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Hi - please tell me how you do this between you and you ex if applicable?

(21 Posts)
Seth Tue 29-Jan-13 12:38:05

Hi I was wondering what people think about this or what arrangements others have in place (though their own agreements or a court order)

My ex and I have a reasonably good co-parenting relationship and are able to work though most things ok.

At the moment our agreement for DD (5 in year 1 at school) and DS (2) is that he has them from 9.30ish Sat morning til 5pm Sunday. He also has them on a Wednesday afternoon.

We are just about to start making the Wednesday an overnight instead starting next week. I think It will all work ok though DD can show resistance to going to his as I work Mon-Thursday and she doesn't feel like we get enough time together. I think she normally ends up being quite happy once she is there.

I want to take things gradually and see how this works for a month or 2 before moving on - whilst being keen to promote a good relationship between them.

We are talking about making the weekend a proper weekend, so 2 nights instead of 1. I am fine with it providing things are working well with the Wednesday nights. Like most of us I do have some feelings of sadness about seeing them less but I am putting those to one side and trying to work on whats best for everyone.

Am i right in thinking most weekend arrangements start on Friday tea time and end on a Sunday tea time ? That is my understanding and something that I am completely fine with. Ex is not however and wants it to be Saturday morning and then he drops then at school /CMs on a Monday morning. His reason being that he is normally busy at work on a Friday and often has to stay late (didn't seem to when we were married) and that they are always alll cosy and settled on a Sunday night and never want to leave.

My thinking is that It should be Friday to Sunday. I think there is something about them being at home, settled on a Sunday night when they haven't seen me all weekend (we really don't spend much time together at all in the week - hurrying them along in the mornings - out the door by 7.45 and evenings - home at 6.30 and bed at 7.30/8) . My DD is can be a bit insecure and clingy and on his arrangements she goes til the Monday night without seeing me. He is also very forgetful - clothes are always left places , home work not done and bags all over the place - I just don't think it will work.

It does suit him better (work, going out on Fridays I suspect though he obviously hasn't given that as a reason) but I honestly don't think it will suit the kids better. Or am I being unreasonable? Most contact agreements are, as I understand Friday to Monday and I assuming there is a good reason for this ? If so what is it ? -When I bring this up he slaps it down and says 'I don't care what other people do - this is about us'... I can gaurentee that if most contact agreements were the way that he wants to be doing this then he would be using exactly that argument.

Please let me know what works for you and why ?

Seth Tue 29-Jan-13 12:43:21

Oh...or even if this doesn't apply to you then your opinions would be well received. I just want to check I am not being unreasonable ! Thanks.

My son goes to his dads the following days and times:

Tues 5.30/6pm til Weds 6pm

Thurs 6pm til Friday 6pm

Sat 6pm til Sun 6pm

that's a standard week. It changes depending on work or other commitments. Might swap days if one has plans which isn't often.

My son is 3.

EdwiniasRevenge Tue 29-Jan-13 12:47:52

For me my x has them alternate weekends. Friday evening (usually before tea) and I pick them up from school on Monday.

The alternate weekends is important for us so that we both get weekend time. The staying over till Monday works for me because they can be very cranky when they come home from his....but they don't come home from his. They come home from school by which time the crankiness is out of their system. Takes a bit of organising school uniform wise and occasionally they have to come back on a Sunday to collect but he's only round the corner. They do their homework with him on his weekends.

He also does breakfast and school run 3 mornings a week (including his Monday morning).

Seth Tue 29-Jan-13 13:04:25

Thanks both.
Edwinias that's interesting... Does he have them in the week ?

I know what you mean about Sunday night Crankiness! Does this agreement work well for you ? I guess it must do or I assume you would do something different!

EdwiniasRevenge Tue 29-Jan-13 13:11:16

He doesn't have them in the week (other than breakfast) on a routine basis, but will if I need a babysitter. He has quite a lot of work and social commitments tho that would make routine midweek hard. He also has extra midweek including overnights during school holidays.

The dropping at school Monday morning is brilliant for Sunday crankinesss. I used to have them home. Sunday after tea and it was hell.

