to want to spend time alone with my son

(151 Posts)
TB87 Sun 13-Jan-13 21:53:59

Hi all,

I'm in a bit of a tough spot and would really appreciate some help or advice whether you've been in this situation before or not.

I split from my ex this time last year, when she was 5 months pregnant, I'd realised over the months before hand that I was no longer in love with her, I didn't talk to her about it because as it was an issue inside me I thought I could deal with it, as it turns out I couldn't and knew we couldn't be happy together if. I knew staying together for the sake of a child is the wrong thing to do as they'd only end up getting hurt. I figured a child would be happier having 2 happy parents who live 8 miles apart than 2 miserable ones that live together?

We had been about to move into a cheaper place and as I didn't want her to have the stress of finding somewhere to live or having to move back into her parents and share a bedroom, I waited until we'd moved until breaking the news. As I was the sole earner I paid for everything for the first 3 months while living on various friends and families sofas. Once she received her maternity allowance we took that amount off my payments so I could find a place of my own. I've since realised that by doing so I took away her choice and this is part of the reason she's angry. I still wanted to be as supportive as possible and went to every ante-natal appointment with her and was there at every stage of labour and of course at the birth of my beautiful little boy.

About 3 months afterwards I started seeing a woman who I am now living and very happy with. My ex has also said that she's never been happier and that me leaving has been really good for her character.

Things are amicable between us and I see my beautiful little boy 2 evenings a week and during the day on Sundays, but only at my ex's house. She says that she doesn't feel ready to leave him yet and that because she's got to get used to the idea of eventually not spending every weekend with him (when I have him) and that he'll be around my partner, (who she says she hates and can't respect because what sort of woman would get with a guy who had a child on the way,) that I have to let her decide when she's ready, ages of up to 2 years have been mentioned.

I don't think it's fair on my son to not be around me in my home environment for that long a time, as if he only comes when older he might not take to the change. Also I think I'm perfectly within my right to be able to see him on my own as at the moment I can't take him out for the day on my own as my ex thinks that I'll secretly ring my girlfriend for her to meet him, which wouldn't happen as I respect my ex's feelings.

We've discussed it before but she point blank refuses to negotiate. I'm thinking of asking again in a few weeks and If my she still won't agree to negotiate with a time that I can start gradually taking him for longer periods at the weekend then I think my only option would be to go to a mediator and possibly courts as most of my family haven't met him yet as they didn't know my ex that well even after 7 years together and they feel awkward coming to her house. I don't think it's fair that he should only know half his family, especially now he's getting to recognize people and form relationships.

I'd really appreciate a woman's perspective on this. Am I being unreasonable in wanting to start seeing my son alone and gradually introduce him to my partner?

McNewPants2013 Sun 13-Jan-13 22:00:33

How old is your son and how is he being fed breast or bottle

Portofino Sun 13-Jan-13 22:04:58

So you dumped her when she was PG, shacked up with someone else, and are now expecting her to be all accommodating with her tiny baby? Did I understand that correctly?

PelvicFloorClenchReminder Sun 13-Jan-13 22:07:12

And you didn't bother to introduce your ex to your family properly?

There are quite often threads from the other perspective on here, of women with small babies whose ex partners want more/longer/overnight contact. I am married to my DDs (6 months) Dad but if i wasn't I cannot imagine her being apart from me for more than a few hours and certainly not overnight. You have to try and be patient,it must be hard but it is really tough for a mum to be parted from her baby. Is the baby breastfed? If so it is not really possible for them to be apart for long periods anyway. It may be that some kind of mediation is the way forward but I think you would be doing all three of you a favour to include your child's mother in the contact time you have for now so she can see you interact and get to know the baby, that way hopefully you can build trust.

knackeredmother Sun 13-Jan-13 22:08:16

If he is breast fed then it would be very difficult for him to be away from mum whilst young, I wouldn't have been able to do it until about 10 months and then not overnight.

