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Not Enough Contact

(57 Posts)
MissingMyBoy Mon 21-Mar-05 19:17:02

My ex wife and I separated in October last year. Since then she has made getting any reasonable contact with my ds very difficult. I currently only get 2 hours twice a week. There is no domestic violence or welfare issues, so why won't she let me see him more. I looked after him equally from birth until 10 weeks old when she left. All I want to do is be a good dad but she won't let me. How much contact does everyone think a good dad should get to a child he loves?

ZsaZsaGabor Mon 21-Mar-05 19:20:16

As much as you can.

I don't know your story but I don't like it when mothers get all arsey over contact.

Good luck

giraffeski Mon 21-Mar-05 19:21:29

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ggglimpopo Mon 21-Mar-05 19:25:50

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ggglimpopo Mon 21-Mar-05 19:26:09

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aloha Mon 21-Mar-05 19:27:45

At least every other weekend staying contact when children are older. However, your son is very young, isn't he - just a few months? I think staying contact is very difficult when you are talking about a baby. I am sure you miss him terribly and I do feel for you (I am married to a man who lives apart from his daughter so I truly do sympathise). I think your best bet - and I know this probably sounds unfair to you - is to work on the relationship between you and your ex (why did she leave btw?). Praise her parenting skills, be totally 100% reliable with the contact you do have. Ask her what she needs in practical terms for your son - eg clothes, nappies, etc and buy them for him and deliver it to her. Contribute fairly to his care financially. Talk her up to your son - hand him back saying, "here's your lovely mummy - I miss you, see you soon!", offer to babysit if she is going out or have him if she wants to go shopping, and aim for more contact as he gets older. By the time he is a toddler you should be getting some staying contact, eg overnights and more time in the day. She may even - you never know! - be grateful for some time to herself at weekends and in the evening.

aloha Mon 21-Mar-05 19:27:54

At least every other weekend staying contact when children are older. However, your son is very young, isn't he - just a few months? I think staying contact is very difficult when you are talking about a baby. I am sure you miss him terribly and I do feel for you (I am married to a man who lives apart from his daughter so I truly do sympathise). I think your best bet - and I know this probably sounds unfair to you - is to work on the relationship between you and your ex (why did she leave btw?). Praise her parenting skills, be totally 100% reliable with the contact you do have. Ask her what she needs in practical terms for your son - eg clothes, nappies, etc and buy them for him and deliver it to her. Contribute fairly to his care financially. Talk her up to your son - hand him back saying, "here's your lovely mummy - I miss you, see you soon!", offer to babysit if she is going out or have him if she wants to go shopping, and aim for more contact as he gets older. By the time he is a toddler you should be getting some staying contact, eg overnights and more time in the day. She may even - you never know! - be grateful for some time to herself at weekends and in the evening.

aloha Mon 21-Mar-05 19:28:40

Is she still breastfeeding? If so then staying contact is out of the question until she stops.

vict17 Mon 21-Mar-05 19:30:10

I agree with Aloha. Also try and offer as much help as possible eg offering to babysit (in her home) so she can have a break to go out with friends perhaps?

Nixz Mon 21-Mar-05 19:39:18

my partner and i have seperated, he lives in essex, i live in liverpool - she goes to stay with him about once every 8 weeks - ive tried to get solicitors involved etc to try to make regular contact times etc but to no avail. He is in the forces and says he sees her as often as he can etc. The annoying thing is, she adores him and he thinks he's a great dad - any advice? My daughter is 4

maisystar Mon 21-Mar-05 20:28:34

i agree with aloha

my ds has no contact with his father(his choice) but if he had a loving dad i would hope he would see him every weekend.

10 weeks is very young, what reasons does she give for not letting you see him more?

MissingMyBoy Mon 21-Mar-05 20:53:09

Why should overnight staying contact be unreasonable with a young child. Ex did not breastfeed - I carried out the first 35 nights of my ds night time feeds and then every weekend when back at work. No real reason hs been given for leaving other than we argued a lot - but as far as i gather most new parents do due to tiredness/stress. I pay nearly £300 a month towards my ds upkeep, have suggested Relate to ex but she refuses, praised her in front of cafcass for being a good mother - what more can I do? I love my son, I want the ex and I to get on, but cannot progress this without her support too.

aloha Mon 21-Mar-05 21:05:07

I never said that you didn't do all those things, but they do provide a good foundation for the future - esp offering to babysit whenever she wants. The truth is, it is very unlikely a court will award overnights when a tiny baby is involved, so I think you just have to think about the future - however unfair that may sound. As I said, I truly do sympathise, but sympathy will get you nowhere - I was trying to suggest things that will help you in the future. The situation is unfair to men sometimes but on the other hand I think a tiny baby does need stability as well as two loving parents, and I have to say I feel slightly uneasy about a baby not knowing where he is going to sleep at night. That might sound unfair to you, but I think in this situation someone has to lose out and I think it might be best for a tiny baby to have that routine going. This stage won't last though and if you do work very hard to keep things civil despite your ex's attitude you have every chance of forming a very close relationship with your son. Good luck. You sound an excellent father, just as my dh is.

