This isn't right, is it??

(30 Posts)

My husband left on NYE leaving me with two DC ages 3 and 1 yo.
He sees them every other weekend, his parents pick them up and take them to their house where H is meant to be living (he doesn't live there most of the time, does odd nights at OWs parents house, in her car, at friends etc).
He has told me he wants them in the week to which I've told him no. The children are settled and we do things in the week (swimming, tots groups, nursery etc). He would also have no where to take them.
They have come back this weekend and ILs have been telling me they've been out somewhere. All wonderful, had a lovely time, great. I asked DD (3) today who went out with them and she said daddy didn't go. I've asked her a number of times and in different ways and she's adamant daddy did not go with them because he fell asleep.
Is this right?? He sees the children EOW, apparently wants to see them more but doesn't actually spend time with them when they are there?? Is it just me or is this behaviour a little odd?

I don't necessarily think this is right or wrong.

Your children got to spend some time with their grandparents, alone. This may have been by prior arrangement, but maybe not.

I don't really see that as a bad thing. It's important that your children maintain a relationship with both yours and your ex's families, and it's not unusual for that to happen without the parents there.

If the children are settled into a routine, and he really does have no-where to take them, then stick to your guns about more access for the time being. You can look at changing it when they are older or as other circumstances change.

But honestly, as hard as it is, you have to let go of what happens when they are with your ex, over and above ensuring they are safe and well cared for.

Your kids want to see him, he wants to see them. His living arrangements sounds a little tricky but it sounds like his parents are helping to provide a stable base for them.

Obviously given the limited amount of time he has you would think he would want to spend as much time with them as he could, but should that mean his parents/ your children are denied alone time with their grandchildren/ grandparents? And sometimes things do happen which mean we can't be with our kids all the time.

If it helps, I have been in the situation. My ex has my son EOW. He had him on Valentines night. He decided to take his GF out, so dropped my son at his parents overnight so they could enjoy an evening out. He will have been well looked after and loves his grandparents. In my ex's shoes I might have made a similar decision.

I don't mind his parents being alone with them, I just think it's a bit hmm when he's told me he wants more time with them. He has a perfect opportunity to spend time with them but chooses to sleep instead.

I guess. But then you don't really know what happened do you?

Ex could have been feeling unwell. Or time with their grandparents was the plan all along but he decided he would use the time to nap.

Or maybe, at 3 and 1, the messages you get from your kids are a little confused? I know my 3 yr old says some things that are patently untrue at times because he mixes up time/ wants to answer but isn't sure etc.

Try not to conflate the two.

If he wants more time with them he is going to have to sort out his living arrangements, wait till they are a little more settled (you only split recently sad ) and possibly a little older and work round their routine. Make this your argument.

And I do get what you are trying to say.

But from his point of view he has limited time with them, but also has to carve out time for his family to maintain a relationship with your children. Maybe that's what he means when he says he doesn't get enough time?

If I know his (overbearing) mother, they don't need any time to themselves to maintain a relationship. It's very doubtful that he is doing everything he should (toilet trips, nappy changes, baths, teeth cleaning etc). He didn't do it at home so it's unlikely he's doing it there. His mother will be doing all this because he needs babying.
He left because he didn't want the responsibility and wanted to be young and free again so got with younger OW. I think the kids are a bit of an inconvenience to him, or you'd think so with the way he is. His words and his actions don't match at all!

HudYerWeisht Tue 25-Mar-14 07:41:44

It's absolutely disgusting IMHO. You can't do anything about it because whilst in his care it is up to him what your children do and we they spend time with.

However I will never understand why a NRP wouldn't want to spend as much time as possible with their child, especially when it's EOW. It's not like it's a huge commitment of time that's needed.

Like a PP said he may have been ill but even still I would expect his mother to say that.

Keep a diary and make sure you mark this down and any further instances incase he attempts court for more access. If you are on happy with your child spending one on one time with GP I'd keep quiet for now and see how things go but definitely keep a record incase you ever need the information.

bluebell8782 Tue 25-Mar-14 13:52:48

HudYerWeisht The NRP does not have to spend every waking moment with the children. It's not disgusting at all.

