Not having the children overnight.(74 Posts)
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.
You're a dad up doing a night feed?! ;)
Hmm. It's a good question. Does it not all depend on the circumstances? I know if (god forbid) myself and DH split up, I would hate it for baby to be spending overnights with Dad and his new partner! It's an animal thing really - the mother incubated for 9 months as well as bonded after the child is born (I know that doesn't make sense probably but I don't know how to explain it)
Anyway. Sure someone with more intelligent answers will be along soon!
No, NRP's don't miss their children any less than RP's
What age group are you thinking of just babies or older children as well?
From what I can see, it's mainly an issue if its a small baby that is exclusively breastfed, or if the father, as in a lot of the threads that I see, has previously done very little in the way of child care or has previously shown little interest in the child.
There was a thread yesterday where the father had previously refused to change a dirty nappy, and the mother was understandably concerned for the baby's welfare if left overnight with him. I think if the baby will take bottles and the father has an idea of what he is doing then there wouldn't be a problem.
Fgs. The gradual introduction is for the child not the mother.
If the mother is and has been the sole Carer I think they are entitled IMO to reasonably judge when overnights are appropriate. As in if you have a toddler that wakes frequently needing comfort from their mother for example then immediate over nights would be a shock to the system. Not saying they can't be worked toward.
Luckily the law only supports the right of the chd to contact, not the parent.
Can't believe I had to explain why you build up contact over time. Jesus
Not quite sure what Jesus has to do with it.
I read in hear, regularly, a mother can't cope without seeing her children, but it's assumed the father can.
And the gradual introduction is for the child? I don't think so.
Of course it's for the child! I have a baby who wakes at least 3 times still for a breastfeed and try as he might, my xp just would not be able to comfort a distressed baby overnight. He can't exactly lactate
I dont think anyone would separate an exclusively BF baby from its mother. But given UK BF rates and age at which BF is no longer exclusive (or happening at all), that's probably a red herring.
Agree with oldladypillow. Sorry if you don't like the answer. My child feeling secure and stable is paramount to me
I just find it a bit bizarre.
But then again my son has lived with me for the the last seven years.
And my daughter has done 50-50 since she was very little.
It wouldn't bother me.
In our case my OH has a close and hands on relationship with our children.
If we split up I wouldn't have any issues with them going to him for overnights fairly quickly.
If we had split up when one of them was very young it would be different because of the practicalities. He can't breastfeed and he is not physically able to deal with night feeds.
Contact should always be for the benefit of the children. The parent's benefits are sencondary.
Tbh I think in some circs its about possession. Many women will view the kids as theirs. Particularly after a break up. Not convinced money plays a part but perhaps in very very rare cases. Ill get flamed now. But the refrain u do hear is the kids are mine and the bastards not getting them.
Society also views that children generally are better with their mother. Usually I suppose because the man should be providing and content to do so. Therefore most women are destined to believe the child should be with them, this as well as mother bear instincts which do tend to be very strong and showy.
I agree in some circs the F is possibly as good as the M. This is often dependant on F being great and M not so. Some women find it very hard, as do some dads. I don't think u can over ride millions of years of evolution either where the kid always begs for mummy. Daddy appears more learned, according to mine anyway.... Not dh fault, he's a very good dad. Just is what it is.
I'm also not sure if much of society is ready for dads being so present. Lets face it, mothers aren't welcome really at work and are often visibly 2nd class citizens. Fathers doing it are even rarer and just as maligned and unsupported.
Hopefully in my dds time that will alter. I'm resigned to fact it won't in my lifetime. Wish were different, keep plugging away is all we can do.
I went from being the main carer (as well as working from home) to having contact withdrawn when I moved out. My ex said that contact would need to be "built up over time"!
The courts of course didn't quite see it her way.
Oh just seen this, my ex lied to a court official and said he was allowed overnight access, thinking she would never find out, arse and a half! I would never allow him overnight access!