MissingMyBoy Mon 21-Mar-05 21:21:06

Thanks Aloha - its just difficult, I have not really done anythinhg wrong and am being punished for it big time - and my ds is being punished by not seeing his daddy. By the end of April there will be less than one mile separating us (only 5 just now) - I should really be seeing hime every single day not twice a week - to allow a proper attachment to develop. I agree with your staying contact comments at his very young age, but when should this start - surely comfort in a small baby comes from the people he is with, not the surroundings and if he sees me in my home as much as possible and nods of in his room, then he would be used to the surroundings anyway and not get distressed by them. I can even apply to work flexibly to ensure that I can see him as much as possible during his working hours. I will do everything to make this work - it took two of us to bring my ds into the world, we both have a responsibility to ensure it is as enjoyable to him as possible.

Beetroot Mon 21-Mar-05 21:24:11

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MissingMyBoy Mon 21-Mar-05 21:37:02

What age are the kids Beetroot?

rickman Mon 21-Mar-05 21:47:50

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Nixz Mon 21-Mar-05 21:52:44

Missingmyboy - only wish there were more dads like you! My daughters father is in the forces and as the world has been very unstable these last few years, he has been deployed a lot. He 1st went away for 3 months when she was 7 weeks old, and it continued from there, he spent more time away than he did at home in the first 18months - we also lived 200 miles apart. He still lives 200 miles away and only sees my daughter once every 8 weeks or so - but there has never been any question about the bond that she has and has always had with him - she has always been settled and comfortable with him, even though she hardly sees him and i believe thats because shes secure in herself that he loves her and she feels safe with him. I wouldnt worry, the times you have, make them special and he will be fine.

Beetroot Mon 21-Mar-05 21:52:48

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Nixz Mon 21-Mar-05 21:56:44

I agree with beetroot 100%. Although its very hard, especially when its a fairly recent break up and your emotions are all over the place.

MissingMyBoy Mon 21-Mar-05 21:56:55

Reasonable is not even close rickman. Prior to separation I saw my son 4 hours every day after work (he did not sleep well) and 24/7 at the weekend to allow ex to rest properly. I currently see him 4 percent of the available waking hours. In the 2.5 months we were together I saw him for around 500 hours. In the 5 months since around 80. I agree it is difficult handing your son over - my ex father in law now handles contact and he gets to see my ds ten times more than me - morally wrong in my opinion. So it is difficult for me to hand ds back to. I bahted him, changed him, took him for walks, all the things a normal dad does - now my son is denied all of this enjoyment from his father.

rickman Mon 21-Mar-05 22:03:37

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MissingMyBoy Mon 21-Mar-05 22:22:23

i started off by getting contact at maternal grandparents locked in their conservatory. Had to go to court to try and improve contact and get contact in my own home (which she has now taken an occupation order out against me to oust me from the property). legal advice in family matters is a waste of money - my sols quote - in my case I represent myself for my ds - its a lot less hard than sols would make out and you gain confidence in front of the judges quickly.

Unfortuneatley, the whole family law thing is a farce where my case is concerened - shared parenting is the sensible option, but an opposing ex is given whatever she wants by cafcass and the judge and i am left to rot for all they care. I never thought I would support F4J, but seeing how the courts work, I may yet don a batman suit.

rickman Mon 21-Mar-05 22:27:22

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aloha Mon 21-Mar-05 22:31:29

How long were you with your ex? Any idea why she is suddenly so hostile?Btw I am NOT suggesting it is your fault - my dh has/had a very hostile ex!
I am sure this is agony for you. You clearly love your son very much and I do agree, four hours a week seems far too little for a man who really is connected to his baby. What would you like to happen, realistically? Presumably you work full time so spending time during the week would be tricky with a tiny baby, and I presume he sleeps quite a bit anyway. I am sure you would love to just do the routine stuff, baths, cuddling, putting to bed and as the mother of a six week old I do realise how those ordinary things matter. But as you say, I don't think the courts will do much to help you. I think you are doing very well to keep plugging on and you can do you best to keep the situation as positive as possible. For moral support and to talk to people in your situation, I would recommend contacting Families Need Fathers (no Batman suit required). I do hope your ex sees sense and as time goes on you will see more of your boy.

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