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.

mummytime Mon 06-May-13 16:35:48

I would push the point. If you have regular access and your daughter knows you well.
If it went to court you would get permission, unless there are circumstances you haven't said.

Cailinsalach Mon 06-May-13 16:35:53

I dont know the legal position but I think you have every moral right to take your child to this wedding.

Have you ever given your ex any reason to be concerned regarding your child? Who is the primary care giver?

RainbowsFriend Mon 06-May-13 16:36:22

You are probably not being unreasonable. but I must say I would be very uncomfortable about my 22 month old daughter being out of the country away from me - even for one night. I'd probably let her go though if I was confident her father could comfort her ok and not drink while in charge of her etc...

However, you are talking about next year - things might change and it's a long way off.

Sirzy Mon 06-May-13 16:39:14

I wouldn't like the idea BUT you are both parents so she can't stop you taking her on holiday (unless of course there are genuine concerns about your ability to care)

DorisIsWaiting Mon 06-May-13 16:40:19

How much of a relatiuonship do you have with her (DD) at the moment?

cocolepew Mon 06-May-13 16:40:37

If you DD is used to seeing you I don't see a problem.

DaddyAndDaughterTime Mon 06-May-13 16:40:40

I haven't given her any reason to be concerned, though she does worry a lot in general, and daughter has separation anxiety at the moment so I still see her with mum there during access. But she has said herself that it's just a phase and she knows she will be fine alone soon.
Rainbows, would your daughter be ok going with her dad for a day or 2 at that age?

Bloody ridiculous, I bet she wouldn't ask your permission if she wanted to take daughter out if the country for the night.

As long as you have a good, loving, close relationship with your daughter your xps double standards stink.

DaddyAndDaughterTime Mon 06-May-13 16:42:19

Doris, I see her twice a week, she is happy and confident with me, and smiles and reaches out when she see's me, but panics if mum leaves the room. She does this when mum is alone as well though apparently.

DoctorRobert Mon 06-May-13 16:43:01

I wouldn't want my 25 month old being taken abroad without me.

DaddyAndDaughterTime Mon 06-May-13 16:43:09

((But mum has said she doesn't expect the separation anxiety to last longer than a month or 2, so thats not the reason she has said no))

DaddyAndDaughterTime Mon 06-May-13 16:44:30

Doctor, would you not like it if it was the other parent either?
Just out of curiosity, what would your issues with abroad be? Would it be more of an issue being 2 hours away in france, than say 2 hours away in the UK?

whatamardarse Mon 06-May-13 16:46:25

I was about to say YANBU but actually the length of time she would be away , would just be like spending the weekend at yours.

Nearly two is still very young though and probably would have a issue about leaving country. Could your ex not come too maybe with a friend and turn it in to a small get away, then u could relax with dd and spend a few days with your family spending time with her?

5318008 Mon 06-May-13 16:46:37

I think you would need to start seeing your DD without her Mum first, a separation of so long without first building up could be really hard for DD

2rebecca Mon 06-May-13 16:47:30

I think that she is being unreasonable provided that you are used to having your daughter for prolonged periods. I think once a child is no longer breast feeding then there is no reason they can't spend prolonged periods with the father and if you'd have her for a few days in the UK I don't see why a few days abroad is any different. If you're flying then surely it would be less traumatic for your daughter to have a few days at the wedding location. I don't see how wizzing there and back benefits anyone.
My ex and I have generally agreed to each other taking the kids abroad seeing it as fun for the kids.
If she disagrees you will need to take it to court though. Have you only recently separated and is she not used to being regularly separated from her daughter yet?
If it's early days I'd just go alone rather than risk wrecking the relationship with your ex. You have to play a long term game with access. If she repeatedly blocks you doing stuff then court can be better than not seeing your daughter.

jacks365 Mon 06-May-13 16:49:08

You are not currently taking sole care of your daughter all you are doing is playing with her. Do you do any actual caring ie feeding or nappy changing. How long do you spend with your daughter. From the little you have said my answer would right now be no and no way would i want to commit myself till right before the wedding, too many variables at that age.

2rebecca Mon 06-May-13 16:49:20

I've just seen that you haven't spent any time alone with your daughter yet. In that case her anxiety is understandable. At 2 your daughter won't remember the wedding anyway.

DukeSilver Mon 06-May-13 16:51:06

As I single mum I wound say you should be able to take her.

Although obviously I would worry about my dd being out the country for a few days and I would miss her there is no way I would feel that I had the right to tell her dad he couldn't take her.

mrsjay Mon 06-May-13 16:51:19

of course she should go , you have custody as well don't you ? I think a 2 year old could cope fine with dad and other members of the family ,

TidyDancer Mon 06-May-13 16:52:15

Just a thought, but is this actually an issue with your mother? You said your mum doesn't get on with your ex, perhaps your ex doesn't have a problem with DD being out of the country with you, but with your mother?

Depending on why they don't get on, I think I may question it in your ex's position.

If having your DD there is really important to you and your ex still won't budge, could your ex go to France with you, but just not attend the wedding?

RainbowsFriend Mon 06-May-13 16:52:40

To answer your query - I'm really not sure. Although I live with her father (DP) and he tries to be hands on, DD is still at the separation anxiety stage and when he has her for more than about 4 hours she starts crying for me. (Despite being fine at the childminders for 6 hours when I'm at work!)

I'm not sure he could cope with her overnight - although I am planning my first evening out since she was born soon - leaving her with DP to put to bed etc for the first time.

I think it needs to be built up to - if your daughter is fine with you overnight, then surely there is no issue? But it really depends on how you an your daughter build up to it!

DaddyAndDaughterTime Mon 06-May-13 16:53:57

531, the wedding isn't until next March so I would be aiming to have her for full days by then.
What - suggesting she stays nearby could be a last resort, but I'm not sure she would be prepared to, she is always saying how tight money is, and has handed in her notice at work to be a SAHM until she is 3 so that won't be improving.

TidyDancer Mon 06-May-13 16:54:14

Oh yes, I just saw that you haven't been alone with her.

In that case, I would be saying no as well at the moment, but that you could reassess nearer the time if progress has been made.

Not a chance I would let a child go with someone who hasn't cared for them alone, so this is what you need to work on.

Sirzy Mon 06-May-13 16:54:20

Would she travel to France with you then and you just take your daughter to the wedding?

TidyDancer Mon 06-May-13 16:55:11

I think you should probably meet at least half the cost, if not more, of her going to France if that's what turns out.

DoctorRobert Mon 06-May-13 16:56:55

yes op definitely more of an issue 2 hours away in France than in the UK. it's a foreign country, possible language barrier if there was a medical emergency or whatever. harder for me to get to France if suddenly needed. I wouldn't want my husband taking dd abroad without me.

TidyDancer Mon 06-May-13 16:57:35

You need to have done a few overnights by then, not just care alone.

Wishiwasanheiress Mon 06-May-13 16:58:26

I would be uncomfortable yes. I'd probably like to refuse. That said, I'd also probs like a Med holiday and am wondering if I'd bother asking dad if he minded.... Do I really count more....? Interesting conundrum....

On that basis I'm going to go with u, not bu. I'm assuming ur perfect though of course too. No daft in history. smile

DaddyAndDaughterTime Mon 06-May-13 16:59:03

Jacks, I do all nappy changing, feeding, baths, settling for bed during late visits so on, just with mum there to keep her from panicking.
Tidy, I think she would be more relaxed about it if it wasn't to see family.

mrsjay Mon 06-May-13 16:59:07

ou need to have done a few overnights by then, not just care alone.

^ ^ this you have to do some care of her alone before her mum is content that you can manage

AThingInYourLife Mon 06-May-13 16:59:20

I think your daughter should not miss out on this important family occasion because her mother doesn't want her to go.

There is no good reason why a toddler shouldn't go on holiday with her father.

I agree with 5318008.
You should be having access to your daughter without supervision from your xp, unless there's good reason why she has to be there? Drink? Drugs? Violence?

I think the issue is psychological, the distance is irrelevant, its another country, I think that's the problem.

mrsjay Mon 06-May-13 17:00:05

I wouldn't want my husband taking dd abroad without me.

why not ?

Squitten Mon 06-May-13 17:04:34

Obviously your daughter is not yet ready to cope without her mother if she won't even let her leave the room! However, the wedding is a long time away and she should be well over that by then. My DS2 was a total clingy nightmare around the one year mark so I sympathise!

Perhaps, rather than going in all guns blazing right now, it might be more helpful to work on getting your daughter more comfortable without her Mum so that you are able to look after her independantly. I think once you are taking her overnight or for the weekend, any objections are nonsense.

Fleecyslippers Mon 06-May-13 17:05:49

Your ex doesn't feel comfortable enough to leave you with sole care of your daughter for even a short time ? Why is that ? Before your child was old enough to experience anxiety of any type, how much time have you spent caring for her by yourself ?

