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beginning access with father, is it hard?

(19 Posts)
WelshCat Sun 12-Jun-11 21:38:14

just a quick post. just started access with 10 month old DS, his father only just met him, all is going well as far as being polite and everyone saying the right things. except, EXP just text me say he told his mum she could see DS on his birthday. i obvs think its a bit hasty, as he only just met DS himself. i dont wanna end up fighting with EXP again, but is it always hard coming to compromise/agreements when access is started? does it get better? and will he ever accept that i do sort of have the final word? ugh. anyone with a similar experience feel free to comment!

PinkCarBlueCar Sun 12-Jun-11 22:25:46

Would it be possible for EXP's mum to see DS for a few hours in either the morning or afternoon of his birthday?

With the best will in the world, your DS will neither know nor care that it's his first birthday. OTO, it would be nice in the future that he can see that both sides of his family saw him that day.

It is hard, and although it doesn't necessarily get easier (sorry), you do get better at dealing with it, iyswim.

WelshCat Mon 13-Jun-11 11:58:58

erm, with all due respect my reasons for not letting DS see that side of his family yet is coz i want to make sure EXP is sticking around. he stands to lose his father as it is, i dont want him to have to lose a whole family worth of people if/when EXP decides to eff off again.

and my family are the ones who have been raising DS, so his birthday is gonna be a day for him to spend with those he knows and loves. and although he may not know it is his birthday he will have a better time around said people, than being thrust into a room full of strangers all clammering to hold and fuss him.

Its my opinion that its in DS's best interest to be introduced to all this new stuff gradually and fairly. and the fact that EXP has suddenly decided to be a father doesnt give him the right to make plans for DS without consulting me first.

BooyHoo Mon 13-Jun-11 12:03:07

why do you get the final word? he is his parent just as much as you are. who says you get more of a say?

cuteboots Mon 13-Jun-11 12:39:47

welshcat- Agree totally with you. My little boy didnt see his dad for about 3 years as the guy was a bit of a selfish person and was more into ignoring him and letting him down. Hes been back on the scene since last september but I only allowed other family from his side into the picture once I knew he was going to stick around. I think with time you may be able to relax a bit more but it is still hard. I hope you manage to sort it out though

balia Mon 13-Jun-11 12:51:28

If you're not willing to compromise at all, then yes, it is going to be hard. You have a long, long road of shared but separate parenting ahead and even if the Dad here has behaved badly, you can't justify doing exactly what you want by saying he might leave again at some point. It's not the granny's fault, surely? I agree that long term arrangements need to be worked towards at the child's pace, but an hour on the birthday, or the day before or after if you have plans for the entire day wouldn't be too much, surely? Or perhaps you could invite her over to your gathering?

A little conciliation might go a long way to lessening any conflict and that certainly is in the interest of the child.

WelshCat Mon 13-Jun-11 22:07:33

i am willing to compromise. ffs he has only just turned up and seen DS a grand total of twice, hence my reluctance to shove him into a whole new family. and yes, i appreciate that IN THE FUTURE we will share parenting etc but considering the short time he has known his father he wont even be getting unsupervised access for at the very least a good few months, which is why i dont think he should be making promises to his family he cannot keep as it is not his decision where DS is every day.

and BooyHoo, i get the final word because of all of the above. someone who has met DS twice, whether related by blood or not, does not get to make decisions on his behalf.

Thanks cuteboots, you seem to understand where i am coming from. im not saying im not ever gonna allow contact with his family, just that i think EXP should be focusing on getting to know DS himself first.

Meglet Mon 13-Jun-11 22:14:13

Anyone who has only just met their DS at 10 months is not yet in a position to be a 50/50 parent. Once he's proved himself and is acting responsibly then he can share decisions. Hopefully you will both get to that stage in time.

It does sound positive that his grandma wants to see him but I don't blame you for not wanting to confuse your DS.

WelshCat Mon 13-Jun-11 22:22:03

thank you.

i am trying not to be unreasonable here, but i do have my doubts about pushing it all on DS so soon. the way i am approaching it is, if i got a new boyf, i would be very slow to let him do things like pick up DS, babysit him (lol, like never) etc, so i am trying to proceed with the similar caution, as to DS his father is a stranger.

saying that, obvs his father will get things quicker, coz hopefully he cares enough to spend time with and get to know DS.

BooyHoo Mon 13-Jun-11 22:27:25

"and BooyHoo, i get the final word because of all of the above. someone who has met DS twice, whether related by blood or not, does not get to make decisions on his behalf."

then why in your op did you say "will he ever accept that i do sort of have the final word?" implying that you intend to always have the final word no matter whether he sticks around or not?

WelshCat Mon 13-Jun-11 22:53:22

are you just on this thread to pick at little things i have said?

i am looking for helpful support tbh.

BooyHoo Mon 13-Jun-11 22:56:01

nope, i posted in response to your OP. you directed a post at me so i replied. i am questioning your attitude towards your EX and your son's right to have him as an equal parent. you haven't answered the question. support doesn't always come in the form of telling you what you want to hear.

WelshCat Mon 13-Jun-11 23:01:31

yes i know that. but i am not inclined to take the advice of somebody who thinks a man that has met ms DS twice has right to make decisions for him.

basically, i have custody, and he has access, so it will be my decision as to what specific arrangements are made, eg when he has overnights, what time he sees DS etc as DS lives with me and I am his main carer, so his access will revolve around DS's life and routine. Thats what i meant.

