Sub standard accomodations at Dad's house

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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
Sub standard accomodations at Dad's house
Thu, 09-20-2012 - 2:56pm

My kids dad and I have been divorced about 6 years. We are both re-married now. He has a brand new baby (born this week.) He and his new wife live in a 1 bedroom apartment. My kids visit most days of the week and spend the night every Tuesday and every other weekend.

The issue is, I find the 1 bedroom apartment to be increasingly troublesome. I have a 11yo boy and a 9 yo girl. My frustration, for the, is the lack of space and sleeping arrangements. Apparently it goes as follows:

The bedroom has a bunk bed where husband and wife sleep when my kids are not there. When my kids are there, the girl gets the top bunk and dad and son get the bottom bunk. His new wife and baby sleep on the couch. . .

***insert blank stare here ***

I assumed that the recent marriage to the new wife would bring about a change of residence to at least a 2 bedroom.  Both dad and new wife work.  It’s expensive where we live, but I think they could afford a slight upgrade.

It all seems very uncomfortable for everyone and I am concerned about my son especially who is asked to leave when the baby needs to be fed (but there is nowhere for him to go…) Frankly I’m also concerned about the new wife. Personally I would find that arrangement unacceptable. I like my ex being re-married and I would like her to stick around.

OK, so I’m mostly venting.  I’m still in the early stage of problem solving, considering my options.

Any thoughts or ideas?


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-13-2006
Thu, 09-20-2012 - 6:09pm

What kind of screwed up environment is this?!!! Maybe they can't leave the 1bdrm now because the lease isn't up yet?maybe they will leave into a 2bdrm once that happens but yeah...weird living arrangements...what a mess!!

I don't understand some men.HE needed to have handled this a long time ago!

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 09-20-2012 - 6:47pm


Well, sub standard may be a strong word to use, but definately not ideal.  It sounds like they have a bit of common sense with the sleeping arrangement, at least.

Grey areas are tough.  If the kids are being fed, and the place is relatively clean considering how small the place is, not much you can really do.  If neglect was involved then sure, you could make make a stink about it. 

But if you and xH get a long pretty well, would you be comfortable sharing your concerns?  Is there any indication they are considering a bigger place?  If she is on maternity leave, I am guessing they are making a smart move by waiting until she is back to work to possibly move. 

How do your kids feel about it?  Is really just the sleeping arrangement or the overall comfort level of such as small place, especially with a new baby? 

I am trying to be open minded here, as I think it is always great when a dad actually wants to spend that much time with his kids.  So many women (and some men) have the opposite problem.  Two generations ago huge families shared very small homes with kids from floor to celing.  I think we forget that. 

But, with all of that said Cali, I admit I would not be thrilled, either.  So again, how do your kids feel?  Do they fight you going, or do they still go on their own will?  My SO's teenagers had to sleep on the floor on air mattresses when they came over, so I can appreciate close quarters.  It is tough. 


Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Fri, 09-21-2012 - 11:49am
I don't blame you for being frustrated.

Any indication from xH or the kids that they plan on moving?
Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
It sounds like that from a legal standpoint the only issue is that your DS and DD are able to sleep in an individual bed, or something of the sort.

Am I understanding that correctly?

I understand the hestiation of bringing stuff up. I get along with my xH, but hard to know sometimes which battle is worth fighting. Especially when it is something on the fringe of opinion.

My DD12 was telling me about her dad and step mom fighting with her SS14, but she was in bed. I told DD12 I want her to know it is okay to tell me when things are going on over there, but it is also important that she not gossip to me about personal stuff over there, either.

So yea, it's hard to know.

Is your DS comfortable talking to his dad directly? Where does this kid have to go when SM nurses the baby? I am glad they are trying to be appropriate, but can't someone hold up a blanket or something until she gets situated? Or can't SHE go to the bedroom and close the door?

All mute from here, I guess. But maybe DS could come up with some ideas and talk to his dad?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

I think the best way to handle it is to ask him casually if he is trying to find a bigger place now that they had a baby and say that it must be hard to squeeze everybody in there--don't sound accusing, just sympathetic and see what he says.  I would not recommend going to court--if he's paying child support, then he'll probably be telling the judge what does she want me to do?  I can't afford to get a bigger place if I have to pay child support. And it's not that they stay overnight that much.  I do think instead of your DS & his dad sharing a small bed, which must be uncomfortable, can't they get an air mattress for your son to sleep on the floor? 

