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Phoning dc's when at their dad's

(27 Posts)
popcorn123 Sun 24-May-09 10:36:16


Looking for a bit of advice - ex has started to have dc's overnight by himself after 1 year of being separated.
I have been phoning to say goodnight or good morning to them - usualy once in a 24 hour period for 1-2 minutes because at 4 and 3 that is all they talk for.

i don't think this is intrusive or unreasonable but he does and is rude to me when I phone and often hangs up.

When they have stayed at grandparents in the past it is always been expected that i will phone briefly and if I didn't they phoned me.

Ex doesn't phone to talk the the dc's but I have never said he can't.

mamas12 Sun 24-May-09 12:21:26

I used to do this and have the same response from ex.
I would keep doing it as long as the kids want to tbh. Have you not done it once and what was the outcome, did they miss it or were they alright?
Sorry the questions.
I only do it now if they are away for more that=n a few days or if they have been ill, and of course they have their own phones now so can text me when they want too.

Ivykaty44 Sun 24-May-09 12:29:03

I would leave it, tell the dc that they can phone if they want to say good night and follow thier lead - they will soon say if they want a chat smile

popcorn123 Sun 24-May-09 13:06:34

The dc's do like it - they are to young to phone themselves and ex wouldn't encourage them to.

I might not next time and see what happens.

mamas12 Sun 24-May-09 13:12:22

It will be interesting. Because the first time for me was alright but it the next few times they asked me to do it again because they missed it! So really I still play it by ear iykwim and if I think they need a call I'll call them. And vice versa

ChasingSquirrels Sun 24-May-09 13:46:33

Mine have stayed overnight with their dad since we split (one weekday night from 5pm - 8.30am when he drops them at school/cm and one weekend night from 5pm - 5pm next day).
They were 5.6 and 2.2 when we split and are 6.8 and 3.4 now.
I have never phoned them when they are just with him for the night, but on the odd occasion that they stay over longer or go with him to visit paternal grandparents for a couple of nights then I do phone them.
He v v v rarely phones them when they are with me - we have just been away for a week and he did call them then, but then he also missed his contact with them because we were away.
Ds1 has also just started e-mailing him, which is nice for both of them.

Have you asked their dad why he doesn't like it? Maybe they are upset aferwards and he wants to avoid it (or maybe he is just being a prick!).

popcorn123 Sun 24-May-09 14:50:40

He doesn't like it- he says i am checking up on him - which i am not.
I don't think it upsets the dc's -although they ask about me alot which might be annoying.

mamas12 Sun 24-May-09 16:01:41

he just has to suck it up they are young they want their mum. It will get better for them and consequently him so it's just something he just has to go through him not likeing it for his dcs sake.

ChasingSquirrels Sun 24-May-09 16:07:59

if he just doesn't like it - then tough. This isn't about what he likes (or what you like for that matter) it is about what is best for the children.
If they want to speak to you when they are with him then they should continue to be able to do so.

talie101 Sun 24-May-09 19:34:59

I have never in all the 4 years of separation telephoned the children whilst they are with their dad (and yes, it's been VERY hard for me at times) .... I always thought that if they weren't 'missing' me or thinking about me, then my phone call would only make them think of me and maybe they would get upset because it would remind them they weren't with me... if you know what I mean.

Although I sometimes really want to speak to them when 'I' feel lonely and am thinking about them, it does work well that I don't phone because it also works the other way round and saves me having to put up with the ex ringing here when he wants and irritating me if he wanted to say goodnight etc at any point... I can do without the hassle to be honest!... and it would be upsetting for the children knowing they were not with daddy at that point. I think when they are older and able to understand and deal with their feelings of separation from each parent then it wouldn't matter so much having calls whenever but whilst they are young and 'miss' the absent parent, for me contact is best kept just to the visits and not extra phone calls in the other parents time.. but that's just what works for us.

