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Ex wants me to screw with sleep pattern so he gets visitation?

(229 Posts)
Badidas5 Mon 04-Mar-19 21:27:01

Separated from ex whilst I was pregnant. I live about 50 minutes away from him now. He was abusive emotionally towards me and I left. We have a son together and he obviously wants to see his son. He never gets home from work before 5. My son is now in a routine (he's 5 months old) and is always asleep between 7 and 8. I'm trying to explain that this is the pattern Our son is in naturally, and I've tried explaining this. He's just reached a point where he does the same thing every night. It's beneficial for me and a pattern that suits both of us.

He wants me to change his whole pattern so he gets longer with him on a weekday. I've said no, it's not beneficial to our son. I'm already travelling almost an hour there and about hour back for a short period of time so he can see him.

I'm close to just saying no and only doing weekend contact. He wants 2 evenings on a weekday and it just doesn't work. I've changed my working hours drastically to suit my son's needs. Taken a significant pay decrease so I can be there to pick him up and take him to nursery every day. He just says 'I finish at 5 sorry' - that's it.

What am I to do? AIBU? Should I really consider changing my son's whole routine

Badidas5 Mon 04-Mar-19 21:28:32

? I'm still on maternity leave but going back to work and he's going in to nursery in end of August.

Don't know what to do...

Fiveredbricks Mon 04-Mar-19 21:28:50

He wants contact he can bloody travel. Why are you doing all the leg work?

user1498854363 Mon 04-Mar-19 21:30:49

Op, I wouldn’t be changing ds routine. At 5minths ds doesn’t need the disruption and ex should be coming to him to see him. Mid week visits are necessary.

Ex needs to understand contact is to suit ds not him. He wants a child he has to make changes.

user1493413286 Mon 04-Mar-19 21:31:05

No don’t change his routine! If he wants to see him then he either needs to fit around his routine or change his working hours.
I know it’s not the same but my DH gets home from work after DD has gone to bed (7.30) and it’s never occurred to us to change her routine just so he can see her

FascinatingCarrot Mon 04-Mar-19 21:31:20

He is still emotionally abusing you using your child. Let this carry on and you may as well not have left. Do whats best for you and your child. He wants to see him? Crack on Daddy, make the effort.

user1498854363 Mon 04-Mar-19 21:31:25

Months, and mid week visits are NOT necessary

RagingWhoreBag Mon 04-Mar-19 21:31:30

No, your ex needs to work around what is best for your son. That isn’t spending two hours sat in the car and being kept up past his bedtime.

I’m not usually one for making things difficult, but as your son is so young, your ex should be the one visiting and it should be around timings which work for the child. If that means weekends only, so be it.

Middlrm Mon 04-Mar-19 21:33:38

You shouldn’t have to do the keg work or not all of it ... and if he wants longer maybe one Saturday or Sunday every other weehe. He comes to you ? Or netural ground x

Onceuponacheesecake Mon 04-Mar-19 21:36:51

Your son is 5 months old, this is not in his best interests and I agree with you OP.

LordVoldetort Mon 04-Mar-19 21:36:57

Nah, I wouldn’t be changing a routine, especially if it works.

Why are you doing all the ferrying? I would be telling your EX that he needs to come to you for mid week contact especially when you go back to work/nursery

YouSayPotatoesISayVodka Mon 04-Mar-19 21:37:58

Your ex needs to be travelling to you for contact at this age at least. Yes, babies are portable but not at that time of day- it’s winding down time.

TORDEVAN Mon 04-Mar-19 21:38:11

Why are you driving a baby a 2 hour round trip to see him?! Let him come to you! Don't change the baby's routine - it's good for the baby and good for you.
Also consider, a 5 month old travels much better than a slightly older child e.g. 17 month old. My 17 month old gets agitated after too long in the car now (has done for about 8/9 months unless she's tired enough to sleep through the journey), and if my 17 Month old gets any sleep in the car between 5 and 7 then the 7:15 bedtime can be forgotten and so routine is ruined. So (to me at least) the current situation does not sound doable long term.

Did he move away or did you?

RandomMess Mon 04-Mar-19 21:40:47

You just offer him contact in your home town...

Can't make it before 6pm it's tough he'll have to make do with weekends for now.

LifeOfLimes Mon 04-Mar-19 21:57:53

As has already been said- he should be traveling to see his child.
Could he not then go through the bedtime routine and put baby to bed at yours? He gets to spend more time with him that way and hopefully it's better for you too.

