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Am i being a Dram Queen about this????

(41 Posts)
Nixz Wed 30-Mar-05 10:04:23

Im quite new to Mumsnet but i really need advice. My Ex lives in Essex, i live in Lancashire. About once every 7/8 weeks he comes to collect our 4 year old daughter. He drives nearly 300 miles to collect her, they both drive 300 miles back to his home,they usually get there about 7pm Friday night, then on sunday at about 3pm they do it all again. My problem is that she drives 600 miles in 48 hours, she doesnt sleep well when shes there, she lives off ice cream and MD's etc etc and when she arrives back home it takes her a week to recover and her Eczema is really bad. All my friends and family complain that its too much for her to handle and say that she needs an extra day there or he needs to visit her at my house and have her stay at holidays etc. I dont know what to do, does everyone do this and as usual im being all dramatic about it?? Please help, he's coming on friday for her!!!!!!!!

Pinotmum Wed 30-Mar-05 10:07:42

Personally, I wouldn't be happy with this. I think your ex needs to make better arrangements. Could he not stay in b&b. I have a dd the same age and couldn't imagine her doing all that travelling.

Beetroot Wed 30-Mar-05 10:08:53

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Beetroot Wed 30-Mar-05 10:09:58

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Nixz Wed 30-Mar-05 10:14:00

He is in the forces and says that he may be 'operationally deployed' at any time and CANNOT commit himself in advance. He also says he cant get any extra time off work to come down thurs night or stay extra night! What do i do????

Nixz Wed 30-Mar-05 10:16:01

Beetroot, ive never stopped him from seeing her, im just worried about the effect it has on her and so many people have commented on it lately. He had the option of seeing her easter wknd for as long as he wanted but 'forgot' to organise it!

Twiglett Wed 30-Mar-05 10:16:29

I wouldn't worry about the travelling but I would address the dietary issues and excema

Nixz Wed 30-Mar-05 10:20:03

i have addresses the food thing - several times, he keeps her occupied on the journey with sweets - i wont change that, he knows best!!!!!!

Caligula Wed 30-Mar-05 10:37:29

I agree that you should get more info about the effect of what he's feeding her on her eczema.

I can't understand why he's not more concerned about the fact that his DD's eczema does flare up after visiting him, which does indicate that it's something she's coming into contact with on her visits to him.

But hey ho, he's allowed to risk his DD's eczema flaring up if he chooses - you can't do anything about that. But chances are, info from the doctor or a more "official" source than his ex, will probably be more positively received.

Beetroot Wed 30-Mar-05 10:38:08

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Nixz Wed 30-Mar-05 10:47:51

yeah, i do try to pack her a healthy 'picnic' but she hates to travel, he would rather get her back to his as quickly as he can so they can have time there rather than making several stops along the way to break up the journey. Her eczema flares up a lot, but apart from the obvious (allergies to pets/dust etc) the other main cause is stress, that is why im concerned. A weekend at her dads results in a week of bad behaviour because shes tired, her exzema flares up so she doesnt sleep properly etc etc. I dont want her to stop seeing him, she loves him to bits, i just wish i could break the journey up for her so its 'less stressful' or give her longer in between travels. With what people around me have been saying, i just wanted a non'biased (is that a word!) opinion.

Nixz Wed 30-Mar-05 10:50:16

I have made several attempts to 'ban' junk, given him a list of foods she loves, even bought food for him to take down. He knows what to give her, he just wants to spoil her and wants to keep her happy.

Beetroot Wed 30-Mar-05 10:56:29

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elliedragon Wed 30-Mar-05 10:57:03

It sounds as if he just wants her to love him and it sounds as if he wants to spend time with her which is great. It would be easy for him not to bother at it is a long way for him to come every time, remember he is doing double the journey. It is difficult for you as you dont want him not to come. Does he have any family/friends that he could stay with near you or do you know anyone near him so you could take her down every now and again?

WideWebWitch Wed 30-Mar-05 11:05:44

Hi Nixz. Ex dh and I split up when ds was 2 (he's 7.5 now) and he's always seen his dad and grandparents in London every other weekend (it's all amicable). When we lived in Devon that involved ds travelling 250 miles every other Friday and 250 miles back every other Sunday. Dh and I would meet half way. It wasn't ideal and I kept trying to find ways around it, like cheap flights, but couldn't so we moved in the end to be 2 hours nearer ex dh. I was the one who moved to Devon from London and in hindsight I shouldn't have done, it was too far away. Now ds has a 2 hour journey door to door instead and I think it's much more manageable.

