rambling rant RE DD's Dad...(8 Posts)
This is going to be a massive rambling rant so I apologise in advance. It's been a long year and no way will I fit it all in and I'll probably miss things out.
About 2 1/2 years ago me and ExP split up, we have one beautiful DD who has medical issues and we made a firm pact to co-parent and do as much as was possible as a family, without living in each others pockets. We were good friends even though he was a rubbish partner to me. I set everything else to one side to make sure we could work together to parent.
My family was close to him and his step-sis happens to be my best friend.
Anyway, all was going great for the first year. We did family meals with our DD once or twice a month, did christmas & birthdays together, hospital appts, school events etc etc he didn't miss a thing and was firmly in DDs life.
He is now with a GF and has been for a year, and she HATES me. I have no idea why because I'm really not an awful person. I've tried to get on with her so we can have a good relationship but maybe she saw me as a threat and made it clear she wanted me out of ExP's life as much as possible. I took her out for coffee and tried to find some common ground with her so that, even if we weren't friends, we could be friendly and civil when and if we saw each other.
(don't get me wrong, I no way wanted to be best buddies or be involved in their lives - I just wanted to make things easier and show her I'm not someone she needs to worry about)
The family dinners and random day trips stopped. My communication with ExP all but stopped, co-parenting seemed to fall by the wayside. It's turned into a 'them' and 'us' scenario and I hate it! ExP won't speak about it and he's even pretty much cut his step-sis out of his life... his GF doesn't like her either!
DD took a dislike to GF, one of the reasons for this was because GF announced early on that she would become DD's step-mummy. DD is 5 and extremely articulate, she told GF that she has a Mummy and doesn't want another one. DD was upset and I think this put her on the back-foot. She came home confused and cried when I asked her what was wrong. I talked to her about it, explained that GF didn't mean to upset her. Another reason was that she went from it being only her & daddy at contact to Her, Daddy & GF at every contact. She said she missed her 'daddy-daughter' time.
Then I spoke with Ex RE DD's dislike of GF and suggested we have a chat about how to handle their new relationship better for DD. I was determined to get along with everyone and make things as smooth and comfortable as possible for DD who was clearly struggling. I had a 'sit-down' with ExP and Gf, I must admit I felt a little bit ambushed as they'd only been together a few weeks and I was only expecting ExP to show up. We discussed why DD was feeling so uncomfortable and I suggested maybe it was because Gf was all of a sudden there at every contact, that maybe alternate it until DD was used to the situation. I was shot down in flames by GF who said visits with them weren't my concern. They said they were planning on moving in together ASAP and I said I was happy to help them prepare DD for the change of circumstance. So I did, I supported them with it in order to keep everything peaceful and maintain the relationship DD has with her Daddy and also to maintain the co-parenting.
All I want, all I've ever wanted is what is best for my LO and to make sure her daddy-daughter bond stays strong. But how much can I honestly be expected to do?
1 year down the line and DD still isn't overly comfortable with it, but he's her Daddy and I have been bending over backwards to make things easy for her & him.
Problem is, co-parenting has gone out of the window on his side. He misses school events, hospital appts, didn't come to see her on her birthday at all and has decided he won't be coming to see her at Christmas either but instead will see her a day or two later and do a separate christmas with her. She's always disappointed when he doesn't show up and, if I'm honest, I'm tired of making excuses for him.
DD is due a small-ish operation and when I informed ExP about it (he didn't come to the hosp appt where it was discussed) He asked 'Do I really need to be there?' Not too long ago it wouldn't have even entered his head NOT to be there. So I responded (with my jaw on the floor) 'If you need to ask that then the answer is no'
An example of something which got right up my nose this year was this:
DD was desperate to start Ballet classes, ExP has moved into a house literally opposite a ballet school. She asked him if she could go and he said she was 'too short' ! Too short? What sort of odd lie is that! She came home heartbroken and asking me if I knew a way she could get taller quicker.
So, I spoke to ExP and advised I'd be signing her up for ballet at my old ballet school and it would be every saturday morning. I said if he wasn't willing/able to take her on the weekends he has her that i'll do it and drop her at his afterwards (it would only have cut their time short together by an hour as it's an early class). He reluctantly agreed he would take her, but he wouldn't help towards the costs.
