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Have I 'allowed' too much

(9 Posts)
Lifegoeson Tue 30-Jun-09 13:18:23

I am in need of some of the excellent advice and support distributed by wise mners please.

Synopsis of the situation... - you might wanna grab a cuppa or a long cool drink as War and Peace has nothing on me!

Met a guy, had a short relationship, moved 200 miles to be with him, became apparent wasn't going to work within days, so back to hometown within a month - did not receive a warm welcome back from anyone, very gossipy, mum didn't speak to me for 3 weeks, even though we were living in the same house?! So was very stressed and sad - I was 16 weeks pregnant at this point. I then had to find a f/t job whilst trying to conceal my pregnancy, I felt bad, but was only going for temporary roles though as didn't want to let anybody down and I needed money as mum wanted rent and I had to eat and start getting baby stuff together, so got job and supported myself whilst living in a thoroughly awful atmosphere and situation.

XP got really shirty and I was getting 'informative texts' telling me how much money he would give me me and how much he wanted access to child throughout the year, breaking it down to holidays, days etc, but also texts saying how devastated he was things hadn't worked out and there must be something wrong with me... mmm you don't say! He also at one point wanted to try again, but even talking about it made us argue, so I sacked that off quite quickly, I know it was only for the baby though so I just said we'd see when he raised it again, I knew he'd change his mind and he did. I was quite vague about the contact he wanted, he wants a lot! But generally went along with it.

He was quite affected by it, not breaking up with me, no big love affair there, but very sad he was going to live so far away from his child, I was also very sad about that too as all I ever wanted was a family and I was fully aware of how hard being a lone parents can be at times. Things mellowed a little and relations between us improved so this is what has happened so far.

I had to find a house for DS and moved in 3 weeks before he was born, I also worked f/t until 8 days before he was born as needed the money, this was a very stressful period and I never really had a chance to settle in the house or prepare it for DS arrival.

Kept XP was updated throughout pregnancy via texts/calls/emails, pictures of growing bump, every midwife visit, scan etc - I sent him a happy birthday daddy card with scan picture in it as he couldn't be there - I was attempting to forge good relations between us because we have got to be in contact for years! I should also say, he gets frequent - practically daily - texts, pictures, videos and emails of pictures of DS smiling and in bath etc, saying 'hi daddy x' and informative ones like sleep patterns, moving up ounces, general developement, poos, you know the sort of rubbishy info that only parents are interested in!

When I moved into a house he came to visit for weekend when I was about 37 weeks - he wanted to see bump and feel DS kick - I was fine with that, was really pleased about the bonding with regards to feeling him kick, and also thought it would be good to see him before the day before I gave birth iyswim.

He also kindly brought cot and baby clothes and bits and pieces from family, I should also mention he gave me deposit for house, so I was very pleased things had improved so much and also very grateful, and feeling quite positive about the future, I thought - naively! - this can work actually.

I had said to him I thought we could never be friends but we could make a good parenting team, he was the one who actually said he felt we could be good friends one day, so as he was being supportive etc I thought ok, maybe... We are able to help each other with certain work or personal things like advice.

So anyway - sorry to ramble - has been building up for months! - I have always said to him he will always be involved in DS life, he has this on text and and email and I think my actions thus far has demonstrated this...

He arrived day before DS was born - I was meant to be having a c-section, but DS decided he couldn't wait! So he was here when went into natural labour, he was quite good during ensuing madness, labour went from 0-90, a huge shock for us both - I was due to go into hospital that eve - so plan was that he would see DS born, I just didn't think it would be naturally blush but I thought this moment is so much bigger than your XP seeing your nether regions - seeing his son born, so pushed on, literally! So he obviously saw DS born, cut his cord and gave him his first feed.

He was then welcomed to stay at my house for the first month for bonding and helping me, although as DS snuck out early I didn't need as much physical help as I would have with the c-section. Things were ok between us at first, babymoon I guess, I then did a 400 mile round trip - 12 days after giving birth - so XP family could meet DS, I have also done the trip alone 3 times since so his extended family could see DS.

Things came to a head after a while and we argued, he said I was too bossy, I have been called a lot of things in my life but never bossy! He went home for a few of days to give us a break from each other, offering to take DS, who was 17 days old at the time hmm as he 'didn't want to leave him, he just wanted to get away from me'. Needless to say I did not want my newborn baby 200 miles away from me.

