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  • FIRST POST
    • Oakdene
    • By Oakdene 3rd Apr 18, 4:34 PM
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    Oakdene
    Worried about my childrens relationship with thier mum.
    • #1
    • 3rd Apr 18, 4:34 PM
    Worried about my childrens relationship with thier mum. 3rd Apr 18 at 4:34 PM
    Quick bit of background, my ex & I have a son (10) & a daughter (13). My son lives with my ex & my daughter with me, they (usually) spend every weekend together & all the school holiday. My ex has a 3 or 4 year with her new partner. We pay each other maintenance - I pay 55 more a month & I do not have a partner.

    There is becoming an continuing issue, in that I feel my children are being left out of trips, visits & events by their mum & her husband. My daughter had been invited to a sleepover on her mum's weekend in a nearby (22 miles) town. I mentioned to her mum that she'd been invited & when I said where she laughed & said "that's not happening". I asked why & she said that she has 2 other kids to worry about & she can't be bothered driving that far. This despite taking both of her sons all across the county for football & parties etc. I said it was ok & that I would take her so she didn't miss out.

    In another instance she plans trips to the cinema with her husband & son, on weekends when I have my pair - this I don't mind per say but when my children are with them, they do very little. When I raised this the reply was "well I can't afford to take all 3 of them out for lunch & to the cinema."

    The latest is now she has booked a holiday for her, her husband & son to Disneyland Paris in the summer holidays & isn't taking her other 2 children because I am taking them away earlier in the year.

    I am getting increasingly concerned that my children are going to feel that they are being left out by their mum & what is worse is she doesn't seem worried that she is doing this.

    Am I being unreasonable here in thinking or worrying?
    Hiraeth
Page 1
    • Soundgirlrocks
    • By Soundgirlrocks 3rd Apr 18, 6:02 PM
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    Soundgirlrocks
    • #2
    • 3rd Apr 18, 6:02 PM
    • #2
    • 3rd Apr 18, 6:02 PM
    No I don't think you are wrong, but how much you can do about I'm not entirely sure. This is the just one of the many hurdles that your children will face as part of a blended family. Yes there is an argument that your two are getting a holiday with you so why should they get more than their half sibling, but equally they are missing bonding time with their younger brother and are left out of the family dynamic (added to that the possibly more complex feeling of your son who as he lives with your ex, may feel rejected as he's shipped off to you whilst they go away).

    I'm guessing the age gap makes it harder for your ex to find activities they will all enjoy as well as the cost of taking 3 somewhere.

    Its something I can understand from your childrens pov having been there myself, when I was younger I acted out because I was jealous of my half siblings. As I got older I appreciated that I got time with my Dad that was different and I got to do stuff they didn't (and vice versa) and choice about who I went away with on holiday.

    There are no easy answers and to a certain extent its just something they will have to deal with. It may be that your children are fine with the current arrangements, or they may be more effected. Only you will be able to tell but be careful not to project your feelings onto the situation.
    • BorisThomson
    • By BorisThomson 3rd Apr 18, 6:05 PM
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    BorisThomson
    • #3
    • 3rd Apr 18, 6:05 PM
    • #3
    • 3rd Apr 18, 6:05 PM
    I can see both sides of this. Your concerns are valid, but just as you are trying to do your best for your two, she is trying to balance the needs and wants of her three.

    Re the sleepover, if 22 miles is each way that is a long way, and when you're taking and dropping off and the same next day, that's just short of a hundred miles.

    I get the holiday trip for her son as your two are already going away. It's only fair that the other son has a holiday too.

    You mention other parties and sports. I take it mum does do things with them at other times?
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 3rd Apr 18, 6:36 PM
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    PeacefulWaters
    • #4
    • 3rd Apr 18, 6:36 PM
    • #4
    • 3rd Apr 18, 6:36 PM
    Focus on being the best Dad you can be.

