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To think if more fathers were primary careers after divorce, more women would be happier?

(27 Posts)
MillionPramMiles Fri 13-Sep-13 09:00:26

After reading some of the posts on the Relationships page it seems that:
Dad gets bored with tedium of parenthood
Dad leaves and starts exciting new life of freedom
Mum gets left holding the baby, short of cash, trying to juggle work and childcare/chores.

Have any mums considered being the one to leave instead? It sounds much easier to pop by at weekends and do fun stuff with a child who is fed up with the exhausted, frazzled parent at home.

Granted, for couples where there isn't the same earning capacity or where the dad is abusive etc that isn't possible. But what about couples where both work, both are capable of being the primary carer?

I'll be advising my dd to stay financially independent and never, ever to have a child with a man she doesn't think is capable of being a primary carer. I really feel for some of the posters, they've been royally screwed.

TrinityRhino Fri 13-Sep-13 09:02:49

I could never leave my children

noisytoys Fri 13-Sep-13 09:04:11

My DM left when I was 2 (DBs were 4 and 1). DF became a primary carer and he was a very good one. I think it is him that has moulded my views on men and I won't be with anyone who does less than their share of the house work and childcare.

diddl Fri 13-Sep-13 09:06:18

Surely most mums don't want to leave though & are rightly pissed off as the men absolve themselves of all responsibility & fit the child in when they can?

usuallyright Fri 13-Sep-13 09:06:51

nope. I couldn't leave and hand my kids over.
I know people say gender is a social construct etc and men have the same love for their kids as us, but I disagree.
My dh adores his kids, but you absolutely DO have a closer connection as a result of carrying them in your womb for 9 months, birthing them, breast feeding them. And yes, a tiny minority of women walk out. Very rare though.

StanleyLambchop Fri 13-Sep-13 09:07:18

I think all parents have probably fantasised about being able to just 'pop -in' to see the children whilst someone else does all the daily graft, but in reality I know that when my dc are away from me (at Grandparents, school camp etc) I do miss them terribly, wonder how they are, miss hearing about their day. So I don't think it would be something I personally could do.

neunundneunzigluftballons Fri 13-Sep-13 09:12:36

I have heard of some women doing it too. 2 guys i know wives walked out and they barely looked back. How I scoffed when I heard one of the wives being referred to as an early childhood expert a few years later at a public event but the world is a funny place. The second one would from time to time see her kids but always insisted one be left behind, the eldest, because she was to much like hard work. The Dad cut all access eventually. It is shitty no matter which parent does it I just cannot respect someone who behaves like that. Relationship break ups should not equal parent child break ups without seriously extenuating circumstances.

crescentmoon Fri 13-Sep-13 09:14:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Birdsgottafly Fri 13-Sep-13 09:17:13

I can't quite believe that you are a Mum, yet are saying what you are like you are deciding which one gets to keep the family pet, l

GrandstandingBlueTit Fri 13-Sep-13 09:21:42

Women do do it. But they're the exception that proves the rule.

I would miss my kids too much. I can't ever see my DH leaving me/them/us because - likewise - he would miss them too much. We are stuck with each other in a way, because neither of us can envisage life without our children.

I don't understand men who can walk away from their families. I think it takes an unbelievably cold, detatched sort of person, regardless of sex/gender, to do that.

Birdsgottafly Fri 13-Sep-13 09:22:30

Pressed to soon.

There are lots of things to consider when deciding who has residency and the needs of the child come first.

If Mum has been primary carer, then she should continue to be, at first at least.

You are completely ignoring the attachment of the child to their Parents and the bond back.

Then there are the practical issues, as often it is the Father working, at least greater hours.

So do you think that those Dads who are leaving the Mother to struggle and not making an effort with their children, should even be considered for residency?

The way you have put it, sounds as though you are writing an essay for school, tbh.

Bonsoir Fri 13-Sep-13 09:23:42

My DP is primary carer for DSS1 and DSS2, who are now 18 and 16. The DSSs despise their mother deeply for not bringing them up. The relationship barely exists.

Birdsgottafly Fri 13-Sep-13 09:24:25

However I think that the judgement that is put on Mothers who decide not to have residency is wrong.

Women are judged too harshly when they leave their children in the care if a capable Father.

WilsonFrickett Fri 13-Sep-13 09:33:08

I couldn't do it, but that's not because I'm a woman. I don't think my DP could leave our son either.

But think about what you just posted: man gets bored and leaves. He's hardly going to be a candidate for ft care of his kids, is he?

I suspect one of the reasons women do get left literally holding the baby is that society judges women who leave their kids incredibly harshly. And society doesn't really judge men who leave their families at all.

