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To spend 4 days and nights every week without child

(52 Posts)
Qedwai Tue 09-Aug-16 22:39:38

I am asking this as I don't know how to advise one of my closest friends.

She is 26 and a Single Mum to a 2 year old. She has had Postnatal Depression since the moment he was born and it has never gone away (she is receiving treatment). She noticed a massive improvement when she went back to living with her family as she felt supported and less lonely but unfortunately her job there ended and she has managed to secure a job in the City she was living when she got pregnant and had her Son.

She has always felt completely overwhelmed by the job of looking after and entertaining her Son without any help and has always welcomed the days when he goes to his Dad's.Her Depression leaves her feeling very tired most of the time. So it's hard for her to effectively parent. Everyone agrees that it is best that she keeps custody of her Son, even if it is shared custody as it is clear that it is just the depression causing problems with her bonding and not that she is a bad Mother.

She now has a job offer with an 3 hour round trip commute, 4 days a week, which would leave her Son in childcare for a very long a day and would leave her tired and stressed with having to juggle long work days to come home to the night routine . Her Son's Dad has offered to have him for 4 days of the weeks that she is at work and have him overnight at his as he loves having him. He will then work the 3 days she has him.

She's wondering if there's anything wrong with that and I'm not sure how to advise her.

This is the plan for a year or so until she can secure accommodation nearer her Parents and have their support. Her Son's Dad would then move nearer to her.

She wants opinions as she says all she gets is 'I could never do that'. Even though she's not asking anyone if they could do it. She wants my opinion of this arrangement.

At the moment her Postnatal depression means that while she does miss her Son when he's away to an extent, she feels happier when he is not in her care.

Both her and her ex earn too much for tax credits and benefits to be affected by their arrangement.

So honestly, how do I advice her? Because I think it's a great idea, best of both worlds. My Partner on the other hand is horrified by the idea! But then he's not a Single Parent with no support network.

loveulotslikejellytots Tue 09-Aug-16 22:45:06

Her son has 2 loving parents who are able to agree on this arrangement and make it work for their family, and if their son is happy too then it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.

I don't think there wouldn't be any question over this if it was the boys Dad working 4 and Mum 3? Or if they were living together, it wouldn't really come into question. When I return to work I'll probably end up spending more time away from DD than DH, it's just how his shifts and my work patten fit, that's how it is.

Tell her to go for it. Her mental well being needs to be a priority for her to look after her son.

YouSay Tue 09-Aug-16 22:46:43

She should go for it.

loveulotslikejellytots Tue 09-Aug-16 22:46:59

Oh and your partner needs to get a grip. He was horrified? Like I said, if this was the other way around I bet he wouldn't have even flinched.

I don't mean that to sound harsh, but come on! It's 2016!

DerekSprechenZeDick Tue 09-Aug-16 22:49:33

That's totally fine. They fit childcare around work and her.

It might be the best thing to happen to her. Concentrate on work 4 days and her son the other 3.

Madlizzy Tue 09-Aug-16 22:51:20

Sounds like the best thing for all of them. No one would bat an eyelid if it was the child's father suggesting it.

Arfarfanarf Tue 09-Aug-16 22:51:43

She should do it.
She needs to be well in order to be the best mum she can be.
It doesnt help her or her son for her to be a martyr and sacrifice her mental wellbeing and delay getting better in order to fulfil stupid ideas about mothers and the people judging her should be ashamed of themselves.

The child has two parents and they can work together. She doesnt have to struggle.

And damn right nobody would be fanning themselves and reaching for the smelling salts if she was a father working away.

longdiling Tue 09-Aug-16 22:52:10

Only thing I would say is to be cautious about how easy it would be to change custody arrangements once she's moved. It's possible that the dad may not want to drop down from 4 days and once a precedent is set it may be difficult to change it. Other than that if the child has a parent who is willing and able to do slightly more childcare while she's ill why not?

Qedwai Tue 09-Aug-16 22:52:55

Maybe horrified is too strong a word. But he definitely found it odd for a Mother to want to be without her child for the majority of the week. And he thought it wasn't that good an idea. But like I said in my OP, he doesn't have depression and isn't a single parent without much support. He understand he's never been in her situation and so can't judge, but when asked for his opinion those were his first reactions.

