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To not take my ex and son to wales

(206 Posts)
user1488318718 Tue 28-Feb-17 21:54:03

Name changed to generic for this.

Identifying but it's necessary.

I work full time as a shift worker. I earn minimum wage. I have always been kind to my ex and I love our son more than anything. I have him around two days a fortnight on average. I cannot have him set days as I work shifts that change.

I do always see my son though and I pay maintenance of £30 a week. This was calculated by the government.

Anyway, my ex never asks for anything, just the odd asking me to have our son for job interviews or emergencies.

What she does ask though, is I take her to wales to visit her family. It takes two hours each way so four hours of driving when I do take her down. She gives me £40 for petrol, and going to take her there and driving back/collecting her again costs £80 so she gives me half the petrol cost overall. She cannot afford anymore.

She could get the train but our three year old son is difficult on the train, she has a mile uphill walk from the train station to her house and there are three changes with waiting around.
Overall it takes 3hrs and 30 mins. She has always said if it was a direct train she would do it but it's the changes that are challenging and the car only takes 2 hours.

I've driven since I was 17 so never been on public transport.

My family have always said she is massively taking advantage of me and I should tell her to get the train (she can't afford driving lessons but is taking one a month and hoping to be at passing standard soon). That taking her to and from wales is ridiculous and she can get the train. I had a brief relationship with a woman who didn't agree with me making the journey either and said it was for her to make her own way there.

She goes around 5 times a year and stays for two weeks each time. She currently on income support but is job hunting and is a qualified teacher.

I have just told her that I cannot pick her up from wales this time and she will have to get the train. She was very upset.

I just feel that everyone is right and I'm being taken advantage of. I can't afford to pay for her ticket but would contribute something to her train fare.

AIBU to not take her and our son to wales/pick them up again?

Picking them up part of the way doesn't help much and she agrees.

So as not to drip feed, her parents are elderly and lonely so she goes to keep them company and is hoping to make a long term move nearer there. She has not settled in her current area and has no friends or support network to ask to take her down.

I compeltely understand why she needs to go, but as her ex, I don't think I should be continuing to take her. She left me, we've been split two years.

user1488318718 Tue 28-Feb-17 22:00:53

Any opinions welcomed as I just don't know what to think.

followTheyellowbrickRoad Tue 28-Feb-17 22:02:29

Have you looked online to see if there is a train with less changes. Why is a train difficult with a 3 year old?

lalalalyra Tue 28-Feb-17 22:04:51

Did you object to taking her before other people starting chipping in their opinions? If not why are you letting them sway you? If you chose to help out your ex with your child then that's your business.

She should be paying you the actual cost of petrol though. That's not up to you to sub. 3 changes of train with a small child is an absolute pain, and probably costs even more than petrol so I can see why she's upset.

You don't have to take her, but befor you stop be sure why. If you want to do something nice for your ex and child then it's nothing to do with anyone else.

ShowMePotatoSalad Tue 28-Feb-17 22:05:48

Why can't you have your son while she goes and visits her relatives on the train?

Arion Tue 28-Feb-17 22:07:36

You are paying the minimum amount of childcare (government set is the minimum), and you are begrudging taking your child to see his grandparents, a car journey making the journey less stressful for your child?
What is best for the child in this situation? That should be your motive, not what others are saying.

RandomMess Tue 28-Feb-17 22:08:18

I think it's good to support your DS' Mum in this way. Do you feel that she appreciates it?

Is £30 per week the CMS minimum requirement as it sounds very low?

Kewcumber Tue 28-Feb-17 22:09:09

Having a good relationship with the mother of your child is worth a lot more than a 4 hr round trip 5 times a year. IMVHO.

Tell her you'll do it three times a year and give her plenty of notice.

I wouldn;t relish taking a 3 year old on a 3.5 hour train journey with changes if there was an easy option.

Who cares what anyone else thinks - what do you think?

AyeAmarok Tue 28-Feb-17 22:10:05

It's up to you, of course. But your reasons not to do it aren't very kind.

£30 a week doesn't go far. I would say a lift is the least you can do for your son whom you see 2 days a fortnight.

neonrainbow Tue 28-Feb-17 22:10:05

£30 a week isn't much is it?

user1488318718 Tue 28-Feb-17 22:10:40

They want to see our son too.

I could some days but I work shifts so childcare would be almost impossible. I work until late at night some days. Maybe I'm not taking enough responsibility but our arrangement at the moment is I have him when I'm on my two days off.

She can get the train, she just doesn't want to because the journey is long and she feel complicated with a three year old who is an angel day to day but difficult for train journeys.

