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WWYD critical father and new baby (long)

(44 Posts)
ParisianTrialByFire Mon 26-Aug-13 09:20:37

My father is constantly criticising me, and it's stretching my temper to breaking point.

Background, he wasn't around much when I was young, parents divorced when I was 12 and he was almost completely absent. The time we did spend together was filled with nasty comments about mum and how she was raising us (she isn't any better, but that's another thread!) Have only tried to have a proper relationship with him since having DS (now 3).

Nothing I do is good enough for him. My choice in career, the fact I haven't got one yet (currently studying), my standards of housework, how I parent...everything I do, he has a comment. I've tried shrugging it off, but I have to deal with it every time I see him. He has no respect for my wishes when DS stays with him, but the time off is all that's keeping me sane right now.

He even chose the nursery for DS, without consulting me, then got angry when I put him into a different one. It's as if he thinks I'm not capable of making these decisions for myself. He is no more qualified to choose than me, since mum was primary carer, so it's just him treating me like a child.

And now he's had another child (stepmother's first). I'm happy for them, if a little concerned about the age gap. I've bitten my tongue rather than ask why they did it. But the criticism has just escalated since she was born, as if somehow having this baby gives him the right to tear me down. He hasn't even given me a chance to meet my baby sister.

I just don't know what to do anymore. Have already gone NC with mum, I don't really want to do the same with dad, but my patience is pretty much gone.

LadyLapsang Mon 26-Aug-13 09:32:40

Are you a young single parent supported financially by your father?

themidwife Mon 26-Aug-13 09:32:44

I think you should either go NC or make definite boundaries. Treat him like a toddler with the broken record approach. No Dad, you can't talk to me like that, do that, say that etc etc

He has NO rights over you or your DC. Can you find someone else to give you a break, anyone but him?

Remember Fear, Obligation, Guilt.
The weapons of the toxic parent. Break the cycle of those & you're free.

Everquake Mon 26-Aug-13 09:34:22

Can you cut contact down to events, so birthdays, Christmas etc rather than cutting all contact?

Hissy Mon 26-Aug-13 09:41:21

Trust your own judgement, and tell him that you're fine to make your own choices, as he is his.

Don't put up with this.

Ultimately you'll probably have to cut him from your life. Prepare for this.

ParisianTrialByFire Mon 26-Aug-13 10:25:05

LadyLapsang I'm not. I'm a mid-20s soon to be married parent supported financially by me. And DP.

There isn't anyone else who can give me a break since cutting off my mum. DP does what he can when he's here, but he works full time. So restricting contact to a few times a year wouldn't do much good for me. Although I guess it would still be better than this.

themidwife Mon 26-Aug-13 10:33:56

Anything is better than that. How old is your son?

themidwife Mon 26-Aug-13 10:34:57

Ah he's 3 so from next week you get 15 hours a week free child care so why not do some things for you in that time if you can?

LemonBreeland Mon 26-Aug-13 10:39:26

I don't thimk it is any good for you or yours sons mental wellbeing to keep regular contact with this man. And I don't mean to be harsh buthow much of a break do you really need from your ds? You have a partner, so aren't doing it all alone. Is it time you need for studying? In which case, I can sort of understand it, but tbh if I was you I would be finding any way to do this other than leave my child with someone so critical.

ParisianTrialByFire Mon 26-Aug-13 10:46:07

I study and work from home, and DS can be...energetic. I know it'll get easier once he's in nursery, but my dad has him so I can relax, and that's the only time I do.

WayHarshTai Mon 26-Aug-13 10:46:58

Oh god this concept of 'needing a break' does my head in.

How often does he stay with your father?

You have one child, who presumably goes to bed in the evenings and will be going to nursery soon. How much more 'break' do you need?

Certainly not enough to justify this shit from your Dad.

Oh, and this:
And now he's had another child (stepmother's first). I'm happy for them, if a little concerned about the age gap. I've bitten my tongue rather than ask why they did it.

Um, too right you should. NOt entirely sure it's your father who's the only toxic one out of you tbh.

The whole thing is deeply dysfunctional.

WayHarshTai Mon 26-Aug-13 10:49:13

My parents used to have my older two after school once a week and every Sunday, this was while I worked and to cover gaps in nursery, not so I could have a break.

