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Separated. Different towns, XP and diminishing time with dd.(52 Posts)
I think you need to be more vocal about your feelings on this and the time with DD is being cut. This isn't about what ex wants it's about what DD wants and needs. You can approach this in a calm manner and hopefully she will reciprocate, even if she doesn't like it you are entitled to have your say. Saying nothing is like implied consent, so don't be afraid to speak up. DD is 8 and can express her own views too. Maybe you need to suggest meeting up with ex alone to discuss but also asking DD what she would like to do. If there are any underlying issues then you need to listen to these, i.e. Your living situation - is this suitable?
I wouldn't threaten court or the like to her at this stage but you may well do well to seek some legal advice, as DD is your child too and this entitles her to spend time with you. I would get some advice on where you stand and your options should the chat not go well. Ex can't just make this kind of decision by stealth, but she is because everyone is too polite to rock the boat. Speak out
I've noticed with my own DC that the clubs and activities do start to ramp up around age 8. But of course it shouldn't take precedence over her seeing her dad.
If this carries on you may need to consider going to court to get a formal arrangement in place. First could you try seeing a mediator to reach a compromise? Make sure your ex knows you are serious about this!
Well you could take her to some of her clubs... He mother isn't getting quality time by ferrying her around either.
You have a nice home in a cheap location - if you moved for the next ten years to a not-as-nice flat in the other location you could see her twice as much, with little travelling. Or do you still need to travel there for work? If so the house thing is a bit of a red herring.
Could you have her during holidays more so you offset the shorter weekends? You'd see her less often but for longer periods, her clubs are less likely to be on over the holidays.
I think the key point when you approach this topic is to avoid focusing on how it's making YOU feel etc. This will instantly rile someone into being less cooperative when they are trying to focus on the child in terms of activities. I think moving is probably going to be very difficult - I live in the south east and appreciate how bloody expensive it can be, you have to be practical about that.
There is a compromise somewhere here, you just have to stay calm and try to find it. DD should be spending time with you, on a regular basis and the holidays may be an ideal time. If you can assure mum that you will still fulfil the obligations of the activities, however annoying the travel is then that will help. Tell her you want to take some responsibility as well, and happy to be an equal parent.
From a mum POV, it's also hard as we work all day when they are at school and the other hours don't feel very quality when you are washing cooking and cleaning. Add to that the extra clubs and it might be less than you think they spend together actually. Selling it to her that you will take on some of that might get her on your side
I've no experience of this as a parent my dd is only 4 months.
I remember being your daughters age though and my friends and hobbies were very important to me.
My parents weren't seperated, but they did have a habit of us just going off for weekends etc, and I hated missing out on my classes. I'd go the week after and have to catch up on what everyone else knew. I remember it being a busy time for parties too, or a parent offering to take us bowling/cinema/sleepovers etc. It's not fun when you go back to school and everyone's talking about something you missed!
I think you need to think about what your daughter really wants, does she want to do all the activities? Does she take them seriously, or is it more a time filler?
Of course you could take it to court and insist you get your every other weekend, with no flexibility at all. I'd worry your daughter may resent that though.
Can you negotiate what things are most important, that you'd be ok missing time for. So a close friends birthday party or sleepover of all her best friends, shows competitions, if they apply. But regular classes, not very close friends, you wouldn't.
As someone else said, can you have her more in the holidays?
You mention, staying at your ex's house without her there (don't get that, sorry!!) but if you get on would she let you sleep on the sofa? Could you book a b&b?
Is all your travel by train? Do you drive? If she has something on the Saturday say, could her mum bring her to you after and you take her back Sunday or even take her to school Monday morning?
One of my fiends parents divorced when we were 10/11, her dad used to let her take a friend for the weekend so she had company, might be a idea as she gets a bit older.
Hopefully you can sort something out!
Yes but you also get out of making her get ready for school, making her a packed lunch, making sure she's got clean uniform, making sure she gets to school on time. Then making sure she gets to work on time. Then rushes to pick her up, get her home, make her dinner, make her do her homework, get her to her clubs, then home, washed and ready for bed.
Doesn't sound like much quality time really. And you won't understand how hard all of that is on your own when the other parent just wants to pick up on the fun times
I don't live in a cheap location. XP lives in an expensive one
I suspect that in this reply you are revealing yourself to be a bigger part of the problem than I had thought.
Everything (including the UK property market!) is viewed from your perspective rather than that of your ex (which is understandable) or your dd (which isn't)
I think the reality of having an 8 year old is that activities do take over for a while. Both parents end up being a taxi service at the weekend.
I don't think moaning about the activities or parties etc is the answer. Speak to DD, if she wants to do those activities then I'm afraid it's your job to facilitate them. That's what parents do.
We have started trying to shift activities to weekdays, if possible, so that weekends are less hectic. Is that a possibility, with you doing a fair share of the taxi services during the week.
That may free up a bit more of the weekends for both parents.
In terms of the holidays, I think you need to talk to her mum and come to an agreement as to who has which holidays etc. Acknowledge that neither of you get much quality time with DD now she is so busy, so you want to ensure holidays give you both the opportunity to reconnect with her.
Then split the holidays 50/50 in advance, so she isn't booking things on the weeks DD is with you.
You sound like you have a working relationship with her mother and you need to maintain that and have an honest discussion with her about how to make the most of available time with your daughter, which works for both of you.
Hmm, its tricky and like I said no experience of it myself.
Does your ex, just say she's going to xxx and basically tough? Could you ask her to let Dd, tell you when she has a party etc on your weekend and you speak to her about what she'd rather do? Also when she asks you could say ok....but only if I can make that time up, then offer a few suggestions of when you can have the time.
Do you FaceTime through the week so you can talk to your Dd? Could you get her a cheap phone so she can text you throughout the week? A good relationship is about more than how often you see someone, her knowing you're there if she wants/needs you is most important.
If money allows perhaps book a week or two holiday or a few weekends away, so you know you will have some undisturbed contact time throughout the year.
Although if you're not working, I've got a bit less sympathy for the travel time! Is it more a cost of the travel that's a problem for you?
If you're not working, why is work a consideration when organising holiday time with your daughter?
If you are not currently working, could you look at moving somewhere even half way in between? If necessary, you could rent your home out to see if that works?
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