BornToFolk Tue 29-Jan-13 13:22:23

ExP used to have DS 3pm Sat-3pm Sun. He's asked for longer so it's something we're working up to, for example he'll pick him up at 1pm this Sat and return at 4pm Sunday. To be honest, I don't want him coming back much later than 4pm on Sunday as it gives us a bit of time together to have tea on Sunday and let DS calm down a bit before school on Monday (he's another one that comes back cranky! But it usually sorts itself out after some one-on-one time)

ExP doesn't have DS overnight during the week but he looks after him after school for a couple of evenings.

Can you trial it for a couple of weeks and see what happens?

LemonBreeland Tue 29-Jan-13 13:26:31

Is it every weekend? I can understand your DD putting up a fight if she is not going to see you on weekends.

Every other weekend from Friday to Sunday should be perfectly workable. Your ex then gets half of his Fridays free to go to the pub etc.

sanityseeker75 Tue 29-Jan-13 15:40:38

If you work a Mon - Thur then at least you would get all night Friday night with them.

If it is Fri - Sun you only get Friday day time and Sun evening. Leaving you with all the rush around time?

sanityseeker75 Tue 29-Jan-13 15:42:08

If you work a Mon - Thur then at least you would get all night Friday night with them.

If it is Fri - Sun you only get Friday day time and Sun evening. Leaving you with all the rush around time?

Seth Tue 29-Jan-13 18:27:40

Thanks everyone for your input. It's starting to make me think!!

Sanity seeker what you say makes sense...and actually thinking about it there are some benefits to me of this ( ie as noted missing the Sunday night crankiness, missing the absolute stress of getting us all out the door on Monday morning and having a nice chilled end to the week rather than carting them off..) hmmm interesting!

I guess my biggest thing about his idea was that in my mind I wanted them to be all settled at home and ready for the week ahead . That said I guess if they have been at his since sat morning then they might be ok there.

I worry that 3 full days without seeing me might seem like quite a long stretch for them ( they are both very mummy mummy mummy) -especially DS (2) who has never even lived in the same house as my ex.

Am I over thinking this? Do they happily go from Sunday eve and into school Monday without missing home or the parent they normally live with? I guess a trial is the answer maybe.

Any more advice on people's thoughts or experiences of this would be great .

Spero Tue 29-Jan-13 18:32:40

Fri to mon often works very well as it means pick ups and drop offs can be at school therefore parents don't have to meet if tense. I don't see any reason why it would be 'better' for the children to be with you on Sunday as opposed to Friday. If its every other weekend you both get a chance of a Friday night out.

MagicHouse Tue 29-Jan-13 23:37:44

I have children very similar in age to yours, and work almost identical hours! My ex originally wanted alternate fri til monday morning, but I wanted fri til sun night for the same reasons you did (being settled for school on the Monday etc).

Persoanally I do think it's better for them to be here Sunday night, and making sure they're all ready, into bed early etc, for school on Monday. In their case we live much nearer to the school, so a very short walk to school, in contrast to their much longer car journey from his, which I think is also easier for them on a Monday morning.

In terms of missing you, hopefully it should all settle down into a routine whatever you decide, so I wouldn't let that sway you - just what you think will be better/easier for them.

Ex has DD1 Tues after preschool (2pm) until wed school time (11.30am) and then Sat 4pm until sun 4pm. Now and again he will take her on a sat from 9.30am to take her to ballet and then he cuts sun down by a few hours. Shes 4.

This thread has made me realise that two nights is actually less than normal. I thought it was typical. I wont be rocking the boat though. I would hate to have her less.

I can see why you are reluctant to agree to the mon morning thing. It does seem so long. I would be wondering when I would see them.

Pinkshaman Wed 30-Jan-13 09:55:44

Mine (9) goes alternate weekends from her Friday after school activity through to Monday morning.

I totally agree about not having an unsettled dd back on a Sunday evening, and an otherwise relaxing weekend being disrupted by xh turning up and whinging about something or being difficult.

It means too that if I have been away and don't have in things for her lunch that I have Monday to get them. I like being able to go away for the weekend from Friday morning, I like being able to have an extra long day at work on a Friday if I need to, and I like just having me to sort out on a Monday morning if I've had a busy weekend. And I really love being able to spend the weekend at dp's and go straight to work from his on Mondays.

Mondays are tiring for me, but only because I work and then have to collect her from an activity around 8.30, and it's often the evening I do my food shopping. It does mean I have to fit in sorting out her school bag, making sure everything from her Dad's that she needs is back - but I would far rather do that on a Monday than on a Sunday.

