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Newly single Mum...not sure how to do this re: DD seeing her Dad/moving on & healing

(12 Posts)
eepie Fri 31-Jul-15 11:10:49

Me and DD's Dad separated about 2 weeks ago... I went down to the countryside to see my family for a week and it was just me and DD and we had a lovely time, was just so nice to be out of that toxic atmosphere that it's been in our home for the last couple months..DD was so much less clingy, less tantrums, seemed calmer and happier. I was much less stressed and happier. We got into a nice rhythm and had such a lovely time together, I loved it. I was glad of a bit of break when we got back to the city and DD's Dad came the next morning to see DD and he looked after her in the morning so I had a lie-in and chilled a bit which was great. But now we are back living in his house...he is living at his Mum's and coming in the mornings some times and some times after work to give her dinner & bath etc. It's all a bit random and disjointed. Sometimes he gives me a hug when he says goodbye, sometimes he still calls me baby when asking me to pass him something or whatever. I can feel myself getting pulled back in just because he's suddenly being so nice and respectful. I can't help but feel bitter/angry that he wouldn't be like that before, in order to save us. He seems to have accepted us breaking up really easily and he only shows that he is sad not to have seen DD for a week. I can just feel my heartstrings going out to him & missing him even though I know he has been a bastard and treated me badly.
Anyway...I have arranged (pretty much confirmed) that I'm going to rent a flat 10 mins down the road from his house where me and DD are living now, so that he can see her all the time as he wants to...he's a very hands on Dad and wants to be very present for her. But I'm wondering what the right arrangement is...she's still breastfeeding so he can't really put her to bed at his house as she breastfeeds before bed and in morning. She always wants me to put her to bed. I don't really want him to have her overnight as I don't trust yet I think she's still too little, she is only 1. And also I don't want particularly to see him every day ! I think it's too much and too hard for me to heal and move on if I still see him as much as I did when we were together, except the difference is he's just not here in the evenings with me or going to bed with me. What's the right balance and what is fair ? Also should we still do stuff as a family ie. go to out mutual friend's kids birthday parties/lunches or hang out with his family... I don't know. How do I move on from him when I see him all the time ? He still does his washing here and having to take his socks and t-shirts and stuff off the line just makes me cry and makes me really feel the loss of the presence of a man in my life, and obviously him in particular. I know I need to have my own space and move out of his house to get some closure, distance...autonomy but the flat isn't ready until earliest 30th Sept !! This is such a weird limbo time...

Any advice appreciated thank you.

eepie Fri 31-Jul-15 20:57:55

Anyone ? confused

starlight2007 Sat 01-Aug-15 10:32:54

If she is one how often is she breast feeding? Could he take her for the evening.
I think you need to set up a schedule for the 2 months then when he has his own place..

Can he take her out for a couple of hours..Take him to his mums for a visit.

The coming and going at his beck and call is not ok.

My Ex left when my DS was small ..I used the time when he was there to do the cleaning, have a bath, prepare food, the stuff that was harder when he was not there.

eepie Sat 01-Aug-15 14:31:59

She breastfeeds in the morning and evening. Sometimes once in the day but if I'm not there then she is happy not to have it. I do want to stop breastfeeding soon though. He does sometimes take her somewhere but he can't really do this in the morning as she has a morning nap. So he comes at 7am and gives her her breakfast & changes her nappy & plays with her whilst I have breakfast/clean up/do stuff I need to do. Basically the same as when we were together but a bit more separate. Then when she goes down for her nap he leaves & goes to work. Then some days he'll come home at 5.30 ( he works v close by ) and play with her after dinner, helps me with bath etc. or like yesterday afternoon he took this afternoon off work & he took her to his brothers to hang out & have dinner & play with get cousin. So it actually does work really well and isn't changed much from when we were together except sometimes he's not here in the mornings & sometimes he's not here in the evenings. I just feel like - does it need to be super consistent ? And do we see each other too much? I feel like I need a bit more space from him. Should he come only every other day ? I'm not sure what's best for DD but also to help me move on & get over him. When I was in the countryside with DD for a week we were both SO happy and chilled as we didn't see exDP at all except 2x on FaceTime... She was really calm & had hardly any tantrums, slept really well...wasn't overly clingy... Now that we are back in London & living in exDP's house without him but with him coming over loads.. She's gone back to being very clingy, having tantrums a lot, lots of rage screams ! And her sleeping' gone a bit irregular again. ... Is she picking up my stress and tension? Is that simply because he is in my life too much & shouldn't be? Or that I'm tense from being I. This house still... I don't know. My new place is ready Sept 30th so hopefully things will calm down then../

chickenfuckingpox Sat 01-Aug-15 14:38:06

your still acting like a "family" you wont move on unless you make it a clear defined split with regular access and financial support etc you simply cant move on while you do this your child needs routine and stop doing his washing!

