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So usually my ex dh and i get along fairly well. We share custody of our 2 boys who are 8 and 6. It's hard to share sometimes. We have no official schedule. The schedule we generally go by is this (sorry it's complicated but trying to explain well so you have the full story): 

Mon: i pick them up from school and keep overnight

Tues: i drop off at school then pick up from school. their dad picks up at 6:30ish.

Wed: he drops them off at school. i pick up from school and keep until church. he picks up from chuch and keeps overnight

thurs: he drops them off at schoool. i pick up from school and keep overnight

fri: i drop off and pick up from school and keep overnight

sat: he picks them up about 4 and keeps overnight

sun: he keeps all day

mon: he drops off at school and it starts all over again

The last couple of months i've felt like this schedule is unfair. He has them 4 nights a week while i only get them 3. His response: tough shit. 

This week i had a baby shower i needed to go to on fri (so it would be best if i didn't take the boys) and the boys have a birthday party on my side of the family to go to on sunday so i asked their dad if we could trade fri for sun for those 2 events. he said yes. we agreed to this weeks ago. apparently he was under the impression he would take them fri evening and keep them until the birthday party sunday. this gyps me out of a whole day (today) from my kids. i feel shorted on top of already feeling shorted. his response: TOUGH SHIT. i feel like he manipulated me out of time with my kids. 

for the sake of keeping peace should i just say oh well? i tried sticking up for myself already but i have no ground to stand on. he said he already had plans for today and if i took them today then i couldn't have them tomorrow. i told him the reason i want them tomorrow is so they can go to the birthday party. that would be unfair to them. then he had the nerve to tell me i dont ever think of the kids, only me and what's best for me. 

idk, what do you ladies think? am i being manipulated or just looking too much into things?


by on Jan. 12, 2013 at 6:31 PM
Replies (11-17):
ispeektrooth
by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 12:38 AM

Yeah, having a baby is a huge change for any family, especially a blended one.  Your ex & his gf should have talked to your kids & prepared them for the arrival of their new sibling.  Have they complained about it to you?  If so, that's something you need to tell them they need to talk to him about.  If not, then why are you even bringing it up in arguments with him?  Bringing other family members into a dispute isn't ever a good idea, especially if it's a child, which isn't really even fair.  What if he did the same thing...threw it in your face how your new marriage/baby/job/whatever negatively affected your kids?  I kinow I'd get pretty damn defensive!  It's all about fighting fair.  Stick to the issues at hand.

Ok changes:  Medication-yeah sometimes it has to be adjusted.  Depends on the person, whatever works for them.  You not working-yeah it is probably good for your kids.  But does that also mean you have more time on your hands so when your kids aren't with you to fill the time, you're thinking about that time you don't have them?  I mean, really, he has them 1 more night a week...my kids are with their dad 1/2 of a week at a time!  One night is what you're making a big deal about?!  You got married-It may have changed more for your kids than you've realized.  Did your new dh just move in or has he been living with you?  Does he have kids of his own that your kids now have to share space with?  Have you two talked about adding to your family & your kids over heard?  Have they had to adjust new people from his side of the family?  You said one of your kids has anxiety problems...have the changes taken an extra toll on him?  Have you talked to them about all of these things that have changed?  Kids are SO much more observant than we think they are! 

My kids have NEVER said to me or their dad that they don't want to go with the other parent when it's time to go.  Sure, you might get some satisfaction & feel like you don't want to let them go but imo that's just not right that they even say it.  Like I said, kids are intuitive.  Not surprisingly, they probably know how much you dislike them leaving & having to share them.  With young kids though, its your job to facilitate that relationship between them & their dad, regardless of how much you don't want to.  My dh & his ex used to badmouth each other in front of their daughter ALL the time.  Of course she would choose sides & pick whoever she thought needed the most comfort at the time.  She's a little girl & it's not right for her to feel like she needs to be there for either parent.  It should always be the other way around!  It took awhile, but they wised up & stopped being such jerks to each other & even praise each other's involvement in front of her, me, and anyone else that might be around.  They've come a loooong way!

As I said yesterday, you both sound like you're being selfish with your kids & are more worried about the quantity of time instead of the quality.  What is that teaching them?  They deserve both of you & your so's to give them the best parenting you can.  That starts with less "me, me me" & more "them, them them."

Quoting shudderette

I didn't say that him having a baby with his gf was bad, just that it was a big change for my kids. he was trying to point out the "changes" I had made when his were changes were just as big if not more so. my point in saying that is that his arguments don't even make any sense.

the changes I have made in their lives recently, well, I asked for my son's medication to be switched from bedtime to morning. he wasnt falling asleep as easily as he used to. thought it might be because of the medicine. I asked his dad before we switched it and it's worked out fine. he's sleeping much better now. but now all of a sudden it's a big deal with his dad? huh? the boy doesn't care. I wonder if it's harder for his dad to remember or something. I don't understand why he has brought it up so many times.

and the other change is that I don't work anymore. lost my job in Oct. not my fault. and is actually a good thing for my kids because I'm not as tired and grumpy as I was. I did get married last month but that actually wasn't much of a change. nothing is different except my last name. we'd been living together for over a year. my dh is really good with the boys. he's home and active with the boys when they're here. he has bonded with each of the kids with different things. love of the chiefs and video games, for instance.

you know, life changes for all of us. we need to be able to go with the flow. whatever changes come up for our family in the future we need our boys to be ready to take it on. and I think so far they have take it rather well.

I have wondered if the juggling back and forth is bad for them but so far I think it's working ok. our older son has anxiety issues that are unrelated but otherwise both boys are generally well behaved kids. thst ask occasionally "do we sleep at your house or daddy's tonight?" and I hear "nooo I don't wanna go to daddy's. I wanna stay here" which rips my heart out but I tell them that it's daddy's turn with them and I have to share them with him. i would love to keep them alllll the time but that's not fair. they seem just fine with that explanation. 

and just for the record, I treat his gfs kids like my niece and nephew. I used to think the boy was a bad influence on my sons but since they moved in with my ex his behavior has gotten a ton better. sometimes I pick them up from school for their mom. about once a month I'll let them come over to play fora few hours after school. I encourage their relationship because I know the more people that love them the more encouragement and support my sons will feel and the better they'll do in life. so I assume, anyway :) we'll find out in 15-20 yrs.

Quoting ispeektrooth:

So much of what you've posted has been similar in my situation.  Sharing is hard!  After my ex & I separated, I wanted, no NEEDED, my kids with me.  I tried to keep them from their dad as often as I could because I was so lonely without them.  And he's a great dad!  It took me awhile but I realized how selfish I had been.  I was using my own kids to fill that empty hole in my life.  Eventually we worked out a schedule that was fair & equal for both of us.  But first & foremost, we made sure it worked FOR OUR KIDS!  Sounds like you're both selfish with the time you get with your kids, which is fine, except when that selfishness gets in the way of the quality time you're supposed to be spending with them.  Instead of watching the hours go by without them, do things you normally wouldn't when you're with them.  And when you do have them, make the most of it!

My dh now is an awesome dad too.  Can't believe I got so lucky to have 2 great men in my life that truly love their kids & want to be with them.  He has full custody of his daughter.  I had 2 of my own.  Times got hard & I was struggling financially.  So my dds & I moved in w/ him & his daughter.  A few weeks later we found out we were expecting our ds.  So does that make him a bad father because he moved on & made some changes in his life too?  Just because he now has me, my 2 & our son in no way takes away from him being the amazing dad he was before.  My sd mom has just recently became more involved in her life.  She hasn't been the most stable-changing jobs, moving, broke up w/ 1 bf just to move 1 in w/in a months time, changing jobs again, now getting married to a guy she's known less than a year.  See what I mean?  Anyway, she's at least trying to get her life in order.  Maybe you should sit down & try to see it from his perspective.  What have you done (big or small) that has in any way changed the routine of things?

Yeah, your kids are lucky they have people who love them in both homes.  But how do they feel about constantly being juggled back & forth?  How does your & your ex's schedule affect them?  Kids are resilient, sure.  But just looking at your week & trying to imagine how it works makes me exhausted!  Can't imagine how rough it is on the little ones.  A mediator/judge/lawyer can help, of course, but it's gonna cost you big bucks.  Maybe you each should make out the ideal schedules that would work for you (like around your work & activity schedules) & come together, take a look, iron out the differences & make a compromise.  As I stated before, sharing is hard, but because you've both made choices & changes, you just have to deal with it.  Just remember, your kids shouldn't have to suffer for the choices & changes you've both made or for any selfishness you both have exibited.

