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How much access to DC does your ex have?(168 Posts)
Sorry, I have just posted this in "Lone Parents" thread as well but realised that there may be more traffic on this one.
I am in the process of setting down how much access my ex should have with our DD. I am thinking either a Saturday or Sunday 10:30am - 4:30pm. I don't in principle have anything against overnight stays, but he does not live somewhere that is appropriate for her to stay the night.
Is this reasonable (I know without a doubt that my ex will not find this reasonable, he will want to come everyday!).
I suppose I would like to know what the norm is (if there is one) and also what I have suggested above is reasonable.
My DH would be devastated at seeing his son for 6 hours a week.
I think that is totally unreasonable. The principal should be 50/50 ( or working towards that) unless there are reasons ( employment/studies etc) that make this impossible.
how old is dd ?
actually in answer to you questuion mt DS 14, 12 & 10 see Ex H for one day a week ( Sat 9-6) ad ad hoc weekend days/ week days in the holidays + occ days away... he lives with his parents and so 'cannot' have the kids overnight.. in my opinion he has next to no relationship with them - but this is HIS choice not mine....
The age of the child makes a big difference to this kind of thing. For small children contact is best done as frequent short visits. For older children then it can be longer.
One other thing - contact shouldn't be something that one parent "sets down" for the other. Your opinion does not necessarily trump his.
What parent, never mind father, would be happy with 6 hours access to their child a week? Unless he's some sort of risk to the child I think that is awful to suggest.
What is not appropriate about where he lives?
DD is now 18 and chooses when she sees her father.
When she was between seven and 15 she stayed with him (30 miles away) every other weekend from Friday - Sunday, two weeks during the summer holidays, we divided Christmas (a week up to or from noon on Christmas day, alternate years), a week in the autumn half term and a week at Easter.
The distance meant we could not have a 50/50 arrangement, which would have been preferable
How old is your DD?
My DC are 9 and 7 and are with XH a night or two during the week and every other weekend. Plus extra times depending on what both of us are doing - were both pretty flexible.
That amount of time is woefully inadequate in any case - I'm guessing there are other issues?
I'd like to add that I totally intend to sit down and have an adult conversation with him about this. I am not going to just lay down the law and am very worried of falling out with him about this as I want us to have a good relationship for the sake of our DD, who is 2. I hope that we agree access that is mutually accepted and something that we BOTH feel comfortable with.
The dilemma I have is that I live in a small 1 bedroom flat with our DD. Ex hardly ever takes her to his house which he shares with 3 single, childless friends. If he does it is only to pick something up. He won't have her at his for the night and won't find somewhere else to live that he would deem more appropriate. He blames this on not having enough money although he still finds the cash to spend on clothes, holidays, nights out etc. He is at Glastonbury this weekend, not staying in a tent but glamping in a yurt with electricity, beds, etc. Its costing just under £3000 divided by the 3 other friends he is going with. If his priorities were with spending time with his DD, I think he could cut out these luxuries and find himself somewhere where she can stay the night.
At the moment he always comes to my tiny flat to spend time with her. He comes to put her to bed at the moment a few times a week and sees her at the weekend. I have a problem because I feel he is invading my space and I don't want him IN MY HOME. I have no problem with him seeing DD. If he had a house she could visit that would be fine for him to have her during the week and alternate weekends etc. I have to reevaluate access because him coming round to my house is making me unhappy. I feel the options I have at the moment is either allow him to come whenever he wants or to say to him that until he finds somewhere to take her, he can have her for ex amount of hours.
I may have drip fed, and I apologise, but my initial thread was to get a feel for how much access other people have but I guess each case is different, hence why I have now provided a bit more information now.
A bit more information.... Reasons why I feel unhappy about him in my home is that he often is quite critical of me and generally makes me feel like shit. It is a dynamic I don't want in my life. It is a reason why we are no longer together. Him coming round feels like we have'nt split up. I can't move on with my life.
I would expect minimum access to be every other week-end and one day in the week and a maximum of 50/50 shared care.
It's not recommended to let your ex in the house at all really. It's his responsibility to provide somewhere safe to spend time with his kids, not yours.
I agree he should not be in YOUR home. he is invading Your space and using your home to have access to his child. You need to be very clear about what you accept, My ex has no access to our children under my roof and has to see them outside; because he is unable to arrange a place to live he can only see them during the day.
that is his problem...
What is in your DD's best interest ? (I will answer for you) to have a positive relationship with her father; how can you promote and enable that ?( without compromising your own home/integrity?)?
Offer him EOW and one night in the week... and go from there ??
OK. So am I within my rights to set access that I am comfortable with until such a time as he finds somewhere appropriate. If he had a place for her to stay, a week day and alternate weekends would be fine. But based on his lack of accommodation suitable for her needs, would it be reasonable for me to say weekends only and NOT in my home?
DS is 5.5. His dad has him 1pm Sat-4pm Sun every other weekend. He also picks him up from the childminder at 4.30 two nights a week and looks after him at my house until I get home at 6pm. I am not wildly keen on exP looking after DS in my house but it means that DS gets to spend extra time with exP in the week, which he really enjoys (and needs) so I suck it up for his sake. ExP has muttered about wanting to have DS one night in the week too but has never actually requested it.
Are your ex's parents local? When exP moved out he lived with his parents for a while so DS spent weekends there. When exP moved in with OW he carried on having DS at his parents for a while, to get DS used to the idea of exP being with someone else. Would an arrangement like that work for you, until your ex can sort out accommodation where he could have your DD overnight?
From what I've read on here, ex coming into your home (eg to 'put DC to bed') is never a comfortable arrangement and to be avoided, especially if he abuses the privilege by disrespecting you in your own home. I feel its also confusing for young DC too. Does he work full time during the week- any scope for frequent short excursions etc? If he is (effectively) choosing to spend his money in a way that precludes DD staying in his house, then that's his choice. He may not want to see it that way, but might have to reconsider if you set firm boundaries.
He could take her out for a couple of hours due the week too - perhaps out for tea once a week as well as the weekend?
He works full time and says he can't get to mine any sooner than 6pm. I basically feel like he could do so much more if perhaps the boundaries were more concrete. For example sometimes he could go to work earlier etc and be able to leave earlier and therefore come and take her out for a bit on an afternoon. I think him finding somewhere appropriate to live is doable but the reason he has'nt done it is because he still enjoy his pre-baby life which he can currently live. He often mentions how smug he feels that he lives in the "cool" part of town. He is quite snotty about other postcodes.
His family unfortunately live on the other side of the country - either a 12 hour car drive or a flight from the local airport away so DD staying with her family is not an option.
I feel like he could be quite capable to either finding somewhere to live or perhaps asking some of his friends (some of whom have children and live in big houses and therefore have space for him) if he could stay at theirs for the night with DD. He does'nt do it because the situation he has at the moment where he comes to mine is totally comfortable for him. It means he can continue his pre-baby lifestyle with his mates etc, and not deal with the hassle of childcare, nappies, laundry, staying in on a night even when your friends are out etc. It feels so convenient that he can't have her for the night because of his living arrangements.
Ah ok. So it is your ex that thinks his home is not appropriate?
I think you need to talk as you say.
Well just give him the option of Wednesdays 5-7pm and either Sat or Sun from x to y, take it or leave it IYSWIM
Overnights once he's somewhere suitable to have her overnight.
But he definitely should not be coming to yours - I see what you mean.
Actually I would the responsibility all back onto him.
"you are not welcome to spend time with DD in my home anymore, it is not possible. Please let me know what contact you would like to have on a weekly basis"
Yeah, to clarify it is HIM who says that the house he lives in is not appropriate. I've been there, I think it is a perfectly nice house. It could do with a baby gate for the stairs if she were to stay there but I think his issue is that it is a house of young, thirty something professionals, with nice furnishings and he is worried that DD will wreck the place. He also thinks it is unfair for his flatmates to put up with a potentially whingey toddler.
I think this needs to go to solicitors...
I would just email him that as of x date he will no longer to have contact visits in your home and for him to let you know which days and times he would like to have her each week.
See what he comes up with?
I would suggest mediation.
I've been thinking about this a lot. It is really weighing heavily on me as I am finding him coming round to my house really difficult. He came today for example and was his usual arsey self, being rude to me and just sitting around not really helping with DD. The whole point of him coming round is to help with DD but he does'nt really do anything when he is here!
I think that it is unfair that access should always be in my home, which makes me feel really uncomfortable. But I also feel strongly that my DD should have access to her father etc. I feel the burden is on me to open up my home to him seeing as he has been unwilling to find himself somewhere where she go and stay. I have to do something about the situation though, I feel like I can't go on like this.
So, I've been thinking that Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays be days where he does'nt visit. I've wanted to start going to the gym for a while so I have decided that I could go Tuesdays and Thursdays, leave home when he gets here and arrive back a short time after her bed time. That means although he is in my home, I don't have to be there. He can then have her for either Saturday or Sunday. This is until he finds himself somewhere to live where she can go stay with him. This is not a perfect solution or one that I would be happy with long term, I don't think it is a great situation that I have to leave my own home so he can spend time with DD.
