someone can squeeze all that wrong information out of my op math. What could be the harm of her staying at home for a while while dad takes son out? Is that REALLY too much to ask?

Yes it really is, Melon.

You are projecting massively here with no idea how your DS will react to whatever plans his father has for the day. You feel hurt. You feel let down. Your DS may not unless you put that thought into his head.
IF you have raised a child who thinks an elaborate and costly treat is a given for each birthday then shame on you. You have done your child a disservice.

Butt out of the relationship of your ex with his wife.
It is up to this man to decide how he conducts himself in his own home with his own wife and your judgeyness about the wife and about her husband is misplaced.

Butt out of the relationship the DS has with his dad.
It is up to the dad to parent his DS as he sees fit unless he abuses him, and sorry to bust your bubble Melon, but not putting on a birthday treat of the calibre that you provide is not abuse.
Breaking promises is abusive, but you have no idea how the DS will react and you have not told how the father treats his DS outside of birthdays.

It is unreasonable to expect anyone no longer in a relationship with you to do anything your way and hopefully you have not contributed to any disappointment the DS may feel (though maybe he will not) about the birthday and will not badmouth the father about this to your DS. I have no reason to believe you will.

You really need to set your own feelings aside here and let your DS lead.

mathanxiety Sat 20-Jul-13 17:03:16

And let the dad handle this himself as he sees fit.

OHforDUCKScake Sun 21-Jul-13 08:48:08

Sorry to bump this thread again but something has dawned on me.

Imagine the following as an AIBU thread:

AIBU to want my DP to not take his son out for his birthday because Im big and pregnant?

Im pregnant with my first baby, my DP has an 8 year old son from a previous relationship. Im not due just yet but Im big, hot and uncomfortable.
The thing is, its my DSS's birthday this weekend and DSS wanted DP to take him to a theme park but I dont want to go, Im hot and heavy and my feet are killing me, we can all just stay in as a family and DP can give him a present. Thats not unreasonable is it? DSS's mum hasnt said anything, but we get on well so I dont think she will go mad. It just works out that DSS is with us when its his birthday. I mean, he is 8 years old he cant expect to celebrate every birthday can he?

(i didnt have the bollocks to name change and do it as an actual thread. It would so obviously of been a troll and I dont know what Id do if I was banned. Probably get a life <shudders>)

PrettyPaperweight Sun 21-Jul-13 09:24:20

ducks I think you've missed the point.

The OP was asking whether she is BU by being pissed off at her ex and his DW for not planning an excursion for her DS birthday - not whether stepmum is BU by not wanting to go out.

An 8 year old has told his mum that his Dad told him that his SM isn't up to walking round a theme park - and the SM is being slated by the OP and others. There are threads every day from outraged parents who react to their DCs account if what a teacher has said, and the overwhelming advice is not to take the DCs word for it. Funny how a SM isn't given the same benefit of the doubt, isn't it?!?

bochead Sun 21-Jul-13 10:59:17

All sounds a bit bonkers.

Dad may have a wonderful day at home planned for him for all you know(8 hour session with Dad on the games console + junk food would be most 8 year olds idea of heaven as an example, though it's not a good every day thing to do & not something most Mums would fancy participating in).

If he really does nothing, then at 8 your child is plenty big enough to tell him off himself! I actually think it's a good thing that you are doing the social activity and dad is doing something quieter - variety being the spice of life and all that.

It's nice for children to see that key events can be celebrated in a range of ways. You have no idea if he'll be able to afford a £30K wedding bash or just a registry office and pub lunch in adulthood. Learning that you don't always have to be flashy is a GOOD life lesson. It also makes a child appreciate the flashy stuff when it does come round that bit more.

Let dad be responsible for his own relationship with his child> If he cocks up, he'll have to fix it. To do otherwise is to a/ drive yourself nuts & b/ risk damaging your OWN relationship with the child over the long term. You'll make the odd parenting mistake, and learn from it, as will his dad. That's just human nature & the perfect parent doesn't actually exist. So long as you both do your best you'll do OK.

