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Why should she

(21 Posts)
HoneyStepMummy Wed 10-Jul-13 18:14:21

OP, I wish you lived in the same country as I do since I would be able to give you a lot of practical and accurate advice.
My DH raised his DD17 by himself since she was 3. Her mother couldn't be bothered and wasn't taking proper care of her. She has never filed for visitation, and only started paying child support when the courts ordered it. So I'm going to give you some firm and practical advice:

1) Be FIRM. Enough's enough. No more Mr. Nice Guy to this women who's taking you for granted. She treats you like a doormat because she can. Make it clear that you want her to be part of the kid's life consistantly, but in order to do so she MUST file for visitation. It is then up to her to excerise this right but only once visitation is agreed on in the courts.

2) Sit your kids down and explain this to them. Explain that you want mum to be in their lives but you don't like them being let down. Tell them that you've told mum she needs to file for visitation and what it implies. Having that order in place is good for everyone involved. You can't force her into being a good parent, so don't even try.

3) Child support- Do NOT give up on this, be very firm. Your kids need this money for school uniforms etc. I couldn't care less if she has her tan and nails done or how she spends her money, but she needs to contribute to the basic upkeep of her children. Be VERY FIRM about pursuing this. And make sure that you are going about this the correct and legal way. When you are dealing with the solicitor make it clear that you need this money for the kids uniforms, food etc and don't mention the going out and tanning etc. Believe me it will work against you.

4) Take care of yourself. You're doing a brilliant job and you're a great dad! Single dads don't get enough kudos. No reason to go around looking like a tramp. Have a female friend/girlfriend/sister give you some style tips. Get yourself at least one pair of really nice fitting jeans and a couple of nice shirts. Find some time to be yourself and do adult things- this will bring more balance into your life and relieve some stress. Go to the gym, running or swimming. Join a support group for single parents. If you haven't already done so start dating.

Remember you can't change who she is and the type of mum she is, but like you said you have no problems sleeping at night smile Good luck!

LesleyB4 Wed 10-Jul-13 17:13:37

Thank you for replies

I have just spoken with solicitor and if she doesn't turn up then no decision will be made, mother will be summoned to court, then they might want another report from Cafcass

Unbelievable, how many chances will they give her

Sparklysilversequins Wed 10-Jul-13 15:13:19

I think that's a very good post from Dahlen it's not about saying bad things about their Mum it's about not letting her say bad things to them about YOU.

I used to refuse to say a word against their selfish father to my dc but he would then say really awful things about me in front of them and if that's all they're hearing without you defending yourself then that's what they will think and I think it can weaken the relationship. So when ex does it I just say things like "well that is NOT true, sometimes Daddy is silly and a bit mean to Mummy because we are not very good friends right now, but that has NOTHING to do with you and it's nothing for you to worry about". I also encourage him to take the phone away to speak to his Dad in private and Skype whenever he wants to without my say so. To show ds that its their relationship and nothing to do with me.

In this kind of situation you can't just allow yourself to be destroyed to protect your dc, it's more damaging to set that kind of example imo.

Oh and get onto the CSA. It's about an hour of filling in forms and phone convos and you might jut get what your kids deserve out of it. If you don't then you won't be any worse off than you are now will you?

BlackeyedSusan Wed 10-Jul-13 14:53:02

probably feels like a tramp, in comparison, as op is doing what most paents do and putting children first.

I do think it is worrth going to the csa to get money though. you never know it might be sucessful!

also if they say again that you do not let them stay with her, gently corect them and say mum must have misunderstood/misheard as that is not true. truth is fine. badmouthing not.

Dahlen Wed 10-Jul-13 13:22:39

Sorry you're experiencing this. The frustration and unfairness is something very familiar to a lot of single parents.

Go the CSA if she's on PAYE. She has a responsibility to the children to pay it. That has nothing to do with fairness between you and her.

You cannot make her be a more involved parent. If she was capable of that kind of change, chances are you probably wouldn't have had the problems that led to you being primary carer in the first place. Let go of the ambition that you can make her shape up. All you'll achieve is your own frustration and bitterness.

Stop protecting her. You don't need to badmouth her, but if she tells your DC that daddy stops her from having the DC overnight, tell them that mummy is mistaken and you have never said no. 'Protecting' our DC from the other adult's shortcomings can often do as much damage as exposing them to it. It's all about risk management and damage limitation. As long as they don't achieve a crushing example, it's actually far better for them to realistic expectations of their mother's involvement as young as possible.

IneedAyoniNickname Wed 10-Jul-13 12:37:53

OP are you me in male form grin I promised myself some new summer clothes, and saved up for a couple of months (money is v.tight) lo and behold ds1 had a growth spurt and I had to wave goodbye to my nice new stuff!

I would recommend going to the CSA, she should pay for them! There are also some charities who help with the cost of uniform for families who need it. At least there are here, I assume other areas have them too.

Justforlaughs Wed 10-Jul-13 12:37:35

It sounds like you are doing a great job. No you can't make her have more/ consistent contact with your children, but as they grow up they will know who was always there for them. It can seem hard when all your money goes on the children and you feel like you don't get a moment to yourself, but the phase does pass eventually and actually it's not just single parents who feel like this either. Would your parents babysit once a month for you to have a night out? You do need to have SOME time to yourself to relax.