He came back and things were okish again, we registered DS birth together, he is named on certificate so has PR. DS also has double-barrelled surname, which I didn't really want, as name can be a bit funny if you twist it, which I'm sure some children will notice at school but I wanted him to have a link to his father and XP was also very keen on this.

So anyway he left after the month, I have said he is weclome to vist anytime, which he has since, about 9 times, he is a good dad, very loving and caring and totally smitten with DS, I know it is heartbreaking to be so far away, but he has the option of jumping in the car anytime, my door is always open to him.

Then I received a text from him - I think this is when things started to go downhill really me as alarm bells started ringing - 'I have booked time off and I would like DS for 1 week at this time and 1 week (month later), I was really shocked - DS was 7 weeks old at this point - and we had had no discussion whatsoever about any access never mind him taking baby away for a week! What on earth he thought DS would think, er, where's my mum?? DS would have been 17 weeks for first date he wanted to take him. So I replied very diplomatically again, even though I just wanted to tell him, not on your nelly sunshine! But just said I felt DS was too young to be away from me for a week at a time, and offred alternatives, including I could go with and just stay out of the way, I am quite good at that, as I do know DS is in safe hands, so I get back, no I think a week is fine - oh that's alright then?! - And it was made clear I wasn't welcome, then he said, ok 5 days then, I do hope this won't be a problem... Vague threats, I know exactly how it was meant, so texts got worse, having then spoke to a solicitor, at 9.30 on a Saturday night?? I was told I was being unreasonable and I knew it and so would a judge, can anyone show me a judge who has ordered this? No, I didn't think so. I have to point out he is the one to raise the word judge, hinting at court etc, not me. Never, ever wanted or want that. I then got told - 'You just don't get it, his age has nothing to do with it'! Er, the whole point is his age!

Relations between us are deteriorating, have been very gradually really... I think we tried to hard to be friends - I knew it wouldn't work! - and we've just annoyed each other, although (I thought he was a good bloke, we just weren't each others type of people, but after the threats and insults, I no longer think this) I loathe stereotypes, although I am starting to think there may be a reason for them, he is from place where they have a very 'stereotypical' image, quick to kick off, and he does just that!

I'm finding him more aggressive and initmidating, last week he called me the most pathetic person he had ever met and the biggest joke ever, not the worst names I know, but stil not nice to hear, he also said he would make my life hell if I stopped him seeing his son, nice. Oh and that he wanted nothing to do with me, the next 15 odd years are gonna be soo much fun then! This was when I had pointed out I am under no obligation to have him in my home or do the 400 mile round trips - blardy knackering! - but I do it all because I want DS to have strong bond with his father and also his extended family.

I have never, ever said that I would stop him seeing him, and I sincerely never would as even if I don't need him in my life DS does, I have told him this repeatedly but it just doesn't seem to be sinking in?? It's like I say something and he hears something else?? I think there maybe some controlling issues that I didn't get a chance to see as wasn't with him for long enough, almost 40, never married, and doesn't hold a very high opionion of his mother.

I've bent over backwards to accomodate him - I literally have accomodated him! - and enable him to see his son - I feel now perhaps retrospectively I may have 'given' too much and he just wants more and more, give an inch take a mile springs to mind, he doesn't seem to understand the mother/baby bond and what is best for DS, it's all about what he wants. So huge row about overnight access as he can't stand to be around me, I am happy for him to have DS overnight at some point, as I say, he is a good father, I have some issues, some pfb I know! And some that I am a bit hmm about but as I find him so intimidating it's hard to raise these issues.

I feel I have tried and tried, I have appreciated and acknowldged how difficult it is for him, I know how much he misses and loves his little boy, hence the open invite, and my trips there, but I feel I am getting nothing but contempt from him, it's hard having someone in your home for days who simply can't stand you. sad Doesn't do much for ones v low self-esteem.

I made tentative steps to find out some information about mediation as the stress was really getting me down - I suffer from depression, which he is aware of - he works in mental health too - but is happy to insult and threaten a person with depression and anxiety now too - great! - who is also raising his child, he doesn't consider the effects on DS when I'm crying my eyes out and feel exhausted, stressed and depressed, he also knows I have no support in r/l, rubbish family relations. I admit I am a very sensitive person, pita at times, he is not and can't stand this.

