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So fed up already, will it only get worse?(10 Posts)
I'm in the middle of a fairly amicable divorce and for the children's sake I'm hoping to keep it that way but my God it's hard.
The dcs just had a weekend with him and I'm fearful this is the way things are going to be now. I get the day to day drudge, he
won't can't have them in the week, and they come back to me, invariably late, tired and grumpy. I get all the bad behaviour, sulking, stropping, attitude. He gets them all excited and happy for a weekend with their dad. I should be happy for them as they didn't get anytime with him before but at risk of sounding bitter it's so difficult! I had to bite my tongue so hard this morning when my eldest stropped off with attitude after I asked her to do something.
Does all this get easier and how do you deal with it? Feeling so this morning.
How many weekends does he have with them? Not all, I hope.
What time is he bringing them back? Sounds like maybe it should be earlier?
Doing the transition between houses is a difficult thing - they will get more used to it but you may have to prepare for some grumpiness after his access weekend. I wouldn't tolerate very much of it, though.
The children seem to need a transition period (as tripot says).My DD would describe feeling sad at leaving dad but also happy to see mum so quite complex emotions.It won't be plain sailing for him, even if it appears it..the resident parent definitely gets more workload but also reaps more benefits.Its an adjustment period for everyone but it gets easier.Well done on trying to be amicable.The conflict between parents causes the damage for children in a divorce.
It's every other weekend. Once they calm down they are so lovely and our house is so relaxed but then the build up starts and it's like a roller coaster. They came back at 730 last night, they were bathed and ready for bed but still! Way too late but ex is like a child, you can't tell him anything without him getting stroppy about it.
How else can you not tolerate it?
It might not be a fairly uncomplicated "fun times at dad's v all the old rules at mum's" sort of thing being the primary cause of the grumpiness.
It can be a huge change. There can be very real grief at the loss of what the children may have felt was a happy enough intact home with their whole family living together.
There can be a feeling of being under immense pressure from both inside and outside the family to just "move on", "transition" and snap into the new reality at the speed of a well trained whippet. When all they feel inside is a crushing loss and a fear of a new reality they don't like all that much.
I'm not saying weaken your boundaries, in fact if any of the above is true for your children, based on my own stepping (then racing at warp speed nine) out of control, probably the very last thing they'll need is your behavoir boundaries to wobble. Cos that could very well lead to them feeling even more like the ground has shifted beneath their feet, and lead to increased insecurity.
But they might need lot more time, space and ears than anticipated, to manage very strong feelings and their scary/unpleasant (to them as well as their parents) reactions to the loss of their family as they knew it.
If you have reason to suspect that any of the above might apply to your children, it could be worth sussing out (perhaps via school pastoral services) options for additional support. Both direct for the kids, and indirect for the parents so they have a better idea of what their children need to get through this in the best shape possible.
I also think this is about the 'transition' between the houses. They are feeling lots of conflicting, complicated emotions. And because dad is the one who has been 'lost' to the family they daren't display them with him, so you get the emotions playing out at home because you are still 'there' and they feel more sure of where they are with you.
They need lots of time, understanding, age-appropriate discussion of what all this means and feels like.
It's heartbreaking. It will definitely get better though.
Can he not see them in the week? Really it's not about what's convenient for him but what is right for the kids.
I've found that more contact is better for my kids. They are now more secure in their relationship with their dad.
I split with dh a year ago, contact was good to begin with, he would pop over to the house during the week to see them and would have them every Sunday, now he rarely see's them during the week, has them on a Sunday but he does nothing with them most weeks, they are getting bored and sometimes don't want to go over there. He has a new partner now so some weekends they have to spend at her house with her children and again he does nothing with them. I have to deal with the day to day stuff, them being ill, mood swings, problems with school etc...
I asked him if he could see them in half term, he booked time off but ended up spending most of that time with his new girlfriend and only had the kids for a couple hours to take them to Pizza Hut with her. Yesterday I mentioned that me and the dc's might move and he bit my head off saying 'when will I get to see the dc's?' ( we wouldn't be moving that far ) [grr]
I try and push him to have more contact but the dc's are getting fed up with the fact he doesn't make the effort when he has them.
That is heartbreaking for children to deal with divorce parents. That maybe the reason for their attitude. Just be patient with them. You will get through with it in time.
By the sound of it he makes more of an effort at parenting now than formerly?
They must love the novelty of being given his full undivided attention. I guess it could be worse, you don't say he's being a Disney dad or every weekend centres on an event. That gives them confidence that they are interesting and of value to him which is important.
I hope that things mellow as they get more reassured that Dad is still in the picture.
Winnie, I agree that kids need a transition period when contact has taken place. Oddly, the DC being grumpy and stroppy is actually a compliment, as they know that they can take their emotions out on you because you will always be there. This was explained to me by my counsellor when my teenage DD was being
a right bitch very difficult.
Your DC will also realise that being a parent is about being there all the time, putting tea on the table every evening and being available to talk to when they need advice - which always seems to be the worst possible moment for me, when I'm busy trying to do something! My XH tried to be a Disney dad (not saying yours is BTW) and took DD to the ice hotel in Lapland FGS, but now she's grown up a bit she grasps that boring old mum is the one who provides stability and makes her cocoa when she is upset.
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