Badidas5 Mon 04-Mar-19 22:01:32

He thinks I'm being difficult. He is the one that walked out on me whilst I was pregnant. I know that doesn't change things but he seems to think I'm doing this on purpose.

I'm asking this genuinely, AIBU to tell him that I'm not changing his routine every week even for a day so he can spend longer with him ? He will still see him just not for hours

Zofloramummy Mon 04-Mar-19 22:16:30

He needs to travel.

You are not being unreasonable.

He is selfish and putting his needs before his sons.

Zofloramummy Mon 04-Mar-19 22:16:53

Actually wants not needs.

Is he paying maintenance?

altiara Mon 04-Mar-19 22:19:07

He’s 5 months old- you can try and change his routine all you like but he might still sleep then. The same way the 5am wakers don’t care what time you put them to bed!

TriciaH87 Mon 04-Mar-19 22:20:14

If he wants contact he travels not you with a baby. Also access should be when suits you.

kingfisherblue33 Mon 04-Mar-19 22:24:37

Wtf?f? The non resident parent travels to pick up the dc from the resident parent.

Why are you travelling and spending money on petrol?

Is your ex paying via CMS? If not, get I’m to.

He sounds like a right selfish dick.

Your ds is a baby. Your ex should be fitting in round ds’s routine.

AnotherEmma Mon 04-Mar-19 22:27:59

"Why are you driving a baby a 2 hour round trip to see him?! Let him come to you! "

This. Get your priorities right. Stop trying to please an abuser and start prioritising your baby's needs.

Do the Freedom Programme, it will help you sort your head out and undo the damage he has clearly done.

tenbob Mon 04-Mar-19 22:30:22

He should be the one travelling to you, to fit in with his routine

If you were still together, you wouldn’t be keeping the baby up if he worked late
Baby’s routine (and all other needs) come first
Adults (especially ones who walked out on babies) come a big second

janetforpresident Mon 04-Mar-19 22:35:23

Yanbu and it will be years before your ds has a later bedtime so he needs to think about changing his work pattern, moving or sucking it up. Plenty of parents have the same problem.even if they live with their kids.

Missingstreetlife Mon 04-Mar-19 22:39:43

Let him go too court. They will laugh.

Santaclarita Mon 04-Mar-19 22:43:46

Go to court. They will wipe the floor with him.

He should be travelling. Stop travelling to him. The baby needs a routine and he can get over it. Stupid man.

FermatsTheorem Mon 04-Mar-19 22:47:45

Another one who is saying tell him to go to court.

Custody is arranged round the needs of the child. Keeping a 5 month old baby up past 7 o'clock bedtime is clearly not what a child that age needs.

Cherrysoup Mon 04-Mar-19 22:49:12

Tell him to get to fuck. No way should you be travelling, that’s so ridiculous! He walked out, not you. He travels, not you. Weekends only and if he objects, tell him to go to court. Stop letting him take the piss, which is what he’s doing, OP.

PinaColada1 Mon 04-Mar-19 22:55:05

No, this is not in your child’s best interests.
Do not do the travel, this is not in your child’s best interests.
Do not engage, be very ‘grey rock’.

Let the visits tail off, as they will if you are not doing the traveling. You need to distance yourself and look after yourself and your baby. Number one priority now.

Singlenotsingle Mon 04-Mar-19 22:58:16

Why are you doing the travelling? shock No way on God's Earth should you be dragging that poor baby out in the car to see his feckless father.

BusySnipingOnCallOfDuty Mon 04-Mar-19 23:00:23

Is contact already arranged through court? I strongly suggest witholding contact until it has gone through court officially.

Chocmallows Mon 04-Mar-19 23:01:51

I was taken to court by my ex, he has control issues and wanted to ask for more and less time at exactly the same time - he was so hell bent on saying life me was unfair on him he could not see that what he was asking was a contradiction. He said he did not have the free-time I have to see the DCs (I work PT) so said I was asking too much from him and also at the same time said that I was blocking access.

The court could see that I was putting the DCs first and that he just wanted control. I got more freedom than I ever expected. I do not have to run around after him and pick-ups are not at my home (my DCs are school age).

If you go to court look online for advice first before paying for a solicitor (not forums but legally reliable sites, position statements are easy to find, the paperwork is numbered and sounds complicated but it really is not. Judges are supportive of people in litigant (supporting themselves), but I will be honest I can be quite assertive since my ex left and I was determined to ask for everything my DCs need and could not see why I should pay for it.

