Timothy Mark - posted on 04/15/2017 ( 5 moms have responded )
First I'd like to apologize if I offend anyone by utilizing this website as a male. Unfortunately their aren't any sites I could find at this time that are "Circle of Men" on parenting topics, so I thought I would try to reach out on this website.
To put a little background: our current parenting plan is a Primary and Secondary plan with me being the secondary parent. At the time of our separation I had financial situations that prevented me from fully supporting my child properly for the first 2 months when she was an infant (that year was tuff with me losing 40 lbs in two months because I couldn't pay for the food that I needed - was starving myself in order to provide what I could for my child-, pay for the unforeseen financial situations, and support my child completely as I would have liked to), in addition both of us had agreed she would spend the majority of the time with my ex since we wanted her to have time with her mother during her early months in order to breastfeed properly and to establish the mother daughter connection. After those 2 months a parenting plan was set in place and after another month of said plan (once I managed to financially stabilize to where I was able to reasonably survive) I paid the full amount of the plan and have done so since (and will continue to do so happily).
Since that year I have managed to stabilize financially and have my daughter 50% of the week and I pay for over 50% of her base cost designated by the courts in child support in addition to that (both parents work and make good reasonable income) I provide and pay for all of her Major and Minor needs when she is with me or staying at my location. Which brings me to my predicament: My ex is very wasteful financially and will throw belongings away and/or lose track of them and this habit of hers is being applied to the clothes I have my daughter in when I drop her off with her mother. I have spoken to her about this situation by essentially stating, "Please return the clothes that I by my daughter to me."; however, from her response I understand that she finds it easier to by new clothes and/or take the ones I have provided for my daughter, than to keep proper track of said items. For me this is an issue because: I want to pay off my car and save money where I can, to buy a home so that my daughter can grow up in that environment - it is very important to me and is an end goal I strive to achieve within the next ten years. However, I don't feel it is right for my ex to take items that I pay for when my daughter is with me, and then not return them (She has done so since day 1 off and on); especially since it is due to her bad habit and since I support my daughter where I can when I can in both time, finances, and relationship. (if you add it up I am paying for almost100% of my daughters base cost between child support and what I provide when she is with me since I have her half the week). Maybe this is fair? I mean my father provided for everything with us kids while he was alive so I have no real room to complain....but the reason she takes the item feels like theft on my end and a complete disregard to the effort I put in to parenting my child versus her wastefulness. What should I do? I have spoken to her as I said about the situation and she diverted the conversation somewhat and said she just loses things and buys her new clothes every paycheck in the, "As a matter of fact" tone - which is where the discussion ended since she left with to meet up with her ride from work.
I was thinking of creating a list of incidences with what items she takes when I drop my daughter off and doesn't return, including the cost of replacing said items; in order to present to her and show her how much she is wasting and/or taking to try to show her the importance - to me - that returning the items is needed instead of just "replacing" them constantly. (Due to her negligence) Understand this, I am looking for suggestions and am in no way trying to look for legal grounds over physical belongings to take her to court: I do think it is important to address this issue now while my child is still young (1:6 years) in order to better the communication between my ex and I; and to prevent a mindset of "Not addressing issues until they becoming major problems in parenting" (Major problems tend to start on Minor scales) - but the topic of clothing expenses is not important enough in my eyes for "all out war". It is simply a mindset of disregard that could cause problems in the future, which I want to address in a positive way now before it escalates to other topics and areas of my and my exes co-parenting in the foreseeable future.
Sorry for the length of the post, but I hope it explained properly the situation, my mindset, and my perception and importance of addressing this situation. Please leave positive and understanding comments below - and if this isn't posted because I am a man on the reverse of most parenting problems, I apologize for utilizing this site. Again thank you for your time and have a wonderful day:)