Is this more reasonable?
It's up to you. But I'd still suggest mediation. It's great that you want DC and dad to have contact but alone unsupervised in your house? Is there any chance he might want to check around or criticise your housework??
Just a thought.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
And what's to stop him snooping around your home while you're out?
No the burden is on him as a father to live some where he can have dd to stay and visit.
It is not your responsibility to have him visit her in your home
You really don't have to leave your home for him to have contact.
Let him take her out some place else.
It is his job to sort it out.
Well I've also decided that I am going to suggest that we go to some sort of couples counsellng (for separated couples - I've checked it does exist) or mediation type thing. So I am going to go down that route too. I feel like I can't get my point of view across to him, he just won't really listen or respect my opinion so I am hoping if we have another person, like a professional in the room that might help.
I think the new access is a mini compromise in that I am not cutting down access too dramatically. I don't really want DD and ex to have access unsupervised in my home and I am sure the nitpicking about housework won't stop but I feel the burden of providing a place where they can spend time with each other lies with me at the moment because ex won't find somewhere else to live and also he finishes work only about an hour before DD goes to bed so its a bit late for him to take her out anywhere. It feels like I either let him continue to see her in my home or if I don't do that, the only option is the weekend only situation which was generally slated as being too little.
I strongly advise against allowing his contact in your home. So, so strongly. It sets you up to have an increasingly hostile relationship because of the tension, and it also sets him up to assume you will always roll over and allow all this on his terms.
You can't force someone to be a parent. All you can do (all you are legally obliged to do) is to make your child available to the other parent for contact. As long as you allow him to use you as a nanny and contact centre, he won't make any effort to provide her with a better care arrangement.
This is a horrible and toxic situation for your child. Don't let him in your home, seriously. It will make him feel contempt for you as a pushover and you will resent him. And it will mean it is the status quo, so altering it will get ever harder.
If you refuse to provide a venue he'll have to get on to that. It's not your problem. He's an adult, he's a father, he needs to act like one. It's not a lot to ask - there are so many non-resident parents there who would be biting your arm off for a chance at genuinely facilitated/supported contact. Providing the venue is taking the piss on his part.
Of course he is not going to find somewhere more suitable when you're enabling him and continuing to allow him into your home.
Just put your foot down FFS, tell him no more contact in your home. He'll have to sort something out then. Its his problem not yours.
No court in this land would expect you to provide your home for contact!!
Stop feeling guilty, your only obligation is to ensure that your dd is available for contact at the agreed time.
He is completely having his cake and eating it, what if you ever got a new partner etc?????
I agree it is setting the situation for a toxic and hostile situation, he doesn't respect you or listen to you and in spite of that you are letting him dds home? Please listen to PerfectStorm.
As perfectstorm says.
I really would not like contact to take place in my home.
It is totally up to him to sort out a venue and time for contact. Let him make some arrangements.
I let my XP choose the days and times of contact - it is currently eow Friday eve- Sunday eve. Nothing more. Sometimes less ? That is his choice. But never, never, never did I let him in my home (prev family home) for contact sessions. Doorstep drop offs only.
Your DD is only young. Short day time outings are fine for now. Also that gives him time to sort out his living arrangements - to facilitate a home for himself and part time home for DD.
My ds sees his son on Wednesday after school, and at first he was living at his mums, so he had ds sat 9-5, brought him home, then collected him again sun 9-5 every other week.
It was a very awkward arrangement, but at least it was never in my house.
I agree that your option during the week is a good idea, but where will he have his weekend visit?
You need to make it clear to him that this can not be your house, he is living a perfect life for him, and will not change to become the dad he should be until you force the issue.
He's taking the piss and you're letting him.
It's your job to make DD available to him when suitable. The rest lies with him.
The situation will most likely go very sour if this home arrangement continues.
Weekends only is perfectly reasonable if the non resident parent hasn't got their shit together.
The situation is already very sour as far as I'm concerned. I know the situation has to change but I have always been very rubbish at confrontation. I'm really anxious as to how its going to go down with the ex, it is going to be really hard work to change. But my friends keep saying that the fall out with ex will not be as bad as how hard I am findng the current situation. I know he is taking the piss, having his cake and eating it. I let it get to this situation in the first place because for a long time while I was pregnant and when DD was very little he was very noncommittal and I was worried that he would leave me all together and I would be completely on my own so I sort of encouraged access. I know this situation is of my own doing and that I have facilitated it. But now I know it is not working for me and want to change it. I am so unhappy with the current situation and have knots in my stomach thinking about having to change it because I know my ex will give me such a hard time. He will tell me I am being selfish, etc.
You're doing great and the best you can with such a man child
However you are enabling his shitty behaviour I know I did the same, it wasn't until I spoke to othe divorced dads that I realised he wasn't doing what he should. I had exactly the same behaviour but I put my foot down and went to mediation. He wouldn't listen to me and gave me all sorts of emotional blackmail but he had to listen to the mediator. Forget couples counselling go to mediation and get this toxic man out of your life.
As for access there is no reason in this instance that he can't come at the weekend for a couple of hours in the morning sat / sun after 6pm on a weekday is too late for a toddler. Put your toddler first not this pathetic excuse for a father
It's a really hard situation to be in. DS1's dad and I split up when he found out I was pg so I have experience, I'm 10 years further on. It was very messy for 1st year of DS's life. Ex took the piss now I think about it. Picking and dropping us when it suited and I bent over backwards to enable contact, in my parents home and getting my parents to drive us around. I was young and very vulnerable and as DS was my 1st child I was just learning.
I lost it on the day ex said he was taking 11 month old DS to the girl he pulled the night before's house and he was obviously still drunk. I walked off, cut contact, got a sol, went to mediation, insisted on contact centre until ex could demonstrate responsibility and stop bullying me. It took 6 sessions at contact centre, ex agreed he had been awful, apologised and we set up a workable agreement. Ex's new gf was instrumental in all in this, I am so glad she came on the scene as she talked some sense into ex and we all get on OK now. Once I stopped rolling over for ex like a dog he stopped treating me like a dog. You need to stand up for yourself for your DD's sake OP. If you are unhappy and stressed your DD will see an unhappy and stressed mummy. You need to sort it out for both of you.
That was very similar for me gertrudetrain once ex had a girlfriend ds had his own bedroom, I forgot to answer the question before but ex has ds every other weekend and ds is fine with that.
oops, I forgot to answer question too! DS goes there fri-sun every other weekend. It works out better for all of us now DS is older as he assimilates better into ex's family if he spends a chunk of time there. He now has 4 siblings too, bless him, 2 from me & dh and nearly 2 from ex and his dp. Modern families are complex but they can work after a bit of compromise on both parents part.
You need to sort this out between yourselves rather than involve solicitors and court. The decision making will then be taken out of your hands. My GS1's dad gets every other weekend, when he leaves him with his elderly parents and turns up for an hour or two on Sunday evening. The point I am making is that the court will probably go for something like this, with a day mid week.
I am really sorry for my GS as he is resentful, angry and frustrated with the situation, but his dad will not compromise as he now has his order.
He actually took me back to court for more contact but the court declined based upon a balancing exercise. Sometimes it is about power and control rather than what is best for the children. For this reason, you need to get him out of your home pronto.
On another note, the court cannot force him to have contact.
I agree with RandomMess - you should no longer provide YOUR home for access, and you should pass it over to Ex to see what he wants to do (believe me it will come across better all round).
I had a similar-ish situation not that long ago. My Ex thought he should be able to visit/ take DS whenever he wanted - never mind his routine, his bedtime, or the fact that I worked. He wanted me to be able to make DS available as and when, at random times, often with very late notice, wanted to do it in my home etc. This worked for a while when I was on maternity leave, but when I went back i just couldn't do it anymore.
I went round and round for months trying to come to a solution, trying to find ways that could work, ways for DS to see his dad and for my Ex to be happy with. I even tried on occassion to convince Ex to try certain things that would make it simpler (like speak to work about his shifts).
What I eventually realised is that it is Ex's responsibility to figure all of that out, as long as I wasn't putting any unreasonable barriers in the way. I could come up with a thousand solutions, but the majority entailed him doing something. And unless he was willing to do it, it wouldn't work.
For a while he wasn't willing to make any changes, and we rowed, a lot. I even went to a mediation place but he refused.
Eventually I put my foot down. Told him I wasn't going to come up with solutions, or bend over backwards for him to throw it in my face. I told him I had a job to do, which was providing 90% of what my DS needed, and therefore could not be fucked about. I told him when DS would and wouldn't be available and that I would need notice to make any changes to this. From that moment on I drew a line in the sand and stuck to it. I even wrote it down and just kept reffering back to it.
It has settled now into an every other weekend thing. I would like it to be more, as I believe it's a bit long between visits for DS, but Ex works shifts, and is not inclined to speak to work about regularising his days off.
