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I'm probably BU, but I'm cross! Ex and arrangements

(33 Posts)
LuckyCornish13 Wed 11-Nov-15 04:17:48

DS is almost 4. Friday is his dad's birthday.

I texted ex on Monday morning "Would you like DS Friday&Saturday night this week?"

Ex: "Aww, yeah that'd be great thanks. I'm being taken away on Thursday so won't be early on Friday I pick him up, can I let you know a time later? I'll drop him back Sunday afternoon"

Me: "DS is in nursery til 1 anyways lol. Yeah, that's fine, just give me a text and let me know"

I told DS it's daddy's birthday on Friday (can I make him a card? Can I make him a cake? What time is daddy picking me up? Etc)

So, fast forward two days, DS has talked about daddy's birthday a lot he knows when he's seeing daddy, very excited and he's made a card and we've bought stuff to make a cake on Thursday night.

I've just woken up to a text from ex: "I don't think I'm gonna be home in good time on Fri as I'm being taken away for a couple days. I don't want to say yes and find I'm not back in time and let him down sad Is it OK to have DS on sat and drop him back Sunday bed time?"

I don't want to drip feed but there's a bit of a back story here; I split up with ex over 3 years ago (DS was 8 months) because he was completely indifferent to his son- didn't hold, feed, change, bath, cuddle or even ask about his son all day. Since we've split I've had to instigate all contact between them. Because ex lives with parents and they're crazy about DS, a lot of the time I've been arranging with them to have DS and ex will see DS because he's there when he finishes work etc. Ex does the whole Facebook/Disney dad thing but they do have a good relationship. Ex usually sees DS once a week/fortnight but I know a lot of the time it's exs parents who are looking after him.

Ex's job for the past 2 years has been work 5 days on, 4 days off. (He always sends me his rotas in advance) and it genuinely baffles me but doesn't surprise me when I see that he's had 4 days off and not texted about having his son.

I've woken up and seen that text and I'm just so angry! I offered him to have DS because I'd be heartbroken if I didn't see my son on my birthday. And now I'm going to be the one who has to tell DS, he's going to be upset and he'll ask why and I'm sick of lying when he asks why he's not seeing daddy!

I think this is just the final straw and I've bitten my tongue too many times before when DS has been let down or not bothered with, and I'm the bad guy who has to tell DS and comfort him and it's horrible to see.

So, AIBU to text my ex and tell him how pissed off I am and how upset/disappointed DS is going to be?

To point out to him that he's already said yes and made arrangements with DS? And, even if he wasn't home til 5, he could still see DS for an hour and drop him back for bedtime? (It's not about the having overnight)

To not drip feed and because it'll probably be asked- I'm not in love with my ex, this isn't jealousy or anything like that, we actually get on better now as friends than we did when we were together(if I ignore the disappointing dad act) I've been with my DP for almost 2 years and I'm happier than I ever have been! Ex is going away with his new DP (who I encouraged him to get with because he was shy/reluctant)

UselessArticle Wed 11-Nov-15 04:44:07

I think YABU. Your ex indicated he wouldn't be back early on Friday and, having thought about it, has realised it doesn't work for him but has let you know in ample time.

I think you need to step back a bit. Your offer was very kind but just leave him to see DS on the days he usually does. If he's not interested, so be it.

It hurts, but you need to disengage.

I know what it's like. I have 3 DCS and used to do things like that with my ex. He wasn't really interested so I stopped pushing for him to see them. He hasn't made contact for 4 years now but that's his choice

Busyworkingmum71 Wed 11-Nov-15 05:18:04

My ex started to do this, and we split because he wasn't interested in either of us. I stopped pushing too. He stepped up though when I left him to it and has been a constant in DDs life. I'm really pretty impressed as i thought he would fade away. It can go both ways.

I think yab a teeny bit U , he has given you fair warning and it may be that his DP has made plans for his bday but didn't give him the full details, he's now mentioned seeing DS to her and she has said, oh we won't be back till 11pm. He did say he was being taken away in his earlier text? Maybe not his fault?

Busyworkingmum71 Wed 11-Nov-15 05:24:26

Also re reading your op you maybe should have waited to tell your ds until after your ex could confirm his timings for Friday. It is you that has built ds's expectations up, before getting confirmation from your ex. I'm sorry op, I think this is a mess of your own making.

Text messages can be misleading though, perhaps a phone call next time might minimise possibility for misunderstandings?

