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Am I overreacting or just being a mother?

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 

My daughter is almost 4 years old.  I am a single mother and we are very bonded--family bed, baby wore, breast fed, etc.  Her dad has basically been my babysitter, only watching her when I work.  Aside from work, my daughter is with me all the time.  He's never kept her over night....

 

This past weekend, I decided I was in dire need of a break and asked him if he could make arrangements to keep our daughter for the weekend.  He said he would keep her.  I asked him what "the plan" was--where our daughter would be.  He told me our daughter was going to spend the night with him and his mother.  He told me that 5 different times. 

 

When my daughter woke up after the first night, she called me.  She woke up in a completely different place from what I was told. 

 

Because he flat out lied to me over where my daughter was sleeping, I was filled with anger and picked my daughter up early.  I didn't appreciate being lied to--I want to KNOW where my daughter is. 

 

Nothing is legal.  Everything has been civil and in the eyes of the law, I am the ONLY parent (he hasn't signed birth cert. or anything).  He told me, "I don't have to clear anything with you.  She's my daughter....."  

 

I'm easy to get along with.  I've compromised with him on everything and have been as nice as I can be.  For him to just LIE to me about the whereabouts of my daughter has really upset me.  (It was her first time with him over night....it was new for everyone and hard on me even though I really needed a break). 

 

So?  Did I overreact or was I just being a mother who is highly bonded with her daughter (one who has never left home before)? 

post #2 of 52

I don't think you're over-reacting.  I wouldn't trust a person who lied to me about where they were taking my child.  It's possible there is some rational explanation for the change of plan, but if that's the case, it should have been really easy for him to inform you, and he did not. 

 

I don't know where he stands in the eyes of the law if he isn't on the birth certificate, but I wouldn't leave your dd in his care again until you have a legal agreement about physical and legal custody. 

post #3 of 52

nm


Edited by ElliesMomma - 5/28/11 at 11:47pm
post #4 of 52

Where did he take her?  I guess it would depend where it was...what the situation that led them to staying there...did the plan change late after you were already in bed and he didn't want to wake you?  Was it a truly dangerous place? Or just not where you expected? Was your daughter upset? I think it's probably minimalizing her dad's role to say 'just a babysitter'. Would you call a SAHM 'just a babysitter' to her child?

 

I think it's probably a big jump to never let him see her again or change the arrangement drastically. I think I'd go with her reaction as well, if she wasn't upset, then I'd not feel quite so upset myself. If it was a safe and fine place, but just not what I expected, I'd talk to her father after I cooled down and let him know that it was shocking to you to have the plan changed at the last minute. That you overreacted and you'd like to discuss plans for future overnights. Because if she was safe and well, IMO you did overreact, you trust him to keep her, so you need to trust his judgement on safety unless he's shown himself untrustworthy and that's another issue entirely.

 

I think your reaction was perfectly natural given your relationship with your daughter, but might have been overreacting depending on the above.

post #5 of 52

I'd be peeved if my husband did that to me without good reason, and some would consider him to be the 'primary' caregiver these days.

post #6 of 52
Thread Starter 

Thank you for all the input.  He is a liar.  Plain and simple.  The man doesn't know how to tell the truth.  When I say he's basically been her baby sitter, I meant--that's the amount of time he's spent with her.  He's never taken her for leisure time....only when I need him to watch her.  He's her babysitter in that respect.  He's never asked to take her to a movie on a Friday night.  Never asked to take her to the park on a beautiful day.  Nothing....he only takes her when I work.

 

My daughter was safe and secure.  She was fine but missed me.  She slept in bed with his wife.  I'm perfectly okay with knowing that she WAS cared for.  I'm okay that his wife slept with her--she was the substitue mom.  My daughter doesn't really care for him but absolutely loves his wife.  I guess he and his wife are having issues and they've been sleeping separately and he's been spending time at him mom's house--which is where I was told my daughter would be.

 

If he would have told me "We'll be at my wife's house", I would have been okay.  But he deliberatly lied to me (like always) and that's what really irritates me.  I'm her mother and I feel that I have a right to know where my daughter will be sleeping.