BrokenSunglasses Fri 13-Sep-13 09:48:26

No, I don't think it would make women happier at all.

Women are currently very lucky that they get to be the default resident parent in the event of a split. I feel deeply sorry for the many wonderful dads who, following a break up, are relegated to being a part time parent.

You are being very simplistic by saying 'man gets bored and leaves'. Plenty of women end their relationships, and plenty of men are left devastated that they don't get to see their children every day. If the tides turned and more women were in that position, then it wouldn't make them happier at all.

I think attitudes need to change to make it easier for people to parent together when they live separately. There are too many cases where new partners make it difficult for separated parents to communicate regularly and spend time together, and as recent threads on here have shown, a lot of people still think it's wrong that two people parent together when they aren't in a relationship. If this changed, then maybe some women would be happier because they could still be fully participating parents even if they don't live with their children. But too many NRPs are only parents every other weekend.

maleview70 Fri 13-Sep-13 09:57:16

I have had the "benefit" of this...

When my wife decided to have an affair and threw me
out, I missed my son like crazy at first but once I knew he wasnt going anywhere and I could phone him on the days I didn't have him, I got used to it and actually quite enjoye having a few nights free to myself. I can see where you are coming from!

TheGirlFromIpanema Fri 13-Sep-13 09:59:13

Its something I may have explored on separation if ex had been a decent parent up to that point.

He hadn't, so I didn't even consider it.

Tbh, I think this is true in plenty of relationship break-ups.

SeaSickSal Fri 13-Sep-13 10:09:57

I wouldn't leave my children but DH wouldn't either and I'm pretty sure if the worst happened we would try to be 50/50 as far as we could. I think the key is only to have kids with someone you can be fairly certain will still be around for the kids most of the time if you split, rather than being the primary carer being one of two carers.

Birdsgottafly Fri 13-Sep-13 10:17:45

Up until the age if around seven, though, children need someone to be Primary, then shared care is possible, but both parents need to live fairly close.

Otherwise, children miss out on friendships etc, but then seeing the other parent with a new partner ( and their children) can cause problems.

There is always going to be some problems.

Jessicarthorse Fri 13-Sep-13 10:26:05

I'll be advising my dd to stay financially independent and never, ever to have a child with a man she doesn't think is capable of being a primary carer

Given that no one can possibly know how capable another person is of being a primary carer before they have a child, perhaps you should conclude your advice to your DD after the word 'child'?

YoureBeingADick Fri 13-Sep-13 10:29:04

because I wanted to leave my partner- not my children. hmm

Sinful1 Fri 13-Sep-13 10:31:14

Given how much men are fighting for an equal chance to get the kids after a split I don't think that would be the case.

LazyMonkeyButler Fri 13-Sep-13 10:35:01

Some women may be happier living that life, yes. Just as some men are.

However, I would never leave my children and not all men leaving the family home do so because they are "bored with the tedium of parenthood". Far from it.

MillionPramMiles Fri 13-Sep-13 11:27:02

I think I probably didn't explain what I was trying to say properly, I'm not advocating any parent leaving their child, I'm talking about who becomes the primary carer.
Not being the primary carer doesn't equate to leaving your children or not being a loving, caring parent - or does it?
What if shared care isn't a practical possibility? Is the non primary carer automatically a bad parent?

I agree with some of the OPs that society is harsh on woman who are not the primary carer (note I didn't say women who leave their children). I don't agree that women have some automatic closer 'bond' that means they should always be in pole position as a parent. Fathers are just as capable and perpetuating the myth that they're just not 'made that way' doesn't help anyone.

The primary carer (if there has to be one) should be a practical decision, not just an emotive one and certainly not an automatic one, I would have thought.

Jan49 Fri 13-Sep-13 11:49:48

My ex had an affair and left me for OW. I was left to bring up our ds alone. Ex saw him mostly one day at weekends and an evening or 2 in the week, but was reluctant to see him for longer and lived near enough that overnights weren't strictly necessary.

I would have liked a more equitable sharing of childcare with our ds spending a lot more time with his dad, but that would never have happened. Over time ex became less and less willing to spend time with our ds and made the visits more difficult so that ds didn't like going, then blamed ds for that. Ds is now an adult and has almost no relationship with his dad. He finds his dad difficult and prefers not to spend too much time with him.

There is no way I'd have chosen to end the marriage of my own accord or leave the family home so there is no way I'd have left instead of ex. I was also the primary carer before we split up, though we both worked FT. There is no way ex would have become the primary carer after he left. Even if I'd been dead, he simply wouldn't do the things you need to do to provide care.

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