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overnight stop-overs with ex: too young?

(29 Posts)
Caththerese1973 Fri 01-Jul-05 08:45:29

my husband and I have been separated since March and at the moment he looks after our 27 month old dd two days a week, from nine until five. Right now my ex and I are quibbling because he wants to have her overnight, but since she is only two, I think she is too young. He is sure I am just being spiteful, but I'm honestly not! She is very difficult to put to bed right now, and very clingy, and I am almost 100% sure that she would not want to stop overnight at ANYONE'S house unless I was there.
What are other's opinions? Some of my friends have implied that I am being over protective of my daughter, and I am not sure what the norm is in these circumstances (being myself the child of married parents, albeit very unhappily married parents).

MrsGordonRamsay Fri 01-Jul-05 08:51:03


I would say, if you think he is good enough to mind her during the day, then he should be allowed to have her at night.

If she is as arkward at night as you think she might be, then it will be short lived.

And you will be seen to have done the right thing.

lemonice Fri 01-Jul-05 08:55:39

I would say that on the face of it there isn't any reason why he shouldn't have her to stay with him overnight. If he and she are both happy together drung the day then she would probably soon learn to settle with him overnight.

And it will be good for relationships all around.
It will also give you a little time to yourself.

gigglinggoblin Fri 01-Jul-05 09:02:03

she is probably clingy because she has lost a big part of her life - her dad. you need to let her have a proper relationship with him. i know how hard it is, but she belongs to him as much as she belongs to you. try to plan a night out or something then you wont be sitting in obsessing about it.

vicimelly Fri 01-Jul-05 09:02:06

I agree, if you trust him to look after her then you should let him have her overnight. The sooner the better imo, If she's clingy and difficult at bedtimes, I'd say better to do it now than later, when she's even more used to you being there iyswim.
My ex had our dd overnight for the first time when she was 11 months old, it was a little difficult the first few times settling her, but she got used to it very quickly, and now at four yrs it would never be an issue.


Good luck

WideWebWitch Fri 01-Jul-05 09:18:54

If he has her 2 days a week I don't see why he shouldn't have her overnight tbh. She will get used to it and he sounds capable of dealing with her since he looks after her 2 full days. I'd let him. My ex dh has had ds every other weekend + holidays etc since ds was 2. It wouldn't have occurred to me to stop him from having him overnight tbh.

Kelly1978 Fri 01-Jul-05 09:24:36

I hated the thought of my exp having our children overnight at first. I was pg with ds when we first seperated, so we were limited to daytime visits for a good while. I think overnights started when ds was about 18 months or so, and dd was 3.5. It was really hard at first, and although he never looked after them the way I wanted they were ok.
In the end it was the best thing as the freedom did me good, made me happier and a better mummy. Single parenting isn't easy, I think that break was good for the children and me.

SofiaAmes Fri 01-Jul-05 10:06:20

I agree. Let him her overnight. It will probably sort out the clingy stuff (really normal at this age, by the way). My dd is 2.5 and she loves to work the adult in charge. Dh and I take turns getting up in the night to sort her out and she has learned very quickly to call for the parent she thinks is most likely to come to her. In fact a few weeks ago I was in Italy with my parents and my mother insisted I get some rest and ler her sort out dd. By the second night, dd was calling for my mother instead of me.

feelingold Fri 01-Jul-05 10:23:38

My dd was 3 when her dad left us and he started having her overnight almost straight away and I hated it but she liked going and it soon became the 'norm'. She is now 9 and we are very flexible with our arrangement, some weekends she goes for 1 night sometimes for 2, we let her choose and because we have been like this from the beginning she seems to be very happy and well adjusted (although it would have been very easy for me to disagree with everything her dad says and does I bite my tongue for her sake and always have).
I still hate it that she goes to her dad's most weekends and she also goes on holiday with him, but I know this is best for her.
IMO if your ex is trustworthy and a good dad I would give it a go, it may be more traumatic for you than for her.

dejags Fri 01-Jul-05 10:56:03

I haven't been in your situation cath but if I were I think I'd let her go.

It sounds as if she has a strong relationship with her dad. My experience with my own children is that we often don't give them credit for being able to adapt, she may surprise you.

Perhaps you could give it a trial run. If the worst came to the worst you could go and collect her?

Caligula Fri 01-Jul-05 11:18:48

I think as long as you don't think your H is incompetent and would let her stay in the bath on her own or something stupid, you should let her go.

