i've lost all sight of what is fair in this situation.

(32 Posts)
Booyhoo Mon 18-Mar-13 14:31:09

two dcs with EXP aged 7 and 3. until 1 month ago EXP was in the forces and DC have always lived with me. even when EXP lived with me he was away 90% of the time and it is fair to say i have been the majority care giver. EXP lives 7 miles away and shares a car with his fiancee who has two jobs and uses the car to get to her jobs. i am currently unemployed but am in the process of registering as a CMer (which has been delayed for various reasons including my LL dragging his feet on work being done in the house) i'm also trying to set up a small business for evenings and weekends and the decision to do so was based entirely on the fact that EXP told me he was leaving his job and would be at home full time and would be having the dcs every other weekend friday- sunday and at least 1 weeknight every week. if i hadn't thought i would have this support with the dcs i would not have done my course and invested what little money i have in it, including paying out for childcare at the time.

so EXP came home over a month ago and there has been no mention of what days/times he wants to have the dcs for the EOW arrangement.

i texted today asking if he had any idea what he wanted and he said that he will be starting a new job in a few weeks so wont be able to have the dcs during the week. i said ok, but you can have them until you start the new job so what days. he said he is helping someone out during the days at the minute so cant have the dcs but that he would have a bit of money for me (i dont want this to be about money but yes i am struggling since he left his job so i'm grateful that i will be getting something).

however i'm feeling very frustrated. it makes sens that if EXp is working that the dcs stay here. the school is behind my house. it is silly to insist that he gets up earlier to drop them in here in the mornings and especially if he is having to share a car with his partner and she is already at work. however the bit i'm struggling with is, what if i was to have a job, would i suddenly be less obligated to have my dcs overnight? and how about when i am CMing? i will of course look after my own children but surely half of the childcare should be his responsibility and if he expects me to do his half (which clearly he does) then should i lose income because of it? i can only look after so many children and having my own two here means two less paid mindees. again, of course i will look after my own dcs rather than EXP sending them somewhere else but his income isn't being affected because he has children, nor is he having to worry about childcare.

also, i was depending on EXP having the dcs at least 1 evening a week so that i could get my business up and running. it will require me to be able to leave the house and have clients in which isn't practical if i'm having to do baths and bed time and get drinks for dcs etc. exp had told me he would be there for me and he knew my plans for this business so knew what childfree time i would need. obviously i am glad that he is working, he shouldn't be prevented from working because he has children but i'm feeling that i am being taken for granted as his childcare and that he is free to have whatever career path he chioses yet i know if i chose to WOH full time like he is then i would carry the full weight of the childcare costs.

can someone please tell me what is fair and if i should be asking for a bit more help or not? i feel like i am he one still making all teh sacrifices when i honestly thought that him being home full time would mean i could start getting my life back.

IneedAgoldenNickname Mon 18-Mar-13 14:48:54

I don't know what is legally our morally right and fair, but wanted to say, I hear ya!

Ex had the DC when it suits him, and doesn't turn up if he's ill/gets offered overtime at work. Actually that's fine with me, because I love being with them.

BUT when I'm sick, I have to manage, or arrange someone else to have them. I have to arrange childcare when I'm at nursery/uni interviews. Provided I get into uni, I'll have to find childcare for those days, plus when I'm on placement.

It doesn't seem like a fair balance, but I refuse to ask him to have them more as he'll cancel at the last minute to spite me and/or hold it against me.

Booyhoo Mon 18-Mar-13 14:53:51

that's what i'm up against too. he will fail to turn up or refuse to have them if i make it clear that i need him to. i feel like i cant even commit to starting my business because i cant be sure i have childcare. i know it sounds very childish but it just doesn't feel very fair.

IneedAgoldenNickname Mon 18-Mar-13 15:24:03

I agree, it's not fair, but I don't know what the solution is! sad

It's not fair. sad But I don't know what the answer is.

Booyhoo Mon 18-Mar-13 15:32:09

i've texted EXP saying basically the gist of my OP and asking him how he thought it was fair that he has 2 children and is unrestricted in what job he can do and has no childcare to pay whilst i have teh same 2 children and am restricted either by what EXP says he will do or by the cost of childcare. i dont know what i'm hoping for tbh.

Booyhoo Mon 18-Mar-13 16:07:08

Wow!! i'm actually in shock at the response i've had from Exp.

he said that because i'm the one that asked him to leave that he shouldn't have to give up anything and that the government pays me to be at home! i asked him if he thought i shouldn'e be entitled to make a living for myself beyond what the state gives me. and he has replied that i need to get a man to help me out and that his partner looks after our dcs when he isn't there so it's really not his fault that i have no-one to look after the dcs!

shock

IneedAgoldenNickname Mon 18-Mar-13 16:09:39

What a twat!

