Equal Parental Accountability

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  • #32934 Report


    I am just wondering if other single parents encounter a similar problem; being made to feel that you are selfish for wanting the non-primary care-giver to step-up to their responsibilities…not just for the emotional wellbeing and happines of your child/ren but for your own wellbeing; why should you feel ashamed for owning up to having your own life goals, aspirations, needs etc or expecting to be considered when they making life plans that significantly impact you and your child. I am sure that there are tons of successful co-parents and I would love to be in that situation myself and it drives me insane when people essentially tell me I should just put up with sub-par (pretty non-existant) parenting.

    #32944 Report


    I’ve never had anyone tell me to just accept my ex’s ineptitude, but I know what you mean.  It’s difficult but there are benefits to being the proactive parent.

    My ex does almost nothing. This is a man who looks after ds about 35 nights a year if I push, and then complains. He forgets ds’ birthday or gets his age wrong. He complained when school dinners went up by 5p (of which he pays half).

    However, I get to choose which school, make sure ds can swim and cycle properly,  decent food (mostly) , how much screen time, because he can’t be bothered.

    I can give ds the best I can afford without ex getting in the way, and protect him from ex’s ingrained sexism.  I can’t change my ex so I try to turn parenting freedom into a positive instead.

    #32948 Report


    I totally understand what you’re saying. I’m not sure other people particularly say I should put up with my son’s dad not bothering. He last saw my son in April, and even then it was all because I pushed and he never had him on his own or overnight.

    But it’s like because he has chosen to not be around he gets to walk away from the whole responsibility and the affect on me is that I have to do everything and never get a break or any support.

    It makes me really angry actually. But I don’t seem to have any options to make his dad do anything so I don’t really know what there is to do.

    I would love to change the way this is, for everyone who is in this situation as it is the hardest thing I have ever experienced in my life.

    #32972 Report


    It actually just gives me some solace to know that other people out there are experiencing similar frustrations!

    I chose to leave the relationship nearly six years ago…a fact that my ex has repeatedly held against me…because we were making each other miserable. He proceeded to sell the flat we were living in, make me homeless, refused to pay maintenance and generally make my life as difficult as possible.

    My ex moved to Germany nearly three years ago (he gave me two weeks notice) and very rarely calls our son and only sees him about once every two months and has only had him overnight once in three years despite having a flat over here. He also comes over to the UK to visit his new wife and children and does not ask to see our son. I have never met his new wife as he likes to keep us apart and he doesn’t communicate with me at all about anything.

    Whenever I try to talk to him he just turns nasty…but he would have his family believe that he is Dad of the Year.

    When I found out that I was pregnant with my son I was in the second year of a degree, which I had to defer. My ex always knew that I had my own aspirations and as much as I love motherhood and my son it is not the only way that I define myself. I have had to pass up opportunities because of the lack of support from my ex…at the moment I have a job that as much as it’s demanding and low-paid is reasonably flexible so I can be as good as Mum as I can be for my son. I don’t have a social life and I feel pretty lonely a lot of the time. And guilty for feeling this way.

    #33005 Report


    Anyone who chooses to only see their child once every couple of months is a selfish lazy arse. You leaving didn’t make him so.

    i’ve taken close to a 40% pay cut in order to keep working while being able to do school run. I can’t do an international job anymore. Like most single parents, I am sometimes lonely although I try not to. My social life is pretty sparse. The same as you.

    All are a function of an ex who won’t do his fair share. None is a reason to feel guilty x

    #33007 Report


    I totally get what everyone is saying here, there is no equal accountability between my ex and myself. He chose not to see my son until my son is 16 because he didn’t want to abide by any court order. I actually think that he believes that when my son is 16, my son will run to him arms wide open and all the sh1t will be forgiven and forgotten, he is in for a big shock. He hasn’t seen my son for years, has nothing to do with him, has no idea what’s going on in his life just the same as a stranger would have no idea.

    So that’s the relationship he has with my son.

    I, on the other hand have a fantastic young man in my life. I watch him each day growing into a man that any mum would be super proud of. He has kindness and compassion for people. He questions things that he sees in life that are all wrong and wants to find a way to fix things for people. I really do have the better deal going on here even with the insurmountable difficulties we have had over the years, it has been very, very hard at times.


    #33025 Report


    My ex is the same. All decisions are left to me though I shouldn’t be surprised as that’s what usually happened when he lived with us.
    Our child is moving up to a new school next September and he hasn’t asked me if he can come to any of the school open days.

    He’s refused to take her to any potential after school activities that fall on his time with her. He doesn’t want to hang around or have his time with her affected which I get. He will though happily take her to gigs when he’s playing in bands. He’ll be focused on playing his instrument where our daughter will be sitting next to him or in the venue unsupervised. There have been several activities she’s gone to over the last year and he’s refused to take her and collect her or he’s swapped his weekends so I have to do the ferrying around or have my weekends and plans affected. Again, I shouldn’t be surprised as I usually did the ferrying about when he lived with us.

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