I moved out of my family home over 2 years ago into rented accommodation, the previous 3 years my ex and I cohabited to help bring up our daughter. We'er 50/50 carers, however, I do have my daughter, predominately for nearly all of the school holidays (I'm a teacher) so you could say I'm the main carer.
My issue and sorry if it sounds like a rant, is my ex, who I sort of have a reasonable relationship with, but been difficult of late, will criticise and judge me on how I spend my time with my daughter, especially during the school holidays.
My daughter was dropped off at my flat and soon as she came in, her mum told me that tv time should be an hour, max. I reasoned that because our daughter doesn't have an IPad, Xbox or Playstation, she never watches tv in the morning during school time as a lot of children do, I said an extra bit of tv in the holidays, mixed with outdoor stuff, she does with both myself and her mum, it wouldn't harm her at all, plus she had a great school report and should be allowed to relax and if that means watching a little more tv than usual then that should be allowed. My daughter and I watch a lot of natural history programmes, which she gets so much out of and really encourages her to ask a lot of questions. She does watch her own kids programmes and I see no harm in that if its monitored properly. She also asked what my plans were for the day, I said I might take her swimming. She said, because it was a sunny day she wanted our daughter to go on a bike ride and brought her bike round and locked it up outside my flat. She went on to say, swimming should be more of a rainy day activity. She has the ability to affect me and bring my moods down.
I'm sometimes left staggered how she can still interfere with how I bring my daughter up and feel I'm constantly being judged. I'm not saying I'm a perfect parent. Who is and I'm not saying I'm above criticism but she's certainly not perfect.
I also have to budget for the holidays and can't always take her to places that I'd like but we do ok. Her mum is a high earner plus has properties and I feel it's used against me as I don't earn nearly as much. She once said I needed to step up financially to support our daughter, which was hard to take especially having just moved out. Thankfully talking to family lawyers they said I didn't need to pay anything towards my daughters care, as I already provide financial and emotional support.
As mentioned I work in a school so I'm very fortunate to have the school holidays with my daughter and whilst I love having the time with her, I do feel it's taken for granted that I have all the main responsibility of looking after her all through the school holidays as I'm reminded by my ex, 'I need to work and it should be your job to look after her, seen as you have the holidays'
I'm not expecting her to take weeks of at a time, although she could. She has got better in recent school holidays and took a little more time off, ( a week off abroad and some early afternoon finishes) but I have her just about everyday and I have to work my schedule around hers, if I need/want to do something.
We've both have new partners and I'm trying to get on the best we can, for the sake of our daughter but I find her so controlling and how she speaks to me is so cold and clinical and there's absolutely no need for it. She's a good mum but as a person she doesn't realise how lucky she is in what she has and it never seems enough for her.
Has anyone gone through similar experiences of controlling ex's
I have been through similar, though I had a lot less time, I would have to give details or where we would go and who we would see, then also what we would eat, or I wouldn't see my child, for me it got too much and I ended up in court to get something in writing that my ex couldn't challenge.
That was fine for a while, but she then worked on my child who turned into a mess, not wanting to upset me of his mum, but as he lived with her she had more impact on his life.
I would say to just go with it and let it wash over you, don't engage in conversation over what she is saying just keep things polite, but then do as you have been, hopefully she will feel as though she is getting what she want's, it sounds as though you are a good dad and want what is best for your daughter, with a good balance.
I would keep this purely as a just-in-case, but keep an accurate record of all the overnights she spends with you, with as much proof as possible, but keep it discreet. The reason for this is that it does sound like you are the main carer, so in theory you could possibly put in a claim against her for child maintenance.
I certainly wouldn't do this unless it becomes necessary, because doing so will almost certainly mean that your ex tries to restrict contact so she doesn't have to pay, and from the sound of it, apart from your ex being over intrusive, it does sound like you have a lot of contact with your daughter, which is worth a lot. However, it's better to start recording now, rather than wishing you had done so some time in the future.