The solicitor I spoke to actually said she astonished at what I'd done so far, she said she had never heard of such a story, how much I involved him etc. It calmed down a bit after the 'holiday' texts and he said he had realised how much babies needed their mums and that he wasn't sure he would have been able to cope on his own for that long. He also admitted that he was going on his sisters contact arrangemets for her DS and his father, I had to point out that I am not his sister and DS is not his DN and he is not her XP, every situation is unique and I also pointed out that DN was older (3)and he had lived with his father for first 2 years of his life. DS did not recognise his father when he arrived this week, it had been over 2 weeks since he last saw him.

I have alway tried to be diplomatic and compromise and invlolve him in everything in DS life, including plans to be present for fist feed, first swim - which he said he wouldn't miss for the world, but this weekend, he was 'not that bothered about it'. As I say, things are getting more and more difficult, it centres round overnight access for DS, he reallys wants it, I don't have a problem with it in the long term, but DS is only 5 months, it really centres around the fact that DS would be 200 miles away I guess, that is a long way away from my baby. Also I just feel, and I do know I am being unreasonable here though, but his attitude is making me think fark off too, I was kind of getting ready for it, trying to be brave and sensible, and think about DS. If he was nicer and more respectful it would probably be a bit easier, but because of all the aggro it's making me more anxious about being separated by hundreds of miles from my little baby boy. I don't want a brown noser, can't stand them, but just more appreciation of what I do/have done. I've told him to ask around about access with colleagues and friends and see what other arrangements fathers have, or talk to his sisters, he has 7, 6 with kids, oh and one who has DS 3 months older than our DS and he doesn't see his dad at all! Apparently they 'can see where I'm coming from', oh really, you think any of them would have sent their 5 month old baby 200 miles away with their insulting and threatening XP. If he lived locally it would be different again, as I could hop in car and be with him within minutes if need be.

I feel so down and quite frankly really, really pissed off that I have put myself out so much for him, DS obviously will have no memory, there so many awkward mothers out there who won't allow children access to their fathers, or use them as tools in emotional battles, I do not want this for DS, which is why I have done all of the above, I thought he would really appreciate it and we could be a good and mum dad, together, but apart. I just wanted us to enjoy our lovely little boy, as only parents can.

He can't seem to grasp that in working with me instead of against me will benefit him in the long run, I would allow far more than the courts would allow and be much more flexible. It's really affecting me quite badly, I'm feeling worse and worse, which obviously has an effect on DS, I'm struggling more with him as I have no support, he's mostly a very good baby but has become more whiney in last few weeks and I think that's the stress he can feel from me.

Sorry this is soo long guys - round of applause and a big thank you if you got this far! - but after 5 months it all had to come out!

FrodosGirl Tue 30-Jun-09 15:50:04

I cant offer much advice but just wanted to say well done to you for all you have done to include your ex in your DS life.
I know it is not easy, I am now on my second time of being a single parent now.

mamas12 Tue 30-Jun-09 18:29:10

Wow lifegoeson You certainly got it all out.
You sound as if you have a great solicitor so I would stick to whatever she advises and the letter of the law from now on.
Look after yourself as a mother, it seems you have been overthinking for him and bending over backwards.
What hapeens if you don't volutarily offer information, does he contact you or is it all one way.?
Your son will be proud of all you have done re: enabling a relationship with his father.
And your x will sort himself out.
Stop thinking for him and think for youself.

Lifegoeson Tue 30-Jun-09 19:04:20

Thank you FG, I have really tried, at least we know that! Hope it is working out well for you second time round.

M12, I know! blush very cathartic, my HV is coming round tomorrow and although I will be sure to cry all over her, it won't be as much! - Today was; type, and breeeaaathe! I do feel better for getting it out.