ScarletBitch Mon 04-Mar-19 23:03:51

I don't think you are being unreasonable, offer him 1 night a week then EOW. If that is not good enough tell him to go get a court order where he will be offered exactly the same. I understand he wants to bond with baby and that's great, difficulty for all especially when he works.

PanamaPattie Mon 04-Mar-19 23:03:55

If he wants to see his son, he gets in the car and meets you at a neutral place at the weekend. He had no right to see your son in your home - more chances for abuse and it blurs boundaries.

If ex doesn't like this, he can go to court.

AnotherEmma Mon 04-Mar-19 23:05:14

Child Law Advice is a good website.
This is another good one:

RomanyQueen1 Mon 04-Mar-19 23:11:25

This is not in your child's best interest and neither is being ferried around in a car seat for that long.
Stop doing it and stop allowing him to abuse you, he has gone.

Badidas5 Mon 04-Mar-19 23:16:34

It's really hard to be assertive.

Badidas5 Mon 04-Mar-19 23:16:45

I'm so tired of it all.

NeverTwerkNaked Mon 04-Mar-19 23:16:48

Spending all that time in the car is clearly not right for your DS. I know it’s hard when you have been in an abusive relationship but you need to stand up to your ex and say no. Let him take you to court if he insists. This clearly isn’t what a 5mo old needs in the evenings. If he wants to see him then he should travel.

Badidas5 Mon 04-Mar-19 23:17:18

He's telling me that because I moved that I need to travel.

NeverTwerkNaked Mon 04-Mar-19 23:19:11

It is really really hard to be assertive. I know that. But until you start doing it your ex will capitalise on his power. I find it easier to be assertive in writing so don’t discuss anything in person. And I make sure I control how quickly I reply so I can control the speed of a disagreement. I give myself thinking time before replying - never reply in haste.

PanamaPattie Mon 04-Mar-19 23:19:21

Don't speak to him. Use email for communication. Block him. He can't bully you that way.

RomanyQueen1 Mon 04-Mar-19 23:19:43

Tell him to fuck off, seriously. He left you, it's not your fault.
You moved for the good of your child, did he?

Badidas5 Mon 04-Mar-19 23:20:33

I wish I could prove how emotionally abusive he was but I broke my phone and my messages weren't backed up. So upset as I would get legal aid and could afford court if I could. He really was quite horrid to me.

Badidas5 Mon 04-Mar-19 23:21:12

Even if I was the one who left would it make a difference? He was still an arse (he left though not me. I just moved house).

Chocmallows Mon 04-Mar-19 23:29:08

Change the times to suit your DC, not him and not you. Tell your ex that you are doing this for your DC and make all communication from the starting point of "DC needs..."

If he takes you to court he will be encouraged to have mediation with you first (called a MIAM, but just mediation to see if things can be resolved). If this fails you go to court but he pays and you will see his statement first to see what he wants. If it is clearly not beneficial to DC than you may be able to put your point across without legal help. Family court is not legal court, the judges ask simple questions and everything is based on the child not either parent.

PyongyangKipperbang Mon 04-Mar-19 23:33:16


"You seem to misunderstand the reality of our situation. Your contact with our son is for his benefit, not yours. You, as a parent, must put your own wants second to your sons needs. He is available for you to visit between X and Ypm on A and B days, I will no longer be bringing him to you but you are welcome to visit him here. I will only communicate via text or email about this."

Do not answer any calls from him, force him to text you so you may be able to get evidence to get legal aid.

PyongyangKipperbang Mon 04-Mar-19 23:34:17

And dont worry too much, as soon as he actually has to put some effort in he will stop making any effort to see your son and will soon drift out of your lives.....

timeisnotaline Mon 04-Mar-19 23:38:41

He’s still abusing you op, making you do all the running and jumping when he says jump. You are looking after a baby. He left. If he wants to see the baby he can travel. If the baby has a routine he can fit in it. And he should pay for his child.
Don’t worry about court. As others say they will laugh at him.

ineedaholidaynow Mon 04-Mar-19 23:42:15

Does he see him at weekends? Will the plan be when he is older to do overnights?

Is he paying maintenance? Has he helped in any way with getting things for your DS?

Badidas5 Mon 04-Mar-19 23:42:57

Will they really though? I'm scared they would make me drive a lot and would go with the father's side.

thefirst48 Mon 04-Mar-19 23:43:44

No court would force you to change a child's sleeping pattern.

