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Hello all.. need a rant :-(

(12 Posts)
slavetomyson Fri 22-Jul-11 20:52:56

Hi all i'm a first time poster. A bit about me, i've been single just over a year and have a four and a half year old autistic son. I still live in the family home but pay for it all myself with my part time job. I ended the relationship and ex moved 1 hour 20 mins away and is now in a new relationship.
I can't help but wonder how many smug controlling men must be out there controlling the lives of their exes by using their child/children as a tool whilst they swan about with their newfound freedom!! Since he went i've become pretty much a hermit, I have to work most weekends when he has him as I work 12 hour shifts which isn't compatible with childcare. I have a childminder who looks after my son one day a week, but I have to drop him off at 0630 and pick him up at 1930 and i'm concerned this isn't sustainable in the long term with my son's tiredness etc. Now the ex has told me he only wants him every other weekend as the driving is 'making him ill' complete feeble excuse.. this has a big impact on my ability to get shifts in on the time he has him so slowly by slowly i'm being forced out of my career of 13 years as he has chosen not to live local and help out more with his son. Apparently there is nothing I can do about this.. or is there?.. I need to provide my son with a decent standard of living and to keep the roof over his head (will need to sell the family house eventually of course)..
Ex also wants me to mee the new woman as he tells me our son will be staying with them every other weekend when they move in together. I said to him is there much point as you'll go ahead and do what you want anyway regardless of if I like her or not. (he went ahead and introduced her to my son after they'd only been together a month.. against my wishes as he knew I thought it was too early). He just has his own selfish agenda and is controlling my working life, any opportunities I have to socialise, my living arrangements, not being specific on times he's bringing DS back home etc (so I can't plan anything during my me time). I can't help but think it's smug revenge at me ending the relationship. I'm feeling more and more bitter, and if it wasn't for me having to work and needing his help with childcare at weekends (which he fobs off on his mother anyway), i'd be tempted to cut access altogether. Infuriating!! Not to mention my son is high maintenance and i'm feeling so stressed at not having a proper break from him. Family aren't around to help, babysitter 5 quid an hour not feasible regularly. Anyone in a similar position? Sorry for the long post, any advice would be great thanks, at my wits end in this prison of a home!!

McCharlieMouse Fri 22-Jul-11 21:44:05

Hi slavetomyson,

Didn't want to leave your post unanswered but I'm not sure what advice I can give. I just wanted to send my support. I do know how incredibly difficult it is. I was filled with anger/ resentment and bitterness for a good year or so after ExH left (affair whilst I was pregnant). He swanned around living the life of Riley with his new girlfriend whilst I was coping with newborn DS. I realised feeling angry and bitter was only harming me so I did something about it and had a good 6 months worth of counselling which really helped.

I don't think I'm helping you much, but just wanted to say hi. Join me in a sneaky wine....I know its not the answer but occasionally it helps a little! Take care

Cornwell Fri 22-Jul-11 21:47:08

You can't force him to have contact.....and quite frankly if someone has to be forced to maintain a bond with their child then it is unlikely to be positive.
It is crap, but it will get better. All the cliches that people spout about how being there for your kids will pay off in the long run are so very true.
Try not to let bitterness get the better of you.

Cornwell Fri 22-Jul-11 21:50:29

I have found that wine helps too!

NikkiL Fri 22-Jul-11 22:16:18

Have you tried homestart? They might be able to come over for a few hours a week to give you some much deserved respite. Carers deserve to be cared about too. I'm sorry for your worries regarding ex. Some people just don't understand or realise just how hard life is as a single parent. Be strong. be you and ask for help. You deserve it (wine)

gillybean2 Sat 23-Jul-11 03:56:09

If your ex's mother is already seeing your ds on the weekends then perhaps speak to her and ask her if she'd have ds on the weekend he doesn't go to his dad's once he moves in with his gf?
Otherwise there are childminders or nannies who do weekend work. As a single parent you may get help towards the cost if they are ofsted registered. A nanny can become Ofsted registered but it will cost them and they will charge you for thet, but you can include it as part of your childcare costs. It can take a while fo rthem to set up though so you'll need to look into it soon.

Also your work may be flexible with your hours if you ask them...? Is it completely unfeasible that they could offer you a shorter shift?

kickassangel Sat 23-Jul-11 04:10:07

surely your ex should be paying maintenance? and if he sees less of your ds, his payments should go up. not much help if he just refuses to pay, but even if he has no contact he should be paying something. i'm assuming that some extra money could go on a childminder

SaggyHairyArse Sat 23-Jul-11 13:38:28

Oh bless you, your situation does sound bloody hard!

