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new to lone parenting please help me think straight re contact.

(14 Posts)
freemanbatch Thu 20-Sep-12 13:31:29

it's less than two months since I finally got rid of ex, the last year of our marriage was awful and he did some awful things to me but since the split we have agreed that it was the right thing to do and he seemed a lot more reasonable but he still expects me to fit in with him with regards to the kids.

He is staying with his parents, who have got exactly what they wanted now because MIL gets to play mummy to my kids without me interfering, so he has no where for the kids to stay and too be honest after the last year I don't really trust him with them for too long. The agreement was that he would prove to me he could be trusted with them over the next few months before he moved into his own place and had space for them, I can't say that he's working too hard on that!!

He is supposed to see them every Wednesday evening 4-7 and one day every other weekend but he seems to think he can decide what day and what time on the Wednesday before and I should just fit in with him. This last week he has been a complete git about things and yesterday he even 'forgot' to bring them home and then text saying why hadn't I picked them up! we'd agreed he'd drop them off yesterday when he finally made contact to tell me he couldn't have them until 430.

I have never done this before and I know that I still have a lot of recovering to do myself from the things he's done to me which are affecting the view I have of thing but I want the kids to see him and have a relationship with him because they want to see him. How do I sort all this out and make sure the kids are happy and comfortable without continuing to be bullied and controlled by him and to have my social life (got to find one because he killed that years ago) ruled by him.

Confusion is the name of the game right now so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

relaxingathome Thu 20-Sep-12 13:38:02

Set times, do not allow your self to be bullied.

I would write a letter and keep a copy, state the set agreed time for the wednesday, including pick up and drop off arrangements. Stick to a set day on the weekend again with all arrangements specified. If you are able I would get your ex to sign to say he agrees as well. I got my ex to do this and although he was reluctant, agreed when I put a review date on the bottom.

If your ex does not conform, do not wait around for him, pop to the shops or go see a friend with the DC. He will soon get the message not to mess around and the DC will benefit from the consistency.

BlackberryIce Thu 20-Sep-12 13:38:18

You just have to be firm and constant and emphasise it's un the best interests of the children

How old are they?

freemanbatch Thu 20-Sep-12 13:46:43

Thanks, the kids are 5 and 2.

I, as always, am concerned that the kids are happy and get to see him which I know gives him the power to make me wait around for him but its a really hard habit to break!

I think a written agreement is the way to go, maybe something until Christmas and reviewed in the new year? that way we can both plan our lives for a bit.

It feels like forever since he left and yet no time at all, things like him not bringing them home yesterday just remind me how much we have to sort out before life can reach a happy balance!

purpleroses Thu 20-Sep-12 13:50:43

Set fixed times each week and try and keep all the handovers the same from one week to the next - ie if you drop off and he drops back, then keep that the same every week. Communicate by email, and if you think he's likely to genuinely forget the arrangements, then send a friendly reminder. Or write it down in a list for him to pin up somewhere. If he's often late and you're relying on him to have them, then may be best if you drop them at his mum's rather than risking a late pick up.

If you think he's doing it to spite you or sabotage your social life then don't let him know your plans.

Could he collect straight from school on the Wednesday? The school will soon give him a hard time if he's consistantly late.

purpleroses Thu 20-Sep-12 13:52:14

Oh, and I bought my ex a diary for Christmas for about the first 4 years post split! He now buys his own smile

freemanbatch Thu 20-Sep-12 14:02:52

I have to drop them off on a Wednesday evening because really they spend the time with his parents not him, he isn't home from work until sometime between 530 and 6, I would prefer not to do during the week because it messes up bedtime and he isn't really there anyway but he wants them to be there so they are.

It's not like I have any social life but it would be nice to be able to arrange to go out for coffee with a friend one day and know I'd be able to make it because that hasn't been the case for years.

set plans are what I need and a diary is a very good idea thanks smile

getmorenappies Thu 20-Sep-12 15:34:38

It is a mine field. It really is.