BUT ex dh lets him eat crap, watch too much tv, play too much playstation, stay up too late (midnight fgs) and THEN wonders why he can't deal with his behaviour. Er, you give a child crap food, e numbers, no exercise, not enough attention, late nights = recipe for disaster imo! Plus they have no real rules there, ds is in charge. More fool them I say, rods and backs etc so it's their own fault. Anyway, I decided a long time ago that I can't control what happens while he's there. I can say what I think and I can do what I think's best while ds is with me, which is after all most of the time, and beyond that I can't do anything.

But I didn't have excema to cope with. I agree, can you get something 'official' to say she mustn't have xyz and give it to your ex? I think your dd will get used to the fact that your rules are one thing and his are another, they do get it I think although I did have some bad behaviour too at the beginning. Can't your dd eat the healthy picnic in the car? They don't have to stop for it. The trouble is your ex (and mine, and ex ils) think it's kind to give a child junk, let them do what they want, stay up late, have no rules. I don't, I think children need boundaries and rules and healthy food with the odd treat. But I can't control my ex and I doubt you'll be able to control yours either, except you have a solid official reason not to let her have crap so maybe you will be able to get your ex to see that it really is in her best interests. Good luck, it's hard I know.

Caligula Wed 30-Mar-05 11:33:06

Very good advice from www, I think as your DD gets older she'll be able to cope more with the differing regimes in each household. And hopefully, the more time he spends with her, the less your x will think of it as treat time, and more as normal parenting time, so he might make a little more of an effort to do the tough work of parenting, rather than just the treat bits.

Also, just make sure she has access to a toothbrush and toothpaste for milk teeth when she goes away for the weekend, either at his house or in her weekend bag!

Bozza Wed 30-Mar-05 11:46:21

Agree with the others really. Its sort of like when kids go to grandparents and they spoil them. Its one thing for a weekend every couple of months but doesn't work in day to day life. If you are firm with your DD when she gets back she will understand the different sets of rules. Agree with the others to concentrate on the eczema and back off about the other things for the time being. Its possibly the high intake of junk and having to come down off it onto regular eating as much as the tiredness that is affecting her behaviour so if you could get some progress on this might have two positive effects.

Blu Wed 30-Mar-05 11:50:56

Nixz - he probably doesn't really take on board the exceme stuff since he doesn't have to deal with it. Would it help if you showed him pics of her excema at it's worst and explain, in a calm, non-accusatory way that this is what heppens when she comes off her regular diet, and how can the teo of you work togther to help your little girl avoid this level of discomfort?

Nixz Wed 30-Mar-05 12:16:26

We havent been seperated long, he knows all the stuff about junk food and her eczema etc - we spk quite reglar about it all. When i said ban junk food, i meant - no more than one fast food a day, she cant have ice cream 4 times a day which believe me she does when shes there! He gives her the sweets in the car to keep her quiet, rather than let her have a run round, take her the shop for a comic etcthe last time i made a picnic for them both - he chucked his away and they still went to macs Humph!!!!!! Most of you seem to think that the travelling is not a problem, maybe i was being a drama queen then! Also, most of you seem to have had experiences where the ex has travelled far more frequently than once every 8 weeks, how did you get them to do that!!! My ex says he cant afford it, he pays maintenance to me and if i stopped that he may be able to see her more regular. I dont have any friends in essex and his family live in Glasgow, also i dont have a car!

Nixz Wed 30-Mar-05 12:17:47

Please tell me if im being neurotic - i just want to do everything right and im very aware my friends and family are biased!

Aimsmum Wed 30-Mar-05 12:21:35

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elliedragon Wed 30-Mar-05 12:25:19

It is so difficult Nixz to come up with an ideal solution. I think you just want to do what is right - nothing wrong with that and you are doing a good job. As for behaviour problems you may find that even if she had all the right foods she will still play up on her return. Just a change in environment will bring that out which you cannot stop. You can only do what you are doing and try and persuade your ex not to feed her things that bring out her eczema. If it is early days things might settle down.

Bozza Wed 30-Mar-05 12:35:19

Not sure the travelling is ideal but its only once every couple of months and you can see from his pov why he wants to maximise the weekend. What about holidays? Has he suggested he wants to see her more for holidays? Surely even in the forces they get leavae occasionally?

Nixz Wed 30-Mar-05 12:37:14

He wont commit to anything, its always a matter of a phone call on a tuesady or wednesday saying he will pick her up on the friday. I have tried to get something regular in place and have taken legal advice, but we never got anywhere.

Blu Wed 30-Mar-05 12:41:32

Nixz, I certainly don't think you are being neurotic - and you seem to be working hard to keep things constructive. It must be REALLY frustrating for him to be so idiotic about diet.

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