Portofino Sun 13-Jan-13 22:10:11

You don't have RIGHTS - you have responsibilities and they are to put the needs of your son first. Not what suits you, your new girlfriend and your family. Presumably you are paying the required amount of maintenance?

OTTMummA Sun 13-Jan-13 22:11:57

So, you were with her for 7 years and only realised you didn't love her anymore when she became pregnant?

And You then started a new relationship with another woman when she was sue to give birth?

You also manipulated the housing situation, maybe she would of been better off staying at her parents house with support at such a difficult time in her life, what with being abandoned by her long term partner and all.

TBH, i think that you need to be a bit more understanding, you have put her through a lot of heartache, and dispite her claims of happiness that you are no longer together, i sincerely doubt she thanks you for putting her through all this.

The baby is about 7/8 months now, is he still breastfeed at all?
Your son is mainly attached to his mother, all his comfort comes from her, this is natural and will change with time.
I would ask for more daytime contact first, and ask see how that goes, after his birthday if things have been going well, i would then start introducing your G/F slowly, aiming for overnights at around 18months.

You do sound as if you care about your child, and obviously it is great you want to be involved as much as possible, but you really screwed your ex over.
I can't believe it takes 7 years to realise if you love someone or not.

McNewPants2013 Sun 13-Jan-13 22:12:26

Also I think your family should put thier feelings aside and come and met your son.

littlewhitebag Sun 13-Jan-13 22:14:06

Blimey Portofino - has something like this happened to you? Bitter or what? If he is on the birth certificate he will have both rights and responsibilities.

Relationships break up and people meet new partners. It happens all the time. He sounds like he has been supportive of his ex and is just looking for advice. I think sometimes fathers get forgotten and side lined.

I accept that the baby might be being breastfed and unable to be away from mum for long but there is no need to shoot the poor guy down.

Shriekable Sun 13-Jan-13 22:15:57

God you really messed her around, didn't you? Moved her pregnant butt into a cheaper place then dumped her. And you say you were only thinking of her and the baby . . . Don't believe you. Were you already involved with this other woman? That's what I would be thinking if I was your ex, and tbh that would make me hate her too. I think you're actually lucky that you get to see him so much, especially as you lied to her & messed her around. Give her time - she obviously wants you in the child's life. She is thinking of your DS, you weren't. She might be wondering if you're going to abandon him, too. And please stop bigging yourself up, you sound like an arse.

OxfordBags Sun 13-Jan-13 22:17:06

I'm presuming that he is quite small, and if so, you are out of your tiny mind if you think it's reasonable or right that he have him stay with you for periods at a time and introduce him to people that, whilst they might indeed be blood relatives, are complete straners to hom and virtual strangers to his mother.

Apart from how incredibly self-obsessed you come across as being, you don't seem to have the faintest idea of how children feel and think, what they want and need, etc. Your ideas of what he would like or would be best for him are how am adult or at least older child would think.

For a small child, his mother is his entire world, the beginning and the end of everything. That he builds and has a strong bond with her and is separated from her as little as possible is the most iportant thing for his wellbeing. Of course it is important that he knows and spends time with his father and other relatives, but this must never, ever, be at the expense of his security, which, when small, is his mother.

If your family feel awkward going to her house, then THEY need to work on that, not have your son taken from his mother and passed around amongst these strangers to him in a strange environment. That would be at best horrible for a tot and at worse, deeply traumatising, ie not good in any way. For him to grow to trust and like them will only happen if he is on home ground, feeling secure. Just because he shares DNA with you or them does not mean that he will or should automatically feel a bond or feel happy and comfortable around any of you.

For a small tot, a whole day out with someone who they don't see very often - you - will be very upsetting. Depending on his age, being away from her for even a few hours could be incredibly hard for him. You need to see him little and often to build up his trust and love. It is entirely possible that you are right that she is being unfair about him seeing your new girlfriend, but even so, your girlfriend has no automatic right to be part of life.