 

I've been more than nice to him concerning everything.  He pays me child support but not nearly what he should be.  I let it slide.  Everything can remain civil and happy and out of court (he will owe a ton of money---half of medical bills, child support not paid, lawyer fees, etc).  All he has to do is keep mama happy.  Something as simple as telling me where my daughter will be sleeping?  I don't really get it.  Instead of saying something like, "I'm sorry.  I didn't know how important it was to you.....", his testosterone gets testosterone  gets the best of him and only makes matters worse. 

 

This past weekend was a huge milestone for everyone.  And a stupid lie on his part has us fighting.  He's too arrogant to see it from my view--a mother's view.  Our daughter has only known one home.  She's slept with me every night since birth.  Although I desperately did need a break, it wasn't the easiest thing to do.  And to wake up in the morning and discover the lie?  Well, it just set me off.

 

He's a control freak, possessive, emotional abuser, etc.  If I spent the night somewhere with our daughter and didn't inform him, I'd have hell to pay with him.  He's scared away 2 potential dates of mine---showed up at their job and threatened them to stay away from me and his daughter.  He denies it and "I'm crazy".....but two completely different dates saying the same thing?  Anyway, the point is...I give him the "respect" of giving him play-by-play's concerning our daughter.  But according to him, he doesn't need to do the same.  This is MY baby, you know?  He's never been a "parent".  Everything has been on me all these years...and I'm okay with that.  So, the first time I wave the white flag and need a break...I'd at least like to know where my child is sleeping.  But maybe I did over-react.  He'll never apologize.  If I was wrong, I will apologize and make the waters calm again.

post #7 of 52

I'm having trouble getting past the "just a babysitter" remark and thinking about your reaction. My husband watches our kids when I work, but he's certainly not "just a babysitter." And when my step-daughter was little we arranged the custody schedule around her mom's work schedule for mom's convenience because we had that flexibility and she didn't... but my husband certainly was not "just a babysitter." Watching her at a time that is convenient for you doesn't make him a bad dad, in my opinion... and taking on daily responsibility for a child who he has no legal responsibility to certainly doesn't make him a bad dad either. 

 

So I don't know whether you over-reacted because I'm having a hard time understanding what his role really is in your daughter's life, from her perspective and from his. Does he care for her every day? Has he been doing it for four years? 

 

And, like others, it would help to know where they did sleep... there's a big difference between "he left her with his friend's wife who she's never met while they went out drinking all night" and "they ended up staying at his sister's house because she was having so much fun playing with her cousins and didn't want to leave."

post #8 of 52

If he's just your babysitter - how much do you pay him to watch your child?

 

Seriously - he's her father. Once the legalities come into play, he will not be required to tell you where he takes the child.

post #9 of 52

Well, I can see both sides.  If he is actually spending every day with her while you work, it seems he is involved with her life to a pretty strong degree, no?  So despite not having overnights, he is acting as her father.  Is there a reason he is not on the birth certificate?  My dp certainly doesn't have to tell his ex where we are during our time with her, although we do let her know for the most part if we will be out of town and vice versa with her.  But, she trusts him with dsd so it is not an issue really. 

 

I can see why you were upset not knowing where your dd was-I would be too if I felt I was lied to about my childrens' whereabouts.  Since this was the first overnight, I think it would have gone a long way to show respect to you to let you know what they were doing and where they were, even with just a quick text, but in the future, no, I don't feel like he would have to necessarily tell you what they are up to when it is his time with his daughter, assuming he really is an involved parent.

 

So yes, you may have overreacted slighlty, and yes, you are just acting like a mother :)   Would he respond to respectfully asking if you could be informed if dd is not going to be staying where he initially told you? Are you guys planning more overnights and a regular custody agreement in the future?  One of the scariest parts of being ina blended family, I think, is giving up control of your kids (not in a freaky controlling way of course, just in terms of what they do, what they are exposed to, etc.) when they are not with you.  So it is normal to feel a bit freaked out about not being "in charge" of your daughter all the time when that is what you are used to.

post #10 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by ButterflyBaby11 View Post

My daughter is almost 4 years old.  I am a single mother and we are very bonded--family bed, baby wore, breast fed, etc.  Her dad has basically been my babysitter, only watching her when I work.  Aside from work, my daughter is with me all the time.  He's never kept her over night....

