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Anyone else got the DCs back from ex with...

(20 Posts)
IronGolem Sat 06-Aug-16 22:00:18

dark circles under their eyes from being up till 11pm, unbrushed hair, having not had a bath or shower for a week, and hardly changed their clothes?
DD (8yrs) even told me that one day he hadn't given them breakfast until 1pm (so they were on computer games from waking up at 8am until 1pm).
angry twat
I break my back to try to give them a healthy upbringing, but he can't be arsed.

Believeitornot Sat 06-Aug-16 22:01:31

Is this a regular occurrence?

If so why on earth are you letting the DCs stay with him?

IronGolem Sat 06-Aug-16 22:08:27

Every few months, as he lives in a different country.

Why? I guess it's better they have some kind of relationship with him, even if he's a crap father.

Believeitornot Sat 06-Aug-16 22:09:41

I'm not so sure by the sounds of it.... Your children may well ask, when they're older. why you sent them?

IronGolem Sat 06-Aug-16 22:18:49

They like spending time with him! Partly because he doesn't follow the same boring old rules that I do, like bedtimes and mealtimes and limiting computers.

jayho Sat 06-Aug-16 22:30:21

is contact court ordered?

jayho Sat 06-Aug-16 22:30:54

and how old are they?

IronGolem Sat 06-Aug-16 22:40:42

No courts involved yet, we only split up end of last year, not divorced yet. They are 10 and 8.

navylily Sat 06-Aug-16 22:47:33

At 10 and 8 are they not capable of brushing their own hair? hmmOr getting their own breakfast even?

I can't see it's something is kick up a big fuss over if contact is likely to be fairly infrequent anyway. It's the holidays, so no real need for an early bedtime and strict routine is there?

jayho Sat 06-Aug-16 22:56:00

so what do you want to do? You can agree between yourselves which means he can do whatever during contact or you can seek court ordered which gives you a limited amount of control. Ultimately, his house, his rules, unless the children are being harmed.

if you seek a shared parenting order with him you can agree parenting parameters but still, if he does not keep to them it is difficult to enforce.

bottom line is that if his parenting is not actively harming the children then you or another external body would have to evidence harm, otherwise he can proceed,

the least harm solution is that both or you agree to parent in the same way.

I appreciate this is challenging

IronGolem Sat 06-Aug-16 22:58:28

DD needs to be reminded to brush her hair. Yes they can and do get their own breakfast sometimes, but if they're allowed on computer games then they forget about minor things like eating.

I'm not going to kick up a big fuss, I'm just pissed off at ex's lazy parenting. I don't have a strict routine in the holidays, but I do try to at least make sure they have clean clothes to wear.

IronGolem Sat 06-Aug-16 23:04:16

None of the legal stuff applies in this case, jayho, as he lives abroad so I couldn't enforce anything. Thanks for explaining though. He just needs to step up in his parenting. He's never had to do it alone before.

jayho Sat 06-Aug-16 23:11:21

Law applies where you live, don't be wary of using it to protect your children

RealityCheque Sat 06-Aug-16 23:29:56

Protect them from what, Jayho?

A late bedtime and breakfast? hmm

babynugget Sat 06-Aug-16 23:54:26

I'm prepared to be shot down here but I am commenting as a step mum. We have regular contact with DP's children (3 nights every other weekend and one night every week). On the week nights we try to stick to the same routines they have with their mum. At the weekends we are more lenient. The DSC's are 8, 13 and 16 and I remind them all to shower, brush teeth etc every day but expect them to be responsible for this. The 8 year old does need more encouragement! I fully understand your frustration OP in trying to maintain healthy/sensible lifestyle to have it undermined when they are not with you. However I know my DP has found it difficult to enforce certain things (less time on games consoles, healthier eating, etc) as his time with them is so precious he hates feeling like he's getting on at them the whole time they are with us. This has caused some arguments between us in the past but I do see his dilemma.

I don't know your ex so can't comment and he may just be a lazy parent but in my experience kids learn quickly the differences between households and that what happens in one is not acceptable or tolerated in the other and I don't think this alone causes them harm. I know my DSC's have cottoned on to their dad's feelings and push things more with us.

My 8yo DSC is certainly capable of asking for food or preparing snacks if hungry and on many occasions has chosen to sleep until after lunchtime, meaning no food until later in the day. Of course if your child has been denied food until 1pm or hasn't felt able to ask for it for some reason, I would be concerned.

I know I'm coming at this 'from the other side' and I would find it so hard for my DC to be away from me and living a totally different life than the one I want for them but I just wanted to try and give another perspective. I still think you need to get more facts to figure out if there is genuine neglectful behaviour or are you able to have a conversation with your ex about trying to maintain some level of continuity?

I'm really not trying to defend him here OP and I feel for you - it's hard enough having our DC away from us but must be a worry when they are in a different country and with someone that doesn't appear to care for them the way you do. If it's only every couple of months your kids probably see it as more of a holiday than a regular way of life - if that's any consolation! hmm

babynugget Sat 06-Aug-16 23:56:43

Sorry didn't mean that to be so long.......blush

IronGolem Sun 07-Aug-16 00:12:59

Thanks for that perspective. smile

Newnew35 Sun 07-Aug-16 00:16:05

I really don't see it as such a big deal. OP, you've stated that they enjoy seeing their dad. I can see that there is a lack of routine but there would be - they're in a different country and its the summer holidays. The children are back in one piece and, I assume, spent enjoyable and quality time with their dad. When they look back in years to come, that is all that will matter.

BlackeyedSusan Sun 07-Aug-16 01:18:47

I would be fucking annoyed too that he can't be arsed to feed them and look after them to a higher standard, when he has them so little. however, they are getting to the age where they can take responsibility for themselves.

BlueFolly Sun 07-Aug-16 01:21:30

If they enjoy seeing him, then I think this would be irritating for you, but nothing more. People jumping to saying 'stop contact' with him are being ridiculous. And yes, at that age they should be able to get their own breakfasts and brush their own hair.

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