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Shared Care over the holidays(5 Posts)
I have two children with my XH. Now aged 8 and 5 (They were 4 and 6 when we split). XH was pretty awful in the split and they only see him one overnight a week and half the holidays (he didn't want more time with them) I was a SAHM when we split. I'm now working full time. I do pretty much all their life admin for them, he isn't really involved in their school or medical appointments etc.
He is very much an Uncle Dad. He's got them for his second week stretch now. Both the children said they are missing me. My youngest to the point where she seems quite distressed about being away from me. It's horrible to see. They do like seeing him and spending time with him but don't really get bothered about it unless they go more than 1.5-2 weeks without seeing him (which they have done as they have travelled with me and he regularly used to go away with work).
The issue I have is that he is just phoning it in. Most of the week at his they are cooped up in his flat, with endless screen and device time. He might take them out for an hour to the park or if they are lucky a local attraction for an hour or so each day. They seem miserable. They don't get to see any of their friends (he burnt bridges with the family friends we had locally and he isn't that close to the family home anyway) I know he is balancing working too which is hard. I sent him a list of local stay and play things when I was doing research for the days I needed cover, so he could put them in holiday clubs if he really needed to get on with things.
I don't want every school holiday they have to be miserable like this for them. I know they need to spend time with him too but the current arrangements don't seem to be working well.
Is the contact court ordered? If not would he be happy to do long weekends so Friday to Monday. It must be very boring for the children but it is up to him what he does in his time. The children will just want to stop going in time.
I wouldn't engage with him whilst he has the children. Although mine only go for weekends so I know that is easy for me to say. But I knew the children would get upset if they called me and would ask to come home. So told him from the start to only call if there is an emergency.
Not court ordered no. We agreed the arrangement ourselves. I asked him if he wanted more time, he did, but only to have most of the weekends to himself with the kids and leave me with all the school runs and hard work during the week so he was free to pursue his career in peace. Obviously that didn't go down well.
I call them every couple of days if they are gone for longer than 3 days. I miss them and want to see how they are. I won't call them when he just has them for a weekend. He also calls here during the week when I have them which is part of our arrangement. To be honest, I don't like the calls at all. I don't like him invading our space even if it is in voice form. They are a pain to manage and the kids don't engage with them well.
No I don't like the contact either. My kids see their dad eow. Sat night over night. He does nothing else and I have to say it suits me. Selfish I know. He doesn't call. Never has but my youngest who is 8 has WhatsApp now so he is free to message either child without going through me. Although contact is agreed through me. But I have made it clear I only want to hear from him about pick up and drop off times. If he doesn't want an active role in the children's lives it isn't for me to do it for him.
I can totally relate to your post this is exactly where we are at, my little one always wants to come home at the holidays and it’s causing a strain. I have offered to be flexible, I can only imagine this will be more difficult in the future.
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