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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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
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.