 


shudderette
by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 5:33 AM
he was the one who told me I was creating too much change in their lives, by bringing up the baby I was simply reminding him that he has created change for them too. he likes to play the blame game. I actually am pretty proud of myself for standing up to him in that argument. I will usually just take the blame, whatever. but I'm just so sick of it. he needs to see that what he does effects them too. ...sounds like you're a little defensive about that. feeling guilty? and yeah, I am fighting for 1 extra night a week. I like it when they sleep here. I sleep better knowing they're here and safe. they're my babies. it's hard for me to be apart from them. and especially since I'm not working I have the time to devote to them. I'm pretty sure that half the time they're at his house he is not even home. I mean, I don't have a problem with his gf, she's fine, a good care taker. but she is a caretaker, not their mama. if their mama is available shouldn't they be with me instead of her? never mind, I'm not gonna get any kind of agreement from you on this. You already think I'm a selfish bitch. that's statement is just gonna make it worse. so what if I'm selfish with my kids? they're MY KIDS. they're like an extension of me. I want time with them. the new dh has been living with us for more than a year. No change there. he has no kids so no change there. we see his family as couple times a year at holidays. so yeah, the oldest has to deal with that. youngest loves it, lots of cousins for him to play with. oldest, after dinner he finds a corner with my cell phone and plays angry birds. I let him because I know it's a lot to deal with. we don't stay long. it's taken a bit to get him used to them but last time we were there he actually had a decently long conversation with grandma. of course I talk to my kids about changes. when we got married I told them what to expect at the wedding and after and no, there really haven't been any changes. it was a ceremony and signing a paper. now we're legally married. No changes for the kids there. they love my dh. it was my youngest who told him he needed to marry his mama. I have not talked to the kids about having more kids because it probably wont happen. although my youngest told me the other day that he thought me and dh should have another baby. oldest agreed. he loves babies. my boys are very sweet. hardly ever act out. worst thing my oldest does is whines. drives me batty :) I think the reason they have said they don't want to go to their dad's is because at my house it's quiet and they don't have to share their stuff with 3 other kids. you get your turn with the remote a lot faster when there's only 2 kids, kwim? I find that if I give them PLENTY of warning that their dad is coming at a certain time then they don't complain as much.
Quoting ispeektrooth:

Yeah, having a baby is a huge change for any family, especially a blended one.  Your ex & his gf should have talked to your kids & prepared them for the arrival of their new sibling.  Have they complained about it to you?  If so, that's something you need to tell them they need to talk to him about.  If not, then why are you even bringing it up in arguments with him?  Bringing other family members into a dispute isn't ever a good idea, especially if it's a child, which isn't really even fair.  What if he did the same thing...threw it in your face how your new marriage/baby/job/whatever negatively affected your kids?  I kinow I'd get pretty damn defensive!  It's all about fighting fair.  Stick to the issues at hand.

Ok changes:  Medication-yeah sometimes it has to be adjusted.  Depends on the person, whatever works for them.  You not working-yeah it is probably good for your kids.  But does that also mean you have more time on your hands so when your kids aren't with you to fill the time, you're thinking about that time you don't have them?  I mean, really, he has them 1 more night a week...my kids are with their dad 1/2 of a week at a time!  One night is what you're making a big deal about?!  You got married-It may have changed more for your kids than you've realized.  Did your new dh just move in or has he been living with you?  Does he have kids of his own that your kids now have to share space with?  Have you two talked about adding to your family & your kids over heard?  Have they had to adjust new people from his side of the family?  You said one of your kids has anxiety problems...have the changes taken an extra toll on him?  Have you talked to them about all of these things that have changed?  Kids are SO much more observant than we think they are! 

My kids have NEVER said to me or their dad that they don't want to go with the other parent when it's time to go.  Sure, you might get some satisfaction & feel like you don't want to let them go but imo that's just not right that they even say it.  Like I said, kids are intuitive.  Not surprisingly, they probably know how much you dislike them leaving & having to share them.  With young kids though, its your job to facilitate that relationship between them & their dad, regardless of how much you don't want to.  My dh & his ex used to badmouth each other in front of their daughter ALL the time.  Of course she would choose sides & pick whoever she thought needed the most comfort at the time.  She's a little girl & it's not right for her to feel like she needs to be there for either parent.  It should always be the other way around!  It took awhile, but they wised up & stopped being such jerks to each other & even praise each other's involvement in front of her, me, and anyone else that might be around.  They've come a loooong way!

As I said yesterday, you both sound like you're being selfish with your kids & are more worried about the quantity of time instead of the quality.  What is that teaching them?  They deserve both of you & your so's to give them the best parenting you can.  That starts with less "me, me me" & more "them, them them."

Quoting shudderette

I didn't say that him having a baby with his gf was bad, just that it was a big change for my kids. he was trying to point out the "changes" I had made when his were changes were just as big if not more so. my point in saying that is that his arguments don't even make any sense.

the changes I have made in their lives recently, well, I asked for my son's medication to be switched from bedtime to morning. he wasnt falling asleep as easily as he used to. thought it might be because of the medicine. I asked his dad before we switched it and it's worked out fine. he's sleeping much better now. but now all of a sudden it's a big deal with his dad? huh? the boy doesn't care. I wonder if it's harder for his dad to remember or something. I don't understand why he has brought it up so many times.

and the other change is that I don't work anymore. lost my job in Oct. not my fault. and is actually a good thing for my kids because I'm not as tired and grumpy as I was. I did get married last month but that actually wasn't much of a change. nothing is different except my last name. we'd been living together for over a year. my dh is really good with the boys. he's home and active with the boys when they're here. he has bonded with each of the kids with different things. love of the chiefs and video games, for instance.

you know, life changes for all of us. we need to be able to go with the flow. whatever changes come up for our family in the future we need our boys to be ready to take it on. and I think so far they have take it rather well.

I have wondered if the juggling back and forth is bad for them but so far I think it's working ok. our older son has anxiety issues that are unrelated but otherwise both boys are generally well behaved kids. thst ask occasionally "do we sleep at your house or daddy's tonight?" and I hear "nooo I don't wanna go to daddy's. I wanna stay here" which rips my heart out but I tell them that it's daddy's turn with them and I have to share them with him. i would love to keep them alllll the time but that's not fair. they seem just fine with that explanation. 

and just for the record, I treat his gfs kids like my niece and nephew. I used to think the boy was a bad influence on my sons but since they moved in with my ex his behavior has gotten a ton better. sometimes I pick them up from school for their mom. about once a month I'll let them come over to play fora few hours after school. I encourage their relationship because I know the more people that love them the more encouragement and support my sons will feel and the better they'll do in life. so I assume, anyway :) we'll find out in 15-20 yrs.

Quoting ispeektrooth:

So much of what you've posted has been similar in my situation.  Sharing is hard!  After my ex & I separated, I wanted, no NEEDED, my kids with me.  I tried to keep them from their dad as often as I could because I was so lonely without them.  And he's a great dad!  It took me awhile but I realized how selfish I had been.  I was using my own kids to fill that empty hole in my life.  Eventually we worked out a schedule that was fair & equal for both of us.  But first & foremost, we made sure it worked FOR OUR KIDS!  Sounds like you're both selfish with the time you get with your kids, which is fine, except when that selfishness gets in the way of the quality time you're supposed to be spending with them.  Instead of watching the hours go by without them, do things you normally wouldn't when you're with them.  And when you do have them, make the most of it!

My dh now is an awesome dad too.  Can't believe I got so lucky to have 2 great men in my life that truly love their kids & want to be with them.  He has full custody of his daughter.  I had 2 of my own.  Times got hard & I was struggling financially.  So my dds & I moved in w/ him & his daughter.  A few weeks later we found out we were expecting our ds.  So does that make him a bad father because he moved on & made some changes in his life too?  Just because he now has me, my 2 & our son in no way takes away from him being the amazing dad he was before.  My sd mom has just recently became more involved in her life.  She hasn't been the most stable-changing jobs, moving, broke up w/ 1 bf just to move 1 in w/in a months time, changing jobs again, now getting married to a guy she's known less than a year.  See what I mean?  Anyway, she's at least trying to get her life in order.  Maybe you should sit down & try to see it from his perspective.  What have you done (big or small) that has in any way changed the routine of things?

Yeah, your kids are lucky they have people who love them in both homes.  But how do they feel about constantly being juggled back & forth?  How does your & your ex's schedule affect them?  Kids are resilient, sure.  But just looking at your week & trying to imagine how it works makes me exhausted!  Can't imagine how rough it is on the little ones.  A mediator/judge/lawyer can help, of course, but it's gonna cost you big bucks.  Maybe you each should make out the ideal schedules that would work for you (like around your work & activity schedules) & come together, take a look, iron out the differences & make a compromise.  As I stated before, sharing is hard, but because you've both made choices & changes, you just have to deal with it.  Just remember, your kids shouldn't have to suffer for the choices & changes you've both made or for any selfishness you both have exibited.

