question for a single parent

@missyd79 (3442)
United States
January 14, 2007 2:56pm CST
My ex hsuban and I have been sepereated for 3 years now, He lives with his parents and i live in my own home that i purchased a year and half ago. about a year ago he got a job that he would work second shift Monday through Friday. Meaning a a Friday night when our son is suppose to go to his dad's house, his dad is not there. About 2 months ago I put a stop to having my son go to his dad's house when his dad is not there. I feel that i was lying to my son when i would tell him he is going to his daddy's and his dad would not be there. I got a phone call from my ex mother in law today stating how much she misses my son and she wants to start having him come on a friday again. I was like no because it is not fair, she never calls during the weeks to check on my son and it just seems like she does not care, I never denied them from calling me and asking to see my son during the week, but they never do. Do you think i am being too harsh or selfish? I am trying to do what is best for my son, but i just do not know what that is.
7 people like this
46 responses
@tammyr (5969)
• Etowah, Tennessee
15 Jan 07
I guess it has all been said above. Talk to your son, If he is over 3 he will have some input. Maybe you could take him later and they could get him ready for bed and then when he wakes up his dad will be there. if he is much older, let him have a choice ,only he knows what happens there while dad is not htere. He may feel bored or uncomfortable.
2 people like this
@tammyr (5969)
• Etowah, Tennessee
18 Jan 07
After reading the replies you made, Yes you are doing the right thing. You could be JAILED for child endangerment for letting him go to a home where he is only cared for by someone under the influance. It is your job to keep him safe, and if m.i.l. doesn't like it let her stew. You have done the right thing. We are required to send the child to the other parent on their weekend unless the child is in danger by being there and I see that is the case. I have looked into this extensively (?sp) and if I wasn't going out hte door I would look it up again for you. I will check back later and try to find those laws for you and post them to you so you can have them if they try to cause a stink about it. May God bless you and keep you strong in your convictions. =-)
1 person likes this
@missyd79 (3442)
• United States
18 Jan 07
thank you for reading my other responses. i mean some people are calling me selfish, but i don't think they realise that my son goes to see his dad every other saturday and sunday and his dad lives with my ex mother in law and father in law. so she does see him, i just feel more comfortable if someone else is there with my son and her, just in case something would happen.
• United States
15 Jan 07
I know you are trying to protect your son but keeping him from seeing his grandparents on fridays just because his daddy isnt thier is not fare to him and im sure his dad sees him in the morning and maybe his grandparents do not want to be to pushy about calling for fear you would get upset at them. I think you all should get together and discuss this and figure out if there is a better time for him to stay with his father and grandparents that you all can agree on other wise your not only hurting the grandparents and the father you are also hurting your son buy not letting him get to know his grandparents you could incourage the grandparents to call during the week or you can call them and let your grandson tell them goodnight.
2 people like this
@fiarby (105)
• Philippines
15 Jan 07
I know how you feel. I guess, you have to ask your son if he wants to spend some time with his dad's family. You can never force him to do something that he don't like to do. Whatever differences you have with your ex- in laws and husband, your son is out of it. Not unless your son will be the one to say that he don't like his dad's family. Always rememebr that your ex-husband will remain his dad no matter what happens.