As he gets older his relationship with both of you will fluctuate and adjust anyway, (esp in the terrible teens!) just as it would have done had you stayed together. The important thing is that he knows he is loved by both of you, and that you are consistent in your respective parenting styles.

Tuckshop Sun 21-Jul-13 11:42:01

I didn't think a theme park had been mentioned. The ex had moaned for years that he doesn't have him on his birthday, refuses to take time off to do that even though its offered and now he has the opportunity is saying he won't be doing anything as his dp is pregnant.

I totally get why you melon, and more importantly, an 8 year old would be upset by that.

This is a chance for his Dad to show him how important he is at a time when he is about to have new siblings in both households. And if his Dad or his stepmum dont understand how that may affect him, then I think melonman is justified in bring concerned.

This is nothing to do with wanting things her way, or wanting to control. I totally get where you are coming from melonman.

Boomba Sun 21-Jul-13 12:36:25

i think its a good idea to speak to your X and see what he has planned for ds's birthday...if they are really going to do nothing then I would keep ds at home for his birthday and do something with him

PrettyPaperweight Sun 21-Jul-13 12:43:15

now he has the opportunity is saying he won't be doing anything as his dp is pregnant

That's not the case though - the OP made it clear that she is basing her reaction on the statement of her 8 year old DS who has said "Dad days we won't be doing anything because SM can't go on rides".

Sounds like the 8 year old has jumped to conclusions in response to Dad explaining that they may not be able to do what Mum has done over the last few years - but hey, noone really knows, do they?
The OP is "royally pissed off" on the basis of her DS interpretation - lets hope her DS never misrepresents life with Mum to his Dad; after all, DS should always be believed without question!

Tuckshop Sun 21-Jul-13 12:55:30

She isn't believing him without question, she has said she is going to discuss it. And she says this isn't the first incident that has caused her concern. Perhaps he is actually telling it as is - not all children misinterpret stuff.

mathanxiety Sun 21-Jul-13 19:34:36

The ex had moaned for years that he doesn't have him on his birthday, refuses to take time off to do that even though its offered and now he has the opportunity is saying he won't be doing anything as his dp is pregnant. I totally get why you melon, and more importantly, an 8 year old would be upset by that. [Tuckshop]

An 8 year old would only be upset by all of the above if he knew about it. If either of these parents has been whining about it to him or encouraging him to whine about it to them, then that parent is a poor parent.

And yes, wanting things your way when you are talking about a completely separate household, and wanting to control are completely wrong.

If the shoe was on the other foot and her ex was expecting her to do something she didn't want to because of some condition of her H, or go to expense she couldn't afford or whatever, no doubt the OP would resent that sticking in of the oar on the part of her ex, and rightly so.

And, importantly, there is no way she should be discussing birthday plans with anyone except the dad here. Using a child as a source of information about the other parent or his/her plans is a bad thing to do, not because information is unreliable, but because this is a matter for the adults to deal with as adults and co-parents.

Whether the OP supports the dad's B-day plans or not, she needs to respect his right to have some or to have none and she needs to make it clear to her DS that he needs to accept whatever dad has in mind for the B-day, and not undermine the father by any sort of complaint to the DS, remark about the stepmother to the DS, etc. She would expect the same courtesy herself from the father when it comes to her decisions and family/relationship circumstances, I am sure.

mathanxiety Sun 21-Jul-13 19:43:07

I would take the DC's word - but this isn't the point either. The point is this is between the adults and as co-parents they need to back each other up.

The OP needs to get a grip here and realise the DS's life will not be ruined by having only one birthday celebration this year.

She is already providing a birthday celebration for the DS with friends, and expecting her ex to provide another. If she lets the child know that she expects that she is going to spoil him and risk undermining his relationship with his father.

OHforDUCKScake Sun 21-Jul-13 19:47:54

I havent missed the point at all paperweight my questions (both of which have gone unanswered bar one (?)) was to those who were saying the OP was U because she should 'let them be a family', 'let the child learn that he cant always have it his way' 'that mother should except its nothing to do with her' etc etc.