Goodbetterbest Sun 02-Aug-15 08:27:40

As far as your DD is concerned, the best thing for her is for you to be happy and relaxed. You do not need to facilitate her fathers relationship with her, that is for him to do.

I understand you are in a limbo period, and that is really, really common. There is a bit of just riding it out for now, but it's helped by you having an end date of when you move.

Have you talked about how he is going to support you both and what access will look like?

It probably would be wise for you to start distancing yourself. My XH refuses to have his children at his place (2 minutes walk away) so 'pops in'. This gives him his 'fix' and he can tell himself he has seen the kids. As a result they are entirely indifferent to him, and I fear my boys in particular, are brewing a simmering resentment. I think it's really, really important to make a plan and stick to it. You also need some time off, to see friends and have some freedom on your terms.

You have time. This man will be in your life forever, so it has to work but it has to be fair to you too. Have you considered mediation to work through things? I found it hugely helpful.

starlight2007 Sun 02-Aug-15 08:45:11

I think at 1..It doesn't have to be etched in concrete if it is working for you both but can't he get a travel cot so she can have a nap at his..What time does she nap? Can she nap a bit later .. not sure what time he is at work... Does he take her out on a weekend when he isn't working.

I think once he moves into new flat contact needs to move over to his.Otherwise it is going to be difficult to move on.

boyboyanddogboy Wed 05-Aug-15 22:14:05

Hello there. Not much advice to give as my baby's daddy lives abroad and has only seen him once in 8 months. BUT the time he was here, it wrenched my heart to have him in what had been our home, bathing and feeding our son...it felt so normal but of course so false at the same time. All I'm saying is - I feel your pain! DEFINITELY stop doing his laundry, that's one of the main benefits of not being together any more!!!! Joking aside, you have a goal in sight - your move date - and I also think mediation would be a good idea. Stay strong x

boyboyanddogboy Wed 05-Aug-15 22:14:20

Hello there. Not much advice to give as my baby's daddy lives abroad and has only seen him once in 8 months. BUT the time he was here, it wrenched my heart to have him in what had been our home, bathing and feeding our son...it felt so normal but of course so false at the same time. All I'm saying is - I feel your pain! DEFINITELY stop doing his laundry, that's one of the main benefits of not being together any more!!!! Joking aside, you have a goal in sight - your move date - and I also think mediation would be a good idea. Stay strong x

eepie Thu 06-Aug-15 21:06:07

Hi there I have only just seen these posts again as I thought the thread had died ! Ha.
Thank you for you responses... yes boyboyanddogboy that is totally how I feel every time he comes over (almost, sometimes I am able to distance myself from it but it depends, the feelings of sadness come and go) I see him giving her a bath and being nice to me and respectful and acting like the perfect Dad and it just amplifies my loss and it makes me angry like why couldn't he have been like this a few months ago when our relationship was on the line. It makes me think just for a second that everything is going to be ok & maybe we'll be happy and a family again...especially when he slips and accidentally says 'Baby can you pass the...' or whatever... sad but then I remember all the horrible things he has done and said to me & I realise those are his true colours, and I remember him saying he doesn't want to change and basically choosing his mood disorder over me and DD. Saying he doesn't want to give it up. And it brings me back down to earth and I realise 'no, no you have to be away from this relationship...the good feelings are just a fantasy you're never going to get that kind of relationship from him' etc etc.
I have told him I don't want him to bring his washing back here anymore & he has to do his washing at his Mum's where he is living because it makes me too sad to see his washing. And it's actually great now, there is so much less washing to do hooorraaayy !! grin
I also told him he has to be consistent with coming round to see DD. We agree mornings or afternoons at the start of the week and stick to it. He has also said he'll babysit for me if I want to go out which is nice. I told him when we move into our new house that DD can't stay overnight with him regularly yet as it's too disruptive and she's too young. He agreed. But she can have her travel cot there and nap here in her old bedroom. She will feel comfortable there as it will be familar so she will sleep ok I hope.

