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Shared custody spoling relationship with dc(5 Posts)
DSs got back from 2 days with their father yesterday and it was another extremely fraught evening. I have banned Wii in the week as they are both apt to get obsessed with it, and, as they like different games, it also a source of conflict. Ex had to look after them for an hour at my house yesterday after school and when I got in, ds1 was on the Wii and barely looked up at me, despite not having seen me since Monday morning. They have been on it a lot at their dad's from what I can tell, have done no school reading, no spellings and ds2 has done no piano, though ds1 says he has done clarinet.
I just don't think it's good enough; it constantly puts me in the 'bad guy' role, and I'm fed up of it. I feel like when they are older and can vote with their feet, they will choose to be with him as they will get an easier time of it.
To make it worse, I then don't even feel like I enjoy my time with them, as when I get them to turn it off there are sulks and tantrums, and it's just exhausting after a day at work, with more work to do in the evenings for the next day. I miss them when they're not here, then almost wish they weren't when they are. I don't mean that, and hate that I don't always have them, but feel like it's just a constant struggle.
He also gave ds sandwiches wrapped in a carrier, which I hate as I had that all the time as a child and it was a symptom of my mother's lack of care. I never had sandwich bags/foil, it was always the bread bag or a carrier and not a lot to eat apart from the sandwich itself. I really don't want that for ds, and I know it probably sounds ridiculously petty, but having seen the carrier in his lunch bag, it has touched a nerve.
I know they need and want a relationship with him, and I know that he loves them, but AIBU to really hate this and not be sure that it's really for the best? How do other people cope?
It's really really hard. Try to identify the things that aren't really important (the carrier bags! ) and let those go. I often say to myself that parenting is first and foremost my duty. That helps me through the times when I don't feel as if I'm getting much back, or when I worry that DC is going to not want to live with me when she's older. I understand about the carrier bag thing by the way, it's often the small things that tip us over. For me it's when DD gets dropped off at school with untidy hair or yellow teeth - makes me feel so embarrassed.
It is really hard. Especially when you feel like you are the bad guy all the time. My ex refuses to do the really tedious but really necessary job of combing through the dc's hair with the nitty gritty comb so I get on top of the lice/eggs but then they go there and come back infested. It makes me so resentful.
I think you have to put the voting with their feet thing aside for now. I can guarantee that won't happen. If anything they will gravitate towards the parent who is more 'parenty', this has happened with my 13 year old DS, he has a different dad to younger dc's and he only goes twice a month. His dad is 'cool' plays guitar in a band, is really laid back about rules etc because he's always gigging and touring but when it comes to the crunch of getting homework done and getting his uniform and bag sorted etc DS1 will always choose to come back to me rather than spend more time with his dad, who he knows won't sort it. Are your two inherently sensible? If they are they won't necessarily appreciate loads of free reign. I'm surprised and relieved how much my 3 crave to come back to boring, stable mum after doing all the fun stuff with their dads. Everyone needs downtime and normality, bear that in mind. You sound like you are donng a great job. It is so hard
Agree with PPs...you need to focus on your time with the DCs and not worry too much about what happens when they are with the other parent. Establish your rules for your house and you're probably going to have to accept that his rules in his house are different. Make a point of giving them a nice packed lunch when they are with you and that will make up for the carrier bag ones he gives. Re music practice, you are possibly going to have to instil in the kids the value of regular practice, unless a word with your ex would help on that front. You could use a chart or mark off in their notebooks for practice and incentivise that way?
I have some quite fundamental differences to my ex and how do I cope? I maintain my own rules in my own house and the kids seem to respect that...it's all I can do really and over time I've stopped thinking about it much at all.
can totally relate to your post. I have shared custody with my xh we do 1 week each. I have learnt that sweating the unimportant stuff is just a source of tension and stress for us all. Not having them for a week at a time, there is time for bad habits to install and then that makes it hard for you, and them when you are together.
The nits I had last year too – it’d take me all week to get their hair in good clean nick for them to come back the next week with them again!
The too much TV and too late bedtimes I also have. My DD2 knows every advert going so it means that when I pick them up after school on a Friday I know they will be exhausted. I know that know and so don’t expect much to happen on Friday evenings / sat. mornings. I hardly ever let them have teh TV on, knowing its on all the time at their Dads.
Their Dad loves them and takes care of them but not just as I do. Patience, patience, as a PP pointed out, when they grow older they will appreciate a stricter home life. Mine are 9 and 6 and are starting to get that – I also encourage them to speak up for themselves whilst at their Dads – if they want to go to bed earlier or want to play outside or whatever then they are old enough to say /ask. But when they don't want to thats another issue, i agree..
Its not easy but we can only be there for them and let them know we’ll always be there!
Where I am, shared parenting is only considered by the judge if the relationship between the parents is good enough. I text/call /see my ex if there is a problem or we have something to solve : communication is important. If not easy..
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