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Help me to stop being SO stupid!

(15 Posts)
4lizardsandababy Wed 31-Aug-11 14:31:26

Never posted before just lurked but something has been bothering me and i feel i need to get a grip, but be kind!

ExP and I split about 3months ago after 10yrs together. DS is 17months and a lovely lively little boy. when we were together OH wasn't a very hands on Dad never took him anywhere or did anything with him particulary.

Now we have split Ex is becoming much more proactive and has taken him to soft play, swimming etc I know this is brilliant for DS and I am genuinely happy that his Dad is finally stepping up but...

Why now? was I holding him back? and why do I feel resentful of ExP doing 'fun' things with DS? I know deep down this can only be a positive thing for DS but can't help feeling that if only ExP had taken on this 'daddy' role ealier we might still be together!

Someone tell me to get a grip please!

cestlavielife Wed 31-Aug-11 15:00:23

why did you split up then?

whiteandnerdy Wed 31-Aug-11 15:13:15

Your roles changes when you go from being a partner to a single parent, and from being a single parent to being a partner. Therefore both of you have to make changes, I know it's a bit presumptuous and a little sexist but maybe you'll find yourself having to do more DIY or something else that would be traditionally the role of your ExP.

4lizardsandababy Wed 31-Aug-11 16:13:49

Cest he left me, not really sure of the reason as he has never really given me one but i think it is because he never really wanted to be a Daddy (DS wasn't planned) and was finding being a dad hard the responsability, bonding etc. maybe now he is no longer a full time Dad he is finding it easier to do fun things with him.

White your right my role has changed guess i'm still trying to figure out in my head how exactly it has changed and sometimes change is hard!

blackeyedsusan Wed 31-Aug-11 23:54:29

it is a lot easier to do something fun, and pay attention to them when you only see them a few hours a week and have no other stuff to get done in that time.

STIDW Thu 01-Sep-11 00:45:50

Things do change when parents separate and it isn't at all uncommon for a parent who wasn't particularly involved before the separation to become more involved after separation. This is often because living with children is taken for granted and when a parent moves out they realise what they are missing Better late than never!

pickgo Thu 01-Sep-11 01:08:37

I can understand your resentment though. You get all the hard work 24/7, the X turns up and plays 'fun dad' for a few hours/a day, whatever. Not really a fair share of parenting. Suppose you've just got to remember that he doesn't get to see all the little daily nice bits.

I'm sure you weren't 'holding him back'. More likely splitting up has given him a reality check and a kick up the arse to stop taking his DC for granted.

4lizardsandababy Thu 01-Sep-11 08:04:47

Thanks all and of course you are all right. Being a Dad for a little while then being able to switch off for a few days is alot easier than being with them 24/7.
And i'm sure he has just realised how much fun and how brilliant being a parent actually is now he has had the kick up the arse he needed.

Better late than never eh?

Thankyou for helping me put things in perspective I know there are much bigger issues with Exes than this.

Woozlemum Sat 03-Sep-11 00:30:50

Hi - my DP split from his ex a couple of years ago when his son was 2. Although he said he never felt ready to have a child he knew he wasn't getting any younger and they had their son. However once he came along his ex pushed him further away, until he was just there to push the pram and hold the bags. She wouldn't let him do things with their son, like on his 1st birthday she asked DP's stepmum where their son was - she said upstairs with his Dad playing. She had to go up there and take him off him. She couldn't stand to not be in complete control. In the end he felt like a spare part, not a loved man and not a proper Dad.

Leaving her, and not seeing his son every day was the hardest thing he has ever done. But at least now he gets to spend some quality time with him and enjoy it. He really does miss the everyday things, hates that he doesn't get the full range of being a Dad, the bad with the good.

He babysits fairly regularly over at her house, usually one evening a week (she goes out almost every weds and has some weeks where she is out 3 evenings and on the odd occasion 4. So he does get the opportunity at times to bath him and put him to bed (if she doesn't take over and do it!)

There is the temptation to be a bit of a disney dad because he wants DSS to have a nice time with him, but I've said that he needs to make sure he is a good, fair Dad, who can discipline well too and that Daddy days dont always have to mean he takes him out somewhere, he needs to have a normal home life with us too.

