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AIBU?

To think this was completely insensitive?

87 replies

WhatToDoNow17 · 16/06/2017 19:18

I'll try and keep this from turning into an epic rant, although that is what I feel like doing. I split from my children's father around 7 years ago, when my daughter was 6 months old. She is 7 and we also have a 9 year old son. Contact for almost all of the time since then has been sporadic, only when he felt like seeing them and even then it often seemed like a chore for him. There has been little in the way of financial support from him, and I've not had a penny from him for at least a year.

A couple of years ago he met a woman and they have subsequently had a child together. During the early days of their relationship we seemed to be building a better relationship, he saw the children and we occasionally all spent time together. I liked the woman and built up what I would class as a friendship with her. Her children from a previous relationship are the same age as my two and attend the same primary school, although in different classes.

Long story short, the friendship we all formed broke down quite quickly, he reverted back to his old ways and contact became less and less, he always had excuses for why he couldn't see his children or needed me to pick them up early. This has now led to him not seeing them properly for around 9 months. There were no Christmas or birthday presents, despite me contacting him and asking if he wanted to see them, first over Christmas and then again around 3 months ago.

This has been extremely difficult for both of my children but especially my daughter. They have to see him at school picking up his partners children! It's heartbreaking to hear my daughter ask over and over again when she'll see her Dad, and I simply don't know what to tell her. I did contact his partner (I didn't have his contact details as he had a new number) to tell her that I thought it was inappropriate for him to be at the school and even confronted him about it face to face on one occasion but all he had to say was that I needed to call him. I then found out that before I had got there he had spoken to both of my children and told them to tell me to call him. This is clearly his way of making my children think that I'm the bad guy who's stopping him from seeing them, which is completely untrue.
My Mum recently offered to contact him to try to arrange contact between them with her as a mediator of sorts, taking the children to a park for example and letting him spend an hour with them. The phone number his partner provided me with continually goes straight to voicemail and texts have been unanswered. I don't know where they live as they've recently moved. This has been over the past couple of days.

Today my son had a father's day performance at school along with the rest of the year group. At my son's request, my two brothers came along to the performance this afternoon and he was brilliant, he shared a memory about his uncle in front of everybody and looked happy and confident. I happened to turn around during the performance and his dad was there at the back of the hall with his partner. I had a feeling he'd show up, but obviously hoped he wouldn't. When his partner's daughter stood up to share her poem, I was stunned to hear her say 'my superhero is my step-dad', she then went on to say why he is her hero. Even my son's teacher looked shocked and turned to look at me almost apologetically. I just couldn't believe that I (and my son!!) were listening to this girl talk about how fantastic her step dad is when he has basically abandoned his own biological children. Am I unreasonable in thinking that somebody at some point during the planning of this performance should have realised that this was insensitive and could cause serious upset to my child?! The school are aware of the situation. She would have mentioned it to her Mum beforehand. Why was she allowed to do this?! Just to add, his partners children do have a relationship with their own Dad, he sees them every other weekend, so it isn't like she had no-one else to speak about. I'm so, so angry about the entire situation, and this today was the icing on top of a massive pile of shit. I'm seriously considering taking my children out of the school and moving away, I want to get as far away from him as possible.

What I'm asking is, am I overreacting to this father's day performance thing? I feel like speaking to the school about it, I just think that it shouldn't have been allowed to happen.

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Squirmy65ghyg · 16/06/2017 19:51

Which the teachers should bloody well take into account.

I'd move.

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troodiedoo · 16/06/2017 19:51

I know you shouldn't have to but I really would move schools. This must be damaging them further every day. New friends can be made. Very sorry you are all in such a situation. What a bastard

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WhatToDoNow17 · 16/06/2017 19:54

Thank you for all of the replies by the way, I feel better knowing that I'm not just some loony overprotective mother. I agree that moving is the best and only option here.

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OohMavis · 16/06/2017 19:56

The teacher's reaction suggests she does know about the situation though.

