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Over this proposed contact arrangement?

(47 Posts)
MrsDeathOfRats Tue 26-Jul-16 10:34:42

Disclaimer: this is a short term idea until we get something more permanent in place.

STBXH moved out 2 weeks ago. He is in a shared house and doesn't feel comfortable taking the DC there. I'm fine with that but won't allow him back into the flat to see them either.
I have been meeting him in local parks for an hour here and there with them.
2 DC, 4 years and 22 months.

STBXH has Never had them out together. He always took one and left one with me. He is asking if he can take them out on his own, but one at a time.
And I feel really annoyed by this. I know it's going to mean he will be wanting one today and one tomorrow. And then a couple days later one then, one the next day.
Dd (4) will probably accept being told that he only has one car seat so can only take them one at a time but I feel like I'm still his child care.
I'm struggling along, trying to make ends meet, and find out rhythm and he's swanning in proposing cinema trips and play centres and special one on one time. Things I can't easily afford (I know I'm gonna have to get over this its just all a bit raw and it smarts cos he had zero interest in taking them 'out' when he lived with them)
And yes, I could have special one on one time with which ever one gets left behind so maybe that's the silver lining but I can't help feeling like I'm being used as child care cos he is too lazy and scared to attempt coping with them both.
I have to do everything with them both. Often had to when he lived here.
I can't go out and leave one behind. Not an option so I just feel that he should grow up and take this responsibility.
He says it isn't enjoyable to take them both out cos the little one tantrums and tries to run off (STBXH flatly refused to use buggy or reins) and then Dd screams if he doesn't do what she wants (she doesn't do that with me cos she knows it won't work but it does work with daddy).

AIBU to just to peed off by this?
I possibly am.

MrsBertBibby Tue 26-Jul-16 10:37:49

No, they are his children, not wild animals. Is he actually incapble, or does he think you'll be shagging all comers if he takes away both your mini minders?

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Tue 26-Jul-16 10:41:05

It's a common ploy. He doesn't want you to have any free time in case you shag someone else so is playing the 'I can't cope with both my children' card.

I'd tell him he has to take them both. It's not fair on you otherwise. He has to learn to cope.

bibliomania Tue 26-Jul-16 10:41:56

You don't have to agree to this. I know a situation where one parent tried to argue for this arrangement in court and was pretty much laughed out of court.

Fine if it suits both parents, but this effectively means you never get any childfree time.

MrsDeathOfRats Tue 26-Jul-16 10:44:40

Well, he did endlessly accuse me of having affairs. I was never certain when I was supposedly having them as I never went out in the evening and had 2 kids at home during the day so I could never figure it out.

I think he would find it a horrid experience taking them both. He would cope in that they wouldn't get hurt or lost but he wouldn't cope emotionally with it at all.
Neither child listens to him or obeys him. They just run riot over him. And he has a very short temper. He would likely bring them back early. Or they would both be in tears at some point.
Dd is an excitable child and DS is 22 months and makes a break for it whenever he can.
STBXH has genuinely never even taken them both down the road to the park, which is a 2 minute walk from our flat.
He panics that he won't be able to look after them both. By look after he means follow them around as if they are on tiny little ropes attached to him. They might fall! They might bump themselves!
Where as I take them to the park and tend to stay reasonably close to DS but let Dd go to the other end to play on the slide.

Wallywobbles Tue 26-Jul-16 10:44:48

Time for him to learn then. Non negotiable.

HardWorkButTheyMakeMeSmile Tue 26-Jul-16 10:46:20

I'm afraid I would put my foot down over this. You are establishing new boundaries right now, and if you allow this to become the normal pattern then it will continue in the same vain.

You have to manage two children on your own, why on earth shouldn't he ?

ayeokthen Tue 26-Jul-16 10:50:09

YANBU, they're his kids. It drives me nuts when I hear about dads who "can't manage them all at once". Why not? You deserve some time to yourself too, and like you said, it's not like you can just go out and leave one behind. He's being a twat imo.

LemonBreeland Tue 26-Jul-16 10:51:37

I agree with others, it's time he learnt to look after his own children. He can put the younger child in a pushchair to get safely to places. Time for him to grow up and be an actual parent.

MrsDeathOfRats Tue 26-Jul-16 11:02:27

Good.
Cos so far since he left it has been endless requests and 'favours' yet I asked for one thing and got back a very quick no. Which was to have him return something that belongs to me.
Somehow he is making me seem unreasonable, like I would be 'using' the kids to get to him or punishing them.

It feels as if separating has brought a harder level of manipulation then there was when we were married, I now feel like I have to say yes to a lot of stuff for the kids sake

DoinItFine Tue 26-Jul-16 11:05:29

If spending time with both children at the same time is a punishment, then he is the one doing the punishing, surely?

MrsDeathOfRats Tue 26-Jul-16 11:15:27

That is a good way to look at it.

He will see it as a punishment, not because he has to have both but purely from a point of me doing it to him. This is my way of punishing him is by refusing to do what he wants. beginning to see why I am divorcing him yet
He will not get any enjoyment out of the time cos he will be super stressed and it is hard work with the age gap.
Take them to a soft play and they want to play in different areas so how do you stay with them both???
Take them to the cinema, Dd wants you to sit with her whilst DS wants to run around... So how do you manage?
Park - Dd wants to go over there, DS just wants to hug trees and fall over on the grass - how do you keep them big safe??

