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Overnight contact -are we all crazy then?

(28 Posts)
GEM33 Thu 04-Sep-14 22:53:30

I've been posting and reading on here since my ex dumped me in January. He's hardly been bothered to see our 2yr old dd but all of a sudden he's bought a house with his home wrecking girlfriend and he now wants dd overnight.
My reaction is sick to the stomach, heart wrenching turmoil and I can't eat or sleep and that's before it's even happened.

I can't help but notice every day similar posts from mothers whose reaction is the same, they want their kids to spend time with their dads and aren't stopping them but overnights are different.

Answers are variable. I notice courts would grant overnights at even young ages and I just wonder what the right answer is.
If the feeling of dread for a mother to send young children overnight is so common are we all wrong? Are we all crazy deluded people who are trying to stand in our ex's way or is there actually something in our instincts that is right?

We have to accept that everyone is different. I've read on here posts from people who have been through overnights/two homes and come out healthy unscarred adults. Not everyone's child/ beliefs are the same.

When I had my child I would never have dreamed that one day she d be spending part of her life living in someone else's house being raised in part by another woman.

I do not accept this. I refuse to see how this is good for my daughter. I will never get over it. I will be physically sick the night she goes there and refuse to see how it can ever possibly get better or easier.
I'm a healthy normal person, I don't have mental health issues. I'm an exceptional mother. I just love my daughter and don't want to send her off to a man who can't even look after her properly never mind some woman I know nothing of. She is my precious most valuable thing in life and she needs her mummy.
It's so wrong that these awful fathers get overnights.
(Cries-got no control will have to face worst fear soon-it's coming-can't bear it).
Good luck changing my mind.

OP’s posts: |
BlackeyedSusan Fri 05-Sep-14 00:18:13

does he have to have her overnight immediately? should he not build up to it first?

and if you are crazy, me too. I am facillitating contact in my home as he struggles with them alone and they may not be safe. there were several near misses when he lived here. thankfully he does not have anywhere to have them either.

GEM33 Fri 05-Sep-14 00:40:10

Hoping to get my solicitor on the Case to see if we can delay it a bit. X

OP’s posts: |
sandgrown Fri 05-Sep-14 00:47:08

Whilst he is wrong for dumping you does that make him an awful father? I understand your reluctance to let your daughter stay with the other woman though. I work with separated families and all I can say is please do not use your daughter as a pawn like some parents do.

AlpacaMyBags Fri 05-Sep-14 00:55:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wafflyversatile Fri 05-Sep-14 01:00:58

I expect fathers often feel the same when their children have over nights with their ex and a new partner.

It's natural enough, I'd say but it's going to happen sooner or later it just needs to be handled as well as possible for the DC and everyone.

GEM33 Fri 05-Sep-14 01:15:29

No dumping me does not make him an awful father. What does make him awful is forgetting he is a father for the last 8 months. I've asked him weekly to come and see his daughter and he's failed to. Dd asks can she speak to daddy on the phone he refuses even if I text first saying I ll put him straight on to her and won't have to talk to me.
Not changing her nappy and sending her home with nappy heavier than a night nappy.
Not putting his daughter first
Not responding to her needs.
Says he wants her eow but then refusing to have her Sunday as well.
Sending her home hungry.
Having spent the day with daddy last weekend to be told all he did was strip wallpaper and didn't take her anywhere or do anything with her having not seen her two weeks.

I am NOT using my daughter as a pawn. I have tried my best to get this man to be a dad but he's more interested in his floozy. I'm a mother one hundred percent of the day every day every week every month every year. I don't suddenly decide one day oh I've had enough I want my own life, I ll just see my daughter when it suits me every two weeks maybe not even that much then after nearly a year throw her into my new life with a new woman and keep her away from her mummy without giving a second thought to her emotional and physical needs.

Im the one with her best interest in mind and he's the one treating her like a pet hire service. Pawn my arse.

