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Worried about contact...

(18 Posts)
meowow Fri 26-Aug-11 22:17:15

Hi everyone my name is Hannah and I need some advice.
My LO is 13 weeks old and I breastfeed him on demand, I recently offered my ex 1 hour every week because LO is being breastfed and contact has to be supervised at a contact centre, my ex replied that because he is in reciept of state benefits he will only be able to afford 2 hours once a month (he lives over 2 hours away)... I am not going to be able to agree to 2 hours whilst LO is so young maybe when he is older... So it will remain 1 hour a month until then. My point is I am so worried/scared about handing little one over sad I dont know what to expect when I take him to the centre and I know it is going to upset me, as I have a clingy baby and I'm currently lucky if I get half an hour respite. Is anyone else currently doing supervised access? Any advice on how to cope with handing over or what happens would be greatly appreciated, thank you for reading.

Tyr Fri 26-Aug-11 22:29:20

One hour a week is pitfully poor contact, let alone one a month. With a very young child frequency is more important than duration.
Why a contact centre? Surely you can come up with some arrangement other than those soul-less places. Parents? What is wrong with the father's own place. Could you be present for the first one?
Believe it or not, most men can pick up the knack of looking after a baby very quickly and don't need supervision.

meowow Fri 26-Aug-11 22:37:51

Hi, contact has to be supervised due to his violent history and mental health. I offered 1 hour a week because I live 100 miles away and LO is so young and BF. He is the one who is saying he will only have contact once a month for 2 hours as this is all he can afford. I offered more but he has declined. I am not comfortable offering more time until LO is older and ex has been reassessd.

cestlavielife Fri 26-Aug-11 23:06:09

your baby can survive two hours without being fed so fighitng over one versus two hours doesnt make much sense really. let him have the two hours in a contact centre - baby will be fine .

gillybean2 Sat 27-Aug-11 13:22:35

The contact centre will be on hand and intervene if they feel it necessary to do so while he has contact. So you can be assured of that. If you want further reassurance speak to the contact centre and ask them how it works and what would happen if baby did need a feed.

I assume you will stay close by at first so baby can be brought to you to be fed if required, or you could be contacted and come back to the centre of you had gone for a wak or something.

1 hour isn't very realistic. He may well sleep for the whole hour. I suggest you show willing (and be the reasonable one here) and agree to the 2 hours on the understanding that baby will be brought to you if he is hungry. It will only be a few contacts (given they are fortnightly) before you will presumably start to offer some baby rice etc, so your ex could then do this in the session should baby become hungry.

hairylights Sat 27-Aug-11 18:33:17

You have "offered" the father of a child contact? One hour is woefully inadequate. You need to look at ways you can be flexible to enable appropriate contact rather than being rigid in your thinking on this.

WibblyBibble Sat 27-Aug-11 19:18:45

Why the fuck do people always jump on the RP without even reading what she says first on this board? I thought it was supposed to be for single parents, not for MRAs with an axe to grind? OP says that she offered more contact (an hour a week) and it's her ex who wants less frequent contact! So get your heads out of your misogynist arses and learn to read the post first, eh?

OP, it is true that more frequent contact is better for babies as they don't have long enough memories to cope with fortnightly contact like older kids who already know both parents can. With my ex, we did a few hours several times a week with me present at first due to BF of demand (as is recommended by the WHO and medical authorities, so stfu 'dads can do everything just as well' idiots- that is true for older children, not tiny babies- if dads want to do the best for their tiny babies, they stay with and support the mother up to at least 6 months instead of being violent twats). Now that she's a toddler (nearly two!) she is up to having overnights sometimes (he only wants one a week as he finds it hard to cope with more...- see, it's not always the RP who reduces contact, I'd love to have 2 or 3 nights of decent sleep a week!) and having full days with him. But then, he wasn't seriously violent, just a dickhead in other ways. As it is, it'd be ideal for him to have short, frequent contact, but really it's down to what you can cope with, as your mental health is the most important thing you need to manage for your baby's sake, and if he'd abuse you then of course you can't be around him alone.