I'm on a low income and do sometimes struggle to make ends meet but DD doesn't ask for much so I decided to go for it and find a way. Which I have done. My little brother surprised DD by sneaking out and buying her a full set of beautiful Ballet gear, clothes, shoes, the lot. We were so touched by this and DD was overjoyed to be starting ballet! A few weeks later I go to pick DD up from her Dads after her weekend with him and he informs me he has lost the ballet stuff! He has no idea where it's gone! I suggest that he needs to replace it because I can't really afford to and he agrees. Come next weekend when I need the ballet stuff for the following day I ask if he's bought replacements yet. He says no and he's not going to! It's tough.
I have to buy all new ballet stuff next morning AT the ballet school and skint myself completely. Tough ExP says, not his problem. Why? Why drop me in it like that??
Little bro is absolutely furious about it, and it's all I can do to persuade him not to contact ExP voicing his opinions.
It seems petty but, honestly, it's one in a long line of things which have caused an issue over the past year. They're almost all little petty things, but they're things which I don't think would have happened a year ago when we could communicate freely.
GF makes ExP put me on speakerphone every time we have a conversation. We never talk about anything other than DD anymore, gone are the friendly chats we had. GF once kicked up a massive stink cos I picked up ExP for DD's hospital appt and we travelled together in my car (ExP doesn't drive and it would have taken him over an hour on the bus as opposed to our 20 minute car journey!)
She's made him block me on FB, along with a few of his female work friends.
The impression that I get, and his step-sis agrees from what she's seen. Is that GF is jealous of DD and wants to be his number one priority. He missed DD's birthday as GF was coming home from holiday and he was waiting for her flight to land. I could have cried for DD who watched out the window for her Daddy for an hour until it was bedtime. Of course, it was my fault because I was putting her to bed (later than planned) and that's why she wasn't seeing her Daddy!
Aw I really want to be able to work WITH ExP to co-parent. I want it so that we can communicate without it turning bitter but I'm beginning to feel that it's too late for that. It's the little, petty things he does that are starting to really grind me down!
I'm so sorry, I know I've rambled and I know I've missed masses of stuff off but I needed somewhere to vent. I needed to get it out.
Really should have mentioned that I've ALWAYS spoken highly of ExP in front of DD. I'm very cautious not to vent any of my frustrations anywhere near her so she is blissfully unaware that Mammy is fed up.
She has commented about missing doing family tea time but I've explained this as changing schedules and lack of time etc.
She does say that "Daddy is a bit rubbish" when it comes to missing appts, sports day, the nativity, her birthday. But I always make an excuse for ExP not being there. Now I feel bad for fibbing to her. He missed sports day and made an excuse but I found out later he'd been in the pub.
You are going to have to readjust here...
You can only co parent when 2 parents want to co parent....
It sounds like you are the one making all the effort.
My advise..While you may have medical needs you need to hand over stop trying..If DD is let down by dad and she asks why reply...No ideas you need to ask your dad.
Other point is there is a big difference between Speaking highly and not putting ex down. Sadly she is finding out how much he is letting her down....She will have to let her work it out for herself...
I would be very suspicious of ballet stuff going missing... It seems like you have no choice but to replace it..I would either tell ex if it happens again you will delay contact till finsihed ballet lessons or will be there at end of session to collect clothing...
Sounds like you are the only one trying here.
Thank you starlight I can't tell you how frustrating the past year has been. To be honest, I'm totally fed up being the only parent willing to co-parent and I'm beginning to feel bitter about it. But I'm determined not to be the bitter, nagging ex so I think you're right. I'm not going to keep putting myself out to make him look better.
I'm upset as DD is getting upset when her Dad lets her down. I need to refocus myself so it doesn't get to me and I'm there to support her.
Thanks for taking the time to read and reply. I know it was a long one haha!
For whatever reason he no longer wishes to co-parent and there is nothing you can do about it. It's very hard but you have to keep out of DD and Ex's relationship. You are right not to say anything nasty about him but there is no need to big him up either, a cheery 'ask your dad' is the right way to go.
Stop contacting him, if he wants to know about school events or medical appointments he is perfectly capable of finding that information himself. Restrict all communication to email or text (so you have a record) and only about essentials re DD.
Thanks Penfold I think you're right. Despite my hopes, co-parent just doesn't seem an option anymore. I'm going to carry on being the best Mother I can be and let him keep on with whatever he's doing.
I can't help but feel disappointed but I'm going to try to set this to one side.I do feel better after my rant though
Instead of trying to co-parent this article is about parallel parenting you might find a few tips and what not
sneakynamechange THANK YOU! I've had a skim read and that looks really useful. I'll have a good read of it when I finally manage to sit down with a cuppa.
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