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To think there are reasons for favouring mothers?

(181 Posts)
AnneNonimous Fri 04-Jan-13 23:28:30

I am well prepared to be completely flamed for this but here goes.

I see a lot of stuff on here about equal rights for parents - that there is no reason why a mother should be favoured over a father when it comes to caring for their children etc. I'm not 100% sure what the current situation is now when people go to court, I know mothers generally were favoured over fathers unless there was a very good reason for them not to be. If someone could update me I'd be grateful!

Now I would like to say that I do think fathers should have equal responsibilities to their children. That fathers should always have access rights unless there is a child protection issue.

But AIBU in thinking that there is good reason for favouring mothers when it comes to divorces and residency?

As a mother I know it would just kill me to have my son not live with me. His dad doesn't and has never felt that way. He might think it would be better if he did but he doesn't feel what I would feel. And to me this seems to be the general case. It just isn't the same. My dad was and is a great dad, I know he loved me as much as my mum did. But there was still something very different. She still misses me terribly if we are away from eachother for a long period of time. And he never seemed to feel that.

I know there are exceptions, but there must be a reason why so many men walk away from their children so easily when so few women can do that? I know of countless men that have walked out on their kids very easily. I know of one woman - who was a drug addict all the time.

I'm not sexist I don't think. There is just an obvious difference in being a mum and being a father and I'm sure I can't be the only one to see that?

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Fri 04-Jan-13 23:46:27

oh and DH was not fine when he was booted out of hospital after DS was born, he found that v hard but had no choice

babies are more attatched to their mums as babies because their mums are their main care giver because of maternity leave. if the dads were off for 6-12 months and the mum went back to work after 2 it would be the dad that couldn't go out of the room without being screamed for!

namechangerforaday Fri 04-Jan-13 23:46:54

It would also penalise dc though.

Thankfully DH is amazing (he really is) and I can't imagine splitting so it's a non issue. To quote a song we want to "grow old together and die at the same time".

I would have left dc1 with exh half the tines over my dead body - but that was sod all to do with gender.

namechangerforaday Fri 04-Jan-13 23:47:10

It would also penalise dc though.

Thankfully DH is amazing (he really is) and I can't imagine splitting so it's a non issue. To quote a song we want to "grow old together and die at the same time".

I would have left dc1 with exh half the tines over my dead body - but that was sod all to do with gender.

gimmecakeandcandy Fri 04-Jan-13 23:48:17

I think I know what you are trying to say op, there just isn't a good way to word it! I think in the very early years mum is more important than dad - not sure after that...

cantthinkofadadsname Fri 04-Jan-13 23:48:43

anne In the early days I couldn't bare to leave DS with anyone. He didn't have an hour away from me til he was 3 months. He wasn't breastfed, I just couldn't bare to be parted from him.

You sound like my ex. We never went out as a couple for a year because she could not bear to leave him at night with someone. We got a mile down the road but then she burst into tears and had to come back.

Meanwhile a friend of mine went away for a weekend whilst her husband looked after the baby.

My ex was very PFB of my son. Or is that controlling and over protective?

AnneNonimous Fri 04-Jan-13 23:50:54

cant I'm definitely not that extreme - now me and exP aren't together he stays overnight with him (he is now 9 months)

So I don't consider myself controlling or overprotective. It kills me to have him not here but I also value and encourage their relationship.

AgentZigzag Fri 04-Jan-13 23:52:03

Does the normal meaning for controlling behaviour apply to a baby cantthink?

You have to be in control and protective with a baby, when usually it's used to describe an unhealthy and even abusive attitude to another person.

MsHighwater Fri 04-Jan-13 23:54:06

Expectations are changing. It's relatively easy now to say that it is right for children to stay more with their mother when the parents split because it's what we are more used to. As it becomes ever more normal for fathers to be more actively involved in their dc's care, that will change.

I adore my dd and it would break my heart to be separated from her in the way that 50:50 care would involve. But my DH and dd also have a deep bond and a close, loving relationship and I know that, given the choice, he would not be parted from her that much either. Thankfully, we are secure and that's not about tom arise.

Outside of the early months and the bf stage, there is no biological reason, imo, why parents cannot be equal. It's societal and, therefore, subject to change.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 04-Jan-13 23:54:30

You are talking too much about how you feel, and about how mothers and fathers in general feel.

It's not about how they feel, it's about what's best for the children.