Dd adapted to it absolutely fine, and while she says she does miss me, I think that's just a missing me rather than not wanting to go.

I think I would find a midweek overnight more disruptive because things are always going missing and being left at xh's and it's a pain to have to keep asking for things - and he has also refused to bring her homework round when she has left it there and needed it. Plus she always comes back shattered and I believe she doesn't sleep that well because she's kept awake by the girl she has to share a room with (although am fully aware that I only get dd's version!).

sanityseeker75 Wed 30-Jan-13 09:56:21

I guess the real question you need to ask yourself is is he able to get them ready for school? A trial may be a good idea.

He may find that actually it is a bit to much for him, or if he has weekend access he could find that a week stay is a lot to cope with as well - my ex has had less regular contact as my son has got older and just wants to do his own thing.

You may find it changes a few times over the years as the DC and your needs change (DC's are usually quicker to adapt than we are) but it helps to be adaptable as if you then want changes to contact it is easier to request.

3 nights seems long for age but as I say, they accept it easier and if not you can always review - Good Luck smile

3xcookedchips Wed 30-Jan-13 16:18:40

Since my daughter was 20 mths she is in my care EOW Fri 6pm - Mon 6pm...its not a problem so age is not a barrier. This thread is also not an indicator what is normal - there is no normal.

goodygumdrops Wed 30-Jan-13 16:39:04

Does he have them every weekend? I think this arrangement sounds very unfair on you to be honest. You never get to spend any time with them.

TuesdayNightDateNight Wed 30-Jan-13 19:42:03

DD goes to her dad every Tuesday might from after school club and he takes her to school on the Wednesday. He also has her every other weekend from Friday after work to Sunday tea time.

He used to have her every Saturday night but since she started school I felt I wouldn't see her enough if she was at his every weekend.

It works well now. She likes that she knows that she has alternate weekends.

ArbitraryUsername Wed 30-Jan-13 19:55:53

I've never had a Friday to Monday arrangement.

DS1 is 12. His dad lives 2.5 hours away so he doesn't see him every week. Instead he usually goes to his day's for the school holidays (although he's always with me on christmas day). We're pretty flexible about it all though. DS1 is usually here for DS2's birthday (which is in the summer holidays), and exP wouldn't have any problem with me wanting to take him on holiday or anything. The pair of them play games on Xbox live together several afternoons a week too. I'm not sure they actually talk much during that time, but I guess it's some kind of 'bonding'.

Before DH and I moved in together, exP used to come down and stay in the spare room occasionally so he could see DS in term time. Previous to that, when we lived about 45 mins away from him, exP used to pick DS up from school on (I think) a Wednesday, take him for dinner/to the cinema/something else (or just hang around my flat and have dinner with me when I came home) and go home after DS went to bed. He's also come to stay if I had to go away for work (and DS had to be at school).

Even longer ago, when we lived just up the road from him, he used to come over and do bedtime with me 3 or 4 nights a week. And sometimes we'd do day trips together or other fun stuff. (We get on well). He never had him overnight during that time. He didn't have DS overnight until he was about 6 and we'd moved away (and I needed to go away for work, so he can and stayed at mine while I was away).

I wouldn't like an arrangement like yours where you only get the drudgery bits of parenthood and he has them when some fun can be had.

QueenofWhatever Wed 30-Jan-13 19:57:04

My ex has DD (8) EOW. He picks her up from Brownies at 7.30pm and she ends up going to bed about nine which is too late IMO. She comes back 5.30pm on Sunday once a month and then he takes her to school Monday morning once a month.

He doesn't have her during the week and never picks her up from school. I agree about the Sunday night crankiness, it's not fun. When she comes back from trampolining at six on a Monday when she's been at his the Sunday night, it's a case of food and bed. It normally takes until Wednesday for her to catch up properly.

There is no normal as others have said. Our arrangement would work well if ex put her to bed earlier, parented more actively and stopped trying to play her off against me all the time. I think it's not about the times so much as the quality of parenting and what the kids want. Having a Sunday evening to yourself and less stress on a Monday is great.

Disclaimer: my ex is a twat even after four years. Any arrangements with him are difficult <slightly bitter>.

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