Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
No idea what to do regarding my children and their Father.(12 Posts)
Apologies if this is long - I really don't want to drip feed as I feel that I need some outside views on this situation.
My children's Dad and I split up around 6 years ago. We had children young, quickly, and in a short space of time. We were only together for around 2 and a half years and had 2 children together. Split when our youngest child was around 6 months old. It was never a healthy relationship - as I say, we were very young and he just failed to grasp the fact that he needed to grow up when I fell pregnant with our first child. He was the sole earner but spent almost all of his weekly earnings on alcohol and drugs, would go out almost every weekend throughout my pregnancy and following the birth of our baby. We stayed together and I fell pregnant again, his behaviour still didn't change. I got post-natal depression following the birth of our second child, had no support from him, and eventually realised how ridiculous it was and left him.
At first it was horrendous, he would show up at my house drunk, wanted to know where I was at all times, and didn't help with money for his children. Over the years we began to get on and I can honestly say had a good relationship, albeit he was still incredibly selfish and this attitude never changed.
Around 2 years ago he met a woman and they got together. I got on well with her, my children liked her children, and we all got along quite nicely when we needed to. They've since had a child together, my children's half-sibling, and I was (honestly) very happy for them and really care about the baby. However, the selfish behaviour from him has continued, he doesn't make an effort to see my children, he doesn't ask to see them, and would always ask how quickly I could pick them up any time I did drop them off to him so they could spend some time with their Dad. I could also see that he was treating this new woman the exact same way he treated me and it was awful to watch. She was strong and independent and he's turned her into a shell of her former self. That is a separate issue, I'm just including it to make it clear that his attitude and personality have stayed exactly the same - I would even say gotten worse - since we split up 6 years ago.
This brings us to the past month. The not showing an interest in his children has persisted, there was always an excuse as to why he couldn't see them or have them over. I helped them out with some issues they had but then when I asked if my children could stay with them one weekend as I had to work, I was once again met with excuses and told that they couldn't. This was the final straw for me, and I've made the decision that their relationship with their Dad is not doing them any good, they are only ever left feeling disappointed and let down by him, he has no financial or positive emotional input into their lives and I just do not want him to be a part of their lives any longer. This has come after 6 years of me trying my hardest to ensure he stayed in their lives, never stopping him from seeing them, dropping them off and picking them up, forgiving him over and over again when he let them down. I've had enough, and I feel fairly certain that this is the right decision.
The problem is that my children and his partner's children go to the same school. And he is out of work at the moment (and has apparently decided that he no longer wants to work) so is doing the school run with his girlfriends children every day. So my children see him with them every day, they say a quick hello to him, he'll occasionally make a half arsed comment about them going to their house soon, then he'll be off.
I cannot imagine how my children must feel about this. I haven't explained to them that I don't want them to see him any more, I don't quite know how to vocalise that without coming across as the bad guy. But they must be hurting. They're 9 and 6 years old. They're my babies, and they love their Daddy. My youngest gets so excited to see him, they ask me all the time if they can go to their house, it's honestly a horrendous feeling and I have no idea how to deal with this situation. I'm completely at a loss. So if anybody has actually ploughed through all of that and has any words of wisdom or advice or opinion at all, please do reply. Whether you agree with me or not, I want to know how others would deal with this. Also if anybody feels any information is missing let me know and I'll do my best to fill in any gaps.
Can your children change schools? It must be hard to see him everyday and be constantly disappointed by his utter shiteness.
That's awful. I feel so sorry for your kids. I'm not sure I would actually tell them they couldn't see him and vice versa. I'd just stop making any contact with him. If he wants to see them he should contact you. You should no longer drop them off or pick them up. It's his responsibility to arrange that. Don't do him any favours or help him and his partner in any way. It will be hurtful for your children to see him at school but you can't do anything to stop that.
I'm so sorry you and your children are facing this. What an absolute SHIT he is.
A friend's children had this: their dad tipping up at the school with the girlfriend's children, never seeing his own kids. I can't imagine how painful it is for your kids. I'm so sorry.
It seems the 'best' solution is to change their school. Perhaps move away? Do you have family?
My heart goes out to you and your kids
Thanks so much for the quick replies. Over the past few days I've been wondering about changing schools. The kids would hate that though, I know they would make new friends and that they'd be ok...but they'd be so upset with me at first. I feel like they're having to deal with so much shit that they absolutely should not have to deal with at their ages, and then I'm going to drag them away from their friends and what they know too? I despise this man for what he's doing to my babies.
As for a contact plan - I'd not thought about that before and it is something I may look into. It does feel a little like I'd be forcing him to see them though, and all I want is for him to actually want to see them. Do you know what I mean?
Honestly - I would change schools if you think they can adapt - it could be a a fab fresh new start.
I agree with springydaffs, I would make a new start, it would be exciting for them to choose a new house, New bedrooms and a new school. At least there would be no risk of bumping into their deadbeat Dad. I wonder if home life at their Dad's is violent and he realises it would feed back to you meaning they could be reported.
Do you have family you could move to be closer to? Is your job one that you can relocate with?
Sorry for the late reply, I've been at work for most of the day.
I don't have any family that are particularly far away. A couple of family members live in a town about 20 minutes away and I would actually like to move closer to them anyway, which would create a little bit of distance. Not sure how easy the logistics of moving house would be to work out, finances are tight and trying to scrape the money together for a deposit etc would be tough. I'm only working part time at the moment due to studying at the same time, my job is one I could find elsewhere so that shouldn't be a problem - like I say, it would just be the financial aspect.
As for the suggestion of violence..without wanting to say too much, I actually already know a lot of what has gone on in the house, my ex's girlfriend and I have (or had - I'm unfortunately finding that I'm having to distance myself from her because of the situation with my children) become quite close and she has disclosed some quite disturbing details to me herself. I know he is using drugs and I know he at least once used them in the house while my children were there - this was also obviously a very important factor in the decision i made r.e the kids not seeing him anymore. There has already been police and social services involvement.
Oh my goodness, that is horrendous! I think it is likely then that rather that risk more police/ ss input, your ex has decided to drop your babies. Is there a particular entrance that your ex uses when picking his step children up? I am wondering if you could arrange to collect your children from the main school door. And drop off in the main entrance too, it might be worthwhile having a chat with school too to make them aware of the situation. Your poor babies do not deserve to be treated that way.
If police and ss are already involved then hopefully your ex will be ditched by his girlfriend, then you won't need to worry about pick up.
That is so sad, and im so sorry you and your kids have to go through this. The fact he has used drugs before in the house with your kids, would totally flip me out. That alone i would make sure all contact is cut off (as unfair as it is to my kids, their safety comes first). And they're old enough to know what drugs are and they do not need to see their dad in such state.
You know him and his new gf are staying put, they're in no fit state to be moving anywhere. So as painful and difficult it is, i would scrape by everything i can and move. It is the only way to protect them from seeing their dad and his new family everyday. It is a toxic relationship that will only get worse as time goes on. He's had 6 years of being like this and hasn't changed.
Kids adapt real quick to new environments and will make friends in no time. Slowly rebuild and recreate new lives before they're old enough to really know whats going on.
If there has already been SS input, what did they advise?
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.