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Getting over not being with my DC every day

(26 Posts)
Ilovecrumpets Wed 20-Dec-17 07:28:58

Hi everyone

I know this is a bit of a silly post in a way and before I say anything else I will always put my DC first and enable a good relationship with both me and my STBX. I know that is best for them and their right.

I am really struggling though for myself with the fact that I will no longer see them every morning/be with them full time. My STBX decided he wanted to separate following an EA. He has spent the last 8 years following his dream and has done that 7 days a week with 2 weeks off a year. He has been away for at least a 1/3 of the year. Even now I am the one who takes all responsibility for getting home for handover for the kids etc despite being the higher earner. I wanted more than anything to have an equal partner/parent but he never considers his family before himself.

When we separate he wants at least 60/40 with the kids. I want them to have a good relationship and see him. But I’m finding it just so very hard to come to terms with, I can handle everything else but I feel like this is just so cruel. Does it get better?

OP’s posts: |
AnnettePrice Wed 20-Dec-17 08:11:03

I can't see how 60/40 would work if your stbx is away for 1/3 of the year.

It could only work if you and your DCs organised your lives around your stbx schedule at the detriment of your DCs (as well as yours).

The main factor I would look at to see how to work things out would be how fluid this time away is for your stbx.
The more predictable the easier it is on the DCs (and you).
If you know a long time in advance when the DCs are away you can plan your time, it's like a mini holiday to recharge your batteries, which is a great thing for your DCs when they get back, as much as a good thing for you.
It's unpredictable schedules where you can't make plans so friends are already busy, events already booked up etc... that's when it can get hard/ lonely. Do try to avoid it if you can.

Ilovecrumpets Wed 20-Dec-17 08:18:28

Thanks annette sorry I was unclear he has now retired from his previous thing ( it was a sport) - he does travel unpredictably in his new job but it tends to be for 2 nights so would be manageable. He is also applying for other jobs.

The unpredictable schedule and lack of being able to make plans has been my life for the last 8 years and a major problem for me! It means I have lost quite a lot of friends and my hobbies ( we couldn’t afford babysitters and have no family). I hope I can try and rebuild that at least.

OP’s posts: |
Chatty100 Wed 20-Dec-17 12:56:41

I know just how you feel. I have been separated for two years now and you do get used to it. I actually look forward to the night or weekend off! In some ways it just makes me value my time with the kids more and make sure I enjoy them.

I too feel like I have lost my friends a bit and sometimes do get really depressed on the weekend without kids as everyone is busy or doing family things. Even if I'm on my own I make sure I do things like decorating! And it's great to use that time to plan for the week ahead (make and freeze dinners etc) then you can just enjoy your kids when they're with you.

You really will get used to it. Keep busy x

Ilovecrumpets Wed 20-Dec-17 15:54:41

Thank you chatty I am definitely going to try and plan some things for the weekend - perhaps even volunteering.

It’s the one thing that I just find so very unfair about the whole situation sad

OP’s posts: |
Starlight2345 Wed 20-Dec-17 17:42:06

why would someone who has barely spent anytime with their child get 60% of the time?

He of course should have contact but 60% ? I know what my answer would be.

Ilovecrumpets Wed 20-Dec-17 17:54:17

Sorry for being so unclear - he wants at least 40% or maybe 50%. I really don’t think 50/50 is a good idea at least at first as it would be so far from what the kids are used to, which is basically me. I’m worried they will feel I have abandoned them ( they are only 3 and 5). don’t know why - I guess I hope that maybe because of the split he might step up and put them first?

Also tbh he always likes to win and be seen to be a great dad. So I suspect there is an element of that too ...

OP’s posts: |
NorthernSpirit Wed 20-Dec-17 19:51:43

Why shouldn’t the father get 50% of the time? I’m sure the dad misses the kids as much as the mum.

The father and mother should both decide the right level of contact between them. It shouldn’t be dictated or controlled by the mother (which unfairly in many cases is).

Ilovecrumpets Wed 20-Dec-17 20:39:44

northern I specifically acknowledged that point in my OP and that I would put my DCs needs first and want a good relationship - although in my circumstances I do think the children would need to work up to 50%, given he has not cared for them the majority of the time to this point.

My post was actually about me and how I am struggling with this when I had never thought I wouldn’t be with my DC full time. I think even if you act in your DC best interests and understand they need a relationship with their father and do all you can to facilitate, you can still feel sad and devastated for yourself and what you have lost. I certainly do. That is what I was asking for help with.

OP’s posts: |
TeachesOfPeaches Wed 20-Dec-17 20:45:17

He will get the bog standard every other weekend and one midweek if you both live close enough OP.

hesterton Wed 20-Dec-17 20:48:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ilovecrumpets Wed 20-Dec-17 20:49:00

Thanks peaches I am going to try to ensure we live close to each other.

I do want him to have a good relationship with them and be part of their lives. I genuinely hope he steps up and puts them first and can be consistently there for them.

It is just really hard for me. I will miss them.

OP’s posts: |
TeachesOfPeaches Wed 20-Dec-17 20:52:50

If he hasn’t been too bothered with the children this far then it’s highly unlikely he will want them 50% of the time once the novelty has worn off.

