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XDH and access to the children.

(10 Posts)
123andaway Thu 20-Aug-09 11:47:11

I don't think I am - but need some objective opinions please!!

I have 3 DC's, DS1 11, DS2 8 and DD 6. DS1 has aspergers and is very challenging alot of the time.

I have been separated from XDH for 3.5 years. We have kept things friendly, which on my part is purely for the benefit of the DC's.

He's never been very good with access arrangements. For the first year or two he would take the DC's to his house for tea once a week. He works an odd shift pattern so the day changed each week but I don't have a problem with this. He also pops in to my house to see the kids when it suits him. Usually twice a week for an hour or so. Again Im happy for him to do this as the kids love to see him. He occassionally take them out for the day, but I do mean occassionally - kind of once every 3 months. I can count on one hand the amount of times they've been to stay at his house in the last few years!

He has over the last year stopped taking them for tea, which means that he now sees the kids at my house 2 or 3 times a week at my house and takes them out very occassionally - this is the extent of his access.

The DC's seem happy with this as they see Daddy on a regular basis, but it's nowhere near enough of a break for me.

I cannot leave DS1 with anyone else due to his special needs. He is also home tutored (due to the fact there is no suitable school for him - not as a positive choice on my part), the result being he is with me 24/7 and I REALLY do need some time off. I just feel like its kids kids kids all the time and I never ever get anytime off.

Whats prompted this post is that today he HAD said that he would take the DC's swimming today. He's not had them at all since the holidays started and I was really looking forward to some time off - I'd even booked a hair appointment! He came round I though to take the children, but then proceeded to say that he hadn't said he would take them at all but was busy today. DS1 also though XDH had said he was taking them (he did say it I know he did!) and was very upset. Apparently he had vaugley promised to take them somewhere sometime next week.

I have tried talking to him about this. He is (so he tells me) VERY busy at the moment. He works full time, helps at Cadets twice a week (I think he should put his kids before other peoples but there you go!) and is trying to do up his new house (which is cosmetic work, it's not like he's living in a building site). He does this poor 'Im so put apon and so tired' act everytime I challenge him.

I don't want to stop him seeing the children at my house in order to force him to take them, as the end result would be they would see alot less of their dad.

So AIBU as the DCs are getting the contact they need with their dad. Is it unfair of me to insist he sees them more and takes them out of my house so that I can get a break?

wheresmypaddle Thu 20-Aug-09 14:59:28

Hi there,
Firstly I wanted to say well done for pretty much single handedly parenting your 3 DCs and home schooling your youngest. You must be a very strong and special mum to handle this.

Also you have managed to put your children's needs first and your differences aside for the sake of your DCs and allow your EX to see them when it suits him and not you, and in your home. This has allowed your DCs to maintain a relationship with their Dad- I think they will thank you for this when they are older.

It seems clear from your post that your EX has left you to shoulder the responsibility for DCs. You have done a fantastic job of stepping up to the mark.

I hope you won't mind me being honest: None of this is fair, your EX should make regular arrangements, stick to them and give you a well earned break by having DCs away from your home. But (and here is the big but) from your post it doesn't sound like he will do this for you.

IMHO you have every right to insist on he sees them more and takes them elsewhere, but it sounds as though he may not deliver. Your next option would be to say that unless he can do this he cannot see the DCs but this will upset the DCs and potentially damage their relationship with their dad.

This situation is not fair, but(again only MHO), I think you may need to accept that you are banging against a closed door. You are totally justified in wishing that this particular door would open but you may be wasting your energy tyring to force your EX to change and start being reasonable.

You may need to accept he won't change and that in order to preserve his relationship with the kids you have to 'put up' with his unreasonable behaviour.

Can you look to anyone else for some help or to give you the rest that you really deserve and need?

123andaway Thu 20-Aug-09 18:58:46

Thanks WMP thats really good advice. Thank you for taking the time to answer, I really appreciate it.

slowreadingprogress Thu 20-Aug-09 19:06:24

I agree that you sound an amazing mum!

Personally, I would in very clear terms tell him that you would like him to have the children including overnights, more regularly. I'd also be saying that I would expect any half decent father to see his own children enough first then look to help at cadets.

I just think it's got to be spelled out in very clear terms because he needs not to be able to say "but you never told me" etc etc

However I do agree that if he won't deliver there's not much you can do because you can't (and wouldn't) use the children as a weapon in the negotiations.

But of course you need some time off and a break. Get him to contribute to an au pair?

mamas12 Thu 20-Aug-09 19:47:26

Echo everyone in saying phew well done so far.
He does need to see his kids before other peoples so don't know if it's poss but can you sign the dcs up to the cadets at all, and then he will pick them up and take them there and bring them back???

CloudDragon Thu 20-Aug-09 19:57:59

I agree that you are doing an amazing job. I would be pissed off too.

First off I would go out when he turns up if that's not too weird for you to leave him in your house.

Tell him you won't be back til late/tomorrow (letting DCs know before of course) and go out/to a friends/to a hotel/your mums et

I would then tell him in no uncertain terms that either he coughs up for a childmiinder/babysitter or starts having them at his house not yours, it's too easy for him and not fair on you.

I think you keeping things civil is amazingly important for your children. One of the greatest things you can do as a parent when you split, but not too the point of him taking advantage of your good nature.

Best of luck smile

GypsyMoth Thu 20-Aug-09 20:41:53

does he pay csa?mis he aware there is a reduction for each night they spend with him? shot in the dark,but maybe a small incentive for him

123andaway Thu 20-Aug-09 21:19:26

Thanks for your replies.

SRP - no an au pair wouldn't be an option as we just don't have the space. sad

Mamas - they are all too young for cadets (it's 13 I think). DS2 is really keen to go when he's a bit older but thats a few years away. DS1 unfortunately struggles with a trip to the shops, there just wouldn't be the support somewhere like that for him even with Dad there, and I don't think he would want to do it even if it could be arranged.

Cloud - DS1 cannot be left with a baby sitter/childminder etc. He is 11, but in terms of social skills he is like a toddler with the tantrums to match! He is a very special boy, and can be an absolute star, but he does need alot more care than your average 11 year old. I've looked into special needs care but its so very expensive.

IDRTDM - The CSA have just caught up with him! I knew they were in a mess but 3.5 years is crazy! I suspect he has put down on the CSA form that he has them a night or two a week, and Im not vendictive enough to tell them otherwise. If they ask me then I will tell them the truth, but so far they have not asked. I don't get any of the money that he pays to the CSA.

2rebecca Thu 20-Aug-09 21:57:02

I thought you got a copy of the CSA form. Why don't you get any of the CSA money? I don't understand that. 3 1/2 years sounds excessive.

GypsyMoth Thu 20-Aug-09 22:02:00

no,they will ask you to confirm,they did with me anyway. maybe they will get round to it in another 3 years!!!

can you not tell him this is what will happen. tell him you cant lie,and they check up

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