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I Do Everything For Them

I am a mother of 2 kids a boy who is 12 a girl who is 9.  I have been divorced for 6 years and have been engaged for 1 year. Both of my kids live with me and my fiance, they go to there dad's house every other weekend. I do everything for my kids, take them every where they need to go, buy them things they need and sometimes want. I pay for all the extra activities they play.  When they are at there dad's house which is only 4 days a month and they need to go to a b-day party, I will go pick them up and take them..  There dad doesn't do anything over and above his 4 days a month. That is OK with me, but my kids think he hung the moon and they think he is the greatest person in the world, even though I do it all.  When it comes to field trips they call him to see if he wants to go, if he can't go, then they ask mom to go. I don't understand why I am the one who takes care of them, provides for them, does everything, but I am never appreciated, but there dad who does pretty much nothing gets all the respect. It is very hard to deal with!!!
hmcduffie07 hmcduffie07 31-35 67 Responses Feb 20, 2008

Your Response


you sound like a great person, and I'm sorry it didn't worm out with your husband. Have you ever thought that their seeing mom too much and they just want to see are for like 1 more day aside from the 4?

Hang in there, sometimes ( and I speak from expirience) kids don't realize how much is done for them, and will often like one parent over another (usually the one who dosn't enforce punishment or rules.) This is what happened in my family till I was about 13. Then I realized that my mom did and still does a lot for me, and even though she can be hard on me it's for the best. So just keep being a good parent and things will hopefully turn out, because when they look back they'll realize who was really there for them.

Have you ever considered that you do too much for your kids? Are you at their "beck and call", so<br />
to speak? Do you think that the more you do, give, or buy them means they should love you more?<br />
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Take a few days to really think about people you respect, and why you respect them. <br />
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Then take more time to think about, even go to the library for parenting or child development books, what children need. How to you build a successful family? <br />
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If you don't think you are respected or appreciated, then it's time to teach that. Yes, I said teach it.<br />
I can guarantee you, kids don't learn it from people who do everything for them. And sadly, they often don't....."come around when they are older". <br />
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If you do this soul searching, and then come to the conclusion that changes need to be made, then design a plan. I wish there were such a thing as a "parenting consultant"....someone with knowledge of several parenting styles and techniques, but as far as I know there isn't one. Even parenting classes can be hard to find. The school's guidance counselor should be a good resource. If you're reluctant to ask at your kids' school, then call another in your county.<br />
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It takes 18 years to teach/guide a child to be confident, independent (prepare his own meals, handle his own money, take responsibility for school work and chores, and develop healthy friendships, have respect and compassion for others). Most parents don't purposely set out to accomplish this.....they just think it will happen along the way. It doesn't. Parenting takes a conscious and educated effort.

wow. well this hit home. I know theres soooo many comments, but I hope you see mine. This is the exact situation I am in. Except I'm your daughter. Well now I am 19 and my brother 21. My mom and dad were divorced when I was 8, so that was 11 years ago. My dad is still in my life also, however without a scheduled appearance. He just comes and goes, I see him like once or twice a week randomly. It works better with everyone conflicting schedules as now we're older. But when i was younger, in grade school and high school. I always kind of did what you said. Praised my dad, thought he was the coolest, asked him first if he would go to Six Flags, all that stuff. I never noticed what my mom had done for me until i started college, then i realized how much MORE my mom actually had contributed, well now both me and my brother fully appreciate her and usually are more willing to lend her a hand, or go to her first with advice or tickets to a show. But i think it took a little growing up, learning from personal experiences to learn. This cool, amazing, fantastic man you always grew up with who just wanted to have fun, and wasn't there to crack down on homework or yell at you for you room. Dad was there for the weekend getaways, and i never saw him in the mean parent light. But now more obvious I realized how little he did for me, and now that my mom doesn't get child support since I turned 18, I realized how little hes contributing, and as an adult (or young adult) I realize the responsibilities he is not taking. I do not know your full situation, I just want you too know. Your kids appreciate what your doing. Maybe not now, or next week, or even next year. But down the line they're going to have a moment, where they realize how much you've contributed to make sure that they will be good in the long run. My love goes to you as if you were my own mother, I hope you see this and realize that they care. And that I care.

In any relationship, the person who is always there is the one taken for granted.<br />
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People value that which is rare. They see their father rarely therefore he seems valuable. They see you every day so they have come to expect you to automatically be there and think nothing of it.

Your children love you more then they know, they really do. Unfortunately it takes the one we love leaving for us to fully realize how much we love them. Your children think everything of their Father because that it natural. Besides seeing their Father as "the man", they only see him four days per month. It is natural for them to vie for his attention because they see him so little. You need to know you are the Mom, and weather you know it or not you are number one. Your children may not show it but you are. You need to realize that they only put him up on a pedestal because they are trying to win his love and affection. I wise man once told me, a child can have many fathers but only one mother. The next time you feel like you have been passed over for him, remember it's because they no how much you love them. It's him they are trying to get them to love.

Counter example. I hate my mother, being separated from her made me hate her even more...

Kids dont see the bad or lack of in a person until they reach a certain age or experience something early from it. Now i was like that with my dad probly seen him 2 day out of every 2 months but i loved when we went around. The reason is he didnt pay attention to me or really care what i did so i could get away with anything. Unlike my mom she cared for me and loved me so she stayed on me. But when i got older she let me move in with him and i seen everything that she did and would do for me compared to how he didnt even notice me. If i could take it back and do it over i would appreciate her more for everything she did for me.

There is a saying "Familiarity breed contempt". Since they see him only 4 days a month, they don't really know him well enough to judge. They are just seeing the outer shell. Where as since you are bringing them up, they have seen your luv , you anger to discipline them (normal discipling i mean) and of course kids that age always hate that. So it is natural phenomenon. I agree with lllgrinlkkl that they like and trust you more. Whether it is kids or adults, if you trust some one and feel close to some one you take more liberty. <br />
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Now to be a bit more philosophical, Expectation feeds disappointment. So don't encourage expectation from any one, which may lead to disappointment. Just do what you are supposed to do, if they reciprocate well and good other wise, you did that as part of your commitment not theirs.<br />
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My family was like that. Although my father was the one unappreciated. He worked his but off and never took vacations and we would still fight with him and be rude, disrespectful, and worse. But as time wore on we gained perspective and appreciate what he has done for us. I think your kids will understand more and more. They are just believing what is easy for them to believe because everything isn't on the surface for them to see.

Wow, I hope my mother knows that I appreciate everything she does for me and my sisters. I mean I tell her that I love here and give her a hug even though she laughs and tells me to **** Off.

Sounds really unfair and like the father should do much more. Is there no way you can make this happen? It also sounds like you should take some time to look after yourself. Can you cut back on all this stuff you do for them? It's no good if you're resenting it at the same time, even for them ultimately.<br />
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On the other hand, it's always important for parents to keep in mind that having kids is a choice they've made, as adults. It's an option, not something anyone is forced to do (not usually anyway). Also, as the adult you're the one who should be in control, as long as you approach it in a balanced way. <br />
Sounds to me like you're giving your kids as much stability as possible, love and a happy life (besides of course, the legal basics like clothes, food, education, a roof over their heads & freedom from abuse) which is a lot more than many parents do, and if so, you must be doing a great job.

this sounds like my mother,i'm so sorry,i don't know what to say,im not a parent,but im am sorry and i hope that things work out,

I agree with everyting that has been said so I won't repeat it. I am in the EXACT same situation but with one 11 year old boy. His dad is not quite as bad as yours, however, sometimes when you have more interaction from the other side it can cause more fricition. Even though his time with them is small, be grateful for small things, if you know what I mean. Anyway, you do have to understand that if you keep running to not only your kids rescue but dad-friend's rescue, they will never learn to appreciate you. If they are at his house and have to go to a party, let dad take them or they don't go. The lack in care they receive from dad will be become evident much quicker if you stop rushing in to save them/him. I used to do the exact same things. I stopped and guess what? My son notices that he can depend on Mommy. Things are different with Mommy. And even though Daddy makes a lot more money than me with a MUCH bigger house, my son would much rather be at my house. He only goes to his dad's now because he knows it's what he is supposed to do, but if he had his choice he'd stay with me. I know hao you are feeling right now. Trust me when I say one day your rewards will come. Some of your issues sound partly controling (no offense, I know cause I am the same way) and partly just being an all around GREAT mother to you kids (from one GREAT mother to another). Every great mother never wants to see her children dissapointed but dissapointment won't kill them. It may only make them stronger and probably make their appreciation for you stronger.

