Shared-parenting.

(99 Posts)
Balderdashandpiffle Tue 04-Sep-12 00:04:21

I do shared-parenting. It works, the kids love it.

On here people say they're keen for it. In real-life I've not met a single mother ever who would do it.

It's not going to become the norm is it?

NewStartSameStory Tue 04-Sep-12 00:14:22

you'd be surprised there are single mothers that do the shared parenting thing. But sometimes the reason behind the relationship breakup make it harder to do. Some hope to do shared parenting but it can be hard to achieve in reality.

Bintang Tue 04-Sep-12 00:39:08

I would go for shared parenting, but one of the main causes of relationship break-up on MN it seems is partners not pulling their weight- I hardly think they're going to manage shared parenting somehow- seems a lot don't share properly when they're in the same home!

Fortyshadesofgreen Tue 04-Sep-12 12:57:39

OP I can't see it being the norm either and good point NSSS - the reasons for relationship breakup often get in the way or the perceived reasons.

Thats the one area that always dumbfounds me. A recent conversation I had with my solicitor threw up the term for it called 'implaccable hostility' apologies if I have misheard or misquoted.

In a nuthell my ex is so hostile towards me that if pushed to extremes a Court my decide that additional contact between my kids and myself which we all want, would be unwise because of her reaction and how she feels towards me. I just can't get my head around how that is 'right' legally or morally.

With that as the ultimate position / sanction / extreme, then I think that Shared Parenting is at best a pipe dream and almost entirely dependent on the attitude of the Resident Parent (the vast majority of time the mother). Of course if the NRP doesn't want to Shared Parent then it is a complete non starter anyway!

However even with a willing NRP the RP holds all the cards in 99.9% of cases. If Shared Parenting works for some then fantastic, but I can't see it being the norm.

wannaBe Tue 04-Sep-12 13:10:50

my view is that you have a child together, you parent a child together.

I've recently been in a position where this has come up as a point of discussion (don't want to go into details atm) and yes, my view is that shared parenting is the absolute preferred way.

And tbh while I know there are men out there who choose not to have that level of involvement with their kids there are IMO also an awful lot of obstructive women out there who put barriers in the way of their ex having equal access to the children. You only have to look at mn and see the threads which talk about going to court to reduce his access/that a man shouldn't be entitled to alternative christmas/birthdays/the threads telling women of cheating partners to threaten their h's that they'll be living in a flat seeing the kids once a week to know that it's definitely not all men's fault that shared parenting doesn't occur - far from it.

Fortyshadesofgreen Tue 04-Sep-12 14:35:06

+1 wannaBe

Agree wholeheartedly

My opinion....
There are those Dads as NRP who will do everything they can for their kids regardless of what happens and what it costs them (time, emotion, cash etc). Then there is a 'band' who will get involved but can be deflected or marginalised / pushed out with resistance / hostility from the RP (or a lack of funds for the fight rather than the stomach for it), the age of the kids also has a influence and then there is the 'band' who don't want to be involved and won't be involved as NRPs with their kids. I think that the first 2 bands of NRP Dads is a lot wider than popular perception would have us believe. If that were true though.... it would lend weight that there are more RPs out there opposing and undermining contact and the relationships between their kids and the NRP, than would maybe be palatable in many quarters.

crackcrackcrak Tue 04-Sep-12 18:31:49

It's v hard with my ex though I am trying. He is so oppositional. He would choose to argue with me above the best interests of dd at every opportunity. It's v sad. He has the practical ability to be a good father and dd adores him but he is just so bloody minded about basic care and welfare (this used to extend to me too) that it's v hard to move toward co operation.

Portofino Tue 04-Sep-12 18:37:24

I am in Belgium and 50/50 is seen as the default position. I know numerous families who do it like that. I think that as most children are in school full time from 2.5 and family is seem as being very important in the work environment, it seems to work better. One of work friends split with her dh and was quite blase about how she made the most of her week "off"' Her dcs are teenagers but still the very idea of it makes me uncomfortable. Social conditioning maybe? Very fair though.

Portofino Tue 04-Sep-12 18:39:56

The common set up ime seems to be week on/week off. I am sure there are many, many cases where it is complicated but this is what I have seen. Maybe I should start Belgian MN!

Balderdashandpiffle Tue 04-Sep-12 19:26:02

'Her dcs are teenagers but still the very idea of it makes me uncomfortable. Social conditioning maybe? Very fair though.'

Why does it make you feel uncomfortable?

ratbagcatbag Tue 04-Sep-12 19:35:29

My DH does shared parenting. His ex is fab and an amazing friend of mine now, they both agree together they didn't work but their DS is more important than their squabbles so it worked. We went to each others weddings smile
Do think from experience that women can be really obstructive and some guys will do anything to use the kids against the ex, it only works if both are committed.

