Caught between a rock and a hard place!!
Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive June 2004:
Caught between a rock and a hard place!!
Ok, this is the situation. My friend is a single mom, who is having trouble with her ex-boyfriend father of her child.Things are not going well he refused to look after the child while my friend worked he usually took her one day on the weekend. So I agreed to take her when I could. Yesterday was the day and we were outside doing yard work, and he showed up at the gate comes in sees his child, makes a comment about them going to the park, got the child excited, he asked if I minded, I said no, ( because I know that my friend wants him to babysit on the 1 day on the weekend, and she wants him to be a part of the child life) even though he has threathing not to have anything to do with her. On this basis I said ok, so it was just suppose to be for lunch and a walk to the park.He said he would take her and be back because he had work to do after his visit with her, ok that is fine, but he does not bring her back, I am waiting and waiting, freaking and freaking. I had to call my friend at work, told her what was going on. My friend came back from work, ( normal time) and he still was not back so I am really panicing about this. He comes in finally with her, and I had talked to my friend about talking to him about not calling and she thought it was best if I talked to him, so I did, I told him that he was well past going for lunch time span, and that if he was going to keep her untill my friend was off work he should have called me. Well he said we were just having fun, I told him I realize that but I said I know you guys are having problems, and -- well he walked away so I did not get to finish, so he takes off to the car which is where the baby is, and since my friend was still in the house I took off as fast,as I could to get the child out of the car. He ends up taking off really fast screatching tires etc.. My friends says to me oh great now he will not come back to see -------- . So here I sit feeling like -------- . If I refused his visit she would have come back to me and said, well you know I wanted him to be apart of ---- life. Also when we talked about me saying something to him about not calling she said for me to talk to him, but then I get the oh that is just great now he will not come back to see----------. She also made the comment, when I said well really what could I do, when he asked to take her, I said he is her father. She said well you could have said no. but if I did, as stated above she would have said she wanted him to spend time with her. so this is how I am caught between a rock and a hard place!! I have been so stressed over the whole thing every time I think about what happened I burst out into tears, I just think what if he took off with her? I do know what ever decision I made it would have been the wrong one.I also think that I am also up upset because if he does not have anything to do with -------- it will be my fault. But basically the only thing i got out to him was you should have called, I did not want to leave the last sentence " I know you guys are having problems, " because that will make him think I thought he was going to take off with her. I don't know I have to let this go as it is making me sick, all I know is I am not in a hurry to babysit anymore, which also upsets me because my friend needs me. ah what to do?
This is JMO, but your friend should have NEVER put you in that position. Visitation problems or lack thereof are between her and the X b/f, and should not involve anyone else. If you were babysitting her child, then the child was your responsibility. I understand why you felt you should let the child go with the father, but I feel like you shouldn't be in the position of making that decision. What if he had taken off with the child and not returned?
Your friend is putting you in a position where no matter what decision you'd make, it wouldn't be the right one.
I'd tell her that from now on, if she wants you to babysit her child, that the child will remain in your care until SHE picks the child up. If she wants the X to pick the child up, then she needs to make arrangements that don't involve you.
Again, JMHO, but with the situation being what it is, I wouldn't take any chance.
You shouldn't have been put in that position, but perhaps, bringing up their problems wasn't the best way to handle it either.
I would tell your friend that you can't be put into the middle of that situation again, and not babysit.
It won't be your fault if he decides to have nothing to do with them. After all, you did not create their problems, you were just stuck in the middle of them.
There's no usse in saying what you might have done, because you can't go back. In the future if you watch her daughter again, have her specify exactly what she wants done if anyone should come by.
IMHO - you really should just distance yourself from this girl - it sounds like she's just trouble that you don't need.
I agree, you shouldn't have been in that position, PLUS you shouldn't have been the one to talk to him when he was late. That's just wrong of your friend to have asked you to do that. What if he had taken off with the child? I bet your friend would've had no trouble putting the blame on you. Sounds like you're a very loyal and caring friend, and she should be grateful, but she is definitely taking advantage of you and you should not be in the middle of this. If you do babysit again--and I would think twice about it-- make it clear you won't be letting the child go anywhere. If she wants to take that chance (the guy sounds like a real winner to me), then it's up to her. Not you.
For me, if I am watching the children of any of my single mom friends, esp. if I know they have been on again off again or having a lot of problems with their child's father, I would have to call first & make sure it's ok for the child to leave with the dad!
Even my best friend. One day she hates him one day he's a great dad, ya know??? So just to see if it's ok for him to pick up the baby or if it's a day she hates him, I'd have to get in touch with her & see.
It's a pain in the butt to be in the middle, but unfortunately, you do get put in the middle when there are children involved & when you care about someone like that!!!
I have a hundred stories about my single mom friends & times that they have needed me & crazy things I have had to be a party to!
That's why I thank God every day for my husband!!!
He is a jerk, she is an idiot, and you seem to be the only person who is truly concerned about what is best for these children. I not only don't think you did anything wrong, I think you did the right things. And I agree with those above who say you should not be put in the middle of this by your "friend".
The first thing that came to my mind was, "Why does she want an on again/ off again Dad to be part of this childs life?" I can just see the emotional abuse and self esteem problems that the child could end up with because of this!
