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Acceptable amount of access?

(10 Posts)
Curtail Thu 27-Aug-09 21:15:36

Hi everyone, I am a single parent with a 6.5 month little boy. My ex and I split up when I was 5 months pregnant after being together for 5 years. My ex wants to be involved with the baby and has been seeing him 3x a week but I am starting to feel uncomfortable with his requests for access. Currently he sees the baby 5.30-7pm 2 evenings a week (at my house) and on a Sunday 1-4.30pm- initally at my house but for the past 2 weeks he's been taking the baby to his house/out somewhere. Last week he started asking to have the LO overnight- I refused as my ex had only had the baby once on his own for a few hours. Also I am BF baby bedtime and morning plus I just feel he is too young to be away overnight. He then asked to have him alternate saturdays and Sundays (I would have rather kept to the Sundays but agreed in the hope it'd stop him pushing for overnight stays). This evening he has said he wants to take him 10-4pm on his weekend days. I got really upset and we ended up rowing. I have started back at work full time this week and I feel like all my quality time with LO is being taken away. I feel like I have all the responsibility and hard work to bring up LO and don't feel it's fair for my ex to take the baby for virtually 50% of the free time available.

How much time do you think is reasonable for baby to spend with his Father? Am I being unreasonable?

I feel really upset and worried. I know it's melodramatic but I feel like baby is being taken away from me iykwim. Silly I know...

Sorry for rambling


Niceguy2 Sat 29-Aug-09 10:51:46

Hi Curtail

Its great your ex wants to be involved in your baby's life. Plenty of men would just simply walk away.

I think you have to take a step back and look at whats best for your LO rather than what your own emotions and desires are telling you. Its easy to find excuses and reasons to justify your choices but harder to be objective.

If you ask me, asking for 10-4pm once a week is not unreasonable. Having him overnight at the moment whilst you are breastfeeding is a little impractical but certainly once he's older then that would be perfectly reasonable to expect too.

I understand what you say about working and losing quality time BUT its not your son's fault you are working and he has a right to spend time with both his parents. Afterall whats important is the child, not the parent.

mmrred Sat 29-Aug-09 11:47:12

Great answer, Niceguy2.

Curtail, maybe your upset is just as much to do with going back to work FT - when I went back I spent 3 months shouting at everyone and the rest of it crying. The request for more access has come at a time when you already feel very emotional about the amount of time you get to spend with LO.

But really it doesn't seem like your ex is being unreasonable, in fact has been pretty patient - imagine if you had had to wait 6 months to bring your baby home.

Try to think of the positives - plenty of us would LOVE a child-free day every weekend - you can get all the boring housework/shopping type stuff done and leave the other day free to devote entirely to LO.

BonsoirAnna Sat 29-Aug-09 11:51:50

"Afterall whats important is the child, not the parent."

While I agree with NiceGuy2's sentiments in most of his post, I cannot agree with this assertion.

All members of a family are equally important.

mmrred Sat 29-Aug-09 12:01:33

Then the father is equally important too, right?

kidcreoleandthecoconuts Sat 29-Aug-09 12:08:42

I think it's great that your Ex wants to be so involved in your DS's life. If I were you I would take advantage of having some time to myself.

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 29-Aug-09 12:20:11

Message withdrawn

Niceguy2 Sat 29-Aug-09 15:44:41

"All members of a family are equally important."

Personally I wouldn't say "equally" but I do agree that all members of a family are important. I put the happiness and welfare of my kids above my own. If I had to choose between me eating or my kids, I'd go hungry.

mmrred Sat 29-Aug-09 16:15:44

I don't think either the courts or Cafcass say that overnights with a parent are bad at any age, do they? And OP is not exclusively BF so I don't think thats a huge problem in this case. But I do think the idea of sharing bedtime routines is a good one. Perhaps if your ex feels he is working towards overnights contact in a meaningful way, he'll be more likely to wait a few months?

Itstime26 Mon 31-Aug-09 09:30:32

Hi Curtail,

From experience I think the sooner you get access sorted the better all round.
I split with ExH when DS was 9mnths and my saving grace has been how easily DS has adjusted to things (being so young and unaware has really helped!)
It will be an absolute killer for you when LO is away for any period of time but you will get used to it ( a year on, I still have a tear some Saturday morning when DS and his Dad head off- wasn't quite the family life I had planned for DS [SAD] )
Good luck in what ever you decide- it really isn't easy.

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