You do not have to do those get to...and quit being a martyr...just be a good mom...stop comparing yourself to your ex (who you are obviously still hung up on).

I just have to believe how much they appreciate you now cause they won't know for years!

I just have to believe how much they appreciate you now cause they won't know for years!

You're an American mom- you want love not respect. Demand respect. Demand obedience and high standards Its 3 yrs later and it isn't going to get better as they get older. Who cares if they think dad is awesome. You are their custodial parent. Suck it up, don't expect them to fall on you telling you how much they love you (they do, even when they hate you). They'll be parents themselves b4 they do that.

I'll give you a good reason as to why your kids give him all the Credit. First and foremost, you do EVERYTHING for your kids. Second most is, that you have created no boundaries with your children and therefore they have expectations from you because you do EVERYTHING for them. They have nothing to appreciate when they know they are going to what they want no matter what. It's possible Dad doesn't do everything for them and that's why he gets the "Gold Star" because its Disney Land 4 days a month with him so they miss him more than you and treasure him more because of your behavior and the simple fact that they live with you and they are used to seeing you everyday and . I get SO SICK when I hear this stories because the answer is right in front of their face. If you Tone your attitude of doing everything for them then you will receive that appreciation you think you've tried so hard for. The truth be told you've created your own weaknesses and your own problems. 9 and 12 year old children are perfectly able to do alot of things that parents continue to do when they shouldn't. Teach them some responsibility and values, not hey baby you sit there every night and I'll wipe that tail for you on cue.

Oh my god. I meant to say " i am NOT proud of myself" that was a terrible typo. MY apologies....

*sigh* I am like that to my mother. It is almost the same situation. I don't know why I am this way to her, but I am proud of myself because of it! I love my mother and she does everything for me. I treat her like crap most of the time. I don't really mean to. Sometimes it just happens. I wish I could treat her better but we aren't a very loving family. She never really shows that much affection with us. Though our dad does. He says he loves us plenty of times. My mom not so much. I guess I'm just not use to showing affection to her. I am very sad with myself. I get mad at myself when I treat my mother like crap. She deserves nothing but the best. Just know that your children love you even if they might not show it. THEY LOVE YOU! They will understand what they put you through and they will regret it. Just show them you love them and maybe they will show it back. <br />
They are still young.

no matter what, it still sucky sucky sucky HURTS like hell!!! I SOOO go thru this very very same thing to the point I am so down . My x comes and gets them when he wants, controls every frickin thing they SAY , THINK, or DO, makes every single damn decision in their life to the point he twists it to make them think they THEY are the ones that are making it , but he gives them no ultimatem. I KNOW the kind of guy you are dealing with!! I dealt with two of them but the latter is worse!!! by far. This man comes into my home, picks up socks i JUST BOUGHT my little boy...says HE BOUGHT THEM! (he buys these kids NOTHING!!)....makes them bring the NICE THINGS to his home then somehow brainwashees them to believe that he has the rights to every item i buy for them!!!and keeps it at his house. I forbid them to take things but when you divide days its almost impossible...I sacrifice so my kids can have @!! WHAT?? just to get it ripped away from the no good non child support paying %^&*()_+ ???? UNBELIEVAFREAKABLE!!! <br />
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I feel for you GF!! Hand in there! One day his day is coming. One day....

try to remember that your kids are fortunate to have a father to spend weekends with. i know you're not feeling appreciation from them right now in their lives but try not to feel so hard done by either. there are solo mothers out there who are worse off than you. take my children's father for example... he was so violent and abusive he's an unfit person let alone an unfit parent. i have NEVER had a break from my children in all the years i've been raising them because they don't have a weekend father to visit. i do all the same things you do for your children without a break from them, ever. try to imagine what that's like.

Oh grow up! If you are so low that you freak out when you're not totally appreciated, then you're not fit to be a mother!

familiarity breeds contempt and whilst i'm sure your children love you very much they probably don't appreciate what you do because you have become a provider and this is now seen as the norm. I was brought up in a home with 5 children and my mother had one arm she did all the things that you do but we also were taught from a very early age to play our part and we had our chores. This has taught me the value of sharing and increased my confidence and self esteem. Look up the 10 life laws on the web it will help. Life law number 1 is you either get it or you don't. If you are taken for granted its because you allow it to happen by being ever faithful ever there. If suddenly you had to go away for what ever reason how would they cope. Teach them now so they benefit later

WOW. I could have written that. . . <br />
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and they come home with an attitude towards you that takes you a week to knock back in shape and then you have to do it all over again..and its an endless cycle. But I want my kids to love their Daddy. Dont get me wrong. Its just that if he had HIS WAY..they would not even EXIST!!! Yah. He wanted me to abort them, but now he wants them to treat them like the hero he isnt.<br />
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Oh well. Such is life and thats why i say KARMA~~~!!!<br />
It will come back to him. In time.<br />
Maybe not tomorrow or even in the next year. But trust me. Been there done that <br />
Twice. And not short term...Talkin 10 yr marriage , 5 yr marriage. The kids KNOW you love them and sacrifice everything you have so they can have. <br />
"One day this too shall pass"

They won't truly appreciate all that you've done until they have kids of their own. Being unappreciated is a part of motherhood. *Shrugs* don't have kids to feel appreciated.... Every mother thinks this at some point.

My parents are divorced and my mom does everything for us. And i only get to see my dad every other weekend as well. Even though they don't show it, they really do appreciate what you do for them. Maybe the only reason they turn to him for all that stuff is because they miss him and they don't get to see him often. No matter how you feel, they do appreciate you.

The truth is no matter what, You will always be appreciated, as long as you do it with Love and Sincerity. They are your children, always remember them as your JOY! We may not necessarily see Appreciation from a person at an immediate time of expectation, but what you have done, to help, the care, the love u've shown to your 12year old son and your 9year old girl will never be forgotten in their hearts. I really admire what you do everyday to keep your family united. Keep on doin it,! Because GOD who brought them(Your children) will never LEAVE YOU! Your Appreciated by GOD, more than you can imagine!

hello.<br />
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I couldn't help but relate to your story... listen I want to tell you something, and you may not like it, but just consider it please. I was your children at one time, well me and my brother were. We totally acted like the universe revovlved around our father, although he was a deadbeat dad. My mother also did it all and always has, and I know that today. But even though I may have acted as if I put my dad on some sort of pedestal, I was just trying to be his little girl, because the truth is... and please take this for what it's worth. Your kids overcompensate evry moment with him because deep-dow they realize that is all the time they get with him, it's not so much about them wanting to hurt you- I promise, if anything you should stand tall and pat yourself on the back for being a wonderful mother... Your children know that and they do realize that you do it all, if they didn't then why would they be comftorable with telling you what they secretly want? And there's no big secret to that lingering question that has to float around in thier young, vibrant and forgiving minds... they just want more from him, they want thier dad and that may hury, but your children are riight on track with loe and acceptance. You are raising them to be you! Strong, caring and forgiving, Best wishes to your family. thank you for reading this, i truly hope it gives u comfort