2 people like this
@raveena (1357)
• India
15 Jan 07
No there is nothing to feel guilty about. What age is your child and is he ok with not going to his daddy's house? If your child is ok with it then I do not feel why you should feel guilty. Maybe you should inform your ex inlaws that it is not very good on your child to not find his dad when he goes to their house just to meet him
2 people like this
• Canada
15 Jan 07
missy, given the timeframe in your post, it would seem that your son had time to establish a relationship with his grandparents before you and your ex separated. To suddenly cut that off is something that he may not understand, even if he never says a word about it to you. I was a single parent for about 5 years and my ex moved clear across the country in the middle of our divorce proceedings. I was left in an uncomfortable position of still having the ex in-laws in close proximity but my ex, himself, was long gone. I'm sure they didn't want to just pick up the phone and call me... nor did I want them to, quite honestly. They didn't know the circumstances of our separation and divorce and I had no intention of discussing those matters. So, we had a few awkward get-togethers for the kids birthdays, Easter or Christmas, in those early years, but like for so many other families, this eventually fell by the wayside. I still send his mother school photos of the girls each year (although I don't like it much that she has taken to writing directly to my younger daughter asking for them before I even have them in my hand... but that's just sour grapes on my part). I enclose them in a Christmas card and extend our wishes to her and her bf for each new year. I send more photos than she needs because I'm fairly certain she gives some to my ex sister-in-law. That's fine with me. They are related to my children by blood and I cannot change that. You asked in one of your posts... "why is it my responsibility that he sees that side of the family though? He doesn't make sure that our son sees my family, that is my responsibility..." It isn't your responsibility, in so much as you've been given an opportunity. She came to you. She'd like to continue to be a grandmother to your son and she is the one taking responsibility for trying to make that happen. I won't repeat the advice that others have given that perhaps you can alter the schedule some to ensure that he does see his daddy during each visit. Whether or not your son asks to go there, or asks why he doesn't, there are more things going on in his head than people realize. He may have questions he never voices, worries he never shares. Kids blame themselves for so much. If you have a relatively painless way to keep some "familiarity" in his life, I encourage you to do it... at least until he is of age to come to terms with things and decide for himself.
2 people like this
• United States
15 Jan 07
I think the fact that she called you and said she wanted to see him is her first step. you are the one who jumped back. Let her have the chance to prove it. See how your son likes going. She honestly can fight to be able to have legal right to see him. IT IS HIS GRANDMOTHER. she is trying. Do you want to tell your son later on in life the reason that he didnt get close to grandma is because you were being selfish? Put your child first. I know it can be difficult, but as far as I can see from what you said, she hasnt done anything wrong. Give them a chance
2 people like this
@ilunice (947)
• Netherlands
15 Jan 07
To me, nothing says your son can only go to see his dad on Friday. Reschedule the time for your son to go and see his dad. You need not deprive him the company of his dad. On the alternative, let your son know he is going to see his grandparents. And if your son ask you about his dad, get your son and your ex on the phone and let your ex tell his son why he can not keep his appointment with his son. Except the son complains to you about his grandparents and refuse to go when next you ask him to go there, don't stop him. If not, someday your son will begin to complain about you stopping him from enjoying the company of his people.
2 people like this
@kathy77 (7488)
• Australia
15 Jan 07
I have been a single Mum so I understand exactly what you are saying and yes you are right to stop your son especially when his father is not there. Right I understand where you are coming from and you are right. I believe you to be right in your decision and I would tell them why!!
• United States
15 Jan 07
As a parent myself I don't think that I would of stopped him from going over. I think that it is important for our children to know all of their family even if you are no longer with his father. I would not want for my child to grow up and think that I had anything to do with him not getting to spend time with his family. He would surely feel resentment towards me and I could never live with myself for something like that. What is best for your son is that he has an opportunity to know all of his family and his mother supports that. It is being a little selfish on your part.
@chertsy (3817)
• United States
15 Jan 07
I can only say sit your son down and ask him. I'm guessing he's 3 years old. Or you can change it from Friday to Sunday. Saturday, the man will be to tired to watch anything. My husband used to work nights. Sunday isn't bad. They can go to the park or something. Spend the day together, show that he still cares for his son. She might be your ex mother in law, but she's still his grandmother. My mom or my mil don't call me often to see how their grandkids are doing. Good luck.
2 people like this
@wahmoftwo (1298)
• United States
15 Jan 07
My suggestion is to consult a counselor. They will be able to give you the best advice on your particular situation. Hope all turns out for the best.
2 people like this
@onlyme123 (124)
• United States
15 Jan 07
Is your son old enough to understand what's going on? If so, why don't you try asking him what he prefers? Tell him that his daddy won't be home on Fridays anymore, and he won't see him, but he'll see his grandma. Would he still like to go see grandma once a week? If he says yes, there's no reason to prevent him from going, even though it might be hard on you to accept. But if his grandma loves him and he wants to see her too, then it's important to him for that family connection. Does his daddy see him at any other times? Now, if your son does not want to be there if his daddy is not there, then you have the right to tell her that your son prefers not to be there without his daddy. So take the cue from your son. See how this arrangement affects him, and then make your decision. I know you want the best for him ultimately. I'm sure it will work out, whatever you decide.
