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Feeling out of control...

16 replies

Alley22 · 26/09/2002 12:21

I have bought up my little boy on my own, he will be 2 next month and his dad became involved in his life Jan 02 so it has not been long, for ds sake he promised to keep it regular and also pays maintenance, which I thought was better late than never!

Just to put you in the picture - things have been going steady until recently, he sees him once a week and his parents see him once a fortnight and its only been the last month or so he has been taking him to visit other people etc, he has changed a few days around for a couple of weeks when he visited Brighton (love interest i think, but he would never talk to me about it)

But last night he had him for TWO hours and my ds came back with all his hair shaved off, I am so angry with him, when he bought him back we had a big argument and I burst into tears, Im not sure if it is because I am starting to feel out of control of ds whereas I have struggled to bring him up and made all the decisions or am angry with his dad for not channelling his energy into doing something else with him. He knows I am struggling esp this time of the month financially, does he buy any nappies or wipes to help out? no.

Already that day he had a dig at me for not giving him enough vegetables in his diet thats why he seems to be ill a lot?!? I mean hello! how many 2 year olds happily tuck into a plate of cauliflour, he doesnt know him at all. And when talking about ds birthday coming up he has seen an electric car he wants to buy him, and the clothes he buys him - all labels, when I save and buy him things to do like play dough and an easel. I just feel like he is treating ds like a trophy and not like the clever little boy that he is, he never sits down and reads him a story or sings him rhymes ds knows his colours, nursery rhymes some shapes and some numbers.. he doesnt know what his favourite video is or what he likes for breakfast and doesnt phone us when he is ill or when he had his Measles jab, I think what I am trying to say is that I am with him 80% of the time so what right has he got in the two hours he has him to give him a haircut without so much as asking, in fact I had cut his hair not two weeks ago myself and it was growing back really thick and lovely and now he has had a grade two all over (actually he still looks gorg but I would say that) why am I so hurt that he has had his hair shaved or is it all the problems rolled into one?

Even the bank account I pay into is not good enough, I pay in £10 a month and he is paying into one £40 a month, it wasnt that long ago I was a teenager, I know which parent I would have preferred at 16.. I feel so upset.

His mother keeps on about potty training him when I know he is not ready (i.e walking around with it on his head saying ' ima soldyer mommy', and has no concept of pulling down trousers/pants) how can I trust these people?? I know the minute my back is turned they will have him on a toilet and not have the consistency to what I want him to do or am trying to teach him.

I say reigns or buggy to ds its his choice whereas I am not too sure they would keep to that, and they are taking him out Sunday to the zoo and I dont know what to say to them, I dont know how to handle this - has anyone got any advice of what I should do? sorry to waffle, Im so upset, even though it sounds silly writing it down, I feel a little better..

OP posts:

Bozza · 26/09/2002 12:43

Alley it sounds like you have a few niggles and the haircut was the final straw. TBH if my DH (who is totally part of DS's life) had done that I would have blown a gasket myself. Let alone a Dad who is not your partner and where there are existing tensions. That was totally out of order and I'm sure (although DS looks cute) you were really upset.

I think your problem's really with DS's Dad and not his grandmother. I'm sure that loads of the others on this site will say that their MIL has different ideas about potty training etc.

It sounds like you are feeling a bit pushed out but can I just say who's name will your son call out when he is poorly in the middle of the night? I think I know the answer to that one. You are his MUM and have been there for him for as long as he can remember - and longer- and he loves you more than anyone else in the world. Fact!

Re the bank account thing - really that is positive (better than wasting is money on designer labels and fancy toys). Think about it your DS is getting £50 a month put away. That is a good start in life and when he is old enough to use the money he will also be old enough to understand that although your contribution was less the fact that you brought him up more than compensates for that.

I think you are going to have to keep talking to his Dad, trying to get your POV over but try not to fall out with him. It will be best all round if you can negotiate without too much animosity.


Alley22 · 26/09/2002 12:52

I know, this is why it sounds so silly, but like most (nearly) two year olds he doesnt want to know me when either his dad or his grandparents (my parents) are in the room, I suppose I do feel a little left out.

I will try and look on some of the things more positively but I still dont totally trust them which is a problem, do you think its worth approaching him about it?