BooyHoo Mon 13-Jun-11 23:06:51

thank you for clarifying. it wasn't clear. when you said 'will he^ever^' it came across as though you would be having the last say throughout your son's childhood simply because you are his mother.

i do not think a man who has met a child twice has a right to make decisions for him, nor did i say that.

would you be inclined to take the advice of someone who has been through this very thing?

WelshCat Mon 13-Jun-11 23:12:54

lol well yes, i would.

and apologies if i come across hostile, i just felt as if i was being criticised, when i am only trying to limit unsettlement for DS.

BooyHoo Mon 13-Jun-11 23:47:12

ok, i don't mean to criticise. i am aware that what i say will not be easy to accept and isn't necessarily what you want to hear but this is based on my own experience.

at the moment i think you are absoloutely doing the right thing WRT introducing his father slowly and supervised until your ds is happy to be alone with him. i think letting the grandmother visit for an hour the evening before his birthday or the morning of, would do no harm whatsoever to your son. babies see new faces all the time and seeing one new one for a short time, with you there would be very unlikely to traumatise him. if he became unsettled you would be totally right to bring the visit to an end. any decent grandmother would agree with you that it was the right thing to do rather than upset the baby.

in the long run, things will get easier, your EX will show his colours as to whether he is going to stick around or not. hopefully he will realise his son is worth it and make the effort.

when i had my first son i was separated from my EX and after the first few weeks the novelty wore off for him and he stopped coming to see our son. all contact stopped and my son was 4 months old before he decided he wanted to be a dad and understandably i was resistant to this. i had been raising my son myself, with no help from him either physically or financially. i thought " who the hell do you think you are marching in here demanding your rights when i have been doing the donkey work and you couldn't have cared less if we were living in a cardboard box." i was angry. i didn't want to have to hand my son over to this person who was quite happy to disappear until recently. i saw a solicitor and she confirmed that he would get contact if it went to court so far better to agree something between ourselves. contact was agreed, starting off with supervised in my house progressing on to my EX taking ds to his own house. i remained very nervous. would EXP know how to care for him alone, would he drive carefully, would he fuck off when things got a bit uncomfortable and leave ds with his grandmother (EX's mum). i didn't liek any of it. i didn't like not knowing what would be happening to my son whilst i wasn't there. i didn't like not being able to be there is ds was upset or tired (and he was bound to have been both of those at various points during the contact). it was very hard to accept all this and i felt very justified in feeling this way, because afterall, i was his mother and i knew what was best for him didn't i? time went on and my EX stopped his contact and moved away. he saw ds sporadically over a 3 year period. ds knew who 'daddy' was but it was the sort of relationship he would have with a friend of mine, it wasn't a father son relationship. after 3 years EXP got in touch with me and we did alot of talking. he still lives away but between the two of us we have made teh effort to make sure ds has a relationship with him. i am now at a point where i respect his right as an equal parent to be as involved as possible with ds' upbringing. day to day stuff falls to me, we both agree on the usual stuff like food and discipline so it rarely is an issue but if something comes up that i think he should have a say in, i text or ring him and we talk. personally, i am a far happier person now that we have this type of parenting relationship. i resented being the one doing all the work, and whilst i am still doing most of it now, it somehow helps to know that the one other person in the world that loves ds like I do is there to share the big decisions with. as a parent we always want to do the right thing, as a single parent i often find myself thinking "oh god, is this really right? i would love someone to bounce ideas of" i have that now. we dont always agree but we try and talk things through and keep what's important at the front of our minds. i hope for you and DS that you can get to a point with your EX where you have that support. i hope your EX steps up to the plate and does right by your son. but most of all i hope that you and yoru ds are happy. this may be without your ex in his life and that may be what is best for your son. it will take time for things to settle down, your Ex will have to extablish a routine with you and your son and he will have to be very flexible while your son is so young. it will also require compromise on your part to allow their relationship to develop. good luck with it all. i know it isn't easy, but hopefully it will get easier.

balia Mon 13-Jun-11 23:58:38

It seemed clear that you were not willing to compromise about the birthday - unless I am misreading what you posted? You asked for comments from people who had been there - and you heard from a couple of people who have been there, who know that being confrontational about things like birthday and Christmas leads to heartache and bad feeling and resentment. He's not suggesting taking DS out ram-raiding, is he? Just to meet his Granny. Sure, he should have asked - probably didn't think it was a big deal.

Obviously I don't know the back story, but I don't appreciate being sworn at for taking time to share my experience with someone who says they want comments. My DD is now 16, so I've had my fair share of ups and downs and trauma with her Dad. Trust me, you have got far more important things to come. If you actually want advice other than 'yeah, what a bastard, stop all his contact, it's your DS you do what you like ...etc' then from years of this stuff I would say - be generous, your DS will thank you for it.

WelshCat Tue 14-Jun-11 16:58:40

im pretty sure i didnt swear at you. and no, im not looking for people to tell me EXP shouldnt be in his life, otherwise why would i be encouraging contact?

i am grateful for opinions, and if you read the post above you will see that.

balia Tue 14-Jun-11 19:29:18

Well I've obviously misunderstood the meaning of 'ffs'.

Good Luck.

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