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Co-parenting strategies w/ex abf...HELP!

Old 01-22-2014, 09:28 AM
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Co-parenting strategies w/ex abf...HELP!

Hi. Questions for those of you co-parenting with an A
ExAbf no longer lives w/me.
He lives in a boarding house, no heat (wtf?), with other unhealthy people. He recognizes *their* unhealthiness enough to not take dd there.

However, I rely on him to pick dd up from school and watch her on week days when she has no school. He takes her to my house. He leaves trash around the apt? Messes? Food on the carpet? Bajillion dishes in the sink? Then when I get home he stays for dinner, not leaving until we go to bed.

Now, on weekdays when there is no school or dd is sick, he cannot muster himself to be at my house until...10ish? My employers need me in at 8/8:30 (and they are flexible, for which I am very grateful). So I take dd to work with me until he can pick her up.

This is making me crazy and it's really effing embarrassing (at my job).

He showed up Monday at 10am *reeking* of booze and when I questioned him, he claimed he hadn't been drinking that day. But he smelled like a distillery.

He's making every interaction so effing irritating, I just want him out. I've tried being accommodating so that he can see dd. I don't need to feed HIM dinner every night. Saturdays he comes to "hang out" with dd, which means, breakfast/lunch/dinner at my house. I hate it. I hate dreading going home to MY HOUSE!!!! He won't take her anywhere, we have memberships to stuff, but he won't take her unless I go? He "suggests" to my daughter that she ask for things he wants...I feel like i'm being manipulated here, and I don't like it.

I've tried asking that we make a plan? Like, ok, you can hang on xyz days but not abcd...he just gets pi$$y and splits. Silent treatment. Stays away a couple days then is back full force.

Any advice?
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:30 AM
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Sidenote, I don't really make enough for everyday after school engagements for DD. I could do, like 2 days/week, and I don't make enough to have a sitter. I'm at a point though, that I would just rather pay someone else. Even if that means cutting back somewhere else. Not sure where that would be, though.
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:33 AM
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My advise is not depend on someone who you suspect has been drinking that day to take your child. That sounds like a very toxic thing for your child.

I would let him know you need to work out a parenting plan that says she can go with him on certain times providing he has not been drinking. Meet at the police station to exchange child. If you suspect he has been drinking he has to test. He cannot take said child until he has stable housing with utilities on and in clean living shape for child to be in.

If he splits and is not willing to do these things, you have your answer.

I am sorry. You definitely do not need to have him hanging around your home, that removes the stability of your own home for you and your child.
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:35 AM
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Does he not pay anything? If not, take him to court for child support and get all things I mentioned in the parenting plan. You will have to find a way for someone else to take care of your child that is not under the influence.

Is there anyone at school you could talk to about this that may offer to have your child after school and days off? I know when I was going through a hard time I had people offer however I did not hide that I don't trust gool ol dad to not be drinking. Most people will step up to keep a child safe.
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:52 AM
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I have no clue where you live or how old your daughter is, but Boys & Girls Club is a decent alternative, depending on what your daughter is like. They only charged an annual fee and picked up at my kids' school. It was a safe environment as long as the kids were responsible enough to stay in the building (my daughter wasn't, she was trying to run away and it didn't work for us).

Even finding, like, a college student who's willing to pick her up and watch her at your house for chump change would be better for your peace of mind.
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:54 AM
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First, how old is DD?

IME, you need a legal parenting plan, one devised by a lawyer. You can't force someone into being honest or showing up on time, so feel free to relieve yourself of the responsibility to do so.

In the meantime you have to come up with a way to care for your children without his help -- an active alcoholic is not an appropriate caretaker for any child. If I were you, my first step would be to call the school and find out what kind of after school stuff they have. Then I would blast Facebook and see if any of your friends can help watch your daughter in a pinch and/or during the afternoons after school. I've bartered for childcare, like, if you help with this, I'll watch your kids on the weekend for a date night, or whatever. I've had to get pretty crafty. I have some family help, but recently I've had to take on a second job so I can make ends meet so I don't have to rely on my dysfunctional family or my dysfunctional AH. It sounds overwhelming, but with a good attitude and some determination, this new normal will work our better for you and DD.
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Old 01-22-2014, 11:55 AM
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Agree with all the prior posters...

And I will add this... my abusive, active A, xH has court ordered parenting time IN MY HOUSE. Yup. The judge in all her "brilliance" heard my concerns about his drinking and driving and he refuses to find an apt suitable to take the kids to (he claims its due to finances) so she felt that it would be in the kids best interest that he have his parenting time with them IN MY F*CKING HOUSE!

