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Requirements for a non resident parent?

(18 Posts)
CupidStuntSurvivor Sat 29-Nov-14 18:03:16

I've had to name change recently but some of you may recognise bits of my story.

Basically, I had to leave my ex when our DD was just 6 weeks old for her safety. Ex has had supervised contact only since.

Though he and I will never be friends (he was highly emotionally and financially abusive in our relationship), the idea was always that once I'm comfortable he can actually be a competent parent, we'd start talking about unsupervised access. Small amounts at first but gradually building up to 'normal' levels for a NRP who works long hours.

DD is nearly 8 months old now and in the past couple of weeks, he's started to show a bit more interest in learning how to actually look after her. He brought up unsupervised contact in passing last week and I said that even if I was more amenable to the idea, at the very least he'd need to get a car seat for his car (DD is a big baby, already on the cusp of outgrowing her first.)

In the interest of being prepared for the inevitable conversation, what other things would it be reasonable for me to say he must have before proper overnight visits can be considered? A stock of nappies at his house? Milk powder? Clothing for her? A proper cot? High chair? Toys? A pram? Bottles? Steriliser?

When she and I stay with friends or family overnight, I have to pack loads to make sure she has everything she needs and I really wouldn't be prepared to do it every time he takes her.

So what should he be covering and what would it be unreasonable for me to say I won't cover? WIBU to say he must have the full parental set up in order to have her overnight? (He's on a very good wage so this wouldn't create a barrier for unsupervised access.)

BeeRayKay Sat 29-Nov-14 18:21:42

that'd exactly what id do. I'd expect him to have everything I did. apart from any comforter she may have. both my girls have blankies that they take every where.

CupidStuntSurvivor Sat 29-Nov-14 18:39:53

Phew smile. Good to see I'm not the only one who doesn't agree with the idea of packing up a maintenance bag!

listed Sat 29-Nov-14 18:44:07

Yep, full parental set up, and he gets no overnights until he's demonstrated he can cope on his own. What if the baby becomes ill? Does he know what to do?

I don't send DS with anything, not even extra layers. He would come back without any extras so I make sure there's nothing that could get lost.

TrendStopper Sat 29-Nov-14 18:47:49

I would say he should have the big things like cot, high chair, pram. But if he will only have ur dd once a fortnight for instance I don't think he needs his own wardrobe for her because she will grow out of clothes really quickly at her age.

queenofthepirates Sat 29-Nov-14 18:53:57

Definitely say a full set up but bear in mind she may want some things to go with her to preserve the link with you-if she goes to dad's and it's all new, she may panic. I think I might!

CupidStuntSurvivor Sat 29-Nov-14 19:17:14

listed - he definitely doesn't currently know what to do. I suspect his first move would be to ring me and ask me to come help. But I'll be being extremely cautious with how much time I allow and when I allow it. I definitely won't be letting have even a couple of hours unsupervised until he consistently comes here to see her for the afternoon/evening and I can go get a bath and read a book without interruption. This hasn't happened yet...he knocks on the bathroom door to ask about whether she's allowed on her front etc. He knows it's not good enough and he's very aware there will be hoops to jump through before I can trust him to look after her.

gingerbreadshoes Sat 29-Nov-14 19:19:47

I do send my ds with a bag of things he might need whilst staying at his dad's house. This includes all of the clothes he might need including spares, the only exception is a coat which he has bought, a pushchair, nappy bag and the carseat as we share it.

I so this because xdp pays me maintenance and I feel that these things should be covered by that. It would be a totally different story if he didn't pay.

CupidStuntSurvivor Sat 29-Nov-14 19:22:29

Definitely taking the advice about making sure she has comforters! Thank you, I might not have thought about that with all the bigger items swimming round my brain.

CupidStuntSurvivor Sat 29-Nov-14 19:25:48

ginger - my ex does pay maintenance but once he gets overnight stays, maintenance will be reduced to reflect the need for these items...ie, things he then needs to look after DD while she's with him.

(Not dismissing your POV by the way...I welcome it. It's exactly the type of feedback I'm looking for so I can find the right balance.)

gingerbreadshoes Sat 29-Nov-14 19:30:44

Ahh well that is where the difference is, he hasn't reduced his maintenance since the overnights began. If he had done then I would do exactly like you and not send anything as he has the money to pay for it rather than you.

NeedsAsockamnesty Sat 29-Nov-14 19:45:40

Everything the child needs when in the none resident parents care is that parents responsibility.

But you cannot insist on standards for example if he gets a travel cot you cannot say its not acceptable and you cannot dictate type of car seat that sort of thing.

Maintainance is irrelevant as the system reflects the NRP's contact

NeedsAsockamnesty Sat 29-Nov-14 19:48:35

About comforters its often a good idea to have 2/3 of the item and ash them all about wash them lots that sort of thing.

With the best will in the world it will one day get left behind and having none brand new looking replacements can be a god send

CupidStuntSurvivor Sat 29-Nov-14 19:51:41

Needs - would it be reasonable to at least say the car seat must be brand new? I really don't agree with second hand car seats. We actually had a big argument about it when I was pregnant which resulted in him not speaking to me for a week

Keletubbie Sat 29-Nov-14 19:58:06

I think you might be being a bit harsh. Is there a reason he can't use the existing pushchair? She'll need somewhere to sleep, but would a travel for suffice for once a fortnight?
I know it's a PITA to be sending stuff, but while they're tiny it's the easiest way to maintain consistency, surely?

CupidStuntSurvivor Sat 29-Nov-14 20:13:36

I do take the point about the travel cot actually. She has a travel cot to stay in at my mum's when we go there so I suppose it's no different.

With the pram, it's the arse ache of having to have this stuff ready when he takes her. I don't keep it in the flat...if I'm staying local with her, I use a carrier (which would be a good option if he'd use it but I'm sure he won't) so it's kept locked away in the car. And if he breaks it, or his dog does (he's clumsy and his dog chews everything when not supervised) I'm fairly sure he'd say he's not replacing it. Loads of back story here but in short, when I left him, me and DD had to leave the house and he refused to give me half of our joint possessions...said he needed them so I'd have to buy new stuff. Despite him being in a well paid job and me having been made redundant while on maternity leave. I'm trying to let things go for DD's sake but I think I'd be wise not to trust him with the more expensive things I can't afford to replace.

RandomMess Sat 29-Nov-14 20:20:17

Just tell him he needs to provide everything - will make it far less stressful for you and limit the amount of interaction you need.

Regarding car seats, please don't rush her into a forward facing seat. Their legs do get bent up but rear facing is far safer so long as their eye level is not higher than the back of the seat and they aren't over the weight limit. Also they shouldn't wear coats in car seats.

CupidStuntSurvivor Sat 29-Nov-14 20:30:59

Random she's 24lbs so fast outgrowing her first seat. Only a couple more lbs to go before it's unsuitable for her size. I'm looking to get a combination seat so we can stay rear facing for longer smile. And YY to making sure she isn't wearing a coat or snow suit.

This is precisely the stuff the ex has no clue about angry. It's like I have to take the last 8 months of me learning how to be a parent and condense it into a user guide for him.

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