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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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diddl · 16/06/2017 20:33

"I don't know whether the other class teacher is aware of the situation".

Perhaps not-& if they were I wonder what they could have done?

How far away would another school be?

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takeaweeseat · 16/06/2017 20:33

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.

LittleBeautyBelle

This only works with talking to normal rational people. I did exactly what you suggested with my ex, I rang his sister, text his G/F ...got my family to ring him. He was told that his little DD(3 at the time) was crying for her daddy every day and she wanted to see him...Nothing, he ignored it.

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OnTheRise · 16/06/2017 20:36

The school shouldn't be having events like this. They're awful for children in care, children whose fathers have died, children whose fathers are abusive and bullying... it's wrong. They are actively causing distress to many of the children in their care by doing this.

OP, your children's father is a tool of the highest degree. You are right to be appalled by his behaviour. I am so sorry your childrenand youare going through all this crap because he can't be bothered to be a reasonable, responsible adult. Thank goodness your children have you. It was great of your brother(s?) to step in for the event at the school.

If I were you I'd consider complaining to the head teacher about how painful the event was for children without fathers, etc., and I would definitely consider moving my children to a different school if that were possible.

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WhatToDoNow17 · 16/06/2017 20:48

Little a little while ago his partner got in touch with me and said that she'd left him and asked whether I'd be up for getting the kids together (basically to try and allow my children to have a relationship with her youngest child - their half brother). I declined, and said that it would be too damaging and confusing for my children to be around her and her children while their dad is behaving as he is, but suggested that if she has actually left him, at some point in the future it would be nice if my children could meet their half brother and build a relationship with him. I told her how much this was hurting them and she replied saying she understood and that she had tried to get him to see them but that he had told her he didn't want to. She was back with him a couple of days later, so it was obviously all bollocks, and I don't know how truthful what she said was. Their relationship is extremely turbulent, there has been ss involvement in the past due to his violent behaviour and drug use (just when you thought he couldn't get worse) yet she still stays. So she wouldn't be a reliable mediator or source of information to be honest.

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temporarilyjerry · 16/06/2017 20:49

The school shouldn't be having events like this. They're awful for children in care, children whose fathers have died, children whose fathers are abusive and bullying... it's wrong. They are actively causing distress to many of the children in their care by doing this.

I agree with this and have never worked in a school which have held events like this, even at the beginning of my career in the 80s.

Perhaps the two classes had not practised together and so your DS's teacher was unaware that the partner's DD was going to talk about your ex. This would explain why she looked shocked.

I hope your ex felt embarrassed to hear your DS talk about your brothers.

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WhatToDoNow17 · 16/06/2017 20:51

Can I just thank you all for being so kind. I do speak about this with friends and family but hearing people not emotionally involved with us or the situation back me up and say that I'm not wrong in feeling this way is incredibly reassuring. Thank you all so much Flowers.

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FastForward2 · 16/06/2017 20:51

I think it is better if schools avoid mothers day and fathers day. It really hurts if your mum or dad is absent, your situation is possibly worse.
Please go and tell the school how you feel, they should hear your anger.
You are brave to stay so long, ds had a friend whose mum took dcs to australia to get away, but now I think you are right to move.
Contact the schools involved, or the local councils, asap, to find out how to do it. Where I live children swap schools all the time, but there has to be a space in the school they are going to. Over summer would presumably be a good time to swap. You could go and see schools in the new area before you go and see where there are spaces.

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temporarilyjerry · 16/06/2017 20:52

On reading your update, a new job in a new area would seem like a good move for you and your DC.

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Procrastination4 · 16/06/2017 21:02

In our school we ignore Mothers' Day because we have pupils in the school whose mothers are deceased/single parent (dad) families)and Fathers' Day because we have pupils in the school from single parent(mum) families, deceased parents and absent fathers. It makes things much easier all round.

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AnneLovesGilbert · 16/06/2017 21:07

That makes complete sense OP, I know what you mean.

I'm glad you've found the support here helpful. You're doing so well supporting you children. They sound lovely. I'm incredibly touched by your excellent sounding brothers. There are so many different ways to make a family and nurture well adjusted beautiful children.

What's best for you and for your children? Look to the future and what works for you. You'll find a great job and a new home and a lovely school for them.

By god you've tried. But the end of the road is always a new start.

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bumblebee61 · 16/06/2017 21:11

This is heartbreaking. I can't imagine how painful it must be. My strong feeling is, move areas if you can and send your children to another school. At least your brother cares enough to support your children. Hang on to those who love you and your kids and minimise contact with the shit.

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Mummyoflittledragon · 16/06/2017 21:14

Flowers. Your poor kids. I definitely think you should move them to a different school in September.

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foodiefil · 16/06/2017 21:14

No you aren't overreacting that sounds bloody awful and torture for your kids. The fucking bastard. I am so sorry.