I've been divorced 16 yrs now since my kids were 7 & 1.  A couple of years later, my ex met his current wife so the kids started staying overnight at her house when they started living together, a year or so before they got married.  she had a 3 BR hous and she also had one DD who was 5 yrs older than my oldest.  My kids always shared a room--some people might have gotten bent out of shape about a boy & girl sharing a room, but it didn't really seem to bother my kids.  I thought at some point their DSS might move out but instead she had a baby when she was in her early 20's & not married, so then they also had her baby living there too--she & her fiance (baby's dad) just bought a house & moved out now & the baby is 3.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

This thought just came into my mind.  In our society, at least for people who are middle class & up, we're used to having more room & privacy & not sharing bedrooms, but it's not that common everywhere.  I remember my mother saying that their grandfather lived with them & her brother, being the only boy, had to share a bedroom w/ the grandfather--who smoked, probably in the bedroom, and my mother shared a room w/ 2 sisters & their house wasn't that big.  But they didn't consider it terrible at all.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2002
Sun, 09-23-2012 - 9:57pm
Hi Cali---

Sounds to me like you're not going to get very far talking with your exH about it (eg, I'm envisioning him just being PO'ed that you're complaining re: where he lives AND want to continue having him pay you CS$...........), ...just wondering if you talk with his wife at all, and if so, you might get the info easier out of, offer congratulations/etc on baby---sympathize re: hard work of newborn/etc, and that small apt---must be especially challenging when kids are over---is there anything we could be doing to make things easier for you? Sleeping bag/air mattress for child/ren? Do you think you'll be able to move to larger quarters soon?................................that type of thing....?
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 09-26-2012 - 11:15am

Of course the kids want to go over there--he is their father.  do you really think they would not want to see their own father unless he was abusing them?  (And I have seen cases of kids who had terrible parents who still wanted to be with them.)  I really hope that you aren't putting their father down to them in making the statements about "choices."  I think there is another way to get your point across to encourage them to go to college & have a better career.

Avatar for cowboys_grl
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2010
Thu, 09-27-2012 - 11:04am

My thinking about this whole situation is different.  1st that is awesome of you to not go for any child support!  Just that 'alone', your ex should make reasonable sleeping accomodations for your & his kids.

I guess, I am not so nice, because I would tell my ex, that the kids can come over and see him, as much as they like, but unless he upgrades to a more reasonable place for them sleeping, they will no longer be coming over to sleep over.  A one bedroom apartment is not acceptable, especially when your son has to 'disappear' so the baby can be fed.

My experience, I was soooooo nice to my ex for YEARS after our divorce, making everything easy for him to see his DD any time he wanted, only taking what little CS he gave me (even tho, he was making a ton of money) after we divorced. I never had the amount modified.  Talked so sweetly of him, to DD, so she could continue having a great relationship with him.

And where did all that get me? NO WHERE! Now, he lost his good money making job and completely stopped paying me CS, I had to go thru the courts to get his wages garnished, because of his refusal to pay me.  Now he hates me, that much more, because I went thru the courts. DD is starting to realize what an ass he is, just by his actions and his lack of relationships, with her older brother and sister (from his 1st marriage) DD is hurt now, because her dad is not who she 'thought' he was.  And his lack of a relationship with our DD, he will blame on me, because he will think that I 'poisened her mind' against him (while it is ALL his fault).


So, basically, the moral of my story is, sometimes trying to be nice and accepting of what the ex does, isn't always the 'right' thing to do.....if your ex is an ass, then he will always be an ass.  If he doesn't 'want' to pay a bit more money to making living accomodations nice for his kids? Then his kids don't need to sleep over anymore, unless he does make the accomodations......a good parent puts the kids 1st.

Kiki (hit my magic age of 45 and no longer TTC),but mom to a beautiful teen DD & 2 angels in heaven & married to my best friend

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 09-27-2012 - 12:18pm

As with any topic on this board, there will always be a wide range of opinions and experiences. 

I had a counselor tell me one time "the devil is in the details."  There is more than one right, or correct way to carry on after a D. 

I have found that I have to be careful about the details.  We often shoot ourself in the foot when we get too wrapped up in the little things.  (i.e.  what if Cali found herself on hard financial times and ended up in a similar, not so great living arrangement?)

I had a GF years ago that still slept with her DS who was in grade school.  The dad was from Maraco and that is what they did there.  The entire family slept together.  Now here in the states if you need housing assistance, you must have a separate bedroom for male and female children.  (Or I should say that is how it is where I live)

Point being, it is all relative. 

Cali, I do hope that your xH moves into a bigger place, sooner rather than later.  :smileyhappy: