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Such different perspectives!(6 Posts)
Hi all- thought I'd chance my arm and get involved.
My DP is going through a divorce, and is trying to sort out contact arrangements with their mum. Seeing how the 'negotiations' have progressed (ie not very far, a year on- he still gets the bare minimum), has got me thinking about how 2 people can see a set of facts so differently.
For example, when DP finally took the step of going to a solicitor to sort out seeing them more often, he was accused of 'threatening' her. When he called time on mediation because she was obviously not in the right frame of mind for it, she said he was being 'controlling'. When he questioned whether the DS should be starting new after school clubs that clash with his weekends, he was said to be 'ridiculous'- that the children 'shouldn't have to change anything' because of what was going on between the two of them. From his point of view they are going to have to change some (relatively minor) things like that, so they don't have to change big things like how often they see their dad.
I've read these kinds of words and phrases on here quite a lot from my recent lurking, and I wonder- how confident are you in your point of view of a separation and all that comes with it? Do you ever question whether you're doing the right thing by the DCs? Can we ever really know who's in the right?
I can't comment on the threatening/controlling bits, as a lot depends on ow that information as delivered (tone, body language) etc.
But as for the clubs - if the children want to take up a hobby which runs at the weeekend, then yes it will eat into contact time. Just as it eats into leisure time with their mum. That's part of parenting, and the children shouldn't be prevented from learning a new skill, or developing new social relationships, because their parents are separated.
I am separating from my H. Our children already do several different sports/activities which run at the weekend/during holiday time. I will not be happy if H suddenly turns Roy d and says he wo t facilitate them attending as it is during g his contact time - this is our dc's lives, and these activities are important to them.
Thanks. On the body language stuff- it's all written comms, and very factual comms at that.
On the clubs issue- it wouldn't be a problem if he saw them more often- if time weren't so much a premium he absolutely wouldn't mind using some of it to take them to clubs.
DS is 4 and has recently started a whole raft of after school activities, effectively meaning DP is not allowed to see them in the week at all unless he takes him to the activity (the other DS is smaller so bed time is a hard stop).
As with all of this stuff- the above is only my interpretation of what's happening, it might be that I'm way off and he is being unreasonable- what do I know?! I don't want to turn this into a 'so this is my stuff' post- I'm more interested in how people approach such differences of opinion.
THE approach is often dictated by circumstance.
E.g., my middle child does a load of after school clubs, and my youngest doe a couple of clubs and is booked into after school (general play) the rest of the week. They are booked in because all 3 dc are at different schools, and I have to stagger pick up as it's just me collecting. This does mean there will be an impact on H seeing the dc midweek after school, but there is no other way to organise it for our circumstance. H can't/won't help with school pick up, and so I have to find a solution that works for me+3 dc, and he will have to fit around that. I don't mean that in a stroppy way, but eg if dd2 signs up to drama club so that I can collect dd1 first, then ds, and she finished at 5.45pm, then she can't be expected to miss that to suit H (she enjoys drama).
It is complicated, but the thing to remember is that it is the child's needs which should come first, not the adults.
Yep I get it completely, it sounds like you're doing a great job of juggling everything!
To give a bit more background (sorry, I did say I'd stop), their mum also says that DP can't have the DCs on 2 days in the week while she's at work as that's their time with their grandparents...
I guess the tricky bit is where the 'needs of the children' spookily coincide with the wants of one parent. It would be great if there were an app that revealed the right thing to do by the DCs! Maybe I'll look into it.
When we went through 4 years of such crap the judge told exh not to make plans for the dc in my time. (including clubs)
Gps aren't above the nrp for contact either.
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