I have been living with this and can't wrap my head around it yet so feel free to all gasp and say its insane bc I agree...

My point here is this: The likelihood given your scenario is that a court may impose the same insanity. I have had to choose my battles and let go of the hope that he will be a grown man who cleans up after himself, respects my belongings, respect my home etc...

He is going to have time with his kids... it's a given. The courts don't stop even nasty drunks who are ****** fathers from being with their kids. And in some ways, his being in my house vs driving around with them IS actually safer for them so I have tried to find a silver lining in the craziness...

I think getting a court order about when he can and can't be in your home (with times clearly spelled out) is important for you. I won't say try and get him to not have visitation there bc he is going to have visitation somewhere and if you and he both agree his room for rent is sketchy, the judge, as mine did, may well say then your house is the visitation space...
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Old 01-22-2014, 01:20 PM
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wanttobehealthy,

Even after it was shown he assaulted you, this is still the arrangement? I'm flabbergasted....

Bodkin,

My kids school has an afterschool program that you can get discounted or free care at if you meet the financial requirements. I would check into that.

I would have to agree with an above poster about getting a court ordered parenting plan in place for you peace of mind. You can do this in mediation for almost no money.

Best of Luck, 4MyBoys
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Old 01-22-2014, 01:52 PM
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I second the suggestion for mediation. I just had a mediation for a modification of a prior agreement done for $90.

If he's belligerent and refuses to cooperate in mediation, you can ask the mediator to write a letter of recommendation describing the terms under which you mediated and whether you were both, or neither of you were, cooperative. The judge will usually take into account the fact that you tried to mediate first and one of you was game and the other was wasting time.
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:40 PM
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Just posting since I imagine I may have a similar situation in the future. When AH finally leaves the house. I understand the difficult balance between care for child so you can work, time with dad, and separation of us/A relationship. I'm guessing you have not started new relationships or dating? Because I can imagine the crapstorm that I will have to deal with (in my house/property no less) if he has access to my home and finds out that I'm seeing someone else.
As much as the courts want both parents to be part of the child's life, they cannot mandate/make one parent responsible for care.
Maybe local library as place for him to take child and then you pick up there, at least some nights to give you your place to 100% your own?
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:43 PM
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Oh, and maybe start to get to know other parents so that trade-offs for playdates and evenings can help you and give the other parent(s) some free time for them. Seems to work better the older the child (my daughter's almost 4 yrs).
As you're seeing, I'm finding that I'm basically single parenting, with any support and quality care from the A parent as a bonus.
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:48 PM
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I had same thoughts as you but you have to get a child care plan in place that doesnt involve him. Relying on My separated AH for any normalcy was my crazy mistake. I was trying to depend on someone who was not dependable.

There are so many daycares or providers that will work with you...you just have to do it. I know its convenient, it was for me too. He'd come to my house, our daughter could be in her own home, etc...but really and I say this lovingly because I did this too...him coming there is for you. Maybe that is not your intention, but it is his...
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:44 PM
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Your situation reminds me of my own when XAH and I first split up. He didn't want the relationship to end, so he did everything he could to go about like we were still together - including spending too much time at my house. At first, it was so convenient to have him around often so that I could get out, get groceries, etc. However, when he was on a binge, I was left feeling stupid because I had no one to watch the kids so I could get to work!

My advice is this: for essential things like your DD's school and your job, make other arrangements. He obviously cannot be depended on, so stop it. Can a neighbour pick her up, family member? Is there a latchkey program? Second, if it really is your house - start acting like it! Put limits/rules in place. You wouldn't let any of your friends turn your place into a pigsty or use it as a hotel, so don't let him either. Set visit start times and end times - and stick to them. If you're ok with having him over for a meal once a week, let him know he can do the dishes in exchange. My XAH pays me for the food he consumes here.

I have now been separated from XAH for 8 months. Things have changed a lot: I have found that 'less is more'. We now have a schedule, so he is here much less than he used to be - it was done gradually and the kids didn't seem to notice the reduction. There is some flexibility to the schedule, for the most part we stick to it. When he is here, he needs to leave an hour before the kids' bedtime. He used to have the kids 10am-7pm on Saturdays, but since he apparently can't get out of bed before noon, I changed it to 3-7 (I like that I now have time on Sat to do things on my own with the kids before he gets here). The sad reality that I have had to face is that XAH really doesn't want to parent the kids - that's why he won't take them, only wants to go out with them if I go, still expects me to do the caregiving when it is technically his 'time' with the kids, etc. Whatever. His loss.
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Old 01-23-2014, 05:18 AM
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Thank all of you so much for so many great suggestions. Really truly, thank you!
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