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DD's dad not bothered about seeing her for xmas-should I bother to take her?

(20 Posts)
Pawslikepaddington Tue 23-Dec-08 09:38:58

Dd's father has never once asked to see her in 5 years-I have to ring and ask if he wants to see her, and then drive her there and back (he is 200 miles away), and basically do everything involved in the process (including providing clothes etc). Since October I haven't done this as I can't afford it and it was serving no purpose as he sticks her in front of the tv until she comes home and gets one of his friends to watch her while he goes out with his girlfriends. If I don't do this he rings up and screams at me for "stopping him from seeing her", but then never arranges to see her as he is "busy" and needs to work out when he can, then never rings back. I rang twice in the past two months about xmas (he keeps saying he will ring back but never does) and he still hasn't rung back, as he is "skint and so can't work out when he will see her". I have told him it is not about presents and have even offered to hold back some presents I got for her so that she could open them at his (which is a huge gesture on my part as I chose them really carefully and have been buying bits since September as I am on a third of the income he is as I'm a student). Am fed up of hounding him-he doesn't contribute and it costs me £80 a trip on petrol and snacks/packed lunch etc to keep dd occupied on the journey there and back, yet get no maintenance or petrol money from him, and if he wanted to see her he would surely at least bother to ring. I would rather not have the stress and upset of taking her, but feel bad that she won't see her dad this Christmas, so will feel bad anyway IYSWIM.

Anna8888 Tue 23-Dec-08 09:39:50

No of course not.

Pawslikepaddington Tue 23-Dec-08 09:44:04

But will it damage her emotionally? I know that is a stupid question, but my only family is my dad, and we can't see him until v late Dec as he is going away, so am worried she will feel it really acutely as his family is HUGE (he has 6 brothers, hundreds of cousins, loads of nieces and nephews etc) and she won't have them around her as she has done previously. She is also starting to wonder why everyone else's daddy wants them sad.

AnarchyInAManger Tue 23-Dec-08 09:45:17


You should not feel bad - he should.

I know you do it with the best intentions -until recently I have taken a similar line and done a lot of running around to make sure there is contact. But I have come to realise that it does no good. It just enables lazy spoilt selfish men to carry on as they were, with no reason to change.

Your DD is lucky to have you. The reality is that her dad can't be arsed and though it is deeply sad for her, you can't change that.

Anna8888 Tue 23-Dec-08 09:46:19

It will undoubtedly damage her emotionally (= be bad for her self esteem) that her own father doesn't himself make the effort to see her. But you cannot force the issue. You cannot make people love others (or you).

What about his parents though? Do her paternal grandparents care for her and send her presents?

Pawslikepaddington Tue 23-Dec-08 09:50:16

They do care for her, but won't send her presents-they insist I have to bring her up to see him in order for her to get them (they also stay at their house, so she cannot use them unless she goes to see them). I suppose some of this is I am scared of the numerous phonecalls I will get from the paternal grandparents re why I stopped their son and them from seeing dd over xmas-I always do anything to prevent arguments etc, but I just cannot do it any more!

SatsumaMoon Tue 23-Dec-08 09:55:51

if he dad is still not getting his ass in gear, phone his parents, say your dd would love to see them over Christmas as usual but her dad may be too busy to have her - do they want her to come to theirs? You could also say you need someone to collect her/drop her back or meet you halfway as you can't afford the petrol. Or you could just say your car is playing up and if they want to see her at all, they need to do the driving.

AnarchyInAManger Tue 23-Dec-08 09:56:06

This is sounding more and more like what I have been dealing with.

I have tried and tried to explain to his parents that it is not me standing in the way of them seeing DD, it is him. They expect all the compromise and effort and communication and running about to come from me, not him, and when I refuse they grudgingly do some of it themselves.

Can you invite them all to visit her at your house? I know that may be a ridiculous suggestion but it at least allows the scope for a compromise.

If they phone to harangue you, do not answer. Tell them you will only discuss solutions, not rake over whose fault things are. They should consider themselves lucky you ae prepared to engage with them at all.

Good luck and stay strong - remember it is not you whose behaviour has forced this situation.

Anna8888 Tue 23-Dec-08 10:01:29

Her grandparents sound horrible and selfish - no wonder their son is too shock sad. You must not give in to this horrid family who wants everyone to live on its own terms alone. What lesson would you be giving your daughter if you did so?

Pawslikepaddington Tue 23-Dec-08 10:05:17

Thank you Anarchy for going through the same thing! I moved away, which is part of this huge problem, as the family are forever guilting me over "taking her away". We used to live in a very small town with very high drug and unemployment issues, I was in a council flat on a very bad council estate, and worked incredibly hard to get into a wonderful university and give dd a better standard of living, which I have managed to do very successfully. However, because I took her away they think it is up to me to bring her back, which I can understand up to a point, but it is so much healthier for her living here, that everyone but them can see that it is better for her (despite them giving me three years of guilt previously as I was going to turn her into a drug addict by living where we lived!). The grandparents still have 5 children at home (ranging from 18 to 4 years), so can't get them all in the car or fit in our house, but it would be nice if they just offered once in a while!)

