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please tell me it's going to be ok

(3 Posts)
WithRedWine Wed 26-Feb-14 09:24:39

I've been a single parent for literally a matter of hours. I told myself we were going to be grownups about this, but somehow ended up telling him to leave last night. Our dcs are all young, including a baby. I feel crap yet also slightly better; i've never really been happy in the relationship - he's always been a liar - god knows we should have split years ago but i was spineless. We split before but the bottom line now is dd copying him; she's turning into the kind of person who can lie almost without 'tells'. I just can't sit by & let that happen.

I worry about money - he's kipping on sofas but wants his own place. I worry about how i'm going to hold down my part tine job. I worry about getting ill & who would be there for the kids. I worry about telling the kids - it's dds birthday in a few weeks. I worry about telling the inlaws (who've never liked me) & telling my parents (who are completely unsupportive & have always advised me to stay in this crappy marriage (like they did).

Sorry, just needed to vent.

<Handholding> it is a really tough time, but well done for making the break. I felt so many emotions after splitting with ex; it will probably be a rollercoaster, but it will get better!

First things first - start by getting your financial duckies lined up - I don't know if you are married, if you have any assets etc., but book a free half an hour with a solicitor. Next, contact your local council and get your single occupiers discount for your council tax and see if you are entitled to any housing benefit or council tax benefit. Next call tax credits and put in a claim as single person. You will need your earnings for the last financial year and current childcare costs.

I find that the most difficult part of working and having children is keeping all of the balls in the air, managing school runs / childcare, especially if one / all of the children are ill. Have a chat with your boss and explain the situation; see if you can start doing flexi-time if you are not already, and explain that sometimes you may need to take unarranged time off - my employers are very understanding of my situation and I think it helped that I was honest and upfront about the change in my home circumstances from the off. Get a contingency plan in place for what to do if you need emergency childcare (family / friends / other school Mums) who can help out. I work flexi-time and do slightly shorter days to pick kids up form school, then work late on the day my ex has the kids to make my hours up. I have the phone numbers of 3 Mums who live close to the school in case of emergencies, and a very lovely childminder.

As to telling the kids - tell them Daddy has gone away for a few days, then I advise you to tell them all together with your ex, and keep it simple and as positive as possible. Young children just want to know that Mummy and Daddy still love them, and it is not their fault. Something along the lines of "Mummy and Daddy still love you, but are going to live in separate houses from now on. Just imagine, you get to have two bedrooms now!!!". That is very concise, but there are plenty of threads on here if you do a search about how to handle that really hard conversation well well.

Why do you have to tell the inlaws? Will your ex not tell them? As for your parents, I had exactly the same problem, they came around eventually, but it is horrible not feeling you have their support, so I do sympathise with you on that one. Just be honest with them and tell them how unhappy you have been and how you think your ex is having a negative impact on your dd.

You will be fine smile. Anyone in RL you can chat to today?

CagneynotLacey Thu 27-Feb-14 20:54:20

It will be a rocky road for a while but you've done the right thing. My ex is also a liar and it is a bad situation for children and, as you say, a really really bad role model. So good on you for getting out.
Veronica has good advice. Do as much as you can to prepare for the obstacles such as who you'll call if ill. If your ex is still going to be nearby then he may help in emergencies and the DC need looking after, unless he turns out to be a prize shit.
You don't need to take on everything, such as telling his parents. Choose the things that are important, such as practicalities and looking after your DC and yourself. Let the rest of it go and that includes other people's reactions. You have enough on your plate without getting too caught up in that.
You are a grown-up so your parents may not like your decision but you're doing it for the best of reasons - your DD - and there's not much they can do about it. Again, if they're nearby, hopefully they will help regardless of whether or not they approve of your decision.
Stay strong and find your allies / friends who will listen to you without judgement and help you where they can. x

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