At the end of the day it's his choice, and he needs to work it out for himself. And you are right not to want him in your home.
At 2, she can pretty much be taken anywhere, the park, for tea, whatever. So hi excuses are pretty lame.
Another one whose ex used to come to the safe haven I'd built for dd and me. In fact he'd often fly in late at night, arrive at 2:00am and expect to kip on my sofa! Like your ex he'd be critical, expect feeding, cups of tea, a crap in my bathroom etc.
I've moved halfway across the country now and he's moved to the UK but a 4 hour drive away. I have no idea where exactly he lives (won't tell me) but is too tight to rent somewhere and I think he sofa surfs (despite being on 40k + a year). He now sees dd (6) one weekend a month and a week in the holidays. They stay one night in a travel lodge near me for the weekend contact and he takes her abroad to see his
nutjob family for the longer holidays.
He's never been to our house (he has our address though) and I choose to meet him in a car park in the next town for handover. Much better all round. He was/is an abusive prick and I can't bear to be in the same airspace as him, so there is much less tension for dd to witness.
Stop letting him into your home and let him sort himself out.
I would say this arrangement doesnt work for you and ask him when he can take your DD to spend time with her and offer the time you said in your OP
Sorry but when xh's are selfish entitled pricks all bets are off and until he asks for more time or has a sensible alternative then I think your original times are fine
Be prepared for being blamed for not allowing him to see his DD rather than him accepting hes a lazy shit who has prioritised his own needs over his young DDs
Actually my ex comes over all the time to see our kids. It can be a bit uncomfortable in our two bed property but I actually think it's good for the kids. His flat is also unsuitable for visits sadly, so no over nights. Sometimes I want to go out in the vending do he comes over here and looks after them. Otherwise I'd never get to go out ever !
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
My ex was always welcome in my home - the difference being that we had a positive co-parenting relationship!!
In a situation like the op's it's a bad thing because he's being abusive towards her in her own home.
Courts are almost always toxic, agree. But there's no need to involve a court in telling an ex you get on really badly with he needs to do doorstep handovers from now on. You don't need to explain or justify. Just tell him that's the new situation.
I think it's worth remembering that this is your child's model for how relationships work. She'll note how you handle being assertive, setting boundaries etc. - do you want her to let a man do this to her, in 25 years?
I've managed to get the ball rolling a little by telling him not to come round tonight. Told him I have a friend over. He texted back saying this was fine. Later he texted saying he will be round mine tomorrow sometime around late morning/early afternoon and that he wants to take DD out to the park but wants to give her lunch at mine first. I've responded to him saying he needs to give me a specific time to pick her up so that I can get her ready for when he turns up and also stating that he can either take her out to lunch or he can arrive a bit later after I have given her lunch at mine. That was a couple of hours ago and I have not heard anything. It probably does'nt sound like much to anyone else but I feel a lot better today because I have decided to do something about this situation of him coming round my home and am now being proactive and actually doing something about it. Baby steps and all that.
I texted him a couple of hours after that text asking if he got my previous text but he has'nt replied. I just hope he is going to be a bastard about it.
He still has'nt replied to my texts. I texted him again this morning requesting he confirm what time he is going to come and pick DD up. I know he has the message because I receive delivery reports on my mobile. He always has his phone near him and is always checking messages when they come so it is unlikely that he has not read them. I'm getting annoyed that he has not responded because it feels like he is leaving me hanging. Its probably a control thing because he does'nt like me telling him what to do. I think he will probably be a twat about this and just turn up when he wants and make out he did'nt get my messages.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Thank Viking1. I have sent the text message. He has 10 minutes remaining. Then I am going out! I told him also that it is up to him to get in contact if he wants to see her tomorrow.
This is how the day panned out.
Ex did not respond to my messages so I left with DD, going to meet a friend for some lunch. I get a flurry of calls from ex stating he is outside my house and acting like nothing has happened. I ask him whether he read my text messages and after a short pause says that he only got them about 10 minutes earlier as his phone was so full of messages he could'nt receive any new ones. I know for a fact that he definitely the earlier ones because I remember receiving the delivery reports. I tell him that I am out now and that I have made other plans at which point he hangs up on me. I then receive an angry voicemail saying that I am point scoring and berating me for not working out that maybe his phone was not working properly. I text back saying I am not point scoring but placing boundaries. I spent the day with DD and my friend, had a nice lunch and walk in the park, which was all nice. But ex was playing on my mind a lot. I think I am just so unsure of myself I start thinking maybe I was being unreasonable that DD did not get to see him at all.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Jemima your ex is not going to like it one bit. Do you have his email address? I would suggest you email him asking him what contact he would like, in terms of him collecting her etc and tell him that if he cannot be civil on the phone to you that you will only communicate by email.
Wishing you strength, please come back for any support you need it is you not him. Stay calm at all times and just state repeatedly that you wish to sort out contact amicably but it needs to be a fixed times for dds routine and he is no longer welcome to have contact in your home. Any threats of solicitor court etc just let him as they will actually back up what you are offering.
This is what happened today. I sent a text to him in the morning asking if he wanted to take DD out and if so, what time he wanted to come and pick her up. No response. I tried ringing a couple of times because I figured that I would rather know if he was coming rather than waiting around. This seems to be a theme - me waiting around in the darkness, not knowing when he is going to just turn up. His phone goes straight to answerphone. By about 1.30pm of hearing nothing, I hear the front door bell and know it is him. I don't answer because we have no arrangement for him to just turn up. He then rings about 5 mins later stating he tried my doorbell and can I let him in. I say no, I'll get DD ready and he can come and pick her up in 15 minutes, which is what we do. I hand her over with a bag of her stuff on the doorstep. He asks whether I packed a specific toy, which he would like to take with them, so as I go back he tries to tailgate me into my own home but I don't let him in.
He drops her off later, and again I don't let him in. I feel quite pleased with myself that I have done it. I know it sounds a bit silly but I'm quite proud of myself. I also feel a bit like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders,, I suppose because I am starting to assert myself and feel a bit more in control.
The conversation with him was a bit tense. He was clearly hoping to be let in when he came to drop her off. He asked if I would ever let him do bedtime routines again and I did'nt manage an assertive response , I just sort of mumbled something.
He also mentioned something about a text message he sent me late last night. Its said something about whether I wanted something from the shops. I read it last night and just assumed it was meant for someone else and ignored it. But he said that he had apparently received a message from me yesterday evening asking if he could pick up some stuff for me and he said that he had worked out that it was from 2 years ago and had only just received it. He said this was proof his phone was faulty and as he walked off said he never ignores my texts. My gut feeling is that the story sounds like bollocks.
Sorry this is a bit long/boring but I am sort of using this thread as a form of off loading which I am finding very therapeutic and really appreciate all the advice I have gotten so far!
My ex only has access 6 hours a week. I think its appaulling but he has no interest in his child. Please think about what's best for the children.
My ex doesn't have set hours because he has little interest in the boys and doesn't work set hours. He texts and arranges to have them for a weekend 4 times a year and for a full week in the summer though. Works for us.
Well done, it's the beginning of putting those boundaries in place.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Today I get a text from ex stating that he finds me baffling and frustrating. He said that I would'nt let him see DD out of spite because I was annoyed that he was ignoring my text messages. He is now saying that he did reply to my Friday texts (but I did'nt receive them).
I send him a reply reiterating that I received delivery reports for the messages, and also that it felt like he WAS ignoring my messages to spite me and to show me "who's boss". I said that regardless of whether I sent any texts or not, it is still courteous to discuss with me beforehand when he is going to turn up at my home. I said that I waited as long as I was willing, but then decided to leave and make other plans because I was not willing to wait around all day.
He said that he has never played games with me, that I just assume that he is because of my past and that I believe that people are out to get me. Which I don't personally think is true. He said that he feels like he is paying for the injustices that have happened to me in the past and that he tries to be understanding etc. He said he is hurt because everyone else in his life thinks he is dedicated and committed but that I am the one who does'nt appreciate him.
I have been full of this in my head all day and just have to let it out. I think i have over thought this so much my head is confused. When he says things about me blaming him for stuff that has happened in my past it makes me feel like he is undermining me and the legitimate point I have about time keeping etc. I feel like he is making me into this unreasonable crazy bitch who does'nt let him see his DD. I have to remind myself that it was him who did not get in contact with me on Saturday etc.
He also complained about me not valuing or appreciating him. It makes me so cross because I feel like I am the one who always bends to him, telling him I appreciate him staying around. He never says nice things to me, other than in a back handed compliment sort of way.
I think you still have an emotional attachment, which is normal, but worth ackowledging given your last post! dont let him fuck with your head, HE is out of order.
you have done VERY well. stay calm, stay assertive, no text message battles. stand your ground and I think you are on the right path
but do try and move from texts to more formal emails, its easier to write calm, assertive messages that way!
Stop texting him. Put everything in an email - tell him he isn't welcome to have contact in your home anymore but he can choose to have your DD either Saturdays or Sundays and an overnight in the week (or whatever works for you).
