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think I need a bit of perspective/reassurance.

(17 Posts)
ThisIsStillFolkGirl Sat 31-Oct-15 08:26:58

I have a great relationship with my children. I know I'm a better mum to them than my mother was to me. Emotionally/supportively at least. But I do worry.

I'm a single parent, I work f/t, my income is low, but we manage.

We are at the end of half term and my children have spent most of the week with me. My son is nearly 17 and has carved out a nice social life for himself (fortunately and despite me).

But I worry I'm not enough for them.

Their dad earns twice as much as me, but never does anything with them. He'll watch films and play video games but that's it and I feel guilty if they're with him and I'm out having fun because I feel that I'm palming them off so I can go out alone. Because I know that they won't have done anything else with him.

I've been away a couple of times and they've stayed with him. When I get back, he says they haven't done much, usually because the weather was bad, but then others will tell me they had a great time as the weather was so good. At the first sign of a grey cloud he'll refuse to go out because of the weather! He was always the same. It was very frustrating! He's proud of himself if he does things with them if it looks like rain...

So I feel all the responsibility to do stuff falls on me. But I have neither the means nor the support to do this.
I take them on holiday, I arrange picnics and days out and I organise experiences. But they are few and far between because that's all I can manage.

I have no family (I'm in contact with) so there are no aunts/uncles/cousins/grandparents. All their friends do stuff with their families. And I don't have any friends with same age children, so we don't do things with other families.i feel like we spend too much time inside, even though we do a lot. But we always do it just us. There are a lot of hours and days to fill!

I'm just feeling very weighed down at the moment. The worry that I'm giving them a crappy childhood/life is so great at the moment sad

I've tried speaking with their dad about it. He just closes the conversation with "I don't agree" and that's it.

Can you please tell me that you're not all surrounded by loving friends and family and having great days out all the time and do sometimes just mooch around the house being boring. Thanks.

molyholy Sat 31-Oct-15 08:33:59

You sound like you do as much as you possibly can with the resources you have. Stop being so hard on yourself. It sounds like you are doing a fab job. The memories of days out/holidays etc., will stay with them forever. Leave your ex to do what he likes with their time together and stop worrying flowers

fitzbilly Sat 31-Oct-15 08:35:17

I think you are over worrying!

How old are your other children?

You don't have to always be doing things that cost money in order to give your children a good childhood.

fitzbilly Sat 31-Oct-15 08:37:04

Also, if your ds has a good social life you don't need to do extra with him, just be there for him and carry on doing what you are doing.

LindyHemming Sat 31-Oct-15 08:37:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Kbear Sat 31-Oct-15 08:43:36

The only things kids NEED are love, dinner and security - sounds like they have that with you. Don't try to control what their dad does, just let that go.

Your kids will remember the times you sat in front of a movie together, when they came home from school wet and cold and had a nice hot dinner, a warm cosy bed and honestly, I think you're doing fine.

The extras are just that EXTRAs.

You are also entitled to put yourself first once in a while and your kids seem fine to me.

ThisIsStillFolkGirl Sat 31-Oct-15 08:50:55

Thanks.

I already do low cost stuff with them. I don't think money has to be spent to have a good day - hence a flask if hot chocolate and a trip to somewhere quiet to watch the sunrise. That's the sort of thing we do.

Their day out with him equates to a day out with a trip to a tourist attraction, which are obviously costly. He did that a lot in the early days but stopped when he couldn't sustain it and now they do nothing.

Even on his weekends he works at home (having gone out in the week) leaving dd watching films. My son is often out or prefers to stay at home.

That's the thing Euphemia. Can I issue an ultimatum/expectation if they are with him? He won't stick to it and if I gicv ethe chn the option of staying at home, ds already does amd dd wants to see him. Plus that's the only time I have to have my own life. Which is also important as I have no one otherwise.