 



ispeektrooth
by on Jan. 15, 2013 at 10:58 PM

First, if I wanted to call you a selfish bitch, I would have already done it.  Second, I have nothing to feel guilty about.  I'm gonna try to explain & make this as short as I can...  My ex cheated on me a few months after our 1st wedding anniversary.  We worked through things, I forgave him (or so I thought), and moved on.  A few years later, the opportunity for me to cheat presented itself & I took it.  I guess I hadn't forgiven him & wanted to punish him.  Cheating wasn't enough.  I had to use our dds against him.  I kept taking more & more time away from him, making up excuses so I wouldn't have to let him see them.  I half-expected him to walk away but he held his ground & fought me on it.  It took him, both of our families, a counselor, and the courts to put me in my place.  I actually ended up losing my dds for a few weeks.  There were some other factors that played a role at the time & I damn near lost everything.  Truth is...I feel the EXACT same way about my kids as you do yours.  They are the best parts of me.  But I didn't make them myself.  They're the best parts of my ex too, their dad.  They need him.  I know that when they're with him they're loved, fed, bathed, and snuggled just like when I have them.  He & his new wife, & me & my dh support & rely on each other.  We're just like family.  It's taken us a LONG time to get here, but I'm so thankful things have worked out for the best for us.  No your ex's gf isn't their mother, but unless she mistreats them, why not use her if you need to?  And by use, like if you can't take your kiddos w/ you somewhere.  You said you feel better knowing they're safe under your roof...are they unsafe at their dad's house?  If so, that's an entirely different issue.  Has he ever abused them or put them in a dangerous situation?  So what if your kids have to share toys?  Isn't that one of the first lessons we learn as children anyway? 

Between all of your families, it sounds like your kids are well-loved & well-adjusted.  Apparently they adjust well to new siblings too if they're asking for one lol.  Just curious, why wouldn't you & your dh have another?  Our girls weren't too keen on the whole baby idea until they found out they'd be getting a baby brother.  Now they're all little mother-hens :) 

Anyway, just saying I had to learn a hard lesson in selfishness & hate to see the destruction it can lead to in other people's lives too.  Praying for the best for you, your kids, and everyone involved.

Quoting shudderette:

he was the one who told me I was creating too much change in their lives, by bringing up the baby I was simply reminding him that he has created change for them too. he likes to play the blame game. I actually am pretty proud of myself for standing up to him in that argument. I will usually just take the blame, whatever. but I'm just so sick of it. he needs to see that what he does effects them too. ...sounds like you're a little defensive about that. feeling guilty? and yeah, I am fighting for 1 extra night a week. I like it when they sleep here. I sleep better knowing they're here and safe. they're my babies. it's hard for me to be apart from them. and especially since I'm not working I have the time to devote to them. I'm pretty sure that half the time they're at his house he is not even home. I mean, I don't have a problem with his gf, she's fine, a good care taker. but she is a caretaker, not their mama. if their mama is available shouldn't they be with me instead of her? never mind, I'm not gonna get any kind of agreement from you on this. You already think I'm a selfish bitch. that's statement is just gonna make it worse. so what if I'm selfish with my kids? they're MY KIDS. they're like an extension of me. I want time with them. the new dh has been living with us for more than a year. No change there. he has no kids so no change there. we see his family as couple times a year at holidays. so yeah, the oldest has to deal with that. youngest loves it, lots of cousins for him to play with. oldest, after dinner he finds a corner with my cell phone and plays angry birds. I let him because I know it's a lot to deal with. we don't stay long. it's taken a bit to get him used to them but last time we were there he actually had a decently long conversation with grandma. of course I talk to my kids about changes. when we got married I told them what to expect at the wedding and after and no, there really haven't been any changes. it was a ceremony and signing a paper. now we're legally married. No changes for the kids there. they love my dh. it was my youngest who told him he needed to marry his mama. I have not talked to the kids about having more kids because it probably wont happen. although my youngest told me the other day that he thought me and dh should have another baby. oldest agreed. he loves babies. my boys are very sweet. hardly ever act out. worst thing my oldest does is whines. drives me batty :) I think the reason they have said they don't want to go to their dad's is because at my house it's quiet and they don't have to share their stuff with 3 other kids. you get your turn with the remote a lot faster when there's only 2 kids, kwim? I find that if I give them PLENTY of warning that their dad is coming at a certain time then they don't complain as much.
Quoting ispeektrooth:

Yeah, having a baby is a huge change for any family, especially a blended one.  Your ex & his gf should have talked to your kids & prepared them for the arrival of their new sibling.  Have they complained about it to you?  If so, that's something you need to tell them they need to talk to him about.  If not, then why are you even bringing it up in arguments with him?  Bringing other family members into a dispute isn't ever a good idea, especially if it's a child, which isn't really even fair.  What if he did the same thing...threw it in your face how your new marriage/baby/job/whatever negatively affected your kids?  I kinow I'd get pretty damn defensive!  It's all about fighting fair.  Stick to the issues at hand.

Ok changes:  Medication-yeah sometimes it has to be adjusted.  Depends on the person, whatever works for them.  You not working-yeah it is probably good for your kids.  But does that also mean you have more time on your hands so when your kids aren't with you to fill the time, you're thinking about that time you don't have them?  I mean, really, he has them 1 more night a week...my kids are with their dad 1/2 of a week at a time!  One night is what you're making a big deal about?!  You got married-It may have changed more for your kids than you've realized.  Did your new dh just move in or has he been living with you?  Does he have kids of his own that your kids now have to share space with?  Have you two talked about adding to your family & your kids over heard?  Have they had to adjust new people from his side of the family?  You said one of your kids has anxiety problems...have the changes taken an extra toll on him?  Have you talked to them about all of these things that have changed?  Kids are SO much more observant than we think they are! 

My kids have NEVER said to me or their dad that they don't want to go with the other parent when it's time to go.  Sure, you might get some satisfaction & feel like you don't want to let them go but imo that's just not right that they even say it.  Like I said, kids are intuitive.  Not surprisingly, they probably know how much you dislike them leaving & having to share them.  With young kids though, its your job to facilitate that relationship between them & their dad, regardless of how much you don't want to.  My dh & his ex used to badmouth each other in front of their daughter ALL the time.  Of course she would choose sides & pick whoever she thought needed the most comfort at the time.  She's a little girl & it's not right for her to feel like she needs to be there for either parent.  It should always be the other way around!  It took awhile, but they wised up & stopped being such jerks to each other & even praise each other's involvement in front of her, me, and anyone else that might be around.  They've come a loooong way!

As I said yesterday, you both sound like you're being selfish with your kids & are more worried about the quantity of time instead of the quality.  What is that teaching them?  They deserve both of you & your so's to give them the best parenting you can.  That starts with less "me, me me" & more "them, them them."

Quoting shudderette

I didn't say that him having a baby with his gf was bad, just that it was a big change for my kids. he was trying to point out the "changes" I had made when his were changes were just as big if not more so. my point in saying that is that his arguments don't even make any sense.

the changes I have made in their lives recently, well, I asked for my son's medication to be switched from bedtime to morning. he wasnt falling asleep as easily as he used to. thought it might be because of the medicine. I asked his dad before we switched it and it's worked out fine. he's sleeping much better now. but now all of a sudden it's a big deal with his dad? huh? the boy doesn't care. I wonder if it's harder for his dad to remember or something. I don't understand why he has brought it up so many times.

and the other change is that I don't work anymore. lost my job in Oct. not my fault. and is actually a good thing for my kids because I'm not as tired and grumpy as I was. I did get married last month but that actually wasn't much of a change. nothing is different except my last name. we'd been living together for over a year. my dh is really good with the boys. he's home and active with the boys when they're here. he has bonded with each of the kids with different things. love of the chiefs and video games, for instance.

you know, life changes for all of us. we need to be able to go with the flow. whatever changes come up for our family in the future we need our boys to be ready to take it on. and I think so far they have take it rather well.

I have wondered if the juggling back and forth is bad for them but so far I think it's working ok. our older son has anxiety issues that are unrelated but otherwise both boys are generally well behaved kids. thst ask occasionally "do we sleep at your house or daddy's tonight?" and I hear "nooo I don't wanna go to daddy's. I wanna stay here" which rips my heart out but I tell them that it's daddy's turn with them and I have to share them with him. i would love to keep them alllll the time but that's not fair. they seem just fine with that explanation. 

and just for the record, I treat his gfs kids like my niece and nephew. I used to think the boy was a bad influence on my sons but since they moved in with my ex his behavior has gotten a ton better. sometimes I pick them up from school for their mom. about once a month I'll let them come over to play fora few hours after school. I encourage their relationship because I know the more people that love them the more encouragement and support my sons will feel and the better they'll do in life. so I assume, anyway :) we'll find out in 15-20 yrs.