Don't get into any discussions about his home being unsuitable - he can choose whether to have overnights at his house, or no overnights.
You are engaging with him too much.
Get set times sorted and start to heal and move forward.
Agree with the others stop the texting backwards and forwards.
Of course others think he is a wonderful father because HE tells them that he puts her to bed x days per week etc but you know that isn't true as he doesn't engage with her etc.
Email him. Tell him that you've taken advice (you have us ) and that you do not have to allow contact to take place in your home, therefore you would like to offer him x contact from now on. I would actually offer him overnights straight away - after all it is him who has deemed that his place is unsuitable. Presumably you don't really have any objections? I agree not ideal but it's still his choice. If it drags on and ends up in court you will look entirely reasonable that you have offered generous overnight contact and he has turned it down.
If he emails with you with more drivel about his opinion of you, IGNORE completely and itterate and reitterate "what contact schedule would you like with dd, I was think 1 evenings per 5-7pm and every other weekend/every Sunday.
Let him rant away and keep it all in a folder. Once you have restated yoruself a few times do not respond other than to agree fixed contact.
I do feel now that I should not have responded to him at all. I was just so irritated that I thought it would make me feel better if I responded to him. But now i just feel like I have been sucked into this argument even further. Over the weekend I felt so good about sticking to my boundaries etc, now I just feel anxious, and unsure of myself.
I feel really annoyed that he makes out how great he is. He is not. He scarcely does anything. In his message he was like what happened on Saturday was a one off and that otherwise he is totally reliable. This is not the case. It is frustrating dealing with someone like this. It will be hard not engage. I need to focus on the original point which was about access.
so dont enagage. Keep to emails, minimal texts and minimal conversations
stand your ground, be calm, civil but dont get enagaged and DONT get angry if you can!
he needs to see you mean business, so stay firm
you are not stopping contact, as said upathread NO court in the land would promote visits to your own home!!!
in time, once the home visits stop and you move away from direct contact this annoyance will abate, I hope
Don't be so hard on yourself. It's a learning process. It will take time to get out of the habit of responding to everything he seems and, instead, only responding when you need to. Took me months to properly get the hang of it.
You're doing well.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I've not had the ex round at all since Sunday, and feel much better for it!
I have just sent him an email which is as follows:
"I have for a while been unhappy about the amount of time you spend at my home. I would like to limit the amount of time you come to my house, and please understand that I am talking about my house, NOT ACCESS TO DD. I have no problems with you seeing DD. What I suggest is weekend access arranged in advance (with agreed pick up and drop off times which need to be respected) as well as 2 weekday visits where you come and pick DD up and bring her back by 6pm so that I can do the bedtime routine. If you want to have her for a night on a weekday evening or weekend this I think should be OK.
What are your views? THis is a discussion by the way, not me laying down the law. This is what I propose, I'm open to what you have to say. "
Been thinking for ages about what I was going to say and I just thought oh fuck it and banged this out and sent it straight to him. I think its pretty reasonable? What do others think?
It's fine but if he starts whining about not having anywhere to take her etc remind him that is his issue to resolve.
Completely reasonable. Backing up the other poster, in that if he whines that he has nowhere to take her, I'd respond that just as you provide her with a safe and suitable home environment it is his responsibility to ensure likewise in his parenting time with her. It is not your responsibility to do this.
He's going to make out you are being terribly unfair and unreasonable because you are too nice, and he is a manipulative scrote on the evidence you've provided here. There is nothing wrong with you at all other than allowing him to take the piss for too long. Don't engage and force him to man up and be a father. He's expecting you to mother him as well as your DD, really. He isn't your problem, and nor is his relationship with your DD. All you need to do is make her available for contact.
Can I ask if he is good about paying at least the CSA mandated minimum maintenance? Is he at least financially responsible with her?
He does pay maintenance perfectstorm. He did'nt at first, but he does now and it is slightly above the CSA recommended amount so he is financially responsible.
I was getting ready to post a suggestion along the lines of your email, until I got to the end of the thread and saw you'd already done it - well done! I think it does open negotiations, and gives you a starting point. Be prepared for him to ignore/rant about how unreasonable you are/refuse to engage and turn up when he feels like it. I'd suggest that next time, instead of sending an email that says 'what do you think' maybe end it with 'please reply by x-date if you agree/disagree/with your own suggestions otherwise I'll assume that you are in complete agreement'. It might make no difference whatsoever, but if you imply that failure to reply = agreement, then you might be more likely to get a response. Whether that response is of any use is another matter!
If he ignores you, then just let him know what you are prepared to do i.e. he can come the 2 nights as suggested (you go to gym) and he can take her out one day at the weekend too. Make plans for your days/don't make plans for his days, and try and stick to your new found sense of confidence in putting bounderies in place.
He came back to the email I sent above saying that he thinks that we can work along these lines and that he has been thinking the same sort of thing for a while. I have not had him in the house all week and I feel sooo much happier! I've asked him to stay away this week just so I could have some space which to give him credit he has done without causing too much fuss. We emailed back and forth and I feel much more positive about things than I did say a week or two ago. He has just come to pick DD up (on the doorstep) and will give her her dinner tonight before dropping her off later for me to do the bedtime routine. I feel we are dealing with the situation like adults and we both seem OK about things. I;m so relieved, its like a big weight off my shoulders and hopefully things will continue like this!
So so so pleased to read your update - onwards and upwards!
Hiya. After a week of doorstop handovers and a weekend with arranged access, with times kept etc, I've been feeling really good. He agreed on Sunday that he will have her on Tuesdays and Thursdays (he will have her between 4:30pm and 6pm). And also access on the weekend. However he has just texted me saying he is missing doing the bedtime routine and does'nt understand how me doing more work and him seeing her less is a good solution and that he is unhappy.
I was thinking we had kind of sorted this out but obviously not. I think I will just respond to him by saying that if he wants to do the bedtime routine, he can do it in his own home.
I think this is then your opportunity to suggest that he start to rethink his accommodation because when he has a place suitable for your DD to sleep over, he can start his own bed time routine, and then everyone will be happy. If you are feeling generous, you could suggest that he could have one or 2 (depending on what you are comfortable with) where you get the chance to go to the gym, but put a time limit linked to when he gets his own place suitable got overnights. You have to stick to it though because if you backtrack on the timescale then he'll never have that motivating him to get a place suitable for your DD to sleep over.
Good luck, hope it all works out.
I agree, tell him to sort out some accommodation where he is prepared to have dd overnight.
I think that what I have to do is tell him to sort out his accommodation and then he can start his own bedtime routine. I'm not feeling particularly generous about having him coming a couple of times a week while I go out because I feel like that is a step backwards (or even back where I started.). I feel sooo much better the last week or so having my house to myself and not having to deal with him too much. I'm just disappointed that he is digging his heals in and scared that the progress I feel I have made the last week will fail. I have always stated that I have no problem with him seeing DD, the problem I have is him coming into my home as I feel so uncomfortable. I just hate confrontation.
Yes, tell him just that. Did you say earlier you would be happy with dd to stay at his current house, but he is reluctant? Either way having accommodation suitable for his child is his responsibility.
Yes Arabella, that is exactly it. I have no problem DD staying with him - he is the one who is reluctant.
I know I need to do this, I am just not used to standing my ground and I am scared I'll cave in
You've been scared you'd cave in all along & you haven't! You are doing great setting your boundaries you can do this too.
As Arabella says you can do this!
I'm not sure how old your dd is, but tell him to buy a travel cot/ready bed and have her stay over then
Crikey I could have written this!
I've a 2 yo. Relationship with ex ended while pg. I could count on one hand the visits ds has had at ex's home. Not only does ex want contact at my home - and with a baby it did seem easier - ex also wants me to play happy families including weekend trips together and days with his mum visiting. In my house.
There's something territorial going on. Ex used to live here. He comments on any changes I've made - oh you keep that there now? And always has to have a pee here even on a quick visit.
I don't think evening visits suit my child so they've stopped. Ex has contact one day a weekend e.g. Sat, sometimes just 2 hours, this week was longer but still returned 1 hr earlier than expected. DS was whiny and ravenous. He'd eaten all the food I'd sent, ex hadn't thought to give him more. I think age 2 is difficult as the child can't communicate in a mature way. Ex can't deal with emotions. Not great at anticipating needs or reading behaviour.
DS seems ok with one day a week. He seems to understand that he only sees daddy occasionally. I had to explain to ex that regular scheduling was important. Not every day one week then nothing for a fortnight. I think you should suggest a schedule that suits you and monitor your child's behaviour. I expect my own schedule will change with age, but at age 2 the child needs someone reliable and nurturing.
It'll be interesting to see what ex does when it's raining. He doesn't like taking ds out if it's wet, and if I don't allow contact at my home then he will behave like I'm being unreasonable.
Oh and I completely understand how you feel about having ex in your home. I don't think it's good for dd to see you together in this way tbh. I think at this age she'll be aware of how homes work and needs the consistency of mum's house being her and mum, dad's house being her and dad. Mum and dad don't live together.
