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Am I expecting too much of ex re childcare?

(19 Posts)
sheusestangerines Sat 25-Feb-17 10:44:12

My mother is very critical of how I'm managing separation from my ex. A large part of me knows she is very critical in general and my mistake was talking to her.

But she has made me doubt some things.

Until we have a financial settlement our finances are still linked. I am returning to work after many years and he is helping practically and financially, including using annual leave allowance to cover some of the school holidays to keep childcare costs down.

He is not at all complaining about this but communication isn't great. Its like talking to a stroppy teenager at times. So combined with criticism from my mum it feels like maybe I am asking too much.

She cannot see why I expect him to be helping me work when he pays maintenance. That he shouldn't have to use his leave to provide childcare. I think long term it is of benefit to us all that I earn money again.

I guess it's not her concern what we are doing. But is it being demanding to try to jointly work out school pickups, holiday leave etc? It's all still very new.

Interested to know how others managing an amicable (ish) separation approach practicalities of childcare.

MrsandMrsSmith Sat 25-Feb-17 10:48:07

What a very out dated attitude she has that it's the mothers job to do all of this. Why shouldn't he take time off work to look after his own children? Ignore her.

Lilacpink40 Sat 25-Feb-17 10:50:09

This isn't your mum's decision to make.

Ex agrees to help you work by helping with childcare...that should happen as it's fair and benefits everyone. DCs see you working, see dad helping, see you two agreeing. It's only your mum being awkward!

Bansteadmum Sat 25-Feb-17 10:52:31

Your mum's views are rubbish. Ignore!

It's not childcare, it's parenting: these are his DC.

Couples who are together split annual leave to cover holidays all the time, and for separated parents it makes even more sense to do so, both for family relationships and money.

RandomMess Sat 25-Feb-17 10:54:15

FFS he is their Dad, of course he should be using his annual leave in their school holidays so he can spend as much time with them as possible!!! The fact it financially benefits you (& the DC) is just an added bonus.

Has it not occurred to your mother than if you don't work then the ex is going to have to pay spousal maintenance!

I think you need to keep distance from your mother, geez she is giving your self esteem a battering at the time you least need it.

Bansteadmum Sat 25-Feb-17 10:54:19

Does your mum really think your ex's leisure time is more important than your and the DCs' financial security and the DC seeing plenty of both parents? If so, she is wrong!

sheusestangerines Sat 25-Feb-17 11:34:40

It really helps to get confirmation of what I thought. We've always had me at home but I assume all families need to juggle annual leave/holidays etc.

It's difficult to be sure when it's questioned so much.

I tried to say we clearly have different ideas and move on but she wasn't having it. So I said I actually think that is quite an old fashioned approach. Which I know was quite rude. It's difficult as it is trying to get things right for children so I was maybe defensive.

Yes, I think I need to keep my distance. No support at all.

OddBoots Sat 25-Feb-17 11:50:41

What will you be doing with your own annual leave? I'm guessing it is probably looking after your children too. You are not expecting anything of him that you aren't doing yourself too. Has it not occurred to your mother that he might actually like spending time with his children when he is off work?

sheusestangerines Sat 25-Feb-17 13:24:39

Oddbotts there is an imbalance because he has a lot more annual leave than i will have. I'll have none initially, will be accrued. But yes when they aren't with him they are with me while he works. Apparently thats different because they live with me so of course I should be looking after them. You can see why I have ended up confused about what's right.

My ex does love time with DC although it's taking him a while to get on board with changes. I think the non fun stuff is less appealing. But he's definitely getting there and I think he will like having a bigger role. But I have to drag any help out of him initially so the criticism is unhelpful.

Her view really does devalue a dads role doesn't it.

justabout2016 Sat 25-Feb-17 13:42:38

Wow OP agree with the others! Firstly very outdated. 50% of the parent, 50% of the responsibility! Also as your mum she should be encouraging your independence and right to work for a living. Who does she expect to look after the children if not their father?

Good for you for getting back on your feet. flowers

228agreenend Sat 25-Feb-17 13:49:08

My dh has always taken annual,leave to look after the docs. IT fairly normal to do that, for people that are married, and for those that aren't.

IT sounds like you are working out things amicably between you and ex.

PaterPower Sat 25-Feb-17 14:24:19

I took annual leave - some of it together, some separately so she could work, and vice versa - when exW and I were married and now I take my annual leave so I can see my kids during the school hols.

That's perfectly normal and I don't "get" Dads who decide, on divorce, that the kids are purely the exes "problem!" (and what a revolting way to think of dc anyway).

Your Mum is out of line / old fashioned in her thinking. Ignore her in this regard and/or encourage her to take the kids for a week to help you and exH stretch your own allowances to minimise expensive holiday clubs etc.

Bansteadmum Sat 25-Feb-17 19:30:55

It's not "help", it's parenting! If he mainly left the drudge side of things to you when you were together he will now need to step up.

Heatherjayne1972 Sat 25-Feb-17 19:48:30

Ignore your mum on this one op
Your ex is doing a lot more than mine.
He's never taken leave to look after the dc or 'babysit' as he puts it
Childcare is 'woman's work' and he only sees the dc on Saturday afternoon because it suits him and refuses to take them if they're ill
Sounds like your ex is trying to do the best he can for your children

sheusestangerines Sat 25-Feb-17 22:32:09

Sorry for the poor contribution from your ex Heatherjayne.

My ex is definitely stepping up but it seems a number of my friends/family think I should be so grateful for everything he does. It's good to hear sane voices recognise that he is of course their parent, same as I am.

Enough101 Sat 25-Feb-17 22:55:55

Who's side is your mum on?!

BeMorePanda Sun 26-Feb-17 09:28:02

My XP and I split childcare on all holidays 50/50. Nothing at all unreasonable about that. We both work, but he has family around to help him (I don't).

BeMorePanda Sun 26-Feb-17 09:28:37

Yes it's called parenting!

sheusestangerines Sun 26-Feb-17 10:21:15

DC are with ex for the weekend and have headlice. I offered to go help with the shampooing etc but he is ok. He is truly parenting! smile

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