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... to ask exDH's family to help out

(9 Posts)
UmmBum Wed 11-Oct-17 17:42:21

Long story ... and long shot too ... I split up with ex earlier on in the year and I'm really struggling with the DC(5) Three of these are biological to the ex in question. Aged 5,4, and 3.

One of my older children (DS13) has Autism and the second (DS10) is showing extreme behavioural issues to the point I had to make a safeguarding referral myself, in order to ensure the protection the younger DC (sadly this was due to inappropriate sexualised behaviour.) As part of the social work intervention, it was agreed ex would have his children at the weekends, to give me a break and to ensure stability for them given the issues within the home - obviously this was in place to help ensure their emotional well-being. Since then, ex has been very flaky with contact, going from weekly to fortnightly then to two sleepovers a month and now he is going abroad for 8 weeks with no contact.

I'm literally at my wits end. I have no siblings or wider family, my parents are helpful but they too are abroad at the moment longer-term.

I want to know whether I should contact exDH's family (he lives with his DM, DB and SIL - the norm in their culture to live with extended family) and let them know how much I am struggling and need support. To see if they can see the situation for it is and try and encourage more contact. Clearly this is about putting the children first, but I know that I am better parent when I get a break too, as things as so tough and at crisis point.

The thing is, I'm not naiive and know that you cannot force contact, or force an unwilling parent to take responsibility. The SW feels the same. But I feel it might be worth a shot, given that the children have (had?) a superb relationship with the extended family and used to sleep over other weekend before the split. I feel the DC are missing out and that actually, I am being 'punished' for instigating the split - but can't he see he is actually punishing the DC. What a shit. I'm sure the extended family will be missing the DC too.

I don't know if I'm so desperate that I'm not thinking straight, or whether it might actually help. There is a bit of a language barrier so I'd have to write, as the brother does speak English well, although GM and SIL don't.

Any thoughts? I'm a bit delicate at the moment, and might need my head-screwing on properly!

MadMags Wed 11-Oct-17 17:45:27

and the second (DS10) is showing extreme behavioural issues to the point I had to make a safeguarding referral myself, in order to ensure the protection the younger DC (sadly this was due to inappropriate sexualised behaviour.)

Wait, and he has access to your dc??

2014newme Wed 11-Oct-17 17:46:25

Yes do it. Even if they just take the younger easier one.
Could ss organise any respite care for you

MadMags Wed 11-Oct-17 17:46:29

Oh shit, sorry, I misread! I thought your ex had behaved sexually inappropriately with the dc!

So sorry flowers

I think it's worth asking if they could step up and help, but I don't think it's worth trying to get him to step up, IYSWIM?

UmmBum Wed 11-Oct-17 17:46:32

Yes, there is an agreed safety plan in place. It was a one-off and the situation is being monitored. But its one bloody huge mess.

UmmBum Wed 11-Oct-17 17:47:12

It was DS10 - sorry if not clear.

MadMags Wed 11-Oct-17 17:49:32

You were clear, I just read it funny!

So long as the dc are in no danger from anyone at ex-inlaws' house, I would ask for help.

Do you have support in RL? I don't mean for respite, I mean someone just to talk to.

Silverthorn Wed 11-Oct-17 17:53:16

Wow you have a lot on your plate! No harm in asking them, but be prepared for not getting the answer you want.
Can you get referred for some respite care?

shakingmyhead1 Thu 12-Oct-17 01:12:37

I wouldnt tell them i was struggling, i would ask if even though ex was swanning off overseas if they would like to see the children on a regular basis, you know keep those family ties intact etc, even if dads not interested in being a dad maybe granny and aunty etc would like to spend time with them

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