To think the children's dad

(42 Posts)
FateLovesTheFearless Thu 22-Nov-12 07:01:48

Should still take the children tonight as per our usual child contact agreement?

We have four children 7 and under. On Sunday ds1 was sick twice at his dads. On Tuesday ds2 was sick one. And yesterday just after college (full time student,lone parent) I started and have been unwell right through the night.

The children's father has said he won't take them tonight as he doesn't want the sickness bug. I have a house needing sorted out and whilst they haven't been sick in the past 24 hours they are all miserable with colds and I have had two hours sleep. Aibu to think he should still be taking them?

Hopingforno2 Thu 22-Nov-12 07:05:06

Isnt it a bit late for him to be worried about catching it if ur ds was already sick at his anyway?!

Sirzy Thu 22-Nov-12 07:07:01

Yanbu. He can't pick and choose when he parents

FateLovesTheFearless Thu 22-Nov-12 07:08:44

Yes that was one of my thoughts too. I guess it just annoys me that he thinks he is now somehow exempt from parenting unless its the fun stuff. hmm you didn't see me refusing to take them on the Monday morning because 'I don't want the sickness bug' but I may be being a bit unreasonable with so little sleep and dehydration! confused

OHforDUCKScake Thu 22-Nov-12 07:15:53

He is being totally unreasonable!

FateLovesTheFearless Thu 22-Nov-12 07:22:38

I also don't know what to do about college, I really want to go (love my course) and don't want to miss out on work. I haven't thrown up since ten last night (unfortunately the through the night thing was the other delight of the dv bug but has stopped now too) WIBU to still try go to college and sleep the moment I get home tonight until tomorrow morning

Hopingforno2 Thu 22-Nov-12 07:27:52

Id point out that a) they r his kids too! And b) chances r if he is going to catch it he has already! Dont think id go to college tho rnt u meant to 48 hours clear both ends before returning to work/college and would u enjoy it while still feeling rubbish x

NotaDisneyMum Thu 22-Nov-12 07:30:36

I think it depends what the care arrangement for your DCs is and why its the way it is.

If he's a reluctant Dad and won't consider shared care, and you struggle to keep contact up, then YANBU.

If he's repeatedly asked for more contact and a more equal role in his DCs lives but you have refused, then YABU to expect to be able to dictate when he parents his DCs and when he doesn't.

<disclaimer: my opinion may be clouded by the fact that my DP had to go to court to have any contact with his DCs and a few weeks later their Mum refused to change arrangements because of her work and insisted that the DCs stay with him even though they were unwell, crying and asking for Mum>

xkcdfangirl Thu 22-Nov-12 07:32:25

What Sirzy said. I would tell him that they are his kids whether they are sick or well, and if he doesn't take his turn then you will be applying to have the contact agreement reduced to reflect his lack of commitment.

fusspot66 Thu 22-Nov-12 07:38:28

Please don't go to college spreading your bug. You should be 48 hours symptom free before you return to school etc

KittyFane1 Thu 22-Nov-12 07:42:48

My thought too, you should stay away from college if you are ill. 48 hrs after sickness. Also, against the grain but I wouldn't send sick DC to their dad's. When you're ill you want to be at home not going to stay somewhere else. Sorry

fusspot66 Thu 22-Nov-12 07:43:57

Oh and on a kinder note.... Ignore the prat and enjoy snuggle time with cbeebies etc drink sugary pop, eat salty crisps and get well soon.

altinkum Thu 22-Nov-12 07:45:04

I'd take them drop them off and say to him to drop them off at the time you've agreed on.

He's a father nt a babysitter.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 22-Nov-12 07:59:27

Tbh, when my dc are ill I'd rather keep them at home. It's where they will be most comfortable. My ex is brilliant and would still take them, and he does try to make his home their home too as much as he can, but children need to have one primary home IMO, it just gets too complicated otherwise. When people are ill, they tend to like to be in their own home and in their own bed, children are no different.

Could your ex help by getting some shopping for you or something? I also think you need to stay at home if you were sick last night. You could still spread the bug around very easily, and you don't know who else might catch it and have worse consequences from it than you.