Seaman & Montarlot:<br />
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Sometimes divorce is the only way to prevent destroying lives, especially in abusive marriages. In my biological parents' marriage, it was more dangerous to remain in the relationship than to leave it. Some people simply are not meant to be together no matter how much they may love each other. Love can't be used as a litmus test for marriage. Sure, it's a part of why people marry but there are other things to consider such as trust, loyalty, respect for each other (both sides & not just one), sharing everything including child care, household duties, and paying bills. <br />
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Verbal and even worse physical assaults on a parent by another parent does nothing except hurt the children in the end. It can also lead to fights becoming so brutal that someone will end up in the hospital if not in the morgue. <br />
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So in contrast with what you say here, sometimes divorce is the ONLY way to assure the safety of the family. I've witnessed parents who fought like mad when they were under the same roof come together as a family though without marriage or living together yet become better parents to the children and better friends to each other. It isn't that the relationship lacked love; it was that the love could not sustain the marriage. All we can hope for is to have a respectful relationship between parents when the marriage falls apart for whatever reason; however, in cases of abuse, there should be no interaction until the abuser and the abused, including the children, all get into therapy but not family therapy. Family therapy should come only after certain goals are met such as anger management issues and learning to respect oneself as well as others around you especially the family created before the abuse began. Even with therapy and family therapy, I am still not convinced that a couple of abuse would be any better off trying to reconcile as a married couple. It would depend alot on how long the abuse had been taking place. <br />
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Sometimes it's just better to be friends and work hard to parent the children without creating some grand war between the parents. Should one of the parents marry again or begin dating again years later there should be long discussions regarding the roles everyone will play in the family unit. <br />
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I was fortunate in that area because my ex walked and didn't come back so while I am technically in a blended marriage with children from two separate marriages, both my children have one dad and that's the one whose at home every night, attends special performances, holds them tight when their hearts are broken, and loves them as unconditionally as I do. We each parent in our own way; however, both of us reached a point long ago that in order to be better parents we had to stick together as a unified force when it came to our children. We don't have any of that running to dad or running to mom to get what the child wants. I'm the harshest one that handles disciplinary action whereas my husband isn't but he does stand by my disciplinary actions and follows through with their groundings, well just the one now since the oldest is no longer at home. She is in college and moved closer to campus almost a year ago now. <br />
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I guess I just wanted to say that remaining married isn't always the right thing or the safest thing to do either. Divorce is often a relief. <br />
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Quote:<br />
Choosing divorce frequently destroys lives, yours and your husbands included. They should tell people this in Marriage 101. Now all you can do is make the most of it.

Maybe its bcoz they always see u. It happens. When their dad starts 2 ignore them,they will know ur importance n love.

I think God is never blind and he never does injustice with anyone. And he is not in short of resources to pay us and he will pay more than our expectations for our deeds. We must just wait and have faith in God and always ask him for help.

Enderdio: The reason you enjoyed going to your dad's house is the reason why I recommended to have all the chores split between family members. You get the work done 4x as fast leaving more time for the family to spend time playing together or simply enjoying a funny PG movie with plenty of popcorn. <br />
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Whenever any custodial parent is caught with all the housework, homework, bills to pay, and working a full-time job too there is nothing that will cure the exhaustion except a change in pace and changes within the household. The number one change is to delegate out the chores. Just because children are children doesn't mean they can't help with housework. Actually, helping with housework can be made to be fun too. Let them use their mp3 pla<x>yers while they work as long as it's safe, have races to see who finishes their chores first and then let that person choose the first game to play or project to do... Anything that brings fun back into the home of the custodial home and takes the bulk load off one parent (or two for a married couple). It gives time for what every family needs regardless of whether the house is run by one parent (mom or a dad or a grandparent or foster parent) and it gets the house spic-and-span quicker so the chores are complete and the games can begin. <br />
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We also do this run and clean before we all get out walking together during the warm weather. My youngest daughter has to ride bikes with her dad and the little girl up the street. I'm legally blind with lupus (SLE type) and Sjogren's disease in addition to having joint problems - specifically with my left knee, both ankles and feet, and my right arm. The joints just don't want to work well from all the wear, tear, and breaks over the years. Plus, I can't see where I'm going if I am on a bicycle. I tried to use one of those stationary bikes at Sears a few weeks ago but my left knee simply doesn't have the strength to press the pedal down to make the machine turn even at the lowest easiest setting. So our daughter and a neighbor's daughter bike ride with their dad and we play games together like my blind-friendly and sight-friendly Scrabble Deluxe or basketball when it's not too cold. I have a beeping goal-finder that sits on the backside of the rim of the goal to give me an area to aim for and there's a bell that hangs on the netting so I can hear when the ball goes through it. In addition, the basketball has a bell inside of it but not so big of a bell that it knocks off the dribbling. The kids loved it but our neighbors were so curious about it they came over to find out how in the world I was able to play basketball as the entire town knows I'm blind. If anyone is looking for my house, all they have to do is stop at the little rip mart in town and ask one of the cashiers where the "blind lady with the guide dog lives," and they can direct them right to our house. LOL! <br />
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I tell everyone including kids when I lecture at local schools in our area that I'm blind yes - my eyes don't work but I'm not dead; I can walk as long as my joints aren't too painful; I can't run or jog as it puts too much strain on the joints; however, I can do whatever most other mothers can do except read printed material without the use of a multi-functional printer, the OCR program that scans it into text into my computer where a screen reader software reads it to me. I can cook. I feed my guide dog and take him out as well as give him baths when it's warm enough. My hands turn a shade of blue if I'm outside in the cold for too long not to mention ever joint in my body aches. Other than that, I'm a simple mom with one child left at home who can cook the meals, load the dishwasher, wash clothes, and even vacuum although with the latter, I have to run a pattern to ensure I've got the entire floor area.

I was one of the kids in a situation like that. <br />
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except, My mother was an alcoholic, bipolar mess, who ran through boyfriends like McDonalds through employees.<br />
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She eventually settled down with some black guy who liked to yell at us. <br />
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My grandmother was the one who deserved all of the appreciation, as she basically raised me, and my dad was there to pick me up every other weekend, but I still loved going to his house, because it was like some awesome place where I couldn't be grounded and would always be able to do something fun. <br />
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I'm not saying your any of this, but it would be good to learn what your kids feel about this.<br />
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All you have to do is wait until the kids enter high school, and going to their dad's house will be a chore.

u know, i have the same things happening in my life with 2 differences. 1 being both are boys and the other being i'm their dad. it is rough and i hope what these people say to help is true and applicable to me as well. either way ill take strength and u should too in knowing you are not the only one. stay strong

Jondough: I know this is late in response but I just found it while checking another message that popped into my email box.

Considering you are the dad, you can most assuredly set up a household with 2 boys and their dad in the same manner in which I mentioned in the long post I made with a lot of ideas as to how to get the house organized and everybody working together. The most is on January 30th or 31st, 2010.

You obviously have a home and the boys obviously have bedrooms and a bathroom they share along with the need to shower/take a bath, eat, sleep, etc... Again, it's never too early to start teaching them to be strong independently functioning men but also ensuring that your sons learn how to properly treat a young lady with respect even in the worst of situations. This is what will set any man head and shoulders above other men.

There is no shame or need for embarrassment for young boys to learn to wash dishes/load a dishwasher or unload one, do laundry, sort laundry, vacuum their rooms, help set the table and clear it, hang downs over a shower rod until the towels dry so they won't mildew if placed in a hamper while wet. Have them choose what they plan to wear to school the night before and have it out &amp; ready to put on from the moment their feet hit the floor. Book-bags by the front door with everything they need including books, homework (aka read the binder part of my post), and pens/pencils or other implements they will need in school. Start them on homework after a brief snack so they can get into a routine. Routines and delegation are the top two things that can bring total harmony into a household. You are a single dad raising and supporting your sons. As a man and a father, always remember your boys will follow your lead so it is important to set a good example for them. There is no shame in learning to cook, learning to do laundry, pull linens &amp; replace them while washing the removed linens. Vacuuming is something even a young child of 5-6yrs old can do as long as it's a relatively easy vacuum cleaner. I have a Dyson Upright Animal vacuum (it has the purple ball where the others I believe have yellow or orange ones). If they still make them, there was a line of toy vacuums that actually vacuumed floors! I had both my girls using them in their bedrooms by the time they were about 3yrs old. Of course I would go over it when they didn't know it to pull up what the little vacuum couldn't get but it is the reinforcement of doing something and taking pride in the doing as well as hearing the parent, be it Daddy or Mommy praising them for doing such a great job.

