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Looking for a PWC point of view ...

(20 Posts)
ChocHobNob Tue 14-Jul-09 16:48:02

how do you manage contact when the NRP does not work set days every week, so an agreement such as "every other weekend" or "every * night" wont work?

Do you allow some flexibility if they have a rota some months in advance and can give details of their time off so you can decide something between yourselves?

I understand some sort of regularity is important but not always possible since the days of Mon-Fri, 9-5 jobs have almost all but gone out of the window.

Thanks in advance for any replies.

notevenamousie Tue 14-Jul-09 19:07:54

We have had this problem for over a year now, with both my work and my ex's. We decided contact times months in advance. He's messed me about a fair bit, but dd has had holidays and weekends with him though not predicatable or regualr as I might like. I have a predictable job to start in Sept so things should improve for us. People do think it's odd but like you say, a lot of jobs/careers are antisocial hours and I think as long as you are willing to compromise and your dc know where they stand (see daddy next week, next weekend, etc,) you will do ok.

FenellaFudge Tue 14-Jul-09 19:21:43

This is the situation I'm in.

Ds dad has very irregular working hours/ days.

Our arrangement possibly only works bacuse we have a good friendship, but basically he is free to see DS whenever he wants to within reason.

It really comes down to the state of your relationship with your ex I think.

Our way of thinking is that although we are not a couple, we are still a family and we still co-parent.

He sees DS most days - he might come and have dinner with us or just a cuppa, take DS to the park or come and do bed+bathand etc - and although his working pattern makes it difficult DS stays over at his roughly once a week.

Don't think of it as a situation lacking regularity but a chance to have a less business-like, more familial arrangement - as long as your relationship can withstand that kind of informal set-up then it can onl y benefit the DC, imo.

ChocHobNob Wed 15-Jul-09 08:11:34

I'm actually neither the PWC nor the NRP, I'm the NRP's wife *Boo! Hiss!* wink Only joking of course (It's a very confusing situation)

We are only at the very start of contact. Unfortunately it doesn't take place at anyones home yet, so the popping in for dinner/bedtime isn't possible, although the "relationship" you two have sounds ideal. My husband and his daughter's Mum have a good "relationship" and we're hoping it continues. He wont be messing her around.

So it can work then, if neither party takes the micky. Thanks x

cestlavielife Wed 15-Jul-09 12:22:12

i would have thought asking for the rota and suggested times in advance would work for everyone -so if the rota is available for next month both sides agree for the next month etc.

for the summer holidays i have given a page listing for dates we here, away etc - is on basis of once a fortnight supervised but as we away some weeks and wont make that i have offered some weeks once a week.

Niceguy2 Wed 15-Jul-09 12:26:16

Speaking from personal experience what worked best for me was a fixed arrangement. Ex had set days. If she had work problems on those days then it was down to her to sort out alternate care.

I think this is the only fair way since if the shoe were on the other foot then i'd be expected to sort out my own problem. The opposite should hold true.

Being practical though I would say if your OH gets his rota in advance and ex is willing to show some flexibility then great. What is not fair though is to expect his ex to live her life around his shift patterns. Its his job, not hers.

Its also good for the kids as they grow to understand the routine rather than not know from one day to the next where they are staying.

Years down the line my ex & I have the fixed routine as the minimum but we also have a degree of flexibility. If one of us has a problem with a particular date then we do ask each other if a swap is possible but neither get offended if its not.

Just my tuppence worth.

ChocHobNob Wed 15-Jul-09 13:54:49

Obviously in an ideal world, contact would be set days as that would work better for everyone, but it just isn't possible when someone works rolling shifts.

He isn't expecting her to live her life around him, we were just wondering how people work contact when partners work awkward shifts.

So far she seems very keen for their daughter to have a relationship with her Dad and hopefully she'll understand that to do that she'll need to be flexible just as he would be if she had the same problem.

The situation is not your typical "broken relationship with children" scenario though. Contact is at a very early stage too, so just an hour at a time at the moment, which makes things a little easier for everyone. It's not at the over nights or partial/whole days stage yet so childcare isn't an issue. We were just wondering what people do in situations where contact can't be set weekly/fortnightly.

Thanks for the replies x

ChocHobNob Wed 15-Jul-09 13:57:01

When it gets to a more progressed stage, and set days were done, then obviously child care etc would be sorted. But at the moment, it would be impractical to say "right, Saturday for an hour is your time a week" which my husband has 2 off in 6, so the other 4 weeks the little girl would have to go to a childminder for an hour, if that makes sense lol

Surfermum Wed 15-Jul-09 14:05:12

My dh's experience of giving his x his rota was that she chose dates when he was working, she refused to negotiate with dh on any of them then told the court that she wasn't preventing contact she'd offered lots of dates that dh had turned down grin.