    No point trying to influence those who you can no longer influence.
    • cjdavies
    • By cjdavies 3rd Apr 18, 8:06 PM
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    cjdavies
    • #5
    • 3rd Apr 18, 8:06 PM
    • #5
    • 3rd Apr 18, 8:06 PM
    Just keep doing what you are doing, the children will realise this when they are older.
    • Loz01
    • By Loz01 5th Apr 18, 3:04 PM
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    Loz01
    • #6
    • 5th Apr 18, 3:04 PM
    • #6
    • 5th Apr 18, 3:04 PM
    Agree with others, keep doing what you are doing, you cant make other people behave differently or be better. You can only walk your own path. If the kids ask, explain to them best you can but at the end of the day they will value you more when they grow up for all the "small" things you have done for them (eg driving your daughter to her friends sleepover) - In my opinion of growing up, its the little things that you remember and value as you grow up.
    The fact is that more people have been slaughtered in the name of religion than for any other single reason. That, my friends, is a true perversion - Harvey Milk
    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 5th Apr 18, 3:48 PM
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    Fireflyaway
    • #7
    • 5th Apr 18, 3:48 PM
    • #7
    • 5th Apr 18, 3:48 PM
    Your kids are old enough to notice so they will make their own minds up. Do whatever you can to be a great parent and your actions will speak for themselves. You can't make you ex change the way she is and if she can't afford things then she can't afford it. I do agree it's wrong to treat your kids differently but maybe she sees it as your responsibility to provide for your daughter as she has twice the mouths to feed? Not fair but a possible point of view?
    • Tabbytabitha
    • By Tabbytabitha 5th Apr 18, 4:00 PM
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    Tabbytabitha
    • #8
    • 5th Apr 18, 4:00 PM
    • #8
    • 5th Apr 18, 4:00 PM
    Don't answer if it isn't relevant but was there a reason that the children were separated afer the divorce?
    • pearl123
    • By pearl123 5th Apr 18, 5:28 PM
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    pearl123
    • #9
    • 5th Apr 18, 5:28 PM
    • #9
    • 5th Apr 18, 5:28 PM
    I can understand your concern. It's rather sad that she excluding children at times. I agree with others - just do the best you can.
    Your children will make their minds up one day about whether they were treated fairly.
    • Kynthia
    • By Kynthia 6th Apr 18, 12:21 AM
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    Kynthia
    You may be reading a lot into a few incidences. Driving that far in the evening when other children are at home needing dinner and to be put to bed may have been too much of an inconvenience when a daytime activity, like football, is more doable.

    Cinema for an adult and one child is a lot less than with an additional 2 children. Plus there's not many films suitable for a 4 year old that a 13 year old will want to watch. Then there might also be the possibility that the 4 year old is missing his brother and needs cheering up, while the other two are together without him.

    Taking her 4 year old to Disneyland Paris, so that he isn't the only one not to have gone that year isnt that shocking, even if many of us wouldn't choose to do things that way. Perhaps she sees all the places you take your children to and she's worried her youngest will be missing out and feel jealous. There are lots of possible reasons.

    Activities for a family of five are very expensive. Plus you might not be factoring the difficulties in finding activities suitable for a three year old and a teenager. As long as their mum is spending time with them, listening to them and loving them then I'm sure they will be fine.
    Don't listen to me, I'm no expert!
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 6th Apr 18, 8:34 AM
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    FBaby
    I agree, focus on the dad you are. The kids will quickly get to realise where her priorities are. You can't make her the mum she isn't unfortunately. I know it's hard to see your kids going through that realisation, but the better dad you are and the more they will see that at least they got you.
    • Oakdene
    • By Oakdene 9th Apr 18, 7:46 AM
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    Oakdene
    Sorry all have been away from work for a few days with the kids...

    Thank you for all who posted, will try & go through them now & also thank you for the support, I will always try to be the best Dad I can & I do believe that kids can get more out of a weekend camping than they will say on a 5 star holiday. I just didn't realise until now that their mum was favouring the boys. If I'm honest the sleep over thing did annoy me, because it is literally the only thing my daughter has asked her to do. When she has had cadet camp, I have had to drop her off (even on my non weekends) which I don't mind but it's just heartbreaking to see my daughter wondering why her mum is treating her differently to her brothers.