You could offer to come and help him tuck her up for the first couple of times to put your mind at rest, but he may see this as patronising and interfering, and it may actually make it harder for her to settle. OTOH it might work for you and might be worth a try.

dottee Fri 01-Jul-05 11:25:52

My ex and I split when my two were 3 and 1. When overnight stopevers were suggested (within 3 months of the split), I was reluctant but on a friend's advice and I agreed and I've never regretted it.

My two have maintained their good relationship with their dad and they soon got used to the situation. And it gave me some free time to get my life back on track. I'd say yes. It works all round (or at least it did in our situation).

Caththerese1973 Sat 02-Jul-05 03:45:06

yes, advice appreciated...but our breakup was not good, very traumatic, and there was violence in the relationship, some of which dd saw (although husband never hit or intimidated her). Surely under such circumstances one should take it very slowly with overnight stopovers?

hercules Sat 02-Jul-05 08:23:58

I agreed with other posters up till now. If he's violent then, no, imo he's not a responsible adult and I'd be concerned about day time, never mind night time.
Is he drunk when violent?

beetroot Sat 02-Jul-05 08:31:20

Message withdrawn

hercules Sat 02-Jul-05 08:32:28

What about the violence bit though?

Kelly1978 Sat 02-Jul-05 08:33:26

There was violence in my relationhip with exp too. When I left him I went to a refuge, and then moved to a flat at an address where he wasn't told. This was pretty irrelevant to him seeing the children as they weren't at risk. I did keep a close eye on them though. We used to meet and hand over the children on mutual ground. It just makes it harder for you really, after the relationship with my ex there was no way I wanted my children going to him. It was so hard at first, but it does get easier, and you should find that it will be the best thing for all of you.
We also used solicitors to sort out access, with legal aid. Exh wanted it all doen 'properly', so we had terms of access draw up by solicitors which went back and forth until we had a compromised setup. I also divorced him while I was there. If this doesn't work, you cna take it a step further and have mediators to help sort out agreed access terms. It is far easier though, if you cna make amicable aggreements.

beetroot Sat 02-Jul-05 08:37:22

Message withdrawn

wombat2 Sat 02-Jul-05 08:37:49

This is very similar to my situation - we also split in March and my h was drunk and violent in front of our dds. At the moment, my children only see him with me there - I don't trust him yet although he is getting better. Was your ex drunk? Do you feel he looks after your dd properly when she is there? In my situation, social services were involved (because I had to call the police about h) and they recommended a very cautious approach.

louee Sat 02-Jul-05 08:41:07

violence towards your dd is not relevant in this case i guess ,i think your dd will love staying overnight with her dad and im sure he wouldn't cause her any harm but probably the opposite and become really protective. give them both a chance and let them grow to love each other by being together!! I'm saying this as my ss isnt allowed to see his dad (my hubby)and its been 6 months since theyve even spoken, the BM is the most evil woman i've ever met and any woman that can use their child as a missile needs shooting . good luck and let us know how it goes!!!!

wombat2 Sat 02-Jul-05 08:42:29

Also my ex doesn't seem keen to have the children anyway, so that is a big difference to you. He had been neglectful to them in the past (I came home to find dd2 in the bath while he was asleep drunk ), but if your h wasn't neglectful then maybe it would be OK (doubtful emoticon)?

mancmum Sat 02-Jul-05 08:49:20

if you are concerned about the violence you should not be letting DH see your DD at all, never mind overnight -- and let the courts deal with the fall out..

it does sound though that you are using the violence as a reason to get your own way with the overnight stops... why do you need to control the situation so much -- what really are your concerns about her staying over night? Are you worried he might use it to push for more custody?

gigglinggoblin Sat 02-Jul-05 08:56:14

have to agree with mancmum - and if you go to court they will probably see it that way too. overnight is not really any different from daytime contact - if he is not fit to have her, he shouldnt have her at all. problem for you would be explaining why you have let her have the contact so far if she is not safe

hercules Sat 02-Jul-05 08:58:03

That's true. If he's okay for the day then so should be for the night. However, it sounds like there is more to it.

Thomcat Sat 02-Jul-05 09:02:34

You're bound to feel protective and unsure of this arrangement but I thuink you should bite the bullet and give it a go. I'm sure it'll be horrid for you hon and we'll be here the night she stays away to chat to you but it's for the best at the end of the day, it's good for dadddy and tnh it's good he's offered and wants to do this. It's good for your dd to have that special night and morning time with her daddy. And in the end it'll be good for you as you'll see your dd happy and independent from you a bit and you might even enjoy having the house and some time to yourself a bit every now and then. I do feel for you but it'll be ok. TC xx

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