I've just sent ex an email basically explaining that although I appreciate he may miss doing the bedtime routine, I have felt much happier with the way we have been doing things over the last week i.e. with doorstep handovers, specific pickup times and him not coming into my home. I told him that I feel happier as I have my home to myself and also that it is the first time in about 2 years that I finally feel like I can move on with my life.
I reiterated that I have no problem with him having access to our DD, the issue is about setting boundaries with regard to where and when that access takes place. I ended suggesting that if he misses the bed time routine perhaps he could consider her staying over at his as these are lines which I would be happy to work along.
I think that's excellent. Remember - you're not stopping him from doing the bedtime routine. You're just stopping him doing it in your home. If he chooses to turn down that opportunity then that's his loss.
I think that's good, but I don't hink you need to justify yourself to him. Any comment that's about you or your feelings is superfluous. Stick to talking about your DD.
Do you think he'll respond tonight?
Just to be clear - I don't think you should talk about access in terms of what you want or what he wants, just in terms of what's best for your daughter. He no longer gets to know your thoughts and feelings. Just factual stuff. This is what I aim to do myself.
Go you! That's fab, really assertive, clear, reasonable etc. I think you got the balance just right. Fingers crossed he 'gets it' and you can get a new routine with your DD staying over at his.
He has just got back to me saying that he thinks what I said in my email would be for the best.
He is now asking about how this pans out in terms of visiting his family (who like I explained in a previous message, live a very long distance from the town where we live - it is either a 12 hour drive or a flight from the local airport...). This is the second "biggie" about our access situation that I have been really concerned about. I don't feel comfortable about being so far away from my DD so won't let him take her on his own quite yet (she is almost 2, I think there will be a time in the future when she is older that I will let her go with him without me). I also appreciate that it is important for my DD to have a relationship with her father's side of the family (who although we don't see that often due to said distance, have always been very nice to both me and my DD). Although they are nice, I still feel so awkward and uncomfortable when I stay there because of the boundary issue, not being a couple with ex etc. They also NEVER come down to see us which I think is perfectly doable for them. He is asking about a holiday this summer and also Christmas. I don't know how to play this. I told him in one of my emails this week that I don't know how to deal with this and that I am still thinking about how I want to respond and suggested me renting a holiday apartment near his family and also asked him to have a think about possible solutions.
I'd love to know if anyone has any advice?
I was about to ask if you had family/friends in the area you could visit but if you are considering booking accommodation to be close then I'd say that would be a reasonable alternative. I think with your DD do young, then I'd want to be close by in your shoes too. However, you may well find that only one trip is really needed because everything goes well. I think if your ex is as involved and committed as you say, that is half the battle in reaching a point you can be comfortable with the time away. Things like face time or Skype make it easier too.
Hope you reach a compromise.
Do we have the same ex? I was talked into visiting his family last year and staying at his mum's house. Awful visit. Ex's parents both work in physically active jobs but think we should travel to see them. Entertaining a toddler / naps etc is not their concern.
In your situation - do you think your ex will put your DD's needs first@ Ex wants DS to behave like a model child / performing seal to his family. He would not ask them to change their plans for DS and of course, a toddler needs to eat / sleep / be active / nap / have quiet time on their own schedule.
I had previously said that I would go for Christmas this year and also the holiday in August. I said this despite not feeling comfortable about it. Now I want to change my mind.
Do you want to not go now? If you were only considering it because you felt pushed into it then you are still entitled to say no, not yet, or not ever if that's what you want. I know your more anxious because your DD is so young still, but it won't always be that way. It's much easier when they can talk clearly and understand things like holidays, visiting grand parents etc. especially if they have good memories of past visits.
Do what you are comfortable with and nothing more. You can say no if you want.
Sounds like we do have the same ex laeiou!
The last time we went to visit his family was earlier this year. We went for a family do which I did'nt attend (I stayed at my ex's relative's house that we were staying with on my own). This was a few months ago so she would only have been about 1 and half years old. He brought her back after 11pm! He said that he just enjoyed showing her off to all the family etc. He does do this kind of thing a lot - showing her off to friends and family and not really taking into consideration that she is so little and needs her sleep etc.
The way I feel is that I don't want to go over AT ALL. But I don't know if this is just massively unreasonable and mean of me. But then again, I have said she can go over when she is older. She is not going to remember any visits she has when she is this young.
I don't know if I mentioned this already but I have been having counselling for quite a few months now and when I mentioned to my therapist that ex wanted us to go to his family again this summer, she said that she was dismayed and concerned that I would even be considering this bearing in mind how anxious I was in run up to my last visit.
Jemima that does put a whole different spin on things tbh. If you went before and he didn't use that occasion to reassure in how he can put your DD's needs ahead of his desire to 'show her off' then I think I understand more where you are coming from.
If you feel you can be strong enough to withstand the response you'll get to changing your mind then you should do that. Ultimately he cannot be unaware just how he has been overstepping in your life, and the downside is that means you won't accommodate him requests for help with long distance holidays etc.
I think for the sake of long term harmony you need to be honest about the holidays and deal with the fall out
by ignoring him completely.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Ex came and picked up DD for his agreed 2 hours. I got a text from him at lunchtime saying that he could not possibly have time to give her her dinner during his allocated slot so could I give her her dinner at 4pm. I replied saying no as she has her dinner between 5 and 6pm and that it is unfair on DD to change her routine. He came back saying that it is not fair of me to expect him to go to the shops, cook and then feed her as this will take up most of his time with her and that he wants to take her to the park instead. I responded saying that what he will need to do is be a bit more organised and make sure that he has food at his home that he can easily prepare for her rather than wait to get the food during his time with her. I said that for today only i will prepare her dinner which I will give to him when I hand her over and he can feed her at his. I cooked some pasta and put it in a tupperware box and in another box put some strawberries for her dessert.
When he came to pick her up he was all huffy saying where is he supposed to feed her - "on the swings?" (said in a really sarcastic way). I said no, not the swings, either at his house or even a picnic table at the park. He said that it will take him ages to get to his and that by the time they get there she will be too tired to eat anything. He literally lives less than half a mile from me, he has a car, it will take him less than 5 minutes to drive there!
It just feels like he is trying to get out of doing the practical side of having a child, like feeding her, washing her etc. He just wants to be "fun Dad" and take her to the park etc.
With regard to the visiting his family issue, I have decided that I am going to tell him tonight (probably) via email that I will not be going at all to visit his family. He can take her on her own when she is older - specifically when she is at least 5 years old. But I will say to him that his family is more than welcome to visit us here. Does that sound fair enough?
Sounds entirely reasonable to me. I think you are right, he is trying to manipulate you into backing down on your new found assertiveness, and rather than discuss in an adult way he's resorting to the sarcastic digs. If all he wants is fun time and no actual parenting time, then he'll need to arrange his contact so as to allow for that i.e. no mid week pick ups over dinner time to have fun time etc. He can't have it both ways - he either wants her at the agreed time, and deals with her needs, or he accepts that he cannot see her at the time agreed, and sees her for 'fun time' less frequently.
I had a similar scenarios with my ex, in that he huffed and puffed because I refused to organise and supply everything for our DD for a holiday he booked. He expected me to buy all her clothes, suncream, arrange jags etc. and just turn up on the day and pick her up fully prepared. I stuck to my guns, and it worked out in the end. I had 4/5 months of the huffing and puffing though!
Stick to your guns, don't back down and eventually he'll realise that being a dad isn't all 'disney' and fun. It also involves parenting, responsibility and 'grunt' work too.
I think you are right over the meals & responsibility & should stick to your guns.
Saying he can't take DD away until she is 5 doesn't seem reasonable to me, why not say not this year but you can revisit in a year? I expect you will find DD changes a lot - there is a big difference between 2 & 3 in my experience.
About the meals- the idea that a young child could eat their dinner 1-2 hours before their normal mealtime tells us exactly how tuned into her your ex is. I think it'd be worthwhile saving or keeping a written record of these communications. It's all about him, isn't it ? He wants a fun time aft the park so you and your dd best fit in with his plans.
About the trip. I'd say that you don't think she's able for the journey this year and propose rethinking things in the future. No specific age. Tbh even if you were together it'd be a lot of work and she may find it difficult. Being away from you, in an unfamiliar home with a dad who doesn't understand her needs is worrying and I wouldn't want it. I would try to avoid concepts like permision though, keep it about her needs and the practicalities. E.g. she's not used to mire than a few hours with him, no weekends as yet, she needs to have long periods with him locally before doing it far away.
Fair points about being more flexible about age limit of trips. What I think I will say is that we won't go this year but I will reassess how I feel next year. I definitely don't feel comfortable about him taking her without me at this stage, nor do I feel like I want to go myself as a sort of chaperone. The idea of either just fills me with dread.