Sparkles1992 Mon 04-Mar-19 23:44:32

I don't have any advice but I'm currently 31 weeks and my ex left me when I was 19 weeks, he's since told me that I'll have to express my milk and that he won't be treated like every other visitor when I told him he's welcome to come and visit but at my house and the baby won't be leaving me. I'm dreading all of this.

It infuriates me that the men get to walk away when you plan to be a family and then it's mothers who have to miss out on precious time with their babies. I'm devastated at the thought of handing my LO over and also because I don't trust that he would know what he was doing properly.

It's an awful situation to be in and I hope you get an arrangement that suits you! But I agree you shouldn't be travelling and he should be coming to see the baby in the baby's home x

PyongyangKipperbang Mon 04-Mar-19 23:49:00

Sparkles tell him to go to court with his plan. No court would tell you to express, that is patently ridiculous.

And dont forget that you dont have to register him as the father. You can do it alone and leave his name off, forcing him to go to court to get his name added and to get parental responsibility.

This isnt to keep him out of his childs life, but to show the reality. If he really wants to be a father then he will do whatever it takes, but I rather suspect he will not go to court and simply attempt to bully you into doing what he wants.

Sorry to say to both of you but both of these men have "deadbeat" written all over them. They will be parents when you do the hard work, but wont be when they actually have to step up and pay out.

Tolleshunt Mon 04-Mar-19 23:49:38

He's telling me that because I moved that I need to travel.

He can tell you that all he likes, it doesn't make it true. Just refuse. He can't make you bundle DS into the car and drive 50 miles to see him. You are doing that, out of woke misplaced sense of obligation, or fear of being unfair, or not nice, or whatever he has gaslit you into feeling.

Pyongyang's email text is perfect. Use that and stick to it. I agree that he is likely to reduce his desire to see his son once he has to do all the running to make it happen. Ans he may well provide you with some written ammo to use.

If you ever feel like weakening, remember you are doing this for your son. He needs a strong and stable role model, and not to have his sleep routine disrupted, and not to spend 2 hours in a car seat so that a grown man isn't inconvenienced.

Chloemol Mon 04-Mar-19 23:57:31

He can visit you then.

Graphista Tue 05-Mar-19 00:20:40

"Sorry to say to both of you but both of these men have "deadbeat" written all over them. They will be parents when you do the hard work, but wont be when they actually have to step up and pay out." Yep!

They sound a lot like my ex.

Seen it all before.

The men who really DO want to stay in their kids lives when they're no longer with the mum bend over backwards and do whatever's needed and go the extra mile.

The men who are all about THEIR desires and need to control make a pretence at it for appearances sake (always finding excuses for why they can't comply with contact arrangements, cancelling last min or late, moaning about the cost, the travel, the inconvenience, making out its the mum trying to impede contact when the mum has rearranged umpteen times, not paying maintenance...) when push comes to shove they don't step up and gradually fade out of the child's life.

Personally with hindsight view of my own experience (bending over backward for ex, not pursuing maintenance more aggressively, pushing him to see dd when it was clear as soon as we split he wasn't interested - a 10 min walk was too much effort - chasing him when he was late...) I now advise (here and in real life) to NOT make too much effort, let him show IF he's gonna step up and fair enough if he does then you make more effort too, but don't pursue him on it.

Because to be honest if you bend over backwards for a deadbeat who's showing a lack of interest, you're really just delaying the inevitable. And the longer a deadbeat is in your child's life, the harder it is for the child when they disappear out of their lives, that's what I'm dealing with now and believe me when I say it's utterly heartbreaking.

Chocmallows Tue 05-Mar-19 00:20:44

When I went to court (twice) the judges ignored anything that sounded like moaning. They want to hear what is in the best interests of the child and that comes before anything else.

Decisions are based on facts:
Is it better for a dad to drive to and from the visit alone or child to be harnessed in a carseat for long periods?
Is it better for a child to have routine or dad has an hour more playtime but child too tired to sleep normally after and too tired to attend normal activities next day?
It is obvious what the answers are.

I went along with running about for over 2 years before the court case and wish he had taken me sooner as I kept up the keeping him happy stance when I should have put DCs first.

Badidas5 Tue 05-Mar-19 00:25:25

He's shed a lot of tears over it and wants to see his son, it just won't be on his schedule...

