Glorified Babysitters ... HELP(35 Posts)
In desperate need of advice on how to approach this situation ...
I have a DSD who is 7 and I've been with her dad for over 3 years we are engaged and we live together. We have DSD from Friday night after school to Sunday morning when we return her to BM's for the week ... We do this every weekend! About 18 months ago BM told DD that DSD was starting ballet on a Saturday.(Our day). At the beginning it was fine - DSD used to take her ballet kit to school and we used to take her to ballet and wait outside for 30 mins untill her lesson was finished - collect her and get on with our day together. But over time it's gradually started to change ... BM said that DSD was no longer to take her ballet kit to school and she had to be dropped off at her house 45 MINUTES before her lesson started (she lives no more than a 5 minute walk away from the dance school) and we were to pick her up after her lesson had finished... She has also started taking her round to her nans house to pick up "treats" for the rest of the day we have her (because apperntley we are incapeable of being able to provide treats). About 9 months into her ballet lessons we were then TOLD (again not asked) that DSD was starting a new activity on a Sunday morning and had to be back 1 hour earlier then what we normally dropped her off by. Even though where she went to do the activity was 10 minutes from our house but 25 minutes away from BM's house - so it would make sense for her to pick her up on her way to the activity. BM over the last 3 years also has a nasty habit of forgetting to let us know about when she has booked to go away with DSD or when the school play is on or when parents evening is taking place or when DSD has a birthday party on a friday/saturday and telling us the day before (but it's ok she has already bought the present and DSD a new outfit so she can take her) ... Then since September BM stopped DSD taking her bed-time teddy to school and now BM makes an appearence out our house every Friday night to drop the teddy off .. and keeps DSD and OH at the door easily for 30 mins +. And We have recently received news that DSD is starting SOMETHING ELSE within then next month which is now going to occupy Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons (1 hour a piece) ... Along wiht all of this and an argument that was had about 2 and half years ago where it was repeatedly mentioned that a childs rightful place is with her mother and my OH should only have DSD every other weekend ... Do I have the right to feel that we are being pushed further and further out of DSD's life? She controls our entire weekend with her .. She doesn't go a day without seeing her whereas she goes 5 days with seeing BD! It really irritates me as i beleive children need both their parents (as long as both parents are capeable of caring for them of course). And i hate seeing my OH feel as if he is worthless in her life! I need to change this but just not sure how .. Any advice would be appreciated!!!!
You don't have to go through court at first. You can have the arrangement in writing by a solicitor and see how that goes. Court isn't that scary if it has to go that far, I can't see any judge restricting access since you've had contact every weekend for this long and the mother is the one putting up barricades to contact.
You need to formalise the access, and stop pandering to the mother on this - there is no reason at all that the ballet kit would ever be at the mother's house, if your DSD only goes to ballet from your house, and you are prepared to clean it, then why wouldn't it stay at your house?
I would point blankly refuse to drop her round first before doing these things, but take her youself directly to them/bring her back.
It does sound like the mother is trying to control what happens in 'your' time, it isn't fair. This will only get worse as she gets older. Best get things properly drawn up.
I hate the use of Birth Mother in this sort of case. It's usual to use it to distinguish between birth and adoptive mother.
She is the child's mother. She's the only mother the child will have.
It confused me too imperial, I assumed it was mother and step-mother
Imperial - I'm sorry you are offended - can you suggest how in MN posts I can distinguish between mums, stepmums, grandmums, step-grandmums, mum-in-laws and various other important female figures in a DCs life in a way that you'd be more comfortable with? Thanks
DSD's DM, Step-mum, DGM, Step-DGM, Mil.
just her mum would do - no D (never sure if it is dear or darling - each forum seems to differ) if there is no love lost there....
Has anyone asked DSD what she wants - perhaps she loves her Ballet and other activities, perhaps she doesn't want to spend all day with her dad and his fiancee? Perhaps she gets bored with it all..
Is giving a 7 year old responsibility for choosing which of her parents she spends her time with really what's best for her?
How can you prepare a child for the emotion they feel when they (in their mind) reject one parent in favour of the other?
Time with her Dad is not optional - and the only reason for her Mum to refuse to allow Dad to take her to classes/activities/parties is control - nothing to do with what is best for the child
I don't think you give a 7 year old child the responsibility of refereeing between the adults in her life. I also don't think you should have dsd every single weekend, particularly if your dp isn't being allowed by his ex to parent how he would choose to.
The standard arrangement of eow and one midweek would possibly work better for you, and I don't think your dp would be out of line to suggest it.
As far as the dropping her off and picking her up goes....trust me when I tell you that it's only going to get more involved and complicated as she gets older - particularly when she has a mobile and starts making her own arrangements with friends!
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