I think the issue with the meals today did really highlight for me how out of tune he is with DD's needs and routine. And yes, he wants me and DD to fit into his plans so he can have fun time with DD without any of the bearing of responsibility in terms of looking after her.
I've just sent ex an email stating that I have been thinking a lot about the trips penciled in for this year and that right now I don't feel comfortable with either option of going myself or with ex taking DD on his own. I said that I will reassess how I feel with regard to any potential trips next year. I also pointed out that his family are more than welcome to come and visit us any time they wish.
When he returned after the park, did he thank you for providing dinner? He clearly didn't when he collected dd. I'm angry on your behalf!
After today's immature behaviour I expect he'll be silly no matter what you wrote in the email. As long as you're happy with it, ignore his petulant response. Stick to your own judgement. His is not great, is it?
No he did'nt say thank you laeiou. I asked him if she ate much and he just said that yeah she ate quite a lot.
I'm still waiting for a response to my email. I think it will be quite a biggie for him as he loves showing DD off to family etc and is always going on about how much he likes visiting his family with her. But I feel much better for sending it as I've expressed my feelings.
My ex is similar in expecting me to do all the practical stuff for his contact. It can mean more work than if ds was just art home with me. I want to change this but need to do the basics so my 2yo is ok.
I feel like if I don't hand him everything that she needs he won't think of providing it for her. Actually sometimes even when I do give him stuff I don't think he has the initiative to use them. Like for example on Sunday, in the bag I gave him when I handed her over, I put in a bottle of water and also a sterilized milk bottle with a ready made aptimil milk bottle. When I checked the bag when he got back, the water was hardly touched and he had'nt used the milk bottle at all. She was completely parched. Its a worry because it was so hot on Sunday.
He has just replied to my email. All it said is "Zen". I'm interpreting that this means he is massively pissed off and that he is trying to regain his composure....
I think you are being unreasonable saying she is too young to be without you however it would be perfectable sensible and reasonable to stipulate that once he is used to having her overnight on his own to progress to taking her away
Keep a record of incidents like him not giving her the milk when out, and his demand for food for her today. If possible keep a diary of contact, the good and the bad.
It may just be useful someday, and will certainly show if he starts to learn at all.
If it was a case of his family living down the road I would have no problems at all with DD visiting or staying with them. But like I have said, they live a 12 hour drive away. I feel a very strong need to be physically close to her. At not quite 2 years old, I feel in my gut that she is simply too young to go with her dad on her own and this is further justified by his lack of experience of looking after her for long periods of time, having had no overnight stays (both being out of ex's choice) and also the fact that when she is with him he does things (like not giving her enough fluids on a hot day). He needs to build my trust a bit more before I will be close enough to even consider it.
I completely understand how you feel but be aware if he went to court over contact he would likely be awarded it. Put a positive spin explaining how he needs to build up to having her for weekends on his own before she will cope with being away from you at his parents IYSWIM.
Why would he take me to Court to fight for access when I have offered him access i.e. weekday and weekend access together with a chance for overnight stays, which he has declined? Would he really take me to Court and win the chance to take his DD to visit his family when he has not made any effort to get accommodation sorted for her to stay in the town that we live? He currently has zero experience of looking after her on his own for a period of time over, say 7 hours? He has never had her for the night. The ball being in his court to organise this. So he could take me to court and argue that he does'nt want to have DD for any overnight stays or contribute at all to her day-to-day care, but once or twice a year he would like to take her on his own on holiday? And a Court would agree this?
Jemima that is a risk yes, remember the courts protect the child's right to have a relationship with both parents etc. Just point out the obvious to him that he needs to have overnights with her before she would be happy and settled for him to take her away from you anywhere else - leave the ball back in his court rather than you saying "no" you can't take her. Not sure if I'm able to express what I'm trying to say.
Jemima I think what random is trying to point out is that, at the moment your ex chooses to live somewhere he thinks your DD can't stay overnight and only does the bear minimum in terms of being responsible when caring for your DD as he's happy to lay all that at your door. Your feelings about your DD being too young to be too far away from you are actually supported by his current arrangements and if he kicks off about your refusal to go on Hols then you can again use his current lack of more practical involvement and responsibility to 'motivate' him to do more for your DD. When he does more, and is able to show he is capable of meeting your DD's needs in every way, at that point you'll likely change your stance on his family visits. But, it'll take quite a while to get to that point from the position you are in now so all that's needed is to put it to your ex, in the terms random says, and that brings the sort of timescale that gives you the time for your DD to get older, and thus you both being more able to cope with bring apart at a later stage etc. Does that make sense? I'm on my phone so can't read that back properly!
Basically, your ex needs you close by to meet your DD's needs, and so far he has done very little of the basic care/meeting your DD's needs without your input. It's the reason he wants you there when he visits his family. And that forms part of your reasoning over why it's too far away/too long for your DD at this stage in her life - so all he needs to do is sort his own set up out to take more responsibility on day to day stuff, progress to overnights and see how your DD copes with that before you get to thinking about 12 he car journeys etc.
My XH left last Easter and lodged with friends who said he couldn't have DD overnight. It took him six months to get his own place.
DD is now five and XH makes no effort to see her in the week, rings her if he remembers and has her once a fortnight from 10am Sat to 6pm Sunday. He refuses to have her in the holidays as he is too busy working.
That is all his own choice. He whines on Facebook how he misses his own dad who died 20 years ago yet makes no time for his own DD.
These men make a lifestyle choice and it is a selfish one that doesn't include their DC. If your X wants more contact he needs to find a suitable place where he can have her.
When XH first left, he had DD every Sunday as I felt that 4yo was too young to only see him EOW.
If your DD is only 2, then EOW might be too long. And yes, he does need to feed her when he has her! I had the same thing with XH bringing DD home at 7pm with no tea....
You really need to discuss with him that it is in DD's best interests. Trouble is they take it personally when it really isn't.
I completely understand you not wanting your ex to take your DD on a 12hr journey to see his family. Especially as he's never so much as had her overnight on his own and even though he'd have help from his family (hopefully) to take care of her, it's unlikely she'd remember them and would be very unhappy. FWIW I wouldn't want DH to take our DCs away without me and he knows the DCs routine.
DH has been at the other side with DSD when she was the same age. He works away mon-fri so lived with his parents (before we moved in together) and DSD had a hard time with overnight till she was about four and DHs ex lived round the corner from where he was living. Due to his job he could only see her Saturday and Sunday and it was hard for them both when she was young, no way would she have been okay with a trip away for more than one night (even that was too much for her sometimes).
The way your ex has been WRT being a parent instead of a Disney dad, it would be cruel for him to take your daughter away without you. You shouldn't have to go with him so he gets his way, he'll just have to grow up and start being a parent before even suggesting taking her away.
I got a text from ex last night saying that he is going camping with his mates with weekend and therefore won't be around to see DD. I find this very selfish and frustrating. He is letting his DD down.
I had plans for tomorrow with a friend and because he is not going to be around I have had to ask my parents to look after DD instead.
Unfortunately you can't make him take an interest in your dd.
When he does this, do you respond? Something along the lines of "she will be disappointed , we must find a schedule that you can commit to" might be useful. Apoint out that it's not much notice and save the texts of course .
I just want to have a bit of a vent.
I responded to ex not coming round last weekend by stating that although I cannot tell him what he should do with his life or how he chooses to spend his time, I asked him to think about how this impacts on DD and on me.
He came back stating that because we are not visiting his family this summer I have created a big hole in his holiday plans and therefore wanted to take up an opportunity to go camping with his friends so that he could enjoy the summer.
The whole thing is getting me down. I have agreed with him that he can take DD to a camping trip with some of his friends (who also have children the same sort of age as DD) in a week's time. THis will be the first time that he has had her on his own for the night.
Yesterday when he came to pick up DD, he asked if he could have her for the night on Saturday (tomorrow) as he is thinking of taking her on another camping trip as a kind of trial run. I said no because I felt it was a bit short notice and also I have made plans for the Saturday. He will pick her up early on Sunday instead. He said that by me not letting him take her away for the night on Saturday means that I am restricting access. This just makes me feel so annoyed as I feel like he wants everything on his terms i.e. if he wants to go camping on his own with his mates last minute, he can and does'nt care to think about me and DD and when he wants to take her, and it is not convenient with me or DD, I am being a bitch who is restricting access.
So far on this issue of rearranging access, I have stopped him coming into my house to pick her up and we have agreed he can see her 2 days during the week and can see her on Saturday/Sunday. I have also offered him the opportunity of sleepovers. I think I have been quite reasonable. He on the other hand, cancels on us at the last minute (like last weekend to go camping) or gets in a massive huff when he can't have her when he wants her. I communicate largely via email and text these days as face-to-face usually becomes quite heated, but he repeatedly denies receiving certain messages despite the fact that I get delivery reports. Or he conveniently "forgets" stuff that I have asked/told him.
I am paranoid that things are going to get uglier. I met my mum for lunch yesterday and she was telling me that I should be careful as she is worried that one day he will kidnap her and not bring her back?! My mum is known for paranoia (she told me not to tell the doctor I was feeling a bit down after DD's birth in case they thought I had pnd as SS would take her away . Very unhelpful though when I am in the midst of all this.