DaddyAndDaughterTime Mon 06-May-13 17:06:46

Pattie, I would rather try having her alone now, but she has said we need to wait until she is happy with her out of the room, and doesn't expect this to be long (From other toddlers I know, it doesn't seem to last much past 1?)
I think court at this point would be making a bit of a mountain out of a molehill, though I have looked into the process in case it does become necessary.

jacks365 Mon 06-May-13 17:09:25

Can i ask how long you spend with your daughter on these visits?

DaddyAndDaughterTime Mon 06-May-13 17:09:59

Fleecy, I haven't had her alone in the earlier stages as she has always been a very clingy baby, and so when she cried my ex would breastfeed her to calm her down. But there have never been any issues, and we get on reasonably well considering.

DaddyAndDaughterTime Mon 06-May-13 17:10:48

Jacks, usually about 3-4 hours a visit at the moment

piratecat Mon 06-May-13 17:12:05

should have said its next march in your first post. then in that case there is enough time to build a hands on relationship with her. i had to let my three year old go for a week away.
i hated every second of it secretly but she was fine.

Lastofthepodpeople Mon 06-May-13 17:13:15

I think it would be fine. My DS flew to South Africa for a week with my DH when he was 18mo to see family and left me behind. He was fine.

I think the issue is more between you and your ex TBH and the sort of relationship you have.

DaddyAndDaughterTime Mon 06-May-13 17:13:17

Oh I thought next year would be taken to mean 2014.
Who was your three year old with?

jacks365 Mon 06-May-13 17:13:45

You need to seriously up that. 6-8 hours a week is not enough for your daughter to really get to know you and feel happy with you

miffybun73 Mon 06-May-13 17:14:31

YANBU if your daughter is used to seeing you overnight alone. Good luck smile

DoctorRobert Mon 06-May-13 17:16:17

mrsjay - because she's only just turned 2 and I would worry too much about it.

edwardsmum11 Mon 06-May-13 17:17:40

Yanbu as you are her father.

SirChenjin Mon 06-May-13 17:18:42

Unless there is a very good reason why you are not allowed to be alone with her I would suggest that you ask for the time you have with your DD to be increased significantly, working towards having her on her own and then over to France.

I was/am a real worrier so can imagine how your ex feels, but just taking it slowly and building up the time you have with your DD might help.

Bobyan Mon 06-May-13 17:20:55

Would I let someone who sees my daughter 6 hours a week take her abroad overnight on their own?
No way.

You need to start seeing her much more regularly and/or for longer periods of time.

Cravingdairy Mon 06-May-13 17:21:38

Mine can be very hard work during big family events so be prepared to miss most of the action if you end up taking yours! By March your ex might be begging you take her away for a week! Seriously it's a long way off, best to keep options open.

mrsjay Mon 06-May-13 17:23:19

mrsjay - because she's only just turned 2 and I would worry too much about it.

It is natural to worry but surely her dad could cope they would be fine on the hypothetical trip honestly smile

Twattybollocks Mon 06-May-13 17:28:07

I wouldn't have a problem with it. Of course I would worry, that's my job, but as long as your dd is comfortable with you and you are competent to care for her then it should be fine. Why not suggest getting her used to being with you for longer periods gradually, working up to a couple of overnight stays (once she is over the separation anxiety obviously) that may help your ex to be more comfortable with it and allow her to go.

BackforGood Mon 06-May-13 17:30:00

Of course she will be fine to go, and your ex is being unreasonable. As you say, this is your dd's extended family, of which she is a very important member. Only thing I'd suggest is starting to have her on your own for weekends some considerable time before the wedding. smile

MrsMook Mon 06-May-13 17:30:38

It's different that we are married so no relationship issue, but my husband has had several weekends looking after our DS (age 2) by himself. Last time it involved a 3-4hr trip to Newcastle for a friend's Christening. My only concern was the distraction factor of a bored toddler on the motorway, same as it would have been for me doing a long journey on my own. He's just as capable of looking after a toddler as me.

As long as your DD has had the chance to build up time with you beforehand, then it's not unreasonable to take her to a family wedding.

Trigglesx Mon 06-May-13 17:30:59

Obviously a lot depends on whether or not you've given us all the information regarding supervised visitation.

But if she is not comfortable with it, perhaps you can pay for her to go along, and she can just not go to the wedding (maybe relax at the hotel for a bit which means she is nearby if needed). Otherwise, there's always that possibility that both she and your mother can be adults and learn to get along during the wedding. Surely they could put their differences aside for a few hours in the interest of the child?

CloudsAndTrees Mon 06-May-13 17:31:13

At this stage, you are expecting too much for your ex to be comfortable with it. You haven't even had your dd for a night alone yet, and you are talking about taking her out of the country.

I leave my dc with their father while I go away for weekends every year, and have done so since the youngest was three. He has taken them abroad without me since the youngest was eight, so I'm not someone that is generally precious about these things.

But you are asking too much. You need to wait until you have had a few nights alone with your dd before your ex can reasonably consider this, and even then I'd understand her not being comfortable with it.

You could offer to pay for your ex and a friend to go to France with you, they can entertain themselves while you are at the wedding, and then she can take her dd home while you stay out there for a few days. If she says no to that, then she's being unreasonable.

the mother/child maybe needs to work up to it. leave her for longer each time.

MrsDeVere Mon 06-May-13 17:32:48

It might be that your ex can't see past this stage even though she says she knows the separation anxiety is a phase.

Perhaps she is imagining your DD as she is now going away with you?

I don't think you are being unreasonable to want to take your DD to a family wedding. It will be hard for your ex to let go but she really should.

It would be good if you could do more overnights and unsupervised contact before then though.

Good luck

quietbatperson Mon 06-May-13 17:34:38

How about all 3 of you travel together (provided you are friendly enough with your ex for this to happen) and then you just take your daughter off to the wedding as planned?

loofet Mon 06-May-13 17:35:09

I think if you spend more time with her throughout the week and gradually try to take her overnight or at least for the whole day without mum there then it should be fine. However if you continue to just see her for 6 hours a week I wouldn't be comfortable with it either.

Tbh I wouldn't be comfortable even with my three yo leaving the country without me. Its the fact of it being abroad, if anything (God forbid) were to happen its a PLANE journey away! And there's a possible language barrier also. It's quite risky imo but then I am a worrier. I'd feel different about him going somewhere in the UK so its purely psychological. I can totally sympathise with your ex for that.

But I think she could grin and bear it IF you were to take DD more in the run up to the wedding and she's 100% comfortable with you.

piratecat Mon 06-May-13 17:36:13

sorry op i misread.

she was with her dad and family she barely knew. then contact with her dad dwindled at about age four. she went on one more trip but after that at five refused to go. so keep up regular good contact. my dd suffered and ex years later is starting to regret what he did.

Anthracite Mon 06-May-13 17:37:05

Can ex come with DD and stay in an IBIS/Campanile?

crashdoll Mon 06-May-13 17:37:56

"the mother/child maybe needs to work up to it."

No, the child needs to work up with it. The mother's feelings are not really the issue here. If the OP has reasonably demonstrated that he can establish a good relationship with the child and most importantly, the child is feeling secure, then there is no reason to not allow this to go ahead.

ChocsAwayInMyGob Mon 06-May-13 17:40:54

The mother needs to let you have the child alone for short periods, building up to longer periods. There is no reason why you can't do this if your DD is no longer breastfeeding. I think the mother needs to let go and let her daughter know her father.

You should definitely be able to take your DD to her Grandma's wedding!

Fluffypinkcoat Mon 06-May-13 17:44:14

I wouldn't be happy with this scenario if I was the girls mum. I'd be concerned about how dd would cope with being away from me, how she would cope meeting a lot of new people all at once (who would presumably pass her around like a parcel since they don't see her often), whether she would end up being looked after by strangers (strangers to her while still your family) while you have a few drinks and the fact that I wouldn't know who she was with or where while so far away.

I honestly think this whole thing is more about your mum and what she wants than anything. Your dd won't remember the wedding or the people she meets for one day so its not about what she will get out of the day or the benefits for her of going.

vj32 Mon 06-May-13 17:45:10

Do you speak any French? Could you afford to fly out your ex in an emergency?

I think if you build up to it you should be able to take her but I would want to know that you are prepared in case of an emergency.

MortifiedAdams Mon 06-May-13 17:46:51

Lets bear in mind that it appears the mother isnt letting OP have the LO alone yet - and insists on accompanying them during the access. This needs to stop. Your ex is not helping her dd by doing this.

Maybe start with asking when you can have the dd alone and work from there?

LiegeAndLief Mon 06-May-13 17:47:56

I would be very unhappy with anyone, dad or not, who had only looked after a child of that age for 4 hrs max taking them away overnight. To anywhere. But next year is a long way off.

I think it's impossible for your ex to know how things will be next year and that's why she won't say yes now. If by the time of th wedding you're used to having your dd overnight and she is happy then maybe your ex will feel much more comfortable about it.

HollyBerryBush Mon 06-May-13 17:51:43

Next year is a long time away.

Things may have changed significantly by then.

