Not having the children overnight.

(74 Posts)
Daddelion Sun 16-Dec-12 05:50:45

I suppose this is another thread that will be largely anonymous.

After reading a few threads on here, why is it ok for a father to not have overnights with his children after separation but the mother couldn't cope with being apart from their children so access must be brought in gradually?

If that makes sense.

I don't think fathers miss their children any less.

Spero Sun 30-Dec-12 20:04:38

Glad we've sorted that out then. Carry on with your lovely life and be grateful for your good luck and wise choices.

Snorbs Sun 30-Dec-12 20:06:51

Absolutely Piemother. People disagreeing with you on a contentious issue are exactly the same as the "thought police" hmm

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Sun 30-Dec-12 20:19:19

"Any father who has a healthy relationship with his child should have over night access."

DH has a great relationship with his 3 daughters and is very far from a bellend, but he couldn't have overnight access with DD3 because she is breastfed.

He can go away overnight. I cannot. Because she is breastfed.

She needs me last thing at night, for night feeds, and first thing in the morning.

I think if your focus is on yourself and your own needs while you ignore what your children need and are used to, you are one of the bellends.

ProphetOfDoom Sun 30-Dec-12 20:36:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Beamur Sun 30-Dec-12 20:42:36

My DP has always had 50:50 shared care with his kids. They were 7 & 9 at the time of the split. Ex wife has always been very reasonable.

CatchingMockingbirds Sun 30-Dec-12 20:45:30

I didn't think it was for either parent. It's for the children to help ease them into the new situation.

Piemother Sun 30-Dec-12 20:49:58

Snorbs - it's a childish comment in response to a v childish comment a while back about this thread being full of anti man vitriol. Op Asked the question and was responded to with lots of reasonable, logical examples as to why, in some cases, overnight contact cannot be achieved immediately.
I've seen no anti man vitriol on this thread but I've seen some daft assumptions about the motivation of separated mothers.

ProphetOfDoom Sun 30-Dec-12 21:02:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Sun 30-Dec-12 21:10:59

My experience when I split from my ex was that we both had to work at making the transition of having time away from me and the bed/home DD had known since birth, as seemless as possible. That involved me going to my ex's place, and spending time, regularly, with him and her while she got used to his new place, and away from me, as I was her main carer before the split. It took several visits, at times 3 or 4 hours in length, before DD felt comfortable for me to leave her, with her dad, and then progress to staying overnight. I had no issues at all with the level of care he would provide her. It all came down to what our DD was comfortable with, and how long she took to being settled with a new place to spend time in/sleep overnight.

I think if you don't have the sort of relationship where that kind of build up is possible, then I can see how the whole situation of a protracted, slow build up, can happen and no doubt feel frustrating to the NRP. As harsh as it is for that to happen, for me it's all about the child, and how they cope with that transition. Dismissing the child's anxieties, insisting that they'll adapt, ignores how big a step it is just to get used to a new home/new set up follwing on from a split. My DD was always quite clingy with me, had strong separation anxiety, and often said she didn't want to see her dad/stay with him/stay over night. But, it was nothing to do with not wanting to see her dad, but was more to do with her anxiety at leaving me. She loves her dad so it was never about him not caring for her/treating her badly/neglecting her. I had to do a lot to help ease her anxieties, and luckily me and my ex were quite amicable so he understood the need for me to be there, for her sake, to help ease her into the new set up - even though he could have taken offence at me being there, taking it as a slight on his ability to parent our DD. He never had an issue with it, and DD eventually got very settled over about 3 or 4 months after ex got his new flat.

Bluegrass Sun 30-Dec-12 21:11:32

What is the difference between a first time mother taking a baby home and having to learn how to look after it and a father who has previously been "hands off" having to look after the child on his own. Presumably most wont be starting entirely from scratch but in any event everyone has to start somewhere and you learn as you go along. Support structures can be put in place if they need them.

Someone mentioned earlier about not having the child stay with a cheating father so he can play happy families, but that sounds as if access is being withheld as a "punishment" for infidelity, and yet supposedly it is all about the child's needs.

MrsSham Sun 30-Dec-12 21:31:24

What LaC said.

However my dd refuses to stay at her dads overnight. Not sure really that I would ever force her. I think it has a lot to do with his prioritising his life and needs over dd and so she is aware of this and sees my home as her home and his home and family as somewhere she doesn't really belong.

I support him with attempting to work on dd for over nights but truly that commitment is lacking from him, so it is a fruitless task and as far as I can see she will never sleep at his home. If she decided to I would be fully supportive.

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Sun 30-Dec-12 21:33:07

Bluegrass, I think the difference is the child, and how they react to the transition. If you are lucky enough to have an amicable split, with no cross words, ill will, bad atmospheres etc. I would hazzard that even then a child might still have some anxieties about a change of routine, a different bed to sleep in, not being close to the parent they have always had around to comfort them (if they were the parent who did the sleepless nights/nurse maid routine). It's a fact that sometimes kids do struggle with changes to their day to day life/routines, no matter what the reason is behind that, and as long as both parents are attuned to their anxieties, and act according to what makes it easier on the child, then it doesn't take that long for them to get used to the transition. My DD's experience of this is one example. We both went at DD's pace, and all in all it took about 12/13 weekends in total, about 3/4/5 hours at a time, for her to finally not get distressed when I left. That is a lot of time for me & my ex to spend in each other's company seeing as we had split up, but we both understood that was what it took for DD to settle with him without me. She was almost 3 at the time, so not a small baby but one who did struggle with being separated from me as I provided most of her care day to day prior to the split.