I heaved a big sigh of relief when he changed to a regular hours job.

Good luck with it - for it to work it needs both parties to be committed to being flexible and amenable.

SolidGoldBrass Wed 15-Jul-09 14:13:07

If the relationship is amicable then it shouldn't be too hard to sort out. It sounds like he knows approximately what his works patterns will be each mont ie which Saturdays he has off, etc, so perhaps you can just book in a month's worth of dates at a time.

However, what's the problem with contact taking place at someone's home and why is it 'at the very beginning, only an hour a time'? Is there possibly something your DP isn't telling you about his relationship with his XW (ie he's got a track record of violence?)

ChocHobNob Wed 15-Jul-09 14:19:45

We have considered that Surfermum LOL All arrangements are discussed through email, so we will have proof of anything discussed should it go to court

Thanks x

ChocHobNob Wed 15-Jul-09 14:25:02

It isn't his XW lol My husband and she had an affair a couple of years ago. Me and my husband have been together 9 years. So no contact takes place at her house. Both he and the mother's (we hope) only interest is what is best for the little girl and that is her having a relationship with her Dad so as soon as the little girl knows my husband a lot better and we are all happy enough, contact will start taking place in our home.

Surfermum Wed 15-Jul-09 14:29:16

Oh I remember your other thread. You sound so lovely smile. I really hope it works out well for all of you.

ChocHobNob Wed 15-Jul-09 14:32:22

blush I forgot my log in details for my past one lol

It seems to be going really well at the moment. We are hoping it continues.

ridingjoker Wed 15-Jul-09 14:55:42

my ex has unpredictable work.

he has 1 set overnight. if he cant make it then i do allow him to choose another day if he wants. but tbh he usually just gets then in morning after like he would if they had stayed over.

he also has access any other time he wants he's welcome to pick dc up fro here and take them out for an hr or so. we have a decent relationship now.. so generaly i dont need much notice. if i'm free then its fine. but sometimes and not and he doesn't get offended.

but it works both ways. if i have doctors/dentist/hairdressers... i'll see if he wants them for an hr or so while i go to that if he's not working.

again i usually drop them off or he collects.

we dont spend time in eithers homes as its too confusing for dc and upsets them.

oh... and due to my ex sometimes not being able to see them weekly.. he pays for 1 day a week private nursery till they go to school so i am guaranteed some "me time". which is something i cannot stress is a great help and saves me getting frustrated at him being unable to take them.

it gives me 1 day a week where i am GUARANTEED a break away from dc. as obviously nursery is reliable, and wont let you down. and thankfully open during all the hols grin

if you dh is going to go weeks without contact. i would suggest this as it will be very hard going on ow if she doesn't get a break at all. and will be good at maintaining a healthy relationship between them as parents.

afterall... its as much in his interest that his dc has a mother who's coping and not struggling under the pressure of being a LP. and if paying for 1 day a week nursery is the only way to give her 1 day a week to save her sanity, then its worth thinking about.

you may also find this useful as if you pick a day your dh has that evening off. you can often arrange that he collects dc from nursery? or similarly, drop dc off at nusery after an overnight with him.

CarGirl Wed 15-Jul-09 14:59:56

If you have his shift pattern in advance it should be very workable. My ex and I get on well and we've found it easy, in 9 years there's only been one hiccough really!

I would suggest you say he has these days off that fortnight, which would suit you best for him to have dd. That gives her the choice and therefore some control of the situation.

Hope it conitinues to go well.

ChocHobNob Wed 15-Jul-09 15:10:12

We don't have over nights yet so there is no issues with picking little one up after work etc, not that he would be able to as the hours he works would mean picking up after 7:45, which I'm assuming a 2 yr old would be close to bed time if not already (as our 2 year old is lol ).

The OW works full time in the week and is lucky enough to have family who will care for the little one for her while she works, so has no official childcare costs, so that isn't something that would be an issue.

Thanks for the reply

ChocHobNob Wed 15-Jul-09 15:11:42

I'm glad it works for you Cargirl. Thanks x

ridingjoker Wed 15-Jul-09 17:45:55

chochob - my dc are 23 months and just over 3yo.

on the night they stay over i drop them off between 6pm and 8pm depending when their dad gets away from work. their bedtime is normally 7pm. but they are usually so excited about seeing their dad that it isn't an issue keeping them up.

they go straight to bed at his when they get there. occasionally falling asleep on way in car.

if i let them both have a nap on the day there going to see him.. they often get a wee hr and extra supper with him before bed.

once the dc is used to seeing her dad it is certainly old enough for this to be done.

ChocHobNob Wed 15-Jul-09 18:49:44

Oh no I don't see a problem with that, was only meaning in reference to picking her up from a childminder/nursery etc at that time. Thanks x

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