It's worth mentioning the obvious. Your XH is in one form or another, going to be in your life on a weekly basis for the next 20 years. Hopefully you can both find a way to communicate for the sake of the dc.

It's difficult I know if he's a git, but it'll be easier all round if your're able to at least communicate about the dc, if you are able to be mutually flexible then all the better. mutually being the operative word.

Routine is what young children need, and as said above the more of a regular plan there is the better. That way the kids know what to expect, and you won't have to cancel any last minute plans hopefully.

Being a lone parent ( on either side ) requires herculean amounts of tongue biting, and it's a state that is far better if both parties are able to leave the past behind. As badly treated as one may feel, the relationship is over and best left in the past.

It's sometimes recomended that you treat your XP in a business type manner. Avoid confrontation and walk away from contentious conversations.

Your MIL may actually be a bonus in a way. In that if your XH decides to play silly buggers she may offer a place to drop the dc if you have plans and he's off the map.

And it's worth adding that a relationship with granparents is important too. If they are willing to spend time with the dc I think it's a positive thing.

My XP ( the mum ) and I had a rocky beginning to being lone parents but we managed to work it out. If my dd isn't well my XP knows she can count on me to cover if she needs to work. If I'm going to be late ( or early ) to pick up she'll accomodate without any problem. If either of us request a swap of weekends we tend to agree.

Give and take. But it only works if you both give and take.

I know this won't sound great, but the best position you and the dc could be in is if you and your XH were friends. It can be impossible if both parties aren't on board, but it's best for the dc IMO.

freemanbatch Thu 20-Sep-12 16:38:55

thank you getmorenappies that is all really useful stuff to think about smile

We are, most of the time, on good terms and the children are far happier now than they were so that is good, I'm thinking a lot of the problem right now is neither of us knows what we're doing so we muck it up now and then, as time goes on we'll learn how to make it work and hopefully screw up less and less.

I really am doing my best to leave the relationship in the past but the damage he did to my trust in him as a person and around the kids does make it hard to see the wood for the trees sometimes. It is very good to know that people have made in through the short term minefield that is the break up and found a way to make it work though smile

missymayhemsmum Fri 21-Sep-12 23:31:30

Smile sweetly, be civil, try to build a good relationship with the grandparents, and confirm arrangements by text and email so if he messes you around too much you have evidence for the court. Don't let him think that what he does or doesn't do is of importance to you, except if it affects the kids. Be proactive. Ask him to confirm which day on the weekend, as you want to make plans.

NewlySingleMummy2012 Sun 23-Sep-12 15:46:09


Ive just split with my sons dad after 4 years, Im gutted that I have to share my 2 year old son! I dont trust him to look after him. He is only my sons dad when it suits him Im worried Please help!!

freemanbatch Sun 23-Sep-12 16:02:20

thanks missy, I text him about this weekend and Wednesday so I have confirmation about what is happening. I'm away with the kids next weekend but on Wednesday when he brings them home I'm going to ask about the weekend after and then I'll text to confirm so I know what's happening. I think it will probably be Sundays because he seems to have a whole social life going on on Saturdays.

Newlysinglemummy2012 I wish i could tell you not to worry but I really can't it is what mums do after all. The only advice I can give you right now is the advice I'm trying to take today while my kids are out and that is to do something for yourself, something that is difficult to do with your child around or that you used to do before they were born and can't now. It is, I'm told, about looking at the time apart as your ex giving you time to do something you want to rather than seeing it as you missing out on time with the child.

I'm not there yet but then i'm less than two months down the road I am working on it though. I hope you are OK.

NotaDisneyMum Sun 23-Sep-12 16:13:09

Try to avoid conversations about future arrangements on the doorstep/ handovers if you can avoid it - just use text and email for non-urgent stuff.

I hate it when my ex springs something on me about arrangements for a week or so in the future - text/email gives me the chance to think about it and get back to him once things are clear in my own head about when I'm working etc.

freemanbatch Sun 23-Sep-12 16:40:54

that's a good point thanks smile

God I have no idea about how to make this work!! At least I'm trying to get it right though I suppose.

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