Quoting ispeektrooth:

So much of what you've posted has been similar in my situation.  Sharing is hard!  After my ex & I separated, I wanted, no NEEDED, my kids with me.  I tried to keep them from their dad as often as I could because I was so lonely without them.  And he's a great dad!  It took me awhile but I realized how selfish I had been.  I was using my own kids to fill that empty hole in my life.  Eventually we worked out a schedule that was fair & equal for both of us.  But first & foremost, we made sure it worked FOR OUR KIDS!  Sounds like you're both selfish with the time you get with your kids, which is fine, except when that selfishness gets in the way of the quality time you're supposed to be spending with them.  Instead of watching the hours go by without them, do things you normally wouldn't when you're with them.  And when you do have them, make the most of it!

My dh now is an awesome dad too.  Can't believe I got so lucky to have 2 great men in my life that truly love their kids & want to be with them.  He has full custody of his daughter.  I had 2 of my own.  Times got hard & I was struggling financially.  So my dds & I moved in w/ him & his daughter.  A few weeks later we found out we were expecting our ds.  So does that make him a bad father because he moved on & made some changes in his life too?  Just because he now has me, my 2 & our son in no way takes away from him being the amazing dad he was before.  My sd mom has just recently became more involved in her life.  She hasn't been the most stable-changing jobs, moving, broke up w/ 1 bf just to move 1 in w/in a months time, changing jobs again, now getting married to a guy she's known less than a year.  See what I mean?  Anyway, she's at least trying to get her life in order.  Maybe you should sit down & try to see it from his perspective.  What have you done (big or small) that has in any way changed the routine of things?

Yeah, your kids are lucky they have people who love them in both homes.  But how do they feel about constantly being juggled back & forth?  How does your & your ex's schedule affect them?  Kids are resilient, sure.  But just looking at your week & trying to imagine how it works makes me exhausted!  Can't imagine how rough it is on the little ones.  A mediator/judge/lawyer can help, of course, but it's gonna cost you big bucks.  Maybe you each should make out the ideal schedules that would work for you (like around your work & activity schedules) & come together, take a look, iron out the differences & make a compromise.  As I stated before, sharing is hard, but because you've both made choices & changes, you just have to deal with it.  Just remember, your kids shouldn't have to suffer for the choices & changes you've both made or for any selfishness you both have exibited.

 

 



shudderette
by on Jan. 16, 2013 at 12:45 AM

that sounds Exactly like what I went through. he cheated and I never forgave him. I didn't cheat on him until we were separated, if you can call that cheating. it's shaky ground for me, sleeping with a man when you're legally married to another. 

anyway... we probably won't be having kids because I have my tubes tied. ex dh didn't want any more. he actually didn't even want our youngest son (I snuck him in as an "oops" and don't regret it one little bit). we lost our first baby. pain from that made him not want any more. made sense to me. I considered myself lucky to have the 2 that I did have. so since I had health ins and he didn't, I got my tubes tied. I can get them reversed for $7k.... but we don't have a spare $7k right now an  don't see that happening in our near future so... No... probably no more babies for me :( sad cause I've got baby fever pretty bad.

now to get back to the matter at hand, my sister, who is married to my ex dh s brother, believes that the reason he won't let me have any more time with them is because that would make me th  custodial parent and he is afraid I'll ask for child support (she might be a little bit biased but she does here the story from both sides). so I'm thinking about reassuring him that I am not interested in any money, just want time w my boys (although money is nice he doesn't make enough to make any difference anyway... and taking money from him would actually be taking away from my boys). so if I promise not to take him to court he might allow me to have the extra 1 night a week I'm asking for. maybe. worth a shot. we haven't really talked since we argued the other night. I hate to bring it up again but I'll have to. my boys asked me about it on the way to school this morning. they want 4 nights at my house too. they must have heard us arguing about it :( 

it's not that they're not safe at his house cause they are. it's just.... I feel better with them close. it's hard to explain. 

Quoting ispeektrooth:

First, if I wanted to call you a selfish bitch, I would have already done it.  Second, I have nothing to feel guilty about.  I'm gonna try to explain & make this as short as I can...  My ex cheated on me a few months after our 1st wedding anniversary.  We worked through things, I forgave him (or so I thought), and moved on.  A few years later, the opportunity for me to cheat presented itself & I took it.  I guess I hadn't forgiven him & wanted to punish him.  Cheating wasn't enough.  I had to use our dds against him.  I kept taking more & more time away from him, making up excuses so I wouldn't have to let him see them.  I half-expected him to walk away but he held his ground & fought me on it.  It took him, both of our families, a counselor, and the courts to put me in my place.  I actually ended up losing my dds for a few weeks.  There were some other factors that played a role at the time & I damn near lost everything.  Truth is...I feel the EXACT same way about my kids as you do yours.  They are the best parts of me.  But I didn't make them myself.  They're the best parts of my ex too, their dad.  They need him.  I know that when they're with him they're loved, fed, bathed, and snuggled just like when I have them.  He & his new wife, & me & my dh support & rely on each other.  We're just like family.  It's taken us a LONG time to get here, but I'm so thankful things have worked out for the best for us.  No your ex's gf isn't their mother, but unless she mistreats them, why not use her if you need to?  And by use, like if you can't take your kiddos w/ you somewhere.  You said you feel better knowing they're safe under your roof...are they unsafe at their dad's house?  If so, that's an entirely different issue.  Has he ever abused them or put them in a dangerous situation?  So what if your kids have to share toys?  Isn't that one of the first lessons we learn as children anyway? 

Between all of your families, it sounds like your kids are well-loved & well-adjusted.  Apparently they adjust well to new siblings too if they're asking for one lol.  Just curious, why wouldn't you & your dh have another?  Our girls weren't too keen on the whole baby idea until they found out they'd be getting a baby brother.  Now they're all little mother-hens :) 

Anyway, just saying I had to learn a hard lesson in selfishness & hate to see the destruction it can lead to in other people's lives too.  Praying for the best for you, your kids, and everyone involved.

Quoting shudderette:

he was the one who told me I was creating too much change in their lives, by bringing up the baby I was simply reminding him that he has created change for them too. he likes to play the blame game. I actually am pretty proud of myself for standing up to him in that argument. I will usually just take the blame, whatever. but I'm just so sick of it. he needs to see that what he does effects them too. ...sounds like you're a little defensive about that. feeling guilty? and yeah, I am fighting for 1 extra night a week. I like it when they sleep here. I sleep better knowing they're here and safe. they're my babies. it's hard for me to be apart from them. and especially since I'm not working I have the time to devote to them. I'm pretty sure that half the time they're at his house he is not even home. I mean, I don't have a problem with his gf, she's fine, a good care taker. but she is a caretaker, not their mama. if their mama is available shouldn't they be with me instead of her? never mind, I'm not gonna get any kind of agreement from you on this. You already think I'm a selfish bitch. that's statement is just gonna make it worse. so what if I'm selfish with my kids? they're MY KIDS. they're like an extension of me. I want time with them. the new dh has been living with us for more than a year. No change there. he has no kids so no change there. we see his family as couple times a year at holidays. so yeah, the oldest has to deal with that. youngest loves it, lots of cousins for him to play with. oldest, after dinner he finds a corner with my cell phone and plays angry birds. I let him because I know it's a lot to deal with. we don't stay long. it's taken a bit to get him used to them but last time we were there he actually had a decently long conversation with grandma. of course I talk to my kids about changes. when we got married I told them what to expect at the wedding and after and no, there really haven't been any changes. it was a ceremony and signing a paper. now we're legally married. No changes for the kids there. they love my dh. it was my youngest who told him he needed to marry his mama. I have not talked to the kids about having more kids because it probably wont happen. although my youngest told me the other day that he thought me and dh should have another baby. oldest agreed. he loves babies. my boys are very sweet. hardly ever act out. worst thing my oldest does is whines. drives me batty :) I think the reason they have said they don't want to go to their dad's is because at my house it's quiet and they don't have to share their stuff with 3 other kids. you get your turn with the remote a lot faster when there's only 2 kids, kwim? I find that if I give them PLENTY of warning that their dad is coming at a certain time then they don't complain as much.
Quoting ispeektrooth:

Yeah, having a baby is a huge change for any family, especially a blended one.  Your ex & his gf should have talked to your kids & prepared them for the arrival of their new sibling.  Have they complained about it to you?  If so, that's something you need to tell them they need to talk to him about.  If not, then why are you even bringing it up in arguments with him?  Bringing other family members into a dispute isn't ever a good idea, especially if it's a child, which isn't really even fair.  What if he did the same thing...threw it in your face how your new marriage/baby/job/whatever negatively affected your kids?  I kinow I'd get pretty damn defensive!  It's all about fighting fair.  Stick to the issues at hand.

