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Guilt when going away without the kids?

 
 
Mon 20 Jul, 2015 06:55 pm
I'm a (fairly) new single mom. This is my first full year with having my ex husband take the kids every other weekend. Throughout this year I went on local getaways, all within a 3 hour drive. I only went on the weekends that they were with their dad.

In order to accommodate a trip he was taking the schedule was moved around and I had the kids two weekends in a row, then they went with him for one and then I had them two weekends in a row again. In order to make the scheduling fair for us both to get our time with the kids he now has them 2 weekends in a row, then I one, and then him 2 weekends in a row again.

Long story short, I have the kids during the week and he sees them for a few hours during the week. I am going to Cancun this week for 4 nights (I have never been out of the country) and the kids will be with their dad but I can't help but feel super guilty for leaving even though they won't be with me to begin with...

My ex loves to emotionally manipulate, on a daily basis. I also take a yearly road trip to see my dad every year. The kids don't like the drive anymore so they don't come and they stay with their dad (per court agreement he gets one whole week with them for vacation and vice versa). I'll be gone for a little over a week and he is taking them to Disney for four nights and 5 days while I am gone. I went last year and they loved the time with him (though he didn't like having them for so long, which I don't understand). Now he is saying to me "what kind of mother can be away from her kids for that long?).

He keeps saying all of these things and I feel like a terrible person and mother. I am with my children 27 nights a month and he has them four nights a month. There are 2 days each month that I don't see them... just 2 days. In reality I know it is his time with them but I can't help but think I shouldn't go.

Does anyone else out there feel guilty? I've read so many negative things online about moms that leave their kids for vacations and it just makes me feel worse.

I am not even sure I will enjoy the trip from worrying about them alone... the guilt will just make it worse...

Sorry for the book!!!!
 
mckenzie
 
  1  
Mon 20 Jul, 2015 08:47 pm
@Crazielady420,
How old are your kids and how do they feel about you being away for four days? As a mom, that would be my only concern. If they don't mind, what your ex thinks is his problem. You say he's manipulative. Try not to let him get to you. Much easier said than done, I know, unfortunately.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Mon 20 Jul, 2015 09:06 pm
@Crazielady420,
Jesus Murphy!

Do you have to talk to him regularly? he's really a brat. he needs to grow up.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with you taking a vacation without the girls. You clearly love them a lot and do so much with them. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy time without them as well.

My parents went on short vacations without me when I was small. I loved it since it meant I got to do fun stuff with my aunt and uncle that my mother wouldn't do. Not big stuff - just weird stuff like eat things my mother didn't like to have in the house (sardine sandwiches with my uncle! still a favourite memory).

The girls won't be home alone while you're away. They'll be with their father - and if he doesn't know what to do, I'm quite sure he'll call someone in his family to help out.

I'd suggest you don't contact them every day while you're away. It doesn't help anyone.
Crazielady420
 
  1  
Mon 20 Jul, 2015 09:13 pm
@mckenzie,
Mckenzie they are 5 and 7. We've been talking about it together for months.
0 Replies
 
Crazielady420
 
  1  
Mon 20 Jul, 2015 09:19 pm
@ehBeth,
I have tried everything aside from a no contact order. If I ignore his texts then he calls or continues. He's beyond ridiculous. It's been 2 years and he's still not past the part that I left! I'm doing everything to cease contact unless it is an emergency about the kids.

I'm just going to think positive and try to avoid his negativity.

ehBeth
 
  2  
Mon 20 Jul, 2015 09:22 pm
@Crazielady420,
I wonder if there's some legal way to force him to go through someone else to contact you. Can you get a legal aid consult? or maybe a legal consult using a work benefit?

You're doing a great job with the kids - I can see it from the photos of them and all the fun activities you've got them involved in.
Crazielady420
 
  2  
Mon 20 Jul, 2015 09:31 pm
@ehBeth,
I talked to my lawyer about 3 weeks ago. The next step would be a non contact order. This would limit all communication to kids only. If he were to text me regarding anything else then I would take him to court as a violation of the order.

I reported him to the DOR 3 weeks ago and he is still riled up about that. I did it to limit communication about child support and to have it directly taken from his check. He's on a rant about me making it seem like he is a dead beat dad but I was tired of him trying to make me feel guilty about the money when he lives rent free with his parents and doesn't even pay for his own groceries while I pay rent, groceries, school fees, dance, etc. He makes more money than me too!!!

