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Am exhausted, really need dd's dad to have her, even for a few hours, WWYD?

(30 Posts)
Pawslikepaddington Fri 31-Oct-08 10:31:35

He pays no maintenance and I have no money at the moment. He will only have her if I drive her up to him (250 miles away), I have nowhere to stay so have to drive home again, and then repeat the next day. He won't contribute to petrol and won't have her unless I press him to, so he hasn't seen her since August. We have moved house and I am really struggling with uni atm, I'm up until past 4am some nights with essays, 5 nights a week, and just need a break. Tbh I'm too tired to drive her up anyway, so we would have to do three trains up there, three trains home, and then repeat. How can I get him to even give an inch of leeway, I am just exhausted and have no family that will have her.

Tinkerbel6 Fri 31-Oct-08 10:45:19

I think you need to start getting selfish, stop the access runs because you neither have the energy or the money for it, unfortunately you cant force an nrp to see their child and if he don't make the effort then he can explain to her when she is older why he didn't put any effort in, your daughter won't want to see a tired and stressed mummy, you and your daughter's wellbeing is more important.

Pawslikepaddington Fri 31-Oct-08 10:47:07

Sorry, I didn't make that v clear did I-I need even just a couple of hours one weekend to tidy the house and get some sleep-should I take her to his house in order to do this, or just try and squeeze it in? Or pay a babysitter to take her out for a few hours?

piratecat Fri 31-Oct-08 10:49:56

If possible pay a babysitter, becuase the petrol/tickets must cost you a fortune.

Think you have the right to be very angry withhim, if he is not there at least to talk to, and also you need to think of ways you can get soem time. Just a few hours like yuo say.

cuttingmeownthroatdibblaaaargh Fri 31-Oct-08 10:52:19

I'd pay a babysitter, or see if one of your friends could do a swap with you so that they'd have your DD for a couple of hours, and then you'd have theirs for the same another time - should be a popular offer this time of year so they can get some shopping done

OptimistS Fri 31-Oct-08 10:56:47

Hi PLP. You have my sympathy. Sounds exhausting! I'm afraid that it sounds as though you're going to have to stop even thinking about your ex as a possible source of support. If he's not paying maintenance then the least he can do is provide some petrol money. If he's not even prepared to do that in the interests of seeing his daughter then it sounds very much as though he is quite happy to see her disappear out of his life, and he'd have probably gone by now if you hadn't been making such an effort. It's probably worth one last try, maybe a letter or email so that you don't get confrontational and manage to get everything said. Try not to sound antagonistic and stick to something like: "I really feel that it is in our DDs best interests for her to have a good relationship with her father. I'm sure you agree. We need to establish a routine of her seeing you and as I am providing for all her needs without maintenance, I think it is fair that you either come here, OR have her overnight at yours and split the journeys with me. This is not about us, it is about what's best for our daughter." That's just a guide, you can suggest anything you like, really. If that gets you nowhere, then I think you have to just write him off TBH. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink... If you accept he isn't going to be there and can get past that, it will stop making you feel so resentful and hard-done-by, even though you are.

I appreciate how isolated you must feel with no family to help, etc. I'm in the same situation. Have you tried finding other LPs in your area? Once you get to know people, you can make some great friendships that will lead to sleepovers or offers of babysitting.

Hope things get better. smile

Pawslikepaddington Fri 31-Oct-08 10:56:51

That's true. All my friends have dp's/dh's though, and very nice ones at that, and the ones with dp's have ex-dh's that will have their children, family members etc, so never need me to have theirs, so I feel like I am never giving anything in return. I feel like an alien creature! grin

Pawslikepaddington Fri 31-Oct-08 10:59:55

Thanks optimist. I do know one other lp, but I keep upsetting her I think, as she leaves babysitting to v short notice (i.e. two hours before event), and then if I don't read the text/email in time she gets upset as she had to miss the event, because I was out/didn't know she needed a sitter. We have many wonderful friends to do outings with, just none for some "me time" blush xx

Tinkerbel6 Fri 31-Oct-08 11:01:02

paws how old is your daughter ?, contact your local child information service at the council and they will send you a list of registered child minders, some even do overnights and offer a babysitting service, you sound totally exhausted and you don't want to slip with your uni work as it will lead to a better future for you and your child.