He gets bored and starts crying/getting tired even with an iPad, snacks etc.

I don't know how much my opinion has changed by people around me but I have always felt it was a bit unfair to expect me to take her.

When I pay the other £40 I don't pay maintenance for that week so technically only £10 Extra.

Rainbowqueeen Tue 28-Feb-17 22:12:21

I agree with lalalyra.

I also think if she is in Wales already, and she went on the basis that you would go and bring her back, that you are being incredibly mean.

Do you think that once she gets a job and your son gets older the rides may stop anyway. Does she drive?? She may be able to afford a car once she starts work. Can you talk to her and put a time limit on how much longer you will help her out with rides for. or suggest that she takes the train but you drop her at the station?

I would also be concerned that she may decide to take a job in Wales and move back there with your son and I would take that into account when making my decision.

early30smum Tue 28-Feb-17 22:13:22

YABVU

HeddaGarbled Tue 28-Feb-17 22:14:22

Could you help her out with the cost of the driving lessons as a way of speeding up her independence from you? Though, I suppose she won't ever be able to afford a car though, will she?

Inertia Tue 28-Feb-17 22:14:31

What's best for your son in this situation?

If you love your son more than anything, presumably you want to help cause him the minimum distress on long journeys. Do you love your son more than you love the opinion of your family? Do you love him more than you dislike your ex?

If you had a system that works for your son, you, and your ex, is it anyone else's concern?

mickeysminnie Tue 28-Feb-17 22:14:55

Well when she moves to Wales permanently you can look forward to driving yourself to and from Wales to pick up your child and drop them back. Safe in the knowledge that she is no longer taking 'advantage' of you!

bloodyteenagers Tue 28-Feb-17 22:15:51

Changing trains with a toddler and a case is a massive pita.
Does your family know you pay a pittance
And not pay any extra?
You do realise that children cost a lot more than what you are spending?

TalkingofMichaelAngel0 Tue 28-Feb-17 22:16:42

You pay an absolute joke of an amount of child maintenance. Seriously. Taking you child to see his grandparents 5 times a year is not taking the piss when you pay so little towards the cost to raise him.

Pollypickypocket Tue 28-Feb-17 22:18:18

So she facilitates you seeing you son on various add hock days to suit your shifts - you give her the bare minimum the government says and have your son 2 days a fortnightand you think your a hero for taking her to Wales 5 times a year ? Really ?

mickeysminnie Tue 28-Feb-17 22:18:33

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

mumeeee Tue 28-Feb-17 22:18:36

I think YABU . Five times a year is not very much really its not like you are doing it every other week,

MiddleClassProblem Tue 28-Feb-17 22:19:33

Maintenance does sound low but I don't know much about these things.

What about you take a holiday for one of these trips and have DS for the 2 weeks whilst she goes and offers to do it once or twice as a drive? But obviously you're not obligated to do any of this and you must get on to have this set up.

I'm surprised she hasn't relocated back there. Is that where she is job searching?

bloodyteenagers Tue 28-Feb-17 22:20:34

I would be thinking about moving to Wales
Permanently. Living near family for support that will be needed when starting work.

lalalalyra Tue 28-Feb-17 22:20:57

Hang on, so you don't pay £40 to take her there? You pay £10?

Seriously you need to have a good think to yourself before you wreck a good relationship with your ex over the opinions of other people (who probably don't realise that SHE pays for most of the petrol).

She's flexible to your work shifts.
She has sole responsibility for your child for 12 days of 14.
You pay the minimum in child support.

Why on earth would you grudge her a lift a few times a year to make life easier for YOUR child?

Why are you listening to other people rather than telling them that you are doing a favour for your son by making his trip to his grandparents easier?

DelphiniumBlue Tue 28-Feb-17 22:22:38

Being kind is never a bad thing. If you can help her out and give your son an easier time, then why wouldn't you? It doesn't matter what everybody else thinks. But if you want a reason, it's very much to your advantage to keep a good relationship with her, especially if she's planning to move further away.
She makes allowances for your shift work so you can see your son at times to suit you, and looks after him for 12 days out of 14. Presumably you won't be able to take on much in the way of regular childcare when she is working so she will have to find childcare. And pay for it. So helping her out every now and again is not unreasonable, and it doesn't sound sound to me like she's taking advantage, just trying to manage with whatever help you can offer. It is lovely for your son that you are both still able to parent him together, and it sounds as if you have both risen above the difficulties that must have existed at the time of separation. It can only benefit your son to see you both treating each other with kindness and respect.

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