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How to compete with the other parent & his family when you're a single mom

Posted by on Nov. 27, 2017 at 11:17 AM
  • 6 Replies

I need advice on how to deal with my child's dad & his family. My daughter is about to be 5 years old on Jan 1, 2018. I have an intersate custody battle with my child's dad where he gets visitation on alternating holidays such as Easter, Thanksgiving, & Christmas, & 4 weeks (split into two 2-week period) during summer. He also has the option of coming to get her for one weekend per month, but doesn't exercise this. He lives in Lubbock, TX & my daughter & I live in New Orleans, La. His family, consisting of his mother, older sister, & older sister's girlfriend (yes, they are gay), all live together in a house in Flower Mound, TX. Whenever my daughter goes for her visitation with her father he goes to their house in Flower Mound to have his visitation so his family can see her too.

Now, the issue is that whenever she is out there they all take off work or rearrange their schedules so they can be off & take her to do fun things. For example, she just got back yesterday from her Thanksgiving visit & they took her ice skating, Disney on Ice & bought her all this stuff, & they took her to the ice sculpture exhibit "Ice" at the Gaylord Texan, & to see Santa at the mall, & I'm sure many other things. On the last few visits, for the first couple of days she's back home, she cries & says she misses them (which I tell her is fine) & wants to go back & doesn't want to be here with me. Then after a few days it's like she forgets & gets back into her routine. I'm not sure how to handle this. I am a single mom (since she was 17 months) due to her dad's lack of responsibility & wanting "to be free" to sum it up. When she's with me (which is most of the time since I have primary custody) she has to go to Pre-K while I go to work during the day & she'll be starting Elementary school next August 2018. I only have the weekends to take her to do fun things & even then some weekends I just want to relax around the house rather than go off places.When she goes up there she's off of school & there's no having to wake up early & things to do as part of our routine so of course she likes that better. In addition to this, her grandma (her dad's mom) is very controlling & possessive of my child. Since my daughter was born it's like sees her as her child. I won't get into all of the things she has done to me & my child. Just know that it was some pretty messed up stuff & that she does not respect me as the mother. I have these feelings (although I cannot prove it) that she is putting things in my daughter head about me & our circumstances. For example, his mom & family dropped her off to me yesterday & when his mom hugged my daughter goodbye she was whispering something in her ear. Then as we were leaving she says to my daughter "only 5 more weeks then you'll have fun again". As if she doesn't have any fun when she's with me is what I took that to mean. It little suptle things like this that really irk me. Then as soon as we got in the car to leave my daughter starts bawling her eyes out saying she misses them & wants to go back to Texas & didn't want to be with me. It hurts so bad...& makes me feel like I'm gonna work my ass off to provide for her & give her the best life I can give, but she's still going to choose them & want to be with them. And my worry is they will use this to their advantage in court (well her dad will) as she gets older. I don't know how to handle this & how to compete with them. They make life seem like it's all roses up there with them, when I've lived with them & I know it's anything but. Any advice on how to handle this & how to overcome it & make her love being with me & living with me rather than them? I know I'm her mother & I should be firm with her that she's goign to live with me no matter what because I am her parent & I provide the most care for her. But, I mean mentally & emotionally I don't want her to hate me because I can't  provide all the materialistic things that they can.















by on Nov. 27, 2017 at 11:17 AM
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Replies (1-6):
virginiamama71
by Mom on Nov. 27, 2017 at 11:22 AM
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Become friends not enemies with them.
And be happy she has family that loves her.
Oliviasmom72
by Gold Member on Nov. 27, 2017 at 12:12 PM
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Worry about things you can control, not thing you can't. You cannot control what your ex's family does.


Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Nov. 27, 2017 at 12:15 PM
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Be open and honest with her. Remind her that if she lived with daddy all the time, it wouldn't be that way. She'd have to go to school and they'd have to work.
strawberrylibra
by Member on Dec. 1, 2017 at 12:51 PM
1 mom liked this

I get this to my core. Same kind of stuff happened to me too. You unfortunately just have to keep a positive attitue and push through. Of course she wants to be with them, all she does is fun stuff with no responisibility. Think about it this way. If the situations were reversed, wouldn't you be doing the same thing? Indulging her and having fun/making memories with the little time that you have together? The dad doesnt HAVE to be responsible, so he's your textbook disneyland dad. I've thought about this countless times and honestly, I'd be doing the same thing. They miss out on alot of her life and want to make the time that they have count. Have you considered moving closer, or giving him every other weekend so that the visits become more frequent, normal and LESS of a whirlwind of fun? It's like a vacation to her, that's why she is feeling this way. She thinks it would be this way all of the time. As far as the comments, you have to confront these people and be firm with them. Tell them that it tears her up and confuses her. They will quickly learn that they HAVE to work with you if they want to see their kid/grandkid. 

ame4c
by Group Admin on Dec. 1, 2017 at 8:39 PM
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Remind yourself it's not a competition. She's only 5 and of course those things are fun and she misses them when she can't be there. It's not about you.  I've been through this and now my kids are older, they know who was there to take care of them when they needed them. Your daughter will get to that point too.  Your love and support mean a lot more to her than you realize right now and at 5 yrs old she can't or doesn't really know how to tell you that.  It is easy to think she loves them more, but those are just the demons in the back of your mind trying to bring you down.  Smile and know you have a wonderful daughter that loves you and needs you.

Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on Dec. 3, 2017 at 10:05 PM
1 mom liked this
I am so sorry you are going through this I can’t imagine what it must be like to send your child off to family that treats you as if you are not the mother. I think you have to really just try not to stress about it and know that when your child is with you she is with you and only you. You can make special times with her when she is home. Singing in the car with her, singing a special made up song about her. You can get a big puzzle and set it out and slowly work together on it which could be bonding time and not so hectic for you. I do that with my kids and we frame it when we are done. Have a play date with a special friend from school especially when she starts kindergarten. She will eventually look at the time away as vacation and be happy to get back home with you, her friends, her room with all her special toys and things in it. Also, your parents (and you)should spend time with her if possible and they should also tell her stories of when you were little so she can see that you were once a little girl just like her. Tell her how you felt when she was born and she came from you. Take her to the library to pick out books and teach her how to return them. As she grows she will bond with you and she will learn what they are doing. If it was uncomfortable for you to stay with them, it will be for her too. Of course,, she should love and respect her dad,(the healthiest thing for her) but if the extended family is speaking ill of you that is certainly not right and your daughter will notice. My children really began to notice by about age eight. I am sure you are a wonderful mother and your daughter will know this more and more as she grows.
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