One thing I think I may have missed in my post on this thread is to avoid money for chores and money for grades. We have NEVER given either of our children an allowance, money for chores, or money for good grades. These are things we expect out of them. If they want to earn money then ask them if they would like to earn (whatever you can pay them though keep it small and age-appropriate) money for things they want then give them opportunities to do things outside of their regular set of chores. If you need assistance working on the lawn mower/lawn tractor (we have lawn tractor b/c of the size of our lot in a rather large subdivision &amp; it's important &amp; expected that everyone keep up their lawn detail along with any trimming of specific shrubs or etc... properly. If you want to add a tree to your yard and you feel this falls outside of normal chores you can have one or both help then pay them a little something. If they have something they want really bad, let them earn the money to buy it using their own sweet &amp; tears. Ask neighbors you trust if there are any chores your son(s) can do to earn a bit of money toward whatever they are saving for in order to sort of let the neighbors know and for them not to be afraid of letting the boys know they don't have work right now if they don't. If you have family in the area, have them ask family members if they have any work the boys can do. After they earn enough to buy what they want, take them to get it but let them pay for it. I found that this will make them more appreciative of it, feel responsible and great pride that they earned the money to buy this thing they wanted, and it will in the end teach them the importance of saving, the importance of keeping one's word if they promise to do a specific chore they must follow through with it. This will be easy stuff for you b/c you are a dad; just don't forget that in addition to being a dad, you are a role model, the person your boys come to when they have questions or don't feel well or (goodness help me b/c I've been down this road w/both daughters) if they like a particular girl at school or wherever they met and be there if they get their heart broken by showing that sadness is not a threat to manhood nor is shedding tears from a broken heart or even a healed heart or happy heart! ~ My DH was in tears as he made his way down the aisle as he escorted our oldest daughter to the alter beneath this beautiful archway. He shook our future SIL's hand, gave our daughter a kiss on the cheek &amp; told her he loved her, then he placed her hands into the waiting hands of her now-husband and by the time he took the steps back to sit with me, his mother, &amp; a sibling he helped me raise from a child through adulthood making him more one of our children; my sibling's children are our grandchildren - they call us Gran and Papa. But I digress... I was in tears by the time he sat down next to me so he immediately handed me a kerchief then had a separate one for him b/c he had tears in his eyes. I think that escort down the aisle was more than a part of the fairytale wedding she dreamed of with her dad walking her down the aisle then dancing with her dad during the father-of-the-bride &amp; bride's dance. This was something she wanted so badly from the time she was a little girl and I believe in some way, while dreading the moment when he would eventually be ranked equally if not a half a step below the young man who would one day fill her heart and fill their lives together was hard on him but he has handled it with amazing grace. The young man who is now our SIL earned my DH's respect the day he came to our home to ask for our blessing, more so her dad's blessing b/c he knew I was okay with it. I'd already witnessed how much he cared for her. This young man, much like her dad, would jump in front of a bullet if it meant saving her life; but the fact this suitor came over dressed a bit more than casual, asked to speak with Mr. (insert DH's name here) because he had to ask him something and then to go on about how much he loved our daughter and how the sight of her made him feel whole along with how he could not imagine a life without her in his life and he would be most honored if "her dad" would mind giving his blessing as well as his permission to ask his daughter to marry him... So few young men do that these days! After meeting his mother for the first time and each time since, I cannot imagine either of her sons doing anything less or she would skin them alive. LOL! On that note, it's important to add that the boys, well young men now b/c they aren't boys anymore though we still think of them as children even though they're adults, are fortunate enough to have a wonderful father figure here in their lives as well as having another wonderful father in their lives even though his father lives almost on the other side of the US. Still, these strong men in these two young men's lives have given them so much and thankfully, it has been a shared effort even with their mom as involved in their upbringing as much as the boys' dad &amp; their step-dad.

The last advice I will give you right now and I did this in the original post on this subject is to ensure that you stay consistent throughout the changing process of delegations and have set punishments in place when the boys do not meet their chores or even when playing outside or on the computer, video games, etc... they need to study and that will not happen when a video game or computer is running albeit, some homework assignments are online or rather they are here but it is mostly b/c we live in a rather affluent small city so there are few students who don't have computers and those few without them are able to check them out with a parent present to sign for a computer to take home that will allow only access to homework sites and child/age-appropriate material yet kids are computer savvy so I would still have it set up in a room where you can monitor and ensure they are not going places they shouldn't be going and even more importantly that they are not subjected to content that your sons are not ready for be.

One last thing and probably one of the most important things when it comes to children and whichever parent is in the home with them is to keep those lines of communication open and be sure to let your sons know that they can come to you with any questions no matter how big or how small b/c that's what parents do; they help a child find his or her own path someday but the great parents, no matter how simple of a life they lead, are an important &amp; vital role in a child's life when said parent is of sound mind and psyche as well as the ability to care for the child with the necessities along with a few prizes along the way.

Hope this helps you too JonDough. Best wishes for you and your boys....

I am so sorry that your kids make you feel unappreciated. They are still young and obviously immature in recognizing who's sacrificing and who's essential in their life. You are their foundation, protector, provider, disciplinarian, and more...they see you everyday and they do take you for granted. Even their dad does the "minimal" within those 4 days of visit, his place is a vacation for them; even though, it may not be a 5 stars vacation spot but nevertheless, it's better than the same old routine at home. Trust me, they will appreciate you when they are older, mature, and wise. They will be able to differentiate your love and sacrifice vs. his. Especially, when they're on their own and/or have their own families, they then know how hard you've worked for them, how much you sacrificed, how much you love them. When you're down and feel like you're the second best, just remind yourself that you're making the ultimate sacrifice and putting up with a will get it all back in a good way in times. I believe in Karma. Just know that moms like me appreciate you for being the best mom possible and not taking it out on them for your anger, resentment, or whatever else. My best always.....

