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To not allow my baby son to stay overnight at his father's new 'love nest'?

(520 Posts)
dollyindub Mon 28-Jan-13 13:58:52

I'll try to keep this brief.

We'd been together for 2 years when I fell pregnant. It was unplanned although we had discussed having a baby and were not using contraception.

He finished our relationship when I told him I was pregnant, continued to live with me for the next 6 months (disclaimer: I was heartbroken, hormonal and really thought it was the shock and that he'd get over it once the baby arrived so stupidly allowed this instead of kicking his arse out).

However he moved back to his mum's at the end of the college term (he's a 'mature' student), but attended the birth of our child.

When our baby was 5 weeks old, I found out that he was in a relationship with a fellow college student (she's married with a child)
I was so angry as I'd had previous concerns re their friendship and her inappropriateness and his apparent lack of boundaries.

I'm posting this here, as they have now moved in together - she moved straight out from her place with her husband, straight into a house they are now renting together, and they are both on easy street whilst I struggle as a lone parent.

Our DS is only 4 months old.

I'm trying really hard to maintain dignity (mostly failing!) but my ex is now wanting to see our baby at his place and take him overnight!

The thought of that woman and him playing happy families with my DS makes me feel ill TBH, so I have said he can see him when he likes (when mutually convenient) but only at my place.
Obviously he is unhappy about this.

I am trying to constantly remember that it's my son's relationship with his dad, and not my issues with him that is important, but it's just so damn hard at the moment!

I need some clarity please! Please mums net jury, AIBU?

dollyindub Mon 28-Jan-13 14:58:03

Thank you all so much for your words of wisdom! I'm going to take some time to read them all properly - (I'm amazed at the quick responses) then I'll be back to reply to questions. Little person nearby is getting fractious and needs a feed. :-)
Thanks again

HopAndSkip Mon 28-Jan-13 14:59:25

I think what some people are forgetting here, is that this isn't a dad who had been with baby from the start and lived with him to build a trusting relationship then seperated, this is a baby who lives with mum, and see's his father at visits. To him this person is equivalent to anyone else who visits mum regularly.

He can't understand the reasoning "this is daddy, who is equal to mummy, so you will stay with him tonight and see mum again tomorrow", all he will think is where has mum gone, why isn't she answering my cries, why has she left me in this strange place and who are these people. Which would understandably be very scary for a small baby.

WorraLiberty England Mon 28-Jan-13 15:00:31

hellsbells, lucky?

Would you consider yourself lucky to have your own child overnight if it lived with the other parent?

I wouldn't see it as 'luck', I'd see it as my right as the baby's parent.

If you've been with your OH for a few years and haven't met his kids, surely that says more about him not being bothered enough to make sure he rightfully has contact with them?

cory Mon 28-Jan-13 15:02:36

I think there is a range of issues that you need to separate out from one another:

Your own feeling of hurt and (quite natural) desire to punish your ex because you have been badly treated - This is very understandable but must not get mixed up with your baby's relationships; he is not an instrument to ram your ex with.

*Possibly, your feelings of moral indignation over the "love nest"*- again, this is only relevant insofar as it actually affects your baby.

*Your feelings that a 4yo baby should not be separated from his mother*- this is a lot more relevant than any of the above, because it is actually about the baby. There are various factors to think about here:

How close to his dad is your baby? Most posters will try to judge this from their own family situation- for my dc, spending the night with their dad would not have led to any separation anxiety because they were so close from the moment of birth, for others the dad is virtually a stranger. So how is it for your baby?

* The practicalities*- are you breastfeeding? if so, there is a stronger argument for waiting.

*the timeline*- if not now, when do you think would be a good time? could you discuss this with your ex?

frantic53 Mon 28-Jan-13 15:02:48

I can't see what the benefit would be for a 4 month old baby because he will have no concept of him being his "father" or of OP being his "mother". What he will have, given the history of his little life so far. is a concept of OP being "safety". At 4 months old what that little one needs is routine, because routine builds a feeling of security. imo.

WorraLiberty England Mon 28-Jan-13 15:03:28

Dear lord Hop how on earth to babies manage going to their grandparents for overnight stays?

HopAndSkip Mon 28-Jan-13 15:03:45

Worra, as a babies parent you have no rights. The baby has rights to be happy and secure while building a relationship with both parents.

frantic53 Mon 28-Jan-13 15:04:29

Sorry, hopskip cross posted.

VinegarTits Mon 28-Jan-13 15:05:43

YABU, unless you are bfing there is no valid reason why he could not stay with his father overnight

and all this crap about hes too young, is a load of bollocks, he wont be traumatised or scared for life by staying one night away from you with his other parent hmm

frantic53 Mon 28-Jan-13 15:06:08

Personally, I never left my DC with grandparents or anyone else until they were old enough to understand that I would be back in the morning. confused

WorraLiberty England Mon 28-Jan-13 15:06:59

Exactly Hop which is why I don't think the OP has a right to deny the baby an overnight stay with his Dad.

Or at least a couple of attempts to see how it goes.

For all we know, the OP might be putting him in all day nursery soon to go back to work...which surely isn't that different in terms of 'wondering where Mum has gone'?

