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Advise on how to deal with xp(14 Posts)
My dd is nearly 1 and a lovely little girl.
Her father refuses to look after her if it to 'help' me. ie I look after her all the time while we works, goes out with friends etc but he won't ever have her for a couple of hours so I can have some time off.
I tried to ask him to implement a schedule but he works shifts so said that wouldn't be workable, though his shifts are more predictable now. I have told him he is welcome to see his dd whenever, he just needs to ask.
Now I really feel taken advantage of, and that this situation is not healthy for my dd. He won't see her for weeks then decides he wants to see her and ask to see her immediately at his convenience.
I have told him that she needs stability ie regular contact without long gaps, and that as I am looking after her 24/7 it isn't unreasonable to expect occasional time off to see friends etc.
Please can someone advise me on how to proceed with him?
If you don't live with him you can't expect anything to be honest. If you live together then parenting is a shared task.
It does sound like you don't live together then you really cannot press for anything but express a preference for regular contact.
Thats all. You are to all intents and purposes a single parent if you are split up, and the responsibility for getting someone to babysit rests with you if you want to see friends.
Yes we do live separately, is it really unreasonable to expect him to co-parent if he lives elsewhere?
By looking after dd while he works I am saving him a lot in nursery fees. This will change shortly (she will be starting nursery) but I don't know if he will contribute towards nursery at all.. knowing him probably not.
I also refuse to see it as 'babysitting' if it is his daughter.. surely he should want to see her..
The main issue is that it is unfair on her to have sporadic contact. I really don't know what to do but I really don't want it to go on like this. One day she will be old enough to understand that daddy only wants to see her at his convenience.. surely that is damaging..
I would say that sporadic contact is an issue.
However it is your responsibility to arrange childcare if you want to go put. It might be that he can have her as a father but you can't and shouldn't expect him to.
There is also no reason he should pay anything towards childcare costs. The is a minimum maintenance he should pay but there is no obligation for him to pay any more than that for any reason. Great if he does but don't expect it.
He doesn't pay any maintenance whatsoever at present. Not towards childcare or anything else. Believe me I don't expect anything!
If he was willing to have contact with her then I could have a break. I'm not even talking about going out, just a couple of hours off..
She is growing so quickly and he is missing out on so much: I'm surprised he doesn't want to see her more often.
Hmm. What are the chances of him going to mediation?
It looks like you've got a few things that need sorting...
I did go to see a solicitor but didnt proceed as I didn't feel that I could cope emotionally. I have enough going on being a mum to my dd, for various reasons it wasn't been easy.
What I really want to know is what is reasonable with contact. Maintenance is a completely separate issue.
I am finding it difficult doing everything on my own and also feel that dd would benefit from regular contact. She has bonded with him.
I dont think that maintenance is a seperate issue tbh.
If he paid you what you should reasonably receive from him then you could afford to pay a babysitter for a night out. You wouldnt have to worry about paying her nursery bills.
By allowing him to get away with not paying his way for her you are giving him the message that he can do what he likes and you will put up with it (an issue in your relationship possibly? As he sounds amazingly selfish)
First things first, get the maintenance sorted, many men suddenly decide that they want to see their child on a more regular basis as they are "paying" for them. Sad but true. If he doesnt, there isnt much you can do, some men just dont give a shit about their kids. My ex doesnt, it sucks but we managed and I made damn sure he paid maintenance (through the CSA, they can take it straight from his wages if needs be).
Well, it looks like what you want is very reasonable: a couple of hours now and then, to fit in with his shifts, on a regular basis.
I get the feeling that in spite of the fact that he should be responsible, missing dd, etc, he's going to find that very un reasonable.
Hence the suggestion of mediation.
The think is that unless you are in friendly and supporting terms with your ex you can't ask him to have contact so you can have some free time.
Contact is not about your needs but those of the child. If he is not interested, why would you want to send the girl to him?
I think that as unfair as it is, you may need to bite the bullet, accept the guy is a wanker who won't partake of the responsibilities and get on with your life. You can take a horse to the water but you can't force it to drink.
My ex doesn't participate in DS' life (his choice), things are much easier and less frustrating since I accepted things were not going to change and he was not going to become what he never was when we were married. Now, I find my "me" time in routine: by sending DS to bed at a regular time I get a few hours on my own at the end of the day when I am not in motherhood duties. I have also learned to see my time at work as the time when I'm not just "mum" and also, I have learned not to feel guilty about spending some money to pay a baby sitter so I can go out sporadically. Obviously to afford that I have to sacrifice other things but it is worth it.
Thank you for the replies.
Bogeyface I understand completely what you are saying and agree that by putting up with this behaviour I am facilitating it to some extent. What is the alternative though? I am hoping to sort out the maintenance issue shortly.
MemysonandI, yes contact is completely about my dd;s needs. I feel like he is good with her when he does see her and she benefits from it. In her interests though I believe contact needs to be regular and consistent.
I understand that I can't force him. Right now he will see her on his terms, deciding sporadically that he wants to see her. How do I change this?
Would I be wrong to say no contact unless he can stick to a schedule (obviously suiting his work)? Contact via third party - maybe forcing consistency?
No you wouldn't be at all wrong to say no contact unless he sticks to a schedule. That is exactly what most people do, have a schedule. If he can't stick to it, then he's obviously not interested enough in his DD.
It will be very sad for your DD if he chooses not to maintain contact, but in the long run it will be far better for her to have stability then to have a father who deigns to grace her with his presence every now and then.
Hi, I know your dilemma. It is not fair, but unfortunately there is little you can do about it. How long ago did you split up?
Let the dust settle and do sort maintenance, as you say rightly it is separate from contact and it is the one thing that he is legally obliged to do.
Do you have family who could help occasionally? I think you should pay a babysitter then you have freedom on your terms, albeit at a financial cost.
When you are feeling less emotional about his behaviour perhaps you can think about mediation again with a view to him having regular contact times. In the meantime, if he does suggest seeing her and it is very last minute write and say that you need 48 hours notice at least as you and she have other plans.
She is only little: she will pick up on your emotions/anxiety about him perhaps but he is only just becoming a feature of her life so perhaps better that if he can't be bothered to do something regularly, he should be out of the picture. He needs to know that is a possibility, then he can sit down and think about the choices he is making.
Notsorted I do have family help, but that is limited as of course they have their own lives and it's not fair to rely on them too much.
I have followed the advice on this thread and have told him that there will be no contact unless it is on a schedule. She needs regular contact. Have heard nothing so far, will just have to wait and see.
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