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To think that nearly 2 will be old enough to go to a family wedding without mum?

(217 Posts)
DaddyAndDaughterTime Mon 06-May-13 16:29:38

My mum is getting remarried next year in france. We live in South england, so it is a short flight away. I have said about this to my ex, and that I want to take our daughter as all my family will be together which happens very rarely as we all live far apart.
She has said she will be much too young, and to tell my mum to visit her here if she wants to see her. She doesn't seem to understand that this is our daughters family as well not just mine.

I have said I would be happy to fly out with her the day before the wedding, go to the wedding with her, and then have a flight booked for that evening so she can sleep on the plane back, then be home by morning, rather than staying a few days.
She is saying it's not going to happen as she isn't happy with her being in a different country. Is this a reasonable 'mother thing' or should I push the point? I have mentioned to my mum and she said she doesn't want my ex to be invited as she doesn't get on with her.

slhilly Tue 07-May-13 21:14:09

Fwiw, my DP and I left our DCs with grandparents while we went for weekends away, from the age of 18mo onwards. One set live 40mins away and see the kids regularly, the other live 3hours away and see the kids much less often. Neither set looked after the kids twice weekly for several hours.

We've left the kids with each set from time to time, and have accepted that the care will be different from what they'd get from us, written a list of essentials / ground rules, and not worried about the kids crying when we left. I've never thought of us as especially cold-blooded, just recognised that we are better parents for having a break.

We didn't go abroad, but we did travel equivalently far within the UK.

I'm therefore surprised by how many people are saying that extensive contact is a prerequisite for them to consider leaving their DCs with an exP for a two day trip.

I'm also bemused by comments about how a toddler won't enjoy a wedding. Because my DCs, when toddlers, were somewhat whimsical about what they enjoyed and didn't enjoy, and it would have been impossible to have done only things that they enjoy, or even predict reliably what they would enjoy. So we did the odd family event without worrying too much in advance about whether they'd have a fabulous time because doing right by our wider family matters to us, and if the kids started to have too rubbish a time, we would whisk them out and do our best to make them happy once more.

maddening Tue 07-May-13 20:59:44

oh I totally agree there

ChocsAwayInMyGob Tue 07-May-13 20:55:31

That's OK maddening. smile

I was just trying to make the point that is possible for a man to have a toddler on his own overnight.

maddening Tue 07-May-13 20:53:25

sorry was just the way it read to me smile

ChocsAwayInMyGob Tue 07-May-13 20:50:00

I didn't say I was an expert, I said I was on the side of a man who wants to more of a parent to his child.

There's no reason why he can't have her overnight next year unless his wife is determined to keep her clingy by never leaving her with anyone or letting anyone else have her.

maddening Tue 07-May-13 20:40:07

but chocs - that's not the op's side - the op does not have dc for overnights and weekends - so while you are the sister of one of the many men who are a nrp that does not make you the expert on the op's situation.

I do agree though that the op needs to develop his relationship with his daughter and to want to do that is not selfish

ChocsAwayInMyGob Tue 07-May-13 19:35:11

I've seen things from the OP's side. My Dbro split from his wife when their DS was around 14mo (she cheated, trust was gone) . He had him for overnights, weekends, holidays, and family occasions. He is a wonderful father and has a great relationship with his son.

ChangeNameToday Tue 07-May-13 19:28:35

Chocs, you seem terribly invested in this thread.

ChocsAwayInMyGob Tue 07-May-13 18:37:14

Your mother sounds a bit selfish and short-sighted. You have no idea what goes into looking after a child of that age for a whole weekend.

1. How is a grandmother wanting her granddaughter at her wedding selfish?
2. How is the OP going to know what it's like if he is never allowed to learn?

mirry2 Tue 07-May-13 18:34:03

Could your ex travel with you both but not go to the wedding (I haven't read the whole thread so apologies if this has already been said

mumandboys123 Tue 07-May-13 18:30:35

yes, you should be able to take her and you should go to court for a Specific Issue Order if she won't agree - you will need to apply for that several months in advance.