Neither will the court, he will lie about that too, he lies a lot my ex does, I think he may have a problem tbh, he believe his own lies....
I am always astounded at the anti-man vitriol posted in the thread. Men as a species are lambasted based on N=1 opinions. Any father who has a healthy relationship with his child should have over night access. To sit on some moral high horse that insists this is not healthy or needs to be 'gradually' built in is to marginalise the importance of having two parents in childhood, even if those parents are not co-habiting. Any reference to 'ownership' of the child is frankly absurd. Kids will have short term distress when their routine is disrupted, but as long as their new routine continues to have two loving, albeit separate, parents then this short term pain must be accepted. To not do so is to not prioritise the needs of the child - as suggested above - it is to prioritise the needs of which ever parent who refuses to accept the long term benefit of two parents.
It is high time society - and many Mumsnetters (sic) - accepted the importance of fathers and stopped demonising the breed based on the weasels who abandon their children and responsibilities.
Completely agree with northern exile. I am afraid that in some - I completely accept not all - cases, you are dealing with fathers who were not big players in their children's lives pre separation and there are reasonable concerns about how said fathers will cope with extended and overnight care of a child, particularly if that child is very young.
I agree that in some cases and where split has been particularly bitter, some mothers use this as an excuse to frustrate contact.
But aim of contact is to benefit the child not the parent. If father has always been part of child's life, hands on parent etc, can't see any reason why overnights can't start immediately.
But if there are reasonable concerns about how father will cope and how child will react, it has to go at pace suitable to child. This is not vitriolic man hating, rather putting child first.
In the case of my DH, if we broke up... He is very hands on, does nappies, hair, bedtime the whole shebang. However, when DD was very small, I did all the BF night feeds. He had literally never comforted her at night. Why would DD have to get used to a new, no BF routine so that he could have overnight contact? Surely, it would be better to have as little change as possible for the DC.
My and my dds dad split earlier this year from the word go he has seen her once a week for 8hours (that is his choice I have offered him more dad but he doesn't want to) however he does not and will never have her over night ( my decision) my dd has many medical problems and she has to be on a ventilator when she sleeps when we were together he never woke when her alarms were going of. I have been in the beginning stages of resuscitating my daughter and he has been snoring. To allow her to say at his would be neglectful of me in terms of y daughters interests. He doesn't accept her medical problems, not doing many things that make her life easier because "there too weird" I he ever tried to apply for overnight stay via court I would fight him to the end. Dads do miss there children as much as mums but because they are the general breadwinners of the family they have had he ability of separation from the child longer than the mother.
If it was flipped and the father was a stay at home dad and the mother worked I would side with the dad
I think it is as someone above said the baby has been carried in the womb, had 1 to 1 care of the mother (if she is main carer) and maybe been breastfed etc. It would be a bit mean to (in the above cases) take the mother away for long periods when the Dad could have shorter frequent visits. It should be about what is best for baby. Not about equal possession. It seems to be almost taboo these days to say a young baby needs it's mother more but many people still think this is the case.
However with an older child or when Dad has been main carer/shared carer then there would be no reason to wait that long at all. My husband was denied ALL contact with his DF and that was very wrong and spiteful by my MIL. I do have a friend though who had 3 very young children (6 months, 1,2) whose husband cheated and expected her to hand the kids over half the time with him and his new GF playing happy families. They were all breastfed and coslept etc. Why should they have lost their security just as he couldn't keep it in his pants? Just an example that it isn't all cut and dried.
Jellybeans- exactly. But I expect the thought police will be back soon. Sigh
This always brings me back to the question of why women breed with such bell-ends in the first place who won't get up in the night or do nappies. And then have another child.
I do think a lot of women won't concede control of routines either. Their way or no way. I've seen it a lot.
Because I was lonely? Because I was nearly 35 and thought it was my last chance? Because I really wanted to believe he loved me and he would change when our baby was born?
Well I was stupid then and learned the hard way - as has our daughter.
