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trying to compromise with baby's dad :( help!!

(56 Posts)
MummySunshine Fri 14-Oct-11 20:43:59

Hi all,

I'm 18 weeks pregnant - and not with my baby's father (we were never together). My main problem right now (and believe me there are many others) is that me and BF have had a discusson about arrangements when the baby's born and reached a brick wall. He's left me feeling unsure as to whether I'm being unreasonable or not, but I strongly feel like I haven't done anything wrong.

I mentioned to him that when the baby is small, i.e unable to tell me about his or her day, that I'd like to know who's spending time with them while they're under his care. As much as I don't get along with him I've always been sure to include him in the pregnancy, inviting him to scans and keeping him updated as well as buying a car seat and cot for him to have as he's more concerned about spending money on his new car that he bought 'with the baby's best interests at heart'.

He kicked off about this, and said he refuses to be 'checked up on' and that I should trust him and his friends, and that I'm being nosey and selfish. I've tried to explain to him that it has nothing to do with me trusting him or his friends, that I'm not accusing him of being irresponsible, I just think I deserve as a mother to know who is spending time with my baby.

If he really point blank refuses to do this, I'm going to feel uncomfortable leaving my baby with him, and it's getting me so distraught (pregnancy hormones prob not helping). If this was to go to court, what are mine and his rights concerning access? I'm under the impression that the mother has most rights, I would never want to deny my child of a father, but would it be possible if I felt it necessary to insure supervised visits between him and the child? This is not at all what I wanted, but I feel if he won't cooperate he leaves me with no choice. Am I really being unreasonable? I feel that I'm only taking an interest in my babys life.

Thanks

S x

AmberLeaf Fri 14-Oct-11 20:49:11

Its his baby too and you have to assume he has its best interests and safety at heart unless he gives you reason to think otherwise.

Would you be happy to tell him the ins and outs of your life and who you spend it with under the same reasoning?

You are being vv unreasonable

I'm under the impression that the mother has most rights

No you're wrong, the child has 'most' rights, rights to an uninterrupted relationship with both parents.

You need a serious rethink, you are at risk of creating unnecessary issues.

KatharineClifton Fri 14-Oct-11 20:54:40

Drop him. Let him fight for access. You are the person responsible for the baby right now, so just enjoy your pregnancy and let the future be in the future.

Stop the nicey nicey and don't involve him when registering the birth. He has a lot of growing up to do now and won't do it if you are doing everything for him.

And no, you aren't being unreasonable at all.

AmberLeaf Fri 14-Oct-11 20:54:40

If this was to go to court, what are mine and his rights concerning access

He would get access, there [from your OP] is no reason to indicate he would need supervised access.

Him [understandably] not agreeing with your request to vet his friends is not a reason to need supervised access.

hairylights Fri 14-Oct-11 21:15:32

It's his baby too as much as it's yours. Yes you are being very unreasonable. Do you want him vetting your life for the next 18 years?

Hodie Fri 14-Oct-11 22:29:18

Right now, just concentrate on yourself and the pregnancy. Your hormones are all over the place and you are bound to be feeling as you do.

However, as you were never with the father, you have every right to feel protective of your child. I understand where you are coming from and your fears for the future. It's the last thing you need right now.

See how it goes when the baby is born. Build up contact between the baby and its father slowly, in your home, with you around. However, if you still have concerns later on, then try mediation. Sometimes the two of you just need a third party to help you both see things a bit more clearly. Your baby will appreicate this.

effingwotnots Fri 14-Oct-11 22:40:23

I'm sorry but you expect the op to just let this bloke whisk off a tiny baby without knowing where they will be or what they'll be doing hmm

AmberLeaf Fri 14-Oct-11 22:47:04

effing its HIS baby! what does the OP [or you] think he would be doing?

AmberLeaf Fri 14-Oct-11 22:48:22

I expect this bloke the childs father to be able to spend time with his child, 'whisking off' doesnt come into it.