Godowneasy Tue 05-Mar-19 04:18:23

You need to use the fact you're going back to work soon to make a lot of changes to contact. And change your whole mind set towards it.
It's tough being a working single parent, without making it even harder on yourself and ds by doing all the travelling to your ex.
Only agree to contact arrangements that are in your ds's best interests. You don't have to agree to him coming into your home at all, and if you're in the least bit intimidated by him, then I would suggest that you don't allow this at all. The onus is on him to find suitable venues etc.
At 5 months old, contact can be kept quite short at just a few hours, especially if you're breast feeding. You could meet in parks when the weather is better or cafes etc for a few hours on a saturday.
You're in control of what you offer ex contact wise at the moment - just always remember to keep if focussed on what's best for baby. If the ex doesn't like it, then he needs to go through the courts to change it.
You'll find that you'll probably need to adjust the contact as ds gets older, perhaps working towards a whole day and ultimately something like every other weekend.
If there's going to be contact on a week night, then the ex needs to come up with a suitable plan that works for you and ds, and definitely not one that requires changing his sleep routines! It's really not for you to have to make the plan!
It'll be interesting to see whether ex can stick to travelling to your area once a week to see his son when you stop doing all the travelling to him. You may find that he wants to cut it down to fortnightly quite quickly. Either way, you'll be able to see what his commitment is to regular contact, and plan accordingly.
I'd suggest that you don't make long term agreements wiith ex at the moment that are written in stone. Suggest you try out a plan for 3 or 6 months and then review it at the end of that time, which gives you the opportunity to make some adjustments if neccessary.
I was in a pretty similar situation to you, and it's not easy. I hope it goes well for you.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Tue 05-Mar-19 04:52:00

He's being unreasonable. He wants to see his son then he comes to yours to see him, so that you can put the baby straight down at the right time.
If he wants longer, then he should leave work earlier.
If he can't be bothered, then that's up to him.

You do what's right for the baby, and if he wants to be any kind of decent father, then so should he.

Birdsgottafly Tue 05-Mar-19 05:44:49

"He's telling me that because I moved that I need to travel."

That's usually what is said. You should have considered the travelling before you moved.

But it would only be practical for you to do, whilst you aren't working.

I'll go against the grain and point out how important a good relationship with their Dad is, to boys.

We tale for granted that Men should cope with a, once a week, visit from their children, but then wonder why they don't Parent equally, when the child is going through tough times.

I don't think you should change the natural sleep pattern, it just leads to a grumpy baby. But it's been stated by posters that you don't have to facilitate your ex's wants, but contact with his Dad, is a need of your Son.

What sort of Dad is he? Will he be able to do overnights? It isn't fair for him to not be given the chance to have a good enough relationship to be able to have him for extended periods and the Court would expect you to do that.

What sort of relationship did you have with your Parents? Would you have been happy seeing your Mum or Dad, just on weekends? Would you be happy seeing your Son just of a weekend?

Mysterycat23 Tue 05-Mar-19 05:55:12

Your ex is not on your side OP or the side of DC. Everything that comes out of that man's mouth is designed to get him what HE wants. Can you see that?

You are no longer together. You have the freedom now to not listen to his bullshit. You no longer need to please him, he is unpleasable. Put yourself and DC first, start today.

NicoAndTheNiners Tue 05-Mar-19 06:34:13

When he says you moved so you need to travel tell him that you moved because he left so so he needs to travel. In fact just stop discussing it and let the court tell him.

The court won't think it's in the best interest of a small baby who has been at nursery to get packed into a car and driven for a lengthy journey and then another journey back home.

He can travel, get to yours at 6pm after work and spend an hour with him before bedtime. Problem is I guess that means he's at your house.

The courts may even say weekend visits only while he's so young and there's the distance. Personally I'd be tempted to move even further away, like about a 5 hour drive!

AuntieStella Tue 05-Mar-19 06:47:04

He's telling me that because I moved that I need to travel.

Yes, this is generally correct, whatever the reason for the end of the relationship between the adults.

You have to out the DC, and their right to a relationship with both parents first. No matter how much you dislike the other. No matter how much effort your choice to move puts on you. No matter how tired you are.

I really think the best thing here would be to amend your DC's sleeping patterns to fit the times that work around contact. People change their DC's sleep patterns all the time, when life brings up something that means a change brings benefits to the child. In this case, the benefit is the facilitation of the relationship with his father.

