Not holding him liable

mom2_1sm2_1March 5, 2009

I have only been using this site for a couple of weeks but for those of you who have seen my discussions I have an update:

I decided since my son's dad is not willing to be a father more than just his parenting time, that I was not going to hold him liable to his schedule. For the first time ever yesterday I did not call the X to see what time he was going to be picking up our son for his parenting time. He did not call me either to let me know so I assumed he would be here at five, since that is what the "papers" say (he is going strictly by the devorece agreement and not working and not helping me at all - he has no interest in even picking up son early. I really don't get it. We do every thing we can to get more time with my BF daughter and pick her up at least a day early every visitation)

So 5:20 rolls around and still no X and the phone rings. He told me that he does not have a car and asked if I would drop son off to him and then pick him up at the end of his parenting time. I told him no...duh.

I know that I complained in an earlier discussion that he does not take son enough, but he is not willing to take son to appoinments when I am sick and said that "I am his father, not his babysitter. My parenting time is as scheduled. I will not be picking him up early, keeping him late, and it is not my responsibility to take him to his appoinment." So if he is unwilling to watch his son when I am sick and can't take him to appoinments because I can't get off the couch, and is not doing anything to help me out right now, (I have things to do too to take care of myself - a sick mom is no good to a sick child. Oh yeah, did I mention he is not working?)then tell me why should I help him out? How many days are in a week that are the same week in and week out? So he has a least a week to find transportation to get his son and he waits until he is late to call me and ask me to drop what I am doing to help him out. I don't get it.

I have documented the situation as I was advised by some of you here, and come next week I will do the same for his Wednesday and his weekend "parenting time." We will see what happens. I have decided that I have done so much to benefit our child ALONE, and don't need his help anyway. if he is too irresponsable to arrange transportation and that is his excuss for not getting son, then maybe he doesn't want him anyway and he is better just staying home with me.

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I have mixed opinion on this. If my SD's mom called to say she can't come get SD and she does all the time, she also just fought DH in court to get her mom to pick up SD for her so she doesn't have to. She won, her mom now transports for her. She lives 3 hours away and also does not work. There's no reason except it's not a priority to her. If she called & ask to bring her daughter to her, I would probably say no. But, then again I am SM. It's not my responsibility to facilitate her visitation with her child. I know my DH is not going to take time off from work to take her but if he did, that's his choice. (and I might change my answer if SD was crying and asked me to take her.. I care about her feelings, not her mom's) But, I've never been asked. She just makes up lies about why she can't take her daughter.

When my son was 12, his father stopped seeing him. Not completely at first... he would sometimes show up for him but often would call and cancel, saying he didn't have any transportation. (He did not have a license because he owed so much in arrears... he'll never have a license... probably ever) Previously, his wife would drive him. But, he would throw it out there that if I wanted to bring my son to him, he'd spend the weekend. He lived almost two hours away and I think he thought I'd say no... but I said okay. I drove my son up there a few times and he stopped asking me to bring him and just started canceling or just no show. I didn't WANT to take my son and I honestly didn't care if his dad got 'his' time or not. But, I DID care that my son got to see his dad. I didn't want to deprive him of that and if I had said 'hell no', I would have probably been perceived as the bad guy. I did it more for those reasons than caring whether dad got his time or if I got a break. I never felt I needed a break from my kids like some parents. (I just think that's strange)

I guess my point is that I understand how you feel and I also agree dad is wrong. However, I also think you have stooped to dad's level and you had the opportunity to take the high road for your son's sake. When you think of it as your son's right to see his dad, rather than his dad's right to see your son... it puts a different spin on it. It broke my heart to see my son's face as he sat there waiting for his dad to show up... realizing his dad was not coming. and I really have zero sympathy or feeling for his dad... he could fall off the face of the earth and I would not care one bit. My son would care and that's all I care about is my son's feelings.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 9:55AM
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The fact that he does not have a car bothers me. Isn't your son the one with health problems? (or am I think of someone else?) I know he could always call 911 if something happened, but the fact that he has no access to a car, and no way to get your son to the doctor should anything happen bothers me.

That aside...I do not think you should have to call and remind your ex about his upcoming visitation, nor do I think you should have to provide the transportation. It would be one thing if an unusual circumstance came up (ie--ex's car is in the shop) but that isn't the case here---it sounds like he is continually expecting you to arrange everything for him and only on his terms.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 10:10AM
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It started out where he would tell me that I HAD to bring son to him for his visitation because his car does not have tags and his gf had to work. Then when I would arrive to drop him off his gf was still there and in her pjs. He is lying to me all the time. My son don't get his medicaitons, his dad don't put him on the night drip and he don't work with him on the feeding techniques we have learned in feeding therapy because he thinks it is a waste of time. (A waste of time?... how many 2 year olds are still unable to chew?) When I ask him why he was not on the drip he would lie to me tell me he was - but see there is a counter that can't be reset and I recorded what it was at before the visit. Then I would send extra formula along (about2-3 boxes) just in case and he would be returned with none. I asked him how many he had because the shippment had not come in yet (it is a special order formula)and I was close to out and he said he had one. I know that he has more than that - I don't understand why he has to lie about stuff like that. Not to mention the times I would ask him to take his son an extra day so I could have a break, and he would make up excusses then too- ones that he has already used. My job is to take care of my son so I guess I can't complain much. He has a least 4 appoinments a week and he has to be seen by others too for failure to thrive, GERD, dysphagia and chronic lung disease. I have to count his calories and make sure he gets his medications on time and work with him daily to try to teach him how to eat. Then I am up at least twice a night to tend to the pump, more if there is a clog in the line or something. Most people get to punch out and go home - I never punch out but EOWE - wippee!
I know it could be worse, but really I just got on a rant. It bothers me that he can live his life without taking much of any responsibility for his son. Why do I have to do it all? I don't think he could even tell you exactly what is wrong with our son.
OK...sorry, I am done now.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 12:14PM
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Sorry, when I read your post, I didn't realize your whole situation and I remember it now.