MrsMcEnroe Mon 18-Mar-13 16:19:31

Oh my god. What an arsehole.

I'm so sorry OP.

Can you turn it around on him, get a solicitor, apply for shared custody and get an agreement drawn up (and court-ordered) that he WILL have the DCs a set number of nights per week, or is this not possible/legal?? (Sorry, don't know the legalities here but worth investigating maybe??)

It's bloody rubbish for you. It is 100% unfair. Bet you're glad he's your ex ...

Booyhoo Mon 18-Mar-13 16:25:43

i've replied taht i didn't make an agreement with another man that he would have my dcs in evenings so i could work, that i made it with him and that he agreed knowing i was going back to college on that basis and investing money in it. he is saying that it would mean him collecting dcs at half 7 at night and leaving them back with me at 7am which of course woudl be unfair on the dcs so i have asked him to think about what he would do if i didn't exist and he had to work and sort teh dcs. i'm hoping he'll see taht he would have to agree with family to care for dcs or pay a childcare provider and tehn we can negotiate from that point that he will either sort childcare for 50% of the week whilst he's working or compensate me for loss of income (once i am working) for those 2.5 days that he chooses to send the dcs to me. i dont think we'll get to taht point though. i feel i will have to go down teh solicitor route as i am really resenting just having to suck it up and put all my own plans on teh back burner.

God he's an utter tool.

colditz Mon 18-Mar-13 16:35:12

He is being unfair, but there is not a law in the land that will make a non resident parent even SEE their children, unfortunately. I suggest you make sure you get 20% of his net income, because that is what you are entitled to.

Booyhoo Mon 18-Mar-13 16:38:05

he's the sort of man who will never be without a woman. before he was with his fiancee he had his mother collect our dcs, he still does when his fiancee is busy. he needs women to do all those dull jobs like his washing, his cooking his child rearing etc. it is convenient for him that i haven't worked for a few years. he doesn't like that the free childcare is ending.

Booyhoo Mon 18-Mar-13 16:39:18

no doubt even if i manage to get him taking teh dcs, it will be his partner that does the care.

Viviennemary Mon 18-Mar-13 16:49:42

It certainly isn't fair that there should be a change of plans by your ex which has now thrown your plans into disarray. Not quite sure what the solution is. I think you should let him know in a calm way that you were relying on him. He is the one who has made things difficult by changing his mind. Not you. I don't think you can count on him for reliable childcare by the sound of it.

Booyhoo Mon 18-Mar-13 16:59:51

yes the texts have been calm and i said that his actions (now refusing to have the dcs) have meant i cant continue with the original plan. he knows he has let me down. no i dont think i can count on him but i've been to soft in the past and i'm not ready to give up on this one yet. i cant build a business with him turning up randomly to have the dcs. he might think he's still helping me out doing that but it isn't helpful when i cant plan clients even a few days in advance. i need a fixed arrangement. even if he doesn't agree to having them during the week i want fixed times agreed for the EOW arrangement.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 18-Mar-13 19:06:20

I would regroup and turn this on it's head. Stop talking about your need to work and make it about your DCs need to develop and maintain a relationship with their father in a regular and planned way. After all contact is about the children's needs so this is the route I would go down.

Booyhoo Mon 18-Mar-13 19:43:31

you're right. it should be about what is best for the dcs and throughout it always has been that which i've been encouraging i just got so excited about finally being able to do something for me and when i realised that he was letting me down again i got pissed off. i dont know why i ever believed him anyway. i've texted him with suggested times for the EOW arrangement and he has agreed to that so at least i have times and might be able to plan a little bit for the weekends the dcs arent here. it does sound like EXP doesn't intend to see them between times though which is quite a long time. but that's up to him to think about. i cant force him.

BranchingOut Tue 19-Mar-13 17:18:10

Any update OP?

Booyhoo Tue 19-Mar-13 17:57:07

no, nothing further since the last update that he has agreed times for the EOW arrangement. i dont know whether to just accept that this is the arrangement we have and resent the loss of income or try and get him to take on more responsibility for the dcs.

mumandboys123 Tue 19-Mar-13 18:13:29

I try and see it as any income is positive, even if I'm having to pay out for childcare whilst he pays for nothing. I even pay for childcare on 'his' time because he can't be trusted to not change things/disappear/decide not to turn up for a few weeks. I can't afford to lose my job and with three children, getting them back into childcare at school would be impossible - there's a waiting list for most nights in the afterschool club.

Don't let it eat you up. You have the best of your children. You're doing your best by them by trying to juggle everything and earn a living at the same time. It may take years for them to realise, but at some point in the future, the penny will drop with them just who bothered about them and who didn't.