I have always told them over and over that they can phone me at ANY time if they want to talk to me and to just tell daddy they want to speak to me... even when the ex made excuses that I wouldn't have my phone on me etc to them on several occasions... I have reassured them that I ALWAYS have my phone on me (except in the shower! lol.. and to try again)... and also told the ex (in front of the children) that they have said they can't phone me and that I always have my mobile etc...... since then there hasn't really been a problem with them calling me when they want to!

Are the phonecalls for you do you think?... I know it's difficult when they first start going overnight (it's taken me nearly 4 years to get used to it!) or do you think they benefit from you speaking to them?

Only you can decide what's best in your circumstances but it's good to hear different points of view isn't it.

Maybe try not phoning and see what happens and then take things from there.....

Good luck

ruddynorah Sun 24-May-09 19:37:50

maybe it just annoys him because he feels like you're checking up on him. especially if it's at night then again in the morning.

lostdad Sun 24-May-09 21:31:46

Simple test: How would you feel if the positions were reversed?

sunshine13 Sun 24-May-09 21:44:39

I have to say that I think it's a little much calling in that space of time. One would almost think that you didnt trust Dad to just get on with his side of the parenting (which I am sure that's not the case right?)

Let the child be with Dad.. let the reltionship blossom, which will happen much quicker if you let them be to get on with it..

Best of luck...

popcorn123 Sun 24-May-09 22:01:27

OK - maybe it is a bit much - was never twice only once.
I wouldn't mind if he phoned once - I have never said he couldn't and wouldn't mind if he did.
I have always phoned briefy if I am away overnight.

Ok will not phone and see how we get on.

Have lots of genuine reasons not to trust his parenting outlined in previous posts but that is a separate issue I was phoning because I aways have done if I am working nights etc and GP had them but will give it a break.

AnitaBlake Sun 24-May-09 22:52:39

Popcorn, am well proud of you. Often on this. Board its hard not to be more confruntational, but well done! I'm sure the kids will be fine, maybe you could text you ex and check that way to put your mind at rest? I'm sure he wouldn't mind that?

Mumofagun Mon 25-May-09 00:06:45

When my DS first started going overnight XDP said it was fine to call "whenever I wanted". I kept this very much like you Popcorn, morning and to be fair, most evenings as well, but this was having spoken to DS in front of XDP to ask him what HE wanted. After a while I told DS that he was fine and that I didn't need to call in the evenings as well. DS was mortified and said he wanted to say goodnight to me. I kept the calls like you to no more than a minute. XDP was generally having trouble with DS wanting to be there in the first place and started using the phone calls as an excuse saying that they upset DS. DS said they didn't and that XDP was "making it up". Eventually XDP started to keep the phone off so I couldn't call anyway. DS was really upset becaue he said to me that I had promised to call but hadn't. I left it after that so as not to inflame things and just told DS to tell XDP that he wanted to speak to me when he did, and left it at that. DS was telling XDP he wanted to speak to me but DS got the, "we're going out now, later, it's not convenient" etc. By the time he got him home for bed it was so late DS then got the, "it's too late now, tomorrow". I appreciated after a while what some of you have said that I should leave it up to DS. It's not easy though when he's not allowed. It caused a lot of upset and I still don't know what it was all about.As long as your XDP allows the DC's to call you when they feel they need to try going without. It will be hard. All I ever wanted to do was say good morning or good night. As long as they are in safe hands all will turn out alright I'm sure.

ChasingSquirrels Mon 25-May-09 08:38:29

as a "peace of mind" thing, my ex text'd me once the boys are in bed - usually just "boys fine" but sometimes a bit more details. He did this at the beginning for MY sake, now it is just a matter of course thing - sometimes he doesn't, and tbh I often don't notice until the next morning.

popcorn123 Mon 25-May-09 14:24:00

My ex is so unreasonable about most things and I have given in alot I need to get perspective of things so it good to hear others opinions.
I doubt he would let dc's phone me but ds1 is old enough to tell me if this is the case - I suspect they wouldn't ask to phone unless something out of the ordinary had happened or they were unwell.

Not sure how he will take the texting idea - but I will ask.

sunshine13 Mon 25-May-09 19:00:32

whats the definition of unreasonable though?