Portofino Tue 04-Sep-12 19:54:46

Because I cannot imagine not seeing my dd every other week. It does make me uncomfortable thinking about. But as I said - it is fair.

ratbagcatbag Tue 04-Sep-12 20:00:17

Hang on, I might have got this wrong blush I thought shared parenting was where you do well shared parenting but in a way that suits you, so we don't do a week each, we have DSS every night after school, he stays over a couple of them and goes back to his mums other nights. smile

Portofino Tue 04-Sep-12 20:04:30

ratbag, I am just referring to my Belgian experience. 50/50 means either half a week with each parent, or one week with each. Unless there are "issues" this is the way it seems to go. Have no idea what happens in the case of little babies though.

queenrollo Tue 04-Sep-12 20:24:24

ex and I do this. we share the week between us, and have flexibility about extra time for holidays or if family are visiting from far flung places etc.
The biggest opposition I have met over this was from other mothers (both single parents and those with their partners still) who were appalled that I would not stick to the 'normal' letting DS dad have him every other weekend.
I hate being away from DS on the days he is with his dad, but I have to put my feelings to one side so that he gets quality time with both his parents.

Balderdashandpiffle Wed 05-Sep-12 07:07:57

It seemed bizarre to me when we first separated and started reading up on child-care after separation that it was considered the norm for the NRP (a term I loathe) to see (let's face it) his children every-other-weekend and one evening, after seeing his children every day.

The whole resident, non- resident parent thing seems to me to promote conflict.

BlingLoving Wed 05-Sep-12 08:28:40

I think portifino's response is very relevant. She can see its fair but still doesn't like it and I think that's why a lot of women do resist shared parenting.

A good friend of mine at school spent a week with mum then a week with dad. Worked just fine. I have no intention of separating from dh but I imagine if we did we would share on the basis that a) we both value ds having both parents and b) we would both find single parenting hard so would probably appreciate the time without him if we had him 100% at other times.

Fortyshadesofgreen Wed 05-Sep-12 13:49:09

Fair point on the terms RP and NRP and promoting conflict - but we are in a society where the 'system' dictates terms and labels like this, the 'system' like labels. I can't see that changing - would be nice though BDAP.

From my experience from separation Day 1 there is the presumption that 'Mum' knows best in relations to kids. I had this attitude from School (initially - that changed), Cafcass (initially - that view changed), mediation service (again that changed).

I can't see any magic bullet but I think that having some sort of intervention / counselling alongside the financial discussions running up to the decrees / consent orders etc would help. Intervention that specifically deals with the kids with a different counsellor or mediator - seperate from the finance right from Day 1 with the ability to help both parties see what is the best for their kids. The only brief glimmer of hope I had was a Cafcass Officer seeing that the root of the problems lay in my ex's hostility towards me, but my ex just wouldn't engage with her, arms folded, stared out of the window. If she had more time with her I think she would have got somewhere.....

I am fully in favour of shared parenting, but to make sure it covers all areas, not just the time each parent spends with the kids - communication is the biggie for me. Things do get missed in day to day life and shared parenting shouldn't be about absolutely eveything be relayed between parents , but with a system that is embedded with the kids at the heart of it, not where they can be used as pawns. The kids seeing open and honest communication will help them no end and hopefully decrease the hurt and confusion they feel at times.

My ex wife would no doubt see me as you see your ex Bintang - every situation is different so I can't comment about yours at all. But the reality is very different from the perception my ex clings onto in my case and a perception she actively promotes to anyone who will listen. One of my youngest son's friends parents (sounds complicated I know !), told me after spending some time with me and the kids that I was really nice and not what she was told I was like.... that is not an isolated example either.

Fortyshadesofgreen Wed 05-Sep-12 13:53:30

Opps apologies Bintang !!!

I meant Crackcrackcraks quote.

Sorry confused

Bintang Wed 05-Sep-12 21:44:10

grin I'll let you off! (was wondering what I'd said that could be upsetting!)

Fortyshadesofgreen Thu 06-Sep-12 10:08:27

Thanks Bintang grin grin

Shared parenting is becoming more and more popular in France - almost the norm in my area.

Most of the couples I know who have separated have something sorted out along the lines of the children staying with one parent one week and the other the next and so on. As far as I can see it works out very well, and there is much less argument over finances as costs are shared.

I think I would find it difficult personally, but it does appear to be a mature way of sorting a difficult situation out in the best interests of the child.

Obviously in cases of EA, DV etc more traditional solutions are found, often decided upon by a judge, but where break ups are relatively amicable in theory it seems like a good idea.

cantthinkofadadsname Fri 07-Sep-12 20:07:43

DS stays with me mid week and Saturday night. I pick him up from school , he stays the night and I take him the next day. Weekends we are very flexible - I could have a half day, all day or we do things together.

I thought about the 50% shared parenting - but I think it would be too hard for DS as he would never be in one place long enough. He knows where his home is, he sees his friends after school and he's settled. He sees me for two nights and we have a good bond.

Balderdashandpiffle Fri 07-Sep-12 20:20:02

So if you'd asked for 50-50, or your son had asked, your ex would have been ok with it?

crackcrackcrak Fri 07-Sep-12 20:56:51

Forty - I left a dv situation which included drug and alcohol abuse. I know you didn't make a personal comment do to speak but understand I am trying to parent co operatively with someone who is very irresponsible and ignorant of the care and consistency needs of a 3 year old. It is not simply that we don't get on. It is totally impossible to explain something like 'dd goes to bed at 7 because she needs 12 hours sleep so if you keep her up too late she will be grumpy and whiny the next day' another bloke would say 'oh right I can seecwhyvthats necessary' with exp all he hears is 'I want to control you!' so I might as well speak Chinese. Also he is verbally abusive and aggressive toward me in front of dd 'you're a fucking cunt' etc so it's v hard for me to even try and have a conversation with him
Let alone negotiate some parenting stuff sad

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