I’m a lone parent too OP and my son’s father will be granted contact next year which I’m dreading.

jupiteroo Sat 23-Dec-17 14:42:38

Totally empathise with you OP! EXH and I separated 3 years ago. He works away a lot (has unpredictable business contracts) and I only know a few months in advance when he is going to be here, so planning is difficult. Like you I put DCS first and make sure they have plenty of contact when he's home. Most of the time I'm ok when they go, as I do things like get my car serviced and spend time with my new partner, but there are still times when I MISS THEM LIKE CRAZY and I just want to cry. I'm so used to being here for them most of the time, and I know how just much it hurts. There's no magic wand. Some days you'll be fine with it, other days you'll feel it. Eventually you'll be fine with it most of the time. Keeping busy is a must.

Here's a good tip that I read. Allow yourself an amount of time to feel sad. Whatever you need. An hour, an afternoon. You get that time to mope about and cry and lament and pine. Then, you dust yourself off, get a grip and you think, right! There is no point feeling sad and rubbish anymore! I have no control over this! And I refuse to feel sad and rubbish over something I have no control over! I will <<insert tedious chore in here>> so I don't have to do that when the kids come back. And then you crack on. Put on loud music, sing etc. I hope you make peace with it. It's a journey and I'm still on it three years down the road, but the load is easier to bear. xxx

gingergenius Sat 23-Dec-17 15:59:27

Honestly? I'd have loved my ex to do 60:40. He refused to even entertain the idea of asking for flexible working so has collected from school less than 5 tomes in 8 years of separation. Has then for one overnight stay a fortnight and still thinks he's hard done by and shouldn't have to cough up for them because "I was the one who wanted them".

But there you go. It's a double edged sword: on one hand you miss them but it is nice having some time to yourself. I hope you manage to come to an agreement.

Ilovecrumpets Sat 23-Dec-17 20:55:34

ginger I do get what you are saying. I would struggle to have them full time on my own ( having done it for a couple of months I know how relentless it is).

I guess what I am really mourning/feels unfair ( childish I know!) is the family life I thought I would have/see some of my friends having - where they are with their DC all the time but with a partner to share the load.

OP’s posts: |
Ilovecrumpets Sat 23-Dec-17 20:59:56

Thanks jupiteroo

OP’s posts: |
Chatty100 Sat 23-Dec-17 21:43:42

Ilovecrumpets what you're feeling is totally normal. Let yourself grieve for the life that you've lost, then pick yourself up and create a new kick ass life for yourself! You are allowed to miss the old life but try not to keep thinking about it, replace the sad thoughts immediately with new possibilities that your new life has brought you. It will get easier xx

gingergenius Sun 24-Dec-17 03:05:37

@Ilovecrumpets try not to think too far ahead. Baby steps. It will evolve.

Ilovecrumpets Sun 24-Dec-17 08:04:45

Thanks chatty

You are right ginger I should just try and concentrate on the near future. Tbh despite his protestations about how much he wants to be with the kids atm he is doing even less than he did before. He is currently having to stay in the attic until January due to finances and despite me suggesting he does bath and bed 3 x, has them for a Sunday etc as it will be when he moves out he just drifts in and out as and when he feels like it. So has a lie in every day ( despite kids waking at 5.30), stays out overnight, doesn’t turn up for bath and bed. I hope for the DC he steps up once he has left the house.

OP’s posts: |
gingergenius Sun 24-Dec-17 10:04:22

It does change and become a bit more structured. And if he steps up once he's out you'll initially find it hard. But eventually you'll be glad of the respite and will start to rebuild a new life.

Queenofthedrivensnow Sun 24-Dec-17 10:37:00

If he really wants 40 percent he needs to commit to a schedule and stick to it not buy a bloody abacus and starting claiming back his time if he has missed it.

My exh works abroad - what is court ordered is one week might and every other weekend and 3 holiday weeks. He has to give a months notice for the holiday weeks which took him 5 years to claim. The regular schedule stands at all times so I know when I can book things. It's not perfect but at least the kids know the routine.

Op be mindful of what he claims and what he takes because I reckon he's read the csa guidelines.

I would be offering every other weekend as a starting point if I were you

Queenofthedrivensnow Sun 24-Dec-17 10:38:35

But I haven't answered the post - when you have a schedule you get to have a life again - my no kid time is mine alone I'm v protective of it - I meet friends get boring jobs done, work, shop and do on. Some of it is mundane but my time with the kids is better because of it x

Ilovecrumpets Sun 24-Dec-17 10:42:52

Thanks - yes I know for my own sanity I need a structured arrangement. I haven’t had any consistency from him since my eldest was born ( even though we were married) and I’ve found it incredibly difficult - I’m sure it has contributed to the depression I have suffered as I haven’t been able to have any life for myself. Constantly changing plans, last minute going away, away for months on end meaning I have to cancel my plans because I guess he knows ultimately I wouldn’t let the DC suffer.

Although the separation is really hard, I do want more than anything to get a bit of myself back and start to become the sociable, confident person with interests that I used to be.

OP’s posts: |
gingergenius Sun 24-Dec-17 10:54:56

@Ilovecrumpets and you will and bit by bit you'll rebuild yourself. I went through similar feelings and it was a joy to find myself again. Your dc are your primary focus but you are important too. X

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