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dh has crossed a line

907 Views 12 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Jster
I just don't know what to do for dd. Dd has a hobby of breeding and showing rabbits. She started this hobby prior to leaving dh. I allowed it to continue after dh and I split because I knew she needed as little change as possible. Well, two years later and now ten rabbits, I am done with this hobby. I have supported the hobby finacially and otherwise. Every weekend I have to clean all the cages. When she is with me, I have to assist her. I am responsible for feeding, watering etc... I can't even go away when she is gone because I have to find someone to take care of her animals. They sit day after day in their cages with little or no human contact. She loves her animals and she does her best when she is here. But she can't change the fact she is only here half her time. We have discussed this before.

Well, here is the dilemma. Dh went and got her a huge cage on wheels. It is one piece of equipment that holds six cages. He told her all about it and got her excited about it. He never told me until he planned to deliver it here. I told him do not bring that thing here. He became irate, (no shock), but so did she. I told them both, I have the right to determine what can come here and what should not. I don't want it. I certainly do not want six more rabbits. I told him, if you think she should have it keep it at your house. She became upset because she knows he won't take care of the animals and she doesn't want them there. She is beside herself and accusing me of not wanting the cage just because it is from him. She is pratcially in hysterics.

I know he should have consulted me before getting this gift, and certainly before getting her excited. Well, that may be, but here I am. I have a daughter that hates me, is sure I plan to give away all her rabbits. An ex that demands he bring this monstrosity to my house. I am not sure where to go. If I allow this am I not setting a precident.
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If your daughter doesn't take care of the rabbits, and neither does the ex, then neither one have a right to a say in anything that goes on as far as the rabbits are concerned.

I would find them new homes.
I would find them new homes too, you are taking care of them and they are really just a thing, not really pets. I don't know how old your daughter is, that will dictate how the conversation about it goes. Maybe get a gold fish, let her test her pet care skills that way. KWIM?

There is no way I would accept the delivery of the new cage that your ex is buying - no way. If you can find out where he is buying it from and call them up and tell them that you will not accept any deliveries from them. This will prevent a potential scene if your daughter is home when they try to deliver it and you send them away.

This must be so frustrating for you - I am really sorry you are having to deal with this!
Alternatively, you could allow her to accept that cage on condition that she gets rid of the other cages and reduces the rabbit population accordingly.

Let her choose: the new cage or the old ones, but not both.

Either way, you're not any worse off, and less of the "bad guy"...

Originally Posted by Ione View Post
Alternatively, you could allow her to accept that cage on condition that she gets rid of the other cages and reduces the rabbit population accordingly.

Let her choose: the new cage or the old ones, but not both.

Either way, you're not any worse off, and less of the "bad guy"...
That sounds like a good solution. And you could also lay out a rabbit chore chart that must be adhered to while she is at your house, and a workable solution for rabbit caretaking while she's at her dad's. Can the wheeled cages be transported to her dad's with her? Revisit the situation in a few weeks or months to see if she's kept up her end of the rabbit care, and if she hasn't then have her help figure out a solution (which doesn't involve you spending all of your time taking care of rabbits.)
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Ugh, sorry to hear about your situation *hugs*
I wouldn't even let DSD to get a fish for her mom's house before she called and got it approved.

I think you should let things cool down, and then allow dd to choose which ones she wants to keep, and suggest for the rest to go to her dad's or someone she knows will take care of them. I'd be very hurt as a kid just getting rid of all the pets at once, hope you can find a way to make it work for the two of you.

I can't believe your DH would do such a thing, it's unfair to you, and cruel regarding DD's feelings.

Best of luck.
Hmmm...... How old is you dd? You can either make a point and stay firm, or perhaps tell her that you will get rid of/sell the old cages and put the bunnies in the cage your ex bought, but there will be NO NEW BUNNIES!

hmmm... maybe there are bunnie contraceptives you could sneak them, and then tell dd, they must be too old to procreate? lol.

I'm sure your ex doesn't know the amount of work that goes into any kind of care taking. Maybe you should have joint custody with the bunnies as well?

How olg do bunnies live? Maybe you should talk to your dd about the quality of life a bunnie ought to have. Above all, don't allow them to mate!

Good luck mama!
If you have the room, I say let DD have the bunnies but make her keep the cages etc clean. If she doesn't then sell the bunnies oe take them to a pet shop until dd is more responsible. You have enough on your hands.

Originally Posted by TinkerBelle View Post
If your daughter doesn't take care of the rabbits, and neither does the ex, then neither one have a right to a say in anything that goes on as far as the rabbits are concerned.