Fairweather fathers annoy me.

Ds's dad is like this to the point he never even shared a night staying with ds when he landed in hospital at the start of the year. I was pregnant and had to spend four night sleeping on a chair in a ward of sick kids. Once ds got home he wouldn't take him as 'when he's sick he stays with his mum'. I don't mind in a way as I know when I'm sick I still want my mum grin but the fact he gives me no option bugs me.

I would stay off college today and snuggle up with a kids having a lazy day.

KittyFane1 Thu 22-Nov-12 08:25:11

There is no way I would send poorly DC there. What good will it do them?

EMS23 Thu 22-Nov-12 08:31:35

He ought to be taking his kids as normal and you shouldn't give him a choice in the matter.

As an aside, my DSS has a home here with his father and I, just as much as at his mums. If the father is a willing good father, sharing care of his kids then the idea of two homes should be encouraged. Reinforcing the idea that mums home is the 'primary' home is really unfair on the dad.
Kids are pretty adaptable you know, I see it work in my own home everyday.

It's not fair that he doesn't have them when it's hard and I have no sympathy with him not wanting to catch the bug but I also think that you DCs would probably be happier with you and you should all just chill for a couple of days in front of the tv. You shouldn't go to college either.

diddl Thu 22-Nov-12 08:33:00

If they are "miserable with colds"-wouldn´t they rather just be resting at home?

What do they want to do?

ChaoticismyLife Thu 22-Nov-12 08:42:15

I soooooooo love mn. Dad is an equal parent and they have two homes...until the DC is/are sick then all of a sudden he isn't/they don't confused


NotaDisneyMum Thu 22-Nov-12 09:13:15

chaotic I've rarely seen that attitude on MN though- more often the idea of two homes/shared care is considered detrimental and Dads who pursue that are considered unreasonable.

If one parent has blocked contact or restricted shared care in the past, I don't blame their ex for refusing the DCs when they're sick - if you decide you are going to be primary carer, and sideline the other parent, then you can't expect the DCs to settle with that parent when the DCs are ill and you need a break.

KittyFane1 Thu 22-Nov-12 09:27:51

But do they have two homes or one home and where their dad lives? If separated fathers and mothers really did care for their DC 50/50 there would be no need for child maintainance paid by one to the other. This 50/50 split rarely exists. I wouldn't send my poorly DC to a reluctant ex.

Peanutbutterfingers Thu 22-Nov-12 09:47:49

What do the children want? When my DS (2.10) was sick last week I asked if he wanted to stay and have cuddles with mummy or go to play with daddy and he chose daddy and I was very grown up about that even though I'd held him sitting up all night as it hurt to lie down and been sicked on eleventy million times (when he came home he did tell me 'I missed you sooooo much today')

WhatsTheBuzz Thu 22-Nov-12 10:15:19

KittyFane I second that last comment.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 22-Nov-12 10:47:21

It's not like that Chaotic.

The point is that children shouldn't have two equal homes. They don't need two homes, they need their two parents. There's a difference.

Children are not there to satisfy the parents, it's not like having a caravan shared between two families who should then get exactly the same number of nights to stay in their caravan. They are children, who are people in their own right. I can't say I'd like to live my life between two homes, so I don't see why my ex and I should expect to do that to our children just because we both want to bring them up.

izzyishavingababyAGAIN Thu 22-Nov-12 10:50:37

I wouldn't send dc to dads sick If i already had the bug - what's the point in making 2 people ill?

ChaoticismyLife Thu 22-Nov-12 11:00:53

NADM It has been said though, quite recently on a thread in AIBU and it's not the first time I've seen it

"If one parent has blocked contact or restricted shared care in the past, I don't blame their ex for refusing the DCs when they're sick - if you decide you are going to be primary carer, and sideline the other parent, then you can't expect the DCs to settle with that parent when the DCs are ill and you need a break."

I will agree with this although I don't think it's true in this case.

