History is too long winded to go into butI have two great boys 9 and 10. I consider myself a good dad and try my best for the boys. I would die in a heart beat for them. Been split up 6 years and nothing has changed or improved.
Eldest has dyslexia and can be hard work as a result, but we cope and he is managing it well. I can see how hard his life is and often I try to make it easier for him whenever I can. I don''t have great access, your traditional one day in the week and every other weekend. I work one Saturday in four which falls on one of my weekends, ex wont change under any circumstances, I have tried and tried, and I can only change my shift every so often (my parents have them when I work and they benefit from this and their mum doesnt seem bothered) so when I do get to be with my boys I want quality time. My weekdays are spent collecting from childcare, feeding, homework, bath time, and bedtime. I pick them up at 6 and by 9 thats it, no QT time at all. So when I get my weekend we do ''man'' things, we go fishing, to the rugby club, or just to the local wood and play armies, or just football in the garden. I get such grief cos their clothes are grubby but she never puts extra in their bags and I haven''t got time to wash clothes and I dont have a dryer either.
I have bought clothes for them but they only get to wear them once a month so get grown out of rapidly, and then they don''t want to change at the last minute to go home. I dont want to spend my time with them restricting the fun we have. They are boys they are meant to get dirty.
I can completely understand your frustrations. I have a similar problem (ex took all clothes and wouldn''t give any of them back. Now whenever I collect my son he has clothes that don''t fit him on. What I do is to strip him off at the first opportunity, put some clothes that I bought on him and bag up the clothes he came in. Then I put him back in back in those clothes before returning him. I know that if I sent him back in anything nice she would keep it and I''d never see it again.
I appreciate that this is difficult, but your children are old enough to understand if you explain to them that mummy doesn''t like it when they come home in dirty clothes. You don''t have to (and shouldn''t!) make it personal, an attack on her or say anything to involve them in your dispute.
In spite of her feelings, she can''t actually do anything about you bringing them home in dirty clothes. Unless it causes an argument which your children are aware of, it''s not harming them in any way. It is of course nice to respect her wishes, but it isn''t always possible. It sounds like you have good quality time with them, and I wouldn''t let something petty like that get to you.
With regards to the evening time after school, I think you should value that contact a great deal. Obviously it''s frustrating not having the quality time but when your children are older, they will remember that you were there to do the work as well as have the fun. They will respect that, and having the respect of your children is invaluable. It is important for your relationship with them too.
It sounds like you''re doing everything right, and being a great dad. Keep doing it exactly as you are. I understand it must be frustrating regarding the work situation, but I would try my best to ignore it and value the time that you do have. It is quite likely that she will be getting some perverse satisfaction out of your having to beg to change things. If you just ignore it you deprive her of that, even if nothing changes for the better.
Cheers U6, nice to know I am not alone. To be honest I wasn''t the mega dad when we were together, possibly misunderstood how hard it was to raise two kids 10 months apart in age, worked flipping hard to have a good life, nice holidays, beaut of a car. I didnt do much with the kids when we together, I worked and she was mom, I did stuff at weekends when I wasn''t working but God did I love my kids and when she called it a day it blew my world apart. I had to fight for the access I have now. I ran out of money and had to settle for what access I have now and I think it was taking its toll on the kids. We live for the time we have together. At the weekend my priorities are to be with my boys every minute and have as much fun as we can in that time, they normally go home worn out, hair unkempt after hours playing, I wont spend their last hour with me preening them to go back to mom. I am sure she just doesnt get that bit. I am not the same as when we were together but 6 yrs on and she still wont believe it. I live for my time with my boys.
You are right boys are boys and the are going to get dirty and have fun. You are doing a great job, still putting in the effort after 6 years is great credit to you, many would given the attitude of your ex would have given up.
With regard to the weekends when you work, the kids are spending time with their grandparents and no doubt both enjoy this time and it is good for them. I spent quite a lot of time with one set of grandparents when I was young and I really treasure these memories.
Weekdays are always a challenge, like you I don''t get a lot of ''quality'' time during the week, but that would be the same divorced or not. In some ways its a positive thing that the boys see that dads can do stuff like getting children fed/ready for bed.
Its also natural that you want time for yourself and that is a good thing, you are spending that time well and doing stuff, in terms of your wellbeing and mental health this is a very positive thing.
Keep going my friend you are doing a great job, and one day your children will appreciate the efforts you have made for them.
I''m sure there''s not one of us here who doesn''t know we could have done better at times. What matters is you learn from your mistakes and do better, not worse.
Sounds like you were never a bad dad and you''ve learned to be better than you were. Your tale is inspirational to me. I am only at the early stages (just 2 months in for me). To know that you have managed to have a good relationship with your children after 6 years in difficult circumstances gives me immense hope for the future.
I wouldnt have said I was a bad dad either, just maybe didnt appreciate all I had at the time. I know my boys wont always be boys, they will soon grow to be men and hopefully in the short time I am allowed to have them I can instill qualities in them that will remain throughout their adult lives. They will be men much longer than boys so I am biding my time, keeping my head down and nose clean. I am so look forward to the time when I will be able to nip to the pub for a pint with them, or go and watch footie game, even though one of my boys supports a rival team thanks to the input of the exes fella, although saying that I am glad he takes an interest in my boys and shares stuff with them.