Kids prefer weekends at dads because he’s fun!

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  • #41935 Report

    Ok so I have 5 kids (and am pregnant). Four to my first husband. Two to my second husband. I work 28-30 hours a week. When I’m home I have lots of housework/phone calls/bills/errands to catch up on including home schooling during this current pandemic.
    My older 4 love going to their dads and keep begging me to go. The youngest is only 3 and keeps asking to go to ‘daddy’s house’.

    I feel like I’m the boring parent – I don’t have time to play much or even relax and be fun because I’m too busy working to provide and shopping/cooking/cleaning etc Whereas my kids dads just do all the fun stuff like going places and playing!

    Also the older kids dad takes no responsibility so when the kids went there for a week during lockdown he didn’t make them do schoolwork, they don’t do chores, don’t have a set bedtime and generally eat junk! The younger kids dad has him whilst I work but he doesn’t work, has no other kids or responsibilities so again can just focus on quality time and having fun!

    I’m currently sat in my bedroom crying about the unfairness of it all – it’s been the second time this week I’ve been really upset over it.

    I obviously have to work to provide and do all other chores and I know it’s in the kids best interests to make them do schoolwork, chores and have a good routine with healthy eating but I feel like my kids hate me because I’m no fun!

    Please help!


    #44174 Report



    this is a constant thing between their mother and me. I do my best but it is never good enough. Of course, I do homework with the kids, I cook and I also remind them of their responsibilities doing things in the house. I work and have to organize my household as well. But in her view it is all junk food, unhealthy eating, computer games 24/7 and generally me being a bad parent. I listen to them, make compromises, which means the washing up can wait if necessary, a fish and chips from time to time is ok and if we have been out and about for hours, McDonald will do and there is no need for me to spend another hour in the kitchen when everyone is tired and hungry. We have breakfast in bed while watching YouTube videos on a Sunday, and we love playing Minecraft on the PC and plants v zombies on the phone but all in good measure. Eldest one loads and unloads the washing machine regularly and is responsible for the bathroom. Little one has to do his homework and clean his shoes. He helps in the kitchen sometimes. So maybe if you take a closer look at what really happens, you will find out it is not all fun and games. Maybe just a little more compromise.

    #44205 Report


    I completely understand you Kim.

    my boy is the same. He goes to his dads and it’s all McDonald’s and pizza, computer games and basically doing as he pleases. Not only does he have more time for this (whilst i struggle with the everyday monotony – he is a holiday only dad), he is a lot better off financially than me so can afford to do it and provide things that I just can’t.Midyou find an answer, I’d love it if you could share because it is really upsetting.

    #44208 Report


    I’m new to this life of separation and experiencing similar. My wife is the main earner and has moved out with the new dipstick.

    Two things I’m noticing … firstly, almost every ‘contact visit’ involves ordering new gifts for the kids. It’s getting beyond a joke and they must think Christmas Day has become three times weekly. Guilt no doubt.

    Secondly, I’m noticing how my relationship, although getting stronger than ever, involves all the boring nasty stuff like ‘clean your teeth’, ‘do your reading’, ‘tidy your room’. The kids are very little so need constant reminders. Combine that with the loss and confusion they must be feeling, it leaves me looking like the nasty one.

    im just trying to keep a level head, knowing when they find out the full truth of the situation I’m going to have two of the best friendships in my life. I don’t mean that vindictively and I won’t steer them that way. I just know how it’s likely to end up in the long run.

    #44297 Report


    Its actually good the kids enjoy themselves regardless where this is – I dont have that luxury !

    After my divorce I found my relationship with all three children strengthen as I became full time house keeper/worker Dad rather than fun at the weekend dad.

    Its not easy, and you cannot do everything on your own. But as a team you can make a difference.

    Firstly we share the jobs, involve the children in as much as possible and makes it fun. Its great learning experience, plus they understand that them leaving a mess means more cleaning later for them. Every mistake is a chance to laugh and I make allot.

    Sure I do the lion share of work but any help they give is returned with praise. Star charts work a treat as well with a prize at the end. Cleaning rotas can work well if they are fair.

    I feel also many single parents try to be “perfect”, perfect clean house, perfect kids etc to prove something to their ex or friends.

    For me the house is clean enough, Kids health and happiness is more important. Make time to play games together and time for everyone to discuss their issues and to be alone.

    Don’t try to be perfect, just be a parent – they will love you.

    Good luck, It isn’t easy but its worth it.

    #44299 Report


    I think sometimes we absorb too much off what the other parent is doing and it’s leading us off our own track. The fact that you are crying shows how much commitment you have got for the up bringing of your children, hold your head up high lady, deep breath. Be proud! You are keeping your children safe, warm, feed etc.. And doing as a parent should, we just need to step aside and focus on what we are doing and not what’s happening at dad’s.

    Its frustrating I know as you feel, there’s always something, to sort or fix.

    #44300 Report


    Hi 👋

    firstly big big hug. You sound like you have a lot on your plate so I hope you are trying to take care of you as well as everyone else.

    I understand your situation but I understand it from his side too. My step daughter (me and ex are separated but I have a good relationship with her still) used to come to us every other weekend. We would make a big fuss of her – go out for days out, have movie nights etc. This is because we didn’t get to see her the rest of the time. We made the most of the time we had with her and missed her the times we didn’t. Yes, she was expected to live by our rules (in terms of behaviour) but ultimately, when it’s only one or two nights a week you can’t realistically treat them the same way you would when they live with you full time because the time you get with them is that much more precious. I suspect this is what your ex is doing. Yes, he gets the ‘fun bits’ but I suspect he would take the ‘boaring bits’ if he could have them live with him.

    Now we are separated my ex gets the ‘fun bits’, but I don’t begrudge him that. I get to spend every day with them even if it is for the school run and homework. They love both of us and I am confident, as they get older, they will appreciate what I do for them.

    I am sure your children love both of you and enjoy their time with both of you. I suspect they ask to see their dad because they miss him and that’s ok, they still love you and probably miss and ask for you when they are with him.

    Depending on how your relationship is with your ex (I am fortunate to have a good one with mine) then maybe talk about how your feeling with him, he may be able to take it into account and reassure you that they enjoy their time with you too.

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