Ok changes:  Medication-yeah sometimes it has to be adjusted.  Depends on the person, whatever works for them.  You not working-yeah it is probably good for your kids.  But does that also mean you have more time on your hands so when your kids aren't with you to fill the time, you're thinking about that time you don't have them?  I mean, really, he has them 1 more night a week...my kids are with their dad 1/2 of a week at a time!  One night is what you're making a big deal about?!  You got married-It may have changed more for your kids than you've realized.  Did your new dh just move in or has he been living with you?  Does he have kids of his own that your kids now have to share space with?  Have you two talked about adding to your family & your kids over heard?  Have they had to adjust new people from his side of the family?  You said one of your kids has anxiety problems...have the changes taken an extra toll on him?  Have you talked to them about all of these things that have changed?  Kids are SO much more observant than we think they are! 

My kids have NEVER said to me or their dad that they don't want to go with the other parent when it's time to go.  Sure, you might get some satisfaction & feel like you don't want to let them go but imo that's just not right that they even say it.  Like I said, kids are intuitive.  Not surprisingly, they probably know how much you dislike them leaving & having to share them.  With young kids though, its your job to facilitate that relationship between them & their dad, regardless of how much you don't want to.  My dh & his ex used to badmouth each other in front of their daughter ALL the time.  Of course she would choose sides & pick whoever she thought needed the most comfort at the time.  She's a little girl & it's not right for her to feel like she needs to be there for either parent.  It should always be the other way around!  It took awhile, but they wised up & stopped being such jerks to each other & even praise each other's involvement in front of her, me, and anyone else that might be around.  They've come a loooong way!

As I said yesterday, you both sound like you're being selfish with your kids & are more worried about the quantity of time instead of the quality.  What is that teaching them?  They deserve both of you & your so's to give them the best parenting you can.  That starts with less "me, me me" & more "them, them them."

Quoting shudderette

I didn't say that him having a baby with his gf was bad, just that it was a big change for my kids. he was trying to point out the "changes" I had made when his were changes were just as big if not more so. my point in saying that is that his arguments don't even make any sense.

the changes I have made in their lives recently, well, I asked for my son's medication to be switched from bedtime to morning. he wasnt falling asleep as easily as he used to. thought it might be because of the medicine. I asked his dad before we switched it and it's worked out fine. he's sleeping much better now. but now all of a sudden it's a big deal with his dad? huh? the boy doesn't care. I wonder if it's harder for his dad to remember or something. I don't understand why he has brought it up so many times.

and the other change is that I don't work anymore. lost my job in Oct. not my fault. and is actually a good thing for my kids because I'm not as tired and grumpy as I was. I did get married last month but that actually wasn't much of a change. nothing is different except my last name. we'd been living together for over a year. my dh is really good with the boys. he's home and active with the boys when they're here. he has bonded with each of the kids with different things. love of the chiefs and video games, for instance.

you know, life changes for all of us. we need to be able to go with the flow. whatever changes come up for our family in the future we need our boys to be ready to take it on. and I think so far they have take it rather well.

I have wondered if the juggling back and forth is bad for them but so far I think it's working ok. our older son has anxiety issues that are unrelated but otherwise both boys are generally well behaved kids. thst ask occasionally "do we sleep at your house or daddy's tonight?" and I hear "nooo I don't wanna go to daddy's. I wanna stay here" which rips my heart out but I tell them that it's daddy's turn with them and I have to share them with him. i would love to keep them alllll the time but that's not fair. they seem just fine with that explanation. 

and just for the record, I treat his gfs kids like my niece and nephew. I used to think the boy was a bad influence on my sons but since they moved in with my ex his behavior has gotten a ton better. sometimes I pick them up from school for their mom. about once a month I'll let them come over to play fora few hours after school. I encourage their relationship because I know the more people that love them the more encouragement and support my sons will feel and the better they'll do in life. so I assume, anyway :) we'll find out in 15-20 yrs.

Quoting ispeektrooth:

So much of what you've posted has been similar in my situation.  Sharing is hard!  After my ex & I separated, I wanted, no NEEDED, my kids with me.  I tried to keep them from their dad as often as I could because I was so lonely without them.  And he's a great dad!  It took me awhile but I realized how selfish I had been.  I was using my own kids to fill that empty hole in my life.  Eventually we worked out a schedule that was fair & equal for both of us.  But first & foremost, we made sure it worked FOR OUR KIDS!  Sounds like you're both selfish with the time you get with your kids, which is fine, except when that selfishness gets in the way of the quality time you're supposed to be spending with them.  Instead of watching the hours go by without them, do things you normally wouldn't when you're with them.  And when you do have them, make the most of it!

My dh now is an awesome dad too.  Can't believe I got so lucky to have 2 great men in my life that truly love their kids & want to be with them.  He has full custody of his daughter.  I had 2 of my own.  Times got hard & I was struggling financially.  So my dds & I moved in w/ him & his daughter.  A few weeks later we found out we were expecting our ds.  So does that make him a bad father because he moved on & made some changes in his life too?  Just because he now has me, my 2 & our son in no way takes away from him being the amazing dad he was before.  My sd mom has just recently became more involved in her life.  She hasn't been the most stable-changing jobs, moving, broke up w/ 1 bf just to move 1 in w/in a months time, changing jobs again, now getting married to a guy she's known less than a year.  See what I mean?  Anyway, she's at least trying to get her life in order.  Maybe you should sit down & try to see it from his perspective.  What have you done (big or small) that has in any way changed the routine of things?

Yeah, your kids are lucky they have people who love them in both homes.  But how do they feel about constantly being juggled back & forth?  How does your & your ex's schedule affect them?  Kids are resilient, sure.  But just looking at your week & trying to imagine how it works makes me exhausted!  Can't imagine how rough it is on the little ones.  A mediator/judge/lawyer can help, of course, but it's gonna cost you big bucks.  Maybe you each should make out the ideal schedules that would work for you (like around your work & activity schedules) & come together, take a look, iron out the differences & make a compromise.  As I stated before, sharing is hard, but because you've both made choices & changes, you just have to deal with it.  Just remember, your kids shouldn't have to suffer for the choices & changes you've both made or for any selfishness you both have exibited.






easinpc
by Gold Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 11:44 AM

My sons dad and I also have 50-50 and I have him every Mon & Wed night and every other Fri-Sun and his dad has him the opposite nights.  If his dad has to go out of town for work I have him full time though.  It works for us and in the end we end up having him the same amounts (except for when his dads gone). 

ispeektrooth
by on Jan. 18, 2013 at 2:38 PM

Baby fever must be in the air!  I've got 3 different friends that are expecting twins right now!  I really want another but dh says 4 total is plenty.  Still working on convincing him as I'll have my tubes tied eventually & don't want to regret it...yanno?  And with 3 girls & 1 boy I'd like the chance to even the odds for our ds ;)

Regardless of who did what & when, the issue is still time w/ your kids.  At least he's willing to fight for his time w/ them too.  It's rare to find responsible, postitive male figures anymore, let alone dads who actually still give a damn about their own offspring.  It's definitely not a good thing for your kids to overhear.  If they can hear your conversations, that's just asking for trouble.  And hopefully neither one of you is "coaching" or "prompting" them into saying what you want to hear.  That's exactly what I AM guilty of doing in the past.  That's like asking your kids to choose which parent they'd rather spend time with.  It's wrong & downright unfair to the kids & to the other parent.  Besides, at your kids' ages, they couldn't decide for themselves anyway if you were to go to court.  The judge would tell you both that your kids need equal time with BOTH of you.  And that's not for children to decide anyway.  Kids just need to know the basics, not all of the ins & outs of your divorce or custody/time agreement. 

I know what your're saying & it's just pure motherly instinct.  Simple as that.  You want your kids with you.  Don't dads have that too though?  The sooner you guys get this figured out the better.  Come up with some sort of agreement that you both can live with and that's suitable for your boys.  You all deserve that.  One thing I did think of though...have either one of you thought about the summer?  You said you're not working & you're pushing for another night of the week.  What's going to happen over the summer when you have them all day every day & he wants them all the time he's not working?  Just a suggestion, but you shoudl probably work that out too.