@craftwave (1339)
• United States
14 Jan 07
I'm not a single mom but how about instead of telling him he is going to see his dad how about telling him he is going to see his grandparents. Don't deprive him of their company. They may not call because it is an awkward situation they find themselves in. When people find themselves in situations like this they sometimes do nothing for fear of doing the wrong thing. Unless there is some reason to fear for your sons safty then by all means let him build a relationship with his grandparents.
1 person likes this
@missyd79 (3442)
• United States
14 Jan 07
why is it my responsibility that he sees that side of the family though? He doesn't make sure that our son sees my family, that is my responsibility. the thing is that if he was not living with his parents I would end up keeping our son on a friday night anyways.
• United States
15 Jan 07
Unless you're scared for your son's safety Or if they'll say bad stuff about you to your son when he is with his grandparents, I would let him go. As a single parent to 3 boys (their dad is not a good person and has nothing to do with them), I am not in the same situation as you are. Their other side of the family pretends they don't exist period, my kids don't know who they are, but not by my choice, theirs. And that makes me sad because their father's side of the family is huge while my side is rather small. In your case, his grandmother did make an effort to call and ask if he can spend Friday nights with them, and at least that is something... Maybe she doesn't call often because like other people have said, maybe she felt uncomfortable? It shouldn't have to be one parents responsibility to make sure the child has a relationship with the other side of the family but it comes down to that. It sounds like you're the better parent then your ex, so unless the grandmother is a mean, untrustworthy person, it's at least something to consider....
@red158 (334)
• Canada
15 Jan 07
I agree, it is your responsibility as a parent to foster a good relationship with all your child's family. If it is your ex's weekend visitation you really don't have any reason to stop this, unless of course there is a question of safety.
@boogasmom (149)
• United States
15 Jan 07
I must say I disagree with a few posting on this. I was a single parent once. I tryed like hell to get my sons father to have something to do with him. It was like hitting a brick wall. I decided that I did not want to put myself or my son through that. He was constantly around people that did care and love him. I figured that if they finally got around to wanting to be part of his life they would make as much effort as I did. It is not a one way street. They have to be as active in his life as they can be. Not only on Friday's. Loving a child and caring about them doesn't come one day a week.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Jan 07
I have gone through what you once went through. i cannot "make" her father care for her, but i will also not respond to him whenever its appropriate for him. i have a life too, he's only tried once in the last year to talk to her. and we werent available we were out. oh well, he left a message but he didnt leave a number so thats his problem!
1 person likes this
@coolcatzz (1589)
• Canada
15 Jan 07
I think you are being too harsh. Sorry if that's not what you wanted to hear. I think they has grandparents have a right to see him and much as he has a right to have them in his life. The more people your son has in his life that love and care for him the better. I do understand how you feel but sometimes you just have to do what's right. My ex and I splitted up 2 years ago and he gets her every other weekend. She is 9. Now when he is to get her on a Friday night there are the odd ones where he is working so his girlfriend comes to get her. I have no problem with that cause his girlfriend is very very good to my daughter and I wouldn't want it any other way. Then when my ex gets home my daughter is already there. I know it's hard but you have to think of your child and get past how you feel. Just my two cents.
@missyd79 (3442)
• United States
18 Jan 07
i am sure if his girlfriend came to pick up your daughter and she look very incoherant or drunk you would not send her with her. i am denying her to see him i just want someone else there with them.
@re08dz (1941)
• Australia
15 Jan 07
Is the Friday night the only night he went there - or did he stay all weekend - and does that mean he now doesn't see his dad at all either? I separated from my ex quite awhile ago, but I always made sure my ex inlaws saw the kids whenever possible, and still do. No matter what's going on between you and the father you shouldn't deprive your son of the chance to spend time with other family members - wether on your side of the family or his. It's possible she didn't call through the week for fear you would think she was checking up on you etc. If it was me - I'd let him go there if that's what he wanted.
