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What does shared residency actually involve?

(192 Posts)
nicknamegame Tue 01-Oct-13 22:29:56

I don't wish to start a thread about a thread as I know it's not the done thing, so if you want some background - I posted on AIBU last night.

Basically what I'd like to know is what a shared residency order actually involves in terms of decisions made regarding the child. I know that issues such as schooling etc needs to be joint, as well as medical care, but what about changing the child's appearance? My dd's hair has been cut quite short without letting me know and I wondered where this all falls under the 'shared' residency. (If it does at all)


Anyone have an order that they can shed some light on regarding these matters? (Perhaps it's a legal question I need to ask, apologies if so)

daisychain01 Fri 04-Oct-13 10:53:23

Bonsoir, you have highlighted an interesting phenomenon, which has become apparent to me as I have myself grown into the role of being a SM. That is the separation/differentiation (a fine line as thin as a piece of cotton) between "bringing a DSC up" and doing the practical things you mention, the meals, washing/ironing and so on. I found it very difficult to do one without the other, they have both been automatic, because I felt if I am good enough for the washing and ironing, then I should be good enough for the "full job" but I can really see the logic as to why you demarkated between them, you are right that it is their parents job to do the bringing up. And also your subsequent need to do some of the bringing up, where there was an obvious "gap".

For that very reason I said in my post to Nickname, this thread has made me examine my conscience regarding the role I have playing in DSSs upbringing. I kinda think gosh, maybe I really should have been more in the background, DP is a good dad (although I felt there was a hint of Disney-ing going on to begin with, over compensating maybe?) and I do tend to be naturally proactive (oh dear, do I mean bossy grin ) cos men can have their "thumb up their bum" sometimes and need organising!

No there are no rule books for all this stuff, we are just making it up as we go along most of the time!

Nickname, flowers stick with it, enjoy the moment and maybe when SM realises there is nothing to gain by shoving it up your nose the whole time, she will back off and let you get on with your life with DD.

Bonsoir Fri 04-Oct-13 13:29:02

In my case, having DD (the DSSs' half-sister) helped hugely, because I was also very clear in my mind, and to the boys, that I was going to do my utmost to ensure all three children had similar opportunities for education and development. I told DP early on that I wasn't going to sit by and let a situation arise whereby the DSSs turned on us when they were in their 20s or 30s and could rightfully complain that they had had fewer opportunities than DD, and DP entirely agreed. While I let DP take the front line role in delivering the opportunities, I did a mass of background work. In the meanwhile, DP's exW was more than happy not to have to bother with school, extra-curricular, the doctors etc - I became aware quite soon that she was happy to outsource everything to do with parenting. She is the ultimate Disney mum who only cares whether she gets to take her DC on holiday when she feels like it.

nicknamegame Fri 04-Oct-13 15:06:08

See, Bonsoir, although I'm not disputing what you say at all - you know your situation best, I'm pretty sure that sm and ex would tell the world if they could that in 'the ultimate Disney mum who only cares about going on holiday.

The reason I say this, is because ex and sm are always complaining about what I see as really really minor health ailments that I just would not bother a doctor with. Sm is always getting dd prescribed with one cream or another for stuff I would just let go. She moans about her teeth, her hair, her weight, the quality of her shoes (but neither will buy her any), the quality of her clothing, her academic progress, her behaviour. You name it, there is a complaint to be made. All of these things are not on my register, they are nothing, they are nonsense, fabricated nonsense to make me look bad, and to highlight inadequacies in my parenting.

Now I mention the holidays because my partner and I do go on holiday a fair bit. We are lucky that we can and don't for a minute take that for granted, so in essence, dd is a well travelled little girl. We aren't ones for 'saving up for kitchens' so while our house could do with a bit of work, we prefer to spend our money while we're living. For some reason, this annoys the shit out of my ex and he referred to my 'jetset lifestyle' repeatedly in mediation. We are also a sociable family, and often have a house full of visitors at weekend and we love to eat out etc. Ex referred to this constantly as well - and the issue of the house being full especially bugged him, because he said him and sm were sick to death of dd being around a 'bunch of strangers' (ie, relatives and friends).

The point I'm making is that I could be your stepchildren's mother, because I've been described as you have described her. (ie, self-interested, lazy, party lifestyle etc).
Ex and his wife don't actually know the first thing about me. They live miles away from me, we never see each other out, don't share the same friends, our families don't speak, we don't work near each other- they literally know nothing about us. However, based merely on the fact that we go away most half terms, this is enough for them to conclude that holidays are the only thing I am interested in and everything else about my dd MUST be taken care of by them, or she will suffer.

