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looking for a female opinion(15 Posts)
Looking for some advice, my boy is almost 5 months old. Up till now all contact with him has been on his mum's terms, I have had no time alone with him or been able to meet my family.
After being told I'm a terrible father and that I should "walk away" I don't feel comfortable with the set up and want to know if I'm being unreasonable wanting time alone with my son?
Of course it's not unreasonable, and I believe you do usually have the right to see the child. I assume you've split up? Have you seemed any advice on formalising contact? If the mother is giving you a hard time it might be worth thinking about that. This looks like a good place for info: www.dad.info/divorce-and-separation/fathers-rights-and-law/child-contact-what-to-expect
Yes we were split before we knew she was pregnant. No official advice sort. Going to try and talk first although I don't see it going well
The childs rights are what matter here. The child has a right to a relationship with both its parents. How that comes about should be based on what is best for the child.
At 5 months old, what is best is frequent short bursts of time away from their main carer, rather than full days/overnights. If the baby is breastfed then in the main, Mum needs to be nearby or, if the baby reliably goes a set amount of hours between feeds, trips away from Mum should only really be as long as the gap between feeds.
Babies grow so so quickly, and the time will come for whole days/overnights etc. Parenting is a long game, so realistocally, what the baby needs now will be different to what it needs in a year, two years, ten years.
Dont walk away, no matter how hard she makes it for you.
first of all no parent should be kept from their child, mother or father.
the only reason I can think of to keep a child from his/hers father/mother is if the parent is violent or uses drugs/alcohol.
I am taking it that you are neither violent or have any sort of addiction.
if you are a honest genuine trustworthy man then there is no reason you shouldn't be able to spend some alone time with your child.
my oldest child has a different father to my youngest's father who I am still with.
he loves my oldest daughter dearly and I have no problem with him coming and picking his daughter up when ever he wants to, after all she is half his too.
I think you need to ask your ex just what the issue is with you not being able to spend any alone time with your child and why you are such a terrible father in her words.
or maybe she may be a little bitter that you are not together any more and she is trying to use the child as a weapon.
either way I hope you get things resolved. to me you sound like a father who cares unlike some otherwise you would not be looking for advice.
From a female perspective it's very hard to leave your baby with anyone irrespective if it's the father or not especially if she's a first time mum I know myself I felt that no one (including my husband ) could look after my baby as good as I could. I'd worry that anyone else wouldn't know what to do with him or how to settle him and that he'd be distraught without me. What happens when you see him now? Do you see him at her house with her there? Does she bring him to you and stay?
Although your his Dad you need to build up her trust any Mum will panic and worry when their baby is away from them. Try talking to express your wishes to eventually see the baby on your own and that you understand she may be anxious about this. Start of slow with a short walk out in his pram then take him back and build it up from there. As pp said unless your violent or involved with drink/drugs there's no reason she should keep him from you.
Thank you, no I'm not violent or drug involved, I've been told I'm a terrible father but I don't feel I've been able to be a dad. I currently go to hers and sit with her around but really feel that no matter what I do it's wrong.
I would like to pick him up and take him for a few hours nothing more just now. He doesnt settle well for me but think he doesnt get a chance to learn.
That's not good OP. Of course you should be able to take your child out, to visit your family, whatever. Sounds like the mum wants to make things very difficult for you and that's awful.
Of course he won't settle for you if he's never had the chance. But your instincts are right - you need time together and an opportunity to build your own relationship with your son. I'm not sure how you do this if she's hostile to the idea but don't let her think you're not his parent too. I don't have any practical advice other than don't walk away.
How is your relationship with your exP? is it very stained or are you able to discuss things objectively? I felt wobbly about leaving my baby at that age. When you go round do you just sit round with the baby and exP? Could you suggest things that would help her too, to build up trust? Ie, maybe you can watch him for half an hour in the lounge while she had a bath or a nap? You could go with her to the hairdressers and take him round these block in his buggy while she has a haircut. Or take him swimming together? How else could you contribute to his upbringing? Could you do the nappy shopping, make him purees and freeze them for exP to keep at hers once he starts weaning in a month per so? Of course this might be way of the mark, hard to tell without knowing the dynamic, but the more responsibility you take even in the banal tasks that don't actually involve the fun bits, maybe the more you can build up trust so that she will feel more relaxed leaving him with you. Bear in mind too that in a few months when he's crawling and not feeding all the time, and a bit bigger, she wool also hopefully feel more relaxed about not being there all the time. I did.
And yes, of course he should have time with his daddy and your family. Hopefully exP still realize this with time.
Sorry this is so difficult for you. Is it your ex telling you that you're a terrible father? What is she basing it on? X
It is hard in the first few months for the baby to be away from its main carer and vice versa - and however much the priority has to be the child it's not always easy to be rational. I would have felt so resentful if I'd had to say goodbye to DS for a few hours at a time at that stage. It's now getting to the stage where it can be more reasonable to expect this though, and for it to happen amicably, it sounds like you need to regain some trust. Of course I don't know the reasons your relationship broke down but it is natural for there to be resentments particularly on the part of the primary carer, even if it was her choice or a mutual breakup. Looking after a baby is exhausting, physically and emotionally and no-one is quite themselves in those early months. I would tread carefully and try and improve things slowly rather than expect a massive change immediately. Eg walk the baby round the block while the mum stays at home, pop down to the shops with him etc. Work your way up to an hour away, two hours etc. Better for the baby too as he will learn to settle for you more easily if he knows you will take him home again.
I'm assuming there is a maintenance plan in place, but are you providing practical help when you come round? Are you asking what to bring with you - nappies, formula, some muslins or vests, teabags - proper useful things? Or contributing in any other way - offering to wash up, hang out washing, cook? These kinds of practical things make a huge difference and are part of what being a 'good dad' is. Maybe you do them already but it's worth thinking about how you can contribute as usefully as possible.
I had an absent dad and it's affected me a lot, so I hope you do come to agreement with your ex. Whatever happens, keep the channels of communication open.
Just wanted to say thank you to everyone for the advice. Today we discussed a few things and I got a bit of time myself, are going to take an hour at a time and see how if goes.
Hopefully it'll be tha start that builds to the best place for all involved especially the Baby.
Sounds like great progress glad to hear things are improving OP.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
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