Glad you've lived such a charmed life Gay40. Pity you picked up so little compassion on the way.
Gay40. Because men never choose partners poorly right?
Ds' father did do nappies etc. However, he also became abusive - very common for dv to start once a woman gets pregnant or has a young baby, to do with power dynamics and vulnerability.
He doesn't want ds for overnights. Says he will "when he's older." Through his choice has seen him for one hour today and doesn't want to see him again til next Sunday. This is a man who always wanted to be a father, says ds is the most important thing in the world etc.
Some people don't turn out to be who you thought they were.
I haven't compassion for women who persist in creating children with utter wankers, no.
Glad we've sorted that out then. Carry on with your lovely life and be grateful for your good luck and wise choices.
Absolutely Piemother. People disagreeing with you on a contentious issue are exactly the same as the "thought police"
"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.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
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.
I didn't think it was for either parent. It's for the children to help ease them into the new situation.
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.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There's quite a difference between a newborn and an older child. Don't think I need to explain
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.
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.
Spero - re your last post/paragraph - yes precisely.
Separation and contact issues are c emotive though
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?
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
'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?
What, Daddelion, surely you can't be suggesting that women sometimes treat men badly? Shame on you for even thinking that!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Looks like some people just want to see one side of an argument.
I'm a SM and a SC too.
There are good parents and bad parents, and lots inbetween. I'd suspect both good and bad parents are capable of missing their children when they are absent.
Good parents put their childrens needs first though.
I have had numerous clients who insist that their new partner is involved in contact from the word go, even if this is the person they had an affair with. Then they act all martyred if this proves difficult for the other parent to accept. Interestingly this does happen more with fathers and new girlfriends, at least in my experience.
Everyone needs to be much more sensitive, not stomping around demanding their 'rights'.
Ending a relationship is often very painful for all. If someone is behaving badly this might be a symptom of their pain, not simply that they are dyed in wool bastard/bitch. But I guess it is always easier to blame someone else than hold yourself to account.
'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.'
I've no idea what you're talking about, I've never said men good, women bad.
I made a comment that I think is true in Dadsnet.
And personally I think arguing on Internet forums is a total waste of time, but sometimes I have time to waste.
Daddelion in sure you're well aware that mn is not representative. It's a forum used predominantly by women for a start. Also people in happier relationships don't need to vent on a forum.
Posters chewing out awful partners has nothing to do with contact issues.
Sorry if I have misinterpreted your stance.
Arguing on Internet always waste of time, albeit sometimes fun.
But exchanging views and experiences, always worthwhile, especially if it makes someone stop and think even just a little. I think someof my clients just have no idea about the hurt and damage they cause by the way they chose to end their relationship and then the way they chose to 'fight' over contact thereafter.
I make a plea for less talk of rights and more recognition of responsibilities. I think a lot of people have given very cogent reasons why contact might have to progress more slowly than the non residentparent would like.
have they made they men they way they are
This is not possible, you cannot morph men into being a certain way ime and imo! Right up their in Fairytale land tbh!
Gay40 my exp wasn't a wanker till we had our 2nd child. I never had a crystal ball. If it makes you feel better I spend everyday feeling like shit cos I never predicted the future accurately.
A man can be a shite husband and a great dad. Similarly a woman can be a great mother and a shite wife. I think people often forget this.
Depends what you mean by 'shite'. If that includes being violent, abusive, contemptuous or dismissive towards the other parent then I feel very strongly that you cannot call yourself a good parent, no matter how brilliant you are in other areas. You are teaching your children some horrible behaviours/attitudes if you do that.
I think that if the mother has been the main career and the father moves out then it is a lot to expect of the children that they immediately accept a new situation at home, new situation in their relationship with parents, new house that dad is in ALL at once, so even for older children a gradual build up is important. It has nothing to do with how much the parents miss the kids.
If there is also an OW on the scene it can be ridiculous to expect kids to jump right into that situation and be happy.
