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Ex partner wants a phone call every night from children

(151 Posts)
DearPru Mon 29-Jul-19 20:17:37

Split a few months ago from my ex. Children live with me and see him whenever he’s free. He’s been requesting a phone call every night before they go to bed after he gets home from work. I was happy to do this at the beginning as it was all so fresh and I didn’t want to upset the children anymore than possible. But now it’s becoming a bit of a pain as I have a faulty phone which means that if the children call him the phone disconnects when they’re holding the it, so unless I’m physically holding the phone to their ear for however long the chat goes on for, it hangs up and i have to call him back. Apart from that it’s smack bang in the middle of the bedtime routine so as much as I have no issue with the children chatting, I’d rather it didn’t mean i was stuck while the phone call goes on.
I messaged him tonight to explain this and said I don’t mind doing it when it’s a quiet night but if it’s been a hectic day or manic night then I won’t be phoning. His response was ‘I want to speak to them everyday so youll just need to’
Do any other parents who co parent know if a nightly phone call is the norm? Am I being a bad mum by saying it can happen when it’s suitable?

FunkySnidge Mon 29-Jul-19 20:18:56

What’s best for your children?

Banjodancer Mon 29-Jul-19 20:20:31

Ask him to buy you a new phone.

AwdBovril Mon 29-Jul-19 20:21:57

For a start, I'd be getting him to call, at least some of the time. Why should you have to pay for the calls? He's the one that has requested them.

LaurenSarah22 Mon 29-Jul-19 20:22:10

So firstly he shouldn't have to buy you a new phone and I dont think its unreasonable to ask for a phone call each night, I actually think most single parents would love this

Pineapplefish Mon 29-Jul-19 20:22:41

Can't he phone back when it disconnects, rather than you? Then you wouldn't have to stand there (and also he'd probably get frustrated with it and stop demanding the call).

SweetAsSpice Mon 29-Jul-19 20:22:54

If the roles were reversed, wouldn’t you want a nightly phone call? I think it’s a wonderful thing he wants to do that. As one, of many, who had a very much out of sight, out of mind Father, I would be welcoming all contact.

Fix the phone/ask for him to get you a new one.

Nearlyfriyay987654 Mon 29-Jul-19 20:23:44

My DH and his ex did this from when they split, whichever house DC was at the other parent rang without fail between 630-7pm to say night to the DC. This became part of his bedtime routine. It’s 10 years later and they still do this, although he has his own phone so much easier to keep in contact. It seems the norm for me, as realistically as a parent it’s hard not seeing your DC every day so a quick phone call isn’t much to ask?

JoanMavisIcecreamGirl Mon 29-Jul-19 20:23:54

Does it really cause you that much of a problem? Do your children like speaking to their dad?

Banjodancer Mon 29-Jul-19 20:24:59

Would they? They'd love to have to speak to their ex every night? (I'm assuming small children so the OP needs to make the actual call). For some children this would also be upsetting. At least I suppose it means the same will happen whenever they are at his. Though a dad who sees them "whenever he is free" doesn't sound like father of the year.

IWannaSeeHowItEnds Mon 29-Jul-19 20:25:37

I also think you should replace the phone and let him speak to his children. I would hate to live away from mine and while it can't be helped when a relationship splits, it's good that he wants to remain part of their everyday lives.

MrsGrannyWeatherwax Mon 29-Jul-19 20:27:20

A nightly phone call is what I’d want if I didn’t have my child, surely you would too?

Could you compromise and he gets them a mobile (brick?) for calling them on or an iPad to video call?

Lunafortheloveogod Mon 29-Jul-19 20:27:52

Stick it on speaker while they’re in the bath or eating supper? Like a stage of the routine where they’re not falling asleep or you need to give a lot of verbal instructions.

Think of the benefit in seeing/hearing from their dad regularly. But tell him to phone you and at x o’clock or when you send a text to say so.

Obviously I’ve not a clue what your routine consists of but there must be a time they could yap on speaker

DearPru Mon 29-Jul-19 20:28:09

I had actually considered telling him to buy a cheap little phone for the kids to use for his phone calls and he could phone them or they could phone him whenever they fancy.

It’s not the calls that I’m bothered about or even paying for the calls and I love them having a gab with him about their day, it’s just me being tied to the phone with them when there’s things I could be doing before they head off to bed.

The phone recently had the screen replaced and now the sensor doesn’t detect when someone’s on the phone and when they’re chatting it presses all the buttons and ends the call. So I need to hold it while they’re on it; all the while saying ‘don’t move!’ ‘Stay still!’

I just thought his reply was rude but then it made me think am I being rude by saying they can call him when its suitable?

JoanMavisIcecreamGirl Mon 29-Jul-19 20:29:07

Tbh i would just buy a cheap phone and let him call that. problem solved.

nogooddeedgoesunpunished Mon 29-Jul-19 20:29:25

Nightly phone calls / what's app here always. It's for DS benefit and not ours. Think it's pretty standard

DearPru Mon 29-Jul-19 20:30:49

Kids are 3 and 5.
Also putting them on speaker never even crossed my mind. What an idiot!

IncrediblySadToo Mon 29-Jul-19 20:31:41

Was him being controlling part of the reason you broke up?

No way would I commit to being home at at a set time every night.

Is he on shifts with not much notice of the rota? If not why is he dictating when he’s free enough to see his children?

Stormblessed Mon 29-Jul-19 20:31:48

Agree with others, it's a lovely thing for the children to have and worth the cost of a cheap phone.

daisypond Mon 29-Jul-19 20:32:01

Nightly phone calls are a good thing but you need a different phone.

JoanMavisIcecreamGirl Mon 29-Jul-19 20:33:54

Was him being controlling part of the reason you broke up?

Would you ask that if it was a mother who wanted to speak to her kids every night?

DearPru Mon 29-Jul-19 20:37:31

He works Monday to Friday so had agreed to have them overnight every Saturday. But sometimes he messages to say he can’t (nights out or wants them on a different day) it’s pretty much what suits him when it comes to seeing them. If he wanted them more I’d be more than happy but I think he’s happy keeping it to 1 night per week.

FutureMrsC Mon 29-Jul-19 20:40:44

They speak on phone most days but DC are young so literally "how was your day" "I went here and did this" "love you" "goodnight" very short phone call. Sometimes I get them to record a mesg and send to dad via WhatsApp. Also if kids fall asleep early I send pic to dad, just so he knows though. Even when they are with him, he'll ting so they can say goodnight. & if they fall asleep he will tell me that too

Tigger001 Mon 29-Jul-19 20:40:48

Yes buy a cheap phone and everyone is happy. It is good for your children if you help keep continued contact with their father

Banjodancer Mon 29-Jul-19 20:48:11

Even better would be more regular face-to-face contact with their father! Once a week - and sometimes not that - isn't much good. When does the OP get a break?

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