Solicitor was only on end of the phone, free legal advice via my bank. Yes, I think legal is the way to go, what more can I do? Yes, I thought so too, I have tried to really involve him, but no more, the less I have to do with him the better now I feel. He does contact me to ask how he is and gets lots of info back, but he hasn't text in a while, and neither have I.

mrsmortenharket Wed 01-Jul-09 10:04:06

right. i am not going to tell you what to do, more of suggestions if that is ok? i was in more or less the same situation, bent over backwards to accommodate x and his family etc, pains in the arses the lot of them. anyway. it does sound like he has some wink control issues, you have done all you can, hte best thing you can do now is (did you register with that solicitor? if not, go to local one (can you get legal aid?) and see them, it will be much easier; if you don't get on with that one, change to a different one, find one you are appy with. fwiw, if i were in your shoes, i would be really hesitant about agreeing overnight access as the journey is too long for a baby that age, and especially when he gets older and toilet training. is it 200 miles round trip? or 200 there and 200 back?

as for your phone, mobile - i would keep the sim and get a new one for your friends and your family and keep the old one purely for contatc with his dad. see if you cna get paper copies that you can hand to your sol of all texts he sends. sorry got to dash off, will check back soon xx

lilacclaire Wed 01-Jul-09 11:02:22

If he acting horribly towards you, then I would tell him to stay in a hotel when he comes up.
I can see contact tapering off tbh.

Lifegoeson Wed 01-Jul-09 13:41:29

MrsMH - All suggestions gratefully received! That's how I feel, what more can I do?? Other than move there and be at his beck and call with DS obviously! - Suits you sir!

I didn't, as things settled down again, can you see a pattern emerging here...?! I am entitled to LA, he is not.

I know all mothers feel differently but that's exactly the point, my little guy would be over 200 miles away from me, how many mothers would be comfortable with that?

It's a 400 mile round trip, which, as I said, which I have made 3 times alone, I have managed to incorporate it into his bedtime routine, just put him in car seat instead of cot, then transfered into travel cot when arrived at XPs. So that means a 3 hour night drive on the motorway for me, which I don't enjoy!

Poor DS just screamed last time, was ok when he was a newborn and little older as he napped longer, don't think they realise how stressful that is either, packing up all baby things and mine, doing 400 mile round trip with baby and unpacking everything when getting home, it was like going on holiday every month, but not coming back refreshed and revitalised, more like a gibbering wreck!

I have decided that we will just mail now, my heart sinks when I see his name on text, I have got all his mardy yexts and mails which I kept for just that reason!

Example; me responding to his text about being really shocked him mentioning a judge, and me saying a court would rule little and often and not crashing at ex's pad! Or him taking tiny baby hundreds of miles away.

TEXT - I get 8 weeks off a year, I want him for a least 5 days every week off. I also want to see him twice a month and bring him home once a month for 4 days. That's just for starters, if you can't agree to that, then see you in court.

Did I mention he was training to be a diplomat with the UN, gonna be a long old course! wink DS was 7 weeks at this point, and as I said previously, we had mentioned nowt about any kind of other access! I was like - fooking 'ell! Where did that come from?!

Lifegoeson Wed 01-Jul-09 14:07:01

Do you think so LC? Because it's just too much like hard work? I can't to be honest, I can see it going all the way to court! But that is fine, I am confident in the knowledge I have done everything right and for the best for my DS.

I have thought about the hotel thing, there are a couple of b&bs v close and you can book Travelodges for £9 if you book a month in advance. He does do the night feeds when he is here too, which I feel is important for bonding aswell - and I obviously get a much needed nights sleep, I don't get a break at all apart from when he is here, mum has had DS for a few hours in last few weeks but that's it. I don't really want him walking the streets with DS either, and all his stuff is here.

But I think this week and getting it all out here has really helped clarify things, we were trying to hard to be friends, I think he is a rather odd person but thought we could just rub along for a while, til DS is old enough for visits and we're just doing handovers. I try and think of him as a very annoying colleague I have to grin and bear! But I had hoped we could be more a team, to also demonstrate to DS we can be civil, therefore be a good example for DS.

I think we'll just use my place as more of a hotel, when he came in I left or went upstairs, seemed to work, but we'll see...

mrsmortenharket Fri 03-Jul-09 09:54:57

blush sorry for not reading properly.

he seems to be in much better position financially wink so let him visit you and please don't let him stay at your house, he might start taking things for granted again. i would defintely suggest you have another chat with your solicitor (x also doesn't qualify for la) and see what they suggest.

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