hmcduffie07: You will probably not like what I have to say at first but after thinking about it for a while, I believe you will at least understand it and then if you are of strong enough of will to implement it, you will feel like a whole new woman. <br />
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You said you have two children, a boy who is 12 years old and a girl who is 9 years old. For starters, you need some downtime. There is no reason why your children cannot help with housework. Your son should be loading/unloading the dishwasher. If necessary, you can stack the dinner plates, dessert plates, bowls, and if you have one of those tall yogurt plastic containers... you can put all the silverware in it. I'd get two of them so you have one for knives only unless you would prefer to load those or hand-wash them yourself. Sit each glass rinsed and ready to go into the dishwasher. Teach your son how to load the dishwasher appropriately. Furthermore, since your fiance lives in the home with you, there is no excuse for him not pitch in on a daily basis with housework either. Your 9-year-old daughter is plenty old enough to help clear the table, wash it with a clean washcloth, dry it using a clean dishtowel, then place the table-cloth back on the table again. You are going through the trouble of cooking the meals so there is no excuse for the fiance to help along with the children, to clean up after meals. In fact, it wouldn't hurt for the fiance to begin cooking too. You can alternate nights of cooking or cook together. This will take a great deal of strain off your day. <br />
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Laundry department can work the same way. Go to a department store (I hate using Walmart based on pure principle but sometimes we have no choice) and find a 3 or 4 bin laundry hamper for the laundry room. If you are unable to find the multi-sectional hamper, then purchase 4 hampers for the laundry room. You can go with wicker that has the cloth insert that's removable for washing or simply buy round or rectangular (rectangular saves more space). ones. Tape a sign on each for "Whites," "Colors," "Towels," and "Socks." Make sure each child's bedroom including the bathrooms and master bedroom all have hampers in them. The wheeled ones work great for children as does those that hang on the door like a basketball goal. All towels need to be hung up over a curtain rod to dry before going into the hamper in the laundry room but as soon as its dry, mark a designated person to put the towels and washcloths in the laundry room hamper. If it helps, buy a large dry erase board or one of those with the pre-lined with slots to fill out chores and names with days of who does what; this will make it easier to designate who empties the bathroom hampers. If the children have a separate bathroom from yours, then the children should alternate between who cleans their bathroom and on what days. Rotate it out. Leave a space on your dry-erase board for a check mark showing the child designated to clean the bathroom and/or unload the bathroom hamper by taking the towels to the laundry room and placing the towels and washcloths in the right hamper will receive praise for doing their job. <br />
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On designated wash day, each child should be responsible for bringing their bedroom hampers to the laundry room, unloading each of their clothes into the correct hamper, and returning their hamper to their room. BTW, there is nothing wrong with having children fold clothes. At 12 & 9, they can easily fold towels and washcloths. If you are like me and have to fold towels in a specific manner to get them all into the linen closet, teach them how you fold them. I have this tall but narrow linen closet. Our bath towels for showers are bath sheets so they are huge compared to the smaller towels, which we use for wrapping around our heads (the girls and me; which now it is just the one 13-year-old at home as our 22yo moved out last spring to be closer to college and her boyfriend turned fiance as of this past Christmas - her old room is slowly but surely turning into an office for her dad and me; the walk-in closet is in the process of being completed where it will serve as our youngest daughter's art space complete with her easel, sketch pads, and a stacking shelf that sits on the floor with each section holding specific types or art accessories like charcoal pencils, colored charcoal pencils, regular pencils, and sharpeners, etc....) Right up until our oldest moved out, the girls alternated days for cleaning their bathroom and bringing their towels to the laundry room in addition to running the towels and washcloths through the washing & dryer then putting them away. <br />
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The kids can learn to make their own beds, pull their linens on specific days that you wash linens, and pick up their toys. It's easier if you have stackable see-thru bins for under the bed and tall ones for toys that they use frequently. If you are a mom that allows video games, then set up a bin for all their games but be sure to have those video game holders so they don't lose their games before putting them along with any accessories into the bins. This prevents the vacuum cleaner from finding them too. There is no reason the children cannot dust their rooms or vacuum their rooms either. These are the years when they should be learning that they will not always have mommy to do all these things for them. Your 12-year-old has another 5 to possibly 6 years before graduation then it's off to college (fingers crossed here). Nobody in college is going to do his laundry or clean his room. It would be quite an embarrassment as well as the fact of doing him no favors for you to drive or fly to his college to clean his room a few times a month. Additionally, it's not too soon to start teaching them how to cook and make their own snack foods. My girls were peeling apples and chopping cheese into squares for snacks when they were younger than your children. They can heat pizza rolls (not fond of the junk food but when taken in moderation....) or pop some popcorn or even make sandwiches. If you area vegetarian, as my youngest daughter and I are, find out if your local grocer can make a small 4-5 person veggie tray then put all the veggies in those Ziplock bags made for vegetables and keep the dipping dressing. This makes for a wonderful after-school snack or weekend snack they can fix for themselves. The reason I mention having the grocer make the veggie trays has to do with time and the fact that it is usually cheaper in the long run for you to buy a veggie tray than buy all the vegetables, peel them, cut them up, then pack them in Ziplock veggie bags and make the dressing to go with them. It's simpler and leaves you more time for you to have some down time. <br />
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As for homework, I would highly recommend each child have a desk in their room with a really nice homework light. You can pick up a nice sturdy desk at any yard sale. Add some paint remover, the kind that bubbles the paint off or you can buy a heat-gun to remove the old paint so you can paint it a color that matches their bedrooms. You can even use stencils to put designs on the desk. <br />
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Set a clock on the desk along with the lamp. Keep plenty of pencils, pens, erasers, colored pencils, paper incl. construction paper, safety scissors, Elmer's Glue, and other odds and ends in case the children have projects they have to do. It is also prudent to keep approx. 5 of the report folders with the clear front so the page at the front shows through the plastic. This will help encourage neatness and an extra effort on the part of the child, which can raise any grade they receive on the project/essay itself. <br />
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As for computers, my personal experience up to a certain and then through a certain age, it is best to have it sitting in an area of the house where parents can peek at what the kids are doing online. Eventually, a child, particularly boys, will run a search on ****, and at certain age groups, it's not unusual for a young girl to be curious about what young men look like. Having the computer in a centralized location within clear view of a parent will at least curb these types of searches. It is equally as important for your children to feel comfortable enough with you and/or your fiance to ask when they have questions about the opposite sex. Friends of mine with boys say it is easier for their sons to talk about sex and girls with a dad, step-dad, or other male figure within the family or close to the family than they are talking with their mothers. The same is true yet in reverse when it comes to girls. <br />
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As for the rest of the house, split up the cleaning detail between the adults and the children. Have a run through with the kids. Give them 15 minutes to go through every room picking up their toys with the stern warning that if any toys remain after their hunt go in the trash. Then begin the household cleaning - fiance included. If he is going to live in the home, he should very well be included in the cleaning of the house. You are NOT super-mom. None of us are. <br />
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To make things easier in the mornings, have the children lay out their clothes the night before sometime between bath time and bedtime. Make sure they have all their books, pencils, erasers, and homework in their bookbags in an area where the homework is easily found. It might help to get a 3-ring binder and a 3-ring hole punch and dividers for each subject so the children can put their homework in the binder behind the divider so there is no mix-up or chance for the excuse of "I can't find my homework," or "the dog ate it, " especially if you have no dog. LOL!<br />
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If you pay for school lunches, make out checks at the beginning of the week or month (however you pay for it although it's easier to pay by the week or month than the day because that just adds more time you can't afford to lose) then place the money in an envelope marked "Lunch" along with your child's school ID#. (Most schools in this area assign a child an ID number they use from kindergarten through their senior year. Find the easiest place, probably next to the door you use when leaving home, as the bookbag space so the children can pick up their bookbags and go out the door without forgetting anything they might need as it is already together from the night before. <br />
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Now, as a parent, it will save you lots of time too by laying out what you plan to wear the next day too. Gather everything you need for your briefcase, your purse, etc... and even jewelry so that you will be ready to go from the moment you step out of bed. Although it is tempting, I'd recommend that all baths be taken the night before vs first thing in the morning - even for adults. We can lose track of time then end up on the fast track of being late because of it. <br />
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Now that you have your life on a schedule, it will give you more time to spend quality time with your children. You are nowhere near as grumpy. You don't have to constantly fuss for the kids to hurry up or everyone is going to be late. The stress levels will drop tremendously. All this new time you've created will allow you to play games with the kids, take them to museums, maybe even splurge for a night at Chuck-E Cheese or some other child-themed restaurant. The time to do this is now! It is so very much important. Make time to go out shopping with your daughter. If she doesn't have pierced ears yet, take her to get her ears pierced and let her choose her earrings. Take your son out for a ballgame or have his future step-father take him to one. This will help with the bonding process. <br />
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Whomever mentioned the fact that the children have such a small amount of time to spend with their birth father is right. He's not the one who has to do all the work. He doesn't do their laundry, wash their linens, handle the lunch money, or make sure homework gets completed or baths are taken and ensuring the children actually use soap and water versus just water. (big grin) He has the easy part. He's the fun parent because he has no true responsibilities. They are all heaped upon your shoulders and it's time for you to learn the fine art of designating out work. It's efficient in the workplace and equally so in the home-place. You will be amazed at how much time this cuts out of your schedule so you can spend quality time wtih your children - making you a favored parent versus the one who is always pushing the children to do this or do that so you can get out the door on time. Plus, it helps the children learn responsibilities that they will carry with them throughout their lives. <br />
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As for the ex-husband, it's time he pick up his own slack. You have the parties for your children at your home or where you chose and if he wants to do a party then he can go about the business of setting up one himself. You are NOT his wife anymore. You owe him nothing. Granted, it's best to have parents on speaking terms when a divorce takes place; however, that does not give him the right to use you as his doormat or continue to use you as the household maid - of his house as well as yours when it comes to the children. It's time he begins to realize these are his children too and you are not the person that needs to do for him. He needs to learn to do for himself. <br />
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A few months of doing things without you taking care of his part will end in one of two ways. He will either learn to be a father (if he was father material before, it will return) or he will fall flat on his face likely causing him to stop picking up the kids altogether. Most often, men who were not father material during the marriage wind up falling into the latter category rather than the former. In doing this, your children will have the opportunity to see their father for who and what he is. You will never have to say a word because he will have done everything himself and have nobody to blame but himself. If he should get snippy about the situation, let him know that your life is full caring for the children, parent-teacher meetings, homework duties, keeping up a house, planning a wedding (I'm sure that's likely in the works but even if it's not, you don't have to tell him otherwise; it's none of his business), and trying to work a full-time job with two children at home and making time with those children as well as with your fiance as the four of you are trying desperately to form a family, albeit a split family but a family nonetheless. It's time he took control over the duties of caring for the children you both had while you were married. You are no longer his wife nor are you his secretary, nanny, or assistant. It is all in his hands now just as it should have been long before now. Let him know you are taking care of your life and it's time he start doing the same. You can't do your job and his job too. Your job is overwhelming and requires all of your attention. Taking care of his children for 4 days a month is a walk in the park. If he can't handle it then perhaps he should reconsider the number of days he wants to keep the kids, if any. <br />
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I hope this helps. I've been where you are now only I didn't do for my ex. He left me and our 10-month-old daughter to fend for ourselves with no child support or emotional support. He eventually stopped coming to pick her up for visitation at all though his track record in the beginning wasn't that great. I'd make plans because I knew my daughter wasn't going to be home that weekend only to have my plans fall apart because my ex would call at the last minute saying that he couldn't come get her. This went on until finally he just stopped coming at all, which was a relief to his 2nd wife because she hated my daughter and she hated him even worse. Adding to a bad situation, she hated the way her then father-in-law doted on my daughter yet not the daughter she had from that marriage. After a major happening when the opportunity of visitation was terminated with regards to my ex, I still found a way for my daughter to get to know her grandfather from her birth father. We even went to his funeral a little over a year ago. I expected a major blow up but the family was actually kind. My ex, who was with wife #3, literally went to pieces when I went to shake his hand to offer my condolences for his dad passing away. I had so much respect for his father. My ex wrapped his arm around me then cried like a child. He started with how his father told him early on he was making a mistake by not putting in the effort in our marriage and then he went on to say that his father told him later that he knew I was the type of person who would have a life where any children I had would offer then a better future than my past but he would not be there to participate in it. He even apologized for the manner in which he treated me when we separated then when he threatened to kill himself about 2-3 years after we divorced. His mother called me because she knew I was the only one who could talk some sense into him. I told him if he was truly interested in killing himself then I would bring around my rifle or my handgun so he could choose which one he wanted to use to end his life over sheer stupidity (his second wife was screwing around on him in much the same way he screwed around on me). It calmed him down and he never mentioned killing himself again - or if he did, his mother didn't call me to help him out of it. LOL! I tend to be extremely blunt and to the point when it comes to life. We have to take what we are given then make the best of it; however, we don't have to heap everything onto our shoulders. It can be shared especially when one is in a family unit. <br />
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Best of wishes. I hope this helped you in some small way....

