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tomorrow I hand over my children to the OW for the first time

(1000 Posts)
chocoreturns Sat 26-Jan-13 22:44:42

I don't know what else to say, just need a hand hold tonight.

OW and STBXH are now house hunting 15 mins from my house, and spending EOW with my baby and DS. They have been lying about her being there right up until today. I finally reached the end of my tether, while listening to DS1 tell me all about house hunting with OW all day, having been told he was with only his dad and granny.

So I called STBXH and told him I'm over it, it's time to stop pretending I'm an ogre who can't bear to meet her, and to bring her to handover. If she's going to be on my doorstep and having my children in her home, I need to know who she is. She took my baby DS2 swimming with his dad today - it was his first swim. I am far beyond anger now and I'm just sad about it all sad

Not sure what to say to her, but I would like to take her to one side when STBXH is putting the kids in the car, and say look - I know you and I aren't going to be friends, but my children are my priority, and I need to know they are safe and happy when they're not with me. If you ever don't know what to do, or you're on your own with them and you think they need me, please know that it's ok to call me and I'll be fine with you. Then give her my number.

Is that mad? Or sensible and mature?

This is a moment I need a mumsnet straw poll sad

BerylStreep Mon 18-Feb-13 09:14:51

Choco, what shit news.

Remember, sleep deprivation is a form of torture, and it would take a flipping saint to try to look on the bright side of things, but I think that's all you can try to do to lessen the pain.

If they want to do overnights (which I think yours are too small to do at the moment), at least you would get some sleep. Even during the EOW arrangement at present, you could use it to catch up on sleep (and switch off the phone so they need to buy new trousers if DS2 leaks, not return him to you).

T&T have both behaved dreadfully towards you, and the lack of apology is just evidence of their arrogance, but what is done is done. You can't change it. Would you really want to still be with twunt, now that you have seen him for what he is? And he'll do the same to turtlehead in time. But you need to rise above it all and focus on yourself, your 2 lovely DC, your fantastic business opportunity … It's shit having 2 such tiny DC with hardly any support, but you will get through it. Honestly, you are amazing. {{{hug}}} blush

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 18-Feb-13 09:47:17

It is horrible about fortune apparently smiling on T&T and wouldn't it be lovely if instead the pair of them fucked off and emigrated. At the same time I am thinking that if the boys are driving you demented sleepwise perhaps you could negotiate an overnight stay for DS1 earlier than you might have preferred, without any hint of course that they'd be inadvertently doing you a favour. Not for a minute saying they "win" that way, or that it won't be hard to let DS1 go. Please God it's "just a phase" which will pass. It's so tough physically and really does affect your well-being and thought processes.

Fwiw have long thought that T&T probably have the morals of alleycats so no big surprise about him 'doing what he liked in his own house'. I keep thinking, once the novelty wears off he'll tire of her but maybe their ultimate punishment is to stay together.

Theyremybiscuits Mon 18-Feb-13 09:59:38

Hey bamboozled, my ex is moving in to his house over the road from me and the kids. Hows that for near ?

His girlfriend might be joining him, though I suspect she has started to realise he is a total wanker, so maybe not.

bamboozled Mon 18-Feb-13 10:06:28

Noooooo - that's just crap..

Midwife99 Mon 18-Feb-13 10:40:02

Yikes!! Controlling was he by any chance biscuits?!!

bamboozled Mon 18-Feb-13 11:56:51

Choco, how did the night go?

chocoreturns Mon 18-Feb-13 14:35:00

hello all... sorry for the lack of reply. I'm ok, hanging in there. I have not had much more sleep and I seem to be on wobbly ground with the work stuff now. The contact I had at one of the universities has had to leave her job due to a relatives illness so I have no idea whether the project will be taken up anymore... it was verbally agreed, not signed on the dotted line sad

I'm struggling with some serious toddler behaviour right now as well. Which would be alleviated by a routine, and more sleep... crying baby. Must dash. I'll report back later x

Midwife99 Mon 18-Feb-13 14:55:30

It must be really hard. You've had a real uphill struggle & you are doing brilliantly.

Skyebluesapphire Mon 18-Feb-13 17:10:25

Oh no, hope the work thing gets the OK still.

Toddler behaviour, starts before two and carries on until 18 I've been told... I use a reward chart for DD but it only works if they are old enough to understand it. And I keep forgetting to use it. when she was younger I used to count to 3 then remove a toy or something. Now I count to five. It works sometimes. Time Out / Naught Step never really worked for her. Currently reading 1-2-3 Magic which was recommended by several people on my own thread.

