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Child contact when cold lives with vulnerable people

(4 Posts)
november90 Sun 19-Apr-20 03:32:47

My DS is 3 and primarily lives with me. My husband left me in jan so we live with my parents. I should say I'm 37 weeks pregnant. My dad has a heart condition, as does my mum who has also recovered breast cancer recently and has scar tissue on her lungs due to a blood clot. We are all in the vulnerable category and have been taking the lockdown measures very seriously. I'm obviously due to give birth to a baby who will hopefully be full of good health, but equally we don't know this at this stage. This is such a critical time.
My ex works in a children's home and lives with his parents. His dad also works in a children's home. Both still working so clearly having regular contact with a huge mixture of people outside of their household.

At the start of lockdown we agreed my son would stay with me due to ex and his dad working and the potential risk. Ex rang up 3 or 4 times to FaceTime which stopped about a week and a half later. We then decided to meet up for social distancing walks approx 2 times a week as ex was missing him. At the start of lockdown my son was really interested in the walks, but now, probably like most other 3 year olds doesn't want to go for his daily walks and is really disinterested. Last week we met up for 2 walks and ds was playing up. Ex has taken it personally and now demanding we return to normal childcare routine because he's concerned about ds behaviour on the walk. Ds is honestly the happiest and most settled I've ever known him and I have done nothing but reassure ex of this. Trust me, this is much harder for me being so heavily pregnant then it can possibly be for anyone else in our situation. But I will push myself to every limit possible to keep my son safe. Ex doesn't ring, FaceTime, text, drop by the window, send pictures or crafts... or anything yet still expects a relationship back from our son.

I can't sleep with worry and just wanted some advice. The gouverment advice clearly states that normal childcare routine can be maintained, however, the advise around when the child lives with vulnerable people isn't clear. I'm so worried that after how unwell my mum gets and with her age she should would die if she got the virus and also what implications it would have with the newborn. Ex told me 2 days ago he is only concerned about his nephew who has asthma contracting the virus and nobody else. I don't believe he takes lockdown seriously, he always seems to be at the supermarket and even let someone cut his hair "at work" the other day!

Please don't respond with mean comments. I'm a genially worried parent here and I've been through so much stress from this man throughout my pregnancy. I just need some advice!

I've never ever with held contact, that is not my motive here. But I think ex is acting in his own best interest and not our sons and his unborn baby's.

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SuperMumTum Sun 19-Apr-20 06:08:07

I think you are very sensible to keep the whole family shielded and he will just have to accept that. I think those of us who are still happily working in public facing roles find it hard to fully understand the fears of people who fit within the vulnerable categories. I hope someone can give you some more practical advice as to how to deal with it but for now I think you ste doing the right thing and have given the ex plenty of opportunity to maintain a relationship which he doesn't appear to be taking.

sneeuw Sun 19-Apr-20 06:28:35

Do you have a formally written up agreement about the time each of you spends with DS? That would be the starting point I guess.

Then there's his personality. If you say that he can FaceTime daily (at a set time), do window visits at agreed times etc it sounds perfectly reasonable given the situation. And that it's only temporary. However, is this something that he'd manipulate into you denying him access and then take you to court? Obviously that's what you want to avoid - or if it happens, you want it not to get very far - and that's why I think checking your legal options here is best. Basing your decision on solid ground - you never need to say you spoke to someone about it either.

So, I think in your situation I'd want to speak to a lawyer first (a free half hour phone call) to check what the rights of each person in this situation are and where the law regarding social distancing comes into play. I think shielding is fair in your circumstances, but he's already not agreeing, so you want to choose an option that will give you as little blowback long term as possible.

But what's the plan for after the baby is born? Are you (both) planning on him seeing the baby? How will that work with shielding? Perhaps now is the time to set up something that works for the next few months.

november90 Sun 19-Apr-20 08:21:16

Thank you for the replies! When me an ex was sorting child maintenance up he use to threaten court to get joint custody because ultimately he didn't want to pay me anymore. He even said if you want more money I'll take you to court and have them for longer so you won't be allowed it! He's left me in our joint debt and also not given me a penny towards our new baby's pram, crib or anything. He threatened to take the baby away from me despite him knowing we would be breast feeding. But we did move past this and agreed a sum and he said he wouldn't be doing any of those above things. I did however get some legal advice. As were married they said that he would be entitled 50/50 via the courts so it would be much better to agree childcare outside of court. We've been getting on well recently, at arms length, but he's just so touchy and sensitive to rejection. There's been elements of definite emotional abuses/blackmail in our relationship and he just walked out, I don't feel he's emotionally stable to have the kids any more then he does!
I think seeing if I can get another free solicitor session is a good idea regarding the corona situation, I'll look into it smile
Has there been any gouverment advise around this in the meantime does anyone know?
I even suggested to him that I would set the swimming pool and all the toys up in the garden for him to play at our house on his own with our son but he said no! What more can I do here. This is a man who just wants his own way with no thought for anyone else. He turns it around on me and always makes out I'm over the top protective and it's not fair! I think I'm being perfectly reasonable. If he cared so much why isn't he ringing or FaceTiming?!

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