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Viv · 26/09/2002 13:29

This must be so difficult for you and I can completly understand that you are probably feeling excluded from parts of your ds's life now.
But Bozza is right, when ds is tired, hurt, ill etc. it will be you he wants as you are his mum and he loves you above all else. You are his stability and the person he will want to turn to. At the end of the day a two year old wants to do things like play doh , reading favoutite books etc as it is fun and familiar at the same time. There are only so many new toys etc. that they can cope with.
It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job with your ds try to keep reminding yourself of that.
I think it might help if you could sit down and talk to his father, if that is possible to try and agree a few ground rules, maybe he could have responsibility for certain jobs that need doing for ds, (with your agreement) so it is clear who is doing what and also ensure he has some of the responsibility and not all of the fun.
I am waffling on a bit here, do take care and at the end of the day do waht feels right for you and your son.


Bozza · 26/09/2002 14:14

Alley I think your self-esteem is a bit low at the moment. My son is 19 mo (so just a bit younger than yours) and sometimes I think he would run off with the postman if I let him. Objectively its good that your DS enjoys being with his grandparents and his Dad but that is only because you have made him into a secure and confident little boy.

You definitely nned to discuss things with his Dad. Can you sort of put it in a "what do you think about..." kind of way so that it looks like you're asking advice. Then "lets agree on..." - that kind of thing. Its difficult for you, I know.


Elf · 26/09/2002 17:20

Struth I really feel for you Alley22 - it's hard enough to have a united front when you are still with your child's father, let alone with your circumstances. I think it must be SO stressful for you to have this lack of control over your son's wellbeing and I agree with the others that talking with the guy and trying to agree ways of doing things is your only answer, then at least you can say "but we agreed so and so" etc. Of course you'll have to hope that he is interested in having a good relationship with you and being in agreement over things. I hope he's not getting off on having some sort of control over your DS. Good luck.


WideWebWitch · 26/09/2002 20:37

Alley, I really feel for you, this all sounds very frustrating. I would have been furious too at the haircut and at the vegetable comments. In fact I'd have been furious at any comments insinuating that my parenting skills were lacking. And it sounds to me as if yours are NOT! You sound like a lovely mum.

I agree about trying not to worry about the grandparents too much although I do think on potty training you could lay down the law and make it clear that you don't think he's ready and you'd rather they didn't try it yet, Thank You. Although I do realise it's easier said than done. But if they want to deal with a massive tantrum over buggy vs reins while they have him and you're not there, let them

I agree that you need to negotiate some ground rules with your ex, whilst trying to keep it friendly for your ds's sake. I can't think how to do this exactly but maybe you could suggest how he can help in practical ways (like buying nappies etc) rather than spending money on things that you don't think ds needs. I don't think you can lay down the law on what presents he buys (wildly unsuitable though they may be) but you could say "ds needs shoes/socks, can you help do you think?" I am separated from my ds's father and it is amicable now but it wasn't for a while and I do know how hard it can be. So my advice would be to try to keep friendly whilst not sacrificing principles that are really important to you (i.e if he's not ready to potty train/go to school/whatever you feel strongly about) and doing your best to stand firm on these. Good luck


FrancesJ · 26/09/2002 20:53

I haven't got anything constructive to add re advice, sorry - but did want to post to say that you're so clearly a lovely and loving mum, and that, at the end of the day, is what counts - You're the one who is there to wipe the snotty nose, and read the bedtime story, and cuddle when he's fallen over. That's more important than all the labels, and presents in the world.


ionesmum · 26/09/2002 21:29

Totally agree, Frances. Alley, I think that your ex is behaving the way he is because he feels guilty and he's well aware of who your little boy will turn to when he needs someone. So he's undermining how you feel about yourself. Take no notice, you are a fantastic mum with so much love and understanding for your little one. Hope all goes well. xx


robinw · 27/09/2002 05:57

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Lizzer · 27/09/2002 11:40

Alley22, I feel so bad for you. My ex has never had a part in dd's life but I think in the future he may and I dread the situation turning out like this. I think the loss of control over their lives would be the most horrible thing. Can't imagine how angry you were after the haircut, that seemed deliberately done to get at you. Sorry I've no real advice but I hope you can come to some kind of agreement with him in time... And as everyone's said your son WILL know who's done everything for him in the future, ask anyone who's been brought up in a single parent family
Good luck


tigermoth · 27/09/2002 14:04

Alley, you sound like you are doing so much for your son. The haircut would have made me see red, too. Friendly discussion of some ground rules with your ex partner is definitely the way to go. Hark at me blithely writing this. Much easier to write than do, so good luck.

Just like to add, don't get too upset if your ds runs to his father and ignores you. I'm sure it doesn't mean he prefers him. Little boys IME suddenly cotton on to the fact that daddy is male and so are they - it's a fascinating thing to discover and they change from being all over mummy to seeing daddy as a bit of a hero for a while.

