I'm feeling worn down and agitated, which is quite normal when I've had even a brief conversation with STBX. This time he's only confirmed an extra day with the DCs this week when I asked him (don't think he'd have bothered letting me know otherwise) and is now considering taking them or before dropping them off with me, making it even later.
Thing is, I've had a few grumbles about things being better when they're with Daddy, and I don't feel I'm much good at planning meeting up with their friends. So part of me thinks I should just give in to what he asks. Then I think, but that's what I always did when we were together! Shouldn't I have moved on from that? It's probably not healthy. Trouble is, I question myself a lot and he never doubts himself!
I'm not sure what I want, starting this thread. I just feel rather alone with this.
Generally, yes, I think so, although I really don't like not knowing what's going on! They're happy to go, which is good, given he has them so much. They take a bit of time adjusting to my different expectations when they come back, which leaves me feeling low. I need more support myself so that I can stay strong for them, but that's easier said than done!
If he's better organized at play dates and doing outings, is it really disneying? You would not say the same about a mother who can organize play dates or take them to the park during the holidays a Disney mother, would you?
How is contact organized during the summer holidays so far?
No, I wouldn't call that being a Disney dad. I'm recognising my limits there, but then find it much harder to consider what I do well.
Contact is basically 50:50 during the holiday. A day or two more with him than with me. The problem is he thinks if he plans something fun he is entitled to some of my time with them. Or if he plans anything at all, for that matter! I am in his eyes all I ever was: back-up childcare.
Of course you are strong enough to parent by yourself. You are still very much testing the waters with FW in terms of negotiating arrangements.
No is a full sentence. He gets what he gets and that is that.
I am similar to you in that I feel DS1 has more fun at his dad's house, even though he's there a lot. His friends are there, plus his dad is (by admission) much more lenient. I get most of the acting out, refusing to do chores, etc. The daily grind stuff. And I don't do fun stuff with him as much as his dad, because I have DS2 to think of too and that restricts things. But this summer I have made a determined effort not to beat myself up about any of this. You should be beating yourself up either.
It sounds like you could pre-empt some of this by arranging stuff yourself, i.e. 'oh you'd like to take them out at [x] time? I've already arranged to go to the cinema with [friend y]'. You shouldn't need to do this, it's your time with them, but given you are struggling with building up your own network with their friends, this might be a good way to solve two problems.
He's continuing to undermine you and knock your confidence even though you're no longer married. Can you make sure you do some things just for yourself that help build your confidence up? Whether exercise, or a new hobby? And likewise start to build some activities with your dc that he doesn't control?
I did wonder was kind of hoping if you'd turn up, pony!
You're right. Beating self up stopping forthwith!
And trib, that is a very good idea. I tend not to plan things for right after they come back, but actually it would ease them back in to their slower life with me and stop him making last minute changes.
I have neglected still quite new friendships this year because work got too stressful, but I have cut my hours, so that I can give my DC's and my own friendships more priority.
I have spent too much time on my own the past couple of days. I tend to beat myself up more when that's happened. Something else to avoid when I get my new friendships back on track!
I have done the same in that I have spent the last year really busy keeping myself busy deliberately but have decided the same as you, that this coming year I'll dial it down so I can focus more on the kids and me. And I have found so far that big days out aren't needed, simple is better and swimming and the park is as much fun as a day trip somewhere pricey. It does take effort to remember that you don't have to create some kind of 'experience' for the kids (hard when Facebook is full of DS1's schoolmates and the stuff their parents have done with them, but it doesn't make me less of a parent to have a different approach).
Very true. We had a lovely long cycle ride together with picnic in a field one day. They ate their lunch and started playing in the dirt, shaping tiny dwellings with soil and stones. Simple days out are my speciality!
And then after a number of happy days like that, what do I remember? DS's meltdown one evening missing his friends. I still don't seem to have learnt that a child can be unhappy sometimes and still be OK!
Absolutely. DS1 is king of the pre-teens meltdowns. I think these things happen in spite of any nice things we do for them - I've had to work hard to not focus on the meltdowns and think about the nice simple things we've done instead. And I don't always succeed! But I do try.