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Really need your advice

85 replies

pinguthepenguin · 24/03/2008 00:16

Exp has made a suggestion:

His gf (who he left us for) has a full time live in nanny for her school-going child ( I know!). He has suggested that our child is also cared for by the nanny in gf's home. (Ex will be moving in there soon)

Reasons he put forward for this are:

  • it will save money ( not much tbh)
  • it will be more stable for DD
  • he will get to see DD more (he already has her twice a week as it is)
  • there wont be any rushing on my part to get hime from work like I currently do/less stress etc. (this is true, its a mega strain)


My gut instinct was to say no, so I did. Reasons for this are:
  • she is happy with current childminder, although has only been there 2 months, so wouldn't be too upset by change I guess.

-it will be like my DD lives there, and spends evenings with me. I will be like the non-resident parent
-I'm afraid my DD will become very attached to them, being there all day every day, plus 2 nights per week, and so forget me
  • he is a controlling person. It feels like they are trying to shove me out of the picture
  • Something doesn't feel right about letting ow's nanny look after my child.


There are a few tempting reasons why the arrangent would be good- namely the benefit of having no time restrictions on me for when she needs to be collected, and it would save (some) money.

What do you think? Would it be more stable for my child? I want to do whatever is right for her, regardless of whether I actually like it or not. My reasons have to be valid ifyswim.

Need advice big time.
OP posts:
pinguthepenguin · 24/03/2008 11:56

When I argued the point about maintanene with him, he ties me up in knots, said I just didn't 'get it'. He reckons that if he is paying me 33, and the nanny charges 300, then what is the point of continuing to give me the money, rather than just give it to her.

OP posts:
pinguthepenguin · 24/03/2008 11:56

sorry, I meant 300

OP posts:
clouded · 24/03/2008 11:58

Pingu, I am inclined to agree with the general sentiment that you should be very, very wary about this proposal. Gillybean, (always a wise and clear thinking poster) makes some extremely valid points imo.
What concerns me is that I read a very honest post by you about some of your mixed feelings towards your DD and I wonder if deep down you almost want your ex to have the major care of her.
This is such a hard time for you and I would not be surprised if from time to time you lose confidence in your mothering and wish to have less responsibility and/or hand it over to your ex. BUT... do think carefully about making these changes. It may suit you on a practical level now, but on an emotional one, what would it mean for you and DD and the future?

Tinkerbel6 · 24/03/2008 12:00

pingu yes you are saying no for the right reasons, he just dont get it, maintenance isnt for things like childcare that is seperate and very often paid via working tax credits, maintenance is for food, milk, nappies, wipes, clothes etc, so if he takes that away then he is paying zero maintenance, carry on standing your ground you are in the right.

nkf · 24/03/2008 12:01

The nanny is not your nanny. She's employed by someone else. I'd say no.

nkf · 24/03/2008 12:02

Sorry. Just read on and realised that you've already made a decision. Good luck.

Freckle · 24/03/2008 12:05

Also, when maintenance is paid to you, it is your choice as to how you spend it. He is deciding that the £300 he pays you is only for the childminder and, by paying that money to the nanny (would he even pay it? or at least that amount??), he is removing from you the choice as to how that maintenance is spent.

What happens in future when your dd is at school? Is he suddenly going to start paying maintenance again? I suspect not.

pinguthepenguin · 24/03/2008 12:06

Clouded. I appreciate your honsty, and you're right, I do have moments when I don't enjoy the practical aspect of parenting as much as I would like to. I guess that the difficult early months of my DDs like (inflicted upon us by her father) has in some way, affected my enjoyment of her. I'm not always rational, nor even reasonable, but I'm genuinely not approaching this new issue from anything other than a practical point of view. As I already pointed out, I did say no immediately. I just wanted to ensure that I did so, for the right reasons.

OP posts:
pinguthepenguin · 24/03/2008 12:09

I didn't realise that maintanence wasn't for things like childcare. Surely not everyone can recover the majority of their childcare costs through wtc?

OP posts:
Freckle · 24/03/2008 12:14

If you are in receipt of WTC, you can claim 70% of your childcare costs. I'm assuming that the remaining 30% doesn't equal £300?

Maintenance is for the cost of raising a child. Childcare costs can come into that, but obviously other things are covered too, such as a roof over the child's head, food, clothes, etc.

madamez · 24/03/2008 12:18

Pingu, you do need some good legal advice. This man is doing what a lot of selfish, sexist men do and feeding you a lot of bullshit about the laws on separated parents, in order to get his own way and make you feel too intimidated to argue with him. Then you can insist on getting all issues with regard to your DD properly agreed in writing, and if he complains, point out politely that he has been 'misinformed' (ie he is lying to get his own way, you know he knows but you are being polite and grown up about it) so it would be better to have everything properly agreed so no one gets into trouble...

clouded · 24/03/2008 12:22

Oh, Pingu, I do understand and I know you always want to think things through and to be fair. As if you haven't enough to deal with without being constantly pressurised by your ex.
I suppose I think that some things are never just practical and I was concerned (not at all meant as a criticism)

Tinkerbel6 · 24/03/2008 12:24

pingu all lone parents can get up to 80% child care costs paid for by working tax credits as long as its a registered establishment or childminder/nanny, yes it will depend on your salary but the option is there if you were ever to reduce your hours, im sure the 20% that you would have to pay yourself wouldnt equal £300 so by taking that away he isnt paying you anything.

pinguthepenguin · 24/03/2008 12:51

I know you weren't criticising couded, don't worry.