Granted, there tend to be more Mothers than Fathers that are the main caregivers, and in those cases it probably would be best if the children were to remain with the Mother rather than the Father in the event of a split. But again, that's because of what the children need, not the parents.

cantthinkofadadsname Fri 04-Jan-13 23:55:28

Controlling as in she knew what was best and my opinion didn't count for one bit.

AnneNonimous Fri 04-Jan-13 23:57:40

I think I shouldn't have brought residency into the post tbh as of course there are so many different circumstances.

But I do still feel a mothers feelings for a child are just stronger. Not from a love point of view. I'm not quite sure what the word is.

Feelingood Fri 04-Jan-13 23:58:31

My DH left me and my son, we lived apart, we reconciled. I could never ever and still don't understand how be could be away from him. I would never do that. Im not sure what this means but I don't think DH loved him any less.

cantthinkofadadsname Sat 05-Jan-13 00:00:02

anne How do you know? There are crap mums and crap dads out there who don't give a shit about there kids.

And parents who would do anything for their children. Anything. My son is the best thing that ever happened to me.

kickassangel Sat 05-Jan-13 00:02:06

I think that bonding comes as much from caring for a child as any natural tendency. Adoptive parents and children feel a strong bond. So can step children and step parents. Being close to a child and providing for their every need really strengthens that bond. So if one parent stays home then they will have that in the early years. As they get older and more independent then it can change, particularly as they develop their own tastes and interests.

That would favor the mother in more cases, but not if both parents work similar hours. It also depends on where each parent lives and the individuals and how the break up happened.

AgentZigzag Sat 05-Jan-13 00:02:50

Do you mean you thought it was best for your ex to go out regardless of whether she was upset and not comfortable at leaving her DC cantthink?

That she should soldier on through regardless of how she felt?

cantthinkofadadsname Sat 05-Jan-13 00:03:14

feeling How do you reconcile not wanting to spend your life with someone in a relationship that should not have been and knowing if you leave, you will not see your DCs as much?

2 happy separated parents or 2 unhappy parents living together.

It is a really tough choice and not an easy one. Believe you me. But society is moving more to recognise that Dads should have a right to see their children.

AnneNonimous Sat 05-Jan-13 00:05:22

cant did you decide to leave and live somewhere else?

ClippedPhoenix Sat 05-Jan-13 00:05:57

Generally YANBU, sadly.

cantthinkofadadsname Sat 05-Jan-13 00:06:33

agent I would have liked to have gone out as a couple sometime during the first year. I looked at all my friends with children of a similar age who were going out and yes - it did kind of put a damper on the relationship that we couldn't go out.

But I put her feelings first and listened to them. It just made things hard in the relationship.

winnybella Sat 05-Jan-13 00:06:39

On the one hand, of course it's societal conditioning etc.

On the other, there is no doubt that men form the great majority of parents who in the aftermath of separation don't bother seeing their children often or at all.

<on the fence>

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 05-Jan-13 00:07:39


And yes,I think my Dad had the same parenting instincts as my Mum. Has utterly equal shared care when they separated.

cantthinkofadadsname Sat 05-Jan-13 00:08:34

anne Our break up had a lot of reasons to it. But yes - I was the one who started the conversation (one we had had even before our son arrived) and we both felt separating was the right thing. Our son is happy, we work well together and we are good friends. All the cliches but I was the one who moved into a shared house.

porridgewithalmondmilk Sat 05-Jan-13 00:08:44

I can't remember the exact figures, but if, in a family with young children, the father dies, the percentage of children who go into care is minute - tiny. The opposite is true of families where the mother dies.

My dad was a great dad but he couldn't cope after my mother died - thankfully, we were in our teens at the time.

zippey Sat 05-Jan-13 00:09:31

I think I get what you are trying to say, but there are some caveats.

Firstly, in your post on 4th June at 23:43 you seem to equate your feeling of not being able to be apart from your DC as being more loving than your DH, who was able to go out.

But I dont think it means you love someone more because you cannot bear to be seperated from them, just as it doesnt mean you love someone less if you are able to go out for the night and leave DC with a babysitter/partner.

Also, you are concluding this from your straw poll, and you are biased, being a woman. The only reason children are more attached to a caregiver is because they spend more time with them. Traditionally this was women who stayed home and looked after the DC. It would work reversly if the man was the main caregiver.

AnneNonimous Sat 05-Jan-13 00:11:46

zippey I've never said exP loves DS less than I do I'd never say that. It's a different sort of feeling.

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