Its great that your ex is getting more involved - dont take it to heart. I think he must realise that he needs to make the most of the time he has with your DC. The whole 'dont know what you've got till its gone' rings very true.

WibblyBibble Sun 04-Sep-11 08:25:12

Woozlemum, if your partner really blames all of their relationship issues on his ex, he is obviously a very troubled man. You are not doing yourself (or ultimately him) any favours by believing this kind of misogynist nonsense.

Woozlemum Sun 04-Sep-11 21:43:13

I know there are two sides to every story, I know that he left because he was unhappy, misogynist or not, I know he is a good Dad and wants to do what is best for his son and there are times he overcompensates because he isn't there every day - which was his choice, no matter how hard that was.

balia Sun 04-Sep-11 22:09:13

I think that is very unfair, Wibbly nothing Woozlemum said implied that her DP blamed his ex for all the problems in the relationship - it was specifically about these issues. Or are you naive enough to think that all mothers are perfect creatures, and men just mean abusive beasts who should never be believed about anything?

My BF was very much like this when her PFB came along - her DH could never do anything right - she would hover over his shoulder and criticise every little thing, swoop in and clutch the baby if there was the tiniest excuse. She had a lot of issues about parenting as she was abused as a child. Luckily, she could see that what she was doing wasn't fair and not about her DH's abilities as a parent, they worked through it with a ton of counselling.

OP, not suggesting you were like this - only you can reflect on that, but worth bearing in mind that often Dad's get more involved as the baby gets older and looks less delicate and fragile.

MrGin Sun 04-Sep-11 22:15:54

Wooziemum. I had a very simillar experience. Now that I'm separated from XP I actually get to do the mundane stuff too. I love it. I think it's a bit of a twist of truth to say nrp dad's just do the 'fun stuff' .

Splitting up with kids isn't ideal in anyway, but when I have my dd to stay now I do far more than I did previously. My xp was very competative, almost jealous of anyone being close to dd.

pombear Sun 04-Sep-11 22:39:05

Hello 4lizardsandababy - I very rarely post so forgive me if I'm a stranger, though have been with mumsnet for many, many years in the background. After 7 years of separation, I sometimes still ask the question that you do. However, I only hope that after a while you can see this as a good thing. So many Dads I hear about don't do the 'dad' things with their children. My child's Dad still's not always simple, there will always be stupid things that get in the way, but now they're 10 and I can say "your Dad loves you and loves doing these things with you" is fantastic.

There will be times you think, I seem to be the grumpy mum, but actually you will both be the grumpy parent sometimes, and the fact that he is involved is good - if you can encourage him to be the normal parent too, on a regular basis, you will have achieved an amazing thing. I have a lovely relationship with my 10 year old, despite the fact I had to go back to work full time, be the mum even though I was told it wasn't an important role, and also had to watch the person who didn't spend time with her, suddenly step up to the mark. But..........grrrr.......that was OK as that was what I would want for their relationship in my more lucid moments!

All I can suggest is ....breathe.....look at your 17 mo and be happy they have a relationship with their father........breathe again!.........and don't look back. They often step up to the mark as a Dad but still will demonstrate over the years the traits that you will be glad that you don't have to suffer as a partner, I can assure you!

4lizardsandababy Wed 07-Sep-11 23:07:30

Pombear- thankyou so much for your very kind and sensible view on things. I am already feeling very grateful for the fact they will hopefully have a good strong relationship.
I think that previously whilst he was being a bit rubbish it was easier for me to dislike him and feel that splitting up was the right thing to do, then when he started stepping up i started liking the person he was again and all those old feeling i had/have for him came flooding back. Although you are also right about him demonstrating just why I do not want to be with him recently so that has made my feelings more clear to me!

I will do/ have done plenty of deep breathing and counting my blessings that things could be alot worse for both me and DS but my 'perfect little dream' has been destroyed and that is a hard pill to swallow sometimes.

thankyou everyone for your input and for helping me put things into perspective!

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