But thats beside the point. Yes, she shouldnt have put you in the situation but you seem very caring and willing to help out a friend. I would say be there for your friend, help her out but set guidelines. Just as mentioned above, tell her you will not be in the middle of her and her exes life. Just make sure you dont say it like that. You may want to sit her down and explain to her how you were so nervous when he didnt come back in a timely manner and didnt call. You were scared that he may have taken her away and you care very much for her child and want to look out for the best of her child. Just let her know that your concerned about her and her child. Dont make it sound like youre talking bad about the ex (i'm sure we all would have a few things to say ) because she may get offensive.
I hope I made sense. (((HUGS))) and I hope it works out.
I think that she needs to let him know when you are watching the little girl she is to stay at your house. If he wants to see her then he needs to do it when she is with her Mom. Its not your fault if these 2 "grownups" want to use their child as a weapon, leverage, or what ever. I don't know why people think playing games like this is an acceptable way for grown ups to behave. It is always the kids that end up getting hurt.
Just remember, we can only change ourselves, not others. If that dad chooses to not come back, that was HIS choice! If your friend wants to blame you, that is her decision. If you let this tear you apart, that is your choice.
I would be torn up, too, but just keep remembering YOU did not cause their troubles. It was already in action. You were doing your best with the information you had. And *I* would be REALLY ticked off at my "friend" for putting me in such a position.
She made a poor choice for not speaking to her ex. She chose not to, because she didn't want to take responsiblity for saying what needed to be said. She took the easy way out and put all the pressure on you!
If you intend to help your friend again, you need to have the rules clearly stated, and possibly even written down. And you need to be stronger in doing what you think is right. I'm sure you thought to call the friend before letting the child go, but you second guessed your judgement. I'm sure your gut told you it was not your place to tell the ex how and when to pick up his child. Listen to your gut and stick up for yourself.
Also, I would stop worrying about whether this man sees his child or not. Who cares? It is not your job to oversee it. He sounds like a jerk. It is not your job to worry about HIS choices. And it is the mother's worries, not yours. Try to be there for her, but let her suck you into guilt over THEIR choices.
If ever put in this position again, you can make very clear to friend, and her Ex, that you only release the child to the LEGAL guardians. My sitter (a close friend of mine) doesn't release the kids to my Ex-husband without my explicit consent that day. He has partial custody right now, but she wouldn't release the kids to ANYONE without my consent, him included. This is her policy, and she has been doing childcare for a long time. This prevents her from any liability if someone does something stupid. If Nate is picking up the kids, I will tell her "Nate's coming when he gets off at X." We do all visitation swaps at her house, so there are witnesses. I agree with all the advice above, your friend is an idiot for allowing this man to be "Part-time Daddy". It sounds to me like she may not be "over" him, and figures the baby is their connecting factor. Just my gut feeling though...
yes I should not have started to comment on their problems, and to tell you the truth I have no idea of where I was going even starting that sentence. I was so upset, my legs were shaking when I was talking to him. Yes she should have talked to him instead of getting me to do it, but I think she thought well I was the one who was upset that he did not return. Even though she was showing a bit of aniexty that he had been gone so long. The part that makes me mad is I can see right through this guy, the only reason he took her in the first place was so that he could come back and pick my friend up. When he came to my house he did not even take the child out of the car. I asked my friend if she would have wanted him to take her home and she said well not really.
I think when my freind starts talking to me about him, I am just going to say to her, I would like to support her, but I always come out looking like the bad guy so I would rather not get involved. You know you can only go so far for your friends, ( trying to learn that) and actually do something about it.Since this happened yesterday I just feel worn out. Thanks for the input girls, appreciate the support
In no way is it your fault if the dad won't see his child. That is a CHOICE that HE will make. Even if he uses you as an excuse or she blames you, it's not your fault. You're just a convenient scapegoat for them to use as an excuse not to behave like mature adults.
I agree that it is NOT your fault if he doesn't see the child again. In the future, if you do watch the child again (and it sounds to me like you will), I would give mom a call at work before letting him take the child so that mom can't hold you responsible for what happens after dad drives away. This is a tough situation to be involved in...Good Luck!
Yah your right I most likely will babysit again, but I tell you that child is not leaving my yard.
After all this went down, my friend tryed to contact him, to say thankyou for looking after X , she ended up leaving it on the answering machine, but did state that I should have been mad, when he did not bring her back within a certain time limit. I guess his mom, called my friend, and said that your friend ripped a strip off of x , and that was totally uncalled for,. Which I did not. Aparentley x asked his mom to call my friend, and to tell her how upset he was.
My friend tryed to call him, and left a message on his machine to call her back and he has not done so, but this is just the game that he plays, everytime anything happens he runs and hides for a week or two, then shows up and acts like nothing happened.My friend said ( not sure if I can believe her) that she is not calling again if he wants to see his child he will have to call and ask, but she is not going to bother with him anymore. But...... something tells me this is far from being over. I just want my friend to be happy, and be with a guy who is fun to be around, and does not make every little thing an issue.
You're right, it's far from over! She's in this relationship because she wants to be. She plays his games because she allws herself to do so. She is NOT through with him, not through with the game playing & probably enjoys the drama!
sorry, but it's true!