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experience of 50-50 with v young children? help!!

(11 Posts)
confusedstepmum Tue 16-Aug-11 14:13:44

I'm currently thinking very hard about the possibility of separating from my DP. I'm of the opinion that it would be best for us to split but things are not so terrible that I have to leave this minute!

We have two DC - DS of 2 years old and DD of 7 months (and a DSD who's 19 but that's another story).

The status quo in the country where I live is joint custoday - ie 50-50 but I've been scaring myself by reading about research on joint custory and potential implications for children, and thinking about what impact it might have to be separated from my baby for a week! DSD hated 50-50 although she chose it in the end..

Sooo question is.. do any of you do it? how do the children cope? should I be very concerned about the impact on attachment? help!!!

and another question... Do I then try and stick it out until they're a bit older (but then of course the separation might have more impact.. ???) too much to think about ...

MrGin Tue 16-Aug-11 14:24:52

You're going t get a whole range of opinion on this one I think.

You don't mention anyting about your soon to be XP and his parenting ability.

Is he hands on ? Can he practically take care of a 7 month old and a 2 year old on his own ?

The only thing I can comment on with experienc is splitting up with a two year old.

My dd handled the separation almost seamlessly and just took it in her stride. I'd think the longer you leave it the harder it'd be on the toddler....

confusedstepmum Tue 16-Aug-11 15:11:05

Thanks Mr Gin!

STBXP is pretty hands on and is in fact taking care of the baby a couple of days a week at the moment due to him not working for a month or two and me being at work..

think he'd be fine even if there are some things that concern me (eg his ability to wake up when babies cry in the night)..

It's more these research projects which talk about the ability of children to bond if they do not have a stable residence that concerns me?

MrGin Tue 16-Aug-11 15:27:41

I'd be patient with the thread, these things usually hot up towards the evening..

louise799 Sun 02-Oct-11 23:41:41

Hey, my husband and I separated, not particularly amicably, when my daughter was five months old. She's now 15 months and whilst we don't have a 50-50 arrangement, she does spend a lot of overnights at her dad's house, more than many. He has her every Tuesday and Thursday night, and then every third weekend. For me I wish he had her less, I miss her so much when she's away, but from her point of view she has been incredibly adaptable, is well attached to both her mummy and daddy, and is a very confident, well adjusted little girl. I know its not a 50-50 arrangement but I hope this maybe reassures you just a little bit.

cestlavielife Sun 02-Oct-11 23:52:30

stable residence is more than just location though. if both parents are capable and calm, good with the Dc then that is stable - even if moving between two properties.

when i left my exP things were very unstable due to his behaviour/ severe MH issues etc - tho they had one stable residence in terms of residing and only visiting with him - there was a period of great instability due to his instability. if you follow.

i dont think stability has to do with amount of time with each parent - more with parents abiltiies to care for the DC, stability of the parents emotions/MH/beahvour etc... ease of handovers, etcetc

a 50/50 two home split between equal aprents can be stable.

even more stable than a single residence with bickering or unhappy parents.

or one main residence and visits with an unhappy or unstable NRP or where RP is unhappy and bitter and shows it...

stability comes form both parents in thier attitudes - not so much in lcoation - and if from young age they wlll get easily used to moving back and forth.

louise799 Sun 02-Oct-11 23:57:04

I couldn't agree more - its the conflict that causes problems not the moving between different locations.

WibblyBibble Mon 03-Oct-11 15:57:41

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attachment_in_children is why I am very uncomfortable with 50-50 residence in under-2's. Even under 2s with two or more resident adults normally have a primary caregiver. This is why nurseries etc also have 'keyworker' systems. I don't think most courts anywhere order 50-50 with children so young, though I obviously don't know the legal systems of the entire world (I know Australia and some bits of the US etc are pretty fucked due to the macho, MRA nonsense over there, and put men above what's good for the children, which is sad). Can you see a solicitor in advance of breakup to see what is likely?

YoFluffy Mon 03-Oct-11 21:05:02

If I believed all the reports I'd probably still be living a life of misery with my ex. Look hard enough Wibbly and you'll find reports telling you how unhappy your children will be in single parent families, how they'll turn out dysfunctional, under-performing, badly behaved yadda yadda. There were hundreds of these damn reports reeled out in the aftermath of the riots, when of course we were all held to blame. Do I believe them? Nope. I've seen too many single parents who prove the opposite - it's much better to be a happy caring family of one parent rather than a constantly warring, angry family of two.

Children need love and attention, whether that's from a parent, two parents, a carer or anyone responsible for their upbringing. In generations gone by children were raised by extended families (and sometimes their siblings in the really large families), in many working families there are a number of carers involved as well as mum and dad.

Find something that suits you all, base this around the children, your routines, locations and practicalities. Get a routine in place and let it settle. At the tender age they are, it won't take long before your kids adapt to this and soon it will be second nature.....and you can concentrate on the love & attention rather than worrying about what this or that research student comes up with.

100emotionsin1day Tue 04-Oct-11 11:57:33

OP, I totally agree with cestlavie, there's no logic to saying a child will have more stability just because their time is split equally between both parents. Stability is provided when the child has consistent love and attention from both of you, with as little conflict as possible, and where major life changes can be kept to a minimum. So the important thing here is to find a solution that you and your (ex?)DP are both happy with - your attitude is vital.

I'm just at the very beginning of this process in that my DC haven't stayed with their dad overnight yet (there's an OW involved too). We've managed the past few months with him seeing the children at least a couple of evenings during the week and one day every weekend - in practice it's often more than this. I'm a SAHM and he works very long hours, so overnight stays with him during the week would be unrealistic, but though sometimes he can only hang around for an hour or so on a weeknight, I would say this consistent, regular contact is working well for us and the children. Also, despite the circumstances of our break-up, we're still friendly and communicate well when it comes to what's right for the kids, so if you can try to achieve this, it will make the world of difference to all of you. And in fact would be vital if you are aiming for 50/50 as you would need to agree or compromise on a lot of stuff if your children spend that much time with each of you.

I would really recommend this book - Parenting Apart - it gave me plenty to think about and has lots of checklists of things you may not have considered. As far as I can remember the author is a little sceptical about the 50/50 concept too and feels you really need to be on the best of terms with an ex to make it work properly. But you need to work out what's best for your own situation - perhaps you can build up to 50/50 gradually as the children get older?

One other thing - you don't sound as though you're absolutely sure about separating. Your children are still very young and things can be extremely tough when they're so little. Are you just going through a rough patch right now or do you think you're fundamentally incompatible? Splitting up is horrendous, even if you're the one who initiates it, and then you have the challenge of bringing up your children without the constant back up of their other parent. So please do take your time to think about all the consequences for you and your DC, it's good that you're not in a particular rush to do this.

Tyr Tue 04-Oct-11 12:06:13

Legislation that provides for having having both parents involved fully in the lives of their children has nothing to do with "MRA nonsense" or anything of the sort. Ignore that.
Even CAFCASS acknowledge that children can have two homes. If you and the father can make it work, the children will benefit from the arrangement, all other things being fair and equal.

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