Sheila Tue 19-Mar-13 18:19:10

It is totally unfair, but I think you need to find a solution that doesn't depend on him. Do you have a friend or relative who could sit for you one night a week?

Booyhoo Tue 19-Mar-13 18:29:09

yes i cant let it eat at me because there isn't a fair solution available to me so it would be wasted energy.

no-one who could sit for me at the moment. everyone has families of their own to be getting to bed etc. i cant afford to pay anyone for evening babysitting at the minute so i will focus on what i can do during the weekends they aren't here and maybe get to a point where a babysitter is an option or i might be able to have clients in once they are settled to sleep. the 7 year old is not a worry but the 3 year old can be unpredictable and could decide to wake up when i am with a client.

BranchingOut Tue 19-Mar-13 21:12:41

If I was going to see a CM I would be happy to see them during the school day or at the weekend, if that is any help.

Booyhoo Tue 19-Mar-13 21:18:14

the weekend/evening business is actually something that is completely different from CMing. i'm a beauty therapist and was hoping to do mobile and at home treatments although it will obviously be a very slow burner now.

Booyhoo Tue 19-Mar-13 21:19:25

CMing will be my full time, main source of income.

CabbageLeaves Tue 19-Mar-13 21:25:48

It's totally unfair and goes ignored by society as an issue. We mothers are considered to be unnatural to hope for any time without them...even if that time is to enable you to work!

I love my DC. I also work full time ExH also known affectionately as arsehole or oxygen thief does nothing, contributes nothing.

I'm exhausted mostly smile

I recognise I can't make him. I'm on my own in this and love my kids. It's an issue for society that a parent can just walk away...

Booyhoo Tue 19-Mar-13 21:48:39

i feel very much like a teenager saying "it's not fair" but i cant deny that it is very unfair. if i typed word for word the responses i got from my EXp yesterday i think a fair few of you would be in shock and as outraged as my friend was today when i told her. i feel like there should be a way for me to sue him somewhere down the line for loss of earnings or his half of the childcare costs. is it pointless me trying to pursue this and getting him to step up to what he should be doing or should i just give in and let him away with it because to push for it will probably do my emotional health more harm than good. i feel like it is so easy for people to get away with this because society are saying "it's not fair but you just have to do your best without his help" why are we just accepting that it's unfair but not doing anything about it?

ballstoit Tue 19-Mar-13 22:00:07

If he doesn't want them at his house, because of the early start etc, would he have them at yours? If you could bear to have him in the house grin

It's not fair though, it sucks...my ex-h 'helps me out' with 'my' children when it suits him. For which I'm supposed to be very grateful hmm

Booyhoo Tue 19-Mar-13 22:18:59

he cant be trusted in my home, either with my personal belongings or with my personal boundaries so having them here wouldn't be an option, and TBH i dont think it's one he would ever consider as he has a fiancee and he has it much easier there than he would here. i wouldn't be making his dinner or doing the childcare for him for starters which he would expect if he were here (and gets from his partner when the dcs are there)

i put it to him that lots of parents work and have to do something with their dcs during those hours. i used to work full time when ds1 was small and i did what lots of people do which is use a nursery. EXP seems to be unable to make a connection between him having children to do something with between 8 and 5 and him deciding on what do to with them between teh hours of 8 and 5 hmm

BranchingOut Wed 20-Mar-13 15:29:20

Please stay hopeful. One day you won't have so many worries around childcare and you will have built up a successful business/income. But maybe it just has to be done in small steps...

As they get older would you consider a lower-cost babysitter (maybe a teenager) at the weekend, to enable you to do your beauty work?

My suggestion is just to offer appointmts in the time you have - maybe make it a selling feature, a bit like groupon? Eg, you build up a list of people who might be interested in treatments at shorter notice but at a discount rate. DON'T let on that it is due to childcare, it is because your treatments are so ace that you are overbooked!!

Booyhoo Wed 20-Mar-13 16:03:23

yes i am brainstorming at the minute to get ideas for how i can make this work for the time being without childcare and what you suggest is coming out as being the most viable option.

i know in the grand scheme of things childcare just isn't a big issue but just right now it's a big obstacle in me getting off the ground with no money to pay for it. in reality i have only a couple (if that) more years before ds2 would be reliable enough to get his own drinks/toilet etc without disturbing me if he woke up. ds1 is capable of it if i explained, "i am working and have a client in" but ds2 not yet. and of course once i am bringing in some money i will be able to pay someone to babysit. however, people face far bigger issues and they manage so i'm sure i will be able to do it even if i do resent the fact that EXp is sitting at home having a beer when he could be helping out. but i have to get over that and just do what i need to do otherwise i wont get anywhere.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now