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Mom finds out 'helpless' ex has been secretly making their kids do all 'his chores.'

Mom finds out 'helpless' ex has been secretly making their kids do all 'his chores.'


"Helpless Ex Husband Recruiting Kids to Do his Chores"


For context, I was married 12 years with two kids. I initiated a divorce due to working full time, raising our kids, doing all the domestic labor, and even the maintenance/yard work as well after talks for years about needing help. In April I started the divorce and it was finalized in September.

We have two daughters, ages 9 and 12. I haven't made them do as many chores growing up as they should have but I am trying to incorporate more as they grow. They hang up clothes, clean their rooms, vaccum, and care for their pets. I had made my ex husband a divorced dad's binder before I left.

It contained important information about the kids (their doctors name, the name of their schools, grade they are in), information about what bills he had, what passwords he needed for all his logins (I did all the bills for the last 12 years as well), information about how to care for his pets, information about how to maintain the water softener, what size air filters to buy...etc.

It was overkill and other women said I was insane for being so nice. Tonight at dinner my 12 year old tells me her dad has her and her sister doing all the chores. They stayed one night with him this weekend and apparently he was asking her to do the laundry.

She didn't know how (I know I need to teach her) and he had tried to consult my manual but eventually gave up. I reached out to my mother in law today saying that he needs her to likely teach him how to do laundry. She's in agreement with me that it doesn't need to be all put on our kids to do.

I am worried though. Last summer he had tried teaching the 12 year old how to weedeat and mow, saying "daddy is getting old and you're about old enough to do it". (hes 38 and Im 32). While I am in agreement she needs to do more, I know his motives are to push it off onto someone else.

I cant protect my kids when they are in his care, but I am just baffled at him. I left home at 18 and my mother never showed me how to do laundry, cook. Nothing. But, I was pregnant and knew I just had to figure it out.

I would Google whatever I needed to learn and taught myself. My mother in law is half the problem. She offered to just come over and do it for him. Am I making a big deal?

Here were the top rated comments from readers:


My ex did this. My 12 and 14 year old were given money, told to plan dinners, shop, cook, and clean up after. It didn't last long before they no longer wanted to go see "Dad."

The OP responded:


They'll end up resenting him.


I feel so sorry for your babies :( yes they need to learn but dad should be teaching. Can you try to have someone third party have a serious conversation with him about how that’s not okay? Like not your MIL or anyone close to you.

The OP again responded:


I have no idea who I'd ask.


They're going to quit going over there as soon as they're allowed. And, he still won't know how to do anything. I'm so glad that you're seeing the light so your kids don't turn out exactly like him.

Again the OP responded:


I couldn't do it another 20 years of doing everything all the time and being met with excuse after excuse about why he couldn't do simple things. So, let him tell everyone I left him because he didn't wash the dishes. I know in my heart it was the principle of it all.


You may not be able to stop him trying to pawn off his responsibilities but you can tell them to say they don't know how. Its not their job when visiting ONE DAY a week to pick up on their fathers slack.

So, do you think the OP is overreacting? Does her ex husband have the right to parent however he sees fit?

Sources: Reddit
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