The transition was absolutely nothing to do with my ex's ability as a parent, or how hands on he had been, but it was all about our DD and how we could both make that transition as smooth as possible. It was in my interest to make sure DD was settled properly as I'd have had to deal with the fall out from her if she wasn't secure with the new set up, and got distressed with me not being there with her. It was in my ex's interests to make sure DD settled properly as if she was simply distressed at me not being there, their time together would have been affected, and not as enjoyable as it could have been. But mostly, it was in DD's interests to do this, as then she never felt that her needs were not being met, or that her worries/anxieties were ignored or dismissed.

Piemother Sun 30-Dec-12 21:34:41

There's quite a difference between a newborn and an older child. Don't think I need to explain

Beamur Sun 30-Dec-12 22:00:54

I think in our situation, my DP's wife was the one who left - so DP's house was the home that the kids already knew well. It was easy for them to be here.
They are both kind, thoughtful parents who tried their best to make this situation as bearable for their kids as they could.
There are so many variable to the situation though which doesn't always make this easy.

Spero Sun 30-Dec-12 22:05:36

And can I just add, for every mother that delays overnights for no good reason, there is a mother like me who would be very pleased to have a break every now and then, but sadly the ex does not want to step up.

This so isnt about women are awful and is all anti men blah blah blah.

People can be awful. And a pretty good indicator of awfulness is whether you demand 'your rights' over your child's needs.

Piemother Sun 30-Dec-12 23:24:16

Spero - re your last post/paragraph - yes precisely.

Separation and contact issues are c emotive though hmm

Spero Mon 31-Dec-12 09:06:45

Of course they are emotive! It's one of the most awful, soul destroying things to deal with - the loss of a relationship, all your hopes for the future, all the difficult practicalities of raising a child without the day to day support of the other parent....

So there is absolutely no need to add to the toxic mix any irrelevant Men's Rights Brigade nonsense. A child has a right to a relationship with both parents if they can safely care for the child. Neither parent should frustrate or force this and to those who do, shame on you.

BUT - men who complain about what a bitch their ex is - ever examine your own behaviour to see if there just might be a few teeny things about it that contributed to her being such a bitch?

OverlyYappyAlways Mon 31-Dec-12 10:08:05

My tuppenceworth...fwiw

My DC cannot see their father, he is abusive, I detest this but this is choice I cannot change him so I have no option, I would have loved to have the 'normal' separation, I cannot, so my Dc cannot so they stuck with me, until they take off to my parents. No doubt everyone on here has a different break up with different DC of different ages and different circumstances.

So we cannot all agree.

Be nice, tis a New year tomorrow! I think confused

Daddelion Mon 31-Dec-12 11:13:21

'BUT - men who complain about what a bitch their ex is - ever examine your own behaviour to see if there just might be a few teeny things about it that contributed to her being such a bitch?'

I'd say MN has a plethora of threads and posts by women complaining about men, have they made the men into the way they are?

Snorbs Mon 31-Dec-12 11:24:47

What, Daddelion, surely you can't be suggesting that women sometimes treat men badly? Shame on you for even thinking that!

Daddelion Mon 31-Dec-12 11:42:55

Going on MN no they don't, ever.

But having just read the amazing Step-parent thread, I'm pretty stunned about the attitude towards step-mothers and fathers.

Totally stunned.

Spero Mon 31-Dec-12 11:45:00

You want to waste time polarising the debate into Men Good, Woman Bad, knock yourself out.

People can be foul. It is not a gender issue.

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Mon 31-Dec-12 11:50:53

As long as the father is a good parent, then yes he should be allowed to have dc overnight if he has a suitable home for them to live in some of the week.

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Mon 31-Dec-12 11:54:53

I agree spero, it cuts both ways. In abusive scenarios, there is little point in looking inward to figure out why someone behaves that way. But, in your bog standard, he said she said bitter divorce/separation, I think it's worth looking at your own behaviour to figure out how to get past the issues holding up progress in setting out contact/finances etc. In the case of overnight contact being delayed/held up as highlights in this thread, then maybe an insistence that a gradual build up isn't necessary just because you are a parent, while ignoring the needs/anxieties of the child isn't the best way to resolve that impass.

Lessthanaballpark Mon 31-Dec-12 12:19:34

The workplace is somewhere where women still feel under pressure to prove themselves. Then motherhood comes along and at last it's something that we are considered to be good at and valued for. It gives you such a sense of confidence and place in the world that many mothers want to cling to that. Not saying it's particularly right.

Also, having given birth to a child and tended to its every need does give the mother a closer bond, but if the dad is hands on, as many are, then I wouldn't feel bad about overnight visits.

Although it can be quite scary to let your child go to a new environment that you know nothing about which is often the case for the RP. XH wouldn't give me his new address but I had to let DC go with him based on trust. It was very scary.

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