SeasonalVag Wed 11-Nov-15 05:36:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SeasonalVag Wed 11-Nov-15 05:36:44

Wah, sorry!

wannaBe Wed 11-Nov-15 05:48:06

yabu. He had told you that he would let you know time etc but it was you who built up ds' expectations even though you didn't have a firm plan yet.

It sounds as if he has a history of being flaky over arranging contact himself but not of letting ds down per se, and he was up front about not knowing when when he texted you back.

Will he be going back to his parents? could you perhaps suggest that he go to granny and grandad's on Friday and then he'll be there when daddy gets back?

BitOutOfPractice Wed 11-Nov-15 05:50:03

I'm not saying you are U about his general commitment to your ds but in this case I think you are being a bit U

He indicated straight away that he wasn't sure of timings on Friday. Once he knew what those timings were, he let you know. In plenty of time. Would you have preferred he rocked up at 8pm on Friday night?

Also, in fairness to him, it's you that's hot your ds all excited about his birthday. It may not have crossed his mind that you're doing the whole card and cake shebang or that s child would be excited about a birthday that wasn't theirs. I expect last year ds didn't much care about his dad's birthday.

Think you need to unclench about this particular incident, sorry

LuckyCornish13 Wed 11-Nov-15 05:56:46

Hi, thanks for your replies.

Whenever we arrange when he's having DS, we usually agree the day and then he texts the day before to say a time (his mum is always using his car so hard to pin down an exact time)

Busy you're completely right, I have built DS up and that is my own fault! DS has a tendency to "freak out" about things outside of his norm/if he has no warning-even lovely, surprise things so I have talked it up and that is my own doing.

I think you're both right, I do push the contact with regards to always texting to see if he'd like him etc because I know that if I didn't arrange it, my ex wouldn't (and hasn't in the past) and I feel so sorry for DS.

Thank you for the replies

LuckyCornish13 Wed 11-Nov-15 06:04:04

I knew when I posted this I was probably being unreasonable and now there's no probably about it! Lol. Thank you all for your replies

trapdooragain Wed 11-Nov-15 06:05:20

fuck it tell him the truth daddy's going out with his mates and will see you saturday instead why sugar coat it if he meant that much to him he would have made sure he was back for a reasonable time he can still do the cake just do it for saturday next time he pulls this shit tell the kid the truth why lie and make him the better parent why take the blame for his flaky behaviour seriously

yes you need to not get his hopes up but really? he is going out thursday and cba to get back after one pm friday it's not like you're saying have him for the entire friday just the afternoon he had ample recovery time its messing a kid about your not allowed to try and do something nice for your ex in case he lets him down? how is that in anyway fair on you and your child does no one else think you might have plans yourself that he has just fucked up nooo your mom therefore you need to suck it up and deal with it

i wouldn't bother ie mom am i seeing dad this week? no dear he is going out with his mates let's go to the park you have tried your best it's time for him to put on his big boy pants and actually make an effort without being forced to

wannaBe Wed 11-Nov-15 06:13:21

trapdooragain that is dreadful advice. Regardless of the op's feelings towards her ex he is still her ds' dad. A four year old should never be expected to process "the truth" as given to him by one parent.

BitOutOfPractice Wed 11-Nov-15 07:25:52

Yes trapdoor that is crap advice.

Plus who said he's going out with his mates? Who said he "can't bed bothered" to get back. It sounds like he's going away, maybe there's a flight / train issue.

But in general I'd say the best way to put out a fire isn't to pour more petrol on it. Would you really want to upset a 4yo just to score points?

LuckyCornish13 Wed 11-Nov-15 07:37:56

Trap I'd never say anything like that to my DS about his dad, never have and never would! There have been times in the past (not today, I've already admitted I'm at fault here) when I've had to lie to DS because my ex can't be bothered/drops plans, and I have been fuming mad but I wouldn't dream of letting my DS know that.

Inertia Wed 11-Nov-15 07:47:01

If your Ds is 3 he presumably isn't totally au fait with calendars - could you just get your ex to play along with birthday celebrations for an extra day?

trapdooragain Wed 11-Nov-15 18:49:24

seriously why take the blame for someone else letting your kid down really? i could never understand people protecting the children from the other parent's poor behaviour he knew he was going out he knew his son finished at one he could have said i might not be able to make that he still said he could he was just going to confirm the time then he cancels

and everyone blames the op for building the child's hopes up wow......

