Posted by: BOTLEHADI | 2007/06/21

single parenting

My 5 year old daughter lives with her mother and I live with my partner of 2 years. My daughter came to my house for 2 weekends in a month until recently when her mother and I had a fight about her birthday party. She was upset because I told her that I didn't have the money to pay for the extravagant party she was planning for our daughter. My daughter all of a sudden refuses to come to my house and she says her reason is that her mother is going to be sad. This surprised me because my daughter was always excited whenever I came to pick her up and she'd cry when I took her back. My Ex is very manipulative. Is it possible that she is poisoning my daughter against me and my partner and what can I do about it?

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Our expert says:
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She shouldn't have been planning a party that would be extravagent with anyone else's money. The Ex is indeed being selfish and manipulative --- and it sounds really likely that she may well be persuading your child that she shouldn't visit you because this would make her mom so very unhappy. Decisions about custody and access must ALWAYS be made according to whatever ywould be best for the child, and separated parents / ex's, etc must NEVER use innocent children as weapons in their warfare against other adults. Maybe you should get legal advice, as it is quite likely that a court would require her to send to child to you and give you reasonable access --- they would be pleased that a man is responsible and loving enough to care about his child.

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Our users say:
Posted by: BOTLEHADI | 2007/06/21

I actually threw my daughter a party at school, one she enjoyed very much. I don't think its fair for anyone to decide for me what i can or cannot afford, I have no problem throwing a party for my daughter as I have done so in the past, my only problem is for someone to budget with my money, without my knowledge.
First its a birthday party, who knows whats next? I pay a lot of maintenance, medical aid, very expensive pre- school, etc without complaining because i want whats best for my child, but I REFUSE TO BE USED AS A PERSONAL ATM. I'm sorry.

Posted by: Echelle | 2007/06/21

R8 000,00?? GEE WIZZZ!!! Be careful that your child will not become a spoilt little brat someday..

Anyway Bulldust, I agree with you in some of what you said...

Reply to Echelle
Posted by: bulldust | 2007/06/21

Yes i could afford it and my baby has a trust fund. And it was all for the baby - the face painter? the jumping castle? the dvd (for him to re-live the moment) when he is older etc etc... - YES IF YOU CAN'T AFFORD IT, BUT IF YOU CAN LIKE ME WHY NOT?????

Reply to bulldust
Posted by: Single mom | 2007/06/21

I actually feel for your ex. Babies get all excited about birthdays and having their friends over to celebrate with them and a single mom has to ensure the baby has all that will make the baby happy. The least you could have done was give the little you can afford than nothing at all.

Single mothers do not have it easy as they live only for their children. It may come across as vindictive but it really is not. She stays with the baby day in and day out and knows the ups and downs better than you do and even knows your baby better than you do hence, her need to ensure all is okay comes birthday time. But yes R8000-00 is extravagant as a ten year old's party can cost a mere R500-R1000 depending on whether you take the kids out or do it at home.

BOTLEHADI, at least you could have offered to buy the cake, the present, the balloons just so also your baby can see you really tried something and for the mother to not feel alone and unsupported by you.

Please always know, single moms do not have it easy, and you should be proud you had a child with a women that cares so much for your baby.

Call her/send her an e-mail and at least promise to help her with half your baby's birthday next time, but yes, you both have to decide on an amount you both can afford, and not what will look "nice and pretty".

Brothers, please support the sisters, we might be stubborn and seem vindictive and seem to have it all together but deep down we need your help and support with our babies and once in a while for you to say 'thank you' for raising your babies alone.

Reply to Single mom
Posted by: Maria | 2007/06/21

Bulldust, I beg to differ. All that preschoolers really need in a party is a couple of friends, lots of sweet stuff to eat, a bit of entertainment and lots of love and attention. Throwing a lavish party for a 5 year old is not necessary. As for spending R8000 on a first birthday party... eish. For whose benefit did you do it, yours our your baby's? Good for you if you can afford it, but if I had that kind of money I would rather put it in a fund for the kid's education. He or she won't remember the party anyway.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Bulldust | 2007/06/21

we as mothers go all the way for our children and for some strange reason men or some men think that what is best for their kids is actually a waste. This is your child and you might have to live without some luxuries for a while, to give her the ideal party. My baby's 1st birthday party cost me R8 000- and you know what i don't regret it!!! yes i could've done something with that money - but look, tomorrow is not promised and it's a once off thing! So please how about you put your needs and your "girlfriends" need aside for now! Your partner wouldn't have asked if she knew that you couldn't afford it so please this is YOUR daughter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reply to Bulldust
Posted by: Maria | 2007/06/21

Post this on the Divorce Support forum if you haven't already done so - lots of people on there with experience of this type of problem. There is something called Parental Alienation Syndrom, where one parent turns the child against the other parent. Do something about this as soon as possible, before the damage is too great. Do you already have a court order stipulating access? The value of that is limited of course if the child refuses to go but it does give you a good legal backing.

Reply to Maria

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