    Don't answer if it isn't relevant but was there a reason that the children were separated afer the divorce?
    Originally posted by Tabbytabitha
    After we split up, my ex (as you do) met someone new who I think is quite over bearing on her mum & the kids. My daughter, being a little older than my son didn't like this & it caused friction between my daughter & the new man. My ex got her mum to drop my daughter off at my mums saying '<Ex wife> has had enough of the bickering between <daughter> & <new man> & she isn't welcome to live with her anymore'.
    Hiraeth
    • Oakdene
    • By Oakdene 9th Apr 18, 7:49 AM
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    Oakdene
    You may be reading a lot into a few incidences. Driving that far in the evening when other children are at home needing dinner and to be put to bed may have been too much of an inconvenience when a daytime activity, like football, is more doable.

    Cinema for an adult and one child is a lot less than with an additional 2 children. Plus there's not many films suitable for a 4 year old that a 13 year old will want to watch. Then there might also be the possibility that the 4 year old is missing his brother and needs cheering up, while the other two are together without him.

    Taking her 4 year old to Disneyland Paris, so that he isn't the only one not to have gone that year isnt that shocking, even if many of us wouldn't choose to do things that way. Perhaps she sees all the places you take your children to and she's worried her youngest will be missing out and feel jealous. There are lots of possible reasons.

    Activities for a family of five are very expensive. Plus you might not be factoring the difficulties in finding activities suitable for a three year old and a teenager. As long as their mum is spending time with them, listening to them and loving them then I'm sure they will be fine.
    Originally posted by Kynthia
    I see what you mean & maybe I am looking into things a bit too much however just to counter a little with the bits in bold...

    The driving thing annoyed me more because she will happily go out of her way to take the boys places, & the driving (for the sleep over) wasn't at night, it was in the day time...

    Very true with regards to the holiday cost, however as a single Dad looking to take 2 children away it can't be that different from 2 incomes into a house taking 3 children away?
    Hiraeth
    • Rachel83
    • By Rachel83 9th Apr 18, 8:52 AM
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    Rachel83
    Very true with regards to the holiday cost, however as a single Dad looking to take 2 children away it can't be that different from 2 incomes into a house taking 3 children away?
    Originally posted by Oakdene
    But surely the mum should be able to take the one child out whilst you take the two children out? That one child misses out on the days out you take your two children out. All three children are not going to be able to do the same things.
    As for Disneyland maybe shes compensating for a holiday you took your children on? Its all speculation. Worry about your time with your children.
    • Oakdene
    • By Oakdene 9th Apr 18, 9:48 AM
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    Oakdene
    But surely the mum should be able to take the one child out whilst you take the two children out? That one child misses out on the days out you take your two children out. All three children are not going to be able to do the same things.
    As for Disneyland maybe shes compensating for a holiday you took your children on? Its all speculation. Worry about your time with your children.
    Originally posted by Rachel83
    I could accept this if all three children are mine, however the fact that they are going on a (& I quote) "family holiday" without 2 members of their family strikes me as a bit odd. I guess the only way I could imagine this the other way would be me taking my daughter on holiday & not my son, which I would never do...
    Hiraeth
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 9th Apr 18, 9:57 AM
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    Mojisola
    it's just heartbreaking to see my daughter wondering why her mum is treating her differently to her brothers.
    Originally posted by Oakdene
    That is very sad and will likely damage her relationship with her Mum for a very long time.