It didn't work out because it blurred the lines between parent/child/grandparent and it was all a bit crap.

So I changed my hours at work and used a childminder.

You need to grow up and be a parent.

And I'm sorry if I;m being hard on you but I think you need to hear it.

Redlocks30 Mon 26-Aug-13 10:52:09

You see him often enough that he has chosen your sobs nursery but you haven't seen his new daughter??! How old is she? Why haven't you seen her?

ImperialBlether Mon 26-Aug-13 11:51:59

I wouldn't put up with this man for five minutes. Who the hell does he think he is?

And I'm sorry, but I agree with WayHarshTai about having a break. It is tough having a little one - you don't have much time for yourself, you do get knackered, but isn't that inevitable? I think you'd do better trying to deal with him, getting him into a good routine where he gets a lot of exercise and sleeps well, rather than depend on your dad - who, let's face it is a rubbish father himself - to take care of him.

perplexedpirate Mon 26-Aug-13 12:05:10

So this man ditched you when you were 12, and now you're using him for free child care?

Quaffle Mon 26-Aug-13 12:10:02

Totally agree with WayHarsh on the needing a break thing. Honestly.....

themidwife Mon 26-Aug-13 13:22:33

Yeah sorry I was trying to be gentle but also was a but shock about needing a break so much. I have 4 DCs ranging from 21 to 4. I have been a single parent for quite a few years of that. A "break" is a thing you get when the kids are in bed or at school/nursery if you're not a work yourself & maybe a couple of times a year to go on a night away without the kids if you're lucky!

It isn't worth the hassle to rely on this man so much. Honestly. Immerse yourself in the chaos of parenthood & release yourself from the chaos of a dysfunction relationship with your toxic father.

ParisianTrialByFire Mon 26-Aug-13 17:32:40

He stays with him for one night once a month, at my father's request, so I'm hardly using him for free childcare. Since I work, study and do the majority of housework and childcare, I don't think it's unreasonable to have one night a month to relax. I'm no good to anyone if I burn myself out.

I haven't seen my sister because he keeps dodging the issue. Every time I ask he says soon, but I'm not going to push it because I remember what having a newborn was like. Sis is almost 8 weeks now. I had to bite my tongue because I think it's a bit off to have a child three years after becoming a grandparent, but clearly I'm wrong.

Hissy Mon 26-Aug-13 17:38:45

You said you're about to be married. How come your fiancé is not the one taking the strain when you need help?

Your father is awful! Why would you leave a child with him!?

ParisianTrialByFire Mon 26-Aug-13 17:47:57

Hissy he's currently working 12 hour days, six days a week, so I take most of it on (work from home, so it's easier). Should ease up in the next year, and combined with DS starting nursery it will make my life a lot easier.

I let him go and stay because my dad's trying to be a good grandfather, and for the most part succeeding, although he lets DS get away with more than I do. This was more asking how to deal with him constantly finding fault with me, even though I'm doing the best I can.

perplexedpirate Mon 26-Aug-13 17:59:52

You are putting up with this shit for the sake of one night a month?!
Pay for a sitter, the cost will be offset by not having to deal with this man.

ParisianTrialByFire Mon 26-Aug-13 18:08:50

perplexedpirate I would happily pay for a sitter, but I literally do not know anyone I could ask. It's a good idea, but unfortunately not workable.

neolara Mon 26-Aug-13 18:14:07

Ask around for babysitters. Ask parents of kids in nursery. Ask people at work. We found one babysitter, and when she couldn't do it, she would ask around her friends. We ended up with about 4 babysitters just from one contact.

exexpat Mon 26-Aug-13 18:17:09

Where do you live? I can't believe it would be impossible to find a sitter unless you are in the middle of nowhere.

There are babysitting agencies; nursery workers are often happy to earn some extra money by babysitting in the evenings; you can ask other parents you know if they can recommend someone; you say you are studying - are there no students at your institution who might like some babysitting work? Could you take it in turns with a friend with a similar aged child?

Your attitude sounds rather defeatist - in your position I would be doing everything I could not to be dependent in any way on a parent who sounds like a controlling nightmare.

perplexedpirate Mon 26-Aug-13 18:17:25

A quick google brings up Sitters tel:08447367367.
Other childminding services are available. wink

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