My ex partner and I separated June last year. We have 2 boys aged 8 and 11 that live with me.
The set up since day one is (which he devised and I had no choice but to agree) to see the boys once a week, every Saturday 9am til 8pm. No evenings, no Sundays, no bank holidays, no extra in the holidays. I work every Saturday and a day or two in the week that fits in with school hrs. I’m either working or raising my boys on my own.
On the rare occasion he has had them out of his made up contract hours. In the 15 months we have been separated, he has had them overnight 5times, he has babysat til 11pm on 2 evenings. He see’s it as doing me ‘a favour’. He lives a 7min drive away in the next estate and works a 9 til 5 office job about 10 mins away.
He lives at home with his mum, stepdad and sister but has no intentions of getting his own place (he’s 42). The reason he can’t have the boys overnight is there isn’t enough space there (it’s a 3 bed house). I have suggested he could deduct £30 from maintenance and get a cheap Travel lodge room for them to stay in once a month. He declined but it turns out he had booked one for him and his girlfriend to stay in though.
He doesn’t contact the boys in the week. During lockdown he facetimed his girlfriend everyday but not once made the effort to facetime his children. They facetimed him on the odd occasion.
I just want to know what other people think of this set up? It frustrates me so so bad. It’s like he’s not bothered about seeing his children. If I was to go to a mediator could I get him to have his children more often? I’m just so exhausted. I have no social life at all. I feel I’m putting in 90% and hes putting in 10%. Is this what co-parenting is about?
No, that doesn’t sound fair at all. It should really be an agreement of what’s best for the children, not what suits the ex.
I know it’s easier said than done, but he shouldn’t be dictating to you when he has them. I haven’t gone down the mediation route, yet, but it may come to that at some point with regards to schooling etc. I have more or less been dictated to as to what was happening with regards to childcare, but luckily it was what I wanted anyway, so I don’t want to come across patronising by saying you shouldn’t let him dictate.
We do coparent, and have our lad 50/50 the most part. I generally have him more as she works night shifts. It’s complicated our set up as there are loads of variables involved. It allows her to work full time hours, and because Im a tradesman, I’ve had to cut hours considerably. But it has allowed me a lot more time with my boy.