You are a good mother, and a good person.<br />
I'm sure the children will appreciate all you do, if not now then may be when they are more mature.<br />
It's hard work!

Everyone seems to be talking about the kids this and the kids that..... but the expectations of the mother is causing the problem here. If we do a loving task with the expectation of getting something back, then our motives are wrong. Your ex-husband may only do as much as he can and the kids get that he is being more true to himself than you as the "responsible" mother. Focus on what is good for you and don't do "everything" for your kids. Teach them to do things for themselves. You may be suffocating them by doing more and more and more. They may learn more about independence from their dad in 4 short days a month than you teach them in all the rest of the time. If you do all those things for them out of love for them, then get your satisfaction from that and don't put the burdon on them to make you happy. Be content that you and God are on the same page about how you are supposed to be conducting your life.

You've got a good point Seaman. It takes two to tango and we have only one side of the story. I agree with this theory on divorce. I am divorced but my ex-husband wanted it, so I gave it to him. Never knew why he wanted to leave me and I don't understand why people get married if they aren't serious about marriage. We didn't have children but if we did I would have never given him the divorce even though he made me unhappy. I think once couples decide to have children that ought to seal the marriage though thick and thin. Otherwise don't have kids.

Well, this is just a matter of perspective. You won custody in the divorce. Likely you initiated the divorce - (sorry if I'm wrong there). You felt wronged, and you chose what you have. Be happy that you got what you wanted. If that's not the case, ask yourself why, and fix it if you can. <br />
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From your ex-husbands point of view, he's lost everything (assuming he didn't trade you in on Britney Spears). You have control of the children, and at least partial control of his income. Maybe custody of most of the major assets, too. He has obligation and challenges, and a pissed of new wife/girlfriend. An obligation to set aside two weekends a month to devote to his children, and the challenge of making it interesting for them, so they don't start deciding they would rather spend the weekend with friends (they are not legally bound to go with him, are they?), and a pissed of new mate, because in spite of everything, you seem to still have control of half of his free time - and your children are always put first. He might like to change things. If you have any relationship with him, you might be able to talk it over. There is common ground.<br />
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Choosing divorce frequently destroys lives, yours and your husbands included. They should tell people this in Marriage 101. Now all you can do is make the most of it. Good luck.

The thing is people are hard to understand and children, your children are human beings like everyone else. I don't have children but my husband and I are very generous and giving. People and most people don't seem to appreciate it, even those we thought were good friends. Even with one's family or spouse you can bend over backwards from here to the moon and they don't care and people can end up appreciating those whom for whatever reason they find charming, more interesting, more fun to be with. I personally feel it's hard to understand and it is very hurtful. Maybe some day when and IF your children become developed and evolved they will appreciate you. But don't forget, a lot of humans are ignorant and they may unfortunately remain so.

Who initiated the divorce? Was it you or your husband?<br />
90% of children's behavior problems come from their parents, especially if the parents' love toward each other is in a shaky situation...

They just feel sorry for him as he has no one, and you have your boyfriend. YOur husband is lonely and is miserable for a reason and it is his own fault but the kids are too young to see your side of the story. They dont want to give up a dad even though they have a mom if that makes sense. Give it time, it takes time for all of us to learn a life lesson and they are starting early on a life lesson about their father. Say nothing negative about the dad, if is hard but keep the mouth shut and keep on doing what you are and wait and see the kids backing off from the dad as they get older. right now they are young and naive about the world and their father, and complaining to them about him won't change how the feel about the father until they get older and he keeps saying he can't come to any events and you will always be there and that is what will count down the road. You just have to grin and bear it for now.

I've personally experienced this... Being brought up only by my mom! I longed for daddy time! Especially coz my friends would talk bout their dads n all... and my dad, though he was very far, the few times he did write or send something, it'd be so exciting!!! My dad has his own issues, and perhaps i do not fully understand, the thing is, i've come to appreciate my mom very much now that I'm all grown up! She's taken care of me all my life and I appreciate it! I advice you be a little patience, the appreciation will come. Perhaps it's there, but you just don't see how they show it!!

Hi. I feel your frustration and your pain. You seem to be a very responsible person. Sometimes those of us who are responsible people do not realize when we are usurping other's responsibilities and Rescuing. Of course you must see that your kids are cared and provided for. So should their father. That means he should be paying the appropriate child support required by law and be accepting his responsibility to take them to their activities when he has them in his care. If you are not requiring that he do these things, then you are Rescuing your ex. That is not good for him or your kids. Look at it this way, your ex is the example your son and daughter are seeing as how a father behaves. This means your son is learning that being a father means he doesn't have to share in any of the responsibility of raising the children. Is that what you intend for your son to learn? Your daughter is learning not to expect the man she has children with to help her. She is learning that the burden of child-rearing is completely on her shoulders. Is this what you wish for her to learn?<br />
I don't think so. You are too smart and responsible.<br />
So, what do you do to help them all? To Allow your ex to grow as a soul and receive the benefit of the rewards that learning to accept one's responsibilities brings? To show your children a healthier way that a father is to behave?<br />
You stop Rescuing...and you do this with Love.<br />
You accept no less than the child support you are entitled to by law. If you have to take him to court and have it judge ordered, do it. I had to and it was not easy, but it was the best thing to do to help my ex grow as a father and a man. He is a better man for it.<br />
Tell him that when the kids have activities during his time, if he is unwilling to take them, then they will stay with you and he can pick the kids up after you have taken them to their event. He doesn't get to take them and you have to go to his house and usurp his duties. No. He either agrees to step up or they stay with you. A judge can also order this.<br />
Your kids are old enough to know the truth. So, if he says, "then just keep them this weekend", say "o.k. and I am telling them the truth...that 'the reason you can not go to your Dad's is b/c he refuses to take you to your soccer game'." When your Dad agrees to place your needs above his own and accept his parenting responsibilities, you can definitely go to his house. But you come first. You see how I always put you first? You see how I make sure you get what you need? Your father is supposed to do that too...for you. He's not agreeing to do that right now. So, for your benefit, so that your needs, which are most important to me, will be met, You're staying with me this weekend. Hopefully, your father will decide to accept his responsibilities and place you before him and take you to your activities when you are with him. Let's hope for that. You can tell him that is what you want too if you wish."<br />
Most people do not like their "bad" behavior announced to the world, and especially to their kids. When he sees that you are not playing and that you are no longer willing to rescue him from his duties as a father, he will most likely step up and engage.<br />
If he doesn't, you have shown your kids that 1) They are most important 2) A father is supposed to share in the child-rearing duties 3) that You are a strong woman and a woman who respects herself and does not allow others to use her ( a monumental example for your daughter to see).<br />
It will work out. Your ex will gain a new respect for you. This is happening for your growth too. You are learning to stand up for and care for your self. That is the lesson many of us are learning right now, especially us women. Don't let us women down! Do what is right to set the best example for your children always. They are watching us and counting on us to show them the way. That means we have to have the courage to do the hard things sometimes. You would not have this lesson if you weren't strong enough to bear it. You Are. Good Luck!<br />
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With Much Love,<br />
Dr. Vicki Webb