Quoting shudderette:

that sounds Exactly like what I went through. he cheated and I never forgave him. I didn't cheat on him until we were separated, if you can call that cheating. it's shaky ground for me, sleeping with a man when you're legally married to another. 

anyway... we probably won't be having kids because I have my tubes tied. ex dh didn't want any more. he actually didn't even want our youngest son (I snuck him in as an "oops" and don't regret it one little bit). we lost our first baby. pain from that made him not want any more. made sense to me. I considered myself lucky to have the 2 that I did have. so since I had health ins and he didn't, I got my tubes tied. I can get them reversed for $7k.... but we don't have a spare $7k right now an  don't see that happening in our near future so... No... probably no more babies for me :( sad cause I've got baby fever pretty bad.

now to get back to the matter at hand, my sister, who is married to my ex dh s brother, believes that the reason he won't let me have any more time with them is because that would make me th  custodial parent and he is afraid I'll ask for child support (she might be a little bit biased but she does here the story from both sides). so I'm thinking about reassuring him that I am not interested in any money, just want time w my boys (although money is nice he doesn't make enough to make any difference anyway... and taking money from him would actually be taking away from my boys). so if I promise not to take him to court he might allow me to have the extra 1 night a week I'm asking for. maybe. worth a shot. we haven't really talked since we argued the other night. I hate to bring it up again but I'll have to. my boys asked me about it on the way to school this morning. they want 4 nights at my house too. they must have heard us arguing about it :( 

it's not that they're not safe at his house cause they are. it's just.... I feel better with them close. it's hard to explain. 

Quoting ispeektrooth:

First, if I wanted to call you a selfish bitch, I would have already done it.  Second, I have nothing to feel guilty about.  I'm gonna try to explain & make this as short as I can...  My ex cheated on me a few months after our 1st wedding anniversary.  We worked through things, I forgave him (or so I thought), and moved on.  A few years later, the opportunity for me to cheat presented itself & I took it.  I guess I hadn't forgiven him & wanted to punish him.  Cheating wasn't enough.  I had to use our dds against him.  I kept taking more & more time away from him, making up excuses so I wouldn't have to let him see them.  I half-expected him to walk away but he held his ground & fought me on it.  It took him, both of our families, a counselor, and the courts to put me in my place.  I actually ended up losing my dds for a few weeks.  There were some other factors that played a role at the time & I damn near lost everything.  Truth is...I feel the EXACT same way about my kids as you do yours.  They are the best parts of me.  But I didn't make them myself.  They're the best parts of my ex too, their dad.  They need him.  I know that when they're with him they're loved, fed, bathed, and snuggled just like when I have them.  He & his new wife, & me & my dh support & rely on each other.  We're just like family.  It's taken us a LONG time to get here, but I'm so thankful things have worked out for the best for us.  No your ex's gf isn't their mother, but unless she mistreats them, why not use her if you need to?  And by use, like if you can't take your kiddos w/ you somewhere.  You said you feel better knowing they're safe under your roof...are they unsafe at their dad's house?  If so, that's an entirely different issue.  Has he ever abused them or put them in a dangerous situation?  So what if your kids have to share toys?  Isn't that one of the first lessons we learn as children anyway? 

Between all of your families, it sounds like your kids are well-loved & well-adjusted.  Apparently they adjust well to new siblings too if they're asking for one lol.  Just curious, why wouldn't you & your dh have another?  Our girls weren't too keen on the whole baby idea until they found out they'd be getting a baby brother.  Now they're all little mother-hens :) 

Anyway, just saying I had to learn a hard lesson in selfishness & hate to see the destruction it can lead to in other people's lives too.  Praying for the best for you, your kids, and everyone involved.

Quoting shudderette:

he was the one who told me I was creating too much change in their lives, by bringing up the baby I was simply reminding him that he has created change for them too. he likes to play the blame game. I actually am pretty proud of myself for standing up to him in that argument. I will usually just take the blame, whatever. but I'm just so sick of it. he needs to see that what he does effects them too. ...sounds like you're a little defensive about that. feeling guilty? and yeah, I am fighting for 1 extra night a week. I like it when they sleep here. I sleep better knowing they're here and safe. they're my babies. it's hard for me to be apart from them. and especially since I'm not working I have the time to devote to them. I'm pretty sure that half the time they're at his house he is not even home. I mean, I don't have a problem with his gf, she's fine, a good care taker. but she is a caretaker, not their mama. if their mama is available shouldn't they be with me instead of her? never mind, I'm not gonna get any kind of agreement from you on this. You already think I'm a selfish bitch. that's statement is just gonna make it worse. so what if I'm selfish with my kids? they're MY KIDS. they're like an extension of me. I want time with them. the new dh has been living with us for more than a year. No change there. he has no kids so no change there. we see his family as couple times a year at holidays. so yeah, the oldest has to deal with that. youngest loves it, lots of cousins for him to play with. oldest, after dinner he finds a corner with my cell phone and plays angry birds. I let him because I know it's a lot to deal with. we don't stay long. it's taken a bit to get him used to them but last time we were there he actually had a decently long conversation with grandma. of course I talk to my kids about changes. when we got married I told them what to expect at the wedding and after and no, there really haven't been any changes. it was a ceremony and signing a paper. now we're legally married. No changes for the kids there. they love my dh. it was my youngest who told him he needed to marry his mama. I have not talked to the kids about having more kids because it probably wont happen. although my youngest told me the other day that he thought me and dh should have another baby. oldest agreed. he loves babies. my boys are very sweet. hardly ever act out. worst thing my oldest does is whines. drives me batty :) I think the reason they have said they don't want to go to their dad's is because at my house it's quiet and they don't have to share their stuff with 3 other kids. you get your turn with the remote a lot faster when there's only 2 kids, kwim? I find that if I give them PLENTY of warning that their dad is coming at a certain time then they don't complain as much.
Quoting ispeektrooth:

Yeah, having a baby is a huge change for any family, especially a blended one.  Your ex & his gf should have talked to your kids & prepared them for the arrival of their new sibling.  Have they complained about it to you?  If so, that's something you need to tell them they need to talk to him about.  If not, then why are you even bringing it up in arguments with him?  Bringing other family members into a dispute isn't ever a good idea, especially if it's a child, which isn't really even fair.  What if he did the same thing...threw it in your face how your new marriage/baby/job/whatever negatively affected your kids?  I kinow I'd get pretty damn defensive!  It's all about fighting fair.  Stick to the issues at hand.

Ok changes:  Medication-yeah sometimes it has to be adjusted.  Depends on the person, whatever works for them.  You not working-yeah it is probably good for your kids.  But does that also mean you have more time on your hands so when your kids aren't with you to fill the time, you're thinking about that time you don't have them?  I mean, really, he has them 1 more night a week...my kids are with their dad 1/2 of a week at a time!  One night is what you're making a big deal about?!  You got married-It may have changed more for your kids than you've realized.  Did your new dh just move in or has he been living with you?  Does he have kids of his own that your kids now have to share space with?  Have you two talked about adding to your family & your kids over heard?  Have they had to adjust new people from his side of the family?  You said one of your kids has anxiety problems...have the changes taken an extra toll on him?  Have you talked to them about all of these things that have changed?  Kids are SO much more observant than we think they are! 

My kids have NEVER said to me or their dad that they don't want to go with the other parent when it's time to go.  Sure, you might get some satisfaction & feel like you don't want to let them go but imo that's just not right that they even say it.  Like I said, kids are intuitive.  Not surprisingly, they probably know how much you dislike them leaving & having to share them.  With young kids though, its your job to facilitate that relationship between them & their dad, regardless of how much you don't want to.  My dh & his ex used to badmouth each other in front of their daughter ALL the time.  Of course she would choose sides & pick whoever she thought needed the most comfort at the time.  She's a little girl & it's not right for her to feel like she needs to be there for either parent.  It should always be the other way around!  It took awhile, but they wised up & stopped being such jerks to each other & even praise each other's involvement in front of her, me, and anyone else that might be around.  They've come a loooong way!

As I said yesterday, you both sound like you're being selfish with your kids & are more worried about the quantity of time instead of the quality.  What is that teaching them?  They deserve both of you & your so's to give them the best parenting you can.  That starts with less "me, me me" & more "them, them them."

Quoting shudderette

I didn't say that him having a baby with his gf was bad, just that it was a big change for my kids. he was trying to point out the "changes" I had made when his were changes were just as big if not more so. my point in saying that is that his arguments don't even make any sense.

the changes I have made in their lives recently, well, I asked for my son's medication to be switched from bedtime to morning. he wasnt falling asleep as easily as he used to. thought it might be because of the medicine. I asked his dad before we switched it and it's worked out fine. he's sleeping much better now. but now all of a sudden it's a big deal with his dad? huh? the boy doesn't care. I wonder if it's harder for his dad to remember or something. I don't understand why he has brought it up so many times.

and the other change is that I don't work anymore. lost my job in Oct. not my fault. and is actually a good thing for my kids because I'm not as tired and grumpy as I was. I did get married last month but that actually wasn't much of a change. nothing is different except my last name. we'd been living together for over a year. my dh is really good with the boys. he's home and active with the boys when they're here. he has bonded with each of the kids with different things. love of the chiefs and video games, for instance.

you know, life changes for all of us. we need to be able to go with the flow. whatever changes come up for our family in the future we need our boys to be ready to take it on. and I think so far they have take it rather well.