I'm surprised this got past her in that case.

He's a fucking cunt, OP. I'm sorry you've been landed with this arsehole in you and your kids' lives. There are no words.

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Crunchymum · 16/06/2017 19:58

Absolutely ludicrous situation. The dad and step mum must be thick as pig shit if they think this is acceptable on any level.

However most schools don't make a fuss of father / mother's day due to the fact not everyone is part of a nuclear family. This is a stance I quite agree with.

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GwenStaceyRocks · 16/06/2017 19:59

I don't think the teacher could have stopped this. She couldn't turn round to the stepdaughter and say you're not allowed to do a talk on your stepfather - it has to be on your real dad!
tbh it's your ex that is an arse and it doesn't look as though that's going to change so I would move schools.

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mamalovesmojitos · 16/06/2017 20:00

Unbelievable op! He is absolutely rotten! I have no real advice, but I don't think there is anything that the school staff can really do in this situation. They cannot get involved, no matter how unreasonable and inappropriate it was to have that stepfather speech from the child.

I also understand why you don't want to have to move your children away from their school....sending you strength. Your poor children. At least they have a lovely mum looking out for them Flowers

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AnneLovesGilbert · 16/06/2017 20:01

What a complete bastard. I'm so so sorry you and your children are going through this OP. They're lucky they have you looking out for them.

If he works can you go to the CMS and get regular payments?

I will never understand how women like the new DP can love and respect a man willing to abandon his own DC. It's a disgrace.

It sounds like this is your opportunity to draw a line in the sand.

Do you have somewhere in mind to move to, a lovely new school where they can make new friends. Where you can meet nice new people and have a fresh start?

As he hasn't even given you a number he's willing to pick up and hasn't been in touch for ages I doubt he'll care if you move away.

It must be heartbreaking. I can only imagine.

Your children deserve better than this. You're not getting any bloody help as it is.

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jellybeanteaparty · 16/06/2017 20:01

Very tricky though. If you move them the children may believe you are preventing the contact and taken aware the little chance contact they have. I think you need to be really clear to the children you have tried to arrange for their Dad to see them. Perhaps you could write a letter with the children suggesting contact (the park option) and had deliver with the children.

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DeadGood · 16/06/2017 20:06

"I don't think the teacher could have stopped this. She couldn't turn round to the stepdaughter and say you're not allowed to do a talk on your stepfather - it has to be on your real dad!"

Gwen the presentation didn't have to be about Fathers Day at all. It's not compulsory. This kind of awkward situation must come up all the time - children who don't have a father on the scene, children whose fathers have died, the list goes on.

Just find another framework around which the kids can make a speech.

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WhatToDoNow17 · 16/06/2017 20:07

I think the schools that don't make a fuss of mothers/fathers day have the right idea, and not only because of my situation. I know of children in the school, in fact in the year group who were performing today, who are in care. These days are difficult enough for some children without the added trauma of having to make cards or speak about how fantastic their parents.

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Sparkletastic · 16/06/2017 20:08

I'm appalled for you and your children. I thinking moving away is the right thing to do. Comfort your children by maintaining weekend play dates with their current friends.

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OliveSoap · 16/06/2017 20:09

OP, I'm not surprised you are reeling, and I think it would have been excusable had you followed him out and beat him to death with your shoe -- but I don't think it's reasonable to expect the school to have dictated to your ex's stepdaughter who she was allowed to speak about. What I do think they should have done, if possible, was warned you privately in order to minimise your son's upset, so that you had the option of forewarning him, or taking him out of the activity.

Your ex is an utterly, utterly appalling human being.

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pictish · 16/06/2017 20:12

How awful. I can totally understand why you feel so very cut up on the behalf of your children. He is a complete fucking tool. I'd be murderous actually.

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GraciesMansion · 16/06/2017 20:12

user it is absolutely part of your job to remember the ins and outs of your pupils lives. I, and many teachers, can remember the personal circumstances of children that I taught from 20 years ago. It's just part of being interested in the kids!