He prides himself on being a good dad becahe doesn't ignore them to watch football like his dad did. He won't listen to me. It would just escalate. My heart is pounfing at the very thought of it.

junebirthdaygirl Sat 31-Oct-15 09:04:26

Children just need stability and sounds like they have in bucketfuls. Totally wouldn't worry. Do the dc not beg their dad to bring them places like the latest movie or event in town? Your dc sound happy and contented. That's. a sucessi in my book. I have two nieces whose parents split at a young age. Every Sunday their dad picked them up and brought them for lunch. That was it. They are. now in their midtwenties and yes every Sunday they go to lunch with their dad. Recently he was ill and they were marvellous to him. Sometimes a steady pattern suits as children know where they are. At least he is not making big promises and not keeping them. Relax and enjoy your dc and your time off. You are doing very well.

ILiveAtTheBeach Sat 31-Oct-15 09:12:30

Children of 17 don't really want to socialise with their parents, they prefer to be with their friends. I don't think you need to be arranging days out with them at this age. But if you wanted to be pro-active, why not let them have pals over for dinner and perhaps stay over. But don't expect them to watch a film with you, they will want to be in their room talking about teenage stuff.

ThisIsStillFolkGirl Sat 31-Oct-15 09:31:14

june that's very reassuring. Thqnk you.

ilive of course he does stuff with his friends, but we do still do stuff together too. I suppose that I always worried with him that he wouldn't make close friendships, but he has. And they're all decent kids too.

Will try and stop worrying. Just I see people hqvibg famiky to stay and friends to dinner and we don't do that.

Oh well. Can't have everything..
Thanks

TopOfTheCliff Sat 31-Oct-15 09:38:39

One thought Folkgirl is that your DC are half your genes and half their DF. So if he likes mooching at home avoiding bad weather in front of the TV there is a good chance they are similar.
If not then they will be learning what to avoid as adults.
I like the sound of your Hot Choc Sunrise outing. I'll come!

Robotgirl Sat 31-Oct-15 09:56:12

Folkgirl, you sound like an amazing mum! You sound creative, supportive, fun, smart & kind.
It's really hard & sometimes exhausting without family around to help out isn't it?
My exp has my daughter when it suits him (hardly ever) & seems to plonk her in front of Frozen or his iPad most of the time.
It's the interaction, laughter & outdoors fun that kids love & remember (I did, anyway!)
You're kids are lucky to have an awesome mum like you.

Robotgirl Sat 31-Oct-15 10:00:41

And the indoors fun too forgot to add! Down time is good for you as well as the kids! Have a lovely weekend wink

niceupthedance Sat 31-Oct-15 10:02:47

I have the same issue with DS's father, they stay in every other weekend watching TV. I do all the trips out etc. DS is only 5, but when I asked him if it was boring at daddy's and wouldn't he like to do more trips and fun stuff he said "I don't care about all that, I just want to be with you[both]." So unless anyone is complaining I'd just keep doing what you want to/can.

LucySnow12 Sat 31-Oct-15 10:26:49

Unconditional love and quality time, that's what ultimately will mean the most to a child and sustain them for life. It would be great if your X did more but I think the efforts you are making sound wonderful. We're ex-pats and have found spending time with other families really nice. My kids spent most of half term on the couch but they were perfectly happy. You are doing your best for your kids and that's as much as any of us can do.

ThisIsStillFolkGirl Sat 31-Oct-15 11:45:34

Thanks. I do feel a little bit better now smile

Handywoman Sat 31-Oct-15 13:11:23

My ex is similar, Folk, and very different from me. My dc have their own relationship with him, they ask VERY little of him (it never ceases to amaze me the way they demand everything of me and nothing of him - but it's also very telling) but between us all their needs are met, despite him being a bit shite.

He sees them regularly. He's in their life. That's great. The rest is up to him. That's how I think about it.

Your responsibilities are about what you do with your dc and it sounds as though you are a great mum, instilling great values in your dc and giving them lots of security and love. That's a fantastic thing given what you've experienced with your own mum. Well done thanks

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