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visitation as kids age

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devistatedmom posted 7/31/2013 10:12 AM

Seen a lot of posts lately of people with young kids hurting because the kids are loving being at disney parent's house and they are just the "mean one". Wondering if the kids will ever see through the other parents BS. Wondering how this all works out.

Here's where I'm at. When XH dissapeared in the middle of the night and didn't even call them for a few days my DS was 13 and DD was 9. We set out on this horrible life change, my kids crushed. That was in spring.

That fall once "proper" visitation was set up, the kids went with him EOW and also slept over 2 weeknight nights, even though he lived in another town 30 min away.

Somewhere within the next year XH left to live in a town 1 1/2 hours away to be with his gf. The weekday overnights became dinner only. DS started to avoid going on weekends, being involved in a lot of sports, and not being able to handle driving back and forth from his place 3 times in a weekend for games and practices.

XH moved back out to the town 1/2 hour away and asked for his weekday overnights back. Both kids refused. Even daddy's little girl DD. Around this point he called DS an asshole in anger 3 times in about 2 weeks. For a while, DS refused to go with him at all. DD went for dinners, and went for weekends.

DS did start seeing his father again, but has always hated going for overnights, because they do nothing and the sleeping arrangements suck.

DS is now 17, and DD is 14. He will be finishing high school this coming school year. DD is starting high school. I work at the school they go to.

Both kids now avoid going with him, even for dinners, as much as possible. I always feel stuck in the middle, never able to plan because I never know if I'm cooking dinner for just me, for 2, or 3 people. I try to stay out of it, tell them whatever they do, they need to speak to their dad.

This past weekend was XH's birthday. The kids just texted him HB, not even a call. They both went for dinner last night and gave him his presents. DS came home ticked that XH expected both of them to go with him for this coming weekend (they haven't both gone for a weekend all summer, actually longer than that). He has to work 3 shifts this weekend, which is walking distance from my home. I'm working from home all weekend. He wants to stay. I just calmly looked at him and said, you are 17, you work out what you want. He texted his dad he's not going. I'm expecting DD to say if DS isn't going, neither is she. I'm working all weekend, will literally be attached to the computer 7am to 11pm, so I can't interact, make a proper dinner, anything. The kids still want to be here.

DS said last night: It's not my fault he lives out there. It's not my fault he f'd everything up and isn't here anymore.

I just sat quietly.

DD isn't as vocal about it, as she loves her dad to death...but she can't stand going out there. No friends, not her bed. Even she avoids going to dinner with the daddy she loves, because she just wants to be home after a long day.

XH likes to believe, well, they are teens. This is what happens. Nope. This is happening to you idiot because of how you have treated them since you left. If you had made them a priority, thought about where you were living and how it would affect them, thought about how many bedrooms you had and had proper space for them, thought about how you talked to wouldn't have happened like this.

So, 4 years down the road, I have the kids 98% of the time, and I don't see it changing. I've put dating on the backburner, work two jobs to be able to keep the house up and get them what they need, rarely go out with friends. But I have my kids. And even if they are teens and won't snuggle with me anymore, having them here, knowing they are safe is what it is about. XH is missing out on two great kids because of "f'ing up" as DS put it.

Kids figure it out.

hangingontohope7 posted 7/31/2013 10:36 AM

Maybe its just because I'm so angry right now, but part of me hopes that as my sons get older they want to stay with me more.

DS7 told me on Sunday that "seeing Daddy for his days off is enough. I want to spend the rest of the week with you, Mommy." Sadly, they know that it isn't 'normal' that we left the home we just moved into last year and are now living with my parents. They just instinctively know that Daddy did something really bad and "made us leave" as DS5 put it.

Everyone keeps telling me that children are very perceptive. They can read between the lines and even though they don't know the ugly details, they can sense that something is wrong. Something happened to completely alter their 'normal' lives.

Maybe I'm a bad mom for wishing that they will eventually figure out what WH has done and see him for what he truly is. But, I know that I will never bad mouth him or keep him from seeing them.

Lola2kids posted 7/31/2013 11:47 AM

I can see the down side is never having any time to yourself.
But other than that (and its a big thing) I wouldn't want to miss out on this time for the world.
I know you probably feel the same.
He doesn't know what he's missing and I bet when he's old and they don't visit him he will finally feel regret.
I'm hoping ex does the same thing. I have them 97% if the time now and I look at it as an intrusion when he does want to visit. It ruins the flow of things.
They know you are busy this weekend and still want to be with you.
Sounds pretty good to me.

Nature_Girl posted 7/31/2013 12:45 PM

I want to believe my kids will figure it out. I am doubtful, though. STBX isn't showing any signs of moving away. He's showing signs of staying local. He continues to be Disney Dad. He knows that the best way to hurt me is to take the kids from me, if not physically then emotionally. He's doing his damndest to make that happen. THey forgive him every raging outburst, they forgive him every slur & disparaging remark he makes about me.

Phoenix1 posted 7/31/2013 13:19 PM

My DD16 already knows her father fucked up everything, and is not afraid to say it. She is actually biding her time because she wants to say it to his face (or over the phone). Luckily, because of her age, she gets to decide if or when she will ever see him, and I am putting in the SA that POS will be responsible for all travel costs (he is out of state) if she ever decides to visit (very doubtful). At least I KNOW she will be with me 100% of the time. Having to wonder constantly whether she would be here or there, like you do, would really drive me crazy! By the same token, I also work multiple jobs and she is busy as well (sports, part-time job, school, etc.) so our schedules often conflict. That means few dinners together. But we have a "routine" in place that works which consists of her giving me her own grocery list. That way she can make whatever she wants whenever she wants. I know it is stuff she wants and will eat, and she is perfectly okay "fending for herself." We often have Saturday nights set aside as our "date night" where we do something together (movie, bowling, etc.) including dinner. It is our new "normal" and it works.

Her POS father is the one missing out on seeing her grow into a lovely young woman, but that is the consequence for his actions. Her teenage attitude is not always a joy to be around, but at least she is in a safe, stable, supportive, and loving environment...and even she realizes and values that.

Realize that it is okay to talk to them about coming up with a schedule they can agree to. I did that with all my kids when they were still at home. I told them I didn't care what they chose, but I needed a schedule to know when I needed to make dinner, how it would conflict (or not) with my own schedule, etc. I would have to constantly ask them about it because they would forget, but eventually it became a routine and I started having them write everything down on a calendar on the fridge.

[This message edited by Phoenix1 at 1:20 PM, July 31st (Wednesday)]

npain posted 7/31/2013 13:46 PM

I wish STBX would move away because just like he blew and cold in our marriage, he is doing it to the kids too now. I wish he would just disappear out of their lives so they could live normally.

Don't get me wrong, I have done nothing to block him from seeing his kids. The Disney Dad thing really grinds my gears though...can't wait for my kids to start to see him for who he really is...

inconnu posted 7/31/2013 18:30 PM

My boys were older, 17 and 14, when their dad left. By the time the divorce was final, the oldest was 18, and not part of the custody/visitation agreement.

They don't spend much time with their dad. In the 4 years since ex left, there have been a couple of overnights, and one vacation that both boys came home from swearing they'd never go on another vacation with their dad again. They do go out to eat with their dad semi-regularly (a couple of times a month) and occasionally hang out at their dad's.

Other than that, they are at my house. And other than the expense of feeding them, I really don't mind. I'm glad they consider home to be with me, kwim?

The boys might still love their dad, but it's clear to them where they fit on ex's priority list, and so they've put their dad at the same place on their priorities.

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