OP’s posts: |
GEM33 Fri 05-Sep-14 01:19:35

How many times a day /week can I tell my dd her daddy can't see her because he is "working" how many times and in how many ways can I ask him to come and see her even if he can only manage five minutes.
How many times is he going to drive past us and not even stop to say hello to his dd. or pass us in the shop and not come over to speak to her.

Awful father.

OP’s posts: |
confusedNC Fri 05-Sep-14 07:16:12

thanks adapting to this myself. My stbxh didn't do much of parenting when we were together but now wants 50/50. Ds only 3. I am ok with overnight eow but not half week too. He has him up late and he's exhausted and hungry when he gets back. During week with nursery he needs routine.

I wanted him to grow up with stability. Xh has some mad mantra that chaos is good sad also not looking forward to another woman into the mix when that happens.

starlight1234 Fri 05-Sep-14 11:06:19

There seems to be 2 issues in here. Firstly you do seem very angry towards him and OW ( understandably ) but this is not an issue about contact.

The other issue which is more relevant is the lack of care and frequency of contact.

It is not reasonable to go from barely contact to overnight. How do you know he did nothing with her except strip wallpaper. Any 2 year old is not a reliable witness.I think it is reasonable that it is built up slowly .

The thing to do is offer regular contact . if he lets you down record it if he lets her down and reason. You do have far more of a case than at the minute.

I had an Ex which I knew wasn't interested in my DS. Initially I pushed him to be the Dad my DS deserved. When I stopped trying he was offered regular contact which he got less at less frequent till it started to affect my son then stopped but I know I did my best to facilitate contact. I know when my son grows up I can tell him I did try and get your Dad involved.

Also my DS saw his Dad 2 hours once a fortnight. ( there were reasons is was only 2 hours) but my son did at 2 know when it was contact day even when I said nothing.

fedupbutfine Fri 05-Sep-14 13:11:48

I will never get over it

I used to say stuff like that. I did get over it. It took a while but your life changes and it becomes part of your routine. Eventually you get to a point where you're pushing them out the door before the engine on the car has stopped and shouting 'see you on Monday!' before slamming the door shut, opening the wine and looking forward to a weekend of peace!

It's not easy. Part of being a good parent when a relationship has broken down is recognising your own discomfort and pressure points and learning how to manage them.

*I've asked him weekly to come and see his daughter and he's failed to. Dd asks can she speak to daddy on the phone he refuses even if I text first saying I ll put him straight on to her and won't have to talk to me. Not changing her nappy and sending her home with nappy heavier than a night nappy.Not putting his daughter firstNot responding to her needs.
Says he wants her eow but then refusing to have her Sunday as well.
Sending her home hungry. Having spent the day with daddy last weekend to be told all he did was strip wallpaper and didn't take her anywhere or do anything with her having not seen her two weeks.*

It is very hard to accept this kind of stuff and harder to wave off your precious little one knowing the care she will receive will be sub-standard your own standards. You need to see it in terms of him being responsible for his relationship with his child - not you. He answers to her and will only ever answer to her now. As long as she's surviving, it'll be OK. She wont' remember this and there's a lot you can do to make sure that you limit negative impact. So many parents get angry, for example, about the ex not turning up but have their children sitting there at the alloted time with their coats on so they know that dad's supposed to be coming and that he's late. I never tell mine dad is due - I just have what they need ready for them and they put a coat on as walking out the door. If he doesn't turn up, they never knew he was coming anyway.

