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children's father wants to change arrangements - help me convince him not to!

(14 Posts)
glub Sun 09-Oct-11 11:04:57

hi i split up with my kids' dad a few months ago after he turned violent towards me. he moved out. i wanted to make it work. he wanted to make it work. he said all the right things, went to get help. we are kind of together now, but living apart.

he usually sees the children on sundays as this is his only regular day off as he works shifts. he picks them up in the morning and drops them off in time for dinner.

he now wants to play football on saturdays 'as 'competitive' sport helps with anger management'. but since he works some saturdays this means swapping shifts and seeing the children on a different day each week, i.e. taking the regular day off for himself.

some things to note:
1. he still hasn't called the number the doctor gave him for counselling.
2. when i was a single parent before we got together and had our second child, he was seeing our first dc on irregular days. i hated it. hated it for our dd's sake, and hated that i did not get a regular day without the responsibility where i could do something for myself (we worked to a weekly schedule, like most people). so when he got the opportunity to have a regular day off once a week we jumped at the chance.
3. he already plays football on a regular basis every wednesday. and often also on a tuesday. but he says he will swap the old wednesday with new wednesday training for this new saturday team. i thought this was competitive already but he is emphasising the competitive aspect for this new team.
4. he gets to mine once a week in time to help put the kids to bed so that i can go to an exercise class. and since we're together now he sometimes drops in to say goodnight to the kids and spend the evening with me, or come round on a saturday sometimes.

i'm sooooo not happy about him taking away the regular day to see our two dc. i think it's so important. can you help me with some good arguments? he's already said 'it's happening' even though i've said it doesn't sound good. i now have to tell him what i think. help please!

piellabakewell Sun 09-Oct-11 11:46:30

I know it's not what you're asking, but I don't get why you're still in a relationship with him when he has been violent towards you.

As far as seeing the children goes, he doesn't sound like he will listen to you or negotiate with you. Given his background, how far are you willing to push it?

glub Sun 09-Oct-11 12:04:18

i'm in a relationship with him because i figure relationships under pressure do sometimes contain disrespectful behaviour. if it is nipped in the bud and behaviours changed and there is love and effort made then it is worth working on.

there is a chance that if i put my foot down with a good coherent argument that he will listen. there is also the chance that he will not and i will end our relationship over it. i just would appreciate some advice as i'm a bit hormonal and hope i'm not getting overly upset about this.

i am not worried about him being violent towards me over this. i don't see there being any chance of that.

glub Sun 09-Oct-11 12:06:51

is it bad for our children to see their dad on say a monday week one, a thursday week 2, a wednesday week 3 and a sunday week 4?

is that really a problem for them? or is it just a problem for me?

surely a regular day helps them feel secure?

Nakhon Sun 09-Oct-11 12:09:49

I think you being in a relationship with a twunt is the most harmful part of your current setup tbh. I still don't understand why you are back 'together'.

glub Sun 09-Oct-11 12:16:06

maybe i have posted in the wrong place. i'm not here to discuss my relationship. but as a 'single parent' to discuss contact arrangements...

piellabakewell Sun 09-Oct-11 13:01:48

glub, you're amongst friends here...but many of us have been where you are and are glad to be away from an abusive ex-partner.

It isn't bad for the kids to see their dad on a different day each week, it's important that they see him regularly. Sometimes flexibility can be a bonus. There are things I don't do because they take place on a Sun/Mon/Tues/Weds evening and I'm never free on those days.

I think what you are asking is what is more important - his football or their routine? I think they will probably be fine with different days, but YOU need to feel that he is putting their needs before his own, and right now I don't think that is how it feels. Forgive me if I've misinterpreted.

glub Sun 09-Oct-11 13:44:25

thanks piella. i don't know if he is putting himself first. he reckons they will be fine. maybe it's just me who needs the routine. i just think he ought to have done more to get other help by now.

maybe i'm overreacting. i'm still a little wobbly sometimes since everything happened. the way he's behaved about this and being fifteen minutes late this morning to pick up the kids (i asked him to call next time and he was a bit shitty about it) makes it seem like he's not trying hard enough. it's a setback sad things had been going well. oh well. i have not choice he has decided now. i'll have to deal with it.

gillybean2 Sun 09-Oct-11 14:19:37

Lots of separated familys end up splitting the weekends. It's usually every other weekend, but one day a weekend works for some too.

So is he having the dc on his weekend day off still? Ie will he be taking them to football with him?
Or is he having a whole day with them in the week instead? Presumably they are not at school yet if that is what he is planning...? If they are at school how does he see that working? And will he be having them that day for the whole day in school holidays if that is his day off/contact day....

Ask him how he's sees contact with his dc being with this change of arrangements and remind him that contact is for the dc and should be meaningful - ie not just 2 hours after school when they have homework to do

Is he basically saying that football is more important to him than spending time with his dc? Because that is what it sounds like. If it isn't then ask him to explain how he sees quality and regular contact continuing in a way that gives the dc stability and allows everyone to know where they are week in week out.

gillybean2 Sun 09-Oct-11 14:22:15

And of course he reckons they will be fine. Because that is what he needs and wants to believe in order to justify his decision to himself.
I doubt anything you or they do will convince him otherwise.

Maybe you need to start looking at the situation in reality and then perhaps you will start to realise that he is removing himself from them because his interests and social life matters more to him in all likelyhood...

Tyr Sun 09-Oct-11 14:28:05

Many parents have unwieldy work rotas that make contact on the same day every week impractical. It will not distress the children as long as they don't pick up on your discomfort with the idea.
On the other hand, you and the children need to know in advance what the days are going to be so you can plan your own lives.
Bottom line is this: If he only has one day when he can see them, the football takes second place, not the kids.

glub Sun 09-Oct-11 15:51:36

the eldest has nursery in the mornings and one class on her own in the afternoon. so technically they will spend less time together.
'mummy what day is it today?' 'and what do we do on ....days?' i get asked this at least once a day...
contact will be according to the rota. at least one day each week, the day known in advance.

hairylights Sun 09-Oct-11 15:51:56

"is it bad for our children to see their dad on say a monday week one, a thursday week 2, a wednesday week 3 and a sunday week 4?

is that really a problem for them? or is it just a problem for me?

surely a regular day helps them feel secure?"

No, it's life. It's not bad for them they are seeing him each week.

I think this is more about what you want, and I do understand you'd like a regular day for yourself considering that by moving out he has now abdicated his responsibilities for 50% of the childcare.

cestlavielife Sun 09-Oct-11 23:25:10

get a baby sitter to cover the regualr day off you want.

dont trust him at all - it's been a few months since he been violent? not long enough -to change - he aready calling the shots "this is how it is " - oh and you need to put up with it or i will get violent again" (??)

and 1. he still hasn't called the number the doctor gave him for counselling.

so??? football is enough though right?

is he really doing everything to persuade you that he has changed nd you and Dc come first in his life and how sorri he is?

if you really think all is fine now then do a monthly /four weekly routine - get wall chart calendar and put it up on wall - so long as he sticks to his commitment is fine for DC -they can see on wall - it's x number of days til he comes.

but get some counselling yourself, make sure you really sure about getting back together ...

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