Do you want to see your kids as much as possible or do you want a 'life' too?(19 Posts)
Exp and I have been trying to come to an arrangement over contact.
I have not asked for maintenance nor expect it.
We were doing well with him having the Dc's 3 weekends a month. Usually pick up Saturday morning, have overnight, then he took them to his parents who then bring them home.
He has now changed to every other weekend, which, I know is better than nothing. But his excuse is 'I want a life with my mates, the mates I've known longer than you've been alive' 'Why should I have to give up all my free time?'
Erm, because you are their dad!
On the weekends he has them I try and get everything done that cannot be done properly while they are here. (2 under 4's). I don't spend my 'free' time going out on the lash with my mates looking for new 'buddies'!
So, my question to you Dadnetters is.......
Would you prefer to see your children as much as you could, or give some of that precious time out so you can go get pissed?
I do see my children as much as possible.
And can't really understand why any Dad wouldn't.
Is he young?
He is 39, so no, not young.
I have already explained that he has had over 30 years to go out and enjoy himself.
I am younger, and haven't had the 'years' to go enjoy myself, and really I am not too fussed about it.
If it were the other way round I'd want to see them as much as possible, even it was just for an hour after work.
I'm in a minority on here (apart from being a man)
Because I think this NRP and RP scenario encourages this sort of attitude, one parent is marginalised and allowed to not take responsibility, and seen as a bit parent, and if you treat someone like that they become it.
I'm a fan of shared care and 50-50 residency, but as I said I'm in a minority.
And I can never understand why people would have children with someone they wouldn't trust to look after them half the time.
That's a general comment and not aimed at you OP.
I trust him 100%, just thought I'd say although I know that was not aimed at me. He doesn't want them half the time, because this is my 'job' and 'life' now you see.
He seems to think that I want him to have them all.the.time so that he doesn't have a life. I want him to just work and then have the kids.
This really isn't the case. I just want my kids to see their dad as much as possible, especially whilst they are small.
Maybe there is jealousy on my part. Maybe I am jealous that he gets to go out so often with his mates and work mates whilst I am the one dealing with everything the kids throw at me.
Ah, I don't know.
In answer to your question
If I had the choice kids or going out, it would be the children.
They're only young for a bit. But that doesn't really help because it's what he wants.
I'd ask for maintenance if I were you, if he's not helping much he should be paying.
I agree with Truckrelented, I would ask for maintenance. At the moment he has it too easy with basically dictating what he wants. He has a duty to the children, and you shouldn't have to pay for everything.
In terms of him seeing them, that is such a tricky area. You clearly want what is best for your children, and he wants what is best for himself. Even at 39, it sounds like he needs to grow up and bit and take some responsibility.
Could he have them during the week sometimes or is he too far away?
Because of his shift patterns he only picks them up for tea once a fortnight during the week.
When we were together he paid a couple of bills for me on his CC which is why he say's he now cannot pay maintenance because he's still 'paying' my bills.
You could always work out what maintenance would be, and how much he paid for your bills and see if he is talking BS.
That was whilst we were living together too and I had no money as had the dc's.
I did pay a big chunk off what I owe I back in May.
It is definitely worth working out all the details, as it sounds like he is taking advantage of you. He has an obligation to help you to take care of the children and can't just expect you to pay for everything yourself.
Truck, you might be in a minority but it ain't of 1. I couldn't agree more that 50 /50 shared care should be the norm if that's what's wanted and I still find it staggering that equality hasn't caught up with that here when it has in so many other territories. Unless of course one parent can unequivacably be proved to be a danger to their child.
However getting back to OP's posts - nope don't understand that. I've found that divorce has allowed me to compartmentalise my Daddy life and my social life more effectively (i.e. on the weekends I'm not with DS it's easier to go out / get involved with hobbies without responsibility). But I'd swap that in a heartbeat to be able to see my DS every weekend instead. Enjoying the benefit though becasue it's out of my hands so why not.
The point, though, is that unfortunately no separated parent can be forced to take up their responsibility if they don't want to (and sometimes, rarely, that's mother's too). I agree he sounds immature and a fool - and quite frankly onehundredpercent there are literally 1000s of separated Dads who would kill to have an ex with your attitude towards letting them see their children, so good on you.
Do agree on maintenance as well btw. If he isn't taking responsibility in terms of actual parenting he can be forced to at least take responsibliity financially and he should be. For me that is what maintenance should be. A tax on parents who took the decision to be parents and then decided they didn't care enough to do the actual parenting.
If he is putting mates before kids then you need put a formalized agreement in place. How long until its once a month. He can have his fun in 5 years time, but now it needs be kids first as he will look back when they at secondary school and wonder where the time passed him by.
I find men like this completely incomprehensible, FWIW. I know of nothing more constantly fascinating or engaging than spending time with my kids and bringing them up.
But then that's within a loving family where I'm still with their mother. Maybe I'd feel differently if we were separated, I don't know.
But I do think if he doesn't want to be with him, you probably shouldn't push him if you can help it. It's a question of what's best for the kids, and they will probably grow up better with you actually caring for them, even if your time is stretched and you have to put them in front of the TV while you cook dinner and do the washing, than with him having them around begrudgingly and wishing they'd bugger off.
It's his loss really. We're all terribly lucky to have the privilege of raising children.
I don't bother pushing him to see them. There's no point. My so called father was pushed into seeing us once a month and boy did we know it. As it happens, I don't see or speak to him anymore and I do not want that for my kids.
Like you say confidence, his loss.
A brief question for the OP ..... Why have you not asked for maintenance from him?
Also I cannot understand why any parent who's child/children are not resident with them is not trying to claim every last possible second with said child/children. Being a dad is THE MOST PRECIOUS THING POSSIBLE to me, and I could never imagine not wanting to be around my children. Your ex sounds very selfish to me and need a swift kick up his
arse behind. Having said that it may not be in your interests to enforce contact. But he needs to take responsibility both financialy and by being there for his children.
Good luck on your journey as a parent
Me: married to DW, and have two little ones 3 mos and 2 years. I commute 5 days a week, and travel for work during the week 1-2 times per month for 2-3 days at a time.
Sometimes I have to be an adult on my own for my own sanity. I try to encourage this for my DW as well - I want her to be able to go do things on her own without two in tow; we both used to be pretty independent. Right now it's not very easy to do, as the littlest one is just 3 months and breastfed, so DW's options for solo / girl's time are extremely limited. I've had to travel solo to a good friend's stag do and wedding (I was away for 10 days) last summer but we just couldn't afford to fly us both, and the DW was pregnant at the time. I was totally miserable for all but the first 3 days away - I missed my family!
So to answer the OP - I think it depends on how much I was engaged daily with them. I see my little ones in the mornings, but most nights by the time I get home they're already in bed. If I was not in the house at all, then I would want every other weekend to be their time with me, and want to have at least 50% of the time they're on break from school (when they get older) to be with me.
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