I speak from experience - my father died during the early days of my separation from my now ex husband. He promised he would bring them to be with us at the 'party' after the funeral. He didn't. I will never forgive him. They should have had the opportunity to see people gathered to pay their respects to their grandfather, to be able to talk about him like we all did. They should also have been allowed to meet those members of the extended family you only see at weddings and funerals - it is likely the next family gathering will be my aunt's funeral so my children will never now meet her. It was a sad occassion on the face of it but enjoyable in other ways (I'm sure you understand) and I know they would have got something from it, despite their young ages.

Don't let this pass you by. Your child is entitled to a relationship with you and your extended family and you are entirely right to expect your child to take part in big family events.

ChangeNameToday Tue 07-May-13 18:27:51

OP, can I ask a question? is there a reason why you only have supervised contact hours? Is there more to this than you're letting on? Were you a couple for a long time before you broke up? was it acrimonious?

I actually do think the resident parent has final say and yes, in this instance, what she wants goes. Your mother sounds a bit selfish and short-sighted. You have no idea what goes into looking after a child of that age for a whole weekend.

Molehillmountain Tue 07-May-13 18:25:58

In fairness, he wants to take her abroad in a years time. If both parties agreed they were working towards this, there would be time for the op to strengthen his relationship with his dd in that time, working up to overnight stays. As things are, it wouldn't be fair on the baby. In a years time it might be okay.

chocs the child is 11the months old, there can hardly be a "clinginess problem"- in a baby or young toddler, its perfectly normal. The OP has never, ever been alone with his DD yet wants to take her abroad overnight on his own - the parent who does care for her alone and has done all her life is hardly being clingy either in saying no to such a request when initially presented with it. A compromise of some description is surely necessary in the interest of the cild.

ChocsAwayInMyGob Tue 07-May-13 17:21:31

Or give the OP to form an independent relationship with his daughter, which she has a right to.

ChocsAwayInMyGob Tue 07-May-13 17:20:56

I can't help thinking that paying for the ex to go with the OP is giving her her own way. She obviously thinks she is the more important parent and ensuring she is always on hand for her daughter will not cure the clingy-ness problem!

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Tue 07-May-13 14:47:06

Is there any reason bar anxiety as to why your Ex needs to be there?

Imsosorryalan Tue 07-May-13 14:42:19

Well said bathroom. Every family is different as are children and only you and your Xp know the best way to help your dd feel happy about this. Besides, worse case scenario, if your dd does find it tough I'm not sure the wedding guests would appreciate a constant crying baby at the wedding!

bathroomneedsaclean Tue 07-May-13 12:54:30

OP I've thought about your posts a lot. As soon as you said your baby was in scbu for the first important weeks of life, a lot of this made sense. Are you aware that prem babies / babies hospitalised like this early on are much more likely to be very clingy - not just around typical 'separation anxiety' stages, but all the time? - not necessarily any fault of the parent if this happens. My 8mo is, and has been from word go - I didn't intend to do 'attachment parenting', but I've kind of had to! Its getting easier though - but no way I can leave her for more than a couple of hours even with DP without major meltdown.

Being separated from her baby for nights etc during those first weeks in hospital, and the worry about the baby's health are likely to have been a very traumatic experience for your XP even if your baby is now fine. Does she have post-natal anxiety perhaps? (common response to scbu experience, crippling like pnd in many ways - you are typically terrified of something terrible happening to your baby) Added to this, she has presumably been parenting her very needy baby on her own for the last 11 months - emotionally and physically exhausting. For all those people saying their babies / their partners / themselves would have been fine with this, well good for you, but every baby / parent is different, and babies who have had a difficult start in life ime can need extra security not 'toughening up'. Check out bliss.org.uk - they give very helpful advice and have a helpline.