 

This past weekend, I decided I was in dire need of a break and asked him if he could make arrangements to keep our daughter for the weekend.  He said he would keep her.  I asked him what "the plan" was--where our daughter would be.  He told me our daughter was going to spend the night with him and his mother.  He told me that 5 different times. 

 

When my daughter woke up after the first night, she called me.  She woke up in a completely different place from what I was told. 

 

Because he flat out lied to me over where my daughter was sleeping, I was filled with anger and picked my daughter up early.  I didn't appreciate being lied to--I want to KNOW where my daughter is. 

 

Nothing is legal.  Everything has been civil and in the eyes of the law, I am the ONLY parent (he hasn't signed birth cert. or anything).  He told me, "I don't have to clear anything with you.  She's my daughter....."  

 

I'm easy to get along with.  I've compromised with him on everything and have been as nice as I can be.  For him to just LIE to me about the whereabouts of my daughter has really upset me.  (It was her first time with him over night....it was new for everyone and hard on me even though I really needed a break). 

 

So?  Did I overreact or was I just being a mother who is highly bonded with her daughter (one who has never left home before)? 

He is not the babysitter, he is the child's father. Yes, you overreacted. He is right, he does not have to clear anything with you if there was a change of plan about the sleeping arrangements.  It is HIS DAUGHTER, not just your daughter. The eyes of the law can be changed with a DNA test, so that means nothing. You owe him an apology.

 

post #11 of 52

You were absolutely right.  He LIED to you and didn't tell you were your child was sleeping - worse since this was the first time.  I agree with PP that since he can't be trusted and lies on a consistent basis that it's time to take him to court and make it legal.  I personally, would also remind him that in the eyes of the law (at this point) she's YOUR daughter and that he does have to tell you were she is because he has NO legal rights to her.  (Based on the assumption you've not had a DNA test done and he is not on the birth certificate.)  I would (politely) remind him that he has a wonderful situation at the moment and if you are made to feel like you can't trust him with your daughter, that you'll need to make a legal arrangement.

post #12 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post

If he's just your babysitter - how much do you pay him to watch your child?

 

Seriously - he's her father. Once the legalities come into play, he will not be required to tell you where he takes the child.



I'm not exactly sure how true this is.  My son's father has good visitation, but I have sole custody, and I have the RIGHT to know where my child is.  I don't get to say "No you may not take ds to grandma's house" but I have the right to know when ds spends the night there.  Just like my ds's dad has the right to know when we travel out of state to visit my family - for practical reasons if nothing else, in case of emergency, etc.

 

And, its not like he has to tell me every time he goes to the store, park, bank, whatever - but my lawyer made very clear to me that I have the right to know where visitation is taking place.  So I do ask, I don't tell him "no" - I just ask where it is happening.  If I found out that I was being lied to I would also be LIVID, and may seek to have it included in our custody order that he is to tell me where visitation is happening.

post #13 of 52

do you know why the plan changed? perhaps your dd, if she prefers your exes wife to him, asked to spend the night with her, and your ex didnt think to call you to clear it first. there could be many scenarios that dont necesarily make him an out right liar, kwim.perhaps not exactly responsible or understanding of your need to know where your dd is, but still he is her father and according to the law, i am not sure in the states if it is the same as here in canada, he would have the legal right to do with her what he would when he has his access time. unless of course it endangered your dd.

 

maybe you two ought to sit down with some sort of mediator and see if  you cant iron out small details like this if he is going to be having over nights now that she is getting older. here there are court mediators who will do it for free, if you are in the states then i am not sure what the process is, but i would check it out and have an order drawn up. not only for  your protection, but for your dd's right to be supported financially by her father,should he be in a position to afford it. you can not get an family order here without c/s being addressed and dealt with.