Hope you manage to get some decent sleep soon. Is there any way your mum could have them for a couple of hours?

cheeseandpineapple Tue 19-Feb-13 10:39:42

Hey Choco, I've been travelling and out of the loop. Sorry to hear you're having a down swing. Lack of sleep as Beryl says is a form of torture. It's going to make everything else seem much worse, which probably doesn't seem possible given that it keeps getting worse. We were all hoping that the universe would intervene and they wouldn't get their jobs but they have. And whilst that's another blow on many levels, as Bamboozled says, better not to be the one living with the fucker and in long run for your boys, and for you, it might be more convenient, even if it feels like a gross violation and you want to distance yourself from them.

I thought of you last night when my children were listening to Harry Potter before bed! Dumbledore said (in relation to Harry after some particularly difficult shenanigans), along the lines of "without understanding, there cannot be acceptance, without acceptance, there cannot be recovery" -I thought of you because sometime back we talked about acceptance not meaning defeat but a means for moving on.

Apologies if this sounds incredibly trite but given how you're feeling about OW at the moment, maybe there is some wisdom we can all borrow from Dumbledore!

If OW and Ex were the type of people to apologise, perhaps you wouldn't be here in the first place. You're expecting them to display some moral fibre. They don't have that. If they did, they would not be doing what they are doing.

The OW does not have integrity. She will not be able to see she should apologise. Or if she does, she is not prepared to apologise because it will confirm that what she did was wrong. But she can't or won't want to do that as she's in denial. She has your sloppy seconds. She is risking everything to be with your Ex and to try and make a go of it. New job, new home, right by you. This isn't really the stuff of romance.

If you need answers, they need to come from your ex. Would you consider counselling or mediation for the two of you, the goal being that you can focus on bringing up your boys together as constructively as possible for your sake and for the boys?

When you hand over your boys to your ex, that's what you are doing, handing them to their dad, not OW. I know it's all too easy for me to say this but Choco, if you can shift your perception and see that OW is a bit of a red herring, perhaps it might help. In all probability you and and your ex would have come unstuck some how. If it hadn't been OW, it would have been someone or something else. She was the catalyst.

The issues you need to overcome are with Twunt. He rather naively thought you could just forgive, forget and embrace this new modern family. He owes it to you to make this new scenario work as best it can for you. But given his emotional ineptitude, he has no clue on how to go about this.

For your sake, Choco, I wonder if you need to ask him if he would be willing to have a mediation session with you so you can work out respectful boundaries and a strategy for achieving your common goal, which is the happiness and well being of your boys. He needs to understand that this is something that the two of you need to figure out independently, without OW and inlaws so you can both move on with your lives constructively. Who he chooses to bring into his sons' lives unfortunately is not something you can control or vice versa.

But perhaps you can carve out some common understanding but on neutral territory using a professional mediator.

For all his faults and major character flaws, he appears to want to be active in the lives of his sons. This is double edged for you but as it is what it is, you have control here of how things shape. He wanted you to embrace this new scenario and was pretty crass and naive about how he went about it (he sounds incredibly immature) but at some stage, it is going to mean a more peaceful life for you if you can reach some sort of understanding of how things are going to work out.

For your peace of mind and your sanctuary, maybe you and he need to sit down together, in a safe environment, with a neutral third party to talk about how you want to handle this new situation given they will be on your doorstep.

It is not a sign of failure or defeat if you want to reach some kind of harmony with your ex. You need to do this for very selfish reasons, for your self preservation and recovery.

I'm not sure if you have tried this before and it's been unsuccessful. I know you have wanted to limit contact with your ex as he has been so incapable of understanding what this is doing to you and is so insensitive.

A friend of mine has been through something similar albeit older children. She wants to have some kind of mediation or counselling to be able to reach "closure" and to move on, her ex refuses and is being a complete Twunt too.

But my impression with your Twunt and I could have misread this, is that he might be more amenable to taking some steps if he thinks there is something in it for him too, ie you both want some harmony. He thought you could be friends now and all muck in together.

The message he needs to understand is that for now, that is too much to ask of you but you want to have a harmonious relationship with the father of your children and confidence that your boys are happy and well when they are with him.

That this is a goal you both wish to strive for and that you might benefit from having a session to express how you both feel and what you both want because regardless of the breakdown of your marriage you both want what is best for your boys. Once again, Choco, you need to be the adult here and take the lead to make that happen. This is entirely about self preservation and recovery which you so desperately deserve.

You have an amazing ability to inspire Choco, taking steps which might be seen to T&T as you caving and giving in to them will be quite the opposite. You have forced them to move, change jobs and adapt their lives to the choices you have now made.

They lost control when you moved away and set up a new home with your boys. Their lives are dictated now by your choices and how you choose to act and approach things.

You have more power than you think and OW no doubt resents having to give up her life in order to slot in with yours.