Paying for her to go along with you sounds like a brilliant plan, and would be a kind thing to do for your DD and XP. XP could always do the some childcare so that you could enjoy the evening do, so everyone benefits. If she struggles with letting you take the baby without her, no way would she consider an unknown family member babysitting or babysitting service! As others have said, your long term relationship with dd and XP are the priority. By putting this solution on the table now, should DD need it, you will save XP months of worry about this - it that's her frame of mind.

FWIW, I wouldn't be happy about DD's dad taking her abroad for a few days without me - DP and me both know she wouldn't cope well, and we wouldn't want to put her through it - we may feel differently when she's 2, but I doubt it. I don't judge others who would be fine with it - and envy your chilled approach and relaxed, flexible babies!

pigletmania Tue 07-May-13 12:00:45

Isiolo from what I gathered from op there are No other issues. Mum might be a bit verprotective due to dd health early on in babyhood. The op should start having unsupervised visits and build it up gradually and see nearest the time

anklebitersmum Tue 07-May-13 11:22:19

Personally I think that you need to up the time you see DD and insist that you are allowed to have her for decent periods of time on your own. You are an equal parent in the eyes of the law and should be treated as such by your ex.

Clearly your DD is going through 'that stage' when children do get a bit shrieky if you potter out of the room but the solution is not to allow DD to rule the roost, it is to teach her that her Mum and you do come back.

Maybe Mum could go out for a couple of hours for the duration of your visits in DD's home for a couple of weeks? That way DD learns Mum's coming back and gets some one on one Dad time in a familiar environment. Then do going out for a couple of hours you and DD and build it up from there.

I see children of a similar age doing their royal nut when left at nursery. Mum's have to do the eeek thing and the children are fine-usually within minutes of Mum heading out the door. Usually within a week the child is bounding into nursery with no issues at all.

As for the wedding, I'd say that provided you actively involve yourself properly in twelve months time it won't be a drama for her to go with you certainly not on DD's part anyway Children should be afforded the widest circle of family wherever possible. That includes you and your family.

To be frank I wonder how your ex copes if she never leaves DD's side confused

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 07-May-13 10:55:02

The child is not 2 now she is not even yet 1.

I'm not sure I can blame mum for having limited knowledge as to how quickly these phases pass,chances are to her its currently a never ending worry.granted she shouldn't have said a flat out no but it does not mean she's a bitter controlling bitch that she did.

Have none of you ad a knee jerk reaction before and changed your mind when the situation warrants it?

Op before you go listening to people advocating that you go running off to court,take some professional legal advice ( from a real solicitor not just a mate) actually find out about the process the requirements and likely outcome before you invest your time and money.

People seam to forget that court should be used as a last resort and that an over riding principle of the children's act is no order should be issued when none is needed, as far as I recall the little and often ( I.e a few hours at a time with mum near by in the absence of any DV ) is one of the most usual recommended arrangements with children your dd's current age.

Obviously it may have recently changed but its most certainly what was recommended as standard in the area I live by cafcass last year.

exoticfruits Tue 07-May-13 10:37:53

The answer for OP is to up the access to as much as he can manage so that in the future she will be perfectly happy.

shewhowines Tue 07-May-13 10:35:38

It is too soon to say.
Mum inbu AT THE MOMENT but she would be if you do build up to having her for weekends on your own.

Leave it and see how the land lies much nearer the time. Pressurise her too much and she will dig her heals in. I would feel uncomfortable in her shoes NOW but hopefully as your DD grows older it will become apparent that it will be ok.

You need to empathise and let her know that you understand how she is feeling right now but make it clear that if you build a regular,caring at weekends, relationship that you expect to be able to take her. But agree that you will take it slowly and see how things develop.

LouiseSmith Tue 07-May-13 10:33:15

I would say no. If you haven't had anytime with your DD on your own as the sole parent, then I would go no.

Try having her over night once, then up it to a 2 nights, then 3, until eventually both of you are confident that DD is happy with you. At least if you do it in the same country to begin with you can easily return her to mum, if she is really inconsolable. Better than having to get on a emergency flight to bring her home.

Am I too assume your family in france do not know your DD too well considering the distance. Then you would need to make sure she was 100% confident with you.

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