Take care of yourself and just hold on to the fact that it will get easier xxx

GEM33 Fri 05-Sep-14 16:27:11

Aw thank you to the last couple posters. Yes I'm angry. I admit and I feel that I've done everything I can to get him to see his dd but he makes excuses. I've kept a diary from the beginning and it's good evidence of what a disappointment he's been.
I do my best not to tell dd when he's due so she never knows until she sees him.
I can't see it but I do take on board what you said about packing them off and opening the wine- my emotions are still runnin high and overnights are currently the worst thing that could happen in my eyes x

OP’s posts: |
VFXdad Fri 05-Sep-14 18:41:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fedupbutfine Fri 05-Sep-14 22:01:35

Yes I'm angry. I admit and I feel that I've done everything I can to get him to see his dd but he makes excuses

You know, it's really, really hard. I think in the early days I spent an awful long time trying to hold onto him being a decent guy and a good father (whatever those things are) because I felt that anything different was a reflection on me. I felt judged because I'd been stupid enough to marry someone who would treat not only me badly, but his children as well. I think this is something society pushes onto us - 'single mums' are the devil incarnate and everything, absolutely everything that is 'bad' about single parenting is automatically our fault. There is some disgust with the runaway father but at the same time, we laugh and smile at the father who escapes the clutches of the CSA and we label the mother greedy or 'benefit scum' (regardless of her circumstances) and we blame mum for being involved with someone so awful. It is no wonder that we will do anything at all to remove ourselves as far away as possible from that stereotype - and so we try hard to make the crap father into the good father in a 'by hook or by crook' way.

It takes a lot of practise but you do have to recognise that none of this is your fault, you didn't ask for it (even if you wanted out of the relationship yourself). People change - the man I married would never have done what he did to me - and you don't have to take responsibility for that. It's OK to be angry and upset and frustrated but you do need to work hard at making your peace with it as soon as possible 'cos it's a life half lived while you do.

TortillasAndChocolate Fri 05-Sep-14 22:33:37

OP I totally see where you're coming from. My DS is 3 now and ex doesn't have him overnight yet and just the thought of it tears my heart out and makes me so angry all at the same time. None of this was my choice and now I potentially have to spend nights away from my little boy when I don't want to and when I don't think DS can cope with it. It's such a crap situation to be in. People even tell me I'll enjoy the break - I don't want a break from being a parent. I spent 2.5 years trying to get pregnant so I could be a parent - why would I now want a break from it?!

My ex is now with the woman he left me for and I also have issues with her being able to spend time with my little boy - but I can't say anything and just have to put up with it. I can't imagine ever feeling ok about it.

We can't all be crazy. I'm pretty normal generally!

inthename Sat 06-Sep-14 11:38:31

Not crazy, dealing with a system we didn't choose and probably barely knew existed until standing in a court room in front of a judge for 10 minutes is enough for a highly abusive person to convince the professionals that hes perfectly alright really and you've got it all wrong.
Courts don't 'do' feelings and emotions - they do cold hard facts.
They say that you both created a life; therefore you are equal to that life.
They have no perspective that the equal to this life you created together is actually not capable of what they have decided it should do.
Court case over, you are a piece of paper in a big file somewhere. You and the life you created together doesn't matter to them because they have done their 'bit' and lets face it, presiding over some of these horrific abuse cases makes your little disagreement with another pale into insignificance.
The only way forward for you is to realise they don't care, that you didn't chose this, its not your fault and it can't be solved or made better, you make the best of a bad situation for your children and you hold your head up knowing you are doing so x

balia Sat 06-Sep-14 23:34:46

Well, I get you are upset so if you just want sympathy and hand holding please ignore.

But, in terms of genuine reflection about separated parenting (by both genders) I think there are a number of holes in your reasoning. There are, as you say, some threads about how hard it is to cope with separation from a child overnight for the first time. In the vast majority of cases, mothers acknowledge that this is about their own feelings, separate from the needs and interests of their DC's.

What I don't understand about your situation (and a small minority of similar posts) is the conflict between your statement about the huge efforts you have made to facilitate the relationship between Dc's and their fathers, and the sudden massive backtrack when those fathers step up and want to make that relationship a reality. Suddenly they are 'awful' and can't look after their Dc's, and never do anything with them, or worse, do too much with them and are Disney Dads.

