What kind of mother am I?

(12 Posts)
katiecuckelbury Mon 20-Jul-15 09:50:37

I drove my 12 yr old dd down to London on Sat to live with her father. Mixed emotions due to:
He is living with the lodger who lied in court after he had been arrested for assault 18 months ago. She physically restrained my two children upstairs the evening he assaulted me.They denied their relationship up until recently.
I'm convinced she moved in and plotted to split us up.
We moved to Nott'm last summer (back to where I grew up) and dd said then that she wanted to live with him. 5 minutes before we left the house he called and said 'we've left this to the last minute and my flat isn't big enough so this isn't going to work, plus we haven't applied for schools and they go back soon.. blah blah...'. Look up "passive aggressive dads" and he is the epitome of this. She was devastated to say the least. she and I argued to the point that I had to explain to the neighbours what was going on do to them looking concerned outside.

3 months ago she said the same thing about wanting to move and I reacted to say - yes, I will make this happen (because I was exhausted from the friction, her in trouble at school due to not settling and her total lack of respect towards me). I emailed him and said I couldn't take the conflict at home any more and thought this was the best for her. He agreed to try it out over the summer.

So, on Saturday I drove her and her belongings down to his flat. He thinks it's a trial and all my friends and family have said 'oh don't worry - she'll be back before the end of the summer hols'. But a huge part of me knows she loves the London pace and desperately wants her father to love her / not forget about her.
She is in the position to loose her place at the Outstanding school I appealed for to get her in. Neither of them realised the importance of her education. If she did come back after September, once the honeymood period was over and rules came in to force, she would get into a sh*t school, miles away and the 4th school in 2 years due to the upheaval of us relocating due to break up.

I'm feeling extremely anxious that he won't look after her or supervise her over the summer hols. He hasn't booked any time off work. And at the same time I'm beyond exhausted and looking forward to the break. She moves at 100 miles an hour and I can't keep up with the pace. My ds (10yrs) commented on 'how less stressed' I'm going to be with her down there.
But, if anything happens to her - how can I live with the guilt, because I facilitated the move. What kind of mother does that?
I haven't cried about the whole thing because I feel numb about it all.

Finola1step Mon 20-Jul-15 09:55:14

I have no experience but I just wanted to give you flowers.

Give yourself a break. Your DD has gone to live with her other parent, not some half stranger.

Keep the door open for her. Keep telling her you love her. Spend some lovely thine with your ds.

Finola1step Mon 20-Jul-15 09:55:41

Time not thine!

katiecuckelbury Mon 20-Jul-15 10:47:24

Thank you Finola1step! Tears have finally arrived!
I think I'm almost greving for the daughter she could have been had she stayed with me.
If she stays with her father - she'll become street wise, hard nosed and won't have the ability to empathise. She has his genes, so maybe I shouldn't fight it....

Bonsoir Mon 20-Jul-15 10:51:16

Difficult. With hindsight, would you repeat your move to Nottingham after the breakdown of your marriage? Do you think that move was more upheaval than your DD could cope with?

StripeyTee Mon 20-Jul-15 10:56:58

You sound like a lovely, caring Mum in a tricky situation.

There are all sorts of scenarios that could play out from here forward, but there is only so much YOU can do.

She might come back after the summer is over - of her own will or because her father doesn't think it is working out. She might stay in London for a while or longer term. She might decide she wants to come back at some point in the future. You can't control all of what goes on. You just have to look at what you have the power to do/change in this situation and what you don't.

I think the main things you can and should do are to talk to your DD and her father and impress on them the fact that your DD needs stability. If she is going to stay with him after the summer, that needs to be the arrangement that is stuck to for a certain period (a year?). She needs a stable school place and a stable home, with a proper arrangement for when she will see you and her brother.

Other than that, as a pp said - you just let her know you love her, you are there for her, you communicate regularly and you stay in touch with her father to get updates on how she is doing.

And yes, give yourself a break. She is with her dad! x

katiecuckelbury Mon 20-Jul-15 11:02:28

We moved to London for her fathers job 4 years ago, so she knows this area and had previous friends.
She had counselling and discussed the enormity of last year and I explained that her parents should have split up years ago. He wasn't a father - he lived a bachelor lifestyle from day one.
I would have moved up yes. I am so much happier here - near family and friends. I kept my London job (working from home 3 days / in the office 2 days a wk) so have that stability and also live in the countryside away from the hustle and bustle - but obviously the opposite of what dd wants.
I could not have afforded to stay in London and ex never offered to help pay for accommodation down there. When he found out we were moving, all he said to dd was 'well, I'll miss you'.

Bonsoir Mon 20-Jul-15 11:07:01

While I understand your motives for moving I think that your DD has good reasons for wanting to be in London and that you need to be clear in your own mind that you are you and she is she and your lifestyle preferences don't coincide. DC of separated parents are sometimes afforded lifestyle choices that DC whose parents live together don't have.

katiecuckelbury Mon 20-Jul-15 11:09:15

Bonsoir: "DC of separated parents are sometimes afforded lifestyle choices that DC whose parents live together don't have."

You've hit the nail on the head for what I needed to hear to turn myself around. Thank you x

Bonsoir Mon 20-Jul-15 11:12:10

Good luck!

katiecuckelbury Mon 20-Jul-15 11:18:02

StripyTee - I've asked him to sign a residency order in Sept if she stays.

He's literally just sent an email stating he can claim maintenance off me now she is living with him....! (she's been there 2 days!) He's worked out the difference between what he can claim off me and what I can claim off him for ds and the difference is a pittance.
Looks like he is serious about her staying there - unless he's calling my bluff....

BPDhistory Mon 20-Jul-15 11:39:06

It sounds like you are trying to do the best for your family.

I do have a friend who did something similar..Her daughter did come home she missed her mum care..She is still an angry girl though and figured out her Dad doesn't care.

I think the best you can do is continue to support her. Let her know you love her and there will always be a room for her.

I think though if she does want to come back to you then you need to ensure she understands until she completes school she has to stay in the same location.

I can't imagine how emotionally draining it must be

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