Yes quite spero.
Gay40 the law recognises witnessing abuse in the way it recognises receiving abuse.
They could poison her tea and put ants in her bed I suppose and be sick all over her sexy nightie at 5am....
When both parents work fullt ime I don't see why fathers should not be forced to have the children 50% of thje time whether they like it or not.
In fact the fathers on here can answer me this - which of these reasons do you think is the one why so very many fathers choose to have no or very little to contact out of choice after divorce?
1. They are too lazy
2. They have a new woman which is more fun a way to spend time than wiping toddlers' bottoms.
3. Their precious little feelings are hurt and they cannot cope
4,. They feel useless
5. It costs money
6. They want to inconvenience the other parent?
Some other reason?
In my experience, both personal and professional it is very often 1 and 2, but I think all can apply.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
blue the difference between a mother with a newborn, and a "handsoff" uninterested father having a baby alone is that the mother is most likely going to be doing everything she can to look after that baby, having just carried it for 9 months and given birth, whereas the dad has already shown a lack of interest and care by being unbothered until they split, and then suddenly being desperate to play daddy. Seems more of a control thing in that situation than caring about the child IMO.
Obviously if a dad has been caring and involved, and the child is used to being settled by him equally at nights, then overnights should be introduced once the child has had a couple of visits to the new home to get used to it.
I used to be the one who did the feeds, changed my son's nappy and comforted him from birth through the night until his mother abducted him from his home without warning in the day while I worked.
After the court fight he was forced to see me in a contact centre because his mum wouldn't agree to anything else. I always remember the words out of the contact centre worker's mouth when I went to change his nappy:
`Do you think it's appropriate you do that?'
Despite having done nothing I felt like a child abuser.
There are just so many different variables. Like others have said, there are awful NRPs and awful RPs. There may be really valid reasons for children not going overnight, or absolutely no reason whatsoever. There may be step-parents involved anad having an influence - there was a thread the other day asking if it was necessary that step-children stayed overnight.
I love Xenia's post, I'd like to know what the answer is too! I offered 50:50 when I left, xh refused it. He could have loads of contact in the holidays, he never asks or says he can't.
I think some fathers miss their children as much as the mothers do, I also think there are some fathers who don't. DD's dad doesn't even bother to ring her between seeing her.
Each situation is completely different and it is very important for the child to have a relationship with the nrp but it can be very hard sometimes. my dd is 7 and it is hit and miss as to when she sees Dad, his choice as I am continually trying to get him to see her regularly. He hasn't had her overnight in 18 months which is again his choice, I am happy for him to have her overnight. He is a man that wants the fun side of parenting without everything else and on his terms.
This is why I think this depends on the situation and the people involved.
Loving Xenia's post.
Oh so true
Daddelion writes this:
"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?"
Of course children shouldn't have to take time getting familiarised with their father under normal circumstances.
Some women really do hate men in the same way some men really do hate women...courts should be set up to see this sooner and do something about it because it should be about the childs needs first and foremost.
When children become pawns the law needs to step in!
Breastfeeding aside men and women are equally equipped to care for children of any age.
A lot of people reply on the `small children need their mother' or `women carry a child inside them for 9 months' trope which really has no basis on reality on other than their personal opinion or if they are using a legal basis the 1839 Custody of Infants Act in which a mother could petition a court for sole custody of her children up to the age of 7 - in short a legal enshrinement of the `Tender Years Doctrine'.
A good question to ask is why separation of parents has any bearing on their ability to parent? I have seen numerous occasions of good parents who cared overnight (with the blessing of the other parent) for children who are then subjected to CAFCASS and social services reports following separation.
"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?"
Do you include DV and DA in that?
if you are its a very fine line to tread
Of course contact denial of children or threatening to do so is recognised as a form of domestic abuse of an ex-partner as well as being child abuse.
Ironically the Women's Aid website lists this as a form of abuse.
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