To not go to ExDPs family do and also no let him take DS alone?

(41 Posts)
appleballoon Fri 19-Apr-13 19:35:53

Ex DP has a family do next month up in Scotland (we live in Cornwall, so quite a trek) to celebrate his gran's birthday. He mentioned this a while ago but has up until about a week ago not known what the exact date is. He wanted our DS who is 20 months old to go (with me) to this do.

However, I am a student and the date of this party is bang in the middle of extremely important end of year exams. I feel I need to focus and will be massively stressed around this time as it is without having to deal with traveling with a toddler and dealing with a load of ex's family members who I don't really know and who have never taken any interest in DS.

Basically I told ex today that I will not be able to go to this thing. He is massively angry, calling me a disgrace and selfish etc,.

As a back story he left me when I was pregnant and is generally an undermining, passive aggressive little shit who gives me a hard time constantly about the tidiness of my house, how I look after DS while being pretty feckless himself (for example leaving DS unattended in the bath a couple of weeks ago and not helping me)

I don't want to go to this stupid do. I don't feel I owe him or his family my attendance. I have important exams around that time. I don't want him to take DS on his own just because I feel he is too young to be away from me for such along time and also he doesnt really know his dad's family that well.


How long would he be away for?

TBH, I think YABU. I understand you feel very hurt by him leaving you but this is his son who should know his cousins and grandparents on that side if he can. If he knows his dad well, I think he'll be fine (though he will miss you) and, in fact, maybe it will give you time to concentrate wholly on your exams without having to do childcare.

I definitely don't think you should have to go but I think you should strongly consider leeting DS go.

badguider Fri 19-Apr-13 19:42:26

I understand you not wanting to go and also being worried about being away from your son given your ex's bath incident... but I also think that your son needs to know his father's side of the family and also his father should be able to take him away for a couple of days.
Do you think maybe your ex could be trusted to look after his son properly when he's got his mum and family around to help?

Pick one. Go or let his Dad take him. YABU otherwise. Unless Ex is actually abusive or neglectful (like the bath sounds) .

CatelynStark Fri 19-Apr-13 19:46:18

YANBU. Your exams are more important than the birthday of a family member, given the distance involved.

I wouldn't have let my ex take my kids away at 20 months either - he just wasn't responsible enough. You can't be worrying about the well being of your child when you're having to study.

Could a compromise be that you'll take your child up there after your exams have finished? If he's arsey about that, then I would tell him to bog off, personally.

digerd Fri 19-Apr-13 19:49:03

Cornwall to Scotland is long distance. How long would it take by car?

HollyBerryBush Fri 19-Apr-13 19:52:35

I don't want him to take DS on his own just because I feel he is too young to be away from me for such along time and also he doesnt really know his dad's family that well.

Is this about you? Or about your Ex? Regardless of whether he knows his extended family well or not, is his father capable of parenting him appropriately for the time?

You haven't said how often or for how long your ex has access, so with the lack of information, its difficult to have an opinion really. If Ex is used to having his son for a whole weekend rather than a 2 hour Saturday slot, that puts a whole different slant on it.

Your ex's family may not be your family but they are your childs family.

appleballoon Fri 19-Apr-13 19:58:04

digerd it would take about 10 hours.

There is a fundamental lack of trust that I have for ex to look after DS properly that's stopping me from letting him take him on his own. Like I said there was the bath incident and he generally has a bit of a blind eye when it comes to looking after him.

He sees DS for a couple of hours on a saturday or sunday 2 or 3 times a month.

The thought of DS being away from me and so far away makes my stomach turn.

FariesDoExist Fri 19-Apr-13 19:59:36

YANBU, I don't see why you should have to go, and it's too far for your little one. 20 months is still really young.

FariesDoExist Fri 19-Apr-13 20:00:58

Don't let him pressurise you

SirBoobAlot Fri 19-Apr-13 20:02:46


Your ex hasn't given you enough notice, you're busy studying to make life better for your DS, and he has proven himself to be incapable whilst looking after him. If he only has him for a few hours a month, there is no WAY I'd be trusting him for a few days.

No. You are absolutely not being unreasonable.

He can call you all the names under the sun he likes. Stay calm, maybe get DS to decorate a card and send a recent photo to the family / via exP, but no.

Rainbowinthesky Fri 19-Apr-13 20:05:27


LadyMaryQuiteContrary Fri 19-Apr-13 20:05:29

I'm with Fairies, 20 months is far too young. He'll be terrified as they are strangers, only connected through blood. His father sounds like an arsehole (aware that there may be more than what is written here) as your child's welfare should always come before everything else. Sounds to me as though he wants to show your child off, 'look at how wonderful my son is, I'm a fantastic father!' when you're the one raising him.