I have wondered if the juggling back and forth is bad for them but so far I think it's working ok. our older son has anxiety issues that are unrelated but otherwise both boys are generally well behaved kids. thst ask occasionally "do we sleep at your house or daddy's tonight?" and I hear "nooo I don't wanna go to daddy's. I wanna stay here" which rips my heart out but I tell them that it's daddy's turn with them and I have to share them with him. i would love to keep them alllll the time but that's not fair. they seem just fine with that explanation. 

and just for the record, I treat his gfs kids like my niece and nephew. I used to think the boy was a bad influence on my sons but since they moved in with my ex his behavior has gotten a ton better. sometimes I pick them up from school for their mom. about once a month I'll let them come over to play fora few hours after school. I encourage their relationship because I know the more people that love them the more encouragement and support my sons will feel and the better they'll do in life. so I assume, anyway :) we'll find out in 15-20 yrs.

Quoting ispeektrooth:

So much of what you've posted has been similar in my situation.  Sharing is hard!  After my ex & I separated, I wanted, no NEEDED, my kids with me.  I tried to keep them from their dad as often as I could because I was so lonely without them.  And he's a great dad!  It took me awhile but I realized how selfish I had been.  I was using my own kids to fill that empty hole in my life.  Eventually we worked out a schedule that was fair & equal for both of us.  But first & foremost, we made sure it worked FOR OUR KIDS!  Sounds like you're both selfish with the time you get with your kids, which is fine, except when that selfishness gets in the way of the quality time you're supposed to be spending with them.  Instead of watching the hours go by without them, do things you normally wouldn't when you're with them.  And when you do have them, make the most of it!

My dh now is an awesome dad too.  Can't believe I got so lucky to have 2 great men in my life that truly love their kids & want to be with them.  He has full custody of his daughter.  I had 2 of my own.  Times got hard & I was struggling financially.  So my dds & I moved in w/ him & his daughter.  A few weeks later we found out we were expecting our ds.  So does that make him a bad father because he moved on & made some changes in his life too?  Just because he now has me, my 2 & our son in no way takes away from him being the amazing dad he was before.  My sd mom has just recently became more involved in her life.  She hasn't been the most stable-changing jobs, moving, broke up w/ 1 bf just to move 1 in w/in a months time, changing jobs again, now getting married to a guy she's known less than a year.  See what I mean?  Anyway, she's at least trying to get her life in order.  Maybe you should sit down & try to see it from his perspective.  What have you done (big or small) that has in any way changed the routine of things?

Yeah, your kids are lucky they have people who love them in both homes.  But how do they feel about constantly being juggled back & forth?  How does your & your ex's schedule affect them?  Kids are resilient, sure.  But just looking at your week & trying to imagine how it works makes me exhausted!  Can't imagine how rough it is on the little ones.  A mediator/judge/lawyer can help, of course, but it's gonna cost you big bucks.  Maybe you each should make out the ideal schedules that would work for you (like around your work & activity schedules) & come together, take a look, iron out the differences & make a compromise.  As I stated before, sharing is hard, but because you've both made choices & changes, you just have to deal with it.  Just remember, your kids shouldn't have to suffer for the choices & changes you've both made or for any selfishness you both have exibited.

 

 


 

 


 

shudderette
by on Jan. 18, 2013 at 2:47 PM


I asked him to sit down with me and got him to agree for next Wed night while the kids are in church. told him we'd both benefit from a revamp of the schedule. I'm sure we can come to an agreement we're both happy with.

I have them all day during the day in the summer and when they''re on breaks from school.

Quoting ispeektrooth:

Baby fever must be in the air!  I've got 3 different friends that are expecting twins right now!  I really want another but dh says 4 total is plenty.  Still working on convincing him as I'll have my tubes tied eventually & don't want to regret it...yanno?  And with 3 girls & 1 boy I'd like the chance to even the odds for our ds ;)

Regardless of who did what & when, the issue is still time w/ your kids.  At least he's willing to fight for his time w/ them too.  It's rare to find responsible, postitive male figures anymore, let alone dads who actually still give a damn about their own offspring.  It's definitely not a good thing for your kids to overhear.  If they can hear your conversations, that's just asking for trouble.  And hopefully neither one of you is "coaching" or "prompting" them into saying what you want to hear.  That's exactly what I AM guilty of doing in the past.  That's like asking your kids to choose which parent they'd rather spend time with.  It's wrong & downright unfair to the kids & to the other parent.  Besides, at your kids' ages, they couldn't decide for themselves anyway if you were to go to court.  The judge would tell you both that your kids need equal time with BOTH of you.  And that's not for children to decide anyway.  Kids just need to know the basics, not all of the ins & outs of your divorce or custody/time agreement. 

I know what your're saying & it's just pure motherly instinct.  Simple as that.  You want your kids with you.  Don't dads have that too though?  The sooner you guys get this figured out the better.  Come up with some sort of agreement that you both can live with and that's suitable for your boys.  You all deserve that.  One thing I did think of though...have either one of you thought about the summer?  You said you're not working & you're pushing for another night of the week.  What's going to happen over the summer when you have them all day every day & he wants them all the time he's not working?  Just a suggestion, but you shoudl probably work that out too.


Quoting shudderette:

that sounds Exactly like what I went through. he cheated and I never forgave him. I didn't cheat on him until we were separated, if you can call that cheating. it's shaky ground for me, sleeping with a man when you're legally married to another. 

anyway... we probably won't be having kids because I have my tubes tied. ex dh didn't want any more. he actually didn't even want our youngest son (I snuck him in as an "oops" and don't regret it one little bit). we lost our first baby. pain from that made him not want any more. made sense to me. I considered myself lucky to have the 2 that I did have. so since I had health ins and he didn't, I got my tubes tied. I can get them reversed for $7k.... but we don't have a spare $7k right now an  don't see that happening in our near future so... No... probably no more babies for me :( sad cause I've got baby fever pretty bad.

now to get back to the matter at hand, my sister, who is married to my ex dh s brother, believes that the reason he won't let me have any more time with them is because that would make me th  custodial parent and he is afraid I'll ask for child support (she might be a little bit biased but she does here the story from both sides). so I'm thinking about reassuring him that I am not interested in any money, just want time w my boys (although money is nice he doesn't make enough to make any difference anyway... and taking money from him would actually be taking away from my boys). so if I promise not to take him to court he might allow me to have the extra 1 night a week I'm asking for. maybe. worth a shot. we haven't really talked since we argued the other night. I hate to bring it up again but I'll have to. my boys asked me about it on the way to school this morning. they want 4 nights at my house too. they must have heard us arguing about it :( 

it's not that they're not safe at his house cause they are. it's just.... I feel better with them close. it's hard to explain. 

Quoting ispeektrooth:

First, if I wanted to call you a selfish bitch, I would have already done it.  Second, I have nothing to feel guilty about.  I'm gonna try to explain & make this as short as I can...  My ex cheated on me a few months after our 1st wedding anniversary.  We worked through things, I forgave him (or so I thought), and moved on.  A few years later, the opportunity for me to cheat presented itself & I took it.  I guess I hadn't forgiven him & wanted to punish him.  Cheating wasn't enough.  I had to use our dds against him.  I kept taking more & more time away from him, making up excuses so I wouldn't have to let him see them.  I half-expected him to walk away but he held his ground & fought me on it.  It took him, both of our families, a counselor, and the courts to put me in my place.  I actually ended up losing my dds for a few weeks.  There were some other factors that played a role at the time & I damn near lost everything.  Truth is...I feel the EXACT same way about my kids as you do yours.  They are the best parts of me.  But I didn't make them myself.  They're the best parts of my ex too, their dad.  They need him.  I know that when they're with him they're loved, fed, bathed, and snuggled just like when I have them.  He & his new wife, & me & my dh support & rely on each other.  We're just like family.  It's taken us a LONG time to get here, but I'm so thankful things have worked out for the best for us.  No your ex's gf isn't their mother, but unless she mistreats them, why not use her if you need to?  And by use, like if you can't take your kiddos w/ you somewhere.  You said you feel better knowing they're safe under your roof...are they unsafe at their dad's house?  If so, that's an entirely different issue.  Has he ever abused them or put them in a dangerous situation?  So what if your kids have to share toys?  Isn't that one of the first lessons we learn as children anyway? 

Between all of your families, it sounds like your kids are well-loved & well-adjusted.  Apparently they adjust well to new siblings too if they're asking for one lol.  Just curious, why wouldn't you & your dh have another?  Our girls weren't too keen on the whole baby idea until they found out they'd be getting a baby brother.  Now they're all little mother-hens :) 

Anyway, just saying I had to learn a hard lesson in selfishness & hate to see the destruction it can lead to in other people's lives too.  Praying for the best for you, your kids, and everyone involved.