There are periodic threads on MN with mums having an episode because the Ex wants to take the child/ren on a holiday, often that she cant afford and it always smacks of possession rather then concern or jealousy but more often than not I pick up the vibe that the mother is worried she will cease to be the important person in a childs life. All terribly selfish and self serving. There is also often an undercurrent that real family is the mothers family, not the ILs.

I don't think it appropriate to use a child as a tool, either wittingly or unwittingly, nor isolate the child from it's extended paternal family.

OP, do you have PR? You really shouldn't be asking you should be informing.

FWIW re the time limits, you can be in Calais in 35 mins, it took me 2 hours to go 4 miles home from work last week, due to road works. So I fail to see exactly what great significance a foreign country is.

Booyhoo Mon 06-May-13 17:55:31

You have 10 months to build up contact before march. Ideally by that point you want your dd to be confident and happy to spend 2/3 days with you at a time away from her mum so probably eow contact and 1/2 nights each midweek. As a starting point id change the current arrangement so that the 3/4 hours involves you taking dd out if her mums house by yourself, going ti the park or softplay etc. not necessarily for the full 3/4 hours to start off but building up to dd actuAlly being with you alone for the full time at yours.

AThingInYourLife Mon 06-May-13 17:56:32

"Your dd won't remember the wedding or the people she meets for one day so its not about what she will get out of the day or the benefits for her of going."


Nearly 2 year olds can enjoy things.

They can also remember stuff.

But even if they don't remember, that's hardly a reason for not doing stuff with them that they will enjoy.

b4bunnies Mon 06-May-13 17:56:51

how ridiculous! why would you think you should take a child out of the country without her mother? your daughter is not your possession, she is a person. why would she want to be separated from the person with primary responsibility for her care?

as usual, the 'right on' mn crowd are claiming you have 'equal rights'. rubbish. she's a baby, less than two, and for your own satisfaction you want to take her away from her mother.

Booyhoo Mon 06-May-13 17:57:50

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

Scruffey Mon 06-May-13 17:59:24

Yanbu to want to take your dd to the wedding. However...

Personally, I left my ds with my DM overnight one single time to go into hospital to have my dd. I will add that we were living with my DM at the time so everything was totally familiar, including my DM who ds adores. my ds was 24 months and clawed at the front door in the middle of the night screaming for me. With this in mind, I would feel sick at the thought of a nearly 2yo going abroad without me. In fact, I have never left mine overnight since and they are 7 and 5 years old now.

I would have thought a good solution would be for the mum to come to France with the child but obv the mum wouldn't come to the wedding as not welcome.

exoticfruits Mon 06-May-13 18:09:09

I would push the point- it seems much more about your ex than your DD.

HerrenaHarridan Mon 06-May-13 18:11:58

If the dd was already doing overnights with you then I would say that you inform ex not ask her.

If she isn't doing overnights then I think you need to find another solution. Could ex fly out but not attend wedding? Is it a short flight, could you do there and back same day? Could you encourage ex to take a holiday that coincides with wedding, ie you both book same hotel, different rooms and share dd.

Personally I am not yet comfortable for dd 15mo to spend the night away from me, never mind in another country.

Also depends which country, and how difficult it would be for her to retrieve dd should you decide to abscond with her ( not saying you will but some do and this would terrify me)

ChocsAwayInMyGob Mon 06-May-13 18:12:10

I think the DD will stay clingy if the mother never lets her go anywhere with even her own father who is also her own parent.

It's a short wedding, not a long holiday. The father's family is as much her family as her mother's family.

This talk of her "being passed round like a parcel among people she hardly knows". Rubbish! Is that any reason to make sure she never sees them at all? It's more likely to be a case of meeting her relatives who love her.

The baby has a right to know her father and her father's family. I don't see that he is doing anything wrong in wanting to take his daughter to a short family event.

The only problem is that the mother is clearly refusing to let him see the baby alone, and needs to let him do this so he can build his relationship with her.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TidyDancer Mon 06-May-13 18:33:42

I've jut scanned through the thread again, and realised its unclear how old your DD is now. Can you confirm her exact age?

TidyDancer Mon 06-May-13 18:33:56

jut just

ChangeNameToday Mon 06-May-13 18:39:05

I can see your side of it but...I know that at that age I would not have let my child out of my sight for an afternoon so an overnight would certainly be out of the question. That's me though, I'm probably ott and not representative of the many.

I would also be really uncomfortable with my child being taken to an occasion where, presumably, people don't have a good word to say about me and don't want me there.

I know you mean well, but, personally, I'd say no too.

ChocsAwayInMyGob Mon 06-May-13 18:42:21

I would also be really uncomfortable with my child being taken to an occasion where, presumably, people don't have a good word to say about me and don't want me there.

You can't micromanage that.

I can't bear my ex SIL but see loads of my nephew and would never badmouth her in front of him.

You can't control your DD only seeing people who like you.

maddening Mon 06-May-13 18:46:54

what about mum coming and staying with dd in an apartment nearby then dd can have a relaxing time with you at the wedding and mum can spend the day relaxing and sunbathing and you might get more days with you and family as mum is nearby and happy?

MortifiedAdams Mon 06-May-13 18:50:29

Scruffy it is my opinion that the reason your 2yo was so dostressed at being left is because you had never left him. Making them so so dependent and reliant on one singular person does them no favours.

ChocsAwayInMyGob Mon 06-May-13 18:51:25

I think if the mum always has to go where the baby goes, then the baby will never be able to go anywhere without her.

She should be able to allow the baby's father to have her alone.

ImAlpharius Mon 06-May-13 18:54:11

OP you say you think your ex would be happier if this didn't involve your family. Is there a big history? How often does your DM see your DD?

DaddyAndDaughterTime Mon 06-May-13 18:55:38

She is 11 months, will be one later this month. Thank you for all your replies. I have been trying to up the time gradually, but it is tricky finding a balance between having enough time/a situation in which to get to know her well, and her getting upset and more clingy.
With regards to the longer visits and alone visits being suggested, would you suggest insisting on doing part of the visits alone now and building up that way? Or should I wait for daughter to be completely happy with being away from mum/how long would you guess that would take?
She has also mentioned that daughter will end up resenting both of us if she's assosiated me with taking her away, and her with not being there when she cries. Would she actually think like that, or would she get used to being away after a bit and be ok?

I think I might suggest the staying in a hotel idea nearby to mums to her. I guess that will make it clearer whether it's an issue with the wedding/family or distance too.

acceptableinthe80s Mon 06-May-13 18:56:54

Fgs, now some of you are claiming the mother is selfish! We're talking about a baby here, not even 1 yr old yet by the sounds of it. None of us know the background here so please reserve judgement.
The fact is for whatever reason the father has never had sole responsibility for this baby and until he builds up to that i'm not surprised the mother isn't keen.

OP i think you've made the mistake of mentioning this too early to your ex, might have been an idea to wait until you were having your dd alone regularly before mentioning taking her abroad.
Right now your ex probably can't imagine your dd being ok without her around (you mentioned she panics if the mother leaves the room). Children gradually become more independent but it's impossible to imagine that when your child is still a baby and very much dependent on you.

I would leave it at the moment, work on your relationship with dd and show your ex you are capable then broach the subject again nearer the time.

crashdoll Mon 06-May-13 18:57:52

"why would you think you should take a child out of the country without her mother? your daughter is not your possession, she is a person. why would she want to be separated from the person with primary responsibility for her care?"

Posts like this give MN a bad name, fortunately most members are able to offered a more balanced view.

Tau Mon 06-May-13 18:58:46

If that wedding is not until March there is no point arguing about it now. That will only cause annoyances and it's way too early to make that decision.

With a child so young, you are both still adapting to the situation, and things will be completely different by the time this wedding takes place. Neither you not your ex can be sure how you will feel by then, what your daughter will be like, or what your relationship will be like.
Up until then, all you have to do is be a good Dad, and if you succeed in that there is a good chance that your ex will be fine with it - don't start making a fuss and upsetting your ex so long before there is a need to even think about it.

ChocsAwayInMyGob Mon 06-May-13 19:00:15

Or should I wait for daughter to be completely happy with being away from mum/how long would you guess that would take?

If you wait for that, you'll wait for years. I think your ex is digging her heels in too much. If she always has to be where her daughter is, then you'll all be stuck with her calling the shots forever.

If she has issues with your family, she could using the clingy issue to stop her DD going.

I found it hard to hand my baby over to anyone. But you are her father and she has a right to a relationship with you. This cannot happen if it is in controlled slots of 3 or 4 hours with the mother breathing down your neck and calling the shots.

TidyDancer Mon 06-May-13 19:01:55

I don't think you should insist on lone visits yet, I think you need to massively up the time first because you really on balance don't spend very much time with DD at all at the moment. When she's more comfortable with you, short periods alone, then longer and then all being well that could be overnight.

But as things stand, I think your ex is absolutely right to say no. Four hours is far different to 48+.

I think it's good you're asking for opinions rather than steaming in and demanding, that would help nobody.