Tyr Fri 14-Oct-11 22:58:25

It will almost certainly be the case that, as soon as he holds that child, he will become every bit as protective as you and you will have nothing to worry about. The only friends of his who will even take an interest will be parents themselves.
You will obviously want to know where your baby is but I suspect that has just come across the wrong way and he has reacted badly.
Do you have a decent relationship with his mother? GP's can be a wonderful resource. Try and agree things between yourselves without court.

effingwotnots Fri 14-Oct-11 22:58:43

Well it's hard enough to let even your own family walk your own baby round the block when it's still all so new, never mind a man you have never even had a relationship take it somewhere and you not even know it's whereabouts. I think it's too much to ask.

AmberLeaf Sat 15-Oct-11 00:03:07

But effing, the OP is not talking about where he takes the child, shes saying that she wants to know who apart from the father will be present!

That is too much to ask.

What would your response be to the OPs 'ex' expecting her to give details of anyone that she spends time with around the baby?

Flissfloss Sat 15-Oct-11 00:47:21

OP let him take you to court. I am currently being taken to court over access. DD is 3months old and ex left me when I was 14w PG. You are well within your rights to ask who your newborn baby will be spending time with. I personally wouldn't allow my newborn to be out of my sight while she is so young.

Oh and yes the mother does have most rights. However nowadays the father gets the same rights but it's done via court. He would have had to do something to ensure he got supervised access. As the child will be so young he will most likely get little and often access. Your best bet is to see a solicitor and find out exactly what your rights are.

Daisy1986 Sat 15-Oct-11 01:15:02

OP just to give you an example of contact with a young baby mine has gone like this:

My ex became involved with DD at 9 months, we started off with 2 hours twice a week at my parents house so she was in a familiar environment I asked for advice from a solicitor who said this was reasonable to be built up when a child is so young. We then ended up at a contact centre as he kicked off. We were there for 6 sessions. When DD was 18 months we changed it to 2x a week for 3hrs one day at a soft play area the other at a surestart stay and play group We then ended up in court where that was put into a court order, When we went back to court we changed it too 1 day 9 hours a week it started at 5 hours and then built up to the 9 hours over 8 weeks, We go back to court in Nov. to look at overnights and finalising the current hours. DD will be 23 months. My DD is still breastfed and this has also had an implication on arrangements as she wouldnt take a bottle.

All I ever wanted was for contact to move at DDs own pace and if my ex had familiy and a support network ie his parents to give him pointers then I would have been happy to move things on quicker.

Right now dont worry about future contact arrangements, its so far in the future you dont know how either of you will feel once the baby arrives. Involve him in scans etc if you want to and take the heat off the situation. Enjoy being pregnant and its not as hard being a single parent as you might think just surround yourself with supportive family and friends.

Fifis25StottieCakes Sat 15-Oct-11 01:22:46

You say your not with him but refer to him as your BF.

Are you worried about him having the baby around any new partners he may get.

I think if you put his name on the birth certificate he has joint parental control.

littlemisssarcastic Sat 15-Oct-11 01:43:47

FlissFloss How do you come to the conclusion that mothers have most rights?

Years ago, before PR, mothers automatically got custody, and with that came most of the rights over the child.
Now it is different, and has been for a number of years.
Both parents share PR. If your baby's father is not present at the registering of the baby, you wont be able to put him on the birth certificate and at that time, he wont have PR. Alas, he could go to court and will be given PR through the courts as a matter of course. This does not take long to do and is a simple procedure. This then gives him exactly the same rights as you over the child.

Whilst the child will probably live with you OP, the courts will bend over backwards to accomodate the child's right to see their father. Access will be based on what suits the child, and for a small baby, it is likely to be little and often, as has already been said.

If he lets your child down, and doesn't stick to his access times, if he takes your child to his friends houses, if he doesn't bother to see your child for months on end, please be aware that upon returning the matter to court, should you choose to do so, the courts will still bend over backwards to accomodate him under the guise that it is best for your child.

As far as asking him to tell you who he is spending time with whilst the baby is with him, you are expected to trust his judgement as he trusts yours.

If we started asking fathers to explain who they had been with, where they had been etc, it would be reasonable to expect that the fathers will start asking us who we have seen, who have we had in the house, where are we going today with our babies.