They are off the top of my head but if toy like ai can do direct quotes if you cannot remember all of the YABU replies?

Once again, no one could answer my first question nor my later AIBU question. <shrugs> point proved.

Anyway, bored of proving myself on this thread, time to move on. smile

mathanxiety Sun 21-Jul-13 19:59:58

DUCKS, I would say yanbu to that one, particularly if you revealed that the DSS was going to have a birthday celebration provided by his mother.

If it also emerged that you were going to provide a cake and candles and maybe a favourite dinner of the DS then I don't think anyone would raise an eyebrow, and in fact a lot of people would wonder why the DSS felt he was entitled to a theme park trip or any trip anywhere for the day.

Bottom line of my response would be, this isn't going to scar the child for life (or come even close to it) unless the mother chooses to blow it out of proportion and involve the DS in her resentful attitude towards the ex and her very strange competitive attitude to dealing with pregnancy.

Tuckshop Sun 21-Jul-13 20:01:20

An 8 year old is well able to feel upset about a much promised birthday celebration not taking place without any influence! And of course he is going to come home and talk about things his Dad has said to him, that's just normal chat after seeing the other parent.

She doesn't come across to me as someone who is even going to kick up a fuss, or insist on anything. She sounds lovely.

mathanxiety Sun 21-Jul-13 20:21:32

Yes, he is old enough to be disappointed, but that wasn't my point. (He is old enough to deal with disappointment imo, fwiw, but that wasn't my point either, at least not in my last few posts.)

My point was, has he heard the promises or is the OP the only one who heard them?

If he hasn't heard the promises then he shouldn't be expecting what the mother has provided over the years. In order for him to be disappointed without the dad ever saying anything directly to him, someone else would have had to tell him about the promises.

Yes, he is going to talk about things his dad has said or things that have struck him, but a responsible co-parent wouldn't pursue any sort of a line of questioning unless something that was said indicated there was abuse going on. I'm sure she wouldn't want the ex asking questions about her and how she chooses to parent the DS when he makes innocent remarks to his dad when he is spending time with him.

As a divorced co-parent you have to step back and let the other parent do his or her best as long as there isn't abuse or neglect and let the relationship of the other parent with the children develop without interference, leaving aside your own feelings about what your child deserves or needs. If you suspect abuse or neglect that is a different story.

bootsycollins Sun 21-Jul-13 21:45:25

Has melon been back to tell us what her ex said about b'day plans yet?

olidusUrsus Mon 22-Jul-13 05:58:24

Cannot believe the responses you have had on this thread melon, how disgusting of his father to let him down after finally taking up the opportunity to have DS on his birthday.

Unfortunately there's not much you can do to stop your ex breaking his promise. Something tells me your poor DS is probably used to it. I hope he has an extra special birthday with you to make up for it.

I'd approach ex just to confirm that he's a flaky bastard so DS isn't sat there hoping in vain for his dad to get into gear.

My understanding of the whole 'dad having him on his birthday' was that the ex had asked to have him, said no when OP offered, and then complained the next year about the previous year and the cycle just started all over again. Have I got that wrong?

well spoke to ex.
said(casually in passing,NOT mentioning theme park as some people seem to be so focused on that)
'well you have ds on birthday at last.doing anything nice?'
ex replied'well as im getting him a wii game for his birthday thought he could stay in a play that.ive got other things I need to pay for at the moment'.
mentioned that I was taking him out with friends the day before and he said'well why dont you do that on his actual birthday instead and I will bung you twenty quid towards it'.
im just:0 really.
on top of that ds said that dad plonked him in front of the wii all day yesterday while he helped next door neighbours turf their garden.

LittleBearPad Mon 22-Jul-13 06:19:47

Melons sad

He really hasn't stepped up here has he. Birthday treats don't have to cost money so he could have come up with a lovely day but chooses instead to 'bung you £20 towards something'.

Take DS out on his birthday and I hope you had a fabulous time.