Yes, you may need to move naps gradually - if you AS MN there are lots of threads about how to go about this. It seems daunting because you're tired, fed up and not inclined to facilitate your DC's relationship with his father. I hope you come to realise interfering in that, especially on unnecessary grounds such as nap time, is a far worse thing for DC in the long run.

And you do have to make contact work for all the years of childhood. You might need to rethink living at a distance from DC's father, because the travel issue won't go away, and it was you who chose to move to your current location.

NicoAndTheNiners Tue 05-Mar-19 06:51:51

But maybe the OP had to move, for a job, for family support, etc? All stuff made necessary by the fact the dad left her.

Maybe she couldn't afford to stay in the area he lives in?

Seems so unfair that she would then be punished by having to do all the travelling. Especially if he earns more which if he isn't changing his work hours because of the responsibility of caring for a DC is more likely. So the OP suffers financially because of choosing a job around a child, does the bulk of the child rearing, and has to do the travelling? Seems very wrong.

MaverickSnoopy Tue 05-Mar-19 06:59:23

I read a thread the other day when the OP said she was separating from her DH but couldn't afford to live. It was suggested that she should move to a cheaper area (away from children's father). You really can't win!

OP my 1st and 3rd were both in natural routines by 3mo. Every single time we went somewhere and were back late for any reason they would SCREAM the place down. It was impossible. Never forget the year we went on holiday and were an hour away at 7pm and all hell broke loose for an hour. Didn't stop crying until she went to sleep. Even IF you have to do it, it likely won't work anyway. However it's not in his best interests so very unlikely that it would happen.

Cornettoninja Tue 05-Mar-19 07:03:01

Realistically evening visitations are going to become more and more untenable as your son gets older. Your ex is asking for your son to travel everyday at a time he should be unwinding and getting ready to sleep with baths/stories/whatever. It would be different if he was asking to be part of that routine in ds’s home but he’s not.

You have to stand firm and insist on a visitation schedule appropriate for ds’s age. It’s ur to expect a baby/toddler/school age child to keep up the current pattern. They’ll be exhausted.

quirkychick Tue 05-Mar-19 07:05:13

A 7 to 8pm bedtime is hardly outrageous, though. Most children will be in bed at this time for a long time, my dd is 9yrs old and is in bed by 8pm, so it's a normal pattern. It's not as though the baby is having to be in bed by 5pm, is it. I know several fathers who finish work early on the days they have contact with their children to pick them up from school, as part of their contact. It's important that your baby has contact with its father, but also that it gets enough sleep.

AnotherEmma Tue 05-Mar-19 07:12:00

It's not just bedtime, it's the 2 x 50 minute round trip in the evening. No one should reasonably expect a baby to do that. The father can travel.

NeverTwerkNaked Tue 05-Mar-19 07:29:38

It’s not the bedtime that’s the problem it’s the 2 hours in a car

AuntieStella Tue 05-Mar-19 07:45:27

I took it as read that the OP would have reasons for the move.

There will be a list of pros and cons.

The relative weighing of those pros and cons might change over time. And yes, the parent who moved is typically required to decide the travelling. That is the con. Now she sees what it is really like, then it might be time to reconsider. Perhaps the other pros will still outweigh the driving time.

But the primacy of the DC's right to a relationship with both parents remains. OP needs to find a way to make this work, including her travel. Which she may as well start planning for, because it is so likely it would be ordered if this ever ended up in court.

BertieBotts Tue 05-Mar-19 07:45:54

Babies of 5 months old should ideally be having contact little and often, ie more than once a week, but they also shouldn't be spending too long in car seats, and they don't usually do overnights at such a young age unless the NRP is very established in bedtime and the baby is not breastfed. I wonder if it would help to speak to Women's Aid or the child maintenance service? It would seem reasonable if he travels to you midweek and you travel, or split the travel, at the weekend perhaps?

Oct18mummy Tue 05-Mar-19 07:47:53

Don’t change routine and don’t do all the travelling.

If he wants to see him he will make it happen (change hours, take half day, work lunch) or see him at weekends

AgentJohnson Tue 05-Mar-19 07:57:07

I get your anger and frustration but routines aren’t etched in stone. How do really think that ‘he’s in a routine’ would go down with a judge? Your Ex can be all worst things in the world but that doesn’t make this request unreasonable.

Out of all the battles there will be on the horizon, this probably isn’t one not to pick.

thefirst48 Tue 05-Mar-19 08:01:16

You would need to compromise if he wants to see the little one during the week he would need to travel. It's easier for an adult to travel for up to an hour each way then it is a baby. Then maybe on a weekend you do the travelling?