I would also add, that with the new system of him taking her off with him instead of being at my home, I think that although he is not seeing her everyday like he had for a long time up until about a month ago, I think because he is solely responsible for her and I am not there, he is seeing MORE of her in those afternoons he has with her during the week and also at the weekend. When he would come round to mine, I would do everything. He would often just sit on my sofa, google stuff on my laptop, whinge about work, state he was too tired to help out with DD etc. I think he is seeing more of her now than before.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Thank you Viking1
I emailed him today basically just reiterating my points about why I have placed these boundaries etc and that it is not my intention to be mean to him but that I think it is better for everyone all round. I said that we are experiencing teething troubles and acknowledged that it is a big change for him but that it is important that things do change.
He came back to me saying that I don't realise how much power and control I have in this situation and that he now empathises with the Fathers for Justice men who dress up in Batman costumes etc. He said that I have the ability to make him really depressed about the situation.
I told him that I am not inflexible about access and that I have offered him quite a lot. I put forward 2 weekday afternoons until bedtime a week together with all day Saturday or Sunday. I have also from the outset offered him the chance for overnights, but has never taken up the offer. He has now come back saying he'd be happy with 3 weekday evenings, and all the weekend most weeks (but dropping her off with me on the Saturday night). He said that because I have her all the time, this is fair. I've decided that I'm not going to respond to him tonight, but am going to sleep on it. What he is asking seems like a lot. Every weekend? Although I have her all the time, I have friends and family myself who can only see us at the weekends so I think this is a bit much.
It annoys me that he is trying to make out all the time that i am being unreasonable about access when he goes on last minute camping trips etc and generally in the last 2 years has been lazy with childcare etc. My gut is just telling me that although she lives with me, him having her every weekend is a bit unfair.
I think that every weekend is too much. One day each weekend or eow.
think of the future
She'll be 5 half days at nursery / 5 full days at school, this schedule will have you doing all the work and getting little or no fun time with her
Your 2yo's social life will only expand. She'll be invited to parties, have the chance of events. Will he take her to these things or will she miss out on his weekends?
If he wants to do more parenting, he can do her laundry / cooking / medical and dental appointments and everything else that falls on his days. Let's see how that goes down.
Or does he just want the fun times at the park with you providing a picnic?
Is he suggesting he has her all weekend but you essentially babysit on Saturday nights so he can go out?
That was exactly what I was thinking laeiou. I think that as she gets older and I can work longer hours etc, I will be left with all the hard work with no fun time. And yes, I think that he wants to drop her off on Saturday nights so that I can babysit while he has a night to himself. I'm worried that if I agree to his demands that once DD goes to nursery etc that the situation of him having her every weekend will continue because it had been established at that point.
I am still doing everything. Now at least he has to provide her dinner 2 times a week, but that hardly scratches the surface.
I think that one day each weekend or eow is the way to go.
Hello, think you are doing so well by the way!
If he wants more weekend time can you suggest
Three week nights.
All day one day weekend.
Two week nights
From 4pm sat until 6pm Sunday.
Do not agree to full weekends ever-you need this time with dd too!
I would suggest he has her 2 overnights each week on a weekday night say Tues & Thurs and every other weekend. I know that is a big change from where you are now but that would be fair on both parties. As for you having her every Saturday night - he's having a piss take!!!!
Whatever schedule you agree, I think it's most useful to you and in the best interests of dd that the contact is scheduled. Otherwise you can't plan anything and she doesn't know what to expect. Seeing her dad 3 nights and all weekend one week is a lot if the next week he's "busy" and she sees him once or twice. My 2yo would find that difficult. Ex and I are flexible but it's one day every weekend. Sat or Sun depending on what suits us all, agreed the previous weekend. This business of your ex phoning a day or two in advance then complaining if you don't capitulate is awful.
Jemima - I think you are being more than reasonable.
I am locking horns with my ex at the moment about contact. My DC are pre-school age and at the moment they live with me. I am a SAHM (although plan to start p/t work shortly around their nursery hours); he works f/t.
He has suggested 3 weekends out of 4 and I have said no. I know he thinks this is unreasonable but soon I will either be working longer or they will be at school and I resent rarely being able to have the chance to either go away for the weekend with them to visit family, or to have fun with them visiting my/their friends. I would be happy for midweek contact as well, but do think weekends are precious.
I can only speak for myself, but I would be nervous about setting a precedent where he has them for most/all weekends, because it's quite hard to move back from that in the future - and once they start school you become the one who does all the drudge with very little in the way of fun time.
I think men find this situation unbearable and experience the fact that they have to negotiate AT ALL on the matter as the resident parent being unbelievably controlling when in fact you are just NOT SAYING YES TO WHAT THEY WANT. My ex is so incensed at the moment that I won't say yes to what he wants that he is refusing to see the children at all, and blaming me for it. Five weeks and counting
I think men find this situation unbearable and experience the fact that they have to negotiate AT ALL on the matter as the resident parent being unbelievably controlling
A very one sided statement.
A number of resident parents ARE very controlling and unreasonable. To say that it is just men being in a new situation and that women are always perfectly reasonable is very naive.
You're right, I should have qualified that with 'some men'. I happen to have been married to a highly controlling man who just cannot cope AT ALL with the fact that I have SOME power in this situation. He sadly interprets the fact that I have the power to say no to mean that I am 'controlling'. I am desperate for him to see the children, he has chosen not to because I don't accept the schedule he suggests. It is ludicrous.
Although I agree that resident parents can also be controlling, as I travel the path through divorce I am yet to meet a woman in a similar situation who is withholding contact or who seeks to alienate her children from the NRP. Although of course it happens, I happen to think it's hugely exaggerated.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Thanks for all your responses and advice! I really do appreciate it!!
I have just sent him another email in response to his previous one. I reiterated that I am standing by my original proposal of 2 weekday afternoon/evenings a week (where he drops DD off at mine before bedtime) and then the choice of either a full day on Saturday or Sunday, to be agreed in advance. I stated the reasons being that we need to establish long term access which will survive when I increase my workload/DD goes to school etc and that it is important that we set up a routine for DD. If we change the routine again in the future when I work more or she is at school, this will be be unsettling.
I also pointed out to him that he is not seeing her less during the week - for example before I started changing the access he would come round to my house most nights just after 6pm and leave at 7pm and would often have Friday's off so that he could go down the pub with his mates etc. So that is 4 hours which is actually under the amount of time he will be seeing her now where he sees her for 2 nights during the week.
I have also asked him to give me specific confirmation as to whether he is willing to do overnights, from when, how often and whether he truthfully thinks this is something he can commit too. So far he has not given me any information as to any of this so it is difficult to offer him or plan overnight stays when he won't tell me when he is available.
I ended my email stating that there has been a massive inequality in that I have been solely responsible for the entire workload of raising DD - laundry, food shopping, cooking, cleaning, entertaining her, classes, money etc. I told him that knowing the amount of work that I do I know the reality of what it takes to look after a small child and that when I look at him, what he does scarcely scratches the surface.I told him I was sorry if that hurt his feelings but that is the truth of what I think. I slightly regret adding that last bit but I was so pissed off with all. What do others think?
I think your email is good. I understand why you added the last but, but I'd try to be factual about dd and not mention myself if possible. If he continues in this vein I would write back suggesting mediation or some other professional assistance in agreeing a contact schedule. Otherwise I think he's trying to wear you down. No point in having the same conversation again and again.
Do you have regular financial support from him? If not, have you had advice from a solicitor or an organisation that can help with contact and financial support?
Also, did you know that you can setup a filter on most email accounts so mail from a certain person or with a certain subject is automatically put in a specific folder? That way you can set aside a set time to check and deal with email from him, rather than facing it every time you look at your inbox.
Yeah I sort of regret the last bit as I have been trying to be as adult and non-provoking as possible. I think it is all getting to me though. His emails are full of shouty sentences with caps on "DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING TO ME" sort of stuff and accusing me of being a cow so I think I just snapped and told him a bit of stuff back that I've had on my mind. But I will keep my eye on it in the future.
He does provide me with financial support, basically what the CSA advise based on his income. He only started this just over a year ago.
I think you had every right to point out that he wants equality in the fun time with her, but has done sod all of the hard work, actually. That's not rude. That's the reality, and he's making out he's this put-upon Papa when he's anything but. Given I know damn good fathers who are blocked from contact with kids they love very much and actively co-parented before the split, I think he's taking the piss in whining because you want a routine that would suit and support your dd's developmental needs and to have your own space instead of his looming over your shoulder every time he wants contact.