I'm wondering if I'm being naive in suggesting you try and work things out with your ex through mediation. You'd need to make it clear that you have the same goal as him and that this will be in his interests too. If that turns out to be in OW's too then so be it. The bottom line is, you need peace and harmony for your sake because if you don't have it, no one else will. You're the lynch pin. But if you do this, it's for your sake and your boys.

In the meantime, I hope you can get over your exhaustion and can sort out your work. Hopefully your mum can help out. You might not be ready for the boys to have over night stays yet with your ex, plus that might be tough on DS2 in particular, so any discussion is not necessarily about that. It needs to be about understanding where you both are, establishing a common goal and then a strategy for achieving it.

Mammoth post, sorry, got carried away and I might be off the mark. I can't recall if you did try some sort of mediation before. It might be that you can tackle this with him directly but given the track record he has in crassness, using a neutral third party at least initially might help get the ball rolling in the right direction. You may well catch him off guard if you tell him that you want to try and move things onto a more harmonious plain. It requires a huge amount of strength and leadership to be able to orchestrate that but you have that Choco, in bucket loads!

Midwife99 Tue 19-Feb-13 11:55:08

Just a thought about T&T not apologising. You can't apologise for something you're not sorry for can you? And they're not sorry.
Obviously when we all turn up with the broken chair legs that will change.

drzeus Tue 19-Feb-13 12:24:00

I'm a lurker who has been following your thread. I think you have been amazing Choco in all of this and admire your strength and resilience.

Not sure if this is of any use, but I have a book which I've no need of now (as my boys are 11 and 9!) which I wondered might be of some use. It's call the No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. I'd love to send it to you with love in the hope that it might help. I appreciate that you might, of course, be too knackered to read it wink, but I remember those days of sleep depravation so well even now.

PM me your address, if you'd like it and I'll pop it in the post straight away.

Wishing you strength.
Dr Zeus

chocoreturns Wed 20-Feb-13 06:27:32

Another night of three hours sleep. I'm actually going to go mad.

My toddler is half the problem, getting up for hours at a time between the baby feeding. I just don't have any patience any more. I want to scream at the both and lock them in their rooms, but instead here I am on the sodding laptop at 6 sodding am. While they watch sodding CBeebies and I resist the urge to tell them both to fuck the fuck OFF.

Last night I managed to get to bed at 11pm after the four loads of washing I had to catch up on finished. DS1 woke up and played around bed hopping between midnight and two am, followed immediately after by a full twenty minutes of screaming and then feeding to settle DS2 at 2.30am, followed by DS2 getting up for the day at 5.40am, my failed attempts to resettle him waking up DS1 who demended his breakfast at 5.50am.

I give up. This is absolute torture and it doesn't matter what I might read about setting one of them, it's trying to settle two at the same time that is impossible. How do you do it?? Seriously? How does anyone deal with two, completely different and shit problems with sleep at the same time??

I can see where you're coming from C&P however mediation was talked about but decided against due to his total lack of empathy and bullying behaviour. Counselling was a joke, he literally can't see anyone's point of view but his own. The counsellor we saw actually cried for me by the time the appointment ended and he still couldn't see that his actions were a problem. There is no way I am laying myself open to those sorts of things ever again. He has improved slightly in the past month and the only thing that has changed was the absolute bollocking I gave him by email where I spelled out in writing what he is responsible for, and what I am no longer willing to do. No more weekly emails etc given that he ignores them, and no more keeping him in touch with the boys when he can't be bothered to phone for 12 days in a row between visit. I think he only responds to instructions, not discussion. I wish it were different but that's the only thing that's made any difference at all so far sad

bamboozled Wed 20-Feb-13 06:29:26

Sorry for not checking in to see how you were doing, dying of flu... Which has however, given me plenty of time to whittle I AM A TWUNT in reverse on my chair leg, so it will spell it out when used....

bamboozled Wed 20-Feb-13 06:33:54

Sorry xpost -
You poor old thing, it is soooo hard at this stage. There isn't really any amazing advice to give, other than hand hold and tell you that I promise it does get better. What on earth did people do before cbeebies at 6am, actually play with the little critters that have kept them up all night and then get up at disgusting o'clock...??

chocoreturns Wed 20-Feb-13 06:54:28

I think they were probably left to their own devices/in playpens more... its the endless crying that is killing me more than being awake per se. It just gets so awful listening to constant whingeing crying. I'd (almost) be ok if it was cheerful awakeness...I might be able to at least put DS2 down in that case. God I'm sorry for being so self-pitying I wll pull myself together I promise sad its small fry compared to your pain problems bamboozled

raspberyfool Wed 20-Feb-13 06:56:39

Choco i feel your pain. This was me nine months ago. Id settle my eldest dd then my then five month old would wake. I remember sitting on my bed sobbing wishing i could just have one hour sleep.
But have hope it does get better its a slow road but you will get there. Keep posting here and know that you are doing a fantastic job.
Sending you sleep vibes x x