Thank you for the last comment. I'm definitely trying, I've learned that there is no handbook but I make sure to talk to them about how they feel and I never ask about what they do with their father nor do I ever say anything negative about him. I reassure them that we both love them and they have honestly been doing better than I thought. It seems to be getting easier for them with time.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Mon 20 Jul, 2015 09:38 pm
@Crazielady420,
I suspect that it's easier for them now partly because you're doing better.

When they're with him, do they generally all stay with his parents? his mom probably does all the work for the girls there eh.
Crazielady420
 
  1  
Mon 20 Jul, 2015 09:52 pm
@ehBeth,
His mother runs a daycare and watches them while we both work. I know he went on a "booze cruise" this Friday while he had them and his mother watched them. He has a wedding next weekend and she is watching them then as well. Sometimes the girls tell me that he sticks them in front of the tv all day while he lies in bed. (I never ask anything they just tell me sometimes).

It's funny because he's always been a good dad but lately his priorities seem to have changed. It is what it is, I know I have no control on his he parents during his time and I have accepted that. As long as they are safe. They will grow older and form their own opinions based on his actions.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  2  
Mon 20 Jul, 2015 10:08 pm
@Crazielady420,
You do know that the normal procedure is to have payments made to whatever they call their child support bureau, don't you. It's normally a part of the decree, and is so common that almost no one thinks this is a dead beat dad.
Crazielady420
 
  2  
Mon 20 Jul, 2015 10:17 pm
@roger,
Yes I do and I've explained that to him dozens of times. He makes a big deal out of every little thing. He's unhappy that I've moved on and that I have come to peace with everything.
roger
 
  2  
Mon 20 Jul, 2015 10:21 pm
@Crazielady420,
That's kind of what I expected of him.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  3  
Tue 21 Jul, 2015 05:44 am
@Crazielady420,
Yeah, he's still butt hurt.

This is not your problem.

All you need to care about is (in no particular order) -
  • Him taking care of the kids when he is court ordered to
  • Paying child support, when, and how much, he is ordered to
  • Your kids being safe
  • Your kids not being manipulated to think one way or another about you

I do believe that's it.

His opinion of your rather limited vacation time away from them - when you wouldn't even have them anyway - isn't on that list.

You are allowed to be young and have fun, and sometimes that means that you briefly take your 'Mom' hat off.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  2  
Tue 21 Jul, 2015 07:07 am
@Crazielady420,
Of course you feel guilty you are a mom nothing wrong with that. BUT let your logical side take over - you will still feel guilty but you will know you should feel guilty - logically you spend more time with your kids. You love your kids and it is actually good for them to be away from you sometimes.

Also, my kids' doctor pointed this out to me once -- you will be a better mom if you get away for a little while. You need and deserve your rest and time away. So realize this will actually make you a better mom in the long run when you return are well rested an have a break. The kids most likely will do well having a break from you as well.

Coming from a mom whose kids are away from her right now - they are across country with family. They are being spoiled having the time of their lives and I wish I was with them. Now I know my situation is a little different than yours, but it is good for all of us. It teaches them some independence and gives you a break.

I won't even dignify the dad comment as it is just stupid. Meant to hurt you so simply ignore it. Your kids know how devoted you are to them - kids are much smarter than people give them credit.

Enjoy your time -- you will miss the kids and feel a little guilty, but just tell your self how much you deserve it and how it will make you an even better mom than you already are.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Tue 21 Jul, 2015 05:43 pm
I remember this guy, also after that. Keep notes.

Have a stress free time in Cancun - I mean that, let go and relax. No guilt, stop it with that.
Linkat
 
  3  
Tue 21 Jul, 2015 08:32 pm
@ossobuco,
Well feel a little guily..that I can't come with you. I am green with envy...but I absolve you of that guilt.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Thu 23 Jul, 2015 10:26 am
And she's off! in Florida waiting for the next flight!



______



Enjoy that vacation!!!
Crazielady420
 
  2  
Mon 27 Jul, 2015 02:09 pm
@ehBeth,
Thanks everyone! I had a great time and he left me alone until the second that I got back into MA. Unfortunately, as anticipated, he picked up where he left off but I had a great vacation!!!

Thank you again.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Mon 27 Jul, 2015 02:13 pm
@Crazielady420,
So glad you had a good time - the pix were nice Smile
Crazielady420
 
  2  
Mon 27 Jul, 2015 02:19 pm
@ehBeth,
It was amazing. I'm very lucky because I know, deep down, that I would never had opportunity if I didn't make all the changes over the last 2 years.

I don't plan to go back to Mexico though, it was a pain to get through customs and immigrations... I did learn more Spanish though! :-)
0 Replies
 
 

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