01-28-2020 08:57 PM
01-29-2020 12:33 PM - edited 01-29-2020 01:58 PM
Hi @annoyedmumma ,
Welcome to the ReachOut parents community, i hope you find it a useful space for you. You're definitely not alone in having challenges with co-parenting, it can be an incredibly stressful situation, especially if your ex is doing things that you find unacceptable.
I can hear your frustration and concern for your 8 year old, which is totally understandable, as a parent of a child who's only a little older myself, I would be incredibly frustrated and angry in that situation. I'm glad your child is OK - as you say, that is a potentially dangerous situation. I just wanted to make you aware (you may be already), that if you're ever concerned about your child's safety, you can always report to child protection in your state.
It sounds like a really tricky relationship to navigate with your ex, especially if he reacts with anger and defensiveness. I found this resource on the ReachOut parent's page to have some really helpful, practical information about ways to handle conflict with an ex when you are having to co-parent.
I am wondering if you currently have a parenting plan at all with your ex, or if you have already been through mediation? Some people find mediation (I know Relationships Australia offer this service) to be helpful in setting clear expectations and boundaries around co-parenting with an experienced mediator. If you have tried some of the techniques outlined in the article I've linked to above and they aren't working, or if you're concerned about your child's safety, then mediation can be a really useful step.
You sound like a very caring mum, and dealing with this kind of stress can really take its toll on us as well - are you able to make some time for self-care, or even speak to a counsellor if you think you need to for some extra support?
02-03-2020 01:30 PM
when I found out my ex of only 12months or so was sometimes going out with her defacto and leaving our 9 year old son alone in the apartment I wasn't pleased to say the least. At the time like you I was finding it hard to deal with my ex as there were too many unresolved side issues for us to really have a realistic discussion about it. I bought my son a very basic mobile and taught him how to send txts and how to ring me on the speed dial function. Also how to ring for emergency help if anything went wrong in the apartment , I also programmed his mothers number in as well the number of a trusted close friend who my son knows and likes.Once I had explained to my ex that the phone wasn't for everyday use but only if it was unavoidable that our son was going to be alone in the apartment.This I know doesn't help you with the problem of co-parenting with some one you cant see eye to eye with but it may give you some peace of mind knowing your child can call for help if needed.As to working it out with a difficult ex, no one size fits all but my GP got me onto a health care plan free under medicare I had 6 absolutely invaluable visits with a psychologist and took out some psychology books out from the local library. The calmer I became and the less i rose up and reacted to the red flags my ex waved to provoke me the less she did it and now finally after a little more than a year later we can deal civilly with each other. This has had the added advantage that our boy has become far less of a hard to handle messed up unhappy little kid to one close to the happy little guy he used to be. If in doubt take 3 deep breathes before you speak to your ex , that is not meant to sound patronising it really works for me
02-03-2020 02:39 PM
02-03-2020 04:03 PM
It makes me realise how lucky I am that the 50/50 childcare arrangement I have was achieved out of court, shouldnt be too cocky as the divorce and financials are still to be finalised. Back to your problem of dealing with your ex, you seem to have a pretty good handle on him and his personality and his new partner, Iam hoping you maintain the calm and not the rage, as like playing chess its a long battle from the opening moves to the end game and you have to really study your opponent ,and not let him rattle you. sincerely hope it ends up ok for you and your 8 yr old. I was able to make my ex see that a lot of the things she was doing were only damaging our child and getting us nowhere . However if your ex is an I am ALWAYS right kind of a person reason and logic dont apply anymore.
02-04-2020 02:01 PM
@annoyedmumma thanks for checking back in with us, it sounds like it's been a really tough journey for you. From what you've said, it sounds like you made the right decision reporting to child protection, as you say it does at least mean that there's a paper trail.
It must be very challenging to be worried about your child's safety, and I know how stressful going through famliy court proceedings can be. Are you able to find time for some self-care for yourself, or chat to a professional if you feel like it would help you?
@sidneysdad thank you for sharing your experiences, it sounds like you've ultimately been able to come up with an arrangement that works for you, your ex, and your child, which I think is a pretty amazing achievement. It can be incredibly hard to navigate joint custody situations, but it sounds like you have your child's best needs at heart, and it's great to hear from another parent who's been in a similar situation.