 

good luck to you

 

vs

post #14 of 52

i dunno. if he is "just a babysitter" then what would you do if it was any other person... figure out if you still trusted this person and kept them on or decided that they were more than likely to do it again and fire them. imo the way you scolded him about his child sleeping over somewhere safe is probably just going to make him "defy" you and more likely to do it again. so i guess you can figure out if you want to deal with that or not.

post #15 of 52

 

"He's a control freak, possessive, emotional abuser, etc."

 

If you truly believe this, then MOVE. It's a real pity that you took money from him, and even more of a pity that you used him for childcare, but you can't undo those mistakes. What you CAN do is find a way out of this dynamic. Can you provoke him into a public display of temper and get a restraining order? Or will it be sufficient to tell him that you've gotten a great job offer 100 miles away, won't need any support anymore, looking forward to sending DD for visits as usual, and then you just never do? You know this guy, so you know best what will work. Perhaps a lawyer sending him a letter explaining how much he'll owe in back support if he establishes legal paternity? 

 

Bottom line: if he's an abuser, he has no place in your child's life, and you need to become independent of him ASAP. 

post #16 of 52
Thread Starter 

Hmmm.  Well, I appreciate all the input.  I guess it's hard for outsiders to fully grasp our particular situation.  I've talked to several mom's and they all support my side of this.  I didn't care where he had her, I just wanted to know where my child would be sleeping. 

 

He is an active dad.  He does keep her when I'm working.  He does give me a small portion of child support.  That doesn't make him a good dad.  His idea of "fatherhood" is to sit on his butt and watch the women in his life take care of his daughter. 

 

One my right hand, I can count how many times I've had a sitter and gone out for a "girl's night out" since becoming a mother.  On my left hand, I can count how many times he's given his daughter a bath.  Pathetic, no?  So, although he's "with" our daughter, he doesn't care for her.  His wife takes care of our daughter.  My daughter loves his wife and I'm happy that they have a wonderful relationship.  She has more of a relationship with his wife than she does with him. 

 

I told him I didn't care where my daughter was over the weekend.  I specifically asked him where she would be.  He specifically told me 5 different times where my child would be.  He lied and did whatever he wanted to do.  That's not cool with this mama.  Sorry.  9 out of 10 mom's agree with me (not on this site but in real life).  But I do appreciate all of your input, gives me a different perspective to think about.   

 

post #17 of 52

So what you really wanted was validation of your opinion, oops! Probably 9 out of 10 people in real life agree with you, because they are your friends.  The nice thing about a forum is that we don't 'know' you and we're giving you a real world opinion.

 

Personally, from what you've presented here, it sounds like you would one hard person to co-parent with. Constantly belittling your co-parent's inputs into your daughters life. Unless you are there every moment with them, I cannot imagine you have very much insight into what goes on when he has her.

 

To me as an outsider, the fact that he takes her, pay child support (no matter how small), and makes her a part of his life shows that he committed to his daughter. I'm sure a court would see it the same way, and many people here would love to have as much support from their child's father/mother as well as the step-parent.  

post #18 of 52

I guess my feeling is that he isn't just a babysitter, he's the dad, and so long as he didn't take her somewhere irresponsible, which it sounds like he didn't, it should be OK.  She was safe in his care, and it seems like his plans could change and that shouldn't be a problem, so long as he is responsbile about where he takes her.  Even if he just changes his mind.

post #19 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrunchyClark View Post

 

To me as an outsider, the fact that he takes her, pay child support (no matter how small), and makes her a part of his life shows that he committed to his daughter. I'm sure a court would see it the same way, and many people here would love to have as much support from their child's father/mother as well as the step-parent.  


I agree with this.  However, I do believe that you have the right to know where your child is - if for nothing other than practical reasons.  I think you may have over-reacted by picking her up early, but theres nothing you can do about that now.

post #20 of 52
Quote:
View Post

 

 

Bottom line: if he's an abuser, he has no place in your child's life, and you need to become independent of him ASAP. 



Totally agree.

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