As to whether it's appropriate to talk about 'offering' him contact- well, it was presumably his choice to be violent and thus not be in a normal relationship with his child (in fact, if he's not been around thus far, it really isn't 'his' child, any more than babies are the children of birth parents after they're adopted, ffs- he's not a father if he's not acted fatherly!) However, maybe if you say 'suggested' instead of 'offered', some of these politically motivated tossers will stop bullying you...

Meglet Sat 27-Aug-11 19:22:59

Can you just sit in another room at the contact centre and let him have 2 hours? My experience of them is that the staff are lovely and would probably agree to get you if your DC was crying for a feed.


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gillybean2 Sat 27-Aug-11 19:49:57

I'm not sure I agree that 1 or 2 hours a month isn't worth having. Lots of dc see extended family members infrequently, but they are still important relationships to them.

It may well be though that your ex finds that 1 or 2 hours a month, in addition to the cost and contact centre, aren't worth it for him and he may not keep it up for very long if that is the case. Especially if he is not bonded with the baby much or at all. On the other hand he may decide it is worth it and so do everything he can to find a job in order to enable him to see baby more often...

CheeseandGherkins Sat 27-Aug-11 20:03:45

Regarding the feeding, it could well be another 13 weeks if you stick to the recommended guildlines of exclusive bf for 26 weeks (as I have with mine even though they were big babies) and after that I didn't feed baby rice I BLW so that may also not be a possibility.

Personally I wouldn't travel in a car with a baby for 2 hours either, lots of info on babies breathing being affected by being slumped in a car seat (less oxygen in blood) for a length of time, until they can sit unaided. Might sound precious to some but I've done this for all 3 of my live children and would have done the same for my last had she lived.

Where violence is involved I would also tread very carefully.

gillybean2 Sat 27-Aug-11 20:08:34

13 weeks is only 4 visits if contact is going to happen once a month. So OP will only have to sit around and wait to possibly be called for 4ish sessions and then can leave whatever babyfood she is weaning with for the 2 hours if she chooses to go out of the centre during the contact.

I was simply trying to say she wouldn't be tied to having to hang about for the 2 hours for too much long in case she wasn't happy at having to be there for the whole 2 hours for month upon month.

CheeseandGherkins Sat 27-Aug-11 20:10:05

Sorry I misread then as I thought it would be every two weeks.

meowow Sat 27-Aug-11 21:37:58

Yes HE refused 1 hour a week, and HE suggested 2 hours once a month not me... And don't mind handing LO over for the 2
Hours provided he doesn't become distressed.. With him being so young and me being a first time mum I won't be leaving the building and I wouldn't be able to stand hearing him cry for any extending period of time... It is not my fault he lives 100 miles away or the fact he is unemployed and can't afford to see him more often, I plan to breastfeed my baby for as long as he needs it as I will also be doing BLW. I am also going to have to travel 40 miles to the centre and 40 back but you don't hear me complaining about my travel costs!! I cannot be blamed for his mental health and violent temper and criminal record.. And I will not have my defenceless baby around someone who is incapable of looking after themselves... (was not aware of his past when I was with him it was only when we split did things come to light, otherwise I don't think I would have conceived a child with a convict! Personal preference) I was only seeking advice on how to cope with handing such a young baby over to a complete stranger in a strange place especially as he has never even met LO. Didn't expect to get a completely ripped to shreads. Thank you for reading.

hairylights Sat 27-Aug-11 22:26:40

Clearly he isn't a good parent and his past behaviour towards you is unacceptable.

You've drip fed information here OP. If your original post had actually included all of the relevant info, you may have had a better response.

meowow Sat 27-Aug-11 22:39:52

I know my fault really reading OP I realise it isn't very informative I was only really seeking advice on how to cope with
Handing LO over really. As it's daunting and just wanted some reassurance.

hairylights Sat 27-Aug-11 22:45:43

A supervised access at a contact centre should ensure your child's safety.

I realise you'll be anxious about being away from your child - that's perfectly understandable - especially in these circumstances.

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