LittleBearPad Mon 22-Jul-13 06:20:07

*had was meant to be have

and no olidus you haven't got it wrong.
glad to see you and most others have read my posts how they were written and not chosen to add lib where they felt like it.

thank you little bear.
have decided that there really isn't much I can do about the situation except be the best mum to my boy that I can and let him know that he will never be pushed out by me.
to be honest,i don't know why I expected anything else as one of the reasons I ended our relationship was his laziness and tight-fistedness with our son all those years ago.

Well - he never gets to moan about birthdays again, I'd argue...

How disappointing - and worrying, given his focus seems to be on the new baby at the expense of his existing DS. But on the plus side - you've got him on the day and can take him out.

Ezio Mon 22-Jul-13 12:02:06

Well Melon, whenever he moans remind him this moment, tight fisted bastard, i cant afford much for DD, but im taking her out for a picnic and adventure, and then maybe a barbeque in the garden and dip in the new paddling pool.

DeWe Mon 22-Jul-13 14:16:55

Mybe ds is happy with what is arranged.

Last summer I asked my dc to choose a day each. They were 11, 8 and 5yo. We have theme parks locally and I didn't put any money limit on what they asked for. We had:
Dd1: Make cakes in the morning, go for lunch at a cafe (which is a volunteer run one and cheap-costs me around £5 for all of us) and spend the afternoon playing Monopoly and other board games.
Dd2: Go into town and spend a voucher she had. Spend the afternoon sewing on my sewing machine, and have lemonade and cola for dinner.
Ds: Play tennis is the morning and go to the park for a picnic (including ice cream) in the afternoon.

At the end of the holidays they voted to do dd1's day again as the "best day of the holidays". We'd had days out at theme parks, at the beach, among other places, we'd had friends round, days doing craft stuff all afternoon.

It's sometimes the simple things they like best.

olidusUrsus Mon 22-Jul-13 14:33:29

DeWe but your daughter got to do a planned, thought out and special birthday activity with her family. I agree simple treats are often the best fun too, but OP's ex is proposing a day sat infront of the Wii, which is what the DS always does on his contact days. Poor sod.

olidusUrsus Mon 22-Jul-13 14:34:09

Sorry, holiday activity, not birthday.

bootsycollins Mon 22-Jul-13 15:34:45

Melon I hope you and ds have a really lovely day celebrating his b'day. It's a shame that your ex is a lazy, selfish cunt but your ds is so lucky to have such a devoted mum thanks

thanks for the support and advice ladies.Flowers

Tuckshop Tue 23-Jul-13 07:40:50

So he's not even fussed about doing anything with him on his birthday. You poor ds. It's hard to sit back and watch that happen isn't it? Both my girls have been pushed out by their Dads new gf, and him as he is allowing it, and to watch them hurt and cry over it is unbearable.

He's lucky to have you - hope he has a brilliant birthday.

ProphetOfDoom Tue 23-Jul-13 08:33:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mathanxiety Wed 24-Jul-13 06:04:00

Looking at it another way -- the DS is having a birthday celebration and is also getting a wii game. Has he said he wants more? Or are you assuming he wants more? Does he not like the wii? Has he said he wants to spend the whole day with his dad and not play the wii game?

You have definite feelings about the ex but unless your DS has said he is disappointed then I don't think you can assume he shares your disappointment.

there really isn't much I can do about the situation except be the best mum to my boy that I can and let him know that he will never be pushed out by me.
Hopefully you will not plant the seed in your DS's head that he is being pushed out by his dad and the stepmum.

LittleBearPad Wed 24-Jul-13 06:15:59

Come on Math why are you apologising for the Dad. He's being crap. An 8 year olds birthday should involve more than sitting in front of the wii all day, especially as this is what he does on his other contact days. Is it too much to ask for a parent to come up with something a bit more special. Your expectations seem pretty low.

