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Does your DC know when they're seeing the other parent?

(11 Posts)
davidtennantsmistress Thu 16-Jun-11 13:08:14

DS never knows, I think i'm protecting DS as XH will drop him & pick him up to 'suit work' committments. (honestly if you ask him he supports the whole of his regt single handed - is forces) anyhow typically DS will see him one weekend a month and one day mid month as XH doens't have the money to take him anywhere. not my problem, but anyhow, Unless it's the weekend away I don't tell DS his dad's coming as I don't want to have to look into DS's little face & see the hurt/ upset.

DP however thinks I should be telling DS when his dad's coming (ie should be every other week) and if XH doesn't come then he should be the one to tell DS via phone that he's not (DS won't really talk to his dad on the phone as tbh his dad doesn't bother with him/it).

I just want to protect my son & do the best for him, but DP thinks i'm protecting XH.

gillya Thu 16-Jun-11 18:10:45

How old is your DS? I think that age has a bearing on the amount of protecting (for want of a better word) that is appropriate.
Now that my daughter is 15 the level of sheltering from things has altered dramatically from say when she was 5 or 6.

davidtennantsmistress Thu 16-Jun-11 18:13:37

he's 5, i hate the thought that he will think he's not worth his dads attention/love etc as he never wants to spend time with him.

ds never wants to go with his dad but usually has a niceish time. and atm until he consistently says he doesn't wannt to go/ refuses i'm not sure i can/want to stop contact as rightly or wrongly ds deserves a relationship with his dad.

gillya Thu 16-Jun-11 18:43:15

Assuming your XH is not considered to be a danger then stopping contact probably isn't an option legally, and ultimately in the long term it probably wouldn't do you any favours as far as how your DS feels about you.
In an ideal world his dad would turn up like clockwork according to the schedule.............sadly it doesn't always work out that way. Give it time and things might get better (or not). Be as amenable as possible (difficult I know). Ultimately your DS will be lucky to have a mum who clearly cares and he will come to his own conclusions about his dad sooner or later.
Personally, I wouldn't try to get XH to do the letting down on the phone - ultimately there is no way you can force him to do it anyway and it will only cause you more stress.

gillya Thu 16-Jun-11 18:50:59

just realised I didn't answer your question lol.
It started (14 yrs ago) with 3 wkends out of every 4, quickly dropped to every other wkend, then approx once a month and now 2 or 3 times a year. Invariably when she says goodbye to him DD doesn't know when she will next see her dad....but she is getting used to the idea it will be several months ;-(

davidtennantsmistress Thu 16-Jun-11 19:20:00

no he's not, we have totally different parenting ideas but hey ho it's up to him how he chooses to parent DS so I leave him to get on with it while he does me - only thing I don't like is DS coming home the last two times with either a smacked hand or a smacked bottom - I don't agree with it and certainly not for the things DS had apparently done. but that's a whole other thread.

you're right thought i've not swayed DS either way, we're 4 years on nearly now, so this has been DS's way of life for the last 4 years, we used to have every other weekend and he would stop at mine, then DP came on the scene (i'd already pretty much decided but it gave me the shove I needed getting pg) to sort it out once & for all so XH is no longer welcome to stay in the house, he takes DS to his GF's parents - again palms DS off thou. sad DS for his part seems to see his dad for who he is - ie conversations with both DP, I and my parents (his key adults in his life) he's said he doesn't see his daddy much, and daddy shouts a lot, daddy doesn't take him out even to the park. (some of it I take with a pinch of salt as he's 5 and is prone to tall tales, but like wise it's heart breaking) but as you say what can you do. it's so hard feeling so helpless, but I guess I just have to be there every time he's let down to pick up the pieces & keep his esteem/self confidence/worth up & with some thing fun to do instead (this weekend will be a picnic at the local water park)

When did your DD begin to realise how things were with her dad?

gillya Thu 16-Jun-11 19:31:11

'helpless'.....that is the perfect word to describe how I felt.
Very gradual process, probably around 13 - she still doesn's say alot but her resignation about his lack of input has become more tangible......I still say nothing derogatory about her dad. Now she is older I don't say anything much at all and tbh I have run out of ways to put spin on things to make them appear better!
She has her smartphone now and can maintain whatever relationship she chooses to have with him.
The pain of picking up the pieces is far outweighed by the day-to-day memories and the (occasional) teenage hug.

mrsravelstein Thu 16-Jun-11 19:34:36

until very recently, my exh was pretty sporadic about contact and would often rearrange at the last minute, so i often didn't tell ds1 until on the day his dad was due to arrive.

when ds1 reached about 7 or 8 he started to get a bit anxious about the haphazard nature of it, and luckily that happened to coincide with exh getting a bit more regular about it, so we got a calendar for ds1's room and put the days he was seeing his dad on it so he could always 'count down' to it

davidtennantsmistress Thu 16-Jun-11 19:42:33

mrs r - I like that idea actually, that might well help with DS. XH is apparently moving closer to us which is very good from DS's POV, and for my part if he's only half hour up the road i've no issues at all about dropping DS off & indeed collecting him if it helps maintain the relationship.

will put that to XH tactfully that a defined structured calander will need to be sorted out - his job maybe forces however he's never posted away just works a lot of weekends and is always on duty. hmm

gilly - that's my worry tbh - running out of ways to put a positive spin on things, & basically DS getting himself so upset. DS does seem to know already who's around & there for him & who's not without us saying anything. It is helpless ness thou isn't it - I can see how it's going to go in te next 3-5 years and am powerless pretty much to stop DS getting hurt. sad

Betty79 Thu 16-Jun-11 20:38:10

Hi dtm well u know my exh is forces too so we never know when dd's will see him next and im the same as u really I don't tell them he is coming until he confirms it properly and rings to tell them he is coming. They are 6 and 8 now but still I don't really think they understand properly, and he doesn't have anywhere to live up here but he has got better at making arrangements to suit the dc other than suit himself. But to be honest I'm not soft with him about his situation and often remind him it's not my fault blush lol but then he agrees too. I would tell your exh you will tell ds the day before when u have made proper arrangements and know he won't be let down, it's not up to him to dictate how u do things!

davidtennantsmistress Fri 17-Jun-11 13:02:40

betty - yes that's how I do things tbh, as when DS knew in advance he'd get hisself worked up and be a horror in school. Think i'll just leave it as it is for now, then once DP has left the forces & moved in with gf (apparently after the summer but not holding my breath) i'll get him a little calender for his room.

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