Are there any support services you can access for parents of children with autism in your area?

I really do sympathise with the ex, it sounds like the same man! I had a really good 6 months or so after we separated and felt to relieved to be free on him on a day to day basis but recently it has hit me that I will never be completely free and will have to deal with his utter wankery probably for the rest of my life as we have 3 children together.

I don't know what to say about this, other than you just have to find a way to cope and find stratergies to deal with their need to control without being a victim to it. With regard to his new girlfriend, it might actually be a good idea to meet her and just be civil/adult which I am sure you would be but then afterwards walk away knowing you have done the right thing by your son and not give a fig what they both think?

With regards to maintainance, you can call Child Maintainance Options and they will tell you how much he needs to contribute based on his salary.

Also, have you made sure you are getting any benefits you are entitled to? Your Lone parent Advisor at the Job Centre will be able to tell you but things you can apply for are:

Single occupancy reduction on Council Tax or total benefit on charges depending on Income.
Income Support if your salary is low.
Tax Credits.
Free school meals.

You may also be entitled to a Carers Allowance for your son, my friend whose son has Aspergers gets an allowance and she is married and works fulltime.

Good luck with everything, don't let the barstard get you down xx

slavetomyson Tue 26-Jul-11 15:36:16

Thankyou all for your replies. My ex does pay his minimum legal maintenance of 15 percent of his salary per month. His mother has offered to help if i'm working weekends as she disagrees with the ex seeing less of his son (she rang me up but told me not to tell him). I get tax credits and have declared childminder hours so I get money towards that, but it's a bit of a drop in the ocean. Didn't think I was entitled to carers allowance as I work 18 hours per week!!! Have asked work about shorter shifts but as I work in the emergency services they've pretty much said this is the job you signed up for so this is what you have to do shift wise. They have helped me regarding swapping shifts about but I don't see them making them any shorter. The school holidays are doing my head in already, took him to the childminder this morning and was looking forward to some much needed me time, but he kicked off and got upset so the childminder asked me to pick him up. Hence here I am again, stuck with a whingy child who seems to think i'm his slave (mind you don't most children).. I find myself counting down the hours until he can go to bed, I know that sounds terrible, as all i'm going to do is sit in on my own again, watching something crap on telly. I must have done something really crap in a former life that's all I can say!! Thanks for everyone's support though, and yes wine is my saviour!! x

cestlavielife Tue 26-Jul-11 15:54:16

1. take up the granmother's offer of help
2. if son gets DLA middle rate or higher you can get carers allowance only if you earning less than £54 or is it £80 per week ? anyway -depends how much you earn.
if granmother starts looking after him 35 hours per week she could theoretically claim carers for him.
3. if he on DLA and diagnosed etc ask SS children with disabiltiies team for help support direct payments specialised or supported child care saturday clubs and so on - some still do exist.

4. try and get on with your lfie while dsicoutng your ex - but if grandmother willing to ehlp then grasp this with both hands. fantastic for you and for your DS to have ex's family involved even if the ex isnt

bluesticker Tue 26-Jul-11 16:05:30

You can earn up to £100 pw if you're claiming Carers Allowance and you can subtract childcare costs too.

Are you getting DLA for your DS OP? I am a LP with an autistic child too and I had to stop work as no local childcare could cope with his meltdowns. But we get DLA and I was able to get income support as a carer, with increased child tax credits so we manage pretty well. If you already get DLA, make sure the tax credits office know as the tax credits should increase.

Agree with getting in touch with SS, my son will be at a disability playscheme for 10 days this summer which is part of his short breaks. There should be something similar in your area.

Children with autism need structure and routine, and it doesn't sound like your ex is supportive with that. I feel quite fortunate actually that DS' father has never maintained contact so I don't have to deal with stress from him on top of everything else.

slavetomyson Tue 26-Jul-11 17:50:07

Hi bluesticker, nice to know i'm not the LP with an autistic child, it does make things ten times more difficult. Son gets high rate DLA but I wouldn't be entitled to carers allowance as I earn too much (well not megabucks though!!) I will accept grandmother's help but it's a shame she lives 1 hour 30 away and isn't willing to drive much, and of course I needed someone local really due to my sons schooling. There's no way she would look after him 35 hours per week and I wouldn't want her to TBH. The disability playscheme might be worth looking into I guess, which area do you live in? I'm in shropshire. But my son doesn't cope well with being left alone with strangers so I don't know how he'd get on with it. Tax credits know about the DLA, so don't think I can do anything more regarding benefits.

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