I would find them new homes.
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It is a tough decision, but I think, Yes, you need to back yourself up on it. Not only no new bunnies, but time to find a new hobby that will not put such a burden on your time and ability to be free on weekends for a trip here and there.

I've had to tear my dd's little fingers off of three cats, a bunny, and two birds, at different times due to moves, attempted murder (cat on bird), and heretofore unknown allergies. It's very, very emotional for dd and she's had a very hard time of it in all cases. But, in all cases, she got over it. She still can mist up over the kitties and where they are not and how she misses them, particularly, and the bunny, too, she was very close and did alot of cuddling with all of them, but... such is life. She thinks of them less and less and less.

Better sooner than later to lower the boom, before there are more and more rabbits, and you have less and less time for yourself---and I'm pretty sure the more teenage dd gets, the LESS time she's likely to put into the bunnies and yes, the more she'll expect of you.

Good luck. You're not mean, and who knows, maybe your dd will discover a new interest or hobby that she wouldn't have if she still had the rabbits around.

One good thing is that you will be modeling to dd how to say No, I am a mother not a servant and I'd like my time alone to be MY time for myself.

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Is it that she doesn't take care of them when she is there, or that she is not there half the time, meaning that you have to take responsibility?

I read your OP as meaning the latter - that she does her best but that your separation from her dad means that she can't look after the bunnies half the time. If this is the case, then I think it is really unfair to make her get rid of her pets now. IMO that would lead to resentment on her part, which would be quite justifiable.

You say that you allowed her to get the bunnies, so honestly, once you allow your child a pet, you need to follow through. I don't agree that rehoming animals because they are too much work is morally right, and it would not be something I'd want to model to my children. There are enough homeless animals out there, and to add to that number is wrong imo, unless it is totally unavoidable.

Personally, I'd let her take the new cage, but with the stipulation that there will be no new bunnies.

I'm not sure about how your bunny arrangement works, but we have two bunnies and they get tons of attention. They are in our converted garage, attached to the house, and dds spend hours in there with them. Are yours now neutered? That's the first thing I'd do. Then I'd get them out of cages and let them have more freedom (I'm not sure though about how they'd get along initially, I know they love a companion, but am not sure about setting ten loose!)

Can you build an outdoor run where they can go outside for part of the day and play? Or an indoor area where more than one or two can be out at the same time? Bunnies are social creatures - I"m sure you know that - and maybe rethinking their set-up would make their lives easier and yours too.

Cleaning our bunnies is no big chore. They are litter trained, so I dump litter each evening. The girls - aged 6 and 4 - check water daily, feed hay and pellets, and fresh food. I check it myself each evening or when I pass through the garage, but it's no real 'work'. If we go away, we get a neighbor kid to come in and feed them and empty litter. It costs a minimal amount, so it really doesn't cramp our travelling plans. Can you find a local kid to help out if you want to go away? Or even when you are at home and want a break, when dd is with her dad? How about 4H? Is there a kid there desperate for bunny time who'd want to come and play with the bunnies and learn how to clean them out?

I'm just trying to bounce some ideas around, as I'm sure 10 bunnies are overwhelming! If they are not neutered, that's the first thing I'd do, then get them out of the cages and litter trained so you are not cleaning up ten cages a day! I do one, but ten would be rather too much - sixteen - no way!

Hope something I've said is of some help. Good luck!
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Thanks for the input. Dd is 12yo. I know she is upset because of what the rabbits represent to her more than anything. I also know it has always been something we can enjoy together. Time has changed, our lives have changed. When I was a sahm, and she was with me 7 days a week it was different.

She tries but she just can't change the fact that she isn't here that much. She won't be home for the next three weeks as it is. That is more for me to do. Ultimately, I would like for her to find a nice home for each one. Each one is a loving and gentle animal and deserves more than she can give it.

At least I know where I will stand on the cage issue. Big jerk.
Knowing your history with your ex, I really would set up boundaries. He's denied your kids necessary health care, for spite, and yet he wants to burden you with MORE rabbits?

I think that what the other posters say about reducing the rabbit population is a good idea...10 is more than a half-time kid can handle. If it was down to two rabbits, she could probably bring them back and forth with her, and thereby take full responsibility for them. If she got them for the purpose of breeding and showing, and not as a pet, then that might be a big part of the problem...that they never were going to be pets to begin with. She needs to convert her understanding of them if she wants to keep them.
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