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to think that DD1's father is a complete twunt?

(26 Posts)
igetmorelovefromthecat Sat 27-Aug-11 23:07:01

DD1 is 7, I split up with her father 6 years ago. He has always had her every other weekend, although that is a flexible arrangement so we have occasionally swapped weekends etc. During the summer holidays he usually has her for near enough half the time, usually for about 5 days or so at a time as that's about as long as she lasts before she gets really homesick and wants to come back.

He hardly had her during June as he was working away at a festival. At the start of the summer holidays he announced that he had work at a different festival (more than 2 hours drive away), for the whole of August. Not ideal for me as I am on my own with 2 kids (inc a 13 month old), a business to run and 2 dogs to walk etc. However I accepted that he had to go and earn money while he could as he had no other prospect of work anywhere. He had her for 4 nights before he left, and told me that he would have her for the last week of the holiday when he got back.

So he phones me today, on his way back from the festival he was working at, to arrange to meet me at the motorway. I asked him how many days he was planning to have her and he said 'Oh, I can only have her until Sunday evening because I'm going to Blandford Steam Fair.' Turns out he is buggering off again tomorrow for the whole week, so I pointed out he was meant to be having his daughter and he said huffily 'I'll have her when I get back!'. I told him that was actually the end of the holidays and so he can't have her then and didn't he think it was a bit crap that he'd managed to have her for 4 days throughout the whole holiday. He hung up on me and I asked DD1 if she wanted to go to see her dad for the night or go to her friend's house (she had been invited just before her dad phoned). She said her friend's house so I phoned my ex back and told him not to worry about having her for one night as she didn't want to go anyway. He said 'fair enough' and hung up again.

He pays less than £30 a week maintenance for her. I will not get any extra despite the fact that he has taken it for granted that I will just look after his child for him so he can go and work/have fun at festivals. It has cost me an absolute fortune to entertain DD1 all holidays, she has been having a bit of a rough time of it so I wanted to make sure she had fun. And above all it pisses me off that DD1 is so far down his list of priorities that he hasn't even bothered to phone to speak to her in the last month, let alone see her.

Do you think it's worth stamping my feet and trying to get him to change his ways or just accept that he is a selfish twat and always will be?

AgentZigzag Sat 27-Aug-11 23:18:28

Putting the details of your OP aside, the way you've written it is very...removed from your DD?

You haven't mentioned anything about the kind of relationship they have, or how you keep the way you feel about her dad away from her, it's all about time being split, the financial input he's made.

Nothing even about how your DD has missed not seeing her dad for so long.

I'm sure you didn't mean it to come across like it has, but it sounds like you asked your DD a loaded question about whether she wanted to stay with her dad or go to her friends, and then used that info to try and hurt your ex into caring he hasn't seen her.

That's can't be good for any of you.

Birdsgottafly Sat 27-Aug-11 23:18:33

If he is working then he isn't being selfish. If this is the first year that he has let contact slide and it is because of work then you cannot really complain. If it meant that you had to make major changes to your plans then you have a right to feel upset, but creating unnecessary conflict will not help your DD.

Will he have her weekend once she is back at school?

Birdsgottafly Sat 27-Aug-11 23:20:42

Why has she had a rough time lately?

WibblyBibble Sat 27-Aug-11 23:22:08

He's a selfish twat (ignore the amateur psychologists on here). You need a formal contact agreement because of this. He can't just bugger off to a steam fair when he's supposed to be looking after his child.

AgentZigzag Sat 27-Aug-11 23:24:59

Was the amateur psychologist remark aimed at anyone in particular wibbly? Or at the am psychs to come?

LineRunner Sat 27-Aug-11 23:30:06

Wibbly, A contact agreement isn't worth shit if the absent parent, usually the father, chooses to ignore it. Sadly.

igetmorelovefromthecat Sat 27-Aug-11 23:30:07

Agent Yes I was kind of aware as I was writing the post that it may come across like that, I tried to keep it to the basic facts as there is so much I could write but didn't want to bore everyone to tears with a post as long as your arm. DD has not even mentioned her father all holiday so I can't say that she has missed him. She is happiest here with me so I don't think she would ever actually seek out spending time with her father, IYSWIM. I was very careful when I asked what she wanted to do today to sound as neutral as I could and make both options sound appealing in my tone of voice so I don't think it was a loaded question.

It is not all about the finances at all but I am really broke at the moment and it galls me that he just assumes that I will look after DD1 for him all holidays, and it's not like him earning all this money is going to benefit his daughter in any way as he will carry on paying the same paltry amount and knowing him probably go and blow what he has earned on a new motorbike or something.

Perfectwhirled Sat 27-Aug-11 23:31:07

Even if you had a formal contact arrangement he could still go to the steam fair.

Perfectwhirled Sat 27-Aug-11 23:36:39

But I wouldn't let a seven-year-old make the decision about if they see a parent or not.

igetmorelovefromthecat Sat 27-Aug-11 23:38:32

Birdsgotta Yes he said (in a rather dramatic way) that he will have her every weekend up until Christmas if that's what I want. But he knows as well as I do that DD is not going to want to do that, she much prefers being at home on the weekend and she grumbles if she has to go to him even 2 weekends on the trot if we have swapped weekends over or something.

She has had a rough time of it because my DD2's father left us in april who she was very close to, she has an ongoing medical condition which makes her wee smell really fishy and she has little accidents every day, which means she has to be changed at school up to 3 times a day and she gets really embarrassed. She is finding it hard to cope with DD2 taking up so much of my time, and as DD1 is pretty self sufficient I am ashamed to say that she does often get sidelined as I have no choice but to spend a lot of time with high maintenance DD2 at the moment, and also working when DD2 is napping as otherwise we could not afford to live.

