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Am I being unreasonable

(51 Posts)
aw11 Fri 25-Oct-13 16:14:38

Hi all, I'm coming to you lot for some objective views here.

Basics are that me and my ex split about two months ago. We have three kids two girls (20mth and 3.5) and a boy (8 months). I'm in the familly home whilst my ex and the children are at her parents.

The routine has been that I pick up the girls every friday when I get back at 6pm (I work an hours drive away from where we live). She then comes to pick them up on Sunday at 5pm. Now, although at first it was hard, have come to accept that this is the way it has to be. It means that I get to spend two nights a week with them and pretty much the whole weekend and I'm happy my relationship with the girls won't suffer too much.

I have my son from 6pm weds night until I leave for work 7:30am on thursday (I pick him up and drop him off). This had been brilliant for me as otherwise I just would not get to see him at all! He's fine with me when he's over.

1. Am I being unreasonable to ask for Monday nights with my son aswell?

2. My ex is now saying I can't have my girls Friday night becasue I'm not able to pick them up until 6pm. She says that it's too late for the 2 minute drive back to mine. Is it unreasonable to have them friday night from 6pm?

Both extra nights are a big deal to me but she just won't even consider changing her mind. I can't force her and I'm loath to go through the courts as I'm afraid of having even less time with them.

All opinions welcolm, thanks.

fuckerandbawl Fri 25-Oct-13 16:29:34

Why can't you have your son at the same time you have the girls?

lostdad Fri 25-Oct-13 16:35:17

The question to ask yourself is `What is in your kids' best interests'?

it's not about what is a `big deal to' you.

I would agree that children do best when they have a meaningful relationship with both parents (and the tired old `every other weekend' thing doesn't cut it for me as `meaningful').

Are you being unreasonable? Not really. There would be nothing to stop your children's mother preparing them for bed and you putting them there straight away depending on what time their routine is.

Is the time you get home too late for your children? I would say quite possibly. So you need to think of alternatives here. Suggestions would include speaking to your boss and leaving work early (I've done this...I made up the time when my son wasn't with me). Another possibility is agreeing with your ex that picking them up at 6pm will be off until an agreed point in the future and they're ready.

You're right to try to avoid court though. If you really can't come to an agreement with you ex try mediation - they are good at narrowing the issues and helping come up with a solution that you both may not like, but are happy to live with.

I would also recommend you join Families Need Fathers - we have this sort of thing come up all the time! (At a meeting I attended last night we had a guy in a similar situation to yours as well as a couple of mums with residence on the other side of the `fence' so to speak - meaning everyone saw it from the opposite point of view).

aw11 Fri 25-Oct-13 16:36:05

@fuckerandbawl fisrt off she wouldn't let me have him Friday to Sunday. But the main reason I haven't asked for this is because I can give the two girls so much more attention without him there, and vice-versa.

aw11 Fri 25-Oct-13 16:46:43


"The question to ask yourself is `What is in your kids' best interests'?

it's not about what is a `big deal to' you." Yes I know. I'm just struggling to see how it's not in their best intrest when they're perfectly happy every friday night, as is my boy on weds.

There routine is bath at about 7pm then book and a bed straight after.

O/T is there no quote button on here??

fuckerandbawl Fri 25-Oct-13 16:48:33

No, no quote button.

What about if you pick them up on Saturday morning instead?

I would ask about Monday nights with your son - make sure that you spend equal amounts of time with all the children.

aw11 Fri 25-Oct-13 16:52:18

@fuckerandbrawl I could pick them up Saterday morning, but it's a big dent in the time we get to spend together. I've asked a few times now for Monday nights with my son and she point blank refuses.

fuckerandbawl Fri 25-Oct-13 16:56:10

A big dent?

You see the girls for 1 hours before they are due in bed, then they are the most you'll be missing 4 hours in the morning - so 5 hours in total.

What's her reasons for refusing?

Onebuddhaisnotenough Fri 25-Oct-13 17:24:14

So you want three small siblings to be apart from each other for 4 nights every week ?
Splitting siblings like this is a recipe for disaster in the future.

farrowandbawl Fri 25-Oct-13 17:30:16

I can see why she has reservations to be honest. That's a long time for kids to be seperated. You really need to think about having them all at the same time.

aw11 Fri 25-Oct-13 20:45:05

@fukerandbawl Well, it's more like and hour and a half before I turn out the light but it's more the fact that we get two nights doing the evening routine together, two nights of reading books before bed together, two mornings having breakfast together. If I pick them up Saturday morning then all those times are halved and I think that's a fairly big dent iyswim. Her reason is that it's just too late and the nights are drawing in. And yes I know it's going to be dark at 5 soon....

@onebuddah Nearly but not quite. The girls spend every night together, but yes they would spend four nights and one day without seeing their brother. Obviously once he and my youngest daughter are a bit older, in about a years time, I hope they will all be able to stay over Friday through to Sunday (It would be brilliant to having them all on a weds too, but I think I'm being realistic about this). However, yes I see your point.

