Unreasonable dad

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  • #64589 Report

    Chase42
    Participant

    been trying to co parent for over a year and a half now and feel drained. Have tried to be reasonable my ex lives with his friend so he comes here 3/4 times a week to see his son but doesn’t help much other than playing with the little one whilst on his phone. He takes him for a few hours on a Saturday but always hides behind his family never has him alone and rarely takes him to where he lives. He’s been out loads over Christmas and has been self isolating  as the person he lives with tested positive he’s tested negative however he was out in a pub yesterday yet again in the meantime I’ve had 5 days dealing with a sick 2 year old. He can’t understand why I’ve kicked off after seeing Facebook post of him being out. I’m tired of the situation it’s making me ill I feel so alone and a failure. I haven’t been out in 3 years and I feel like he’s just getting a kick out of the whole situation. He rarely admits he is wrong and is manipulative and controlling in his behaviour advice and help much appreciated.

    #64591 Report

    Hi sorry to hear you’re going through a rough time. It’s taken 4 years for coparenting to go smoothly with us. It takes its toll I know. Maybe mediation could help you in the concerns you have. With regards to him going to the pub but not seeing your child he may not care about potentially spreading it to people there and obviously doesn’t want to spread it to you or your child. The only way we managed to stop other parent feeling control was through mediation and also child maintenance. Maybe you can request that he has him overnight even if it’s once a month for one night just to give you some time to recharge and decompress. I know it must annoy you that he hides behind his family but maybe look at it as a positive that you know that your boy is being cared for by more experienced people than his father since he spends alot of time with his family when he has your child they may not have an issue him spending the night.

    #64592 Report

    Chase42
    Participant

    Thank you for your response. I appreciate what you have to say and I know that my reaction to him going out again is the result of a long hard week. I feel like I’m just stuck in this awful situation just existing and not living. I love my little boy to pieces but he’s definitely in the terrible twos and it’s hard work and I’m finding myself not getting out like I used to as it’s easier to stay in which is not helping. I’ve been to mummy groups have made acquaintances but not friends and I just can’t shake the lonely feeling. I really do appreciate your message offering a positive perspective. I think I’m carrying a lot of hurt and anger and like you say am having no time to recharge. No one has had him over night for me as yet. Sorry this sounds like a pity party!

    #64593 Report

    *deleted user*
    Participant

    It is definitely very tired dealing with a sick child, and from expereince one of the toughest things about being a single parent so no wonder you are feeling drained.

    The only thing I can suggest is to work on your own boundaries a bit more and how you would like your life to be.

    I’m not sure I would feel happy about ex coming over three times a week and that time being relatively ‘unstructured’ iykwim.

    Would it help at all if you actually asked your ex to do certain things specifically? I’m thinking if your kid’s bedroom needs painting etc? Just as an example? Overnight once a month is not too much to ask either. At the moment it sounds like you have twenty four seven responsiblity and no respite as it were.

    Tend to agree with previous poster about the grandparents. Sounds like ex is either not yet mature enough to step up as a dad, or alternatively may even not feel confident enough to be a hands on dad.

    It it is the latter that is the case, then giving specific requests i.e an outing to the park/taking to a kid’s club/ might help build confidence?

    #64594 Report

    Chase42
    Participant

    When he comes he’s always tired lays on the floor work phone in hand and it makes me feel claustrophobic and anxious. Let’s me feed him, bath him still etc. You’re right i feel like ive lost myself doing everything to please everyone else and very little to please me. He makes me feel like the unreasonable one calls me a victim and shows vert little understanding as to how hard it is. Your advice is very helpful feel better knowing that I’m not alone having posted on here

    #64595 Report

    You’re allowed to feel this way ❤️ it’s OK and I can promise you that this feeling doesn’t last forever. I fully understand. I have a 7 and a 2 year old. Sometimes you just need to feel like you and not ‘mummy’ we all get that feeling its normal and no amount of mummy and toddler groups will help that unfortunately you need you time. I’d really consider getting the dad to have him overnight even if it starts with once a month like I said previously. You can’t be the best you if you have the weight of the world on your shoulders and when you haven’t had some you time. When he comes to visit him during the week make it a habit of leaving him with him if you can and going out even just for a walk or something to get abit of alone time. I had no friends with my first child I lost them all when I had him as none of my friends had children. It’s a hard transition and you hear about and don’t think it’s going to happen to you. Then it does. And it’s normal to resent dad as his life hasn’t really changed much. It’s yours that’s completely different and it can be the loneliest feeling ever.