The answer to all the above is generally easy but cos he has never done it he has no experience. He also thinks 'looking after them' means shadowing them to within an inch of their lives. Which you simply can't do with 2 kids.
He is firmly opposed to any suggestions made to him. Flat out refuses to use a buggy, or reins.
Never considers Dd's actual opinion (for example he will pick a meal for her off the menu as he thinks it's the best one for her and then get really cross and exasperated with her if she doesn't eat it and she cries despite the fact that she asked for something else)

In all honesty, I wish he would fuck off out their lives and I would probably be doing my kids a favour by letting him have one at a time

DoinItFine Tue 26-Jul-16 11:27:33

You wouldn't be doing them a favour by letting him act like a distant relative.

They are his children.

He needs to care for them like a parent.

If he can't or won't, that is his failure.

Not yours.

Your children have a right to a father.

Not a jolly uncle.

Floralnomad Tue 26-Jul-16 11:33:17

Does he not have a parent /sibling / friend nearby that could assist him by hosting him and both DC at their house

rumblingDMexploitingbstds Tue 26-Jul-16 11:47:50

This is a 'we're no longer a couple' thing.

When you're a couple you put yourself out to support your partner, you wrangle children together, there's give and take, and where there's a difference in childcare skills the one with the weaker skills get to lean and rely on the one who's stronger.

When you separate, that stops. Contact with his children is his problem, his responsibility, he has to sort it. That's what happens when you're a lone parent. He doesn't get to keep some of the partner bits of the relationship he'd miss. He expects you to be able to handle both children together when he's not around - well he can crack on then, can't he?

Penfold007 Tue 26-Jul-16 11:53:43

Would you be prepared to let him have both DC in your flat for a couple of hours for say the first few times so he get used to taking responsibility for both of them? You would go out even if its just for a coffee.
If that doesn't work for you then just say so. If you want him to take both children then just say no to split childcare.

Effic Tue 26-Jul-16 12:10:44

Guess it depends what you prefer and where your priorities are?
You say ex having them together would be a disaster and "punishment". You say you know your children will hate it as he "can't handle it" And you imply this is because he has no authority or boundaries with the children. So I guess if what you want out of saying no is that your children have a shit time with their dad and he has a shit time with them and contact with their dad becomes a miserable experience for all - then saying no to this is likely to get that outcome. Which is what you actually want "him to fuck off out of their life's"
I wonder if this is really the best outcome for the children though?
I think that's very sad for them.

MrsDeathOfRats Tue 26-Jul-16 12:20:22

It is extremely sad for them. Which is why I have always done what I can to make the best of everything and worked so hard to make sure things run smoothly so that he stays happy so they are happy.

He isn't allowed in my flat. I'm not bothered about being here with him.
But he planted a listening device here when he lived with us (to spy on me) and when he came in last week to collect something that was too heavy for me to put outside he went through my cupboards and took some more bits without asking.

I wish they had a father who wasn't so angry and short tempered and frustrated at the world but they don't and I guess I see it as my job to temper/mitigate the situation.
It just makes me boil knowing I am still 'giving into him' when he dictates how things will happen.

The more I'm thinking about this arrangement and discussing it (just spoke to my mum) the more I see that actually this is best for the kids.
If I look at the positives:
He gets time one to one, which means the kid in question at the time has a happier experience as he is relaxed with them.
I get one to one with the other child to do something like swimming etc (or something I struggle to do with 2)
I don't have to stress and worry that they are having an awful time cos he is stressed and therefore not coping.

Perhaps when he has a flat he would be able to cope better with both.

Sorry if I've annoyed anyone by essentially going round in a circle. I'm very confused and foggy at the moment. All these co parenting politics and he is a very manipulative person.

hazeimcgee Tue 26-Jul-16 12:23:39

Agree with pp's whi say you need to put new boundaries in. Tell him he's having both - here's pram and reins etc. I'll be back in 30 minutes (thinking in park you can pop to shops. Then extend it.

Tell him HIS children want to see him together. Yes its ok to split it occasionally so you all get 121 time but he also has to learn to parent all the children he helped make.

hazeimcgee Tue 26-Jul-16 12:25:16

Sorry cross posted

Mummyme1987 Tue 26-Jul-16 12:26:29

No court would give him one to one contact excluding the other. So say no and get a contact order underway.time to grow up and be a dad.

Mummyme1987 Tue 26-Jul-16 12:28:53

Occasionally that is nice, but not every time. And only if it's convenient for you.

DoinItFine Tue 26-Jul-16 12:30:41

It's sad for them that they have a shit dad.

It is happy for them that they have a good mother.

Her ability to be their parent on her own terms should not be compromised by his inability and unwillingness to be a parent.

They deserve at least one parent unencumbered by their father's incompetence.

He is using contact to continue his abuse of you.

That is why you feel foggy and confused.

Your children deserve a mother who is not emotionally abused by their father.

You need to say no.

Either he is a parent, or he is not.

That is 100% on him.

Not your responsibility.

Mummyme1987 Tue 26-Jul-16 12:32:17

The first time after separating my ex did this sort of thing to me. He picked them up expecting that all their food and drink and everything they could need would be packed all ready for him. As it would have been on a family day out previous to the split. He was shocked that on his contact days that he would have to sort food, drink, sun cream, money for treats.

Mummyme1987 Tue 26-Jul-16 12:34:08

He brought them back early too. Couldn't cope.

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