LineRunner Sat 27-Aug-11 23:39:04

I'm lucky if my DC's father has then for a total of 14 days out of all the school holidays, half-terms and inset days, all year. That's two out of 14 weeks. And we have a formal contact agreement - which he instigated, to make himself look good to his mum and gf, but which he treats as a fucking joke.

OP, You can try to get him to commit to a certain number of nights per month?

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Sat 27-Aug-11 23:40:51

A formal agreement for contact can be enforced... how exactly, Wibbly?

As you've advised the OP to ignore amateur psychologists, you could at least advise her to ignore amateur lawyers such as yourself.

FabbyChic Sat 27-Aug-11 23:42:51

Even if you could get him to commit, that only works if his work commitments allow it. I find it better to never rely on anybody.

It is your duty to ensure you make enough time for your DD1, I know you have a younger child but it should never be at the expense of the older child.

To do so ends up with the older child being starved of love. Try to reach a happy medium. Ensuring that the older child is with you when the other father has the youngest child so you can spend quality time together.

AgentZigzag Sat 27-Aug-11 23:43:31

It's hard to know what to write to condense it down to the bare facts igetmorelovefromthecat (sad MN name, no need to answer if you don't want, but can I ask why you chose it?) it's just you only have what the OP's decided to write to go on.

I didn't mean to imply you've forgotten your DD or anything, it must really hurt to see him treating her as if she's of no consequence to him.

Is there a reason he's backed off since June do you think?

Not fair on your DD whatever the reason is, but it might be easier for you to deal with if you can see a light at the end of the tunnel and he'll eventually get his focus back at some point?

MumblingRagDoll Sat 27-Aug-11 23:46:00

He sounds a twat but I don't see how you can say you are "looking after her for him"....she's your daughter and you have main responsibility. it's not as if she's pining for him by the sound of it.

LineRunner Sat 27-Aug-11 23:52:07

When you're left 'bringing up the baby' I know that perceptions can vary day by day. Sometimes I feel lucky, and sometimes I feel sanguine; and sometimes I feel bloody furious when I see his career blossom and mine shrivel because he has all summer to go on courses and to conferences and I have about five free days that he only gives a day's notice of (so I can't plan anything).

I did ask the family court why this was permitted and my question was ignored.

igetmorelovefromthecat Sat 27-Aug-11 23:53:18

Yeah I know that Fabby, hence why I have invested as much time and money into making sure DD1 has a good time this holiday as I can.

It's not that I am negligent, the problem is there is only 1 me, a mountain of responsibilites that I have to face by myself with not much help from anyone, not to mention the fact that I am still pretty devastated over the break up of my relationship with DD2's father and not in the best place mentally myself right now.

LineRunner Sat 27-Aug-11 23:56:54

OP, Sorry you have all this crap to deal with, too. It does get easier as the children get older. I wonder if once the summer is over your Ex would commit to an agreement - a kind of 'draw a line and start again'? Clearly this summer is a write-off.

igetmorelovefromthecat Sat 27-Aug-11 23:58:37

Agent I chose my user name when I was still with DD2's dad and pretty despondent about the total lack of love and attention I got from him. Maybe I should change it to something more uplifting!

I don't think there is a reason that he has backed off, just that other stuff has come up that to him is more important than seeing his daughter, so he has forgetten she exists while he gets on with that. He is selfish beyond belief...which is the very reason I ended it with him 6 years ago.

Birdsgottafly Sun 28-Aug-11 00:06:47

I agree with Linerunner, ignore what has happened this summer. You will have the new school term starting and the issues that it will bring to solve. You cannot be all things to all people, even your children, i totally understand that there is only one of you and you are recovering from a relationship breakdown. Perhaps you are looking for somewhere to vent your anger? Make a list of priorities and work through them, sometimes as time passes somethings work themselves out naturally.

Wibbily- i worked hard on my degrees thank you, so i hope the 'amateur' bit wasn't direct at me.

igetmorelovefromthecat Sun 28-Aug-11 00:07:48

LineRunner - It is so unfair the way the system works isn't it? Although I have to remind myself that at the end of it I will have a close relationship with my daughter who will hopefully realise that I have done my best for her, while she will sooner or later see her dad for what he really is.

He is normally pretty reliable with the term time every other weekend thing, so I don't think an agreement would be necessary there, he has just pissed me off that he has so little disregard for me and my plans and my time that first he announces literally at the start of the holidays that in a week's time he will be going off for a month. But that when he got back he would have her for the last week. Then on the very day he is supposed to have her (today), he tells me actually he can't. Luckily I hadn't mentioned to DD that she would be going to him so at least she doesn't feel that he has let her down.

AgentZigzag Sun 28-Aug-11 00:21:33

Sorry if I missed you saying, but why isn't your DD keen on going over to his house?

You've said she's a bit of a home bird, does that mean his isn't a home from home for her?

Definately namechange if that's how it came about, you'll have to start a thread in AIBU to piss off the thread catagory police grin asking for suggestions grin

AfternoonDelight Sun 28-Aug-11 00:24:28

You shoudn't ask a child to choose between a friend or her father.

igetmorelovefromthecat Sun 28-Aug-11 00:32:07

Agent It's not that she's not keen on going over there, she doesn't really mind, she just prefers it here cos she has all her things here and she is closer to me than she is him. He has made quite an effort to make it nice for her there, she has her own room there and lots of craft stuff to do which she likes. I think the reason she is not that close to him is that he NEVER makes any contact with her inbetween visits, never a 5 min phone call just to say hello, so she sees him for 48 hours then 2/3/however many weeks pass before she has any more contact with him.

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