As others have said, who will he call for when he's ill?


susanmt · 27/09/2002 14:43

Alley22 - my parents split when I was 12 (sister was 10, brother 4) - we all stayed with Dad. My Mum used to do things like this, get our hair cut in a way Dad would disapprove of, or buy us clothes he didn't like, or give us big handfuls of cash (I kid you not).
But when my first baby was born it was my Daddy who was pacing the floor all night in the hospital (feeding dh whisky on the sly when I was dosing)!!!, it was him I wanted to meet my children first, even though he had never been able to afford things for us, because it was Dad who loved us enough to put himself first for us and never use us as a weapon against Mum, who always saw us like that (and in some ways I think she still does).
You do, like the others said, have to lay down some ground rules, but you also have to not worry, because he will ALWAYS love you, and as he grows up, he will grow to appreciate so much what you have done for him.
Sorry, didnt mean to make this about me - but I'm looking at it from the other side and I know how it feels to be 'used' by a parent, and he won't like that, not one little bit!
Thinking of you, and I think you are doing a marvellous job.


Alley22 · 27/09/2002 14:52

Thank you soooo much for your kind messages everyone, Im not going to stop ds going to the zoo with them on Sunday and I think talking to his dad about what I do with ds when I am out will be good grounding for a chat about some ground rules (as they have never taken him to somewhere out and crowded) its always been at someones house up until now.

I still feel that when I ask them to have some consistency like the reigns thing I dont trust them, I know his dad will be like 'he can walk, Ill keep an eye on him' (you know yourselves how quickly a nearly 2 yo can disappear when he wants to) arghh! my problem is I worry too much about things.

I feel better about the 'him having a preference over me with other people thing' after yesterday (even though I still have to be-friend him every time I come home from work otherwise he wont talk to me, I take it now just that he has missed me loads) when I had a bad morning yesterday and phoned my mum who was looking after ds and he came on the phone and said 'luv ooo mommy', it bought a lump to my throat! what I have is special with him and really to make me feel more comfortable I will have this talk with his dad on Sunday before they go off to the zoo and not worry too much about the other things as I think they only became important when I was feeling a bit low.

Im sure you all agree that some times you feel lower than others, the difference I feel is that ds depends on me and I feel I have no-one to let out any steam with just my 4 walls at home, thats why I find it so useful posting here. I

Sometimes wish I was a bit stronger, I felt a bit vunerable anyway on Wed when they came back as I had to ask my ex for his maintenance money early to be able to pay my rent, as I was short - so felt a little like I was failing anyway. I think actually he did it to exert a little of his control to ds and I think perhaps he feels like he has no control over ds - hence the haircut. Ill let you know how I get on on Sunday probably next week as I dont have access to a computer until Wed.

I thought it all sounded so silly, getting that upset about a haircut and how many vegetables he is eating.. but I think its something only other mums know and understand about.. thanks again for your support.

OP posts:

rozzy · 27/09/2002 21:01

This reply has been deleted

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Bozza · 27/09/2002 21:58

Ah Alley what a sweetie saying that to you on the phone. And not bad to be able to talk on the phone like that at his age. Let us know how it goes on Sunday.


Alley22 · 09/10/2002 12:07

I spoke to him about it again today as well as the previous sunday - we have laid down a few ground rules - ringing the day before etc to let me know.. and now he is being much better and I am not nagging him so much.

DS had a good time at the zoo and even managed to drop his dad in it! as we talk about the things he has done that day with me before he goes to sleep and all he kept on about that night was OWLETTS (doesnt pronounce his H's!) HOWLETTS shopping, beer.. and then repeated this to my parents the next day, so when I spoke with his dad next I asked him what he meant and he laughed.. called him a little git, and said that they had stopped in a Country pub on the way home for a drink, ds had a juice and he had a pint! ha! ds had told a tale!

I have always known that men and women are not on the same planet but never on this scale until last week when ds dad said, he took ds into Boots and spent over £25 on toiletries for himself and moaned about the price of it, I said to him when you have washed your body in hair shampoo for the last four days because you cant afford nice things then come back and whinge, try buying nappies wipes and cream on top of your already expensive shop! whereas my mum and even my 85 year old nan (who catches a bus into town 15 minute journey) if they see a BOGOF or good deal with the nappies they pick them up for me, ds dad would happily walk straight past!? wouldnt the world be a nicer place if most men thought like women (not all men I hasten to add...)

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