How do you go NC with a small toddler?

Old 07-31-2012, 09:46 PM
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How do you go NC with a small toddler?

I am ok going NC for awhile and then I will give in because of our daughter. She is 4 and she goes with AH daily when I'm at work. He gets off at 1230pm so he picks her up from preschool and keeps her until I'm off work. I have found that so many times things have slipped through the cracks like memos, information, appts because we were wrapped up in our anger of not speaking to each other. At one point I had even blocked him and he needed to call me when they were at dentist and it was embarassing that the dentist front office got put in the middle of our drama. I had to speak to him on their office phone to square away the insurance stuff for her procedure.

I'm looking for suggestions...what's an effective way to co-parent when your little ones not old enough to say "I had a nap", "I ate", etc...sometimes when she does say things its not entirely accurate because she is 4. We have a schedule. We have a financial arrangement. AH doesn't veer from that. He's a good dad, he's attentive to her when she is with him. The stuff he does as stupid as it is, it purely self-loathing. Its the other her temperament, the "extras" that go into being a parent. Do I just have to wrap my head around the fact that our family is just broken and just parent her when she's in my home. Is this the reality I need to come to? I don't want our daughter to suffer because her dad is an A and I am in I just need to suck it up and deal with him?
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:06 PM
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Well... do I remember this correctly, he's in recovery?
I'm wondering if that's the best place for your daughter, frankly.
I know that my AXH could not handle our two children -- who are much older, and who were only there after school -- while he was in recovery. He basically stored them in his house, that was it.

But that aside.

I have divorced friends who had a notebook in their daughter's diaper bag -- your daughter probably doesn't have a diaper bag anymore, but you probably have a bag or a backpack that goes with her, right? They'd make a note every day before they handed her over ("Sarah had a bad night last night and woke up a lot and acted like she was in pain. I gave her Tylenol at 4 am and after that she slept for 3 hours" or "Sarah's immunization records need updating -- see notice in folder" etc.)

You could also do what I'm doing -- my divorce decree limits contact to e-mail and text messages unless it's an emergency. I find that helps -- I didn't get AS triggered by text communication as I did by phone.
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:16 PM
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No he's not in recovery anymore. He relapsed when he walked out on us 3 months ago. The notebook thing sounds good and yes, she has a backpack...I think I will try that.
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Old 08-01-2012, 03:53 AM
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While I understand the purpose of NC, I can't see how it is appropriate when there's a child in between two people. My XAH was and is the king of manipulative conversation. At first, my only protective mechanism was to flat out ignore and not respond. Work well for me... Not for the kids.

What has worked for me is cutting off a verbal conversation as soon as it veers off from the kids. A polite -" okay! Looks like we have the kid stuff straightened out! Gotta go" and the chat is ended. The emails are easy because I only respond to stuff that's kid related. We had done folders in each kids backpacks (similar to what the school does for bringing papers home/back). I thought it was perfect... He never really looked in the folders so that sucked.

Being patient, biting my tongue and remembering that the kids are stuck in the middle has helped me do my part in maintaining civil communication. I can say that over the course of the past 7 months... Our interaction has improved. Probably due to me no longer engaging in the drama... Ad probably some due to him figuring out that
his game doesn't work anymore... And... I'm fairly certain he's got a new enabler in the hook.... BONUS!!!

Good luck whatever you Choose for you and your daughter!
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Old 08-01-2012, 04:45 AM
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If you're able to speak with him without fear, try to take the high road and open up communication with him re: your daughter. Let go of the anger, lower your expectations of him as a person, don't judge him, speak to him as though he is a person you've met at the grocery store. Not saying it would be easy because Lord knows I know there's a lot of emotion involved. Personally, if I saw my AXBF right now I'd probably want to beat the $&@ out of him. But for your daughter's well-being, find a way for mommy to stop contributing to the toxicity. Also, there are professionals who can assist you in developing a co-parenting plan. If you Google that, you will find some examples of plans.

Good for you for putting your daughter at the top of the priority list.
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Old 08-01-2012, 04:55 AM
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Here is what I did (learned over time I should say)

Conversation at drop off/pick up were pleasantries only. If he asked or started in on anything else I ignored it and got out as fast as I could. I actually had to turn my back.

Keep expectations reality based. There is no conversation, strategy, method, or trick that is going to get my xah to communicate details of that nature. I let it go.

All questions ( his and mine ) and communication was done by email.

I put the schedule and other info on a google calendar. Printed him a copy and gave him a password. He never used it but if your xah would it would be great. There are other shared online systems to coparent with that look great if both parents use it.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:16 PM
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If he's back to drinking, I would make a case for not leaving her with him. At 4, she's not able to call you, get out of the house if there's a fire, get help if he passes out, etc.

And I'm not saying "you're a bad mom for leaving your kid with a drunk." I know how sometimes we have no good choices. I've been there. But I guess what I DID want to tell you is -- there is nothing WRONG with you keeping your daughter from him when he's drinking. There's no quality parenting or interaction going on between a child and a drunk. Or between anyone and a drunk, really.
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