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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
To make a long story short me and my ex had spent over 7 years living under one roof with our two children. She decided that she no longer wanted to live what she considered a lie and repeatedly flip flopped on the idea of marriage. Anyhow, we ended up seperating. She continued to stay in our previous vicinity and I decided to move closer to my school which was 40 miles away. Before we moved we discussed options for who would keep the children. IMHO she seemed hesitant to take responsibility of keeping the kids. Prior to the point I had already been providing over 80% of the children's needs (I.e take them to school, homework, cooking, washing their clothes, school meetings, etc etc) and she spent a lot of time going out and having fun. Anyhow, it came a point before our lease expired that certain decisions had to be made and quickly. The children needed a new school and we had to figure out child care. Once again this burden seemed to fall on me.

Now that it is clear that me and ex are completely done now we have some lingering issues that involve the children. Firstly, the children live with me exclusively. I provide all their needs. Their mother drives to my place that's 40 miles away anywhere from 1-2 times per week, giving her roughly 1-1.5 hrs to actually spend with the kids before bed . Sometimes we meet together on the weekends.

The topic of schedules recently came up. I explained to her that I did not really see a point in her coming to my place during the weekday as she has little time to actually fully interact with the children before they go off the bed. I initially suggested that she keep the children three weekends per month and she could have 1 weekend to herself. I thought this was a fair trade as I do most of the work on the weekdays. However, she says that would be too much for her and she'd have little time for herself to do things she wants (I.e sleep in, chill at home, go out with friends, travel, etc). She prefers alternating weekends. I initially agreed but then later rejected the idea as it still does not give our boys adequate time with their mother.

I honestly do not know how to handle this situation as she has made it clear that 3 weekends per month is unacceptable. I can somewhat understand her rationale but I strongly believe that the needs of children come before our own wants and desires. She regularly complains about me moving closer to my school and how I should not have moved. Or the fact that things aren't going to ever be equal because I actually have the kids ( although this was mostly out of necessity and her failure to indicate a choice). None of these things should really be a topic of a discussion.

I have already made plenty of sacrifices in my life for my kids but she doesn't seem to want do the same. I should add she is not on any child support but I think it may be time to consider it. How should I handle this, mothers?
 

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The topic of schedules recently came up. I explained to her that I did not really see a point in her coming to my place during the weekday as she has little time to actually fully interact with the children before they go off the bed. I initially suggested that she keep the children three weekends per month and she could have 1 weekend to herself. I thought this was a fair trade as I do most of the work on the weekdays. However, she says that would be too much for her and she'd have little time for herself to do things she wants (I.e sleep in, chill at home, go out with friends, travel, etc). She prefers alternating weekends. I initially agreed but then later rejected the idea as it still does not give our boys adequate time with their mother.

I honestly do not know how to handle this situation as she has made it clear that 3 weekends per month is unacceptable. How should I handle this, mothers?
I'd agree to the EOW and be done with the discussion. She's made up her mind and you are not going to change it. Maybe on that third weekend of the month she could visit your area for several hours one of the weekend days?
 

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Also not a very useful piece of advice, but I also agree with the EOW that she brought up. Ultimately, if she doesn't want to be the mother you think she should be, she's not going to be. It's obvious she doesn't have the same values as you when it comes to parenting and you can't change that. Ultimately, your focus is your kids (which it sounds like that's where you're focused anyway) and if she wants to choose to miss out on her children growing up, then that will be her choice to deal with. The child support thing is kind of hard because I think there can be two sides of that. 1.) Depending on how crazy she is, she could use having to pay child support as an excuse to NOT come and see the kids. or 2.) She'll pay it and then complain about it to your children/you when she's around.

It sounds like you care for your children a lot and that's really the most important part.
 

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Have you figured out child support? A lot of dads suddenly get interested in having more time with their kids, when they realize it'll reduce the amount of support they have to pay... maybe that would work on her, too?

How long is the travel time form her place to yours? When she sees them on a weeknight, could she bring them back to her place and then take them to school in the morning?

For down time for yourself, is there anyone else who could take the kids from time to time? Grandparents or aunts/uncles?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We don't really have any family where we are which makes this all the more difficult. The closest thing to a family member is her younger sister who lives 20 min from her and 1 hour plus from me. My ex lives about 30-45 mins away depending on traffic.

We just had this conservation again and she seemed extremely hesitant to commit to 3 weekends citing birthdays, travel, and other BS reasons.

Our kids will be 8 soon...the questions are going to start coming. I've already had to field a few very basic ones but they will get more difficult to answer.

Also thanks to the mothers that took the time to answer my questions. There isn't exactly a large organized single father community...at least not through my searches. I don't we talk about this stuff that much.
 

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I'd say it's not a mother / father thing but a custodial / non- custodial parent thing. So yes you're in the club. I know others in real life. Good for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'd say it's not a mother / father thing but a custodial / non- custodial parent thing. So yes you're in the club. I know others in real life. Good for you.

Not sure what you mean. I'm not in a club, or a bar or whatever. I go to school and I'm dad, that is it.
 

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@GoDaddy

Your post renews my faith in the male species. Whatever good karma you're putting out into the earth with your mature parenting somehow offsets some of the jerks out there who won't help. Please tell us how your parents/mother/father raised you. I have two sons with a not so great father model and I want them to grow up to be like you.
 

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Not sure what you mean. I'm not in a club, or a bar or whatever. I go to school and I'm dad, that is it.
The single parent club lol. I think that went right over your head....


You can't force your ex to take time with your kids. That's an all too familiar story to many single moms. EOW and one midweek visit every week is pretty much the norm for most non custodial parents who aren't really involved or interested in their children. (Wow, that's a depressing statement!)

Please do not believe that more parenting time equals less child support, that isn't how it is calculated in many states. You need to check your areas government website to see how they calculate child support, and go for it! The money isn't for you, it's for your children. If you are financially secure enough now and don''t actually need it, put it into a bank account for the kids, or a college fund, but do not rob your children of that support by not getting it legally implemented.

What have you decided for school breaks? Summer can be very expensive when it comes to childcare. What about Christmas?

There are many websites which can give suggestions for parenting time schedules, I recommend you sit your ex down with a few possibilities and get an agreement written down.

JMO but I have my children all week but would not be willing to miss out on our weekend down time. I wouldn't want my ex having 3 out of 4 weekends!
 

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If your serious then file for full custody and ask for a visitation schedule she can follow, obviously negotiating isnt working directly with you two. And both your needs are different. You need to see a custody lawyer and sort this out. Despite your two differences it will be best to get it straight sooner then later, your kids will need that consistancy.
 
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