HopAndSkip Mon 28-Jan-13 15:07:18

Worra I am assuming most mums judge if the baby knows the grandparents well enough yet, and how secure the baby is being left.
As I said only the mum knows her baby, and what he will be happy with.
Not all babies are the same unfortunately, so it isn't as simple as "let's hand the baby over for the night regardless of how he/she reacts as they are "X" age." You need to wait for the baby to be ready.

WorraLiberty England Mon 28-Jan-13 15:08:23

Nor me frantic but every day 1000's of parents have to do just that when it comes to CMs and Nurseries or they cant' make a living.

WorraLiberty England Mon 28-Jan-13 15:10:33

How will she know the baby's ready without trying Hop?

Leaving the baby overnight with his 'good Dad' isn't going to cause any kind of trauma believe me.

And in the unlikely event the Dad can't cope, I'm quite sure he'll bring him home and try again in a few months.

VinegarTits Mon 28-Jan-13 15:11:27

babies dont suffer from being away from mum or dad for a night, those who never leave them with family so they can have a night off, well more fool you

they wont miss you as much as you will miss them, all they care about is when the next feed is coming at that age, use him too your advantage, have a night off and enjoy it while you can, before the toddler seperation anxiety sets in

WhatsTheBuzz Mon 28-Jan-13 15:12:05

I would imagine OP finds it hard to trust her ex for various reasons...

irishkitkat Mon 28-Jan-13 15:15:20

My DH's then wife left him for an OM when his DS was 8 weeks old. She initially t

NellyBluth Mon 28-Jan-13 15:15:43

Hop, that's a bit of a generalisation, some babies are perfectly happy to stay overnight with another caregiver at a young age. My baby stayed overnight with my parents from about 4mo and was absolutely fine - but I don't use that to generalise that all babies will be fine overnight.

OP (with another disclaimer that I haven't been in your situation) I can understand how this must be very hard on you, and 4mo is very little if you don't want to be apart from him, and if you don't feel he is ready for an overnight stay.

However it sounds as though your ex wants to be part of his son's life and the fact that he would like him overnight is surely a good thing? I think thinking of his new flat as a 'love nest' isn't very helpful and you should maybe try to separate your feelings towards your ex as an 'ex', and as your DS's dad.

If you don't want your son to stay over now that's absolutely your call. However, as other posters have said, perhaps you could come up with a plan and a timeline to gradually build up contact between your son and his dad, letting him spend an hour alone, two hours alone etc (as and when bf allows it) with a final aim of overnight stays at 1 or 18 months or whatever age you feel comfortable with.

Your ex sounds like he wants to be a father. It must be so hard to forgive him right not, but focus on the fact that he wants to be part of his son's life.

thegreylady Mon 28-Jan-13 15:19:07

I think 12 months is early enough and only then if the father has sustained regular contact with the baby. For now I think one day at a weekend and maybe an additional afternoon/evening is enough.

irishkitkat Mon 28-Jan-13 15:19:38

Posted to soon! She initially took the DC with her and my DH would have been heartbroken had he been denied over nights because his DS was so young. As it was the OM didn't want the DC full time so they ended up living with by DH by the time his DS was 4 months old and, yes, there was no question of the DC being denied over nights with their DM. As it is my younger DSS has dealt with it all much better than his elder DB who was 6 when his parents separated.

frantic53 Mon 28-Jan-13 15:21:09

I admit I only have my own experience to go on. First child, ex h was living at home full time and it didn't really seem to matter which of us resettled her when she occasionally woke at night. In fact, he often went to her first as we were trying to discourage her from feeding at night and I was breastfeeding and I would only take over if it became apparent that she really was hungry, which wasn't often. By the time DS came along ex h was working away from home during the week and only home at weekends. If he tried to settle DS he would only scream the louder and work himself into a state from which it was difficult for me to resettle him. Same happened a couple of years later with DD2. Would be awful imo if baby got that distressed and mum wasn't there for him. I don't think it's worth risking as it won't hurt the lo not to be overnight with dad at this age.

jellybeans Mon 28-Jan-13 15:21:25

YANBU. Too young for overnights unless you feel 100% happy. I totally agree Dads should have rights (MIL didn't let DH see his dad at all and I have seen the effects) but for newborns they often need to be with mum most of the time, it just isn't politically correct to say that anymore..Of course when the child is older more time can be spent with Dad. I sympathize as the whole situation must be very tough.

Mosman Mon 28-Jan-13 15:22:12

I would want to know that this man plans to stick around, to know he is capable and know that is OW is going to be a long term part of the child's life before entering into any sort of visitation no matter how old the DC and I'm sorry those who say they would have been perfectly willing 4 months after the birth of their PFB handing it over to somebody they have misgivings about are either lying or have very short memories.

HopAndSkip Mon 28-Jan-13 15:23:08

Nelly that's why I said only the OP know's what her baby is like. Though I don't know many babies that are happy away from their primary career for long periods of time at that age. Admittedly I know a couple who will go to anyone full of smiles, but unless OP is very lucky then I'm assuming her son isn't like this (OP please correct me if he is, and then feel free to ignore my posts)

aufaniae Mon 28-Jan-13 15:23:22

"I'd see it as my right as the baby's parent."

That's putting the wishes of the parent before the needs of the child.

I'm pretty sure my son would have been very distressed if I'd left him overnight with a stranger (to him) at 4 months.

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