And I have to say, your inference that 'exceptional' mothers always instinctively dread being away from their children even for just one night is a tiny bit offensive. I know many women who are very grateful for a brief respite when they have a 12 month old, or much younger baby. And many who need the help of partners, ex partners, parents and friends for a variety of reasons. Very seldom does anyone talk about being physically sick when they leave the baby at their mum's because they have to go back to work, even if the standard of care isn't as good.

If you genuinely have your DD's interests at heart, and your judgement is not clouded by your (considerable and I'm sure justified) anger, then you might want to reflect on some research into the outcomes for DC's who have a relationship with both parents compared to those who don't. It's not about who is the better parent, or whether you do or don't want a break from it, or you at all. It is about the DC's rights to have a relationship with her father. There's no point blaming the courts, they had no involvement in who her parents were.

You know yourself that overnights will happen. Try to find some way of getting over these feelings/ideas because your DD will be aware and sense it and this will make her very conflicted in terms of her relationship with her father and stepmother.

honey86 Sat 13-Sep-14 12:05:27

Im refusing this atm based on the fact he hasnt even had him alone yet and he isnt willing to do it gradually either. If he can be patient enough to build it up hell eventually have overnights, but so far hes just waited a couple weeks of supervised contact then lost his temper and walked out of ds life for a few weeks given silent treatment then come back begging for contact. And so on in that cycle so we havent moved on. Had he just let things progress hed prob be unsupervised by now.

though i still find it hard to stomach the thought of ds being alone with him when he hardly looks after himself n has so many unhealthy habits traits and behaviours, then theres the multitude of other women he goes through...
My maternal instincts scream nooooo...
But its

honey86 Sat 13-Sep-14 12:18:44

Prob gonna happen eventually( if he sticks to his word this time hmm). I do think im gonna have to step out my comfort zone if thats the case. What im not compromising on though is the build up to it. I think its unreasonable to expect to just be in your kids life for a couple weeks supervised then expect overnights just like that. Ppl are welcome to flame me for that but meh- my sons emotional wellbeing will always trump parental rights x

Meglet Sat 13-Sep-14 12:19:51

I'm sorry but sub-standard care isn't ok, at all. It doesn't matter if your DC won't remember it. They aren't going to enjoy it at the time.

He should go above and beyond to make sure his child has a nice weekend. Not silly stuff like theme parks / disney stores etc. Just fed, loved, safe, clean and amused.

starlight1234 Sat 13-Sep-14 23:06:03

I think its unreasonable to expect to just be in your kids life for a couple weeks supervised then expect overnights

I comepletely agree with you Honey86. It is supposed to be in the best interest of the child. not what parent demands.

I also found unreliable turning up to contact really damaging to my son

honey86 Sun 14-Sep-14 22:10:22

Thats what im worried about. Atm his dad is being generally cooperative buti guarantee that wont last- til the next time he throws his toys out the pram. Ds is starting to get less interested in seeing him, hes stop being so smiley with him- like hes a stranger. Hes not far off a yr old now so im surprised hes already starting to show reactions to it... Goes to show. Thatll prob be my fault too hmm

starlight1234 Sun 14-Sep-14 22:30:52

Honey...they know far more than you know..My Ds knew when it was a contact weekend despite it been 2 hours EOW. As it got more erratic he was far less bothred and ended up been picked up a few times as he just wanted me. He didn't feel safe with Dad. Obviously as a result Daddy wanting to be a stong reliable figure in his sons life simply had even less contact as it was too hard work hmm

honey86 Sun 14-Sep-14 23:20:01

Gawd are we talking bout the same guy here shock its usually every week but he went a gap of 6 weeks recently cos he threw a wobbler and gave me the silent treatment went off the radar then cropped up again after summer hols saying he misses ds. Before that 6 weeks ds was growing fond of his dad its such a freakin shame fw couldnt keep a lid on it. If it continues in the cycle i swear ill tell him to do one. Dont want my poor boy ending up messed up x

gingercat2 Fri 19-Sep-14 13:31:27

Of you're crazy, I am too sad it feels so wrong as a mother to be separated from my child when I don't choose to do so.

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