DaddyAndDaughterTime Mon 06-May-13 19:03:35

My mum has seen daughter twice, as she lives in france so doesn't come back often. Saw her as a newborn and in december.
My sister will also be there though, and she see's her about once a month or so, has seen her with just ex there a few times and they've always seemed to get on reasonably well.

ChangeNameToday Mon 06-May-13 19:04:35

Ah, she's 11 months? Gosh, that's tiny. When DS was 11 months I would have had a panic attack if anyone (including his excellent father - my husband) had suggested taking him overnight without me. I was twitchy if the grandparents took him to the swings!

greenformica Mon 06-May-13 19:05:50

maybe your ex could stay in a hotel close but you can have the day with her at the wedding?

ChocsAwayInMyGob Mon 06-May-13 19:05:56

Start by leaving the house with your DD and going to the park and back. She might cry when she leaves her mother but you will be bringing her back a short while later. This way she can be used to having you in her life, and can be reassured that she is back with her Mum shortly afterwards.

It sounds like you are not allowed out of your ex's sight yet. A few jaunts to the shops or park alone will help to build this up a bit. It need only be 15 or 20 mins for a pint of milk or something to start off with.

acceptableinthe80s Mon 06-May-13 19:06:00

Just seen your last post OP. Why not start taking your dd out to the park/for a walk for half an hour? She might cry to start with which will be upsetting for everyone but she'll more than likely than settle once out and about. Babies/toddlers react well to distraction techniques so when mum leaves the room try to distract her, take her over to the window and point things out, anything to distract her from the fact her mum's not there. Once you get to know her better, you'll get a better idea of her likes/dislikes, tiredness cues etc..

Booyhoo Mon 06-May-13 19:06:36

op i would start the 'without' mum visits now.

for example start the visit at mum's but get DD into the buggy and make a big deal about going to see feed the ducks, distraction is really helpful and it would be great if mum could disappear into the kitchen and let you slip out with dd, or maybe you all go to teh ducks together and mum slips away and you agree to be back with DD in 20 minutes (or less if she gets distressed/bored with ducks)

i think at age 1 your dd will adapt very quickly to spending alone time with you and she wont notice gradual increases in time away from mum.

Booyhoo Mon 06-May-13 19:07:41

oops. xposting witha few people.

DaddyAndDaughterTime Mon 06-May-13 19:13:05

Tidy what sort of time do you think I should aim to up it to now? Do you think trying to do the park suggestion chocs and acceptable mentioned would be something to do now?

fluffyraggies Mon 06-May-13 19:13:26

The baby is 11 months old now. Is she breast feeding?

How is the mother supposed to be leaving the child alone with it's father for extended periods of time in this case? I hardly think this is 'digging her heels in'.

OP i think honestly you are asking the right questions - how and how long to build up trust etc., but bare in mind that the baby is so very young right now that it is going to be hard for the mother to envisage being separated from her by such a distance.

The child may well take a long time to adjust to time with you alone. I would definately keep in mind letting the mother come to France too. For your DDs sake.

You and your family are looking forward to the time when baby is happy to be with you alone. The mum however is full time carer of a tiny baby and is having to think about letting go when all her instincts are screaming to cling on.

Molehillmountain Mon 06-May-13 19:15:09

I think that you've got some work to do before taking your dd to a wedding involving an overnight stay would be appropriate. The thing that would be different about being abroad is that your ex wouldn't be immediately on hand if needed. That would be fine of your dd is used to overnights with you and you should be able to build up to that in the time you've got. But to take her without getting her used to bring away from mum would be unfair to your dd.

5madthings Mon 06-May-13 19:15:59

I think you need to build up contact, take her to the park etc.

Is she still bfeeding?

Its not unreasonable providing you build up contact, have overnights etc.

Three of mine were still bfeeding at two years, tho did manage the odd overnight/24hrs away from me once they were about two.

Not leaving them.doesnt make them.clingy btw, building up secure attachments and learning to be secure when left with another person ie dad/grandparents etc happens gradually. Obviously in a family witj mum and dad present and both main carers it shouldnt be an issue as long as dad has been hands on, bfeeding can make it trickier. Mine were all fine with dp providing they didnt need to be bfed.

jacks365 Mon 06-May-13 19:16:03

Do you have parental responsibility for your daughter?

You need to up the visits and start taking your daughter out on your own, just a walk to the park or where ever but out of the house and away from mum. My 18 month old cries if she sees me leaving the house but will happily leave it herself with her big sister, location is important to how she behaves.

Though the distance may not be far there are issues involved when you take a child abroad as opposed to the other end of the country which is why legally you need written permission to take her even if it was a day trip.

The fact mum won't let you have any lone time does make me wonder if there are issues you are not saying, i encouraged my dd's father to have one on one time from the word go i felt it was important for our daughter.

MoominsYonisAreScary Mon 06-May-13 19:16:08

Take her out in the pushchair for a walk, she could be perfectly fine out and about with you.

Does she not leave her with alone in the room with anyone? I can't see that being healthy. Sometimes little ones cry, mine sometimes cry when I leave the room, sometimes when their dad does. It doesn't last long and I can't be in the room with them at all times and their dad needs to work.

Maybe up the hours you are visiting then suggest going out for a walk.

Viviennemary Mon 06-May-13 19:16:11

You are the child's father and should have every right to take her to a family wedding if you wish to do so. Just don't take no for an answer and take to court if necessary.

DaddyAndDaughterTime Mon 06-May-13 19:18:02

With the distraction thing too, I'm not sure if its because mum's still in the room, or because of daughters personality/age or just what I'm doing, but she doesn't seem to get distracted once she's upset, she seems to very much know what she wants and scream until I hand her to mum/she gets the toy she's crying for so on depending on what started the crying.
Is there some sort of distraction technique I'm missing, or is she just very stubborn?
Sorry this is really going off topic here

Molehillmountain Mon 06-May-13 19:18:48

Fwiw, I still wouldn't want to have my nearly two year old dd away from me overnight, but in your ex's situation she really has to work towards that. I didn't want to go back to work when my first dd was eight months old, but I knew it was coming and spent time getting dd used to it, however much I didn't like the idea. I did do it gradually though, over a period of four months and by the time I went back, dd was fine to be left. Yours will too if both you and your ex p can work together on it.

Justaperfectday Mon 06-May-13 19:19:34

She should be fine as long as you have plenty of access alone with her beforehand.

Well that's the kind of thing you learn from hours and hours at the coal face! And what works one say might not work the next... How well do you and your ex get on? Could you start spending more time in her house at weekends etc so you get to see your dd's daily routine etc? Picking up on tired/hungry/bored cues etc is a big part of it.

Fleecyslippers Mon 06-May-13 19:22:06

Your mother has seen her twice in 11 months. I really, really, really do get why your Ex is not keen on the whole idea.
That said, if you have the opportunity to build up contact sooner rather than later without any distress to the baby and without stressing her mum out anymore, then that's the best way forward.

I'd suggest the shortest trips out possible. Even a walk to the shop to get a pint of milk etc.

MrsHuxtable Mon 06-May-13 19:29:06

You are the child's father and should have every right to take her to a family wedding if you wish to do so.

Erm, no, actually. Parents don't have any rights. It's the children that have rights. And in this case the question is what is in the best interest of the child. NOT does granny want to have her at her wedding abroad.

11 months is tiny to be without mum for several hours, especially if still breastfeeding.

And taking her to the park to feed the ducks is not the same as going abroad. No way would I let DD do that without me at that age, or even at 2. She wouldn't want to either.

I think the best solution would be to all go to France and then the OP can take DD to the wedding.

acceptableinthe80s Mon 06-May-13 19:30:48

She may well be very stubborn op, she's heading for toddlerhood! Of course she's old enough to be taken out for short times. She probably won't like it to start with as she's not used to it but as long as you keep the outings short to start with she'll soon realize mummy is still there.
Distraction works best if you catch them at the start of a meltdown.
I think you need to mention to ex that as long as she is always there to scoop her up the minute she cries she's always going to expect that and it's only delaying the day that she'll be happy to be comforted by you.

Imsosorryalan Mon 06-May-13 19:31:25

I know lots of people have said that the clingy ness isn't going to get better unless you try to have time without mum but can I just add that removing the source of clingy ness ( ie mum) before the baby is ready will only make things worse and probably more clingy in the future!
Far better to build up to time alone gradually at baby's pace.

fluffyraggies Mon 06-May-13 19:31:28

Being the biological parent of a child absolutely does not give you the automatic right to do with them as you please!

FFS angry

OP that's not aimed at you.

DaddyAndDaughterTime Mon 06-May-13 19:32:15

She is still breastfed, but I don't think ex is planning to continue into her being a toddler, she has been complaining about her scratching when she feeds.
jacks I have parental responsibility. There are no 'issues', daughter was in NICU and special care ward for the first month so I don't think that has helped with ex not wanting to leave her, but there is no actual issues other than daughters separation anxiety.

MrsHuxtable Mon 06-May-13 19:33:04

The thing is, there are so many threads where babies are expected to become independent from their mums earlier because the parents are separated and the dad wants access.