Dont phone, dont text. You're boardering on stalking and your child will feel suffocated... let them both get on with it. He wants to be involved in your child's life.. You should be jumping up and down for joy! Whilst he has the child, why dont you take the time to enjoy the peace and quiet. or even... take up a hobby! start enjoying your life.

Undoubedly your ex and you will have differnt ideas on how your child should be raised. Instead of being paranoid how about talking to him and discussing it...Keep in the loop with what you're doing with the child. You may not stand the sight of your ex but you have a child togehter and for whatever reason, he wants to be there for your child..That way then you wont feel the need to talk, text, camp outside the house, move in whenever your ex has the child..

Hope you see your way to doing what's right by your child and talk to your ex..

popcorn123 Mon 25-May-09 20:32:50

I have not said he was unreasonable by not wanting me to phone/text. I have accepted that that is not unreasonable.
I was referring to other stuff not mentioned in this post.

pombear Mon 25-May-09 22:46:03

The sad thing here is that children sometimes fall off 'the list' when we get into adult negotiations, and that's probably what your ex is doing. Imagine...if you will...if you were still with your ex. And your child had gone to stay with his mum and dad. Would either of you have thought anything odd about phoning to say goodnight, just to say hi and tuck them in 'over the phone'? If yes, fine, you wouldn't be the type to call them anyway. No problem, just different parenting types. But if you would have been, and suddenly you're not meant to call them...because you're 'interfering'?

Just because we lose half of our parenting time doesn't mean we stop being a parent during the time we're away from them. And before anyone starts griping that I don't know, I've been through this for many years, and have gone through the accusations of 'interfering' in the early years from my ex, but we now seem to have a calm, centred, 'knows she's loved by both parents' child', and after the first few years of negotiating the path through adult 'control' struggles with the ex, we seem to have got through it to an understanding that she values both of our interactions and our love.
Most of this sort of negotiation is about adult feelings...once you wait it out and get beyond it, your child will feel better in knowing that their time is not so divided between the two parents that there is a communication wall that must not be crossed. When you have very young children in this situation, you need to look at the long view...very soon, they become rational, assessing pre-teens who will ask why they can't phone their other parent. Keep persisting, but in a calm, child-centred argument sort of way. Never throw your own hurt at the situation, and I am sure that you'll both get to a place that you'll know that this is a child, not a possession that is passed from person to person, shut off from communication from their other valid 'other'. Just maybe compromise on the amount of communication!!
Apols for long message, but I feel very passionate on the subject!

pombear Mon 25-May-09 22:53:03

Tiny bit more....most of my friends who are in happy nuclear units go away sometimes without their husband or children. They text or phone Dad and children to see how things are, say hi, keep in touch. Is that stalking? No one I know seems to think this is odd, or manipulative, or not trusting their other half. Just part of keeping in touch with the family they love.

Why is it when we lose our relationships, somehow we are meant to gain an amazing ability to close off from the life we have half of the time, for fear of appearing like a stalker?

PS - for all about to jump on me, my ex and I have a very equitable arrangement in terms of childcare, etc, so no control factors going on....I trust him as a father, as I'm sure he does me as a mother. And he knows, as a mother, I do not hand her over and switch off my 'mother button' to become 'single girl!'.

mamas12 Tue 26-May-09 00:14:37

Rock on pombear you have so eloqquently expressed exactly what I feel too.
You need to do what your kids are used to doing and that's that.

popcorn123 Tue 26-May-09 20:54:22

Thanks pombear for your down to earth comments - made me feel a lot better about things. I felt hurt by the "stalking" comments as it was a misinterpretation of my intentions.
Will give things alot of thought and work out what is best for dc's which Iam sure will change over time.

Mumofagun Thu 28-May-09 18:01:41

Pombear, I for one am with you 100% and wouldn't dream of jumping on you. I think you've hit the nail on the head. I know full well though that many would argue, "Ah well then, I'm the absent parent, that means I have the right to call twice a day etc... " . I'm not going to comment at the mo!.......

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