OP, a horrible, horrible situation and I would be moving my children in the same circumstances. Flowers

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WhatToDoNow17 · 16/06/2017 20:15

Anne I have contemplated trying to get some money from him, but the conclusion I always come to is that I don't really want it. I want him out of our lives completely, and I know that because of the type of person he is, if he was forced to pay he'd suddenly decide that he wanted to see them, like he'd want something for his money if that makes sense. I want him to want to see his children because they're amazing and he loves them, not because he's paying for them so he might as well.

I have been applying for jobs in a new area that I feel we could make a fresh start in, I need a new job anyway as I'm part time at the moment and really need a full time job. I think I will let the children stay at their school until this school year ends, then have a fresh start in September. Does anybody know how easy/difficult it is to apply for places at schools over the summer holidays? Obviously I'm going to have to move to the area before I apply for places so it isn't going to be a quick process.

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Rosierosa15 · 16/06/2017 20:16

Op, this is so awful. Your poor son :(
I've been a lurking for month's but just signed up so I can comment on this.
I went through a similar situation when I was a child and it really did mess me up for so long. I couldn't get passed the fact my dad obviously didn't care about me and it consumed me for so long. I finally contacted him after 20 year's of no contact and dealt with my emotions and I've made peace with it thankfully but it really did mess with my mh for all them years. (no contact again, and that ls for the best)
I do think moving would be a good option op. It's not fair on you or your children. You're definitely not being unreasonable.

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PyongyangKipperbang · 16/06/2017 20:16

Around fathers/mothers day we have a Special Person lunch so anyone who is special to the child can attend. They also Special People cards, so if a child wants to make a fathers day card they can, but they can also make it for someone else.

I agree with going via CMS for maintenance. You have tried being nice and it hasnt worked so fuck him.

I also agree that moving is the best option. Will they go to the same high school? I would be looking at an area far enough away so that isnt a risk.

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DeadGood · 16/06/2017 20:18

Best of luck with your new start, OP. You sound like an absolutely wonderful mum. Star

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WhatToDoNow17 · 16/06/2017 20:22

Pictish I have spent many an hour discussing with friends and certain family members how we could kill him and hide the evidence, believe me. I hate the man with every inch of my being for what he is doing to my children. I was shaking with rage today, I felt sick I was so angry. Every time I see his smug face I have to stop myself from unleashing hell on him.

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TaliZorahVasNormandy · 16/06/2017 20:22

What an utter cock.

Thing is, I wager on, if your DS wrote something nice about his stepdad, your ex would have gone apeshit. Poor DS having to hear that shit.

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PyongyangKipperbang · 16/06/2017 20:22

Xpost about the money, yes I can see what you mean about his wanting something for his money, and if he isnt a particularly high earner then it may not be worth it for a few quid.

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LittleBeautyBelle · 16/06/2017 20:23

Terrible, Op! I don't know how you've put up with him this long, you've tried to get him to be a decent dad.

Is it possible to talk face to face or on the phone with his partner and ask her if she knows why he won't do basic dad stuff with your children? You said you once got along ok w her. Would appealing to her work? I think you said you tried that, not sure. Tell her you just want him to spend some time with them regularly so that they know he loves them, that's all. Surely she could understand that and maybe talk to him on your behalf.

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iogo · 16/06/2017 20:26

Move them. They Will make new friends. The psychological effects of a shit dad are much harder to repair. What a wanker.

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Birdsgottaf1y · 16/06/2017 20:31

""it's not the schools fault and you can't expect teachers to step in and tell his stepdaughter what she can't and cannot say and why she can't.""

The school does have a duty of care, to the emotional health of their children.

OP call a meeting at the school, go through the situation and how they can support your children and prevent any other harmful incidents.

What High school are they going to? This is eventually going to blow up and it will probably end up in the boys fighting it out, while gobshite hides away.

A move would be for the best.

You've been exceptionally restrained, i would have chased him out of the school yard with a machete in my hand

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