Trust me I know what you are talking about! Same thing here! The reason is simple..they don't have to try and win your love..they got it! While dad they have to fight for it. You don't fight for what you already have. <br />
I'm 66 yrs old and I was living that still that his dad was the one who hung the moon,,UNTIL..he had to enter the hospital urgently and is now living with my son because no one else wanted to care for him and my son, his father was his world. <br />
Well..not anymore..since his dad been living with him..he has now knowing the REAL dad and the other day he told my begining to love my mother more and more and despising him. Now I see how he never cared for us, that it wasn't my mother's fault, but my dad. <br />
You see, until they live with him day in and day out they will always think he hung the moon. <br />
Send them to live with him just one month..have him do sick..find some excuse and trust me..they won't last the week!<br />
I did that with my younger son..he was rebellious and I sent him to his dad. It didn't last even 3 months! My youngest son saw the light! His father didn't care for him, fed him, let him do what he wanted..he was crying to come back home..he saw who truly loved him.<br />
Until they live with him..they will always think he has hung the moon. When school is over..send them for the summer to live with me they will be back in a very short time...and don't let them come back until school is about to start. <br />
It's his turn..and trust me..they will never take you for granted again!!!

wow! i dont know what to say to make you feel better...<br />
but i'd like to congratulate you on being a good mother. its hard to be in your position, its wonderful that you make the time to not just provide for your children but to make sure that they are growing up in the most loving, safest, most normal environment available to children these days. moms get taken for granted everyday, i'm sorry for that(i'm gonna go hug my mom after this lol) i'm sure your kids love you (who doesnt love their mom?!)<br />
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<br />
let me share with you my experience...i'm not a divorced single mother. i'm speaking(writing) from a child's point of view. my parents never divorced but they never had a close loving relationship...their marriage(the early stages) resembled something like ike and tina turner's marriage.<br />
my mom worked and took care of me and my brother and sister, while my dad spent his time and money drinking with friends and sleeping in some other woman's house. he only came home to change, fight with my mom, and sort of "reclaim his territory"...<br />
<br />
my mom had no one to help her, no one to talk to about this. or perharps, she did not want to talk about this with someone whom she knew would try to help her. anyway, she did a good job in providing for us. she also did a good job in making sure we knew what type of man my dad 3 years old, i understood loyalty, trust, love, security, faithfulness. i understood i did not have those things. as i got older, my mom's words about my dad made me hate him, made me wary of all men. <br />
<br />
i dont want to bore you with useless details so i'll move on...i'm 26 now, my parents are still married and believe it or not on the outside looking in, you would never know that our family was ever broken and dead. because of God's grace(i give God the credit cause there's no logical explanation to why my parents calmed down, my brother is a wonderful husban and father, my sister is happily married, and i love my dad), my parents have made is this far and our emotional wounds have been healed. we truly are a close, loving family(i'm in shock as i write this) we dont act like the past never happened, we just recognize that its in the past, mistakes were made but we choose to forgive, forget, and move on(to let God deal with it...its easier to let God, than to try and deal with it ourselves)...<br />
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here i go again, with the needless details...i guess i'm just trying to give the reader closure lol.<br />
i have a point, i promise :)<br />
<br />
remember when i said my mom made sure we knew what kind of man my dad was? <br />
well, i hope you agree with me when i say that that was a bad move...<br />
while my dad was a bad husband, he was not a bad father(okay, he WAS a bad father but not a horrible one). he loved us. <br />
my mom telling us about his mistakes as a husband really hurt me and my siblings in a psychological and emotional way and its taken God to "fix" us :)...<br />
<br />
again, its wonderful that you can provide for your children, that you love them, and that you've been able to move on and fall in love again...<br />
so, i'm finally getting to what i wanted to tell you...ready???<br />
please, PLEASE...if your kids relationship with their father is a healthy one, if they love him and visa versa, please dont rain on their little "adoring daddy" parade. in fact, i think it would be good to encourage them to love and respect him and to encourage him to spend more time with them. let him know that his children think the world of him. if he's a wonderful father, tell him so(nevermind that he might have been a horrible husband). by doing this you will be the worlds best mother, TRUST ME :)...your children will grow up feeling confident, stable, and loved, and i'm sure thats what every mother wants for their children.<br />
if its any consolation, i appreciate what you're doing as a mother.

hi dear i am an teen age girl ..................<br />
but i can ubderstand ur feelings yaar as it would give u a big pain but i would like to say u onething alone that ("FAR THINGS ARE ALWAYS GREEN") SO if u get this point then no probs dear i say firmly tat as ur kids grow up they will surely know who is good and worthy so u plz dont feel for this problem we r there to give share our shoulders for u and our hands r there 2 wipe ur tears so dont lose hope . everthing will set right soon .......................

Story of my life, baby! No kidding I could have written this. But I will tell you this. ONE DAY ....KARMA~!!!! It happened with my two older kids and it WILL happen with him.....I buy them all the electronics, clothes, nice things you can ever imagine and DO WITHOUT so they can have, he gives me NO CHILD SUPPORT .....and never has in 10 years!!! Yet he has everything handed to him on a silver platter! He is a Momma and Daddy boy and he is 51 years old and still scared crapless of them!!! His parents talk so hateful about me, (big whigs in the county) and ya knowwhat?? I say so what!!!??? Because it has already BIT THEM!! People hve come to me from their church and their society clubs etc and have told me (in stores , markets, restaraunts, ...wherever we may meet up) that his "mom" knows he is a complete jerk and has said mean things about me but they say "I STAND UP to her and tell her you always treated me good!!!" In ten years Ive had probably 75 people confront me. SO all i say is hang in there...ONE DAY ,,,ONE DAY WILL bite him in the butt. Unless he is the "HERO" the one that is noticed , he wont participate in anything. He demands and TAKES them for holidays that ARE MY TIME and demands and controls every aspect of both their lives and still mine since im connected..IN FACT..he comes into my home, plops down and stays for HOURS on end....even though the courts say he CAN NOT ...I think control freaks DO try to control the kids minds but believe me,,,it will come back and haunt him, (My older kids tell me this over and over how much they appreciate what i sacrificed for them))<br />
SO HANG IN THERE!!! Some of these comments are great and mean well, but unless they have been in this situation...they really have NO CLUE.!

