Dispute with ex and ex MIL over childcare for short break
2 October 2019 at 1:38 am #31022
I’m hoping someone can give me some advice.
I’m a single mum of 2 children, aged 10 and 3. I have very limited support from family members due to distance and logistics and work 34 hours a week, commuting 6 hours across 2 days a week. My son has contact with his dad 2.5 hours a week with no overnight stays and has complex needs and my daughter spends 4 nights a month with her dad, fortnightly weekends.
I’ve been invited to go on a trip to Amsterdam with some friends, I’m 35 never been on a trip with friends but have travelled frequently with my children, often on my own. I’m super excited to go, so have booked the trip. Prior to booking i’d arranged for my son to stay with my parents as he can access transport to his specialist school from there but my parents cant also look after my daughter as her schooling routine is different and attends a differnt school to my son. My parents also work full time. So logistics to look after my son are difficult enough. My ex husband couldnt help with daughter, neither could his dad, I asked my ex MIL who lives with her husband and both retired living in a small holding, beautiful place, and my daughter loves spending time there, although its not often. She wouldn’t commit, asked loads of questions who with etc wanting to know every last detail and said shed think about it. Given that the group needed to book flights I needed to confirm with them asap. 2 of my lovely close long standing friends have offered to help, they were so supportive, encouraged me as they know how much I run around with the children, having very differnt needs and minimal help, they also know my daughter well and have a great relationship with her, these friends are like family and being that my parents are 40mins away they are a great support for me and the children. Based on this I booked the trip
I’ve had an argument with both my ex and MIL this evening, my MIL again wouldn’t commit so I completely understand if she has too much on etc, very understanding and mentioned that mu friends would help. Both my ex and MIL were both saying almost identical things (separate phone calls) , they are not comfortable with our daughter being looked after by my friends for 2 nights, they feel it would be upsetting for her, MIL feels that she shouldn’t be away from me for so long and given that her dad sees her the weekend prior to me going it would be unfair on her to be away from me and her routine be unsettled by friends caring for her. She stayed with her dad for 2 weeks during the summer. She is very much attached to me, we have a beautiful and strong relationship but I feel it is healthy for her to spend time with her dad and extended family members too.
I’m really insulted by both ex and MIL comments, I feel they have both discussed between them and are using identical statements to question my judgement and character. They have tried to make me feel very guilty and like a bad mother to go away and were so interested in who with etc.
I’m feeling so anxious this evening, I really didnt want to fall out with either of them and have always tried to have good communications and relationship, dispite being separated.
I’m really sorry for the super long post, if you have got to the end I’m wondering what other parents views are on this. When challenged like it’s hard not to start questioning yourself!
Thankyou2 October 2019 at 11:24 am #31024
As you’ve given the MIL the opportunity to have your daughter and she hasn’t been helpful then I don’t think it’s right for her to question any alternative arrangements that make.
As for your ex as long as there are no safeguarding issues then he has no input into who you allow your daughter to stay with, quite frankly it’s non of his business.
It would be healthy for your daughter to spend time with other people, she will probably find it fun.
So all in all don’t worry about what your ex and his mum think, you go and enjoy your mini break, I’m sure it will do you good.
Mark2 October 2019 at 3:27 pm #31039
I agree with Ramblinjon, you have offered your ex and his mum the opportunity to look after your daughter and they don’t want to. You ex does precious little as far as I can see and so you have every right to make alternative arrangements.
As long as your daughter is happy with the plans, you have nothing to feel guilty about. Your daughter is 4, not 4 months. And it’s only 2 nights.
Go and enjoy yourself. I suspect you haven’t had a weekend away for a while. It will do you all good.