Jelly15 Fri 19-Apr-13 20:06:32

It will only add to your stress if you let DS go with his dad and you have enough on your plate with your exams. YADNBU.

manticlimactic Fri 19-Apr-13 20:30:00

How does he know how tidy or untidy your house is?

CloudsAndTrees Fri 19-Apr-13 20:35:18

If he was a good attentive parent that has regular contact with his child, then I'd say YABU. A 20 month old should be fine with his Dad for a couple of days.

But as he isn't an attentive parent that spends regular prolonged time with his child, then YANBU.

HollyBerryBush Fri 19-Apr-13 20:39:27

He'll be terrified as they are strangers, only connected through blood

I beg to differ, none of my children were terrified of meeting new people, if you bring them up to be gregarious they will be.

Also, blood means family. I don't like the idea of cutting off one half of a family because you are no longer with a partner. It's quite cruel to deprive a child of their heritage and background.

Branleuse Fri 19-Apr-13 20:39:38

i think you should let him go, so you can concentrate on your exams.

Itll be fine

DionFortune Fri 19-Apr-13 20:39:53


Bowlersarm Fri 19-Apr-13 20:46:06

Surely if your DS is the son of your ex partner he should be allowed to go? He's his father. Or am I missing something.

FreudiansSlipper Fri 19-Apr-13 20:51:33

if he does not make that much effort to see his son on a regular basis then yanbu

if de does and they have regular contact alone then yabu

some npr do not get that children do not fit into your life when it suits

a couple of hours a week is hardly parenting is it

"He sees DS for a couple of hours on a saturday or sunday 2 or 3 times a month."
And he wants to take him from Cornwall to Scotland, a ten hour trip, be there for presumably a couple of days, then ten hours back?
<wipes eyes>

No. Just - no. Fuck all the 'but he's your son's daaaaaddy' - is he fuck. He's no closer to your son than many of your not-that-close friends. So I really don't see your son having a good time here. And then there's you. You really don't need the distraction of worrying yourself sick as to whether or not your son has drowned in an unsupervised bath, Not during exam week.

You are not a disgrace. You are not selfish. He is a complete arse.

Wannabestepfordwife Fri 19-Apr-13 21:14:52

Yanbu seeing as he hasn't had your ds overnight then he can't expect to take him to the other side of the country.

If I didn't trust someone with my dc welfare there's no way they would be taking my child that far away that young

NomNomDePlum Fri 19-Apr-13 21:16:51

yanbu. it would be frightening for your son, and potentially unsafe given your ex's inability to even safely bathe him, and you would probably not be able to concentrate on your exams due to anxiety, which is not in your son's long term interest; he has his whole life to get to know his father's family, so don't allow yourself to be browbeaten into it.

joanofarchitrave Fri 19-Apr-13 21:21:03

Give your ex a date after the exams for a reasonable-length when you will go up with your ds and introduce him to the other half of his family, when he can also go, and get ds to make a card for the birthday. It's really not OK for them to remain strangers to him IMO. But YANBU for this trip.

YANBU- but I think you should offer to take him up another weekend to see his gran.

MajaBiene Fri 19-Apr-13 21:53:09

No way. It's too far, for too long, he doesn't know DS well enough and you don't trust that he'll be safe.

I was going to post a rant but WhereYouLeftIt summed it up perfectly.

During his contact time he can take your dc where ever he chooses. If he doesnt have time to do that he should be increasing contact.
Good luck with your exams!

Droflove Fri 19-Apr-13 22:47:39

YABU I think. I also believe that as his daddy he has full rights to bring the child himself. Totally understand you don't want to go. Unfortunately even if he doesn't exercise his right to spend time with his child, it is no less his child.

MajaBiene Fri 19-Apr-13 22:49:31

What a horrible attitude that parents have "rights" over their children however little responsibility they choose to take for them!

NomNomDePlum Fri 19-Apr-13 22:56:29

droflove, her ex doesn't have 'rights' as such, and it is not in the best interests of a small child to take them out of familiar surroundings and away from their primary carer on a punitively long journey with someone who does not know how to care for a small child properly. it may be unfortunate that the child's father has not previously established a sufficient bond (you can't do this with an afternoon less than once a week with a baby) or learned how to take proper care of him (and it may not be the father's fault, even) but it is still the case that this would be an incredibly stressful thing to do to a twenty month old and it wbu of the op to allow it.

DontSHOUTTTTTT Fri 19-Apr-13 23:06:20

How about letting your Ex have your DS for a few nights over the next couple of weeks. This would let him and your Ex to bond. It would help your Ex to understand what is involved with looking after your DS. it would give you time to revise and would also give you time to get used tony having your son around.

