How important is it to live near DS's dad?

(10 Posts)
Boopear Sun 26-May-13 22:34:34

I've been a LP for about 6 years now, with a DS who is almost 7. Over the years, the relationship with DS's dad has evolved into to a really balanced and warm co-parenting situation. XP has DS every other weekend, pretty much 1/2 the holidays and he also has his other DS (14) at the same time, which our DS loves and really enjoys.

But, the problem is that we live in different towns - XP (and DS's brother) are both 50 minutes away. This is starting to affect DS wanting to do local weekend activities and, as he gets older, will also mean he can't see his friends on "dad" weekends. I also don't really have any local support - it's been really hard to break into the local "mum" community (LPs are a bit rare round here!), I haven't got any family around here and while I have a fab childminder helping out (I work FT), it really is pretty much down to me which is a bit scary.

I've now got the option of moving down to near XP and I'm seriously considering it. I think that DS will not only need his dad more as he gets older, but he'll be near the rest of his family and I'll be far more likely to have some support. Schools/house prices etc are about the same as here and it is likely to be a bit more LP friendly.

But..there is always something : it's going to put an extra 30 mins each way on my daily drive to work (taking it up to 50-60 mins drive each way). Which is an extra hour or more that I'm probably going to have to put DS in before/after school care. And considering I start work at 8.30, that is a really early start for DS every day.

So..bugger it. What should I do.......I am going round in circles. My heart is telling me to move, but is adding that to my commute completely mad..?

LlamaLover Sun 26-May-13 23:25:51

Hmm.. hard one.

Is there any way your ex could have him at least some of the days instead of a childminder? So, you drop him at his Dad's and Dad takes him to childminder on his way to work? Or Dad picks him up from childminder and has him for a few hours?

That way you don't pay more for childcare, DS sees is Dad more often and DS's time in childcare doesn't go up? Either way, might be worth re negotiating access if you were to move. Little and often might work better for everyone?

I'm moving from 2 hours to 1 hour away from my DS's Dad in a few weeks, and I too worry about DS having two home towns, but it is seriously not in my best interests to live in same town, so an hour away is my compromise!

NatashaBee Sun 26-May-13 23:44:01

What does his dad feel about him moving? Would he be willing to do school drop offs or pickups to save DS being in childcare so long?

calmingtea Mon 27-May-13 08:34:07

To be honest, at the age your son is at, I doubt he will be going to dad's every weekend for many more years to come, as he heads into mid teens/adulthood and starts finding his personal life is more important. My feeling would be that staying where you have friends & work, where he has friends, school, childminder, familiarity etc would be better. I would only move if you actually want to and really only make the decision based on your needs and wants. Otherwise you will find yourself in a new town, with a busy teenager you never see, and even less people you know. Now if new town is absolutely fab, and you've always wanted to live there fine, but if it isn't think hard.

calmingtea Mon 27-May-13 08:36:14

Sorry just saw your child was 7 not 14, don't know where I picked that up from. Ooppss blush. However, I would still make the decision based on what you want. Go with your gut and what you are most comfortable with deep inside.

sarahandemily Mon 27-May-13 08:39:08

Could you move and then start looking for a job closer to your new home?

coffeewineandchocolate Mon 27-May-13 08:50:45

could you move half way so you are closer but the commute is not as long?

Raaraathenoisybaby Mon 27-May-13 09:53:49

Pitch it to his dad. Say - look I am thinking this move might be good for our ds but it will give me problems x and y - how could you support me?

Boopear Mon 27-May-13 10:18:44

Thanks for all the replies (I went to bed before I got the first one!). I think pitching it to XP is a good idea. He will be really thrilled, so I'm pretty sure he'll be willing to help out. I also work from home one day a week, so that does make things a little easier generally.

In terms of what I want - well, all my friends are actually down there as well. I moved from that way when DS was 2 and have found it really hard to settle here, because, to be blunt, I don't fit in, despite trying my utmost! But I can live with that (I can see my friends every other 2 weeks anyway), I just wanted to get some perspective on what would be best for DS. TBH He hasn't really fitted in here either, so it's not like I'll be dragging him away from a closeknit friend base - if that was the case, I wouldn't even consider it. It's just the potential long day in childcare I was worried about, but talking to XP makes lots of sense sense

Thanks again - muchly appreciated :-)

purpleroses Mon 27-May-13 18:02:19

I live near my ex and do find it a huge help in terms of work - my work is local but there's occasional travel which means early starts or late back and ex is usually able to have the kids. He also has one regular week day, which I make use of if possible if I need to arrange travel. I think if you are really local then they may well be happy to keep up the two homes well into their teens, as they can keep up their social life from either home. My teenage DSC come to us every weekend happily as we're near their friend's. Both they and my own DCs are starting to get to the age when they like things to be a bit more flexible - sometimes choosing the house they stay at to suit their social lives, etc - but that works out fine with everyone usually as we're all nearby.

Is your work the sort that could feasibly be done from home one day a week? Or could you so some longer days and some shorter ones, working the extra hours on a day when your ex has DS overnight?

Also worth checking out whether there's a school DS could go to with breakfast/after school club - or would you use a childminder?

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