The thing is, he is a controlling person, but I believe that to get a defined contact order, or to have everything in writing (i.e, maintanence, residency orders etc), would only inflame an already tentative situation. Apart from our (sometimes weekly) minor 'spats' as it were, things haven't been going too badly. He is fairly flexible regarding the baby and if somethingever comes up unexpectedly in my life, should it be work, social or otherwise, he is fairly willing to help. I feel that puttig things in writing woldeb to my detriment ifyswim. I've no family to hand you see, and absolutely no one else willing to help. He's my only source.

I earn a fairly decent salary, and so as of April, I wont be entitled to hel with childcare costs, as I wont be in reciept of WTC. I'm only in receipt atm as I was on mat leave for much of last year, and so my earnings were reduced. I'm very worried about how I will afford her childcare costs, as although my salary isn;t bad on paper, we all know the reality is different when faced with huge outgoings. I'm going to look into the possibility of childcare vouchers. Anyone know anyhting about these? Do regualr registered childminders take these, or are they exclusive to Creches?

I'm not going to go ahead with the arrangement my ex suggested. I wanted to endure that I was saying no for altruistic reasons, and not ones that were entrenced in my own dislike for ow and their family setup. I needed reasssurance that it was a fishy proposal, and you've given me that, so thank you all for that. Truly.

OP posts:
pinguthepenguin · 24/03/2008 12:53

soooo may typos there, sorry

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MadameCh0let · 24/03/2008 12:57

I'm a single mum and my gut instinct is no. The nanny's employer is a woman who had no respect for you or your life.

But maybe that makes me sound bitter and unforgiving. Maybe, the fact that you are even considering this means that you have moved on and don't care. Maybe you have a good-ish relationship with your husband's gf..

And finally, this is selfish, but I'd be terrified that my daughter would be sucked into their happy 'conventional' two parent family with sibling and money for nanny la la la..... That she might glance back at the just mum and me set up and feel it was lacking in comparison. Now that is very selfish of me, but there you go.

MadameCh0let · 24/03/2008 12:59

I see you've made your decision. good luck to you!! I'm glad you decided not to take up his 'offer'. There's no such thing as a free lunch...

pinguthepenguin · 24/03/2008 13:01

thats exactly what i'm terified of- how it wouldaffect my relationship with DD. maybe it is selfish- thats why I poted on here, but I try not to be when it concerns her. But I have the right to a healthy and fulfilling relationship with my own child.

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CarGirl · 24/03/2008 13:06

yes registered childminders can accept vouchers it is very easy for them. You get a form from the voucher scheme for them to fill in, provided you ask for electronic vouchers you can then pay them on line direct into their bank account so quicker for them than cheques.

Yes if you are not going to qualify for any help with childcare costs via CTC then that is a better way forward for you.

I just wondered if this is the right financial climate to take on a mortgage etc? In rented accommodation if you work part time then you would probably get some housing benefit etc - just my thoughts as someone who has been a single parent, has rented, had shared owenership (don't touch with a barge pole) and now a mortgage with a dh and 4dc! I'm quite familar with the CTC/WTC/Childcare etc etc etc as we get enhanced CTC due to dh's low income and it is yet really worth me working at all until they are all at school/pre-school etc

When I was on my own working part time (30 hours per week which counts as FT hours for CTC) and renting I got a decent amount of HB towards my rented place - just a thought.

MadameCh0let · 24/03/2008 13:18

Pingu, you do of course have that right. He can't just erase you out of his life, Tipp-Ex over you and take your daughter into his new family.

You make sure that they see eachother. That's your duty as a mother and it sounds like you're more than fulfilling that obligation.

Enjoy your daughter!

clouded · 24/03/2008 13:20

Exactly! You and DD both have a right to a loving relationship. You are NOT being selfish. On the contrary, you are caring for DD and acting on her behalf to maintain the best possible relationship between you. She needs you most of all, not the ow or her sister.

charlotte121 · 24/03/2008 13:24

stuff ur ex, if its not going to make you much better off and ur ex is controling i wouldnt do it.

clouded · 24/03/2008 13:25

No, what I actually mean is that you need to be selfish to protect your relationship with DD, but it is the right kind of selfishness iyswim!

davidtennantsmistress · 24/03/2008 14:38

glad you said no, now don't let him bully you into changing your mind.

one thing thou, would it be more cost effect for you to have a live in nanny or au pair at your house esp as you'll not be getting the help with the child care costs? if your job is one wyou could do from home as well would hte bosses consider you working from home 2 days a week or something?

Paddlechick666 · 24/03/2008 16:45

haven't read whole thread as just popping in but wanted to say that nanny-shares between great friends can go horribly wrong.

i should imagine a nanny-share with your ex's OW in their home would be a minefield.

what if you disagree on some fundamental part of the dc's care. who will the nanny defer to?

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