When the kids have rose coloured glasses.....

(8 Posts)
theredhen Wed 05-Dec-12 12:43:41

Yes i was chatting to my friend about it and she's said I should take it as a compliment that its me he's lashing out with. I did the same with my family members who I was the closest to.

It's just so hard to bite your tongue. I really thought ds "got it" without me ever moaning about his dad. My friend thinks my ex has been feeding him sob stories again. hmm

Kaluki Wed 05-Dec-12 10:56:59

I think it is a teenage thing too Redhen - but still so hurtful.
My DS is 13 and he recently asked me why I let DP live with us when I wouldn't let his dad live here. (His dad left me for someone else 10 years ago and we have lived in 2 houses since then so I have no idea where that idea came from)
He is convinced that the break up was my decision, and much as I won't tell him the truth I say it was Daddy's choice he just refuses to believe it.
I also get how cool daddy is because he buys them better presents etc etc when I am the one who feeds and clothes them and puts a roof over their ungrateful little heads!
I am clinging into the hope that in the future they will look back and see the truth for themselves.
Your DS is doing the typical thing if lashing out at the one closest to him. I can remember being like that with my own Mum when I was that age and I adore her. I feel for you xx

Incrediblemeee Tue 04-Dec-12 16:46:16

Yes, hen, your are right, your ds is trying to detach. Our life story is so similar it is mind boggling, right down to ages and partnerships and single parenting! My ds, 14, has been going through a similar phase where I have been terribly dejected, but take heart. It is really not personal, even though you die inside each time they rebuff you. Now he will often come to me for a hug or wants extra praise for doing well in school, etc. just like in the old days. Colleagues with boys have told me similar stories, they all come round again when the worst is over for them, usually 15 or 16, tg. And my dsc also think their sociopath of a mother is so cool, grrr.

NatashaBee Tue 04-Dec-12 14:44:30

No advice, but oh my goodness, I feel your pain! We have similar with DSD - but in a lot of cases, she does know the truth of what happened, but seems to be so uncomfortable with it that she re-writes her own story of it. I guess explaining divorce to kids in any great depth means that they are confronted with having to deal with adult failings/emotions/issues. Normally people don't have to deal with the reality of their parents being fallible until they are older.

foreignmummy Tue 04-Dec-12 14:34:30

It must be hard to feel so unappreciated but remember kids are notoriously ungrateful beings but there is light at yhe end of the tunnel. One day your son will emerge as the lovely adult you have brought him up to be and will love you for everything you've done. smile

theredhen Tue 04-Dec-12 14:20:29

Well like I say I have never slagged him off but I've never lied about him either. Ive never really moaned about my ex to anyone and always got on with him for the sake of ds. Ive always had the mantra that i couldn't change him when i was married to him and have always been quite accepting if how he is. Dp is the same with his kids talking about their mum, although behind the scenes they have a terrible relationship.

It's damn hard hearing from the step kids but it was like a kick in the stomach ds saying all that to me.

foreignmummy Tue 04-Dec-12 13:59:07

I completely understand why you are feeling so upset but sounds like a normal teenager to me. Is it possible you may have shared too much with him in the past about the ins and outs of your relationship with his dad?

theredhen Tue 04-Dec-12 12:58:16

Apologies, this is going to be long.

I'm sure I can't be the only one this affects.

DSC have always been very quick to tell us how wonderful mum is, how much better even the most the mundane things are at Mums house, how Mum has a successful business, any stories written for homework are always about Mum, how they have the best holidays with Mum etc. etc.

Of course they love their Mum (as they should and I will always encourage that) but they've always had this almost ridiculous way of belittling our efforts and achievements and telling us how much better Mum is at EVERYTHING.

The reality is Mum has never taken them on days out, let alone holidays abroad, she has done 3 months work in 17 years, she studied for 6 months and gave up, Mum doesn't provide them with food such as yogurts or fruit, we provide clothes for both houses, maintenance, plus all the extras, nice bedroom, nice, tidy and clean home, take them out for meals, hobbies and clubs, pocket money, watch films together, cook nice meals together, do homework, read stories, do arts and crafts etc. but we never get any sort of acknowledgement from kids at all. If we directly ask them if they like something, they might shrug their shoulders. They are all old enough to express themselves and DSD lives with us, whilst other 2 DSD have told CAFCASS they are happy with the current contact and don't want any less.

