I've never posted here before, but I have a problem that is two fold, so I will try to keep it as short as possible. Number one is with my ex, and number two is with my family. A little background: I have a 2.5 year old daughter with my ex (still my husband, but we have been separated for 11 months), and I am 26 weeks pregnant, but this isn't my ex's child. I really wasn't the best wife, and he wasn't the best husband, but we both love our daughter with all of our hearts, and she is number one for both of us, so that makes getting along easy.
1. When we first got pregnant with our daughter, we agreed on attachment parenting, very gentle discipline, and following her lead. I am very calm with her and take a natural approach to teaching her the way, but I think that he takes it to the extreme. This may be a little different than many of ya'll situations, but my ex is the most GD, AP person, I think, in the universe. If she is doing something that he doesn't like, he will calmly explain that he would rather her not do that. I would like her to know some boundaries, but it is really hard to follow without him reinforcing. I say that sometimes, you have to take the lead and just say no to her, but he says that she knows how he feels, and if she decides not to choose to do what he says, then we need to respect her as an individual that can make her own decisions. Needless to say, I disagree with the idea that a two year old can make fully informed, rational decisions. I have tried to get on the same page as him, but he believes so strongly in her rights as a person, that I think he forgets about our rights as her parents to teach her. I think that his way isn't teaching her compromise or respect. I respect her as a person, but I also would like to teach her that respect is a two way street and that to be honored, you have to honor others. I'm not saying that she should act in a specific way right now, I'm just trying to plant the seeds there, and I feel like he is digging them up.
2. My family has always played both sides, it is just how they are. It annoys me to no end, but there is nothing that I can really do about it. Here is the most recent situation, it happened yesterday, and I am soooo angry. (On St. Patrick's day, I dyed my daughter's hair green with an organic water-based vegetable dye, we are kind of extremists when it comes to chemicals and our daughter.) My ex is going to work, and I have school all day. It is his day with her, but he was called in to work, and he called me to see if I could keep her for the day. I couldn't, but I suggested that he call my aunt who is on disability and doesn't work, because she has been asking to see my girl for months now, we just don't ever get together. So, he brings her to the meeting point, and she FREAKS out about my girls hair. Tells him that she is going to the beauty parlor today, and she will have her hair stylist STRIP it. Ex says no you are not. Don't do it, don't do it, don't do it... He told me he must have repeated it 10 times. As soon as he leaves, he calls me and tells me to call my aunt and reiterate that it is not OK to put all those chemicals on her hair, and the dye will be out in a few weeks anyway. So not only do I call my aunt, but I call my mom and tell her what is going on, and ask her to also call. My aunt says OK to me, but to my mom she says, all I was going to do is ask how to get it out sooner, and everyone attacks me and accused me. AAHHHH! Fast forward 8 hours, Ex is going to pick up our girl, and I get a call from my mom saying all my aunt did was wash her hair with baby shampoo, and ALL of the dye came out, and ex is going to be so angry and he isn't going to believe them, because he always overreacts to everything, etc... I don't know what to say at this point... do they think that I am stupid and just going to agree with them because my ex is "so UNREASONABLE" or what??? My boyfriend is sitting with me and watching me turn red, so I tell him the story, and say that my mom says ex isn't going to believe it, and he says, 'because it is a lie'... I hate that they are all the victims, and that they can call me and whine about how mean my ex is to them, and they don't do anything wrong, and they have to walk on eggshells... Honestly, the only reason that I don't tell them all something is because if I did that, they would go to each other to complain and I would never hear what is really going on behind our backs. Everyone know how I feel about different issues, but they don't mind that I am so crazy, because I know how to bend on things. My boyfriend says that the reason my family is acting this way is that my ex doesn't bend on things when it really doesn't matter, so they get to say that he is always extreme and unreasonable, and the things that really do matter get blown aside and they can all laugh and say oh, that is just ex being unreasonable about everything... boyfriend is really insightful, but he is outside looking in. (he's going to be a good daddy...)
Also, ex and I didn't always get along, but I try really hard to keep things nice for my daughter. When boyfriend and I were first seeing each other, mom keeps telling boyfriend how unreasonable ex is about all these things, and although boyfriend now sees clearly, for a long time, he was wondering how I stood up for ex.
I am not saying that ex is completely reasonable either. Like I said, he doesn't bend, and on more than one occasion I have been on the wrong side of his overreactions, but he is my daughters father, and i think that he should be equal to me in the eyes of my family. I just wish that everyone would get along and focus on the one that really matters and not on how offended they are about the way that we raise her. We are all in the same boat, and we all love her so very much, how do the outcomes vary so greatly???