AnarchyInAManger Tue 23-Dec-08 10:18:05

Ah, yes. The guilt for moving away. We rented in a house owned by ex MIL and after ex left us, she basically forced me out, saying she wanted to sell up and make some money hmm

So we moved to live near my parents (80 miles away) and she has never stopped complaining. Incidentally she didn't sell the house when we moved out, she moved ex straight back in!

Anyway, not my thread for moaning. Don't feel guilt, really. Let them bluster and huff and leave them to it. They need to work out for themselves who is the obstacle to what they want.

Pawslikepaddington Tue 23-Dec-08 10:21:56

Oh no please moan, then I feel better for moaning too! At least being so far away means she isn't coming round all the time telling me off re my parenting of her grandchild! And she is now "too posh" for them and they feel like it is a snub apparently (they even told her she was too posh and not one of them to her face, with me standing in the doorway shock! She has the normal accent for the area-yes, it is a lot more plummy than the accent they have, but it is the accent (or lack of) for the area we live-why is that a problem angry.

3littlefrogs Tue 23-Dec-08 10:26:05

If they really cared about your dd, they would make the effort to come and see her.

Their behaviour is about power and control, nothing else.

I would just leave the ball in their court.

Don't have long discussions. Just point out briefly and succinctly the reasons why you moved, the fact that you cannot afford petrol etc, and that your ex does not make any effort to get back to you.

TBH I think it is better that your dd gets the real picture earlier rather than later.

DarksomeNight Tue 23-Dec-08 10:26:15

If he can't be bothered and then when you don't either and he rings you and shouts, HANG UP THE PHONE.

What a nob, if he can't be arsed leave him to it. She will be fine, have you spoken to her about it?? She must be at an age when you can talk to her if all this has been going on for 5 yrs. This is not your responsibility, it's his, it really is. And as for holding back pressies NO. She will at least know that her mum could be bothered.
Trust me, my dad couldn't be arsed and I never cared much. I knew that my mum did care and that she gave me everything I needed, she loved me, she got pressies she knew I'd love, she was there.
If he just leaves her in front of the tv with his mates then perhaps it is best of rher if she doesn't go.

AnarchyInAManger Tue 23-Dec-08 10:28:17

They sound charming hmm

Try to forget them for a few days. I have a different ring tone for ex PIL so its easier to ignore them when I can't be doing with having guilt and bile poured over me.

Its hard enough being a single parent with no help/support from ex, without having anyone tell you its your job to make his life easy.

DarksomeNight Tue 23-Dec-08 10:29:50

Your attitude lets them do this to you. You need to get firm and stand up for yourself. Who are his parents?? Who are they to you??? You do not have to take her in order for her to see them, THEY need to get her, or make arrangments.
I wouls suggest seeing a solicitor and making arrangements that way so that this can stop happening. If he can't be bothered then you haev your answer. As for his parents, they can have visitation too I guess, you seem more than reasonable in that respect, but they will have to get off their butts and do something themselves.

Don't let them do this to you any more.

Pawslikepaddington Tue 23-Dec-08 11:55:26

Thank you all-sorry-had a brief tidying spurt as the house was getting chaotic! DD is 5 in three months, so doesn't quite understand, but I asked her how she felt about not seeing daddy over xmas and she said fine as she had me grin. My dad saw me twice a year and it tore me apart, so am worried the same will happen to her, but he rang every week and wanted to see me-dd doesn't seem at all bothered, even on the days we go to see them-maybe she just knows-and I give her all the love I have, as I don't have to give any to anyone else, so she has plenty grin!

mankymummy Tue 23-Dec-08 13:16:17

Paws... My DS's dad lives in the same town as me and doesnt want to see him at all over christmas, hasnt even bought him a christmas card let alone a present.

It sounds to me like your DD is pretty clued up about the situation... you are her stability. If I were you I'd ignore what ex and his family say. If they really want to see her then its about time they made a bit of an effort.

Focus on having a lovely christmas with just the two of you.

Just because someone is biologically a parent doesnt mean they are a parent in practical terms if you see what i mean.

DarksomeNight Tue 23-Dec-08 17:04:29

If she's not bothered I wouldn't make too much fuss about it. Tell them that if they want to see her then they can call you to arrange it and that if they dont then you will assume they don't want to see her or can't be bothered and that the result will be that they wont hear from you. You are not stopping them seeing her but from now on you will not be going out of your way for them if they can't be bothered. Go to a solicitor, explain the situation, get the letter copied and leave a copy of the letter with the solicitor and tell them in the letter to contact said solicitor to arrange things. It is then out of your hands and you are free to go about your business. If you can't afford one I am pretty sure as a single parent that you can get half an hour free. Or go to CAB and see what they say. Seriously, free yourself from them, toxic people. They are wasting your time and stressing you out, you don't need that kind of crap.

Think how great it willl be to be free from them and all this guilt, which should not be yours anyway.

ELOB Thu 01-Jan-09 20:34:37

its simple. your ex can see his daughter over christmas if he so wishes. phone the grandparents and tell them the same. just say, 'if someone can let me know in advance what is happening so i can inform my daughter and have her ready for who ever is picking her up'. ' i need to know by a set date so i can make arrangements for my own christmas'.

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