My wife has dealt with the majority of day-to-day care of the children. I work from home at the moment, so I'm frequently involved in looking after the youngest while she does the school pick-up. I do the school drop off 3 days a week while she drives the youngest to nursery, and I do bath time & bedtime stories every night. I had a nanny come in to help her get a better structure in place because basic things like her eating with the children just wasn't happening, and as her drinking has become progressively worse I've had to take over most of the shopping now too. Now that 2 of them are at school, "day-to-day' care is mostly about entertaining the youngest.
The school is not aware of the problem, though some parents may have an inkling (at a playdate in December at our house, my wife 'went missing', my 19yr old niece who happened to be with us for a few days took over the supervision, and I found my wife staggering around outside having drunk loads - she subsequently chatted to one of the parers who came later to pick their child up, and i can't believe they wouldn't have smelt the alcohol).
Social services have not been involved, and I have no wish to involve them (the scare stories are too terrifying). I've been trying to help my wife sort herself out, but it's got to the pout where I've run out of ideas, she's been too awful to me too many times, and now her drinking is encroaching into the day, which puts them at risk, especially if they have to be driven somewhere.
I don't see any future for us as a husband and wife, and it seems to me that the children would not be safe within her care. I want custody of them, and for her to have supervised access.
she has started doing that , yes.
On bonfire night, she took the 2 older girls to a display, and on the way back stopped at the local shop, bought a bottle of wine, drank some of it, before driving the short distance home. I was livid because the girls were in the car with her.
On the day before Christmas Eve, she'd been drinking secretly in the afternoon, then insisted on collecting her mum (about 20 mins away). Her mum suspected she'd been drinking when she arrived, but got in the car with her anyway; later she said the journey to our house had been terrifying. My wife admitted later that she had been drinking before she'd driven.
Yes. She's on a path of self-destruction, and even though she's aware of her problem, she's not doing anything to help herself. She's spurned the help of the priory (£15k wasted), doesn't go to counselling, lies to everyone, and insists that her own 'will-power' can sort things out.
I think the reason I've put up with it for so long is that I've wanted to believe that she would get better, but it's clear that that won't happen.
In the past I've been afraid that if we divorced, she'd get main custody of the children, so I'd actually be doing them a dis-service by divorcing, and letting them live in a more toxic environment. At least if I'm there, I can protect them.
Now however, as things are getting worse, it's imperative that I get main custody, before anything harmful occurs, and I would find it hard to believe that this would not be granted. I'm praying that common sense would prevail.
Her mother will support me, yes. She can see how bad things are, and is mortified by her daughter's behaviour, and is thinking about what's best for the girls.
Breakfast is shared - sometimes me, sometimes her. Lunch is only for the youngest, which she does. Tea is always her. Bathtimes is 95% me.
I am also the one who tries to set the structure, e.g. getting them out of nappies, getting them to dress themselves, trying to always eat with them, just basic things that she doesn't give much thought to.