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SisterhoodisPowerful · 16/06/2017 21:24

I'm usually first in line to say contact the CMS. In your situation, I would wait until after you have a new job, have moved and started the kids at a new school so he can't start whining about visitation.

Schools really do need to move towards special persons day. So many kids have non-nuclear families for positive reasons as it is. It's just cruel for those whose families are different because of violence.

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user1497480444 · 16/06/2017 21:26

Is it really that difficult to be aware of? Not trying to be difficult, I know you have a mammoth job, but is this sort of thing not part of it?

no, not even slightly part of my job.

medical conditions, educational needs, abilities, weaknesses, differentiation needs, targets, behaviour records, first language, stage of English learning, child protection issues, pupil premium and free school meals status, Looked after children, forces children, traveler children, allergies, medication, dietary needs, routines, friendship groups, good teams arrangements, poor team arrangements, bullying issues...etc, etc, etc..........YES

state of parents marriage. or relationship between separated parents. You must be joking. seriously. For a minimum of 30 children in primary, or 200 children in secondary.

As for needing to be aware of relationship between parents for "understanding why a child is upset at school"; if that was an excuse for not getting on with your education, it would involve more than half of the school population.

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GrumpySausage · 16/06/2017 21:31

OP can I just say you sound like a lovely mum and person. The love you feel for your kids is clear and how you have managed to not deck your ex is beyond me.

Your kids have all they need with the support you're giving them.

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JaneEyre70 · 16/06/2017 21:45

Thank goodness they have you in their lives to provide love and stability. I'd honestly move them, it's a complete headfuck for them to see their dad being "daddy" to other kids and not them, I don't understand how anyone could be that cruel. You don't need to see it either.

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WillowWeeping · 16/06/2017 21:50

user

It's hardly "state of parents marriage" stuff is it?! It's a significant and traumatic change in the DCs circumstances. I'm surprised any teacher would be quite so cavalier about this scenario Hmm

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StephanieAteMyLunch · 16/06/2017 21:51

user I am shocked that you would not be made aware of these things.

My children attended a large primary school, 90 children per year group and we have a learning mentor specifically for children with emotional barriers to learning. She is a trained counsellor and does 1 to 1 with children and groups of children for bereavement.

But teaching staff and support staff are made aware of children within their year group, just like medical conditions and allergies.

WhatTo move, it is the only way to protect your children from this arsehole. You will have to move first then apply to the schools. If you roughly know what area you want to move to contact the schools now to see if they have a waiting list. Speak to the council for the new area for advice too.

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Italiangreyhound · 16/06/2017 21:52

Your ex is a massive shit. I would give considerable thought to moving away but I do wonder if that would be best in the long run since it may appear to the kids that you had separated hem from their dad.

I am so sorry for you.

Siwdmae "What if her actual dad had turned up?" Yes, i t would have been unpleasant for an adult male to hear something nasty from a child but much, much worse for a child to hear that his father is playing happy families with another family.

Agree with SaucyJack "Have you asked them if they want to move schools? If they do, then absolutely do." Totally agree.

Is there any way to get him to pay for his children, because it seems very unfair you are supporting them alone while he is off playing stepfather of the year and making another child to look after.

I think he is a giant arse and I hope your daughter relaises this and it does not negatively impact her to keep trying to love a man who is basically (it appears) pretty unlovable.

If the teacher of the step daughter knows the situation, she or he should have stepped in. It's common decency.

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Italiangreyhound · 16/06/2017 21:56

"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."

The only thing is that if you are having to work hard to provide for them then they are missing out on time with you maybe, but I respect your reasons, of course, for not wanting contact with this utter toss pot.

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Allthewaves · 16/06/2017 21:59

Practically if you eant to move them get on the phone now before schools break up and start asking who has availability and do some viewings. Have you talked to your son about moving schools? How does he feel

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Italiangreyhound · 16/06/2017 22:04

OP please do consider some sort of family therapy, especially for your dd to work out (maybe when a bit older) that none of this is her fault, her father is a giant arse. Because the worry (for me and I am sure for you) is that this will affect her self esteem.

Good luck, your ex should not be allowed anywhere near women or children, he is toxic! So sorry.

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IntrusiveBastards · 16/06/2017 22:07

Yanbu op. I'd move schools, out of the area and then get CSA on the case. For your children's sake, I know you don't want to claim but he should at the very least pay for them. You could always it it straight into a bank account for them.

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Upanddownroundandround · 16/06/2017 22:11

I would move schools and get them on a new school from September.
In fact to be brutally honest OP I would have done it quite a while ago. Your children cannot continue seeing their dad at the gate being dad to other children. It could really cause them long time issues I think. (I'm not a psychologist but just looking at my friends and their own issues dragged along from childhood.)

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