WoodHeaven Wed 11-Nov-15 18:59:41

I gave to say, just as much as I wouldn't want tone harsh and put the ex down in front of my DC, I wouldn't sugarcoat things either and tell lies.
His dad is who he is a d yes he is a crap father but then that's why you separated! It will a hard thing to swallow for your ds but I'm not sure that trying to convince him he is great or not that bad is the right way either.
Basically I would go very very neutral, stick with facts and never tell your ds too far in advance if his dad is picking him up or not.
If he has issues about plans etc a s needs to warned, then I would also have a chat with ex about it and agree that he will let you know X days in advance so you can tell your ds. One or two days might be plenty at that age.

rookiemere Wed 11-Nov-15 19:03:38

Well I think on this occasion ( and I appreciate there is a huge back story to this) YABU.

It's his birthday, not your DS's. I consider myself to be a reasonable parent, but i wouldn't be overly upset if my DS didn't see me on my birthday - I'd clearly be devastated if I couldn't be there for his, but the other way round - nah, just not getting it.

He responded to your original text to say he'd let you know a time when he could. Then he texted to say he couldn't make the Friday. A bit disappointing, but if he is being taken away for his birthday with the GF that you encouraged him to get, then it would be tricky for him to get back early I would think.

And yes just get your DS to save his excitement for the Saturday, and next year don't mention it.

NeedsAsockamnesty Wed 11-Nov-15 19:15:38

I've got a nearly 4 year old. I could tell him one more sleep 27 times if I wanted and he wouldn't realise cant you just do that on Friday and tell your ex he is having a birthday on sat as far as DS is concerned?

Baconyum Wed 11-Nov-15 21:25:27

So difficult. I think on this occasion yabu as you built it up for DS, but based on mine and dd's experience with my ex and her dad (hindsight being perfect vision of course), I wouldn't lie or sugarcoat.

I 'protected' dd from what a disinterested selfish shit my ex is for years but as dc get older they realise what they're really like.

Also imho I should've let ex fade out of our lives way back when we first split and he made bugger all effort!

Prepare for the worst, hope for the best and stop getting DS' hopes up.

missymayhemsmum Wed 11-Nov-15 23:35:17

Sorry but you have had 4 years of your ex not prioritising spending time with your son, so why are you still acting surprised? That's just how it is. On the other hand, he is actually contacting you to change arrangements rather than just not turning up, so small mercies etc

I think you should stop setting your son up to be disappointed by Daddy- don't tell your son what the plan is until you are reasonably sure his dad won't let him down. You could be a bit vaguer- it's Daddy's birthday this weekend, do you want to make a card for when you see him? I'm not sure what Daddy's plans are yet, but you're definitely going to Granny's on Saturday.....

You could also switch from organising everything to letting him ask- except when you need him for childcare.

LuckyCornish13 Thu 12-Nov-15 10:44:38

Thank you all for your replies, you've given me some really good advice and perspective.

I spoke to my ex last night and I mentioned maybe DS bring his present and card on Saturday and celebrate then and after umming and ahhing he told me he wasn't going away, had never planned to go away he just fancied a quiet couple of days for his birthday so he can't have DS this weekend but he'll give me a text next weekend and sort something out.

I've told him fine, just let me know. I'm disappointed and angry, but not completely surprised.

The advice here has been spot on, I'm going to try and take a step back, disengage and I'm going to stop pushing/chasing for contact. If my ex arranges contact and turns up, fine. But I'm not going to tell my DS that daddy's coming until I see his car pull up outside.

My DP also said something that really rang true- I can't and shouldn't have to make him see his son.

Thanks again for all the advice

Atenco Thu 12-Nov-15 16:17:41

Yes, we set our children up to fall sometimes. I used to get all excited and say to my dd, daddy's coming, you are going to see daddy, as if it were a special wonderful thing, then I realised that it was my tone that was wrong. You don't have to run him and I don't think it would be right to tell him that his daddy doesn't love him, but you can treat his time with daddy like an ordinary school day. At one point I remember commenting to my dd that I seriously doubted that her dad was capable of loving anyone, but she was much older.

BitOutOfPractice Thu 12-Nov-15 16:24:48

WTAF - god he's a knob OP

DixieNormas Thu 12-Nov-15 16:33:03

He sounds like Ds1s dad, in the end his gps made arrangements with me to have ds at weekends.

I wouldn't chase him if I was you, you can't make him be a good parent.

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