SpiderCharlotte Wed 24-Jul-13 06:39:37

If my ex makes promises to our DCs I don't expect him to let them down. Nothing to do with interfering/bitterness or whatever else people like to make up, its about not making promises you are unwilling to fulfill.

mathanxiety Wed 24-Jul-13 06:43:17

I'm not apologising.

The DS is having a birthday celebration and is getting a gift of a wii game.

I have 5 DCs, four of whose birthdays fall within a four week period right at the end of school They have spent most of their birthdays in school. As they got older they often spent their birthdays either doing an exam or studying for an exam coming up the next day. The one whose birthday falls in summer has always got exactly the same kind of birthday treat everyone else has had - dinner of choice plus cake of choice afterwards. They have each received a gift from parents and from godparents and grandparents, when they were alive. Having five of them makes you focus on keeping it real, expense wise. Having a job means nobody gets to do much that is special on a birthday even if it falls in summer.

I have an ex who has provided exactly one pack of cards for the DCs to amuse themselves with when they visit. There is a tv and a dvd player but he uses those too. I provide the dvds and pack books and used to pack markers and drawing paper. I also pack clothes because exH doesn't keep any at his place because I can't afford to buy two sets and if it was up to ex he would trawl through dumpsters for castoffs for them. At one point I was doing this every second friday for four DCs.

Nothing exH does or doesn't do is anywhere close to abuse and though it pains me to see the DCs head off with long faces and come home hopping off the walls from drinking coke all weekend off they have to go every second friday, and it is up to exH to either speak to them or spend his two days with them on his computer or patting his dog or out running. All I can do is hope he come to his senses now that there are three DCs no longer in touch with him or visiting voluntarily, having outgrown visitation. If he doesn't, then he stands to lose the other two once they are old enough not to go. The DCs lose out on having a father who actually spends time with them and expresses an interest in their lives. But ultimately he is the loser because they do not want to share all of that with him. They have me at home and it evens out.

I suspect the DS here will decide to cut his dad out of his life if it becomes clear to him that he is a nuisance or that his dad is not willing to spend time with him. Up to then all Melons can do is hope things will change for the better and stand back. Bad and all as the dad sounds he is not abusing the DS here -- having a horrible, lazy personality isn't a crime. And he does have expenses coming up. Too bad he seems to be unable to pay attention to the big picture and understand all of his responsibilities, not just the most obvious, but for Melons the big picture has to mean letting that relationship develop however it is fated to develop and to offer a shoulder to cry on. Planting ideas will come back to bite her in the bum. She needs to play the long game here and not try to score points.

'well you have ds on birthday at last.doing anything nice?'
This is a tone calculated to put someone in the defensive and limit constructive communication about the matter at hand. It's a cheap shot.

Compensating for the deficiencies of the dad with material things or big days out is not a good idea either. I hope Melons is on her guard against that.

LittleBearPad Wed 24-Jul-13 06:50:29

I'm sorry but this 8 year old doesn't have siblings (yet) or any exams either. Birthday treats don't have to cost much either; it doesn't have to involve a theme park. The XH is being shit.

math you really are grasping at straws now.
just let it go.
I have.

mathanxiety Wed 24-Jul-13 07:05:26

Deleted these paragraphs by accident:

When they have a birthday on a visitation weekend they get dinner and cake provided by exH. I am invited to dinner at exH's for the birthday celebration and he is invited to my place for the celebration if I have them for a weekend birthday. Most birthdays fall midweek. exH gets invited to come to dinner and cake. If a party is planned both parents are involved in the planning and both come to it. ExH and I have planned two parties each for each DC.

When they were all small I was pregnant or dealing with an ever growing number of small children when the birthdays of the first four fell. The first four were all born within four weeks of each other calendar-wise, over a span of 8 years, 1990 to 1998. I was 37 to 41 weeks pg three years and had babies or toddlers to deal with the rest of the time. When DD2 turned 3 I had a week old baby. DD1 put up with 8 birthdays when it really stretched me to make her special dinner and whatever cake took her fancy. When I was pregnant the last time and due in August I had gestational diabetes and anemia and wasn't up to much even though I wasn't about to pop for anyone's birthday that year.

