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How to stop him using me as babysitter/emergency
My husband and I are separated since December and living in different homes since a month ago. He wants 50/50 childcare split so we came up with which days and nights we'd do. All fine. But since we've started this, every single week there's been something he has had to do at work, or he's had to go away (for work) etc so then I have to take care of the kids. I work at home (I work as a journalist and illustrator) so I understand why he sees it as 'oh you can just look after them' but I really cannot earn a full wage this way and I can't even plan my time properly. Should I demand he finds hired help to solve his work event/travel issues? Or should I ask that it not be 50/50 and therefore pay less towards childcare costs? I don't know how to navigate this... any advice welcome!
He doesn't appear to actually want to do 50/50. He just expects you to be main carer. So he doesn't have to pay maintenance I suspect
If he wants 50/50, then he needs to provide childcare during his 50% of the time. If he can't do it because of work, he needs to find and pay someone to do it.
Or the two of you can come up with an arrangement to suit both of you, but he'll be paying more maintenance and it won't be 50/50.
Ha, well, I just sent him a message saying this (word for word): "Clearly I will take the kids on Friday but you need to find an alternative to asking me to take care of them every time you have something on, work or otherwise. It's not 50/50 childcare unless it's 50/50 time split. So either you need to make up the time or you need to find someone to take care of the kids and pay that person or it's simply not 50/50... I don't work on a wage basis so every hour I am not working is one hour of waves lost. Right now I have plenty of work but am not getting it done because I am not getting the time each week. It's impossible for me this way. If the 50/50 idea is going to work you need to find a way to make it fair. Because right now it's not."
His reply? "Ask, ask, ask, complain, complain, complain..."
I swear, the only thing I've actually asked him to do since we've been in separate homes is to buy me out of my share of the house. NOTHING else. He, on the other hand, has asked me all kinds of stuff, from sorting the kids' outfits for school, to finding the hair brush (at his place), to pick up some shopping for him and even making him a bolognese sauce the kids love! I know, I know, he's totally taking the piss... the question is how to navigate this without it getting ugly for the sake of the kids. Will make an appointment with a lawyer to see what can be done at this point without going totally 'warfare' on him, which I don't think will help matters. Argh.
I’d be tempted to reply ‘I didn’t say you were complaining, just you’re asking a lot. Don’t be hard on yourself, we just need to keep to the agreement, or adjust the maintenance’. 😁
visitorthedog that is brilliant! I am totally going to do that... if nothing else, it'll make me chuckle some more!
We definitely need to know his reply
Sent! He hasn't read it yet... will be back to let you know what his response is, if he sends one. Really made me feel good to send that, though, THANK YOU!
I wouldn't even explain to him. I'd just say no when he asks. No I can't - I'm busy. No I can't make sauce. No I can't find their brush. And just stop engaging. He'll have to just sort it himself.
And I'd keep a record of all the days you do have the kids if you do end up claiming child support.
I’d also stop responding to messages about pasta sauces and hair brushes. Then several days later I’d say ‘didn’t see message, I’m sure you must have sorted it now’ and keep doing it.
He only does it as you pick up the slack.
I would open a CMS claim if you do keep taking care of the dc tho, however CMS is based on number of overnight stays the dc have with each parent.
Yep, not really 50/50 is it. And maybe he'll realise now just how much of his slack you picked up!
No, you are!
You complain all the time.
His reply. It's at times like these that I'm so glad I've had people around enough to be able to tell me that I'm not crazy and that what he says about me and what I do just isn't true.
How old are the kids?
I'd be tempted to give them a phone to contact you if it's age appropriate and stop checking his messages when it's his time to have them. He can sort it out.
You're all absolutely correct. I need to just say no and stick to it. Last week he booked a work trip for a week (starting on Sunday) and he didn't even ask me or check whether I was available. Just booked and then put it in the calendar. I told him then that he needed to ask as I might not be able to take care of the kids but clearly that info hasn't suk in either.
Damn, I always thought of myself as a woman who wouldn't put up with this kind of stuff... and yet here I am. Well, at least I demanded the separation after years of wanting it and suggesting it. That's a step in the right direction...
Thanks all! <3
You we’d to stop engaging with him at all.
He will eventually either step up to the responsibility of 50/50 or abandon the kids to you entirely. At least you’ll be a able to plan accordingly then.
Rtmhwales, they're 7 and 11. The biggest problem I have is that he lives close enough that he could walk to my house in less than a minute (we're practically neighbours but we live on a hill in the countryside). So if I didn't answer his messages he could just turn up at the front door and still have his place in eye view (so not really leaving the kids alone).
Definitely don't give explanations when he asks for something next time. Just say nope, can't do. If he responds then you can say 'complain complain demand demand. Answer is still no'. And then ignore the prick.
What do you mean by calendar? Are you sharing a calendar?
If he comes to your house don't answer the door. Ignore him.
Btw moving 25 mins away from my ex was the best thing I ever did. He used to turn up unannounced. I was absolutely sick of sitting there with him banging at my door and trying to look through my windows.
Right, sent another message asking him what exactly he thinks I've been demanding about and what I've been complaining about, adding, "You've got it all topsy turvy. I have been so flexible with you and your needs but maybe I shouldn't bother as clearly you don't notice or appreciate it. So you can find your own childcare for Friday."
Of course, that doesn't address the week he's away next week, but at least I'm kind of putting my foot down?!
hesagooddog yes a Google calendar, so we can see the kids' activities and so on. Being farther away does sound sensible now... but at the time it seemed like being close would make things easier for the kids.
At least it’s a good reinforcement of why it’s good to be separated! He’s basically still expecting you to be ‘wifing’ isn’t he? Hilarious that he thinks you’re the one asking for things though.
Get rid of the calendar. It's just a way for him to do things on the sly and force communication from you and then tell you you're the problem!
Just to warn you Op, this will get ugly. He's a man baby, he wants everything his own way and he will lash out when you start to refuse. The reality of childcare interfering with his work and his social life will start to grind soon enough, and watch how the 50/ 50 idea becomes a distant memory. Although the funding won't! Be careful here! Trust me, get a lawyer and don't give him an inch. And get rid of the bloody Calender and have fixed days of the week!
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