@farrow She only lets me have my son one night a week, I doubt very much whether she'd even let me have him for what amounts to two full days (fri - sun). Having the girls over while he was here would be fine, but again it's unlikely she'd let the girls stay over here that much.

I think the worst thing is that they love being here. We've just had a fantastic couple of hours together messing around for a bit, then messing round a bit more in the bath, getting ready for bed etc. Nothing but smiles and laughing, I just can't understand why she'd want to stop it. I think I'm just going to have to do whatever she wants really. Leaving at 3pm every Friday is going to cause my colleagues a headache though (there's only three of us in on a Friday). I feel like I have very little say in what happens.

honey86 Fri 25-Oct-13 20:50:22

i actually dont see the problem with a 6pm pickup... as long as its not a long drive whats the deal ? my kids have gone to bed 7pm since they were babies, so that their dad (when he was alive ) could have half hr with them after work and tuck them in bed. think there needs to be a little give n take on her part x

aw11 Fri 25-Oct-13 20:59:27

@honey when they lived here they never went to have their bath before 7 so I could spend an hour with them. To be honest half the time they were all arriving home from her mums just about when I got back, or even 5 - 10 mins after.

starlight1234 Fri 25-Oct-13 21:01:57

I have to say reading this I am wondering why you get them every weekend? Youngest will be in school septemebr that means even if mum doesn't work will mean not time for fun just routine stuff.

I do also think 4 nights apart is an awful lot but at 8 months many mothers don't even do overnight contact...Could you maybe suggest pciking DS up at some point on Sunday so the three of them can develop your alternative family together.

aw11 Fri 25-Oct-13 21:16:02

@starlight I get them every weekend because I'm their dad. If she doesn't let me have them during the week, when else can I? You say that some mothers don't allow overnight access at 8 months, are you saying I'm actually lucky that I even get to see him one night a week?

MortifiedAnyFuckerAdams Fri 25-Oct-13 21:19:45

Does your ex work?

aw11 Fri 25-Oct-13 21:22:44

@morti no she doesn't.

MortifiedAnyFuckerAdams Fri 25-Oct-13 21:28:58

What about all three, every other weekend, and if you want individual time with them, have tues, wed and thur a night each?

aw11 Fri 25-Oct-13 21:32:57

@morti she wouldn't let me have him all weekend. And there's no need for the girls to come over separately. Like I said, I'll just do as she says and hope she doesn't move the goalposts again.

Thanks all!

pinklady1107 Sat 26-Oct-13 06:48:58

I think what your suggesting is perfectly reasonable, but you could maybe have your son on a Saturday night instead of Monday then you see all three together one night a week?

Good luck and keep at it with her, they're your children too x

BruceWillisLovesMe Sat 26-Oct-13 09:06:47

I'm surprised you have them every weekend. A little unfair on mum when school starts.

aw11 Sun 27-Oct-13 20:52:37

@pinklady That's a really good idea, even if I have my boy sunday morning until evening. I'll see what she says!

@brucewil So you think I should see less of my children?

I think what I've got most out of this thread is that it's best not to split my girls from my son as most as possible. I get that now.

BruceWillisLovesMe Sun 27-Oct-13 21:50:57

No. I think you should appreciate what you do have and realise that while you feel you are missing out, their mum is missing out too.

SPsTombRaidingWithCliff Sun 27-Oct-13 21:56:33

My son gets picked up between 6 and 7 and I never get a Sunday with him as thats his day with his dad.

It has too be fair on the kids so they have equal time. If she is fine with you having them every weekend then it doesn't matter what people here say.

Asking won't do any harm. Its a good thing that you want to spend time with them

aw11 Sun 27-Oct-13 22:37:16

@brucewill Of course I appreciate what time I have with them. It really is fantastic! I now understand that my time with my daughters is enough so that our relationship will stay as strong as it always has been. It's was terrifying when she first left, I thought they'd barely know me. But we have a great time every weekend and because of that I know we will still have that same amazing bond. My eldest also realises she still has a home with me (I was so happy when she told my dad yesterday she now has two homes and this was better than having one!). I'm so scared of loosing that. Which is why I know I need to tread so delicately with their mum as she holds all the cards. I honestly believe if we had any less contact, especially an every other weekend scenario, then the relationship between us would suffer. No, I know it would could it not?

I know where you are coming from though.....their mum doesn't have them on 'days off'. She does/will however....take them to school every day. Pick them up from school every day. Have dinner with them every Sunday - Thursday. Put them to bed every Sunday - Thursday. Wake up with them every Monday to Thursday. Spend ALL WEEK apart from weds night/thurs morn with my son.

@SPsTomb On your point of equal time, I agree that should be the ideal. I'll keep aiming for that but I keep hitting against a brick wall,which is why I'm doubting myself and asking here whether I'm being unreasonable/selfish/pig ignorant or whatever.

I'll ask about having my son Sundays...but I doubt she'll say "Ok, yeh, that's a great idea!". Of course I'll report back....

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