Why am I always the bad guy?(5 Posts)
Hello, I haven't been on the forum for long but wanted to find out if this is something we all have to deal with? Matters for me have come to a head this afternoon but first a bit of background. Im a single parent (6 yrs now) and have a 17 yo and 12 yo DD living at home. I have full residence of both. Divorce from their father was hideous and the ensuing custody battle. He doesnt pay maintenance but has seem them, up until the start of this year, about once a fortnight, overnight from Fri-Sun pm. He is prone however to chopping and changing to suit himself and the kids never seem to care - they dont care that he isnt making them a priority in his life.
With the 17 yo starting to get a social life there have been times and its getting more frequent, that she doesnt want to go to her dads. Problem is that if she doesnt go, he doesnt make proper arrangements to see the 12 yo DD. In any case, because things have been so difficult with him, they tend to iron out arrangements direct with him by text/phone. I havent had any dealings with him for over a year. For the most part they go smoothly.
I should just say at this point, that I AM ALWAYS THE BAD GUY in their eyes. So we come to this weekend and the girls havent seen their father since the Easter bank holiday so we are getting on for a month of no contact (because 17 yo had party and he didnt make any arrangements to see 12 yo on her own). I have been desperate for some time out and have checked several times with both kids that they are 1) going to their dads this weekend and 2) that they would be staying there until today - Bank hol Monday.
They knew that I thought this was the case.
Well, I got back from a weekend away (my partner of 5 yrs lives 60 miles away and we have had a long distance relationship all that time) to find that they were dropped home yesterday!!!! To say I went utterly ballistic is an understatement. It transpires that 12 yoDD did not tell him that I was expecting them to stay til Monday (a reasonable expectation?) and he did not check that I would be home when he dropped them off. He lives 45 miles away now. So the kids - well they just didnt bother to tell me they were home and spent the whole evening, night and today on their own at home. They dont think there was anything wrong with this?!!! I tried to explain that it was definately NOT ok for a 17 yo to be in charge of a 12 yo however sensible they are, overnight.
I am afraid I went fairly off the deep end when I came home to this situation, and told 12 yo she couldnt go to her dads again. I have since calmed down, emailed him and said that all contact arrangements come through me in future. We will see how he takes that.
But really the crux of my post today is this feeling that i am never a good enough mother for them. I have put my life on hold to ensure their needs come first. Their father has since remarried and has 2 small children. I am hoping to move down to live with my fiance next year - it has been planned for a few years to try and reduce the amount of upheaval for both DDs. 17 yo will be going to uni next year and 12 yo will be starting Year 9. So it will be just me and 12 yo moving down. I have another DD who is already at uni.
At what point is it ok to put yourself first? Im 47 this year, I haven't got the luxury of decades to start my life again and why should I have to?
I feel that both DDs hate me at the moment. I work full time to keep a roof over our heads, fed and clothed. DDs have always gone on school trips and I scrimp and save to ensure they do not go without. School clubs and horse riding etc. He on the other hand does NOTHING and gives NOTHING and still is adored. I know its not a popularity contest but some days I could just cry with frustration.
To make matters worse I get angry about how he manipulates the contact arrangements and it feels like he does it just to spite me. For instance he was supposed (as is the usual case) to pick them up on Friday evening. So there's me thinking oh great a lovely long weekend with fiance to look forward to. He messages them on Thursday to say he'll pick them up on Saturday morning. Then Friday comes around and I ask 12 yo DD what time they are being picked up the next day and she says 12 o'clock? Seriously? Turns out she's decided thats the time she wants picking up. Cue me going mental as I was hoping to get away in the morning. I mean honestly? Its like they are all conspiring to turn me into a fruit loop.
Can anyone else identify with this? I could seriously do with knowing Im not alone.
To be honest..Reading this you seem to respond to everything they do and does come across in your post that you just want them to go so you can be with your fiancée. It comes across you want the 17 year old to go simply so the 12 year old will go..Can't you take 12 year old with you if she doesn't go? why can fiancée visit you?
Why are you not getting maintenance?
You also need to figure out how to manage these situations...Going off at the deep end, telling them they can't see their dad is not going to help anything.
Why can't he still spend time with your 12yo even if your 17yo (understandably) has her own plans? This seems unreasonable to me.
I think you wouldn't leave all arrangements to a 12 yo alone (if you assume the 17yo is out of the picture and will dip in and out of contact as she chooses from now on) it's appropriate for contact with your youngest to be brokered through you for the next couple of years, not your older daughter.
I'd be fuming at him leaving the older child in loco parentis in your case as well
you seem to respond to everything they do and does come across in your post that you just want them to go so you can be with your fiancée
^ this is somewhat unfair imo. I read it that you want him to spend time with his 12 yo regardless of the movements of the 17yo..,
I don't think you are being fair. You are effectively letting a 12 year old make her own plans then getting upset when you don't like what she has arranged. How does she feel about being moved away from all her friends?
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