They all love their birthday celebrations and have also loved and appreciated the two parties each they have had with schoolfriends. It is not all about the amount you spend on a birthday or how long you get to spend with the child on their day. Family togetherness and having a little peace of mind that your parents are not fighting over it go a long way to making a birthday truly about the child.

isn't you and your family and how you live your life wonderful math?
we are not you fortunately.
I can honestly say ive never met someone so preachy and pleased with themselves.
talk about dog with a bone.

mathanxiety Wed 24-Jul-13 07:11:46

The DS will shortly have two siblings and will need to adjust his expectations of parental attention. He doesn't have four siblings yet. But he might end up with a good few more. What happens if next year one of his siblings is ill on his birthday?

Life happens and not all of it is going to scar a child. Most people with siblings have learned at some point that they can only have what is realistic. Most children of divorced parents get an inkling at some point why exactly mum couldn't live with dad any more.

what an amazing expert on everything you are.

mathanxiety Wed 24-Jul-13 07:22:16

I think you are getting a little snippy there Melons but heyho.

I am in a similar situation to you except I have more children to juggle and possibly less money to lavish.

It's not smug to advise someone who is trying to co-parent to do unto others what you would like done to yourself. If you wouldn't like your ex putting an oar in about your choices wrt the DS's b-day then don't do it to him.

Otherwise you need to ask yourself if it's really about the child or if you are still fighting about whatever it was that split you up.

There are other ways of fighting besides trying to make someone put on more of a celebration than they are willing to for whatever reason. Maybe the ex knows about the expense that has been spent on the trips etc. that have been provided up to now and wonders if you are doing all this to show him up? How would you feel if your ex was the one who did what you have been doing and you couldn't afford to or suffered ill health and couldn't be out for a day?

In general:

Fighting about a DC's birthday or other child-related matter should never reach that child's ears.
Planting expectations or other suggestions about the absent parent is not on no matter how horrible he is.
The other parent will always be your child's parent and your child will always carry half his DNA no matter how deficient he is.
Don't compensate with material things.

im not still fighting though am I math.
you are.
ive let it go.
this has become the 'math and how her style of parenting is far superior to anyone elses' thread.
im just finding it a bit amusing now.
pass me the popcorn someone?

PrettyPaperweight Wed 24-Jul-13 08:14:44

An 8 year olds birthday should involve more than sitting in front of the wii all day, especially as this is what he does on his other contact days. Is it too much to ask for a parent to come up with something a bit more special

Perfect parenting still rife I see!

Spend a week with the DCs and families I meet every day and then, perhaps, your expectations of parents (separated or otherwise) may change.

I remember once spending a day discussing 'child protection' and the facilitator warning us not to apply our own values to other families parenting choices. She used the example of a newly qualified professional that she was responsible for who wrote up a report because the DCs she'd visited didn't have free access to a fruit bowl in their home.
Failing to Celebrate a birthday by 'doing something special' isn't child abuse or neglect. When parents separate, they lose any influence they had on the way in which the other parent raises their child unless there is abuse or neglect.
Yes, it's frustrating when your DC is disappointed by their other parents behaviour, or has seen/done/heard something you didn't want them to. But that's the reality of separated parenting.

I guess it's easier for me; I have to stand by and watch my DSC being screwed up by their parents without being able to do a thing about it - in comparison, the way my ex parents my DD doesn't seem quite so bad!

mathanxiety Thu 25-Jul-13 04:11:55

I think you are still fighting Melon.
You asked 'casually', though you knew from DS what the answer would be:
'well you have ds on birthday at last.doing anything nice?'
How was that supposed to advance the business of peaceful co-parenting?

mathanxiety Thu 25-Jul-13 04:17:39

No matter what sort of low life your ex is you don't have to stoop to the same level as him in order to communicate.

You do not normally get anywhere with people by game playing, which is what that was. It's too easy when you do that to be dismissed as a bitter, snide nag who likes point scoring more than honest discussion of things that come up.