I would be very wary of agreeing to his having her every weekend. Every other weekend is fair on both parents because week nights, once the kids are at school, are the stressful and grunt-work ones. Offering him one overnight in the week and every other weekend, plus more on an informal arrangement as suits you both, seems fair, but he has to build up to that by spending more time with her and being responsible for her overnight. It's just not fair on her to do a 0 to 60 that way in one go. I don't think a camping trip is the ideal test for a baby who isn't yet 2 when he's not had her in a house yet, either. I think a suitable place for her to stay overnight and then her getting really familiar with that place before she does stay overnight seems a lot more child-focused. He's a dad. He needs a home his daughter can stay in. That's part of the deal of being a parent, if at all financially possible, which from what you've said it is for him.
He sounds very much more focused on his rights and emotional needs than her welfare, though I do give him credit for voluntarily paying more than the CSA would ask. He does love her, then. Money speaks loudly on that front, in my sad experience. But that's what he SHOULD be doing. And so is selecting somewhere to live that would allow him to have his own daughter to stay with him.
I see now reason why he can't have her overnight during the week, for her to settle in staying with it needs to happen fairly regularly. It would you do you good to have to full evenings off, where you can go out or work without need of a babysitter it also makes every other weekend a much more reasonable offer - I really wouldn't want to beholden to him having her one day every weekend - how would you ever go away without it being an issue?
He got back to me yesterday stating that he disagrees with everything that I am saying at the moment. He says that I am sending him mixed messages in that I am asking him to do more yet am letting him see DD less i.e. not every day (but not less hours). He said this part of my behaviour is impossible to deal with and that I was depriving him of his fatherhood.
My aims for changing access was (a) so that I could get my home back to myself and (b) that the burden of work was shared a bit more equally. Although he did come round quite a lot prior to all this change, he was'nt really doing anything when he was round. He would just sit around, complaining he was tired from work. I wanted to change the quality of time he spent with his DD rather than quantity.
He says he should see her more at the weekends because he works full time and therefore it follows that all the childcare, shopping etc falls on me. He said "what did you think being a mother would involve?". He said that he came round most nights when most others would'nt. He keeps saying a lesser man would have just left a long time ago.
He also said that I should'nt worry about changing my mind and thinking that I have "lost" and he was "won". I don't think this at all anyway. I don't see it as a competition or anything like that.
The whole thing is grinding me down. Today I just feel run down, tired, irritable etc. I'm fed up of him stating that I am being unreasonable.
Just email him back and restate what you are happy to offer him (I would offer him mid week overnights), tell him you are happy to go to mediation.
Ultimately the only option he has to get different is to take you to court for which you would have to go to mediation.
Overnights count a lot in terms of contact so you offering overnights midweek and alternate weekends is you being reasonable and generous - give him enough rope and he'll hang himself in terms of being unreasonable!
Don't get in to discussions about anything else just stick to what contact you are prepared to offer as a starting point and if he'd like more you are happy to consider it.
I agree with random - you need to be like a broken record, and just not engage with his stream of nonsense. Robbing him of fatherhood? Pfft! What did he think fatherhood was all about then? Being a Disney dad?
Just emailed him with the offer of 2 weekday afternoons and Saturday 12:30pm to Sunday 6pm on week 1, and then 3 weekday afternoons and the choice of saturday or sunday for week 2. He had only just now finally confirmed how many nights he would be able to commit to a month. I can't even fathom how or why he would continue to argue this is unfair?
Fwiw you have offered more than 50/50 at weekends . Remember this could continue at nursery / school.
Poser ignore his ranting. Offer whatever contact send fair and suits dd, and if you get another whiny or abusive reply then go to mediation. You don't need to be treated like this and it sounds like he wants an argument and anything you suggest will be met with the same attitude.
You do not have to justify not allowing contact in your home.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Be really careful Jemima. Have you sought legal advice yet? (Sorry if you've already said.) You are offering him a LOT of contact - not just with DD but with you, and I really think it could do you good to talk this through with somebody to work out what is going to be viable over the longer term. The trouble with trying to engage/negotiate with somebody who starts off with an 'extreme' or unreasonable position is that when you meet "halfway" it's actually unfair on you because their position was so hardline in the first place! I fully support anybody wanting the NRP to have a full and involved role in their DCs life (I desperately want that for mine) but you have to think about what is workable for you as well as everybody else.
Last week I phoned the Families Need Fathers helpline hoping to talk to someone who might be more able to see things from a dad's perspective to try to understand what was 'reasonable'. I think during the day their helpline actually diverts to Family Lives which is a more generic helpline giving advice to parents. It was fantastic, I had two long chats with really helpful counsellors to talk through how I felt and what was going on with us.
Things have been continuing well with the new access etc, ex has not been in my house since I started this whole thing and I feel much better for it.
I have a bit of a query that I would like to put out there. It is my DD's 2nd birthday coming up soon. Me and ex agreed that it would be nice to do something as a family (the 3 of us) and have a day trip somewhere as DD has not been out with us altogether for awhile. We then arranged to have a birthday party at my parents house the next day (with cake, balloons etc). Ex has now said that he has arranged a joint birthday party for DD following our trip with the DD of some friends of his. He also told me that he will not be able to go to my parent's party as he has friends visiting from London and would like to see them instead. I said to him that if he does'nt want to come to my parents that is up to him but I said that I don't particularly want to go to this party with his friends (because it would be awkward for me, I don't get on well with them etc). He is now saying that I will be missing out, that I should be there and making me out to be bad mum for not wanting to go to my own DD's birthday party.
Fundamentally I just don't fancy going and having awkward small talk with people I don't get on that well with. I think that if he does'nt want to come to my family's birthday party surely I can do the same. Or am I being selfish, should I just suck it up for my DD's sake?
Any advice greatly appreciated.
1) We then arranged to have a birthday party at my parents house the next day (with cake, balloons etc).
2) Ex has now said that he has arranged a joint birthday party for DD following our trip with the DD of some friends of his. He also told me that he will not be able to go to my parent's party as he has friends visiting from London and would like to see them instead.
3) I said that I don't particularly want to go to this party with his friends (because it would be awkward for me, I don't get on well with them etc). He is now saying that I will be missing out, that I should be there and making me out to be bad mum for not wanting to go to my own DD's birthday party.
So you arrange a party together, he then bails for a better offer than his own child's birthday, arranges another with his own (adult) friends to salve his conscience, and is whining because you are going to the main, originally planned event instead?
He's trying to shuffle his own unease at preferring a better offer onto you by seeking to present his own as the main event - that way, he's not letting her down by abandoning a large family party in favour of adult friends. Honestly, I doubt she's going to notice or care, she'll have fun at both - just let him get on with it. Ignore the digs. Not the first time he'll be a manchild, is it.
Glad things are otherwise good.
I think he is being very pot-kettle-black/double standardy here by berating me for not wanting to go seeing as he has bailed on the original plan of having the party with my family the next day. The idea of this joint party fills me with dread. He is saying that I am going to miss out seeing my DD mixing and having fun with the other children and that it would look weird to the other parents me not being there. I find him so condescending, I want to hit my head against a wall!!
Unfortunately you're DD's father is a git. He isn't about to change. I know it's annoying, but you can always console yourself with the thought that some other poor cow will have to cope with his delightful personality on a fulltime basis.
He's being an utter hypocrite. Sounds to me like he wants to present himself as this wonderful, involved father to all his friends, and wants you there to window-dress. His problem, not yours. Let him get on with it.
You are being more than accommodating to this knob but for your own sanity you really need to start detaching. "He is now saying that I will be missing out, that I should be there and making me out to be bad mum for not wanting to go to my own DD's birthday party", letting this arsewipe guilt you is doing your DD a disservice, you are letting this man walk all over her mother and setting her up to follow your lead. I would seriously spend as little time and only communicate strictly when necessary with this man until you are in a position that his twattery does not fill you with self doubt.
Just remember you accommodating his whims only enables him.
Detach, detach, detach.
Remember he's a prick. What he cares about is showing everyone what a Wonderful Family Man he is despite being Still Really Cool. So he parades DD like a prop but never has to do anything 'boring' like attend a family party where the focus is not on the Cool Hip Men.
DD is two, she won't compare the two birthday parties, she will just enjoy them. Well, hopefully she will enjoy the one he has arranged and it won't be a case of the kids being ignored while the adults get pissed and tell each other what fab parents they are. But you don't need to go. You don't need to indulge this man at all: just treat him with calm, polite contempt and use the broken record method 'This is what is going to happen. If it's not possible then this will happen instead'. His feelings don't matter.
I think you are being very very generous in doing a joint activity with him for your DDs birthday. I would strongly suggest not doing this again as it could be confusing/give the wrong message to your DD.
I would suggest any "birthday parties" which you both attend are on neutral ground, and preferably just the big party with a lot of the child's friends type.
Other birthday celebrations should be carried out separately.
I would suggest you start thinking about Christmas and come up with a system of swapping (this year at ours, next year at his, or sharing part of the day).
It does sound a pretty meagre amount of time for a child to spend with a parent. If it was the other way round and you were only allowed to see your children once a week between those times I expect you would be heartbroken as most of us would be. I think you need a third party to help sort out something that will be acceptable to both of you.
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