I agree with 25, as usual :-) And here is another spin on it. Let's say he is stepping up because the advice of his L or someone else in his life. Let's say it does feel like it is for show or to help him win some additional custody arrangement, or he has some motive that is not solely for the immediate benefit of helping you and/or spending more time with kids. (and I think we are all agree that is what it is looking like)
But still, there is a potential benefit, and it could be huge. If H can continue on this trajectory, albeit not perfect, this ultimately will be the best sitch for the kids and down the line you as well. Plain and simple, kids deserve a dad that is present and young kids benefit from a frequent and consistent custody arrangement.
Sure, we all agree that your H is dirt bag. Still tho, if he loves his boys and is willing to spend time with them, go to soccer practices, hold the baby often, put them to bed, etc, well isn't that truly best for them? I mean, what if he can stick to a schedule like this? Isn't that best for the boys? And T, down the line, won't it be nice to have the help and time for yourself?
I have never brought this up on the boards but my oldest D19 has a different dad--we were never M and I was young when I had her--and I left him when she was a baby. He was a real POS too. He pulled a lot of stunts and made my life h3ll for years. I was young, broke, in college, and he managed to make things harder most days. I did all of the legal leg work, paid for it, tried desperately to get some sort of custody arrangement for D so he couldn't come/go/cancel on her last minute. He never paid a dime of support and would not stick to any schedule we had set up. I took care of all of her needs, preschool, healthcare, everything. He didn't seem to want to see her but he would stalk me and pursue me often. He literally strolled into court, shed a few tears about missing her, and bam he got the custody he requested and 50-50 legal. That is California Family Court Services for you: apparently all you need is a pulse and to simply show up.
Here is the thing tho, because I did hijack for a reason: whatever the court arrangement is, the truth will unfold over time. If he can't stick it out, you can always go back and have it revised. My ex only wanted every other weekend and a weekly phone call. Sadly, by the time she was 10 he disappeared entirely. However there were many years when he was stable and had a GF that he did take her most weekends and she came to really know him well. Now as an adult, shes does not have the burning itch of wondering who he is.
There was nothing you could have told me at the time that would soothe my fears and anxiety when I was going through those wretched court battles. It was a nightmare. I can tell you today though, that it will work out for the best in time. If he can step it up and be a good and present dad for his boys, well I think that is best for them! If he fails at that, then sadly for him, it will be his loss. My D19 is amazing, beautiful, and brilliant and her dad doesn't even know her anymore. I don't have any anger towards him but I sincerely pity him. She has not seen him in 9 years and she has no interest in it.
Sorry for the hijack. I agree with 25 that the natural consequences will unfold themselves. You just keep focusing on your fabulous self T! You are a wonderful mom and amazing gal with or without this fool.
Sorry for the hijack. & Time for my coffee too :-)
“Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.” – Nelson Mandela