In order to help the children feel normal and for the whole weekend not to be a 'rushed, cram everything into it because of limited time' occasion, the NRP needs to treat the time like they would if they were living with the child full-time. Yes, there are weekends when there are treats but there are also weekends when normal, boring stuff is done. The NRP tends to treasure the time more because it is limited but it can turn into a huge emotional whirlwind (for everyone) if the parent feels they have to spend all their time together E.O.W. It can turn into a big pressure to make sure it's 'fun' and the children are happy, when really it should be relaxed like it would be if everyone was living together full-time. RP's sometimes forget that the children LIVE with the NRP E.O.W, not just visit.

The OP's case is a little different as the ex doesn't seem to have a stable base at the moment which means that E.O.W might not be working very well at the moment. I think the ex should be given the chance to take the kids to the activities if he lives close enough? Perhaps when he moves in with his girlfriend the regular E.O.W can continue?

HudYerWeisht Tue 25-Mar-14 14:10:39

To be honest when they only see their child 4.33 days a month I think it's pretty piss poor parenting to get a babysitter for the day.

HudYerWeisht Tue 25-Mar-14 14:14:13

And when he moves in with girlfriend? Don't know where you got that from but they haven't even been together 3 months and nowhere has to OP said that he is planning to move.

He stays with his parents, well at least that is his base so his living conditions only seem unstable through his own choice confused

bluebell8782 Tue 25-Mar-14 14:35:03

Not really. Getting a babysitter is a normal thing to do for a RP and so should be a normal think for a NRP. As I said above, the NRP does tend to value the time more because it is limited but it still should be treated the same as if everyone was together full-time. It's not piss-poor at all.

In the OP's case, the ex sounds like he is pushing for time with the kids. Dunno about moving in the the girlfriend, just assumed that would probably happen eventually? Perhaps he is saving up for a place on his own which will mean that his base might be unstable for the time-being.

HudYerWeisht Tue 25-Mar-14 14:44:17

Yes well the RP spends a hell of a lot more time with the DC than a NRP. So a babysitter say one night out of 26.08 isn't cutting their time with their DC by 1/4.

Dress it up how you like. It is piss poor parenting.

Russianfudge Tue 25-Mar-14 15:05:10

If he did this all the time I'd be a bit hmm but is it a one off? Maybe his mum wanted some one on one time and badgered him about it?

If you "let" him have a better contact arrangement he could spend more time and your child could have some time with granny.

I can't really think how to put this in a non-aggressive way but if we're talking about "piss poor" I don't think it is good parenting to only allow EOW contact with a child's dad. If Dad is asking for more I mean. I think your children deserve a better crack at having a relationship with Dad and that should come before an easy routine and swimming lessons etc. before swimming lessons etc.

Just my two pennies worth. Take it with a pinch of salt though, I make loads of mistakes in my Mummy role smile

HudYerWeisht Tue 25-Mar-14 15:15:46

I actually agree that EOW alongside a minimum of 1 week day/early evening or even overnight is a better option if it is workable (which often it isn't). And I also do think a babysitter for something out of the ordinary like a wedding etc is fine but to have a sleep hmm not so much.

In fact if it's manageable and in the childs best interests I think 50/50 is a good option. That rarely is sustainable although I have known a few to make it work and it's great for everyone involved.

However if you have someone saying they want to see their child more and then the next your hear they are giving up their contact time in favour of a snooze I would be seriously questioning how serious they were taking it, I also certainly wouldn't be backing more contact time for them to pass care over to somebody else.

My ex doesn't see my DD at all but his family still do. I am more than capable of being adult enough and organising contact/family time between my daughter and the other side of her family. I would not appreciate somebody doing this under the pretence of spending more time with their kid. (Just to clarify that is a general point as there is nothing to suggest that is what this man is planning to do)

Thanks for your opinions.
Just to clarify, i tell him no for more contact because we are busy in the week. He works shifts and can't guarantee one day a week that he is available. I don't think it's fair for me or my children to be told what activities they can or can't do because daddy is free.
Also, I thought I mentioned that he has no where to take them. He tells me he can't afford to get to his mums all the time (which is why he's been sleeping in OWs car). If he can't afford to get to his parents, he wouldn't be able to afford to take them out. Even if he went somewhere free like the park I wouldn't have my children sitting in a car the rest of the time. Also, what would he do regarding meals? I resent being told that my parenting is poor because more access is not practical.
I, honestly, can see this being a long term thing. Neither he nor OW are in a position to be renting a house, his parents live about 45 mins away and he's so lazy he won't be looking for a new job closer to where he has a permanent home (his mums).

