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For not helping exDH with World Bookday costumes?

(25 Posts)
MattBerrysHair Fri 26-Feb-16 09:33:13

Hi all,

I'm a very long-time lurker but I've decided to sign up and get some advice of my own. Excuse the length of this!

Backstory is, I'm on ESA at the moment with newly diagnosed bipolar (I'm also aspie, diagnosed just over a year ago). Ex and I decided to separate January '15 and he finally moved out last July and I had a breakdown. The separation was amicable and we tried to maintain the very good friendship that we had always had, but it hasn't really worked out like that as he tends to take his stress out on me by being grumpy and defensive. I'm very introverted and collected so my depression and manic episodes I keep to myself so he isn't responding to my behaviour, he's just always dealt with his issues that way.

I have our 2 DS's, 7 and 5, Sunday to Thursday morning then ExDH has them until either Saturday teatime or Sunday morning when he drops them off with me. We wanted 50/50 contact but there was no way his job would have allowed more flexible working.

World Book day is obviously on his day so a few weeks ago I reminded him and mentioned that they needed costume sorting out. I'm always very careful to approach things gently as his default mode with me is a bit prickly.

Yesterday he said I should sort the costumes as he 'works all week' and I have much more free time. I said no as I didn't want to set a precedent for him palming off stuff onto me as he has done so in the past. I also asked what he'd do about things like this when I am working (which I'll hopefully be able to do in a month or so now my medication is stable).

AIBU? I help him out with dentist appointments etc in his days so I'm not completey uncooperative, but I really resent the insinuation that I do nothing all day and he's run off his feet. I'm doing my best to run a house on my own and get myself better. He has a gf to help him too.

MattBerrysHair Fri 26-Feb-16 09:39:39

Hi all,

I'm a very long-time lurker and I decided to sign up and get some advice of my own. Excuse the length of this!

Backstory is, I'm on ESA at the moment with newly diagnosed bipolar (I'm also aspie, diagnosed just over a year ago). Ex and I decided to separate January '15 and he finally moved out last July and I had a breakdown. The separation was amicable and we tried to maintain the very good friendship that we had always had, but it hasn't really worked out like that as he tends to take his stress out on me by being grumpy and defensive. I'm very introverted and collected so my depression and manic episodes I keep to myself so he isn't responding to my behaviour, he's just always dealt with his issues that way.

I have our 2 DS's, 7 and 5, Sunday to Thursday morning then ExDH has them until either Saturday teatime or Sunday morning when he drops them off with me. We wanted 50/50 contact but there was no way his job would have allowed more flexible working.

World Book day is obviously on his day so a few weeks ago I reminded him and mentioned that they needed costume sorting out. I'm always very careful to approach things gently as his default mode with me is a bit prickly.

Yesterday he said I should sort the costumes as he 'works all week' and I have much more free time. I said no as I didn't want to set a precedent for him palming off stuff onto me as he has done so in the past. I also asked what he'd do about things like this when I am working (which I'll hopefully be able to do in a month or so now my medication is stable).

AIBU? I help him out with dentist appointments etc in his days so I'm not completey uncooperative, but I really resent the insinuation that I do nothing all day and he's run off his feet. I'm doing my best to run a house on my own and get myself better. He has a gf to help him too.

MattBerrysHair Fri 26-Feb-16 09:41:11

Sorry, I haven't got the hang of posting yet!

titchy Fri 26-Feb-16 09:43:57

Good for you. Parenting isn't just about the things that are convenient. If he wanted 50/50 then he also gets to deal with 50% of the inconvenient things.

BlueMoonRising Fri 26-Feb-16 09:45:19

I don't think YABU. Would he help you with it if it was on your day? I suspect not..

antimatter Fri 26-Feb-16 09:48:49

He could ask for help reminding kids to find something suitable in your dressing box but actually full responsibility is on his side.

I would respond as you did and would no budge!

BathtimeFunkster Fri 26-Feb-16 09:57:09

I think that since they will be with you that morning and you will be getting them ready for school, that actually WBD falls on your day and not his.

World Book Day is about reading, not dressing up, so I always ask my kids to choose their favourite character and put their own costume together out of stuff they have.