It's always a better choice to be principled and to use direct and businesslike speech.

LittleBearPad Thu 25-Jul-13 08:15:09

Math. You are over thinking this A LOT.

Tuckshop Thu 25-Jul-13 10:21:04

She asked him what his plans were casually. That sounds to me like the sort of small talk you'd make with someone at the school gate. Nothing else.

And she didn't know the answer already. She was checking out that her ds wasn't misunderstanding things. IMO she was giving her ex opportunity to prove her wrong about what she suspected and actually finding out the facts direct from the horses mouth.

I don't get why you seem to be wanting to make melon out to be the bad guy.

mathanxiety Thu 25-Jul-13 23:58:15

She used the phrase 'at last' in reference to his years of carping about not having the DS on his birthday. She basically put it up to him that he might have some sort of big plan -- while all the time she suspected that he didn't because the DS had told her what was afoot. A neutral way to ask the question would have been, 'Are you making any plans for DS's birthday?' but she said, 'well you have ds on birthday at last.doing anything nice?'

So yes, that is game playing, and by definition it is not behaviour or a communication style that puts the child first. It is a way of carrying on an old fight. The conflict has morphed into one where the child's birthday celebration is the occasion for the fight, but it's probably not the cause.

mathanxiety Fri 26-Jul-13 00:07:18

I am not making Melon out to be 'the bad guy'. It's possible for two people to behave badly at the same time, each in their individual way. It's possible to lose track of what is reasonable where your child is concerned and expect that your child will have not just one nice birthday treat but two, provided by separate parents. It's possible to get carried away by your current concerns and decide to follow the path of least resistance.

I have acknowledged that her ex has serious defects. I am suggesting to her that she can deal with this in a better way than the way she is dealing with it, and pointing out that bad and all though he is, he has a right to do whatever he likes with the DS on his birthday short of abuse or neglect, that she has no right to try to dictate what the ex does, and that this would be rightly resented just as interference by the ex with her plans would be rejected.

Tuckshop Fri 26-Jul-13 09:17:31

I think she's dealt with it perfectly. I would see your way as much more abrasive. She hasn't dictated that he should do anything, and seeing as he wants to bung her £20 for her to do something rather than do anything himself I'd say he just wants to opt out and is happy to do so. I think you are seeing things in this that just aren't there.

mathanxiety Sat 27-Jul-13 06:12:40

This is stated as Melon's guiding principle for divorced parents.
two parents who are separated should parent in the same way. its called consistency. if you don't have consistency in a childs life it just confuses them.

She doesn't indicate whether the parents ever sit down and decide between themselves how they will parent the child. Instead there is every indication from her other posts that she thinks she can listen to tales from the other household and make the people there perform what she considers appropriate parenting behaviour. She claims things are not like that and that she and her ex get along reasonably but her basic pronouncements on this thread bespeak an expectation that her way is the way things will be done, that her suspicions must be correct, and that people should dance to her tune.

She expects her ex to pander to her fears of the DS being pushed aside by a woman she feels isn't handling pregnancy properly vis a vis the needs of her DS.
goodness why does son have to be stuck in doors on his birthday pampering to a pregnant woman. i wouldn't expect it of him so why should she?
Parents must sing from the same sheet no matter how little consultation there has been about the approach she expects the other parent to take, and another woman must do pregnancy and mothering of her DS the way Melon does.

These are basic attitudes of Melon's. Arising from those attitudes came the anger that inspired the OP, from which she calmed down, thankfully. I think her life would be less fraught if she examined her basic attitudes and accepted the reality that her DS is not going to be treated just as she wants him to be treated when he is not with her. (Abuse and neglect aside of course -- one pot noodle all day is horrible). This kind of issue is going to surface more often as the new families all expand.

There are books on separated families that might be helpful.
'Putting Children First...' by Karen Woodall and Nick Woodall[[ 'Parenting Apart: How Separated and Divorced Parents can Raise Happy ans Secure Kids' by Christina McGhee

mathanxiety Sat 27-Jul-13 06:17:35

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