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Is it all my fault?(11 Posts)
Back story . Mum of 2 ex left me out of the blue 2.5 years ago. For the first year we were very amicable. We would attend parents evenings, celebrate birthdays and christmas. He would see the kids whenever and would have facetime contact sometimes twice a day.. I was completly heartbroken and convinced myself we could work things out. Anyway he began a new relationship with a much younger girl (16 years younger than himself). I went through the heartbreak all over again. Slowly but shorly he started not wanting the kids as much. He would say he has had them once that week so he wouldnt have them at the weekend. He would not answer my calls and would often ignore messages. Like our eldest sending him pictures of the first tooth he lost etc acompanied by voicemessages. Our eldest is now 7.5 and has had a very turbulent couple of years, he is academically 3 years behind his peers and alot of support has been required at home. I involved family support and they made attempts to contact dad whom sadly ignored. Things got so bad for me with my mental health at one stage that I would just lie in bed as soon as I took the kids to school and remain there until I had to pick them up. It would drive me crazy that he would not reply to me. I would ask when he next wanted the kids or I would try to speak to him regarding our sons issues. Often ending in me being very frustrated with him and calling him selfish. So I blocked him from what's app so that I couldn't check if he had read the message. So that I would stop driving myself crazy after a couple of weeks I finally rang him near our sons birthday to ask him if he wanted to see him, he wasnt even aware of a block because he hadn't tried to get in contact . During this time he was going weeks at a time without even a message to the kids. He was not having them over night. He wasnt taking them for tea he just stopped . I tried to reach out to his mother to see if she would have a word and she said no but agreed that he seemed to have made his choice. I tried with his sister who agreed situation had got bad and we was to put in an every other weekend as a start but with a view for weeknight stays too plan in place. He turned up that weekend and had the children for one night. Our son was subsequently poorly and when I reached out to ask him to look after him for a couple of hours as I was unable to take him to a safeguarding lecture he ignored me. I got mad and told him that he was selfish and it was about time he put his kids first, told this to his new gf too, I would have understood if he was so busy at work ( he can actually take kids to work with him) but to ignore me it wasnt on. With that I was told by her that he wasnt selfish as he had just taken her out for tea to cheer her up, and that he had "YOUR" kids yesterday so dont make out that he doesnt care. I just left that as it was. The next time he was to have them on his weekend he never showed up. The weekend after (my weekend) I had made plans with them ,my dad was visiting us and we do not see him alot. He asked to have them, and I said it's not your weekend. AGAIN, His weekend came around and he didn't show up.
Therefore in the last year the kids have slept at their dads only the once. I have asked for regular contact to be arranged because the kids need to know what's going one especially our eldest who needs certainty. I have tried to reach out and I have been ignored. He asked to have them in september and I said that was fine but I wanted to know the next time he would have them and he would or could not answer so he never had them . This is not because I wanted to be mean but because the children need continuity our eldest certainly does, he can have aggressive outbursts, he can run away, he can cry, he sometimes doesnt eat, gets so anxious, if he isnt aware of what's going on.
Their dad visits the children when they go for the occasional weekend at grand parents he will visit on a sunday after lunch and leave before tea.
He has done nothing about having access anymore. I have started the process of mediation to try and work through it as I want the kids to see their dad.
He promised the kids christmas presents were waiting for them when they got back from a xmas holiday,he emailed them on xmas day but as of yet the kids haven't received a present nor seen him and I haven't recieved and correspondence either.
The other day in had a meeting at the school about my son and I had invited his granny to come and when we left I informed her of the mediation and she had a go at me saying it's my fault for being abusive and blocking him (for one month on what's app he was informed of that but also given my email and home address if he wanted to get in contact) (he has blocked me from texting, ringing, what's app, all social media, changed his number and not informed school, ) She said she doesnt see how me going to mediation will help and that my kids are suffering. I cant help but feel guilty for all of this now. Is it my fault?
