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Access to the children

(24 Posts)
talie Sat 29-Jan-05 22:47:56

Can anyone advise me what they think is reasonable access for dh to see dd's? He left 8 weeks ago and currently sees them twice a week, one evening and one morning on a weekend. Each time is at home and supervised, with the odd occasion where I've popped out. They are nearly 3 and one 8 months.

He keeps going on about having them for the weekend and it's getting me down! I still breastfeed the youngest and will continue for as long as I want to - he doesn't really have the same bond with the youngest either and I don't think it's fair to split them up???

He has finally ground me down and I am leaving the house and moving 4 hrs away closer to family. He expects to pick them up frid eve/sat morn and return them sun pm?? Is this reasonable? I made the journey the other week and found it really hard going with them - both very fed up with such a long journey and I had to stop several times making the journey even longer! He will take them to his mothers (whom they don't know very well and, no doubt, let her do most of the caring as he was never hands on!)

Surely with him recently leaving, a house move and then uprooting them however many weekends he decides he wants them will cause a lot of trauma for my toddler? She is extremely upset by his comings and goings and has been very emotional and clingy since a recent incident between me and dh (and dd's witnessed!), whereby I called the police out!

I just don't know what to do - I really don't think he deserves to see them at all, but I know that he has rights and it's supposedly best dd's have a relationship with him etc. etc.!

How long can I keep the access to a minimum? Surely it would be best to wait till they are older to take them so far away for a whole weekend?

I'm getting really depressed thinking about it - please help.

colditzmum Sat 29-Jan-05 23:10:42

I have googled and asked jeeves, but I can't find any decent information. Common sense says he should not be allowed to take the baby if you are still nursing, and if this goes to court, you should make sure it is clear that baby is still nusing and won't drink out of a bottle.

Wishing you all the best for this one. I have no legal knowledge at all, but I would hope that no-one would allow a nursing baby to be taken away from it's source of milk and comfort (YOU!)

colditzmum Sat 29-Jan-05 23:13:24

Keep bumping this for the next few days, I am sure someone helpfull will spot it eventually.

rickman Sat 29-Jan-05 23:28:03

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SenoraPostrophe Sat 29-Jan-05 23:29:43

no legal knowledge, but no, he shouldn't be able to do that yet.

IME twice a week isn't "minimum" really either - many dads see less of their kids.

Put your foot down. If he insists on going to court I think they will see your side, and the kids will be older by the time it's settled anyway.

HunkerMunker Sat 29-Jan-05 23:34:32

What a difficult situation - but I think you've had good advice on this thread so far. I'm nursing my DS (nearly 10 months) still and there's no way I'd allow him to be somewhere else for as long as your XH is proposing.

I think your children need time to settle and feel secure with the new situation and your XP taking them away for weekends whenever he feels like it is not on (and to his mother's so she can do the work?! ).

As their mum, you have every right to say no to this. You're being very reasonable about access currently - just say the children are happy with it as it stands and you see no reason to upset them any more than the split has done.

Hugs hun xxxxxx

colditzmum Sun 30-Jan-05 09:30:50


lulupop Sun 30-Jan-05 10:03:26

I can't imagine that any court would give an order where a breastfed child was to be separated from her mother for more than a couple of hours.

If I were you I'd keep BF as long as possible.

Stargazer Sun 30-Jan-05 10:40:41

Hi Talie

I'm going to give the other side. How would you feel if it was you wanting to see the children?

I see from your note that there was an "incident" recently. Was this a violent fight? Is it something frequent? Has he ever hurt the children, if not then I don't see why he can't see the children as often as reasonably possible. I can understand that you don't want the baby to stay away as you're still feeding. And I'm sure that this would never happen. But he's their dad and is entitled to see them. Besides, it will give you a break. Being a single mother is hard work - I know from experience.

I split from my DS's father when DS was 14 months old - and I decided that our parting wasn't going to ruin DS's relationship with his father. Initally DS saw his father most evenings - just for a while, and then it went down to weekends - sometimes for a day out and sometimes for a weekend away. While I didn't always get on with ExP, it worked out well. I had to learn to distant my feelings from DS's feeling - he loves his father. DS now sees his father every weekend and for several weeks over the holiday periods. DS now 9. It wasn't always easy for me to be "nice" to ExP, but I managed it and now DS benefits with an excellent relationship with his father, stepmother and his stepsiblings - he also has a new sister and step dad.

I realise that this is probably not what you want to hear. But if the children don't see their dad when they're little, and if he doesn't have the opportunity to build up a relationship with them, then what will happen in the future?

Sending you hugs - I do know how difficult it is when this happens. Regards

rickman Sun 30-Jan-05 10:51:05

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hercules Sun 30-Jan-05 10:58:12

Talie - you seem to be very reasonable.I agree with what you think already although I have no idea of the law side. They are far too young to be going away for the weekend and I would hope he realisess he has to put their needs before his own.
I would defintely get legal advice if I was you just so you know where you stand.