Chocmallows Tue 05-Mar-19 08:14:33

Agent I think you mean well, but "Routines aren't etched in stone", I don't understand this. They are a set pattern that people like to follow, so a court would consider this important if the child benefits.

If the child has trouble sleeping if over-tired and that changes their mood and behaviour the next day how is that fair for the child? My DC2 (midprimary) has to be in bed before 8.30 as gets exhausted, older DC was more flexible. My ex was dropping him back hungry and tired at 8.30 (verbal agreement was 7.30). Judge agreed with me and weekends back to me are now 6pm so even better. I'm happy they have EOW and time in week, but late drop backs were not fair to DC2.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Tue 05-Mar-19 09:23:04

Let's not forget that the OP's ex is emotionally abusive as well.
This will be taken into consideration (now) by the courts, especially if the OP has had to move away for her own safety.

But because he is EA, it is unreasonable of him to expect the OP to now kowtow to his demands as well - it's just another example of his wanting to control her.

Badidas5 Tue 05-Mar-19 10:41:40

@BertieBotts I have already spoken to women's aid. I had to when I left him as I was so scared about his reaction. They told me to move and that emotional abuse is not ok. That it's important I have support. I'm on SMP and can't afford to rent until I go back to work.

BertieBotts Tue 05-Mar-19 10:43:29

Oh yes I didn't mean in terms of moving, I meant about the contact - they might know what the courts would be likely to say, which means you're not at his mercy of this fear the ciurts would order it anyway. Knowledge on your side makes you stronger.

AnotherEmma Tue 05-Mar-19 12:59:04

Are you claiming all the benefits you're entitled to and getting child maintenance from your ex?

Badidas5 Tue 05-Mar-19 13:30:46

@AnotherEmma I'm not claiming anything yet. I'm sorting it out this week.

@BertieBotts thank you. To be fair I've actually seen a solicitor who said no to travelling. Said he will likely only get access on weekends unless he travels in the week. I tried to compromise so he had more. I'm the one going out of my way because I want my son to see his dad. All I ask is that it falls within his routine.

Chocmallows Tue 05-Mar-19 16:07:34

OP have you ever sought help from CAFCASS? Sometimes they get a bad press, but I found them useful with my EA ex, they had some good impartial advice.

RandomMess Tue 05-Mar-19 16:55:20

Are you currently living with family?

It was not unreasonable to move to be with family after being abandoned as you needed support. So absolutely say no to travel.

Graphista Tue 05-Mar-19 17:22:46

I see the handmaidens/mra's/sympathisers have come out in force!

HE needs to step up, to show his commitment to the child. So far he's had it almost all on his terms! No! This is a bad road to head down.

This is NOT just "nap time" this is the baby's bed time at night, some babies are flexible, others NEED a routine and if you go against that it causes major problems - my dd was like this, I had a rose tinted idea I'd be this relaxed, routine free mum. Dd wasn't having any of it! Even at 18 now she gets grumpy if out of her routine.

Being a good parent means doing what's best for the child, this guy isn't even considering that.

"You have to stand firm and insist on a visitation schedule appropriate for ds’s age. It’s ur to expect a baby/toddler/school age child to keep up the current pattern. They’ll be exhausted." Exactly

I'm also thinking so much time in a car seat at this age can't be good for his spine and respiratory system.

My own experience of court re contact strongly suggests the father would be asked some very pressing questions on WHY he wasn't making ANY compromises to see his child but is expecting the mother AND the child to.

So you've already had legal advice (and local solicitor will know how the judges in that area are likely to rule) so follow it!

You really need to set the tone now that you're not going to allow your ex to control things to the detriment of your child and yourself.

M4J4 Tue 05-Mar-19 19:38:49

Your son will be worse off with a tired, stressed out mum.

Start as you mean to go on, limit visits to weekends and let the ex do the driving.

notapizzaeater Tue 05-Mar-19 19:44:30

Absolutely make him do the driving - not a solution but couldn't he meet you half way ?

kingfisherblue33 Wed 06-Mar-19 08:37:16

A solicitor said no to travelling. Said he will likely only get access on weekends unless he travels in the week. I tried to compromise so he had more. I'm the one going out of my way because I want my son to see his dad

Well, you need to think more about yourself and your ds here, and less about your lazy, useless, feckless, deadbeat ex.

