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Disappointed with Ex and feeling sad for DD re: Christmas contact(6 Posts)
My ex and father of my 3 1/2 yo DD told me 4 days ago that he is not going to have her at all over the Christmas period.
It had originally been agreed that he would have her from the 27th to 2nd Jan. He lives in the same town as me and DD but he is originally from Ireland and is going over there for the Christmas period to be with his family. He made a big deal out of how much he would like her to see his family over there, spend time with her young cousins etc. I have always been very accommodating, either going with her myself when she was younger but this year he went with her for the first time on his own for a family wedding.
Anyway, at the end of November he let slip that he is going away with his mates for 3 days and nights during the period that he wanted her over and that she would stay with some family members whilst he did this. I told him I felt this was unfair on DD as she would be confused about being left alone with people she didn't know very well for such a long period. I also thought it was a bit shit that he would prefer to go with his friends on some jolly instead of spending time with DD. Also, I would like to see her during the festive period and felt why should I give her precious time and memories to someone that neither of us really know. So I told him that in that case he can bring her back before he goes on his little trip.
The plan had been that he would fly over with her and then I would fly over, pick her up and fly her back home. He agreed to this.
However I reminded him a few days ago not to forget that still has her passport following his last trip and he told me that he is no longer going to take her because it was not worth so much money for such a short space of time. I should also point out that he has been paying me £80 less maintenance since September (for no other reason than he was being made redundant this coming January) so the money he would have saved from that alone would have paid for her tickets.
I just feel very disappointed for my DD. This is the first Christmas that she 'gets' and she also understands so much more about what is going on generally. It makes me sad to think that she might think this is a rejection from her Dad and that it is OK for him to let her down with broken promises etc.
I have told ex all of this but like everything he doesn't really respond. He just ignores it or doesn't retaliate (which I think is his way of saying that he knows that I am in the right).
This is a bit shit is'nt it?
It is shit, and tbh, if I was in your shoes again, I would be allowing rather than encouraging contact. If he wants to fade, let him fade out now rather than when she's nine and really will understand what a twunt he is, and she loves him anyway.
I'm just so angry about the whole situation. He has messed my DD around and me. I was actually quite looking forward to having some much needed time off too and had plans to go out with friends etc during that time which will now have to be binned. But moreover I'm just concerned about the effect this kind of behaviour will have on my DD. My dad was an absolute shit when I was growing up. He always let me down, made me feel really unimportant and I am still living with that now. I am trying to relearn how to love myself from scratch really and I don't want that on my DD too. She is just so lovely.
My ex had her for a day this week. He sent me a text saying how disappointed he was with her behaviour, that she was really acting up with him and tried to bite him. I told him that although she does have her moments, I think generally she is a well behaved girl and does as she is told etc. I asked him what had happened to make her behave like this with him. He said that he had perhaps been a bit short with him. I just got annoyed with the tone of his text that her behaviour was somehow down to me when actually I think it is more likely to be down to him and his relationship with her. She can probably sense that he doesn't want to spend time with her and she is unhappy.
I get this from ex too. I do 95% of the parenting and get little 'I'm not happy about X' reports.
She is little and excited about Christmas, which can send their behaviour a bit nuts, big deal.
Yes it is shit what he is doing, no doubt about that. All you can do is pick up the pieces and reiterate that it is because he is not good at being a parent, nothing to do with her. Keep repeating all the people who like her and want to spend time with her - you, family, friends, teachers etc. Get her involved with activities to boost her sense of achievement and self esteem. And do not bend over backwards for him, no flying back and forth to get her.
We had a really nice Christmas. Have had friends round etc. But tbh I am really struggling. I am exhausted looking after DD on my own. I am getting increasingly resentful that my ex has done this. I just can't get over how bloody selfish he is going away for two weeks and letting DD down by not seeing her at all over the festive period. I too would of liked time off to have some me time and see friends in the evening etc.
I really don't know what I am supposed to do with him. I have told him so many times to give me more notice if he can't take her etc but he just doesn't seem capable of doing it. I am fed up of him pulling my fucking strings. I can never plan things for myself as he is so unreliable.
I can only sympathise rather than offer some ground breaking approaches to sort it - from experience I don't think there are any. Unfortunately you cannot control someone else's sense of responsibility and if they feel they are 'entitled' to bugger off then they justify that to themselves and do it. I have had nearly a decade of this and I have tried everything from heartfelt speeches about what its doing to the kids to downright stone walling and disgust at their fathers behaviour. None of it has worked I cant count the number of let downs my children have experienced all from their father promising them things and then just not delivering. I will take you on holidays - arrives, when they ask about the holiday; shouts at them and says all they think about is money and themselves he cant afford it. Promises them electronic gadgets if they work hard for a school year - doesn't deliver and says its too expensive. I could go on and on but this year was one of his best - sends a whatsapp message to teenage daughter on Xmas eve saying hes not coming any more for xmas and will see them next holidays. Im tired of picking up the pieces, tired of doing it all, theres been nothing but emotional fall out all this Xmas because of his actions and it doesn't matter what I do I cant fix it.
I cant say for certain I wish I had just let the contact crash and burn as maybe the kids would have built up a fantasy that he could be a good parent but I do wonder if I hadn't bent over backwards trying to make it happen, would it have ended naturally sooner?? No its not nice doing it all on your own but its a damn sight easier than picking up the pieces after they waft in and out not giving a hoot about the impact of their actions.
All I see is that I rebuild these kids every time they take a kicking off their father and they are nice rounded human beings who cant be mean deliberately and always forgive - I kinda wish they wouldn't! As I say no solutions this end but I can see the problems you face.
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