FAQ Fri 31-Oct-08 11:03:04

paws - I'm in position where my exH does have the DS's once a fortnight - so not quite the same as you. However I have no other family locally, and like you all my friends are happily married/living together with a DP/DH.

HOWEVER, that doesn't mean that an offer of having their children for a few hours isn't gratefully received, or even if it's not a few hours, just picking their DC up from school or nursery occasionally can be a huge help to them.

Even if they don't actually take you up on the offer I'm 100% certain they will be really grateful that the offer is there if they need it, and will probably happily reciprocate without you having their DC in the immediate future.

I have found in the last 6 months........if I don't ask, I don't get.

paddingtonbear1 Fri 31-Oct-08 11:07:36

hello from a fellow paddington
My friends and I help each other out sometimes - we all work and don't always have family backup. This week one of dd's friends came round while her mum had to work, and in return we've all been invited to dinner with the mum and her dh. We don't mind if we don't get anything back though, so long as they don't take the mick - which they never have! So what I'm trying to say is, your friends would probably gladly take your dd for a bit to help you out. It doesn't sound like you can rely on her dad, that heaps more pressure on you!

paddingtonbear1 Fri 31-Oct-08 11:08:36

what FAQ said - she put it better than I did

Pawslikepaddington Fri 31-Oct-08 11:16:31

Oh thank you you lovelies! I feel so pathetic, all other sp's always seem so together. Hopefully I look composed on the outside grin! Am going to have an early night tonight-am just over tired and fretting I think-have a presentation to give in just over an hour and don't even understand what I'm meant to be talking about! We are going to a halloween spooky story thing tonight in the museum, if it's dark I might be able to get 40 winks then! He he!

Pawslikepaddington Fri 31-Oct-08 11:18:36

P.S. It's lovely to meet another paddington-we didn't meet you on Paddington station on Wed did we? There was a lovely mummy by the Paddington statue armed with boxfuls of marmalade sandwiches which were duly offered to dd! grin Oh, sorry, forgot to say, dd is 4.5, and her dad left when she was 3 months, so it has been 4 years of pulling teeth just keeping in contact, but she has stopped asking about him now.

paddingtonbear1 Fri 31-Oct-08 11:27:39

I'm nowhere near London but I do like marmalade sandwiches
you've been doing fab so far, if you're on your own and doing a uni course on top. It'll all be worth it. does dd go to school yet?

lostdad Fri 31-Oct-08 12:03:52

He should start acting like a responsible parent.

I don't know the history of your split with him - but for your dd's sake he has responsibilities towards her that he should be meeting. This is about her - not him or you...and he should realise that.

Only you'd know if it were appropriate - or likely - but how about mediation? A place where you can put your point of view, he can put his and any common ground can be identified. I say this as what you're saying suggests no cooperation at all and it could only do good (and no harm) if you can come up with some agreement concerning your dd's best interests.

Stories like this does nothing but harm the cause of fathers like me...I'd have words with him, believe me...wink

Pawslikepaddington Fri 31-Oct-08 12:22:28

He he, can I borrow you instead lostdad?

We tried mediation when dd was 6 months-1 year, but he never did what was asked of him and he just got angry because he couldn't have everything he wanted. The worst bit is (well, it's good too) all the dads we are friends with play with their dc's/step-dc's in a very daddily way, i.e. much throwing in the air, helping on climbing equip, things I physically can't do, and they will give dd the same attention they give their dc's which she relishes, but she always looks heartbroken when it is time to go home, and has asked for "another so and so's daddy" for our family. We can however just up sticks and go away for a weekend/week if a cheap opportunity comes our way, which I probably couldn't do with a dh in tow, so there are up sides, and we stay up watching movies (and Frasier!) when we really shouldn't, and randomly do things on the spur of the moment without accounting to anybody, so I prefer the up sides I think grin

SammyK Fri 31-Oct-08 12:36:51

How old is your dd?

