My kids' dad is still very much involved in their lives. We share 50/50 custody, so we interact a lot. A lot more than I would really like, but in the theme of "keeping the kids first" I always answer his calls and try to help him if he asks. My Ex likes to think that since we once were married, I should still do lots of favors for him...NO not that kind of favors, step up to the gutter people! ;-).
For example: He decided to get Lasik eye surgery. Not that big of a deal, but then he thought it was appropriate to ask ME to take him to his appointment. Um....really!?! I would have had to take one of my few precious vacation days to do this and I have much better things to do with my vacation days. I did, however, arrange for my uncle to take him. And, because I still felt guilty for not taking him, I made him a home cooked dinner and delivered it to his house that evening (yeah, I know, I am enabling the behavior).
Not a single day goes by when he doesn't call me at least 10 times to ask me something. Sometimes they are important, like what exactly is it again that Bubbie is allergic to eating (yeah, you would think after 8 years he'd know what the kid can and can not eat, but I digress). Other times it is stupid shit. He literally called me 3 times once to ask directions to Manudo's softball game. Did I mention that I bought him a GPS one year for Father's day?
Some of the other lovely things he calls about is to ask me to set him up with my friends. Like I would do that? He wasn't a good enough husband to me to stayed married to, so why would I foist him off one one of my friends, I mean I actually LIKE most of my friends? Now HH's ex...that would be another story ;-). He also thinks that I am his permanent babysitter. Whenever he has a date, tickets to an event, golf game, hangnail, eye twitch or headache he thinks it is my job to take the kids. Most of the time I welcome the extra time with them, but sometimes I actually have plans! I mean, one of the benefits of sharing custody is that I actually can make plans sometimes without having to worry about hiring a babysitter. He then likes to pull the guilt trip on me if I occasionally say no. He will say: "but you are remarried so you have 2 adults to care for the kids....I am all alone." I want to say to him: "Ever think you are all alone because you keep acting like you are still married to me?" What lady would want to be with someone who can't even remember how to get to his daughter's softball game, at the same field she had just played at 2 days ago, without calling his Ex 3 times for directions?
His latest "favor" is asking me to plan a vacation for him. He'd like me to make all the plans for him to take the kids on a vacation this Summer. He said, and I quote: "you know what they like, here is my budget, just tell me where and when and I will take them." REALLY! Like I want to plan some fantasmic vacation for YOU to get all the credit? You know what they really like? Going someplace and having to do lots of chores. Let me know how that works out for you.
Now, as I said, 90% of the time I suck it up and help him out. But some days, I just want to tell him to stick it up his arse. I feel like I give, give, give, and 90% of the time he just takes. On the rare occasion I will ask him to return a favor, he invariably says no because he is golfing, watching TV, picking his ass, or any other myriad of excuses.
At the end of the day, I just keep chanting this mantra: It is for the kids, the kids appreciate that I help their dad out.
I know that one day the kids will know that even if I am the strict parent, I am the one that helped hold their lives together, especially their Dad's.
I do have say that I am absolutely happy that my Ex is so involved with the kids, and he does try. I would much prefer to have to schedule and run his life than have him abandon or miss out on time with the kids. All in all, he is a great dad to them, he is just clueless about what is and is not appropriate to ask me.
Until next time!