Poor you, getting the abuse when you're the one doing all the work and actually being a parent. I don't think it's a big deal blocking on WhatsApp when he knows your address and email. You had to protect your mental health and obsessing about him checking messages. That's probably healthier trying to break that habit. They're just looking for excuses for his bad behaviour. You don't need their feedback. Don't second guess yourself. It's not their mental health at stake.
Can you get a lawyer to set days? That's important for kids and you, you deserve your own time to be a fully energised parent and to have a fuller personal life - to explore hobbies and meet people and minimise your ex's impact on your time/life.
I have a mediation appointment in a week to see if we can get a routine. I'm a student nurse On top of everything else x
You need to calm down.
Cancel the mediation. You can't make him have the kids if he doesn't want them. The kids will suffer if they have irregular contact with a father who's not bothered about them.
I suspect that chasing him to see the kids is making him act the opposite. In an immature person's mind, you're his ex and he's not going to do something because you told him to. Regular contact with Dad is good for kids but irregular contact with a Dad who doesn't give a fuck is damaging.
My ex sees our kids but it took him a while to realise that he had to commit to a routine for the sake of the kids mental health. If he takes you to court (unlikely ) , welcome it as a chance for him to prove to his kids that he can be a regular, positive person in their life. If not you should let this go both for your sake and theirs,
Send a final message to his mum/gran saying that if they want to see the kids they can and pass on your number but you shouldn't over share with them too. (The blocking etc sounds like too much drama) Families will often stick up for their own even when they are dicks and technically you're now an outsider so they'd rather annoy you than him.
You haven't done anything wrong except try too hard. Save that energy for you and the kids. It's hard enough being a single parent without wasting energy on an ex who isn't bothered
I have no advice but the cruelty and selfishness of men seems to know no ends. Ultimately he is the one who loses out - his children will see what he's like and care little for him as adults
I also think cancel mediation.
I agree with pp. one thing it took me a while to realise. My ex stopped listening to me when we were married , he wasn’t going to listen to reason now we had separated.
He is making it clear he can’t be bothered.
You need to stop trying to drag his family into it .
I wouldn’t take granny . Go on your own . If he is absent. I saw my son let down over and over again it hurt him he was far better once I started supporting him instead of chasing his dad to be the dad he should be
Can I also once I stopped trying I had more emotional energy to support my Ds. It felt like a stab in the heart each time he rejected my Ds . Ultimately he was never going to be the dad my son needed.
I'm going to go against the grain - I don't think you should cancel the mediation. It will play in to their narrative that you are trying to alienate him from the kids (which is obviously nonsense). Without an agreement it will carry on that he turns up whenever he feels like it. It doesn't sound like he wants to drop seeing the kids altogether but he wants it all his own way. It is awful what he and some parents like him classify as parenting! I would give the mediation a shot. Sadly it might not work and it will become he visits them at grandparents and it's as limited as that.
I'm with @ilikepepper Don't cancel the mediation. You need to show you have tried everything to keep the contact going.
I suspect he might not turn up for it anyway.
I have kept the mediation because I want to do everything I possibly can for my boys sake. It doesnt bother me what contact or how long. I just want routine and feel it's important to make seeing daddy a positive for them and by a routine they can count down sleeps etc all this I have said to him before . In the long run they will find out the truth for themselves. Your right i doubt he will turn up. It's fine if he doesnt, but at least I can hold my head high and tell my sons I tried
I get that. I think unless the other parent is abusive then they need contact. It's only my opinion but I would not put him on a pedestal like with countdown to sleeps. When he doesn't show you will be left with very upset kids who will blame themselves but take it out on you. It'd be like santa not turning up. Even when a routine is established doesn't guarantee plans changing /nonsense excuses. I go with 'the plan tomorrow is...' and if it doesn't happen then 'oh plans have changed...daddy is unable to...let's make a surprise day together' (do something they decide). They will work every inch of it out in time, but I think it helps salve the sadness.
You are obviously a very loving and considerate mum, the kids are very lucky to have you.
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