@missyd79 (3442)
• United States
15 Jan 07
he goes there on saturday and sundays
• United States
15 Jan 07
Just food for though. It might help you with your situation... My brother and his wife divorced 2 years ago. They have a 5 year old irl. My niece. She's cute as a button and sassy as can be. And I love her dearly, as do my parents, her grandparents. During the week, she lives with her mother. Every other weekend, she is with my brother. None of us call her mothers house during the week. It is considered, by her mom, an invasion of privacy and "seems like we're checking up" on her (the mother). We all know we'll see her when she's with my brother, though we don't want to insist on seeing her. She needs her time alone with her daddy. Do we love her less because we don't make sure we know all the time what is going on? Of course not! Now, my oldest son is from a previous marriage. His father's parents live in Florida. I am in NC. Like one response stated, "just because she is your ex in-law does not mean she is your son's ex-grandma". My son adores his grandma and she adores him. I don't need a phone call from her every couple of days to know how she feels for him. Maybe the thought of not seeing your son prompted her to call you to keep his Friday night visits. Remember, when you and your ex divorced, she lost a daughter-in-law and faced losing her grandson as well. She doesn't want to interfere but she doesn't want to lose everything, either. This may come across as being a bit extreme, but I hope you get my meaning. I think you should allow your son to visit.
1 person likes this
@missyd79 (3442)
• United States
15 Jan 07
i understand what you are saying, but she does see him, and i'm sorry, everytime my mom calls to talk to me see always talks to my son also, that is just how i was raised, you call and talk to the grandchildren. she did it before and i had no problem with it, but then it seemed to stop which in turn made me think that she really didn't care. i would never feel like they were checking up on me, i mean that is their family and I have always had an open book policy with them. My son use to go over there on a wednesday night too, but that all of a sudden stop too, with no explanition. with all that happening, i couldn't help but think they really do not care.
@Sissygrl (10999)
• Canada
18 Jan 07
I think as long as you feel that they are fit to look after your son you should send him to go visit his grandparents. maybe they dont call through the week because they are umcomfortable talking to you.. not because your a bad person or anything but just because your their sons ex.. you never know how people feel.or perhaps your ex told them not to call. whynot ask them how come they dont call though the week to talk to him ? You wont know till you ask!
1 person likes this
@reinydawn (11651)
• United States
17 Jan 07
I can totally understand your concerns but you are in a somewhat sticky situation. I was a single mom from the time my boys were 8 and 10 until they were 19 and 21. All his family lived halfway across the country, and I still felt it was his responsibility to make sure they had contact with the kids. The one trip I did make out there I made sure I took the kids with me and I even stayed with my x-sister-in-law and their mom came down for the week also. When his mother came to town I made sure I didn't have any plans with the kids so they could spend time with her. Your situation is a bit different though... Do your divorce/custody papers state that your son is to be with his father every other weekend from Friday evening to Sunday? If so, you might not have much of a choice. Your x is responsible for your son during that time and it is his choice who the child stays with when he is working. If you have an amiacable relationship with him, maybe you can talk to him about your concerns. If your papers do not have specifics written out you have a little bit more control of the situation. I would definitely talk to your x and explain your concerns and that you would be more comfortable having him around when your son is there. Maybe in a couple years when he's a bit older (5 is kinda young to be around an older adult that needs care) things can change, but for now let him know that you think this is best. What does your son want? Does he feel ok with his grandmother? Does he just sit there and watch TV? You wouldn't want to create any animosity between you and your son if he is very attached to them. I wish you the best!
• United States
16 Jan 07
if you feel that she cannot be coherent enought to watch your 5 year old then you ought to change your phone number. as a single mom only you will be responsible for using your best judgement. Tell your husband your new number but no-body else also let him know that you need your privacy and dont appreciate calls from people that you beleive to be insincere.
1 person likes this