It's bullshit in my opinion. It's a fact that if you don't live with your baby every day, you won't have the same relationship when they are so young than someone who lives with their child full-time. Trying to artificially push contact when the child is not ready is just cruel. I'm not saying the relationship will never be good. It should just be allowed to take longer. It's normal.

pigletmania Mon 06-May-13 19:37:33

Yanbu at all, you are her father and should be able to take her out of te country. I would spend the time having unsupervised access to your dd get to know her. Thereare no reasons really why they are supervised

Fleecyslippers Mon 06-May-13 19:38:34

Okay - going back to basics with distraction techniques. IME, you need to dive in as soon as there is a hint of a wobbly lip. Do you find it easy to 'let loose' and act in a silly manner? Distraction at this age involves making silly noises, silly faces, dashing to the window to see the 'bunny rabbit' or the doggie. Does that type of thing come easily to you ?

fluffyraggies Mon 06-May-13 19:40:56

It's a fact that if you don't live with your baby every day, you won't have the same relationship when they are so young than someone who lives with their child full-time.

Yes, and frankly even a father that lives at home and has some contact every day will not always have the same relationship with their child than the main carer.

None of my DCs at nearly 2 would have coped well with going abroad with just my XH to see extended family they were unfamiliar with. And he lived in the same house!

I think time is the issue here. The problems here are the age of the child and the distance/time the OP wants to be away. If it were a year further on, or less distance away, things would be so much less fraught.

jacks365 Mon 06-May-13 19:41:40

Being in special care and nicu for a month or so is an issue and will affect how mum sees thing. Pnd could also be an issue but your daughter is now 11 months, have you never had any time alone with her, she wouldn't have been clingy at say 3 months.

LiegeAndLief Mon 06-May-13 19:42:04

Really agree with Mrs Huxtable. In the nicest possible way, you are not an equal parent. You see her for 6 hours a week. Of course your dd is going to see her mother as her main source of comfort. By all means build up visits etc, but I don't think any parent in this situation, mother or father, should have a god given right to insist on something like this by virtue of genetics.

Incidentally, I was still bfing at 2yo, but the dc would easily have managed without for 24hours.

Fleecyslippers Mon 06-May-13 19:45:15

Was she premature OP ?

AThingInYourLife Mon 06-May-13 19:45:58

"11 months is tiny to be without mum for several hours, especially if still breastfeeding."

No, it really isn't.

"Erm, no, actually. Parents don't have any rights. It's the children that have rights. And in this case the question is what is in the best interest of the child."

The child has a right to a parental relationship with her father.

She has a right not to have a normal relationship with her father blocked by a mother who won't even let him take her out for an hour or two.

She has a right to a relationship with her father's side of the family.

And that includes the right to attend important family events.

Both parents should be working towards making sure she doesn't miss her grandmother's wedding next year when she is almost two.

Family gatherings like that are brilliant for toddlers.

She's on the young side for being away from her mother at not quite 2, but the significance of the event means it is worth making the effort to make sure she can be there.

TwinkleTits Mon 06-May-13 19:46:15

Some of the answers are pretty sick.

"Just take her. Dont take no for an answer."

She is a tiny human being for fucks sake, not a piece of furniture.

The OP maintains a good relationship with the mother. Is one holiday really worth completely scewing that up? "Take her to court."? Really?

The baby is 11 months old, breastfed and spent first month of life in SCBU and probably the mums PFB. Its totallh, completely, 100% understandable that the mother cannot picture her daughter doing as far as over the seas.

OP, from what Ive read you understand her anxiety some what, as you yourself pointed them out.

Please rememeber she will not be doing this to 'be controlling.' Or to piss you off. It'll be becaus of the natural, understandable anxiety she has regarding her daughter. Her baby.

Its whole year away, things change a LOT when the baby becomes a toddler.

You dont sound like a bad person, I think what you are saying is fair, but I think the mothers feelings are 'fairer'.

And I know Im BU, but I have a nearly 2 yo and it wouldnt happen. However, I have a child thats still breast feeding, suffers great anxiety and has very serious health problems so my feelings may be skewed. I would have probably been more ok with it with my first born who was having weekends away with his dad by this age.

MrsHuxtable Mon 06-May-13 19:54:14

Yes, yes, the child has a right to a relationship with her father. Noone says she doesn't have that or won't in the future. Just that it won't be the same as with a live-in parent unless they share residency 50/50.

And a lot of people would not consider being separated from their babies at 11 months, or even 18. The fact that the OP and his ex are not together shouldn't come into it. Because then, the child would have to suffer because the adults have messed up their relationship.

There is way to much talk of what parents should be entitled to.

Who knows. If the OP starts having some time alone with his DD, once she's over her separation anxiety, things might be moving quicker towards alone access than he thinks. But it needs to be at a pace that everyone is happy with.

MrsHuxtable Mon 06-May-13 19:58:04

And the right to important family events. Haha. At that age, the child won't care about missing a family event, she won't know any better. She will however care, if she gets tired/grumpy/nervous about all the people at the wedding and doesn't have her primary carer with her to comfort her.

Really, OP, slowly, extend your visits, consider taking your ex to France as well and I bet, that will help you a lot more in the future to have a good and stable relationship with her and your child.

If your ex gets forced into something she can't cope with yet, she might start dragging her feet and things will get so much more complicated long term.

Fairylea Mon 06-May-13 20:02:56

I think considering your visits are supervised by ex at the moment and you haven't actually had your dd overnight or for any extended periods as sole carer I can see why your ex would be unhappy with the wedding suggestion.

You need to work up to having dd alone and then having proper contact on your own and go from there.

And I say that as someone who left my ex when dd was 6 months old (she is now 10) and he saw her once a week at first and then for one night a week and then for weekends ... and now he lives in America and she visits him for half the holidays!

nextphase Mon 06-May-13 20:08:20

My nearly 4 year old still objects if I go out of the house and leave him with Daddy. It might be horrible saying bye and going to do things without him, but within seconds he is fine. Have you thought about trying this with your daughter?

If you are at the stage of having your daughter for the weekend at your house, going to the wedding will be fine. If your still at the point of 3-4 hours supervised visits, its going to be very difficult for all of you.

FWIW, I have left DH (at our house) with a 1 year old on his own for a week when I had to go away for work, and later with a 3 yr old and 1 yr old for a couple of nights. So yes, if you are used to doing everything, and spending time alone, it should be fine to spend the weekend away from Mum at 2yrs old.

wonderstuff Mon 06-May-13 20:14:25

I'm not sure whether you are bu or not - I think probably neither you or her mother are bu, but I thought I would wade in and speak of my children.

I had to go to work when my pfb was 9mo - her dad was between jobs - I live with her dad, but up to this point he had always handed her to me when she got distressed, I had very much done the lions share of the caring. It was very much baby cried hand her to mum. So she saw me as her source of comfort. But the bills had to be paid, so I handed her over to her dad, and went to work. Both DH and DD had to get there heads round that and they coped, and I enjoyed a bit of freedom. A month later she started nursery when he went to work. I really don't think that her relationship with him would be as good if he hadn't had to bite the bullet and get on with it.

Lots and lots of mothers have to leave their babies for work at 6/7/8/9 months old. I totally get why you are visiting with your child's mother there, but at some point you need to go solo. She might cry - if you go somewhere local if she gets very distressed and won't settle you can go back to mum early. Lots of children at this age cry until they realise that mum is out of earshot and then bumble along quite happily. She will learn that her dad is able to comfort and care for her too.

You sound like you have a good relationship with your ex and that you are considerate of her and respect her. All the best with it all. I totally understand you wanting to go to the wedding and I think that making it just one night sounds very fair.

AThingInYourLife Mon 06-May-13 20:16:16

"If your ex gets forced into something she can't cope with yet, she might start dragging her feet and things will get so much more complicated long term."

Do as the real parent says or lose access to your child.


"The fact that the OP and his ex are not together shouldn't come into it."


This seems to contradict everything else you are arguing.

But most 2 year olds don't have to miss important family events because their mother won't allow them to go with their father.

My 17 month old went overseas with her father and sister to attend her grandmother's birthday that I could not attend.

She had a brilliant time and loves hearing now about how she went around asking everyone for cake.

This is an important event in her family. She will meet family members for the first time, start and deepen important bonds, and have loads of fun.

There is no good reason why a child of that age should be so freaked out about being with her Dad for two nights.

And both parents should be working towards making sure that she is not.

It is shameful that a father who wants to be involved hasn't been alone with his daughter for 11 months.

The child is missing out already because her parents aren't together.

I'm usually the one arguing that parents are not equal just because of genes.

But this is ridiculous.