I agree with other posters, you should stop doing the contact runs, (or maybe offer to meet half way), and use the money for helping yourself!

Swopping favours with other parents, creches, childminders, etc are all good and relatively cheap ways of getting a couple of hours quiet!

My local soft play has just starting a drop and shop service so mums can do christmas shopping - maybe you have something similar locally, but may not be suitable if your dd quite little.

Pawslikepaddington Fri 31-Oct-08 12:47:07

Dd is 4.5, and I have enrolled her in quite a few activities to give me a chance to catch up on my reading (one on a sat, one on a sun, and one on a tues after school), so it gives me half an hour to miss her (even though I'm watching from some form of viewing balcony!). I thought that if he isn't making an effort to see her then there is no reason why she can't do ballet and horse riding at the weekends, she has been asking for over a year! grin He won't meet half way as he can't afford it hmm, I can hardly hmm because I can't either, but that is because I spend most of my disposable income on giving dd great memories, not on beer and girls! (not a generalisation I promise, he does spend it on beer and girls)

Pawslikepaddington Fri 31-Oct-08 12:48:57

P.S. It is only fun riding and ballet, not expensive stuff, my total after school club expenditure is £15, which I would spend in borders in the course of a weekend on a book for dd and a coffee and an apple juice while we sat and read it in the coffee shop. I feel like I have to justify not being able to afford taking her there now!

SammyK Fri 31-Oct-08 12:49:52

It sounds like you are doing a great job, your DD will look back on these years with a lot of pride for you. smile

Pawslikepaddington Fri 31-Oct-08 12:53:49

That's what I did with my mum-she was one of THE original single parents, got completely done over by dad, he took the house from under her and everything and I am amazed by her-she was wondermum-because I'm not her maybe that could be why 'm worrying that I'm falling short grin. May have to stop short at dd's request to go on the London Eye on xmas eve in Pyjama's tho-terrible mum! grin

Pawslikepaddington Fri 31-Oct-08 12:56:45

P.S. Thank you all-I always feel like I have to hold up the side to make up for the mum's that refuse access, but glad to see I am justified in doing no more unless he helps in some way-he threatened to go to Fathers 4 Justice if I stopped bringing her, but I told him they would laugh in his face grin. He hasn't made the effort to come and get her once in four years!

monkeymonkeymonkey Fri 31-Oct-08 13:00:55

Your situation sounds very dificult.
I agree that you expect your DDs dad to be more help with the contact runs.
Dont worry about asking people for help. A 4.5 year old really isnt too much effort. If someone already has one child of that age, then having an extra one for a few hours isnt any harder. I have a friend who is in the same situation as you, and I would be quite happy to be asked to do this, without expecting reciprocation.

lostdad Fri 31-Oct-08 13:18:59

To be honest - I'd say refusing access is the wrong thing to do.

By driving your dd to see her father even though he makes no effort says a lot though - about you and about him: Namely - you see the importance of your dd to have 2 parents and you're willing to do your best to that end. And he isn't.

However denying contact and you've surrendered the moral high ground you currently occupy and given him the opportunity to tell all and sundry the bits of the situation that make him sound like a victim. I'm being serious here (and you know your ex), but if you did deny contact - do you think it would resolve problems or present you with new (and possibly bigger?) ones.

You've got a right to be fed up with the situation, but don't let the situation escalate. You may not be in a situation to control your ex's (idiotic?) behaviour - all you can control is your own. Otherwise you'll be in my (and my ex's) situation - 6 court hearings, accusations of child abuse and DV, her moving 300 miles across the country to try to cut me out of my ds' life followed by me moving 300 miles across the country to stop that happening.

As for F4J...well, I'm a member of FNF. If he were a member too and told the story you had, he would be told in sharp order to think of his daughter, to make the effort and it would be impressed on him that his daughter seeing her mum and dad working together for her benefit will give her positive role models in several different ways.

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