Midwife99 Wed 20-Feb-13 06:59:55

No you're quite right to vent here!! I wish I could wave a magic wand. I think you def need to put a Stairgate in DS1's doorway & ignore him. And start a star chart.

chocoreturns Wed 20-Feb-13 07:05:42

I've been given a sleep trainer clock and another stair gate is next on my list for his room. I'm not giving in any more, bed time is bed time end of story.

I'm just on the edge of being fucking furious with them all the time and it feels horrible, and it's not really for any reason other than tiredness sad

thanks for posting x

AgathaF Wed 20-Feb-13 07:29:11

choco - is there anyone who could have your oldest one overnight for one night for you? Just to give you a break? Or take both of them for a couple of hours in the day or at the weekend so you could sleep?

Sleep deprivation is just horrible.

Nevergrowingup Wed 20-Feb-13 07:50:52

I don't know if this is much help, but I had twins after a relatively straightforward singleton. They had completely different sleeping patterns and one whined constantly. I had never been a fan of dummys (not sure why other than peer pressure) but decided to give it a try. They certainly made a difference and gave me some breathing space.

They are now normal teenagers, so no harm done smile.

Its an exceptionally difficult time, but it does get better.

bamboozled Wed 20-Feb-13 08:54:25

Don't be silly, you are not being self pitying, what you are going through is sheer torture - and we all know because we have been there. It's like the living hell, because no one else can really do it, because no one else is there, night after night, dawn after dawn. It's absolutely horrible and you deserve a medal for doing it on your own.
I have to say, I loved my playpen, either eith a play gym thing, if they couldnt sit, or loads of cushions when they were learning to sit, or positioned so that they could watch cbeebies through the bars, as well as having special toys inside that I never took out, so uf they wanted then, they had to be inside it. Both of mine were very happy to be in it when they were at that need to be carried around all the time stage (sounds pretty trailer trash, but god - it probably saved my sanity).
Also, back sooo much better - phew, so I dont have a free card for whinging, its just the f'ing children's f'ing flu bugs to get rid off - then I'm going to conquer the world! Xx

BerylStreep Wed 20-Feb-13 09:05:51

Choco, poor you. If someone had the answer to sleeping children they would be a billionaire by now. I second Agatha's suggestion - could your Mum take DS1 for an overnight?

Star charts are great, although I have forgotten how old DS1 is blush - would he be old enough to understand?

Remember the MN mantra 'It is a phase which will pass'.

Skyebluesapphire Wed 20-Feb-13 11:59:11

I have to admit that a dummy saved my sanity in the first few months. DD was just crying all the time but wasn't hungry. After I gave her the dummy she was a lot more content and settled a bit easier. I know that a lot of people don't agree with them, my XMIL was one person who critcised me hugely for doing it, but she didn't have to live with the crying baby.

As DD got older I bought an In The Night Garden CD for her to listen to at bedtime and that worked a treat, when she was a year old, it really settled her. We had a stairgate on DD's bedroom until she was around 3 I think! Because of her tendency to get into everything, I didn't want her to get out of her bedroom when I was asleep. But it can be very hard to ignore a screaming child and I can't imagine what it's like with two.

Is there any way that your parents or XIL's could take both children, or one each? Just for a few hours so that you can get some decent sleep? Or a friend?

You know that I don't live too far from you. If there is anything at all I could do to help you, let me know. xx

cheeseandpineapple Wed 20-Feb-13 20:56:44

Choco, sorry to hear mediation and counselling didn't work out, that rings a bell now. Sounds like your tough communication style with T might be the way forward but you can't deal with any of this other stuff until you've sorted out getting some sleep, that's got to be your priority.

I had tough times with my eldest but someone to help me out in the morning so I could catch up on sleep. Please do what ever it takes to catch up on sleep (tap mum or friends for some child care), it might be easier to tackle the sleep issues for your boys when you've managed to plug your own sleep deficit.

I ended up sleep training my eldest when he was around 18 months old. It worked but it was before number 2 so no risk of waking up a sibling. I don't know if your DS1 is old enough to understand this but something that can be remarkably effective is to tell a child that if they don't settle or go to bed when they are expected to, they will be very tired the next day and will have to go to bed early. As simple as it sounds, the logic seems to work but probably more suited for older children.

No miracle suggestions Choco but masses of sympathy and hope the boys are sufficiently tired themselves that they sleep better tonight...

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