Me and DD are moving to different house not him as he owns this house...and I don't want to stay here without him because it's 'his' house all over if you know what I mean. I don't want the memories from here I want my own place and a clean slate but we are moving 10 min walk down the road. We are hopefully moving on 30th Sept if everything goes through....Seems like ages still though ! Arg ! sad

The weekends we have been playing by ear a bit but I have told him I need more space from him and it's hurting me to see him all the time and it's hard to move on. He gets it. We have one more therapy session to kind of discuss what we're going to do whilst separated...in a few weeks time, to talk about how we're getting on living apart and talk about what we're going to do re: access. We haven't quite agreed maintenance but he said he will pay for whatever the housing benefit won't cover as he wants us to be close to him and he knows that otherwise I can't afford to live in this area of London unless he helps. Don't know if he will also pay maintenance on top of that ? I think he will give whatever he can afford because he wants us to be ok & not be struggling.

Then after we finish our therapy, he is hopefully starting group therapy on his own. He has mental health issues and I have told him he needs to get them under control otherwise his access to DD will stop completely. I'm not sure he's fully understood this so will reiterate at therapy (he got very defensive when I mentioned this before) and if he doesn't get it, then we will try mediation I think as therapy is bloody expensive !

Can anybody tell me what happens in mediation and how you can get referred for it? Do you have to pay?

Some days I wake up/go to sleep so, so sad...especially sleeping in 'our' bed without him and I feel like I'm just in the graveyard of our relationship and all my dreams of us being a family and all the hope is just shattered...I feel so low. I can hardly even think about when DD was a newborn and we were hopeful, excited new parents...It makes me too sad to think of that first night we brought her home...and now to see what has happened in a year. It makes me so sad to think my DD will never see her parents being in love and loving and affectionate towards each other as that was what my childhood was like...my parents were together but there was no love or affection shown. I wanted us to be great, to be a team, to be this loving family..but it's all gone. But I think it's better that she doesn't see what our relationship was becoming/had become...toxic, resentful, full of anger, blame and disrespect...not able to say 2 words to each other without it turning into a huge argument... That all seems like a nightmare now though that he's suddenly turned into Mr. Nice Guy...me leaving him has brought him back down to earth and I think he's now trying to show me that he's not the bastard that I think he is. Playing the 'best dad in the world' card now that it is all over and he sees what he's losing. Hmm. Such a hard time at the moment and feels so surreal and weird. sad

Shitsandgiggs Thu 06-Aug-15 21:15:13

Hi,
I think the first thing that you should do is reduce the amount of time dad is in the house. Coming over for dinner twice a week and maybe coming over on a weekend night (so you can go out/relax) to do bedtime is fine.
You still have feelings, or emotions on the subject of your breakup and space and time is the biggest healer. Your daughter will admire her mummy as independent and that can only be a positive thing and strengthen your bond.
When your child is weaned, I think 1 night in the week and 1 weekend night is a good place to start.
Only my opinion, as long as your girl is smiling, you're doing the right thing.

eepie Thu 06-Aug-15 21:48:05

Shitsandgiggs - thank you that is really sensible advice..and a really nice sentiment..she is a very happy girl. It's sad though as she is extra happy when we are both there with her & doing something together or being silly together with her. Maybe in the future we ca do that again without it being weird. I suppose I am worried about him having too much time with her as sometimes his moods can be up and down and I don't want them to affect her...and also worried I am not going to heal or be able to properly leave him whilst as another poster has said, we are still acting 'like a family'. I didn't want to dramatically reduce contact as I didn't want things to change too much for DD. Hopefully though now we can find more of a balance where we don't have to spend too much time together and we can truly have space. I know this probably sounds selfish but I feel like i want him to feel like something HAS changed and that he DOES see her less..because only then will he maybe truly understand that his behaviour has broken up our family and lost him his family..I don't want to make things too easy for him and make everything ok for him and rescue him from feeling the feelings of loss that comes with the consequences of his behaviour....Is that really selfish and child ish or ...I don't know.

Something positive though...when he has taken her off somewhere for a couple hours or whatever I have felt much less guilty about being away from her or about 'doing my own thing' ..I don't know why this is???? Before I always felt I had to be doing something useful around the house when he had would have 'daddy time' with her...even though he didn't vocally say he expected this of me...Now I feel like more able to relax and enjoy my time on my own for some reason. I had a nap for 1.5 hours this eve when he took her to his Mum's for dinner...and I felt great ! (I really needed it as DD was up in the night loads) Maybe it's because I am spending so much time with her on my own and doing everything for her with no help most of the time, so when he comes I feel more deserving of having 'my time'.

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