That's a tough call because you can't force him to take care of his son and taking care of an ill child, you do NEED a break. I took care of my stepmom when she was vegetative so I know how draining it is to stay on schedules and provide around the clock care. It's definitely not the same as a healthy child.

In your situation, your son may be better off not going to see his dad. If his dad is not caring for him with his special needs, then I might sigh with relief when he calls to cancel. As for taking your son to him, it would be nice if you could... IF HE WAS GIVING YOUR SON THE CARE HE NEEDS. Then, it would be in your son's best interest to see his dad and you would get the break you need.

I feel for you because my dad cared for my stepmom for almost 11 years before she died. She has 3 bio kids that abandoned her... her sons acted like she died the day she became ill. I will never understand how a person can abandon family that way... whether it's their parent or child. Child is harder to understand because they are born needing the parent.

Why do you have to do it all? Because dad is not going to be much help. Your son needs you. and if you need help or a break, I would not look to dad for it, I would look for other resources. The anger and resentment against your ex you are harboring are going to cause you health problems. You have every right to be angry and resentful but there isn't anything you can do to change him and make him do what he is supposed to. All you can do is accept that he isn't going to do it and move on so you can be there for your child. You're wasting your precious energy that your child needs... on garbage that you have no control over.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 12:44PM
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"I am his father, not his babysitter. My parenting time is as scheduled. I will not be picking him up early, keeping him late, and it is not my responsibility to take him to his appoinment."

Last time I heard, "parenting" meant you come early, stay late, get kids to appts, & do whatever else they need.

& add my name to ima's last post, especially the part about finding other support & resources.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 3:57PM
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Yes imamommy, I am angry and I do hold resentment. Sorry if I came across as rude, that was not my intention. I am greatful for your advice and do plan on taking it to heart. I am also happy that I found this site and can utilize it to get advice from people such as you. I still do however, have some mixed feelings. I want my son to know his dad - he has the right, but then again, if he can't provide for his medical needs then how much good is he really doing? I guess I will have to sleep on it for a few days, calm down and then assess the situation.
Thank you agian to every one for your advice - it means a lot to me.

Here is a link that might be useful: My son's website

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 8:52PM
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I don't think you came across as rude. I do feel your stress in your post. I am a HUGE supporter of a child's right to know both parents. However, I also believe that you can't 'make' someone know or see their children. I've been beating my head against that wall with my stepdaughter's mom because she left her daughter and doesn't see her and I get to deal with the fallout. I have been through my own bouts of anger and resentment for her doing that. I have also gone through the anger and resentment of hating my son's father because my son was conceived during a sexual assault and the courts gave him his parental 'rights'. I had to share MY son with him. But, what I have also learned is that when you hold onto the anger and resentment, no matter how entitled you are to having it, it eats away at you and the person you are angry with just goes along their merry way and doesn't give it a second thought. The person holding the grudge is the one suffering, not the idiot you are angry at.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 9:51PM
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Hi Mom2. I'm new to this forum,but when I saw this post I had to put my 2 cents in. I'm sorry, but I personally think you have enough on your plate without having to also be a provider to a deadbeat who dosen't feel any obligation to help you. "He's a parent.. not a babysitter ?" What a load of crap ! Your child should be his first priority. Children are a gift. They're not "throw-aways". I think being with his "father" and the GF could be detrimental to your child's health and I sincerely hope he dosen't get extended visitation privileges. If I thought for one moment my ex wasen't providing the care to my son that he needed to sustain his life, I would move Heaven and Earth to make sure he never saw my child again. I have a friend whose daughter was born with severe physical and mental disabilities. She's 3 yrs. old and is the size of a 15 month old.. can not walk,speak,sit up by herself..etc. My friend was advised by her doctors to place Ellie in a nursing home. That wasen't even an option for my friend. She takes care of that child herself every day of the week. She suggested that if your doctors have a bulletin board, that you post a message there to maybe do a "round-robin" type babysitting service. She and other moms of children with similar disabilities swap up and give each other a moms day out. Believe me, you need this. You can become so over-whelmed with anger,resentment,fatigue,etc. that you aren't doing you or your child any good. I wish you the best of luck. Enjoy your child. They are flowers from God's garden.


    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 10:12PM
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I would drive DD if it is on occassion, like X's car is in repair, extreme cases like that, but not on a regular basis. In fact X can take taxi, right? you aren't a taxi service. I am a flexible parent and I was willing to do things to help X to see his daughter but enough is enough. Especially understanding special needs and dad not willing to provide proper care, I wouldn't drive your son to him. In fact i wouldn't trust your X wiht your child.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 10:56AM
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Do you qualify for a nurse to come in for a couple hours a week to help you or a CNA, someone? to give you the break you need?

Would your ex come to your home and visit with him? probably not with the GF...

You can't make him be a dad.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 1:22PM
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