If she is breastfeeding, she has to do so regularly to keep up the flow and also to not upset him by the break in that routine. If you get a court involved, they will not generally allow breastfed tots to be allowed overnight stays. Breastfeeding is also about comfort and security as much as milk. It would not be a solution merely for her to express breast milk, even if she can express enough to keep him going for the entire time he is with you, the breastfeeding process and relationship beween mother and child does not work that way. If she is not breastfeeding, feel free to ignore this bit.

You seem to be thinking about what all the adults want, not him, even though you superficially express wanting things to be about him. All the difficult things have to be done by the adults, not your son.

Portofino Sun 13-Jan-13 22:17:34

He does not have rights. The child has rights to a relationship with his father. The father seems to be thinking of HIMSELF rather than what his son needs.

So the child is eight months old and lives with his mother? YABU to want to take him out of his comfortable environment.

This is all still so new. You have so much time to do things properly. Stop rubbing your new BRILLIANT life in your ex's face, even if she tells you she's happy.

ChaoticintheNewYear Sun 13-Jan-13 22:18:09

If it did go to court, dependent on the age of your son, it would most probably be little and often building up to longer periods of times and eventually overnights.

Portofino is right, you have responsibilities. Again dependent on the age of your son and if he's breastfed or not then the most important person in his life right now is his primary carer which is your ex.

TidyDancer Sun 13-Jan-13 22:18:37

As it read it, sounds like the baby is about eight months old?

There's no hard and fast rules here tbh. You have to find a balance between the two of you. Your ex doesn't get the de facto control because she was the one who gave birth, but similarly you don't get to overrule her just because you feel she is being unfair.

FWIW, what you are proposing does sound quite reasonable, but for the sake of good relations between the two of you in the future, you need to let things change gently. Going to court seems unnecessary in the circumstances as they stand.

If your ex could agree to a couple of hours out of the house and then gradually increase this as she feels more comfortable, this might be a good start.

TidyDancer Sun 13-Jan-13 22:20:49

Portofino, I have to disagree. The things the OP proposes sound as though they are in the best interests of the child. It's a question of how and when they are introduced and accomodated that needs deciding.

OTTMummA Sun 13-Jan-13 22:23:58

He also has to take responsibilty for how he behaved in the relationship, how he led the ex on and then dumped her 5 months pregnant.

Who knows, maybe if he had told her before 24 weeks she would of had an abortion and could of moved on to meet Mr knows what he wants and sticks around.

I think how he ended the relationship should be considered in how they move forward, he has moved on very quickly whilst not so long ago she was probably dreaming of a future with him, more children growing old etc, well he shat all over that and then shacked up with someone else pretty dam quick.

I don't think you should be demanding anything OP, you should be treating her like a fucking queen, she has done all the hard bits since the beginning and it will take time for her to feel comfortable about this.

Your DS doesn't need to stay overnight with you, he will get no benifit this young.
Increase daytime and start to include the bathtime routine etc and gradually she will feel better about it.

McNewPants2013 Sun 13-Jan-13 22:24:36

Many mothers are back to work when the baby is 8 months old, so saying the baby needs there mum at that age and it hard on the baby I find very hurtful.

When ds was 8 months old I was away from him for up to 9 hours a day.

mrsstewpot Sun 13-Jan-13 22:26:21

My ex has also said that she's never been happier and that me leaving has been really good for her character.

This part is made up isn't it?

MolehillAlchemy Sun 13-Jan-13 22:29:24

What OxfordBags said. "All the difficult things have to be done by the adults, not your son."

That is what all shared parenting arrangements should be based on.

OTTMummA Sun 13-Jan-13 22:29:53

mrsstewpot yes, either a lie from him, or from the ex.

If she said that, she is trying to save face OP.

Doha Sun 13-Jan-13 22:35:59

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

MakeItALarge Sun 13-Jan-13 22:36:37

Your family feel arkward so havent bothered to meet him?

Dont you think your ds will feel arkward being taken away from his mummy to be passed around by strangers in a strange environment? Or have you not considered your sons rights?

TidyDancer Sun 13-Jan-13 22:44:22

Doha, that was massively uncalled for.

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