This must be terribly hard and depressing for you. But, keep in mind that the kids are probably keenly aware that their"Dad" needs to step-up and be a real Dad. For this reason, they are attempting (unconsiously) to "prompt" him and let him know that they need him in their lives. Please don't take it as their attempt to say that they might think he is more important than you are. Personally, I have two Daughters, I just love doing things with my kids and have never understood how a "man" could possibly be so selfish as to exclude his children from his life. I don't think you should make a big deal with them about this because that would only cause them to suspect your motives. My heart goes out to you, just continue to love the kids and refrain from disparaging him in front of the kids. Kids, no matter how old they are, know and are much more aware than we give them credit for.

hello.<br />
<br />
this might help comming from someone who went through the same routine.<br />
i am a 17 years old. and my parents got devorced when i was 2. and me, my twin brother and one of my sisters went to my farthers house 4days out of a months. its what the court ordered. us too thought he was the best, we thought he was the stars, and the sun. it was mainly because, we never really saw him, and we were so young. me and my twin were like 8 and my sister was like 12. so we saw him as the lord. our mom was the one who took care of us, and when we did something bad we would get in trouble, and get put in timeout, so we would take her as a bad guy. but our farther he didnt do that he would try to go aboth that. he wasnt really a parent, but more or a friend. he didnt take care of us, but more of a weekend friend. thats what we saw him as. our mom took care of us, and our farther played with us. <br />
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dont think of it as ur a bad parent. ur a good parent. ur kids are young. they dont know yet. when they get older they will relise who the real person is who raised them. trust me. dont put your self down. i hope this helped.

Your children are looking for more attention from their Dad in asking him to go on field trips and playing up to his ego. Think about it, they see you all the time, you are the disciplinarian and the "bad guy" if they aren't allowed to go places or you tell them no for anything. As they get older they will understand more and be more appreciative, though that might be another 5 or 6 years, just love them and be there for them when they need you and remember that you are the winner in this scenario because you get to see your children all the time and spend the "big", and little, moments with them on a regular basis. You may feel unappreciated now, but in the end you will be the one with all the memories of them growing up and the milestones while their Dad will have very few of them. I also believe that you will have their respect and appreciation in the end and your ex will not. That is what happened to me....... my kids do not respect their Dad the way they do me and they know that if they need anything that Mom is there for them, NOT Dad!

...aww...sorry :-/<br />
all these people are right<br />
i have nothing else to add but the most important thing is prayer!

your kids are 12 & 9. you're probably also the disciplinarian and w/ all that care don't have much time for play. Dad doesn't discipline, they miss the living daylights out of him, and probably plays with them when they're there (or at least gives them free reign) - they will eventually see... just wait till the teen years hit and they really need someone to understand them emotionally - it ain't gonna be the guy who's only around 4days a month, that's for sure! Just hang in there.

Time Will Show Everything! :D Nature Pays for the Effort :D <br />
Keep at it... you will soon be seen with a bright shining light, no doubt. Believe Me :D<br />
<br />
I dont know if you believe in God. But try Praying, this one step will bring you 10 steps closer to what you want. Guaranteed :D It just takes Belief and Patience :D <br />
<br />
Peace & Blessings

Why don't you let them stay with their dad during summer vacation.

The thing is, deep down, the children trust you more, they know they can take advantage of you, and their dad is just a fair weather friend. The relationship you have with them is more intimate by far, although they probably can't verbalize that yet. They know you are the secure one, the one who will be there, the one who takes care of them when they are sick, gives when they need, and sometimes want. That is written on their heart. They will be gone before you know it. Of course they want more of their dad, but I don't believe deep down they respect him. They may show you disrespect now, but that is only because kids need to push against parents to grow, and they know they can't show disrespect to their father, they can't trust him to be there if they do. It is very sad they have to plead with him for any parenting at all, because that is what they are doing. Deep down, they trust you, and that is worth more than any feeling they have for their dad.

I was the step-dad in a relationship like this, where the kids were with the mother and only saw the father every other weekend. To make matters worse, the kids were boy and girl, boy being older by 2 years, and the father was an outdoorsman. So, maybe 40% of the time, the weekend was spent doing outdoorsy stuff that did not always work for the little girl. <br />
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All I can say is to give it time, treat the children as well as you can, and just live like you are the sole parent as best you can. You will get through it, it just takes time.

In India we have aTamil saying The heart of a mother is Pitha( Mad),<br />
while the child is Kala (stone)<br />

Well I will first say that I dont have kinds. But i was a kid of a split marriage. Im gona take a guess on some thing and please correct me if im wrong, but if he doesnt help you or inject himself into their lives more then 4 days a month, shows he's not a responsible person, maybe live a more carefreee, fun-style(yes I made that word up) life. I said that to say this, that is also probably he's parenting stylc. He is their friend NOT their Dad. And all children love their "friends" more then their "stupid role enforcing" parents. Thats what you see. His house is a vaction for them, and would bet no rules are enforced and arguements are spare due to it only being a 2 day spand. And the other people are right, they just want more Dad-time. It is not easy dealing with a childs mind cuz they don't see the consiqences of any action, they still are in the today is just a day, I have a million more days coming whats the rush,"I'll live forever". Its not till you age do you appreciate what you have, and how many really do?? So they are kids! I think this is a natural reaction to their enviroment.<br />
Now that being said, I know you want your kids to have everything, and do everything. But if you keep giving they, just keep taking. What you could do and not a guaruntee that they would say that you enforcing the rule so you are to blame, but nothing ventured nothing gain. Is you could start pressuring the Dad-friend to pitch in by telling him that you aren't putting every cent out while he does nothing. So the next time the kids need money for an activity, so offer to pay half, and he must pay the other half if he wants the kids to do it. Telling your kids that money is tight and you have paid all these years on your own. Secondly, put your foot down and tell himi when you have the kids, your a responsible for their needs, Doctor's appointments, parties, and buying something that they might need for school soon. There is NO reason why you should have to paid for everything. I can't believe this hasn't caused issues with your fiance! I know they are your kids and you want to do right by them, but this is not healthy for you, your partners relationship, or with your children and your partners relationship with them, I strongly suggest that you dont tell the kids, something like " well your not doing that this year cuz your father wont pay half, so be mad at him" That will make them think your are doing it simply to be mean to him, and push them further to him corner. I sugest you talk to the Dad-friend 1st. Then softly bring it up that you are burden with bills and always spending money A) that you are always short cash, and times are hard these days OR B) on their Basic needs that ou dont have money to spend on fun needs/gifts/wants. And let them know you love them. I wish you luck!<br />
NOW I say

You know, sometimes I think how much I didn't appreciate all my mom did, just start to understand after became a mom. They are not spending time enough with dad, also you must be the one who is in charge of discipline them, dad is fun, only fun, like a visitor... <br />
Just give them time, and you will see... I know it's hard, it's really hard, but you will be recognized!

They will understand in the futher

It's because they want more time with there dad. They only spend 4days/month with him they must feel there not getting enough time with him. Give them time they should see it what you have been doing for them or ask them if they appreciate what you are doing for them.

Do not worry dear. A time will come when they will start appreciating you. Its only a matter of time, they are still very young and do not really understand things. maybe they think highly of their father because they do not spend much time with him.

That must be really hard to deal with being that you do everything and he gets the gold star. My husband doesn't help me AT ALL with our 4 kids or the housework or the laundry or anything for that matter and everyone thinks, thank goodness she has her husband to help her with the twins (they are 2). They have no idea!!!! Really burns my @##. Just remember that someday they will realize who deserves the gold star. I sure did with my divorced parents.

Type your comment here...

i heard something that really made me think. it was from a woman who was in your situation. and she said that she had to love herself and and to do things for her self and that as she loved her self in the action sense her family began to appreciate her more. it also taught her daughter to love herself and to enjoy life and not just end up and unappreciated mess.

dudet, i feel for you :(

I had a girl and boy myself that went for visitation the same way. It was hard always being the one that made them do their homework, eat their veggies, brush their teeth, go to bed on time. They would go to their dad's and go wild, eat what they wanted, no bedtime, lots of fun stuff to do. To make it worse they would get mad at me every time he would get into financial problems because it was my fault. I made him have to pay child support. My kids are both grown now. One has children of their own. What I found out was that all the while this was happening, there was a much more substantial bond growing between me and I my children than could have ever grown between they and their father. We were dealing with "real life" situations. The hard decisions. Sure they had a great time with dad, but it was like everything else fun at the time, cartoons, playgrounds, toys.... They grew up and out of those things and when their life took a difficult turns, as they grew older, it was me that they needed, that they appreciated. What dad does not, which is really nothing, is superficial. What you are doing is building closeness that he will never have with them. You're time is coming. You were going to have to do all this stuff anyway, regardless of whether he was there or not. They will see later in life (not to far from now, believe me) who did all the work, and even if they don't , they will feel the bond that is getting stronger everyday.