You can all see how it goes and decide what o do closer to the date. I really don't get the view that little kids need to be with their Mums more than be with their Dads.

sarahtigh Fri 19-Apr-13 23:08:06

the OP does give the impression she knew this was happenning for a while just the precise date so obviously knew when it was within a window of a couple of weeks ie it would be a weekend just before on or just after the birthday, so my assumption is she knew it would be in examine time

I also do not know whether father cotact is 2-3 times a month because that is all he can be bothered with or whether it is because OP is reluectant to allow more contact and tries to avoid it

however I do understand her nervousness about trip away

also he needs to get to know the ex's family they may well be lovely people, your DS has a right to get to know them, how will he ever get to know them if he can't visit because he does not know them well; a bit of a catch 22,

booked early enough in advance it is quite possible to fly to inverness from bristol southhampton etc so that maybe qucker and easier for your son

deleted203 Fri 19-Apr-13 23:09:07

YADDNBU. He's a twat. Why the fuck should you go buggering off to Scotland in the middle of your exams because some twat who left you when you were pregnant decides you ought to?

And even if he weren't a tosser who left a 20 month old in the bath alone I wouldn't let him take my DS. It is too far and he is too little, doesn't see enough of his father to feel secure with him, and doesn't need to be hauled off to strangers 100s of miles away from his mother just so Ex can pretend to be a 'great dad'.

Those posters saying 'after your exams you should go up to Scotland so that DS can meet the other half of his family'...Why the fuck should you? He's your ex. You don't owe him anything. And if the Scottish relatives are that desperate to meet their grandson/nephew then why don't they make plans for a summer holiday in Cornwall? They could visit the baby then - rather than demanding that you (on your student budget) make the trip up there.

Ex is a complete prick, IMO. Tell him you owe him fuck all - and he's got a fucking nerve to expect you to do him any favours whatsoever. The only way I'd be going (after exams) is if he was paying for my first class fare, hotel bill, food, etc. Otherwise Mohammed can come to the bloody mountain...

seriouscakeeater Fri 19-Apr-13 23:14:27


quoteunquote Fri 19-Apr-13 23:19:04

Suggest he takes a plane, Exeter to Edinburgh/Glasgow he can go up one day and back the next.

ChasedByBees Fri 19-Apr-13 23:25:48

I'm in the YANBU camp. This doesn't sound in your sons beat interests. How is he going to manage a 10 hour journey with a toddler?!

MagicHouse Fri 19-Apr-13 23:30:38

YANBU - there's no way you should be expected to go to an ex's family celebration in the middle of your exams - that's just ridiculous. As for your DS going alone - I think it's too far and too long and quite overwhelming for a first overnight contact. (And also not appropriate if he thinks leaving a 20 month old unsupervised in the bath is ok) Your ex should have thought about this ages in advance, built up to overnight stays and started showing much more responsibility, if it meant so much to him. Stick to your guns.

quesadilla Sat 20-Apr-13 09:00:52

YANBU. Your exams are more important than this particular event. I think longer term though you are going to have to figure out whether you are comfortable with leaving your DS with your ex. If you have serious concerns about his ability to look after your son you need to sit him down when things are calmer and say to him that you want him to have a relationship with his son but he has to step up a bit and show he is up to it. I think on a longer term basis your ex is reasonable in wanting his DS to get to know his family but he shouldn't be trying to bounce you into doing things you aren't comfortable with and bullying you when you don't fall into line.

sowornout makes a good point - why does your ex want to take DS to Scotland for this family party? OP has already said that his family "have never taken any interest in DS." Cornwall is a nice place to visit for a holiday, so why in 20 months have they not done so? Probably can't be bothered with the ten hour journey ex wants to subject a small child to. So if they're not gagging to see DS, it can only be as sowornout suggests - "just so Ex can pretend to be a 'great dad'."

Really, really, not a good enough reason. At all. DS is not a trophy to be paraded to a bunch of strangers. And since they haven't visited Cornwall, it's been their choice to be strangers.

CecilyP Sat 20-Apr-13 11:38:33

Everyone seems to be thinking that this will be an opportunity for DS to meet his dad's family, but I took it to be that the ex's gran was the party-girl, so ex's mum and cousins etc may, in fact, be nearer anyway. Perhaps OP could clarify.

However, YANBU, your 20 month-old will get very little by attending this party of what will be that of his great grandmother. This sounds like it has been recently arranged and somewhat a whim for your ex to take DS. By all means take your DS to meet the other half of his family at a time convenient to you at a later date. However maintaining a relationship with them will need effort on both sides.

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