Isiolo Mon 06-May-13 20:21:31

You need to stop thinking about getting your dd to this wedding IMO. That decision will have to wait until much much nearer the time. You can't start engineering everything now, with the aim of getting her there! She is under 1 years old, breast fed baby who was in SCBU for a month ffs! You presently see her for 6 hours a week supervised. I promise in, for mum it will be totally unacceptable to be considering this trip right now. Stop being selfish, and just see how it goes

Why the hell, anyone thinks mum should agree to take a trip to France to facilitate this, is beyond me

acceptableinthe80s Mon 06-May-13 20:27:38

Op, there really is no reason why you shouldn't start having your dd alone for short periods, even if that just means her mother goes into another room for 20 minutes to start with.
Many, many children are in childcare at that age being looked after by strangers, initially, and they all cope, thrive even and manage to still have healthy, attached relationships with their primary carers.
You're her dad and she has to learn to trust you. Her mum should be encouraging this where possible.

Isiolo Mon 06-May-13 20:28:39

Also, at 2 years old she is fairly likely to be starting tantrums etc. Tour plan of doing it like this and that, and then she can sleep in the plane pretty unrealistic. You just need to wait...seriously

ChangeNameToday Mon 06-May-13 20:31:19

The more I think about this, the more I feel for your ex and think you should drop it.

Kneebeefjerky Mon 06-May-13 20:31:51

I know it seems like a big deal but really, she's not going to know she's at a wedding and she probably wouldn't enjoy it that much. For a two year old it will be a lot of sitting round being told to be quiet. Being forced to sit in a high chair because everyone is eating, having to be quiet during the speeches. Also it would be very overwhelming with all those people.

Are you prepared to leave the wedding early as she will be going to bed? Wouldn't you enjoy it more if you could have a drink and let your hair down and stay up late with the party.

I think that you'd be WAY better off organising for her to see your family at another more child friendly time. More enjoyable for all of you and will keep relations with Mum sweet.

AThingInYourLife Mon 06-May-13 20:34:55

Yeah, time enough to meet your family when she's 15.

Back off!

ForTheLoveOfSocks Mon 06-May-13 20:36:00

I'm sorry OP, but YABU. I would not want to be separated from my child at that age overseas, esp when you don't have established overnight contact. At the moment if my DH and I want a night away we have to put her to bed as normal, and sneak out while my parents or inlaws stay over. Because she will not settle anywhere other than home.

Have you thought that you will not be able to enjoy your DM's wedding in the same way as if you didn't have your DD with you? Chances are she will be pretty nifty on her feet and spend the entire time running around, want to play etc. My DD is 20 months old. Visiting family/going out for something to eat can be really trying. She is on the go none stop and doesn't care if you are trying to have a conversation or something to eat.

Have you also considered you will need to be sober the entire time? One or two might be ok be you need to keep your wits about you.

Forcing seperation on a child for such a long period of time is not right IMO. All for a wedding? I think you are being a bit selfish and looking at how you will deal with looking after your DD through rose tinted specs. The best solution for both is for your ex to come along too and stay in the hotel, providing your ex is happy to do so

Isiolo Mon 06-May-13 20:36:47

AF thing a relationship with her dads family would be a fantastic thing. Attending wedding of granny who has only been to see her twice in her life, doesn't constitute a relationship

pickledginger Mon 06-May-13 20:36:57

It's in over a years time. You currently only see her with her mother in the room. Why are you raising it now?

purpleloosestrife Mon 06-May-13 20:40:58

isiolo - you've summed this up perfectly.

My daughter is nearly 3 and I am NOT an apron strings mum, and she is vey independent, but there is no way this would extend to leaving me for that amount of time. There is also the matter of routines, which you seem to be ignoring.

I'm afraid if the MIL has made it clear that the mum is not liked/invited, then why would she think it is OK to have the child?? Fast forward 18 years,where the child can make her own decisions... I know I wouldn't have been interested in spending time with ANYONE who hated my mother. We are 42 and 72 now and I still feel the same!

Time for your mother to realise that she can't have the one, without being nicer to the other. And shame on you for not realising this. Unless your ex is an unfit mother ( and this doesn't sound the case) then you have to put your differences aside, and realise that your ex is putting your child's needs first.
As should you.

It is not in the interests of a 2 yo to upset their homelife, routine and everything they know and feel secure about, and be without their main carer ( mother, in this case) to attend a bloody wedding.

This is for your mother's "needs"wants only

AThingInYourLife Mon 06-May-13 20:44:07

"Attending wedding of granny who has only been to see her twice in her life, doesn't constitute a relationship"


Her Granny lives abroad and has been to visit twice in less than a year.

That is a relationship.

And one the child is entitled to have cultivated.

Poor fucker is in a total double bind.

Mother won't leave the room when he is there so he has no normal relationship with his baby.

And then that is used to argue for him not being allowed to spend time with her.

Poor kid too.

Separation anxiety my arse.

Or at least, it's not the baby that has it.

pickledginger Mon 06-May-13 20:46:26

She does leave the room and the baby cries. Hardly a new thing for a child under 12 months.

SirChenjin Mon 06-May-13 20:49:22

Well said AThing. I am shock at some of the hysteria on this thread. FFS, she'll be nearly 2 at the time of the wedding and perfectly capable of being away from her mother for a couple of nights. There are plenty of children who are one year old and who cope just fine with being away from their primary caregiver (hate that phrase) when they go to nursery - providing that parent gives them the support and encouragement they need.

Keep plugging away OP, start building up the time you spend with your DD and hopefully your ex will begin to realise that your DD has 2 parents and for your DD's sake it's better to work together.

AThingInYourLife Mon 06-May-13 20:51:14

Just because a baby cries when you leave the room doesn't mean you never leave the room FFS.

My 10 month old squawks whenever my 5 year old eats an apple.

DD1 still eats apples.

And I don't invent apple anxiety and deny her any relationship with fruit.

pickledginger Mon 06-May-13 20:53:14

Some people put their 12 week old babies into nursery for 12 hours a day. Some people stay at home with their DC. What that child is used to is what matters. And I still don't understand why pushing this a year in advance is appropriate. It's France. You can book a flight the day before. Once the child is regularly staying away overnight it will seem far less of an issue.

pickledginger Mon 06-May-13 20:53:46

She does leave the room.

SirChenjin Mon 06-May-13 20:54:53

Crikey - mine cried regularly when I left the room. If I'd stayed and never left they would never have got used to me leaving and then coming back. I would never have gone anywhere without them if I'd stayed in the room whenever they squeaked.

pickledginger Mon 06-May-13 20:55:12

Equally, France is very close. The OP's mother could one and visit pretty easily.

pickledginger Mon 06-May-13 20:55:40

Again, she does leave the room.

SirChenjin Mon 06-May-13 20:57:14

Yes, she could visit - but this is about going to France for the wedding. It makes perfect sense for both parents to recognise that in order for this to happen they need to build up to it ie plan in advance.

LoveSewingBee Mon 06-May-13 20:58:03

OP Do you think your daughter would enjoy the wedding?

KristinaM Mon 06-May-13 20:58:06

None of my children would have been happy to be away from me for 48hours when they were two years old. Even if I had left them in their own house with their father ( who lives with us).

I don't know how they woudl have coped with a plane journey alone with him,sleeping in a strange place and meeting lots of new people.

It's nothing to do with the rights of the parent.some babies and toddlers are just very attached to their primary caregiver.

I think this should be less about your mothers wishes and more about your daughters best interest.

As others have said, it's a long way off.if you are having regular overnight access with your dd, her mother might feel differently then.

Also you should consider teh pratical implications of a toddler at a will you keep her occupied and quiet during teh ceremony? What will she do during a meal and speeches? Will you go back to the hotel with her aftre the meal or will she sleep in a buggy? Won't you mind mixing the evening reception and not being able to have a drink?

pickledginger Mon 06-May-13 20:58:29

In over a year's time.

Sparklyboots Mon 06-May-13 20:59:52

I wouldn't want my 2.4yo out of the country without me, even just for one night, even with DP, who is his (resident) father and who is responsible for childcare during the 3 days a week when I am at work (and shares care during the rest of the week). I'm totally sure that DS wouldn't want this either. And DP wouldn't want it to happen, even if we weren't together, because he's as familiar with DS as I am and wouldn't think it appropriate (we just today talked about the possibility of him going away for the night with DS).

If you all have your DDs best interest at heart, persuading your ex to have a short holiday to the area for the wedding, with you taking DD to the wedding for the day, would seem to me to be the way forward. I wouldn't think it worth pushing at this stage; I can't see it leading to anything but resentment and stress between you and your ex and you are in the long game of co-parenting apart, after all.

I agree that the emphasis should be on what suits the child, rather than the rights of your ex, you, or your mother in this case. My very good friend expresses it thus: the child gets the rights, the adults get the responsibilities.

OldRichandGrateful Mon 06-May-13 21:00:46

OP - will you be happy to get up at around 6am (or earlier) on the wedding day to look after your DD? After a long night of not getting any sleep because your DD has been crying because she is in unfamiliar surroundings without her Mum?

Would you be happy not to consume any alcohol over the entire holiday?

Would you be happy to leave the wedding party at around 6pm to bathe your DD, read her a story and put her to bed. - and stay with her all night?