    All you can do is be the best Dad you can be.
    • takman
    • By takman 9th Apr 18, 12:47 PM
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    takman
    Re the sleepover, if 22 miles is each way that is a long way, and when you're taking and dropping off and the same next day, that's just short of a hundred miles.
    Originally posted by BorisThomson
    I don't think 22 miles is particularly far to go for a round trip and then again the next day.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 9th Apr 18, 1:25 PM
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    Savvy_Sue
    After we split up, my ex (as you do) met someone new who I think is quite over bearing on her mum & the kids. My daughter, being a little older than my son didn't like this & it caused friction between my daughter & the new man. My ex got her mum to drop my daughter off at my mums saying '<Ex wife> has had enough of the bickering between <daughter> & <new man> & she isn't welcome to live with her anymore'.
    Originally posted by Oakdene
    I think this says a lot, and honestly, I'm not surprised your DD thinks her mum is treating her differently to her brother(s). However ...

    I don't think 22 miles is particularly far to go for a round trip and then again the next day.
    Originally posted by takman
    It's the kind of trip you might need to allow an hour for, each day. Given the logistics of the younger children, I can see how it might be difficult. But Mum's immediate response of "that's not happening" speaks volumes. I sometimes had to say "sorry, can't do that" when faced with requests for taxi services for one or other of my lads, but I used to try and THINK about it first so that if it wasn't possible I could explain why.

    OP, you're in a difficult situation. But when your DD wonders why her mum seems to be treating her differently, I think all you can do is say you don't know. And, as others have said, concentrate on being the best Dad you can - not overcompensating for things they miss out on, but by giving unconditional, sometimes tough, love.

    Life's not fair, life's sometimes tough: as parents we can't make it fair, or easy. What we can do is teach our children how to cope when it's not fair, or it's tough. And keep loving them.
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    • Oakdene
    • By Oakdene 9th Apr 18, 3:10 PM
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    Oakdene
    It's the kind of trip you might need to allow an hour for, each day. Given the logistics of the younger children, I can see how it might be difficult. But Mum's immediate response of "that's not happening" speaks volumes. I sometimes had to say "sorry, can't do that" when faced with requests for taxi services for one or other of my lads, but I used to try and THINK about it first so that if it wasn't possible I could explain why.

    OP, you're in a difficult situation. But when your DD wonders why her mum seems to be treating her differently, I think all you can do is say you don't know. And, as others have said, concentrate on being the best Dad you can - not overcompensating for things they miss out on, but by giving unconditional, sometimes tough, love.
    Originally posted by Savvy_Sue
    You may have hit the nail on the head there to be honest. I think the fact she literally laughed/scoffed & said "that's not happening" wound me up.

    I don't bad mouth their Mum, because it's not the done thing but as everyone has said, I will continue to love them both the very best way I can.

    Thank you all
    Hiraeth
    • Jojo the Tightfisted
    • By Jojo the Tightfisted 9th Apr 18, 7:30 PM
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    Jojo the Tightfisted
    You also need to bear in mind that teenagers are invariably (in their own minds) put upon, neglected and treated worse than everybody else in the entire world, even when they have everything they could ever need and a perfectly loving, 'normal' family setup.

    That doesn't mean there aren't problems in her relationship with the rest of her family - but whilst that can be true, it doesn't mean that she is necessarily the nicest, most loving child in the world when she gets there. If she is, as many teenagers are, sullen, uncooperative, irritable, disinterested or outright verbally aggressive towards somebody she resents, well - it's pretty difficult for the parent on the receiving end to be able to get through to them, never mind start ferrying them around to spend a rare time of contact with somebody else rather than her siblings/mother. And then it's back to the other parent with stories of how she is ignored in favour of the Boys.

    If you find yourself needing to put your foot down about her behaviour at some point in the next couple of years, you could well find yourself being painted as being completely uncaring and disinterested in her - if you meet somebody else (which you are perfectly entitled to do), she could be horrendous to the poor woman either to your face or behind your back or complain that she's horrible to either yourself or her mother.


    I'm not claiming any particular facts in your case, but from working with teenagers for a long time, I've seen it time and time again - and the complete change that comes over some of them between the way they speak to one parent or member of staff, compared to another; different as night and day. Just be aware of it, as often the most heart rending tales, expressions and sighs can evaporate the moment they turn away and think nobody can hear or see them.
    I could dream to wide extremes, I could do or die: I could yawn and be withdrawn and watch the world go by.

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