Pattern for contact when NRP has no set working hours

(13 Posts)
Gracey79 Sat 20-Feb-16 11:45:58

Hi
Just wondering if anyone has a similar position, my ds is 11m and have been separated from his father for months now, as I've been on mat leave we've been doing ad hoc contact depending on xh shifts.
The problem now is I am going back to work part time and xh work pattern is completely sporadic, he works late shifts, early shifts and nights with different days off each week. He is wanting me to agree for him to have ds whichever days off he happens to have each week ie this week it's thurs fri, next week nothing at all, following week just Monday. This creates a nightmare for me with childcare when I am at work and also as when I'm back at work I want to spend my days off with ds not sat at home alone sad
I've offered to go to meditation as xh is now being quite nasty over it all, has anyone had a similar situation and come up with a fair arrangement?

ittooshallpass Sun 21-Feb-16 08:12:14

I am in the exact same position. It is very difficult and childcare has been very difficult as most childminders and nurseries want regular days.

However, after getting financially stung by a very greedy childminder who charged me way over the going rate to have me 'on a retainer' I struck gold with a nursery who were happy to have DD on different days each week.

I had assumed that no nursery would do it. Many don't but just keep asking. As long as I confirm which days are equired a month in advance it works out.

I arrange all the days exP has DD so I make sure I get days with her too.

ExP has to accept that his shifts are difficult to work around (I have no support at all... no family local) and just because he's sometimes off several weekends in a row doesn't mean he gets DD for all that time.

It's very, very hard having an EXP who works shifts. I'd kill for EOW that most people get. My social life is nil. Most contact is during the week. I work full time, so no break for me! Overnight stays are also sporadic (EXP has nowhere to take DD) so he often brings DD home for sleeping (again, no break for me!).

My advice is to make sure it works for you. Find a nursery which supports shift workers so you don't get ripped off. Ensure you get a break (I have seen others flamed for suggesting that they want EXP to take children so they can have a break, but I am firmly in the camp that agrees single parents need a break! Rested mum= healthy, happy mum!)

ittooshallpass Sun 21-Feb-16 08:17:36

Just to add... If you can't find a childminder or nursery who will accept different days, then I'm sorry, but your EXP has to sick it up!

Don't allow him to pull her out of nursery or childcare you have paid for unless he is happy to reimburse you.

I'll probably get flamed for that comment, but it's not fair for him to expect you to organise and pay for childcare and then swan in and out when he feels like it.

ivykaty44 Sun 21-Feb-16 08:23:51

If it was normal working then he would do every other weekend.

So you want to see DS when you are having days off work

Can you therefore say every other week exdh you can have DS on his days off around permanent childcare arrangements?

Then on the other week you get DS and if on your exes week his days don't fit then you still get DS.

Legally though your exdh company should be giving him notice of his sparodic shifts, therefore I would also insist on notice well in advance by email of the days otherwise you will not cooperate as it wouldnt be fair to not know from one week to the next what was happening.

Gracey79 Sun 21-Feb-16 08:54:01

Hi
Thanks for responding, I did tell him his employer has to accommodate flexible working but he's not bothered asking.
It's the childcare that really is the problem, I've asked all local nurseries and they will only let me have set days which I've arranged going back to work around, I don't think it's fair to have ds messed around with no consistency ie nursery 3 days one week 1 day the next. I think we will have to go down the court route unfortunately sad

ittooshallpass Sun 21-Feb-16 13:11:43

My EXP is in army so no possibility of flexible working. Anyone can ask, but employers don't have to agree.

I would suggest that you sort everything to work around your working hours and he will have to work around what is suitable for you.

If that means he has sporadic access, so be it. It's his choice not to work flexible hours or take annual leave to spend time with his daughter.

My EXP expects us all to jump when he wants access (usually the day before!). I won't allow him to operate that way. I suggest you set your boundaries now. You are the primary carer, you are sorting childcare and you have regular hours. He will have to fall in with your plans.

ivykaty44 Sun 21-Feb-16 18:11:36

Op I would write a letter outlining what you would like to see happen with contact and then also state that if this is not suitable then you are willing to go to mediation. Either email this or send registered delivery.

Then sit back and let him do all the work, as if he doesn't want to go to mediation etc it may be a problem for him.

You don't need to do the work - he does, so don't argue

Gracey79 Sun 21-Feb-16 18:18:27

Thanks ivy
What do you think I should put in the letter? That I'm willing to be flexible on xyz days each week? And then as you say it's his job to fit in.
Totally understand pp with wanting the world to revolve around him, it's really hard because as much as I want them to have contact I also need to get on with life with my son.

ivykaty44 Sun 21-Feb-16 22:04:52

Yes write and say you are willing to be flexible on xy&z days. Nursery is a routine that is important for DS to be in so they are not flexible days and you hope a compromise can be met. You are willing to mediation. Look forward to hearing from him soon on this matter in writing.

Regards

Then just leave it to him to get back to you

Fourormore Mon 22-Feb-16 23:48:36

How far in advance does he get his shifts?

Gracey79 Tue 23-Feb-16 06:59:16

He gets them months in advance the problem is he often swaps them with not much notice or is asked to do training courses on days off etc

Fourormore Tue 23-Feb-16 07:35:15

The most reasonable proposal you can make then is probably that DS's time with him is agreed when the shifts come out and if he swaps shifts or has to do a training day, he has to arrange his own childcare.

Kaykee Sat 12-Mar-16 17:16:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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