What happens if you go to the wedding with a new partner? Would you want your DD there, cramping your style?

pickledginger Mon 06-May-13 21:01:28

'It's nothing to do with the rights of the parent.some babies and toddlers are just very attached to their primary caregiver.'

Well put. It's something that depends on the individual child. And there's no way of knowing how this child will be in 6 months time.

EglantinePrice Mon 06-May-13 21:05:23

So when I read the OP I thought yanbu.

Then I read the rest.


What isiolo said.

What ginger said

She does leave the room

I think theres way too much thought given to 'your rights' and what your ex 'should' be doing, and way to little thought being given to whats best for your dc.

Some kids are in full time nursery at 6 weeks. Doesn't mean its the best thing, certainly doesn't mean its ok for your dd to go to a wedding in France. It may be convenient for you to plan this now but realistically you need to revisit the whole thing much closer to the time.

Mytimewillcome Mon 06-May-13 21:14:34

I wouldn't feel comfortable letting my child go abroad without me with my ex and to my ex mils wedding, especially if she didn't like me. It may not be the right reaction but it would be my gut reaction.

Could your ex go with you but not go to the wedding. That way you could return your dd to her after a few hours. She could go to bed at a reasonable time and then you could return to the wedding and everyone would be happy.

pigletmania Mon 06-May-13 21:19:02

Really op you should start having unsupervised visits and building a relationship between you and your dd, even if it's a trip to the park or shops and build it up over time

FannyFifer Mon 06-May-13 21:37:01

I am the stay at home parent so spend more time with our children when they are small than my partner.

There's no way either of us would have thought it fair to take a small child away from me for a few days.

DP visits family in Ireland and wouldn't have brought the children with just him till they were around 4 or 5.

I would not even consider agreeing to the scenario above.

AThingInYourLife Mon 06-May-13 21:40:53

You wouldn't let your children go to visit their grandparents with their Dad until they were in school?!

Holy clingy batman.

(Not the kids)

2rebecca Mon 06-May-13 21:41:35

Agree with pigletmania. Forget the wedding at the moment, it really isn't that important as far as your relationship with your daughter goes. You need to start seeing her alone. if she's breastfeeding that will only be for a couple of hours, but babies get separation anxiety if the parents live together. Mine both had phases of crying if the "wrong" parent picked them up. If you live together you ignore this and just parent the child. If you are to be an active father you need to spend time alone with her so she gets used to you, small periods at first then built up as you're more relaxed together and she's no longer breastfeeding. Your ex needs to let go a bit as well. Do it gradually, but start doing it.

2rebecca Mon 06-May-13 21:45:15

What if your husband had been the main carer? Would you have thought it OK for him to "refuse" to let you "take" the children away without him? My brother is the main carer of his kids and there is no way he'd stop my SIL taking the kids where she wants to, or any way she'd have accepted it. Women can be horribly controlling about children sometimes.

FannyFifer Mon 06-May-13 22:10:50

I didn't say I stopped my partner, it wasn't something that either of us would have considered.

ChocsAwayInMyGob Mon 06-May-13 22:34:40

I find it quite worrying that some posters are saying the baby shouldn't see the MIL because she doesn't like the mother.

I don't think that has anything to do with it. A mother cannot only allow her child to see people who like her. My parents hate each other's guts. Doesn't make any difference who I see and don't see.

AThingInYourLife- I agree with everything you've said.

Littlehousesomewhere Mon 06-May-13 23:01:54

I would keep working on your relationship with your daughter, I never had to deal with separation anxiety so no advice there but I would try to increase the amount of time spent with her with plans to increase time alone together as well.

I wouldn't even discuss the wedding yet, too early and you don't know what it will be like then anyway. You may find she is a very challenging toddler and you might enjoy the wedding more without her, rather than dealing with a toddler running away and tantruming!

Talk about it next January.

Tell your x that you are sorry to mentioned it, it is too early to decide anything now.

CheerfulYank Mon 06-May-13 23:02:20

I think YANBU if you build up to it. My DS started staying for occasional weekends with my parents, without me or DH, before he was 2. They're a 5 hour drive away. He'll be six this summer and just got back from a week with them alone.

I think taking her for a walk to the park, etc, is a good place to start and frankly I'd
think the mum was bonkers if she said no to a ten minute walk.

If the MIL won't run down the mum in front of the DD (which no normal person would) there's no relevance to the fact that she doesn't like the mum. That shouldn't mean she doesn't get to see her granddaughter! My grandmother and mum have NEVER been overly fond of each other and I still have relationships with both of them. I didn't realize any of it until I was older bbecause they never said anything in front of me.

CheerfulYank Mon 06-May-13 23:05:12

And I am DS's primary carer. That doesn't mean I'm the only person in his life who can care for him.

Imo that's a really unhealthy attitude.

NonnoMum Mon 06-May-13 23:08:57

We don't know much about YOU. You might be violent (hope not), alcoholic (hope not), use drugs (hope not), be 14 years old. It's very hard to make these kind of judgements on the internet.

Keep working on your parenting skills.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 06-May-13 23:38:00

Fast forward to the time of the wedding, and lets imagine that the mother still isn't happy despite the toddler being able to cope fine without her for a night.

You are talking about taking a very young child into a in unfamiliar and possibly unsettling environment, for what may be her first flight, for no benefit to her whatsoever.

Granny wants the child there, the mum does not. Whose feelings matter most? I'd say it's by far the Mums, and they trump Dads too when she is the one doing by far the vast majority of caring for the child.

This trip will serve to make two adults happy. Not the child. The child is not there for you or your mother to show off at a wedding. If your mother wants a relationship with her granddaughter then she can visit whenever she wants, and invite the child along with the person who looks after her.

I find it very sad that so many people don't see how unkind it would be to do this to a toddler.

Isiolo Tue 07-May-13 00:14:14

My dcs have been staying with my parents overnight since 6 months old. They take them in week long holidays, abroad without me since age 2.

I do facilitate their relationship with Xs family by going with them, as they are long haul. My X can be a bit clueless, but this is the plan we came up with together. He is at least that conscious of the dcs needs.

The scenario in the OP, no way. The fact that OP is so blaze and focused on his dd being at the wedding, would make me reluctant

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 07-May-13 00:55:38

Tbh its not something I would agree to now under the current circumstances. And if you started being demanding about it I would probably take issue with it. Its also something that would be very differcult and expensive for you to try and resolve legally as things stand at the moment and I wouldn't put much faith in it being resolved to your satisfaction.

Why don't you continue to build on your relationship with your dd and ask nearer to the time,she will be older your relationship will be more established and she will be more secure with you.

AThingInYourLife Tue 07-May-13 07:15:35

At the rate this mother is forcing the relationship between father and daughter to progress he won't be taking her overnight until she's 25.

The OP might as well just stop bothering with the total fucking charade that is spending hours with his daughter unable to spend any time alone because of her "separation anxiety".

Well-adjusted, happy toddlers enjoy spending time at family events with either parent even if it involves a night or two away from the other.

But there's no way any kind of independence will be countenanced in this situation.

Or any normal relationship between daughter and father.

I had no idea calling myself a "primary caregiver" gave me such latitude to call all the shots about my children's care and exclude their father from whatever I fancy.

plinkyplonks Tue 07-May-13 07:15:41

Some of the comments on here are appalling. I don't understand why some of you have listed off a long list of requirements for the father to meet that you couldn't fulfil yourself. Seriously, can you speak french? Have you got a history of alcohol and substance abuse.. these are things have been asked of the OP in this thread and it is a disgusting double standard.

Do you not think that the child has a right to bond with his father and father's family too? I have vague memories of when i was 2-3, children generally enjoy weddings and it's a great opportunity for the OP's child to bond with his family -an opportunity that the child doesn't get that often.

I don't think the OP has been given the opportunity to prove himself by exPartner, and that's not fair. At 2, my nephews were enjoying nursery and days out with family members for extended periods of time without mummy. Maybe it would be difficult for you to cope with the idea that a child can cope without you for a certain period of time?

Additionally, some mentioning - oh why tell her now? Well actually thats a damn good thing. Because now they can come up with an action plan to make sure he gets gradual more access which he should have been getting to start with so that he can build up a solid relationship with his child.

OP - please make sure you get more access with your child, building it up over time. Your child needs you and you will never build up the relationship you are hoping for with the level of access you have now. At 2, I don't think it's unreasonable to take your child abroad without its mother. It's not just about this wedding but the life long relationship you have with your child and the child's opportunity to bond with your family.

Good luck smile

exoticfruits Tue 07-May-13 07:27:12

There is always a double standard on MN. Fathers are equal parents in my view and the DC is old enough to be used to staying overnight with him and the paternal grandparents. Those things always say more about the parent than the DC. She has plenty of time to prepare the DC- she doesn't want to- and probably wouldn't want to if the DC was 5yrs or older.

Nishky Tue 07-May-13 07:35:17

I took my 2 year old ds on a plane to France and he loved the whole thing.

