Teenage kids – Childcare for ex or Dad time for them?
6 February 2021 at 9:27 pm #49181
I’m divorced from the Mum of my teenage children. They live with their Mum about 40 miles away. I see the kids every other weekend and have a great relationship with them. We’ve had the every other weekend arrangement since we first split and it works well. I see my time with my kids as good for our relationships. My ex sees it as me providing her with a break. This means I often get asked to have them additional days (I have to pick them up) The issue is that I no longer see it as my role to provide childcare for her. I see my role as to be Dad to the kids and I’m happy to see them extra at an arrangement between me and them. She gets very angry and tells me I’m not prioritising them when I say I can’t see them on her terms. I’m getting better at handling this but I just wondered whether I’m alone in experiencing this….. and am I being unfair?
6 February 2021 at 10:11 pm #49184
- This topic was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by DampNek.
a lot of dads do not have a reasonable ex. for example if I want an extra night with the kids, I would have to apply to court. you shouldn’t think of it as giving your ex a break. just check your situation, like what your schedule is with work and if you have any free time to see them.6 February 2021 at 11:07 pm #49190
Depends on so many details.I’m not saying this IS the case but if you chose to leave Her and she wasn’t happy then why should you not give her a break if she is the main parent and probably tired? If it was an amicable split then whatever suits you both, makes sense.What I cannot get my head round is why a lot of men seem to think that when they’ve had enough they can walk out and look for greener pastures and the mess they’ve left behind is not their responsibility -until they’re missing the kids or scared the kids are going to forget them,and suddenly want them here or there a bit.(Till the next big distraction comes along).Anyway why do you see it as ‘providing childcare for her’, what’s wrong with helping out with the kids ,they’re Your kids as well arent they?6 February 2021 at 11:25 pm #49191
When they are teenage their needs are different. They are old enough to be left home alone for a time. I believe that Dads should definitely do everything they can to father their children. The point that I was trying to raise was to do with being a non-residential parent to older teenage children. We’re now at a stage where the focus has shifted from sharing childcare to support my ex with young children to now continuing to develop relationships with older teenagers.
As time goes on the role of the non-residential parent evolves and the purpose begins to turn away from being immediate support of the ex as the kids start to need input of a different kind.
Post divorce you cannot be expected to be at the beck and call of your ex. A good parent will always be available for their kids but is no longer accountable to their ex-spouse.6 February 2021 at 11:39 pm #49192
I hate to have to say this but I’ve been the single mum of my kids for nearly 10 years.I’ve done this with a 1 year old and all the stages through up to teenagers and I’m sorry to break this to you, but the teenagers can be as much work as the babies and usually more stressful.Give her a break if you get the chance.What’s the worse that can happen? She might be grateful and your kids might have a better mother. Sadly as long as the kids are living under her roof you are going to have more of a connection than you would probably like.7 February 2021 at 12:03 am #49193
ps: I’m just thinking….I don’t know what arrangements you make with them,but from being the main carer/parent from my point of view it’s really hard to run a home in an organized fashion if the outside parent is going to make private arrangements with the kids without asking or even warning her beforehand.It is also disrespectful and teaches the kids to disrespect her.7 February 2021 at 2:53 am #49200
Sorry Dampnek – I do feel you are being unfair. It saddens me that you feel seeing your kids more than 2 days every fortnight is providing your ex with childcare – they are your kids! -,& that you seem to resent having to drive the 40 miles to pick them up. If you want to see them more frequently, & evidently your ex seems to be happy for you to do so (& who can blame her!) then you should arrange that with her & the kids, & not just sort it out with the kids without any reference to her. The kids will forget to tell her for one, & also as the main carer, your ex has very little opportunity to pursue other interests without the kids at home – she may want to make other plans if she knows you are having the kids. Or she may already have made her own plans to do something with the kids, or they may already have something on which they’ve forgotten about, like homework or guitar lessons or something. I’m speaking from experience here.
I am the main carer of 2 teenagers & have had this exact same scenario with my ex. He seemed to feel he could just collect the kids as & when he liked without any prior arrangement with me, & I can tell you it is extremely frustrating when I have bought & prepared meals for 3 in advance & then suddenly he arrives & the kids go off with him, leaving me unexpectedly on my own. Or when he turns up & they can’t go & then I’m left to deal with the aftermath.
Some simple courteous communication before making any arrangements avoids these unnecessary problems & makes all your lives easier.7 February 2021 at 1:40 pm #49210
I’m a newbie and just read this. I’m a single parent of 2 (now teens), have been for 10 years. Original arrangement was for children to see father every other weekend and one evening in the week for a whole 3 hours. More often than not the ex has not stuck to arrangement, only sees them when it suits, will drop them if he has other plans himself. I’ve not been able to plan things for myself or rely on him. I’ve begged him to help more as I often struggle with health conditions and isolation. I often think it would be a lot easier if he just didn’t bother at all. He’s a very selfish man putting his own needs before his childrens. He has no interest in providing any extra support. Fortnightly has seemed to much to expect. Any father who keeps to their word is a good father in my eyes7 February 2021 at 2:51 pm #49211
Ahh no no my dear 12345,
There is a little misunderstanding here;
You need to see that once your ex left you he also dropped any obligations he had towards his children.From then on he only has rights.And your purpose is to make sure he gets his rights.As you will read a lot on this forum(tho there are a few exceptions),if you are not allowing him to continue his life unhindered by his kids- who he will profess to love so deeply (from a distance of course),then you will be branded ‘unreasonable’.Forget the fact that you may have had to leave a job you enjoyed and live on a reduced budget,forget the fact that he might pay maintenance…….or not.Forget that he is free to pursue any interest he has, untrammeled by the need for childcare or having to fit his wants or needs around other people’s needs first,and please do forget the misery or trauma he left behind for you to deal with sometimes daily…not to mention various therapy bills or the fact that for months at a time downtime for you may be but a dream. dumdumderdum….and if you don’t we can always go back to court in your spare time.And when he meets his latest love interest be prepared for him to forget his ‘rights’.And silly old me thought both parents were equally responsible for the kids they created together.
But saying that, there are (probably) reasonable/unreasonable individuals on both sides of the divide.7 February 2021 at 4:36 pm #49216
Yes I expect there are many cases where a father puts his own needs and wellbeing above that of his childrens. And have no consequences for their behaviour. I don’t believe in Karma any more