Outraged I always think of you when I see Freddos grin but I digress. That's your opinion, others will disagree. I personally don't have strong feelings either way but I do suspect that it would be right for some DC and wrong for other's.

ToffeeCaramel Thu 22-Nov-12 11:13:23

He is being totally unreasonable. If he was a family friend = fine to want to avoid the sickness bug. He is their parent. You don't get to avoid your kids so you don't catch stuff off them. Who does that??

WhatsTheBuzz Thu 22-Nov-12 11:18:51

No but then you don't get to avoid your kids because you're already ill and surviving on hardly any sleep either, do you?

EMS23 Thu 22-Nov-12 12:24:02

outraged - that's all very well but if a father (or non resident parent) didn't make their DC feel at home in their house, wouldn't that be awful?
Why shouldn't a parent want their child to feel at home in their house? I can just imagine the outcry if I came on here saying I'm taking back my DSS's bedroom and turning it into my dressing room/ guest room because after all, this isn't really his home. I'd be the wicked stepmum and my DH the disinterested father then, wouldn't we?

ToffeeCaramel Thu 22-Nov-12 12:30:44

No, but your partner might help out if he were at home, whereas the OP is on her own and it is her ex's time to have the children.

NotaDisneyMum Thu 22-Nov-12 12:33:05

Does a child have to live with a parent for at least 50% of the time to make that house home?

My DSS spends 4 nights in every 14 with us. He has his own room, belongings, breakfast bowl, chores etc.
More importantly he considers it home - he referred to it as his home with Dad when his class was walking past recently (he didn't see me so it wasn't for my benefit) but his Mum is adamant that he lives with her, visits Dad and only has one home.
My DD, in contrast, has spent half her time with me and half with her Dad since we split. She didn't feel at all at home in the former marital home after her Dad left with most of the furniture and half her toys despite having been brought up there, she felt like she was just visiting and that her Dads new flat was home. sad

It's about their level of comfortableness in the home, the welcome they feel and their sense of belonging - not the amount of time they spend there.

OP - I hope you're feeling better soon!

NotaDisneyMum Thu 22-Nov-12 12:35:58

toffee You mean it is the DCs time with their Dad - surely? The time spent with the NRP is for the DCs - not the parent.

ToffeeCaramel Thu 22-Nov-12 12:37:48

Is it not for both?

ToffeeCaramel Thu 22-Nov-12 12:40:23

I've not really thought too much about the wording as I'm still with my dh/kids' dad. I'm sure I'd think it through more if i were in that situation

NotaDisneyMum Thu 22-Nov-12 12:43:01

No, it's not for both!

A parent has no right to spend time with their DCs; it is the DCs who have a right (under European law) to a relationship with their parents.

ToffeeCaramel Thu 22-Nov-12 12:46:31

Okey dokes

FateLovesTheFearless Thu 22-Nov-12 14:01:32

Thanks for the replies. The kids dad knows he can see them whenever he wants but we do have an arrangement as it. Was required when applying for divorce. The kids also love going to their fathers and do want to go.

He has now text to say he isn't feeling well and whilst I am annoyed he won't have them, I just don't have the energy for a fight hmm so never mind.

diddl Thu 22-Nov-12 14:06:04

If you have them when you´re unwell-why shouldn´t he??

ginnybag Thu 22-Nov-12 14:18:59

And 'him not feeling well now' has exactly what to do with it?

If the kids want to go, then they go. He's a parent, he needs to suck it up.

If you were 100% and he was not, then I'd maybe rearrange for the kids sake, but both parents are sick, so there no advantage for the children in staying where they are against going to override their wishes.

Can you only imagine the replies if this were posted in reverse and it was Mum refusing to have them?

ToffeeCaramel Thu 22-Nov-12 14:31:59

I agree ginnybag

StuntGirl Thu 22-Nov-12 14:44:56

Could he be swayed by being told how much the kids are looking forward to seeing him? I dunno, I had one of those feckless fairweather fathers too and he makes my blood boil. Be a parent or don't, but don't expect to get only the good times or you might find out one day you don't get anything!

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