I fail to see why a trip on a plane with a parent will traumatise this child as some posters suggest

Is the separation anxiety really coming from the child? hmm

jacks365 Tue 07-May-13 07:40:53

Thing is though that we don't know the background. Its not uncommon at 11 months as the child is now for there to be separation anxiety but not earlier so how come the dad hasn't been taking his daughter out from the word go. Yes it could be an over protective mum but it could also just as easily be a dad who hasn't bothered till recently and in real terms is a stranger to the child.

Op if you have been constant in your child's life from birth and there are no medical issues just the mothers reluctance for you to spend more time with your daughter, then i'm afraid it looks like you may have to go the court route to get meaningful access. You taking the child out on your own should have been happening from the word go.

SolomanDaisy Tue 07-May-13 07:45:24

Just stop talking about it for a while and agree you'll discuss it again much closer to the time. When you have a clingy 11 month old it's impossible to imagine how much they will have changed in a year.

I have a 22 month old and am the primary carer. DS is v close to DH and they happily go off and do stuff together for hours and DH still does stuff like nappies daily. DS is confident and verbal and able to explain what he wants. I'm still not sure any of us would be happy for DH to take him abroad for two nights. But that's our situation and plenty of our friends would do it.

Hissy Tue 07-May-13 07:46:14

I wouldn't let anyone who only sees my child 6 hours A WEEK take my 7 yo away out of the country, let alone an insecure toddler.

Deal with the insecurity, step up as an EQUAL parent, work towards 50/50 and see how it goes.

I don't think the wedding is viable as a trip. There's not enough time for you to get up to speed.

Wishiwasanheiress Tue 07-May-13 07:52:52

Popping back to see what's happened... Well op ur getting lots of thoughts aren't u! I agree with upping the visits/lengths. I agree with being supportive to the mum. U appear to think this sensible too.

I think this event is important. I think assuming things go well over next few months there's no reason u shouldn't take her. Naturally assuming all relationships are good. Can I suggest including mum in arrangements? Flight choosing? Hotel? Facilities? This might help her feel more comfortable and part of it? Exclusion could sadly make it worse. It's going to be hard to realise that quite a chunk of dds life she really won't be part of as u are not together.

Still, all things considered I feel u should be able to go with dd. hope u have a good event.

BitOutOfPractice Tue 07-May-13 08:05:33

Lets face it, this is all about the mother and her feelings (about her role as mother, about her ex, about her MiL) and nothing to do with what she thinks is best for the child. She is trying to control the situation.

This is a visit planned for a years time. She has no idea how the child will be by then. But she has already vetoed the visit. That says it all IMO

BitOutOfPractice Tue 07-May-13 08:07:35

And before I get jumped on a speak as a lp who's ex takes my dc away regularly. Even gasp of horror abroad to third world countries like France

doublecakeplease Tue 07-May-13 08:14:28

I think you're being very patient op. Both parents should have time alone with babies. I've seen DP with DS when he thinks they're alone and it's just different somehow than when I'm in the room and we're 'sharing'. They have their own funny little 'in' things just like DS and i have when we're alone - things that surely can't be built up when another parent is helicoptering in the room.

The mum is being silly and trying to push herself as favourite. Lots of us have to leave your babies for work - sometimes they cry but on the whole they're fine once settled.

I don't think mum should have complete dibs on a child - op I'm certainly not suggesting you go demanding things but you need to be more assertive. If the baby cries then distract her - i can guarantee that sometimes she'll cry when she's alone with her mum and mum will try every distraction under the sun and she won't settle without a battle - its what babies do. Doesn't make anyone an incapable parent.

Good luck!

Isiolo Tue 07-May-13 08:44:36

Precisely jacks!

There is no well in hell, this is as straight forward as the mother just being controlling/over protective.

If dad had been involved from the start, he would not be on 3 hour supervised visits, at 11 months old!

There is more to this

ChocsAwayInMyGob Tue 07-May-13 08:55:11

I titally agree that this is more about the mother than the child.

The child is clingy because she is not allowed to eb awy from her mother ever.

I was away from my DS2 for 3 nights when he was 5 months old. It hurt to leave him, and was wonderful to see him again, but he hasn't got a clue to this day that I even went. He often cried when I left the room, but he still had time without me and no harm came to him.

In other words, OP, the mother has wayyy too much control and will keep the child clingy if she keeps refusing to let anyone else have her. I would consider asking nicely for more time with your daughter, building up to time alone, so that when BFing has ended, you can have overnights. If the mother is still refusing, then try more formal methods.

This is your daughter, not just your ex's. She seems to be forgetting that.

OP when you suggest your DD's mother coming to France with you but staying in a hotel separate from the wedding, surely you will offer to pay for her travel and hotel? As she will be going purely to help you with something important to you and your family, not because it is something she wants to do or that will be enjoyable for her? If you offer to pay, and she will not be working by then, then she would be U to refuse. However if you expect her to finance her trip (as you implied on p 6 I think) you would be U IMO.

I think YABU to expect your ex to say yes to this trip unless you pay for her to go along, but not attend the actual wedding, given that at the moment you have never looked after your DD alone! However if you do manage to build up to having her alone for full days and an overnight locally to your ex before hand, then she would be U to say no - but only once that has actually happened, not based on a theoretical possibility of it happening.

Essentially the wedding plan is all about you and your mum, and (at age 2) of no benefit to your DD - she may not sit still and quiet through a wedding and may need to be taken out, meaning you miss the bulk of the service, and she will need to go to bed early, meaning you will miss most of the evening reception - or you will need to take her to her mum wherever she is staying and then return to the reception alone - have you thought that bit through. Given the plan is all about you and your mum having your DD present, for whatever reason, and given that you have never looked after your DD overnight or on your own, you need to be the one making compromises. IF you show yourself willing to make the compromises to allow your ex to be nearby without being out of pocket in order to help you out THEN she would BU to outright refuse to allow your DD to attend the wedding with you.

ChocHobNob Tue 07-May-13 09:44:14

YANBU to want to take your daughter with you to her Grandmother's wedding, as long as you have built up your contact with her by then and there is plenty of time to.

She is BU to not even discuss it or to leave it and see how things go, nearer to the date.

newfashionedmum Tue 07-May-13 10:05:54

What mr tumbles said... When you move abroad or have a wedding abroad sometimes there are people that can't make it. Yr mum won't have much time for her granddaughter at her wedding, I can see how she'd want to introduce her to her new family but that shouldn't be at the expense of your daughters confidence and security. Unfortunately separation anxiety can get more apparent as a child gets older and they're more conscious of what's going on. My DDs anxiety started at around 2.

I worry for you that by focusing on this one weekend you and your ex will become tense with each other...that every time you talk about having DD alone it'll be seen as part of an agenda on your part to take her away and will make your ex anxious and maybe defensive, it will also potentially make it hard for you to be honest and trust each other regarding how your DD copes with being with you alone. I think gradually building up your daughters relationship with you is a great idea but needs to be for its own merits not focused on that weekend away. It risks making much bigger problems for you all.

In all of this, you, your ex and your mum are the adults and your daughters needs should come first, especially at such a young age. If they are to be with her mum, and it sounds like they still might be, don't let your mums dream of her perfect wedding get in the way of your DDs confidence and security. There will be so many opportunities as she gets older to take her to your mums for visits, but only if you can focus on your relationship with your ex and your DD as paramount.

jellybeans Tue 07-May-13 10:18:57

I would hate that and not be happy with it at that age. I agree with the poster that said could she go with you and you take her to wedding? Or all go (if on good enough terms). I know it is the thing these days for men to expect equal time since birth etc etc but sometimes if the mum is main carer it would be too traumatic for both to have a long time away from the baby/small child.

cocoplops Tue 07-May-13 10:20:00

Sorry if this has been asked before but are you a British citizen? I know you mentioned you live in the south but I'm wondering whether as your mum is getting married in France whether you are of a different nationality? Only reason I ask is that when my parents split up when I was a toddler it was flight risk that my mum worried about as my dad was of dual nationality (wasn't an unwarranted concern). Not suggesting you would abscond!!

Aside from that on the basis of your current situation/relationship I wouldn't be happy to let my 2 (or 3yo) abroad. If you were the mother and the dad was the primary caregiver in same circs I would be of the same opinion. Think you all need to give serious thought to the practicalities and logistics of the event and try not to turn it into a tit for tat battle between the lot of you (dd mum included) cos that's not going to be good for your dd at all.

cocoplops Tue 07-May-13 10:28:22

Sorry just thinking maybe my query could be a bit offensive to line parents if different nationality. Sorry my questioning is based on my own personal circumstances- maybe that sort of thing isn't a worry for others? And I don't mean to suggest that anyone with a non- British passport should be seen as a flight risk! Hopefully its not that common - but in my case it marked a very acrimonious split. Sorry...hope I haven't offended anyone blush

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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 - 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!

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!

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

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

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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?

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

Chocs, you seem terribly invested in this thread.

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.

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 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 20:53:25

sorry was just the way it read to me smile

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 20:59:44

oh I totally agree there

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.

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