DP and I have come to live with this and accepted that either the kids do this the other way round when they are with Mum (something I doubt) or they just feel protective of her because they can see it as it is and they feel sorry for her.

But I am now getting this from my DS. I was a single Mum since DS was 4 years old (he's now 14 and I met DP 4 years ago). I negotiated 60% of my EXH and I joint assets rather than fight for 70/80%. I had always worked and had had a mortgage since I was 19 years old. He paid for DS first school uniform when DS was starting primary school and didn't pay a penny more in maintenance until he was 11 years old. He now pays enough to pay his bus fare to school and no more. He did buy him birthday and Xmas presents and did generally see him every other weekend although often a day late or would let him down at short notice. He has never bought him even a toothbrush for his home (or as I should state, the homes of his many various girlfriends that he has shacked up lived with with over the years). He has never taken him on holiday, not once in 10 years. He often drags him to his work over the weekend and DS sits in the car all day long.

I have never slagged off DS Dad to him, I never pushed for maintenance (he's self employed and takes great pride in dodging paying as much as he can including paying for his kids from his marriage before me) because I thought that contact was more important than money and I struggled by. I always worked and DS would stay with a childminder/nursery/holiday club and I only worked part time so I could do some school pick ups and generally be there for DS. I've always felt I've provided reasonably well for DS. Cheap days out (always took packed lunches/used Tesco vouchers/shared lifts) etc. Joined a single parent group and had some nice cheap short breaks with them. I was lucky (or unlucky enough) to inherit a little bit of money so paid for two really nice dream holidays for DS and I when I was on my own. I kept our little home nice and was proud of what I achieved doing a job I didn't really enjoy but which fitted around the only childcare I could get. I had a relationship with a guy for a couple of years after i split from exh but we never lived together and, in fact, the finishing of it was when I asked him to contribute £600 a month if he was going to move in as that was the total of what he would cost me in food, heating etc and what I would have lost in tax credits. He presented me with a spreadsheet showing how much of my house he wanted me to sign over to him if he was going to pay me that sort of money.

I have also recently found out that DS Dad received a huge lump sum payout when DS was 6 years old for money that was put into a property whilst we were together and that is really grating that he received tens of thousands of pounds and couldn't even find it in his heart to take DS on holiday or give me £10 a week for him.

Anyway, DS has been saying some odd things recently (I know his Dad has been using him to get information to use in a court case against an ex of his).

He told me yesterday that women only get married to get money, that the holidays we had when I was a single Mum, we had were because his Dad /my ex partner paid for them. I explained that this wasn't the case and that neither of these men had paid anything. He knows this anyway because I had always been honest with him by saying things like "Fred has 2 parents to pay for things, but in this house, you only have a Mum to pay for things" when he would ask why "fred" had more toys than him etc. I had told him that our house was mine and DS home and my ex partner had wanted to have some of our home for himself and that I refused to let him have it so that's why we split up.

I told him I was really shocked and upset by his assumptions and he didn't say much, just sat and looked at his hands.

This is not like him at all. We have always had open honest conversations where I felt he understood but I am wondering if he is doing this to wind me up (he is at a hormonal age after all) or whether he is trying to push me away. Only a year or so ago, his teacher couldn't get through to me on the phone, so phoned his Dad. My DS thought it funny that a teacher had phoned his Dad and said to me "it's not like Dad does any parenting of me". He's also often told me that he would not like to live with his Dad because his Dad doesn't parent him and encourage bedtimes, regular meal times etc. Life at his Dads is junk food at all times of the day and night and x box til the early hours of the morning. DS has always said he knows that this isn't good and would rather be home with me and DP.

So, why the change of tune? I feel so upset. I feel like I've lost the respectful, insightful young man who had respect for people who worked hard and provided the important things like discipline, boundaries but also positive fun times for the child too. I'm finding it harder to get him motivated for anything and he just wants to sit in front of a screen. Maybe I should put this in teenagers because I do think it's probably just a teen thing and his way of detaching from me, but I also know there must be step parents out there who are experiencing similar things?

And of course, there is everything going on at home too especially with DSD now living with us and getting very little one to one time but he simply doesn't seem to want it anyway. If I suggest going off and doing anything one to one, he moans and groans and says he doesn't want to. sad

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