    #64596 Report

    Chase42
    Participant

    thank you that really touched a nerve. Had tears reading it I guess am acknowledging I’m reaching my limit as a 42 year old mum I never envisaged it being like this and like you say you imagine things being so different. I haven’t gone down the CSA route but fir the first time I’m considering as I feel like in need some structure and stability and not just giving into his every whim when he decides he wants to see him. I feel so torn I never wanted it to be like this and I’m trying to do my best by ny little one x

    #64597 Report

    *deleted user*
    Participant

    Hey sounds like you are doing very well actually. Though you might not feel as if you are, as it is very fast paced with a todller. Thinking back I was exactly 42 as well when mine were that age. Now mine is sixteen and funnily enough there are a lot of similarities with toddlers! Striving for independence etc!

    I think single parenting is vastly different from living in a nuclear family i.e mum dad and kids. I do believe it can be a lot more rewarding, but at the same time challenging as well. My feeling is you kind of grow through the challenges, doing things that you never thought you would be able to do – and suddenly stand at the end of a phase or task and think ‘wow, I did that!’. That’s a nice feeling.

    Having said that, there is little out there about what single parenting really feels like and what might help. Society is really not set up for us, so it is kind of like we have to create our own society as things go on.

    One thing that helped is the following: trying to live life with little ‘windows’ of time and space for me – which occur at regular intervals.

    Previous poster suggested one – i.e when ex comes round, go out, take yourself out for a walk…one of my favourites is taking myself out for a coffee and dare I say it cake or similar. The very act of being waited on is very important for me, because in my day to day life no one even makes me a cup of tea and says ‘oh, here you are love, rest your legs’…

    Sure, teenager givees me a hug and asks me how my day went but at that age, (like toddlers) they really don’t ‘see’ you – it is not intentional but just that they are so wrapped up in their world it doesn’t occur to them. Makes sense?

    So here I am DD is sixteen and the ‘windows’ that I tried to create for myself are still there, but some of them as for all of us no doubt sadly curtailed by changes in the pandemic. March 2020 for example she had got a scholarship for performing arts on a Saturday morning. That was fab for me as she was doing something really enriching, interstings and when she came home all I had to deal with was ‘tired’ and ‘hungry’. And tired and hungry is relatively straightforward isn’t it? Kind of along the lines of okay, get food ready, put them to bed….

    But groups for young people shut down over the pandemic and my ‘windows’ became more difficult to access. So now it is about being inventive and creative about finding them again.

    They will be different for toddlers obviously, but perhaps you get what I mean! Soft play in one of those centres is probably one of them, with time to have a cuppa with fellow parents whilst keeping an eye on them. Time after they go to bed…etc.

    Sounds like you are actually doing a good job negotiating with ex. also. It can be so hard and we are all in different circumstances as single parents. Some widowed, some seperated, some with amicable divorce, some where the conflict is so high it is almost impossible to cooparent. Some having left domestic abuse circumstances, some no doubt where their partner is entirely absent or gone to prison even etc.

    But the fact is we are one in four of parent numbers as a whole. Some very famous people were raised in singel parent families and thrived i.e Barack Obama.

    it is worth remembering this. So hang in there. Pandemic added to single parenting is not an easy ride.

    I’m feeling so tired today – no particular reason even, mine had mock exams before christmas and they went really well and I’m pleased but my own goals and interests seem to have taken a back seat again, so time to work on those ‘windows’ again. for myself. Guess writing here is a ‘window’ too.

    all best

    ww.

    #64599 Report

    Chase42
    Participant

    Thank you for your support and I definitely need to focus more on me. You’re right, writing on here and feeling supported makes a world of difference. Thank you everybody for your input. Don’t suppose anyone is based near Barnsley South Yorkshire???

    #64601 Report

    GingerbreadHelen
    Keymaster

    Hi @chase42, I’m a moderator on the forum and read your post and the helpful guidance from other parents. I just wanted to let you know about this information on our website which you may find useful: Contact Arrangements – Gingerbread

    #64630 Report

    I really hope you feel better. If you ever need a chat just look for my profile on here and message me. I’ve been through difficult situations with difficult coparents. And sympathise completely. Please don’t hesitate to message me. It’s never good feeling alone and like no one understands you ❤️ xx

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)

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