Please eradicate the thought that as a mother, you have more rights regarding your child than the father has. Ime, courts will do whatever they can to ensure unsupervised access takes place between a child and a mother, and any solicitor worth their salt will tell you that for your own good, it is preferable if you don't come across to the courts as a 'hostile mother' towards the father.

littlemisssarcastic Sat 15-Oct-11 01:47:23

Sorry, last bit should have read "Please eradicate the thought that as a mother, you have more rights regarding your child than the father has. Ime, courts will do whatever they can to ensure unsupervised access takes place between a child and a father, and any solicitor worth their salt will tell you that for your own good, it is preferable if you don't come across to the courts as a 'hostile mother' towards the father."

hairylights Sat 15-Oct-11 08:45:46

No effing. She has nine months to get to know the man she has chosen to have a baby with an to tie herself to for the rest of her life. He is the baby's father which carries an equal responsibility to the mother. I expect her not to now be putting barriers between the father and his child before te child is even born and I expect her not to see vetting him as a "compromise".

AmberLeaf Sat 15-Oct-11 09:38:47

Fifi, I think *BF& in this instance means 'babys father'

MummySunshine Sat 15-Oct-11 12:27:57

Hi all, I appreciate all your feedback

I'd just like to clear up that I never expected to 'vet' all his friends, just, as a mother, I'd like to know who is spending time and bonding with my baby. This is what I've said to him. If he wanted to know the same from my part I'd be more than happy to tell him as I see it as taking an interest in your baby. When the baby's old enough to tell me about their day then that's fine. I pictured it more as a 'what did you do today' kind of thing at the end of the day, which as a mother I really don't think is unfair?! I don't expect details of everyone he bumps into in the day, just to know who's in my baby's life. I never plan to keep him from the baby, I understand it is his baby too, I just can't imagine feeling comfortable handing my baby to him for the day when he point blank refuses to tell me who's spending time with baby.

Perhaps I seem overprotective, and I'm aware that I may be (I was told I'd never have children, baby was a BIG surprise!!)

S x

littlemisssarcastic Sat 15-Oct-11 12:39:16

YANBU to feel this way, almost every mother I know has felt this way at some point.
Morally, I agree.
However, legally, you have no right to know what your baby is doing when baby is with his father.

It is far better for both of you if things remain amicable between you both, and if baby's father doesn't want to tell you, then personally I wouldn't make issue of it.

ChippingIn Sat 15-Oct-11 12:39:52

MummySunshine - are you worried he has a girlfriend who will act as Mummy while the baby is with him? You seem worried the baby will 'bond' with someone else.

Honestly, you need to stop worrying about all that right now. You are only 18 weeks pregnant. You need to focus on your pregnancy and your life.

Don't keep buying him stuff, don't keep having these discussions with him. If you want to include him in scans and stuff, that's up to you - but given you are not and have never been in a relationship with him you are quite entitled to treat this as your pregnancy. Yes, when it's born it will also be his baby, but right now it's your pregnancy and you need to focus on that - not the iddy biddy details of things that will or wont happen when the baby arrives.

AmberLeaf Sat 15-Oct-11 12:59:04

I think the fact that you are only 18 weeks pregnant its a bit too soon to be laying down the law as to what will happen when the baby is here, also too soon to be writing him off as 'not interested'.

You are the one that is pregnant, you and him are not in a relationship and you are [in his eyes possibly] telling him how you expect him to parent his child.

I do feel a bit sorry for this man as it all seems a tad out of his control.

I would say pick your battles and if at all possible [and to be ho0nest its totally possible] dont go down the court route.

Just chill and enjoy your pregnancy!

BertieBotts Sat 15-Oct-11 13:10:16

It depends.

If he's a reasonable bloke, nice, trustworthy etc, then no, I don't think you should be asking who he is taking the baby to see etc. Of course you will feel protective, but it's his baby too, and you should trust him, unless he's given you any reason not to. (And just because you would be happy for him to ask who and what you were doing/seeing with the baby, I don't think that means that he should agree to the same conditions.) Did you explain like you have here that you don't want to vet people and you wouldn't stop him taking the baby to see anyone, but you would just be interested. It is good if the baby bonds with other people - what a lucky baby, to have lots of people who all love him/her smile

Disclaimer: if he's at all abusive or controlling, then run for the hills and take the baby with you! You haven't said anything to indicate he is, so I'm only mentioning it just in case.

Flissfloss Sat 15-Oct-11 14:39:55

littlemisssarcastic Mothers have automatic rights as soon as their child is born. If the father isn't on the BC he will need to go to court for his.

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