It's not about looking just like the character, but adopting a significant snt part of their appearance, eg odd shoes = Ottoline, stripy tights and plaits = Pippi Longstocking

redhat Fri 26-Feb-16 09:59:14

Um, yes it falls on your morning not his morning. You have them until they go to school on Thursday. It's on Thursday. If you're going to maintain your stance about when things fall its entirely your responsibility.

MattBerrysHair Fri 26-Feb-16 10:05:52

It's next Friday isn't it???

redhat Fri 26-Feb-16 10:07:17

Nope, Thursday 3rd March

BathtimeFunkster Fri 26-Feb-16 10:07:29

Next Thursday AFAIK

MattBerrysHair Fri 26-Feb-16 10:09:47

Whoops! We both thought it was Friday blush

In that case I'm being totally unreasonable and I'll do the costumes myself. Just formulating a grovelling text to exDH............

redhat Fri 26-Feb-16 10:11:39

Why don't you check with the school in case they have moved the dress down day to the Friday for some reason.

ArmfulOfRoses Fri 26-Feb-16 10:12:41

It's Wednesday here so must be different across the country.

If you have suitable stuff in a dressing up box then I would hand it over, or if I was going to town I'd tell him to transfer some cash and get something, I would also point out they can go in normal clothes as Horrid Henry/Tracey Beaker.

But equally you gave him lots of notice and presumably he can work amazon etc.

I guess it comes down to knowing if he just won't bother and yours will be the only ones in uniform and how much that would upset them.

OhShutUpThomas Fri 26-Feb-16 10:13:18

I certainly wouldn't grovel.

Check the dates, then send 'there's been a mistake, WBD is Thurs which is my day so obv I'll sort it. I'll give you a heads up in future if there's anything out of the ordinary they'll be needing on your days. Cheers.

PollyCazaletWannabe Fri 26-Feb-16 10:15:22

I would check first that the school isn't doing it on the Friday instead. I'm a teacher and we almost always used to have any dressing up days on a Friday because it unsettles kids.

Jessbow Fri 26-Feb-16 10:16:13

At the end of the day, if you two spend time tossing it to and fro, who is going to suffer? the children. is that fair?

Can you really not compromise?

BathtimeFunkster Fri 26-Feb-16 10:19:15

If it's Friday, then I agree with you.

I don't believe your children will suffer in any significant way if you leave it up to their Dad to be a parent.

MattBerrysHair Fri 26-Feb-16 10:21:57

Of course the DC would never go without costumes! And they would never be aware of the exchanges between exDH and I.

I'll double check when the actual dressing up day is. It's the assumption that I should take on responsibilities he doesn't want that I have an issue with, not the actual event itself. He would never do the same for me.

snep Fri 26-Feb-16 10:32:02

Although he has moved out and you are no longer a couple, you still have a relationship. As it is early days you are still defining what that relationship is going to look like. Setting boundaries (like this one) is part of negotiating that new relationship. I think it sounds like you're doing a great job. Polite and fair.

ProfGrammaticus Fri 26-Feb-16 10:32:44

Yes, exactly OP. So many men who say they want to be involved and are so very surprised when it means they actually have to do things that they think are women's work - or just don't think about at all.

BathtimeFunkster Fri 26-Feb-16 10:44:31

Of course the DC would never go without costumes!

When they're with you.

If their Dad can't be arsed helping them organise costumes on his days, then that's up to him.

Let him parent his way.

But don't step in to help him parent your way with his level of effort.

Going to school without costumes is really not a big deal.

Lots of parents (including me) are not into dressing up days and make minimal effort.

My kids seem unharmed.

Bluewombler2k Fri 26-Feb-16 11:16:54

World Book Day proper is on Thursday but my son's school is doing it on the Friday so you might have been correct from the start. I had to double check with the school too

MattBerrysHair Fri 26-Feb-16 11:26:43

The DC's school are definitely doing it on Thursday, I just checked, so I'll do the costumes. Regarding parental responsibilities when we each have the DC, I'm going to take BathtimeFunkster's advice and just let exdh parent the way he wants to without trying to manage him, and firmly and politely keep solid boundaries in place.

PansOnFire Fri 26-Feb-16 11:26:45

Our school is celebrating it on the Friday so you might be right. I'd speak to your Ex and let him know what the children are wanting to dress as, then share it between you. That way it's not one of you having to do all the work, let's face it WBD is an absolute pain in the arse and so is creating costumes for any event. A problem shared and all that...

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