He also said he wanted to find ways to support her ourselves.

Lesley1980 Tue 09-Aug-16 22:53:10

I think it sounds like a great plan that suits both parents.

CookieLady Tue 09-Aug-16 22:54:34

Go for it!!! As. someone who suffers from depression having my DC in nursery has meant that the days I do have them I'm a better parent as I'm not as exhausted. Screw what others think. Do what's right for you and your child. smile

ExitPursuedByABear Tue 09-Aug-16 22:54:48

Sounds like a great arrangement.

livinginabox Tue 09-Aug-16 22:56:03

I had horrible PND with my first that lasted probably around 2.5 years. It took me a long, long time to properly bond. I worked shifts a fair bit in that time, mostly to escape having to do childcare. I just needed the space to be myself and get mental health back on track. Her DC will be loved s d looked after and that's all that matters.

Redglitter Tue 09-Aug-16 22:57:00

I've got several friends who share joint custody with their ex husbands. They're without their children 3 or 4 nights a week
It's no.different to what many people have to do.

dranaksjd Tue 09-Aug-16 22:59:37

About two weeks ago there was a thread where a Mum admitted she preferred spending time without her Son than with and spent most of the week without her Son/at work.

The replies were massively negatively towards her with people saying she a bad Mum, she won't have a bond with her Son, she can't take any credit for him being a good boy as she never has him among other things.

It's amazing how a different context can change views so massively.

Qedwai Tue 09-Aug-16 23:02:30

She doesn't actually want to officially give him shared custody though. As she desperately needs to move long-term to live nearer parents and wouldn't want him stopping her.

At the moment she has sought legal advice and he has no ability to stop her moving within the U.K but if he has official shared custody he might. Her ex says he is happy not to officially have shared custody as he doesn't mind moving nearer to her parents.

Does seem a bit of a risk to take though on her part.

seventhgonickname Tue 09-Aug-16 23:02:49

Support her in her choice,offer help if her child is ill.Being there and a good friend.Her and her ex have an extremely workable solution for their and their sons needs if those around them help it to work.

BlueFolly Tue 09-Aug-16 23:06:12

it sounds like this option would be best for the child.

londonmummy1966 Tue 09-Aug-16 23:09:39

I had PND and being able to do something other than childcare certainly saved my sanity and probably saved my life as well as I felt I was the world's worst mother and my dds would be better without me. If this is what she wants to do then I'm sure it will be the right thing for her dc as both parents will be heavily involved in care. A mother who is able to take a step back to recharge her batteries between sessions of childcare is going to be much better for the child than one who is simply going through the motions (or not) in a state of exhaustion because that is what society expects of her.

ExtraHotLatteToGo Tue 09-Aug-16 23:28:14

I'm going against the grain here, but if she does this she will not be able to move where she pleases in a years time. Routine will be established and shared care would be granted if he wanted it. It doesn't matter one bit what he says now, it's what he says in a years time that matters and she has no control over that. If she's ok being tied to living where he lives then go ahead, but it would be a stupid move if she's sure she wants to move away.

What's best for the child? No idea, nowhere near enough details.

Arfarfanarf Tue 09-Aug-16 23:31:01

Are the same posters on both threads danask?

If not, all you can say is that different people have different opinions.

RosieSW Tue 09-Aug-16 23:31:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lorelei76 Tue 09-Aug-16 23:33:00

took me a while to understand the question

if she is happy to do the job and the father is happy to have the child then I can't see the problem. If other people are giving her jip, I'd tell them to fuck off. I have a friend who worked abroad for 3 weeks recently and she isn't speaking to a couple of school mums who were so rude to her about it but hey, it's no loss.

It is a great idea and hopefully it will make her feel better in many ways.

PickAChew Tue 09-Aug-16 23:33:40

It sounds like a pretty good arrangement, under the circumstances - bonus that her child will grow up close to his dad.

RubbleBubble00 Tue 09-Aug-16 23:36:25

She needs to do what's best that allows her to be the mum she wants to be. If this will help her mental health then she should go for it. Though would she cope with the commute if she gets so tired

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