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Frustration with ex and co-parenting.

(7 Posts)
AshCull Mon 07-Dec-15 16:50:24

Hi All,

At the moment I am really struggling to keep my cool with my ex. After chasing him for months this year, he was finally made to pay Child Maintenance. After paying on time for four months, he missed last months payment and is avoiding contact from myself and the Child Maintenance people.

Personally, I feel that what they are told to pay by the government is the bare minimum. I have previously asked for him to buy pants and socks etc. I have asked him to contribute towards nursery fees (which enable him to go off and work as much as he needs to and do whichever career he feels like) but he doesn't see it as his problem. I have asked him to contribute towards the clubs that my little boy does such as swimming.

If my little boy is ill, I have to take time off work (I am hourly paid) and lose out on the money (not to mention the effect on my career). Even though I have approached him about this he has never offered to share this responsibility either.

We have got to a point where he is reliable about picking him up. They go out and have a great time. But when it comes to parents evenings, choosing schools, clothing essentials, illness (all the usual responsibility that comes with parenting) he doesn't want to know.

I am sure there are many, many of you out there in similar situations. And what I want to know is...how do you hold your tongue? I feel so, so frustrated with the double standards etc and I find it very hard to let it go. I understand I have to keep my feelings out if it. At the end of the day my little boy loves to spend time with him once a week or fortnight.

I would love to hear some practical solutions or some reassurance from mums/dads who have excellent relationships with their exes so I can have some faith! Also, what do you think is reasonable and fair? For example, for working mums...how do you split having to take time off when little ones are ill?

MoJo1002 Thu 10-Dec-15 12:53:00

Hi

I know how you feel! I have a son who's nearly 6- his dad and I split when he was 18 months old.
I had exactly the same thing as you, it was hard to get any money from him and I had all the responsibilities of being a parent when he took on no responsibility. I had the day to day job of looking after a child, getting up in the night with him if he's had a bad dream or is sick, going to work, organising nursery and then school, feeding, clothing, housework etc the list goes on and on... as you know.
He sees our son every weekend and there is no denying that they love each other very much but it does annoy me that when I tell people they see each other every weekend they say to me 'aren't you lucky' and I think to myself 'no, it's his child too!' Why does he have to be praised for having him once a week.
Even though he has him once a week I feel that if he had him for the week he would not have a clue about his routine or how to juggle everything.
What also annoys me is that my son sees his dad as the 'fun' parent because his dad just has fun time with him- there's no routine or discipline- just fun. So I'm the boring one lol.
Regarding work I just use up my annual leave for half terms or ask family members to watch him, and if he was poorly I would just have to explain to work. I wouldn't rely on my ex.

The first couple of years after our split I found it all very frustrating and I was so full of anger and resentment to his dad and the situation in itself (that I had all the responsibility) I had many an argument with him regarding money and me wanting him to do more for/with our son to help me out a bit more and just found that i may as well of been talking to a brick wall.
So I have now found that for my peace of mind I just have to be happy with the fact that all he will give our son is love. And I will carry on giving our son love .... And everything else. Hopefully one day my son will see all I've done for him and appreciate it.

LovelyFriend Thu 10-Dec-15 12:58:50

It's not co-parenting is it?
You are doing all the parenting and he pops in from time to time as it suits him. This isn't co-parenting.

Re the finances if he is miserable with money I doubt this will change. Sorry. I'm sure some will be along with better advice.

I would be looking at anything you do for him and stop it. Focus on yourself and your dc.

Your kids may have a dead beat Dad, but they clearly have an awesome Mum.

Pantone363 Thu 10-Dec-15 13:00:12

I find that the frustration doesn't go. You just accept it more. What helped me was realising that when the DC are older they will remember me being there when they were sick, during holidays, when they needed something. Ex is very much there but scratch the surface and it doesn't go far.

He doesn't take any time off in holidays to have them (but takes two weeks for his own holiday with his partner)

He doesn't do illness or early school pickups.

Maintenance is the bare minimum the CSA calculator says. Funnily enough his wages have stayed the same for 4 years hmm

LovelyFriend Thu 10-Dec-15 13:08:10

Re my experience my X is an arse of a partner but tries to be a good dad.

He pays less than CSA minimum and uses money as a threat over me. I'm far from intimidated by this but he thinks he has upper hand. <eye roll>

But he also buys some clothes including school shoes and other bits.
He takes dc on holiday.

I pay all childcare (his maintainence doesn't even cover half the childcare cost which as we both work I find grossly unfair). There is no legal obligation for him to contribute to childcare. Covering it all myself impacts my finances dramatically.

I now insist he covers 50% of school holidays which he has been doing.
He will also be involved with looking after a sick child if I ask (though as he has been/still is very abusive towards me I don't have him in my home so it varies if he can help out in his own home or not).

He has dc every 2nd weekend and one night a week.

LovelyFriend Thu 10-Dec-15 13:11:44

Total detachment from XP is what gets me by.

AshCull Fri 11-Dec-15 10:11:55

Hi All,

Thank you all for you responses. I don't know any other single parents and just knowing I'm not the only one feeling this way and being in this situation actually helps. I feel like I am not over reacting.

Clearly more needs to be done by the government to make this system fairer! We can't make them want to be involved in the day to day stuff but they should at least be made to step up more financially where possible. Something is better than nothing but a long way to go to meet the real-time cost of raising children! The child care issue, especially winds me up.

I appreciate all your comments. I do sometimes worry my little one is going to prefer spending time with his Dad because as someone mentioned, they do all the 'fun' stuff. Not that we don't of course but it's not exactly wall to wall fun every day! Just not possible as you all know.

Again thank you, many comments have been helpful. X

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