ImNotBloody14 Wed 10-Jul-13 12:36:49

I have been in your shoes OP and it is so horrible to feel so powerless when all you want is just that recognition that you're doing it all. very slowly I have gotten my ex to spend more and more time with the dcs, building up to a point where he is now having them 3 nights a fortnight (sometimes he cancels still) and is paying the CSA recommended amount. but it has been a real battle and it got really nasty at points. i'm glad I fought on but there were times I felt it was never going to happen and was advised many times on here just to accept my lot. well i'm glad I didn't and depending on how ready you are to go through the shittyness of it all I would say think about the long term affect on not only your dcs but your own life. you do deserve to have financial help from her if she is earning. that is her obligation to the dcs. and also- I know the courts cant insist on this- but I think for your own self you should consider allowing her the once a week dinners with a view to extending that gradually. I didn't realise how much I was losing out in my own life until I got that freedom of knowing I had every other weekend to do with as a I pleased.

ThisWayForCrazy Wed 10-Jul-13 12:25:50

Have you approached her about a monetary contribution? School uniform isn't cheap! Also the schools near me often have second hand bits that look brand new. And sometime, you need to assess who's need is more urgent, it's not always the children, sometimes it you.

LesleyB4 Wed 10-Jul-13 12:22:56

I suppose I just feel when I need something new my kids always do at the same time, like now all the kids need there school uniform, why should it always be me buying it all, it would be nice if she just said there that's for the kids, or bought them something but it wont happen, she works part time and I have never went to the CSA, I don't think I can be bothered with the hassle of it all, so just easier to do it myself

Don't think I am struggling have a lot of support and kids can go to my mams so no problem there, just sometimes like Ineed states I feel it is unfair

I just think if the kids want to see her and there is no reason why she cant and I could do with a good night out and lie around on the settee with a hangover would be good smile

IneedAyoniNickname Wed 10-Jul-13 12:11:54

lesley I know that feeling so well, of feeling like its all so unfair! But, one day your dc will realise who was always there for them, and they won't give a flying fuck what you looked like

Why do you look like a tramp? Are there other issues you are struggling with? But also this.

ThisWayForCrazy Wed 10-Jul-13 12:05:41

Why do you look like a tramp? Are there other issues you are struggling with?

LesleyB4 Wed 10-Jul-13 12:04:11

Thanks I know, just a bit tired today of picking up the pieces, seeing her all done up, nails, tan, drinking every night, BF and basically not giving a damn, while I walk around like a tramp

I suppose I could look at it a different way and will later today, at least I can sleep at night knowing I do everything I can to make the kids happy

Sometimes I just want someone to kick her up the

ThisWayForCrazy Wed 10-Jul-13 12:03:44

I would also, as you are, not get involved in the blame game. We have this with my stepsons, their mother will go to any lengths to muddy us. We just reassure the kids that we are there for them, that we would love to have them and they are always welcome, no restrictions. We don't say anything about their Mum. Outs is slightly more complicated that one of my step sons now lives with us (as of last weekend) but the middle one wants to too, he feels caught in the middle and is very upset to be separated from his brother, but sadly his brother can't live with them anymore, the relationship is becoming too damaging for him.

IneedAyoniNickname Wed 10-Jul-13 12:00:36

Yanbu to think she should spend more time with them, but like others have said you can't make her.
My ex is the same, he cancels on the dc, then blames me. Its hard sad

ThisWayForCrazy Wed 10-Jul-13 11:59:38

I would go with the one night a week for tea and see how it goes. If its consistent then think about increasing. You can't make a non resident parent do anything you want them to do. And neither can a judge when it comes to turning up. You have to hope that they want that to, and give a little and be there if it comes crashing down.

Children will discover in their own time what their parents are like (without being told by the opposite party) and they will make their choices regarding relationships with their parents as they grow.

It's hard work, whether you're male or female, to deal with a non resident parent who doesn't seem as committed as you are. It's taken 15 years for me and my ex to smooth things out. Good luck and keep going.

LesleyB4 Wed 10-Jul-13 11:57:41

Thank you for your replies, she does get them for there tea already, sometimes comes late drops them off early

But the sad thing is my oldest daughter asked her is could sleep one night and she told her she would but dad (me) would not let her, she will say to them this is what daddy wants, I don't want to call mam to them or hurt them, but mam lays all the blame at my door, that is what infuriates me..

Squitten Wed 10-Jul-13 11:49:59

I don't think you can force her to spend more time with the children - if she doesn't want to see her own kids, she'll have to answer to them one day. It's horrible but some people are just crap parents.

If she wants to see them once a week, why not let her? As long as it's at a set time that you can work around and she stays consistent then it can only be a good thing for the kids to see their mum.

LouiseSmith Wed 10-Jul-13 11:49:52

A contact order means that the resident parent has to make the children available for contact at the times agreed in court. It doesn't guarantee that the Non resident parent will stick to the times.

Its a horrible situation to be in, my ex was the same. Nice to see its not always men who abandon there kids. Your doing a fab job, and your kids will love you all the more for it. xx

Madlizzy Wed 10-Jul-13 11:46:47

If she's been inconsistent, it might be worth a try for tea one night a week to see how that goes. If she stays consistent with that, then maybe you could look at more contact.

LesleyB4 Wed 10-Jul-13 11:45:21

I am a father with children, my ex chooses to come into there life when it suits her lifestyle, all I want is consistency for the children, who do miss her and now they are a little older are asking questions and asking to see her

Can I take her to court to get her to see her children, she is capable and can do it so why should it all be left to me, so unfair on the children, she walks all over me and to be honest I am really fed up with it all, she wants them for tea one night a week but I do not think this is enough time to share with the children not sure if a judge would think well this is better than nothing, but I think it upsets the children

I would love to hear whether you think I am being the unreasonable one or should she just be allowed to shrug of her responsibilities because I am there

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