Best of luck.

munnzieb Sun 30-Jan-05 11:00:18

could you suggest he see's them for one whole day on the weekend? at your house, (perhaps taking them to the park) inbetween feeds? Or do you not trust him with something like that?

hercules Sun 30-Jan-05 11:02:23

I would take the cue from your children. If they are happy,fine, if getting unhappy then slow down.

aloha Sun 30-Jan-05 11:06:35

When my dh's ex left him, she took their two year old daughter at least two hours away (probably nearer three) either every weekend or every other weekend. With a breastfeeding baby obviously you can't do that. I do think that every other weekend for your three year old wouldn't be so terrible for any of you. I don't know your situation or why you have split etc but I do think If you lose the bond now I think it will be hard to rebuild it later. What does your three year old want? It does sound as if he misses his dad (which obviously isn't your fault at all) and so might really benefit from more solid contact rather than odd hours here and there. It must be a hard situation though and you do have my sympathy.

Stargazer Sun 30-Jan-05 11:36:34

Talie - sorry I didn't mean to imply that you don't want their dad to see them at all. Also I meant every OTHER weekend in my message. I agree that taking the baby away for weekends is not possible at the moment.

However, I do think it's important for them both to maintain contact with their father. Maybe starting with daytrips in your area - then he could spend time with your youngest DD too. But in time, your older DD is very likely to enjoy spending weekends away with her dad.

And it would also give you time to recharge your batteries, relax, sleep, go to the pictures - see your friends.

Hope this helps.

talie Sun 30-Jan-05 19:12:54

Thanks for all the messages.

He's just been round for a visit. Played with eldest dd for a little while and then sat in the kitchen with me, while I was cooking! Picked up youngest once for all of about 10 mins in his 2 hr stay!! He just hasn't got a clue what to do with them!

Discussed his access when I move away and he said he didn't know how often he would come because it would cost too much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????
Surely if he really cared he would find a way of getting there by hook or by crook??? Him finding a new home and setting up his new single life seems far more important to him than his dd's!!! It makes me really angry. I think he is very selfish and is trying to convince himself that he will be a good father. He has already said to me he thinks he is a better "part-time dad"!!!! That really hurt.

Sorry, I really am still very bitter as it's early days yet and I still can't get my head around him being able to leave his dd's if he really loves them - the marriage was no worse than any other marriage! I just don't think he can face up to his responsibilities of being a dad because he doesn't want to give up all the things he does away from the home and I was beginning to nag him about the amount of time he spends away and how little he spends with us!!

I haven't stopped his access but I don't think it fair him taking them miles away for them to be entertained by his mother because he hasn't got a clue what to do with them!!!

anniemac Mon 31-Jan-05 10:55:45

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talie Mon 31-Jan-05 18:57:24

I understand all the points everyone is giving me here but I'm finding this VERY difficult and I just can't stop the tears from flowing! Some of them are for my own grief, but more of them are for the grief of my children - I come from a broken family and I still hate the fact that I didn't have a dad that loved me and I think this has added to my marriage problems.

I have just spoken again with him and said I didn't think he was a "family man" - he agreed!! He thinks it's easy for me just because I'm a woman and that I'm finding parenting easy - but I am really struggling myself at times and I now resent the fact that I have to do this all alone -I would never have brought them into the world if I'd have known he didn't want to be a father to them and I would end up a single parent(he wanted the first, my choice for the second). I then said I thought he would not keep contact up when we move away and all he could say was "he will TRY!!" - is this really love for his children??!! He is being more than fair with monies etc. but this is the last thing I want, I want him to love the children and show them, (and I want him to love me, but I'm not sure I will get that back?). Am I asking for too much too soon - will this all work out in time or am I right in thinking that I will be explaining to my dd's in years to come why daddy didn't love them enough to be in their lives?

THIS IS REALLY BREAKING MY HEART - I don't want them to end up like me feeling really unloved all through their lives. I know stepdads can give them love - I have a stepdad who is brilliant but I still cry over the missed love and relationship I should have had with my real father and I really don't want them to feel all this pain that I feel. How can I get me and them through this????

When will the tears stop - please help, I feel like I'm drowning them all.

jasper Mon 31-Jan-05 22:20:40

talie it is early days for the four of you and it must be so hard to work out what is best for all involved.

Is there the remotest chance that you and dh might get back together?

sorry if that is way off base or is an upsetting suggestion.

rickman Mon 31-Jan-05 22:21:29

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anniemac Tue 01-Feb-05 11:15:03

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talie Thu 03-Feb-05 21:19:31

Thanks for all your comments.

I have good news - dh wants to try and make a go of things and I'm really happy about this. He is now ready to talk about where he feels things went wrong and we can both make changes and try and make things work for us and the dd's.

I am still moving closer to my family for support and he will travel back at weekends. Not sure if this will work for us but I'm willing to give it a go, and at least I can try and make a new life elsewhere if it doesn't work out, but just feel better knowing that at least we gave it one last go.

jasper Thu 03-Feb-05 21:26:28

I really hope it all works out for you.

anniemac Fri 04-Feb-05 11:11:44

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