Quoting shudderette:

he was the one who told me I was creating too much change in their lives, by bringing up the baby I was simply reminding him that he has created change for them too. he likes to play the blame game. I actually am pretty proud of myself for standing up to him in that argument. I will usually just take the blame, whatever. but I'm just so sick of it. he needs to see that what he does effects them too. ...sounds like you're a little defensive about that. feeling guilty? and yeah, I am fighting for 1 extra night a week. I like it when they sleep here. I sleep better knowing they're here and safe. they're my babies. it's hard for me to be apart from them. and especially since I'm not working I have the time to devote to them. I'm pretty sure that half the time they're at his house he is not even home. I mean, I don't have a problem with his gf, she's fine, a good care taker. but she is a caretaker, not their mama. if their mama is available shouldn't they be with me instead of her? never mind, I'm not gonna get any kind of agreement from you on this. You already think I'm a selfish bitch. that's statement is just gonna make it worse. so what if I'm selfish with my kids? they're MY KIDS. they're like an extension of me. I want time with them. the new dh has been living with us for more than a year. No change there. he has no kids so no change there. we see his family as couple times a year at holidays. so yeah, the oldest has to deal with that. youngest loves it, lots of cousins for him to play with. oldest, after dinner he finds a corner with my cell phone and plays angry birds. I let him because I know it's a lot to deal with. we don't stay long. it's taken a bit to get him used to them but last time we were there he actually had a decently long conversation with grandma. of course I talk to my kids about changes. when we got married I told them what to expect at the wedding and after and no, there really haven't been any changes. it was a ceremony and signing a paper. now we're legally married. No changes for the kids there. they love my dh. it was my youngest who told him he needed to marry his mama. I have not talked to the kids about having more kids because it probably wont happen. although my youngest told me the other day that he thought me and dh should have another baby. oldest agreed. he loves babies. my boys are very sweet. hardly ever act out. worst thing my oldest does is whines. drives me batty :) I think the reason they have said they don't want to go to their dad's is because at my house it's quiet and they don't have to share their stuff with 3 other kids. you get your turn with the remote a lot faster when there's only 2 kids, kwim? I find that if I give them PLENTY of warning that their dad is coming at a certain time then they don't complain as much.
Quoting ispeektrooth:

Yeah, having a baby is a huge change for any family, especially a blended one.  Your ex & his gf should have talked to your kids & prepared them for the arrival of their new sibling.  Have they complained about it to you?  If so, that's something you need to tell them they need to talk to him about.  If not, then why are you even bringing it up in arguments with him?  Bringing other family members into a dispute isn't ever a good idea, especially if it's a child, which isn't really even fair.  What if he did the same thing...threw it in your face how your new marriage/baby/job/whatever negatively affected your kids?  I kinow I'd get pretty damn defensive!  It's all about fighting fair.  Stick to the issues at hand.

Ok changes:  Medication-yeah sometimes it has to be adjusted.  Depends on the person, whatever works for them.  You not working-yeah it is probably good for your kids.  But does that also mean you have more time on your hands so when your kids aren't with you to fill the time, you're thinking about that time you don't have them?  I mean, really, he has them 1 more night a week...my kids are with their dad 1/2 of a week at a time!  One night is what you're making a big deal about?!  You got married-It may have changed more for your kids than you've realized.  Did your new dh just move in or has he been living with you?  Does he have kids of his own that your kids now have to share space with?  Have you two talked about adding to your family & your kids over heard?  Have they had to adjust new people from his side of the family?  You said one of your kids has anxiety problems...have the changes taken an extra toll on him?  Have you talked to them about all of these things that have changed?  Kids are SO much more observant than we think they are! 

My kids have NEVER said to me or their dad that they don't want to go with the other parent when it's time to go.  Sure, you might get some satisfaction & feel like you don't want to let them go but imo that's just not right that they even say it.  Like I said, kids are intuitive.  Not surprisingly, they probably know how much you dislike them leaving & having to share them.  With young kids though, its your job to facilitate that relationship between them & their dad, regardless of how much you don't want to.  My dh & his ex used to badmouth each other in front of their daughter ALL the time.  Of course she would choose sides & pick whoever she thought needed the most comfort at the time.  She's a little girl & it's not right for her to feel like she needs to be there for either parent.  It should always be the other way around!  It took awhile, but they wised up & stopped being such jerks to each other & even praise each other's involvement in front of her, me, and anyone else that might be around.  They've come a loooong way!

As I said yesterday, you both sound like you're being selfish with your kids & are more worried about the quantity of time instead of the quality.  What is that teaching them?  They deserve both of you & your so's to give them the best parenting you can.  That starts with less "me, me me" & more "them, them them."

Quoting shudderette

I didn't say that him having a baby with his gf was bad, just that it was a big change for my kids. he was trying to point out the "changes" I had made when his were changes were just as big if not more so. my point in saying that is that his arguments don't even make any sense.

the changes I have made in their lives recently, well, I asked for my son's medication to be switched from bedtime to morning. he wasnt falling asleep as easily as he used to. thought it might be because of the medicine. I asked his dad before we switched it and it's worked out fine. he's sleeping much better now. but now all of a sudden it's a big deal with his dad? huh? the boy doesn't care. I wonder if it's harder for his dad to remember or something. I don't understand why he has brought it up so many times.

and the other change is that I don't work anymore. lost my job in Oct. not my fault. and is actually a good thing for my kids because I'm not as tired and grumpy as I was. I did get married last month but that actually wasn't much of a change. nothing is different except my last name. we'd been living together for over a year. my dh is really good with the boys. he's home and active with the boys when they're here. he has bonded with each of the kids with different things. love of the chiefs and video games, for instance.

you know, life changes for all of us. we need to be able to go with the flow. whatever changes come up for our family in the future we need our boys to be ready to take it on. and I think so far they have take it rather well.

I have wondered if the juggling back and forth is bad for them but so far I think it's working ok. our older son has anxiety issues that are unrelated but otherwise both boys are generally well behaved kids. thst ask occasionally "do we sleep at your house or daddy's tonight?" and I hear "nooo I don't wanna go to daddy's. I wanna stay here" which rips my heart out but I tell them that it's daddy's turn with them and I have to share them with him. i would love to keep them alllll the time but that's not fair. they seem just fine with that explanation. 

and just for the record, I treat his gfs kids like my niece and nephew. I used to think the boy was a bad influence on my sons but since they moved in with my ex his behavior has gotten a ton better. sometimes I pick them up from school for their mom. about once a month I'll let them come over to play fora few hours after school. I encourage their relationship because I know the more people that love them the more encouragement and support my sons will feel and the better they'll do in life. so I assume, anyway :) we'll find out in 15-20 yrs.

Quoting ispeektrooth:

So much of what you've posted has been similar in my situation.  Sharing is hard!  After my ex & I separated, I wanted, no NEEDED, my kids with me.  I tried to keep them from their dad as often as I could because I was so lonely without them.  And he's a great dad!  It took me awhile but I realized how selfish I had been.  I was using my own kids to fill that empty hole in my life.  Eventually we worked out a schedule that was fair & equal for both of us.  But first & foremost, we made sure it worked FOR OUR KIDS!  Sounds like you're both selfish with the time you get with your kids, which is fine, except when that selfishness gets in the way of the quality time you're supposed to be spending with them.  Instead of watching the hours go by without them, do things you normally wouldn't when you're with them.  And when you do have them, make the most of it!

My dh now is an awesome dad too.  Can't believe I got so lucky to have 2 great men in my life that truly love their kids & want to be with them.  He has full custody of his daughter.  I had 2 of my own.  Times got hard & I was struggling financially.  So my dds & I moved in w/ him & his daughter.  A few weeks later we found out we were expecting our ds.  So does that make him a bad father because he moved on & made some changes in his life too?  Just because he now has me, my 2 & our son in no way takes away from him being the amazing dad he was before.  My sd mom has just recently became more involved in her life.  She hasn't been the most stable-changing jobs, moving, broke up w/ 1 bf just to move 1 in w/in a months time, changing jobs again, now getting married to a guy she's known less than a year.  See what I mean?  Anyway, she's at least trying to get her life in order.  Maybe you should sit down & try to see it from his perspective.  What have you done (big or small) that has in any way changed the routine of things?

Yeah, your kids are lucky they have people who love them in both homes.  But how do they feel about constantly being juggled back & forth?  How does your & your ex's schedule affect them?  Kids are resilient, sure.  But just looking at your week & trying to imagine how it works makes me exhausted!  Can't imagine how rough it is on the little ones.  A mediator/judge/lawyer can help, of course, but it's gonna cost you big bucks.  Maybe you each should make out the ideal schedules that would work for you (like around your work & activity schedules) & come together, take a look, iron out the differences & make a compromise.  As I stated before, sharing is hard, but because you've both made choices & changes, you just have to deal with it.  Just remember, your kids shouldn't have to suffer for the choices & changes you've both made or for any selfishness you both have exibited.










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