Russianfudge Tue 25-Mar-14 17:39:46

Well you didn't explain all of that about why he can't have them, you said you were busy with classes etc. and that he would have no where to take them. I assumed he must have somewhere he is staying rather than in a car hmm

So when he says he wants them more in the week what is his suggestion, how would it work in his eyes?

Could you both have his shift pattern at the start of the week/ month and he could say when he can have them? He has a car so he could take them to the lessons if he has them?

I do think he's an arse for falling asleep during contact. But I also think that he's not having much of an opportunity to be a dad to have a meaningful relationship with the children.

HudYerWeisht Tue 25-Mar-14 18:14:52

And the opportunity he does have he sleeps through it.

FFS is it really that hard to say tbh he sounds like a shit Dad.

OP you are 100% not a shit parent your ex 100% sounds like he is.

Russianfudge Tue 25-Mar-14 20:48:01

I agree it's shit. I'm frequently annoyed when my ex leaves dd with mum to have a night out he could have easy arranged in time he didn't have dd which is what I usually do. But they have lots of time together so it doesn't impact on their relationship

HudYerWeisht Tue 25-Mar-14 21:07:18

I think that's it. When you actually see your child a lot and would be more inclined to see reason but when you are talking about a 1/4 of your access time I definitely get my judgy pants on.

Russianfudge Wed 26-Mar-14 08:13:36

Yes Hud but what I'm trying to say is that it isn't his fault he doesn't see them much. That doesn't make it right that he falls asleep instead of taking them out, but if he is constantly receiving the message that he will have his kids when their mum "allows" it, and that is 2 days out of 14, I can well imagine that he must be fairly clueless when it comes to being a dad and what that means. For the children it also means that if Dad is knackered/ unwell or their Gran wants to take them out on one of those precious days, that's a whole month that passes with one day with their dad.

He doesn't really know these kids, and they don't know him. He's not going to be able to know them in two weekend days a month so "what's the point"

Like I say, I don;t think his behaviour os okay. But I'm trying to think of a solution for the OP and I think it could be to give Dad more responsibility and let him run with it rather than give him the message that he's inadequate then berate him when he behaves like he's inadequate.

My DP would be devastated to only have his daughter that frequently. In fact, a few years ago she decided with mum's full backing that she wasn't going to come anymore. When she did come on the odd occasion he was like a fish out of water.

HudYerWeisht Wed 26-Mar-14 08:36:28

I can see where you are coming from but the fact of the matter is he is not in a position to take his children more at the moment and he cannot commit to a day mid week. That is his problem and it isn't up to the OP to bend over backwards and constantly change her childs schedule to fit in with him.

He has to sort it out for himself. He's a grown man. And I will say again that if you sleep during contact you are not giving the impression of actually wanting the quality time with your children.

It sounds like he is requesting it to irritate the OP tbh. If he could say I will take DC every Tuesday from x time till x time and I will take them to x place the OP would probably agree.

But as it stands it would change on a weekly basis for the likelihood to be that they will sit in his girlfriends car. Nope sorry wouldn't be happening in my world.

Russianfudge Wed 26-Mar-14 09:51:09

Depends if you look at all the chopping and changing as a favour to the man or the child. I despise my ex, but I do lots of lifts and pick ups and changes and things to make it possible for my dd to spend time with him because it's a favour to her.

I don't think this dad sounds all that feckless. OP have you asked him how he proposes to facilitate the extra contact?

HudYerWeisht Wed 26-Mar-14 11:41:49

Possibly if the chopping and changing was to spend time in a good environment but not to sit in a car though.

Russianfudge Wed 26-Mar-14 11:43:24

That's why I ask OP if he explained how he would facilitate the contact. He spends a few nights with his parents, and some with his girlfriend, so presumably it would be on those days. No, children couldn't sleep in a car - that would be one for SS.

He doesn't want to talk. He hasn't even spoken to his parents properly about this whole situation.
I don't know what to do, I won't have my children sitting in a car. If he can't afford to take them to his parents then they wouldn't be having lunch either! He can't exactly make a sandwich in the park!

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