He was emotionally abusive to you! Why are you giving even the smallest amount of consideration to his feelings? He doesn't care about yours. Or his baby's.

You're doing ALL the parenting, night feeds etc. The least he can do is actually drive to see his son.

And yes, get CMS sorted out asap.

RandomMess Wed 06-Mar-19 08:39:31

You have to remember that your DS is too young to really benefit from the contact they currently have so whether it's once or twice a week is of no significance to your DS for months yet!

PinaColada1 Wed 06-Mar-19 10:45:04

because I want my son to see his dad.

Please repeat this to yourself. And then ask... Why? It’s his Dad who needs to want to see his child. His Dad who needs to put his child’s needs first. Part of that, a big part, is respecting his child’s needs FIRST. Above his own.

You are not respecting your baby’s needs first by bundling him into a car for an hours drive just because his Dad can’t be bothered. Your child needs you first and foremost as his main carer, so you also must take care of yourself and not tire yourself out.

I can’t tell you how important it is to reframe your thinking.

Because I used to be like this, for years and years. I put my sons Dads needs before mine and before my sons. I did all the traveling. Regret it hugely now. I needed someone to tell me to be selfish and parent my child.

Please now just repeat...
Your baby’s relationship with his Dad is not your responsibility.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Wed 06-Mar-19 15:14:30

Good advice there from PinaColada. At this age your baby will benefit far more from regular sleep and routines than from a stressed out journey to see a bloke who he can barely focus on, let alone remember from week to week, and who can't be arsed to travel to see him.

Your baby's needs are far more important at this stage than the sperm donor's - and if the sperm donor wants to be seen as "Dad" then he'd better start considering how to put his son's needs first too.

Mmmhmmm Wed 06-Mar-19 15:27:37

You're still letting him control snd manipulate you...I don't understand why you would want to facilitate a relationship between them.

Badidas5 Wed 06-Mar-19 16:54:50

He's winding me up so much. If I don't text back within an hour he send me '??????' It's like I'm obliged to text him with updates 24/7. I feel like I can't tell him to stop pestering me because I still have to spend time with him. He asks to FaceTime 3x a day with his son. It's too much. It's like I can't move on. He still starts his messages by telling me what he's been up to it's like he's still in relationship mode. It's so draining.

GreenTulips Wed 06-Mar-19 17:02:03

You don’t have to answer the phone
You don’t have to text back

Give him a consistent message

How will things change when you go back to work? You need to think ahead - because you are setting a president for the future and you don’t want the travel on top of work.

Plus if he’s that desperate he’ll travel - I doubt he does - he just wants you jumping when he wants you too - and like a fool you are doing what he says

RandomMess Wed 06-Mar-19 17:03:25

So tell him that you have taken advice and weekly contact is to be at weekends at x (your town) either Sat or sunny TIL Z to be agreed on a Monday by email.

You will not be FaceTiming it messaging anymore as it's intrusive and harassing. From now on email only and if he's not happy he can arrange and pay for shuttle mediation.

Send and then BLOCK him

Badidas5 Wed 06-Mar-19 17:10:33

@GreenTulips exactly and I know I'm a fool so why do I do it? I don't know what's wrong with me. It makes me anxious knowing I haven't responded to him. For all he knows I'm in the bath, driving, dealing with a screaming fit re my son, cooking, breastfeeding with my phone out of reach etc etc.

I know it's hard for him being away from him son but surely he just needs to trust that I'll let him know if there's a problem and stop with the constant contact. I'm so anxious about it all.

RandomMess Wed 06-Mar-19 17:12:18

Do you have an email address for him?

Badidas5 Wed 06-Mar-19 17:13:41

@RandomMess I do yes

RandomMess Wed 06-Mar-19 17:22:23

Message once

"You can only email me from now on"

Then BLOCK on everything.

Compose a sensible email offering the contact that prioritises your DS and your needs. Grey rock it is literally you can have this or that nothing else.

To not respond to ANYTHING else.

You need to do this for you and your DS, step away from the drama.

Tolleshunt Wed 06-Mar-19 17:34:29

Repeat to yourself: 'his needs and desires are not my responsibility'. And 'his desires do not trump mine and DS's'. Over and over again. Write it on post-its and stick them all over the house. Believe it. It's true. Your needs mean nothing to him, do they? So why should his mean anything to you? He is not a more worthy person than you are.

Ignore texts, or tell him once only to stop hassling for instant answers.

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