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Contact Arrangements for holidays. Is this too long?

(17 Posts)
YouKnowNothingOfTheCrunch Fri 12-Apr-13 16:45:01

Hello, just need a bit of advice please.

XH has just got a job working abroad. He's gone from seeing the dcs (3, 7 and teen) every other weekend, to "as and when he can" hmm

This was agreed as weeks here and there ( mainly half terms), but nothing set in stone.

My dilemma is that he wants to take them all abroad on his own in the summer for two weeks. I feel this is too long, especially without regular contact. I'm happy with a week.

He is not a... Conscientious parent. Doesn't watch the little ones and swears and watches inappropriate things with ds1. I genuinely worry about their safety when they're with him. But (despite occasional needs for stitches that are written off as small children being small children hmm) I don't feel I can change things sad

So would I be unreasonable to say 2 weeks is too long? And suggest 2 weeks over the 6 weeks on 2 or more occasions instead.

Pinkshaman Fri 12-Apr-13 18:31:42

I don't think it's too long. If you are genuinely worried about their safety then you need to tackle that. But if you are happy for them to go for a week, then I don't think longer makes any difference.

YouKnowNothingOfTheCrunch Fri 12-Apr-13 19:57:55

Thanks pink. I think I need objective views. I've never been away from any of them for longer than a week.

With regards to safety I rely on ds1 too much. He is sensible and has confided a few things about times when he stepped in to save dd on busy roads/going under in a lake etc. I suppose the 2 week thing is partly that i don't want him to have that pressure for any length of time without a break (he takes it upon himself, he's not assigned the task).

I don't know how to sort it. He was irresponsible throughout our marriage ignored all requests and suggestions. But at least I was there. He just things a 3 year old doesn't need close supervision no matter where you are. And it's always terrified me.

onoroff Sat 13-Apr-13 12:33:15

I think 2 weeks is a long time for the younger ones, my dd is 6 & I would not want her to go away for 2 weeks and I do not think that she would want that either.

YouKnowNothingOfTheCrunch Sat 13-Apr-13 16:24:23

That's my feeling. Ds is a teen and will be fine, but dd and ds2 are very young. There will be no rules or routine for the whole time.

Bossybritches22 Sat 13-Apr-13 17:33:30

If he hasn't had them for 2 weeks alone before then no way!

A series of long w/e's to build up to it maybe next year? Put it to him that he won't have much of a break & might be exhausted, hmm rather than you don't trust him (although I agree it would worry me sick!)

TBH he really won't have much fun will he if he's not used to parenting 24/7 & they get tired & whingy & I agree DS1 will be fraught being back up carer!

YouKnowNothingOfTheCrunch Sun 14-Apr-13 08:26:51

Bossy, no way to lead up to it as he'll be working. Will See them for a week end of may and then nothing until August when he wants 2 weeks straight.

He calls maybe a couple of times a month.

The dcs obviously remember him, but he doesn't seem to realise the effect these absences will have on them, and how he needs to be sensitive to it.

Bossybritches22 Mon 15-Apr-13 04:31:34

mnnn difficult.

I would say no this year to 2 weeks & insist he has regular shorter contact before it is agreed, especially with the kids being very young.

Is he likely to try the legal aporoach?

Athrawes Mon 15-Apr-13 04:53:32

I think that he will find it really hard and want a break/to send them back after a week! Suggest two separate weeks - and spin it as for his benefit - i.e. "you won't need to do any laundry if it is just a week, they'll hardly even need to wash!"
As for their safety, they can break in five minutes...the length of time won't make it more dangerous.
Or, here's a wide go with them and stay in a motel nearby - take a holiday for yourself but have weekends with the kids?

YouKnowNothingOfTheCrunch Mon 15-Apr-13 17:21:01

Bossy, I don't think he'd go down the legal route, he'd just bitch about me and send abusive messages.

I'm pretty sure that he would never admit to them being too much, and that he'd rather sit them in front of computer/tv for two weeks straight than have to face the fact that he really isn't father of the year (he's all about having fun, nothing else).

Holidaying near them may not be possible depending on where they were.

I think I'm going to suggest that they're too little for 2 weeks and that they would be better off seeing him twice for a week each time.

Thanks for the advice.

Yonihadtoask Mon 15-Apr-13 17:27:13

I think the 2 youngest DC will find two weeks too long.

The last time we went away with all 3 DC - the youngest DSS (aged 9 at the time)was a mess. He was on the phone to his DM every day - and that was for a week and a half. The older DSS didn't care.

Can he do a couple of 4/5 day breaks within the school hols?

SoupDragon Mon 15-Apr-13 17:29:26

DD has had regular 2 week holidays with her father since she was 4 and has been fine with it.

However, she has regular, frequent contact with her father.

YouKnowNothingOfTheCrunch Mon 15-Apr-13 18:43:25

Soupy, I think that's it really, there isn't that regular contact, it's months of next to nothing and then 2 weeks straight.

Yoni, that's what worries me, and what worries me more is that I'm not sure he would let them call me. He is very focused on looking good, rather than being good.

I've emailed him saying I feel the little ones are too small for 2 weeks, but ds1 would be fine and asking if he could split the time over two occasions instead. Either way I don't think 2 weeks is best for the smaller 2, and contact should be for their benefit. Hopefully he'll be reasonable about it.

MsColour Thu 18-Apr-13 23:37:09

My 3 year old was very clingy after a week long trip with his dad at Easter.

YouKnowNothingOfTheCrunch Fri 19-Apr-13 15:20:08

MsColour, it is a long time in a 3 yr old's world.

Well, I sent an email saying that I'd been considering what he planned for the summer and felt that two weeks was too long for the little ones (but fine for ds1) and could he arrange two week long trips instead.

Got no response at all.

Even though I knew he'd read it. I needed to contact him about something different earlier so added that I hoped he'd been able to sort the holidays with work. And got a reply saying that one week limits what he can do with them (which since his previous plans had been one week abroad and one week with family seems untrue).

I'm going to keep offering 2 weeks with ds1 and two trips of a week with the other two.

At the moment I suspect he will just ignore what I've said and book two weeks somewhere for all of them. Expecting me to back down (I have always bent over backwards to be flexible with access, even changing my plans so he can have the dcs - although if you asked him he'd say the opposite).

Any advice greatly appreciated. I just want to prepared this time. Stability is what they need most.

ItsRainingOutside Mon 22-Apr-13 00:59:12

My ex took me to court to take my dd overseas for 6 weeks of her 8 weeks summer holiday and 2 weeks of every Xmas - both visits to sit in front of a TV or computer all night and sleep all day. 3 years later and I'm still fighting it as dd doesn't want to go. She's been going for 4 weeks every summer since she was 6 (like you, I was horrified at being away from her for all that time but she wanted to go) but now wants the right to choose. A judge will probably lean towards your ex for a 2 week holiday but if you don't agree, push the fact that children have rights too. Personally, I think it isn't too long but only you know your kids.

YouKnowNothingOfTheCrunch Mon 22-Apr-13 17:32:05

Thanks it's raining. Dd is only 3 and hasn't lived with XH for 2 years, so it would be a big shock to the system for her. I feel as though I'm the only stable factor in their lives, there's been so much change and being messed about by XH with contact. 2 weeks is such a long time when you're so small

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