Honestly, my dd is merely 6 years old and just could not communicate enough about our lives to them for them to have formulated the opinion of us that they do- I'm just glad that it brushes off me now and I see it for what it is- jealousy.

daisychain01 Fri 04-Oct-13 19:16:23

Yes definitely a case of the green eyed monster there, me-thinks! envy

Bonsoir Fri 04-Oct-13 19:51:21

Do you think your exH and your DD's stepmother believe you to be neglectful?

purpleroses Fri 04-Oct-13 20:30:48

I think it's about different styles of parenting. My ex's DW probably thinks I'm neglectful because I don't insist on my pre-pubescent DC having a shower every day. We have a very different lifestyle and priorities for spending money from both my ex and my DP's ex.

But don't have the sort of tensions that nickname describes - they seem more to do with her feelings that the DSM is trying to take over, or win the DD. If her ex could persuade the DSM to step back a bit that might help a lot.

But you say they take no interest in extra-curriculum things, homework, etc - so I do think maybe you don't really need to worry. It's a lot of the day to day stuff that really builds up the bonds with DCs. I don't think your DD is going to stop looking on you as the number one person in her life just because her DSM has had her hair cut, or turned up at a school help day.

And as I said earlier, if she likes having a little girl to show off (are her own older maybe?) then it won't be long before your DD has her own opinions on the matter!

nicknamegame Fri 04-Oct-13 21:33:42

Purple,thanks for the perspective.
SM's own daughter is a baby.

They do 'do' a lot with dd as a family- don't get me wrong. They are a cycling, walking, museum, classics FM, stately home, exhibitions, adventure trail, crafting kind of family, so DD always has a great time and I'm pleased for her. We however, are a cinema, travelling, bowling alley, pub dinners, Spain-for-holiday, Real radio kinda people. Horses for courses and all that but in their eyes, I'm trashy.
In one breath they think I live a jetset lifestyle and in another they think I'm
like something out of Phoenix nights.shock

Bonsoir- do they think I'm neglectful? that would be a resounding YES.
Ex has slated my parenting of dd for years, and for the most flimsy of reasons. I once tried to speak to sm about it all and some of the reasons and came up with was that I still let my then 3yo dd use a dummy and push chair. Seriously.

All of that is by the by you might say, but they also wrote to cafcass to say I was not parenting dd adequately, and the reasons they provided were basically what I've just listed.....I'm too interested in holidays/dd's shoes are from john Lewis and therefore cheap/she had a wart that I didn't seek medication for/ dd's lunch box is full of crap/dd is allowed to stay up til 8.30/theres too many people around our house/we don't do a Sunday roast (yes really)

Cafcass basically ignored the letter.

Bonsoir Sat 05-Oct-13 09:27:43

Clearly there are quite significant discrepancies in the parenting style between the two homes and lots of them are just down to that : style. And unimportant.

But you are probably on more dangerous ground if you are not ensuring your DD's good health and personal care.

nicknamegame Sat 05-Oct-13 11:35:25

Jesus bonsoir did you actually just say that to me????

TheWinterOne Sat 05-Oct-13 12:03:34

Hmm I can definitely see over stepping on her part. I have 3 DC with my DH, he has 2 with ex and I have one with my ex. The parenting should be you and your ex.

The DSC visit EOW and Wednesdays mid-week. I would say we have a pretty good relationship but I in no way try to parent them. I leave that up to DH. Don't get me wrong, if he's not here and there's issues with bickering or some outspoken rude behaviour I will pull up on who is causing it (either DC or DSC and say I don't think it's acceptable and apologise.

But when it comes to schooling, haircuts, maintenance, general behaviour problems - that's between DH and his ex. DH talks to me about what issues have arisen but ultimately it's between both their parents to sort out.

The same goes for my DD. I will discuss with DH what is the problem but again that is something for my ex and I to try and sort out between us with support from DH. He is DD's DSD - an extended part of her family unit but is aware where boundaries are when it comes to parenting as do I with his DC.

I'd suggest talking about your issues with your ex about boundaries being over stepped - include SM in the conversation so she is aware with what the issues are but from what you've said - it looks like that'll fall on deaf ears unless your ex can appreciate and tell her that while she is his wife/gf it is not her responsibility to be taking on such a role in his daughter's life. She needs to step back a bit and let her own parents parent while being supportive of their roles.

Bonsoir Sat 05-Oct-13 12:42:48

I'm just giving my opinion on what you have told us on this thread which you started to garner opinions.

You will have endless problems with your exH and his wife if your standards of healthcare and personal care are much lower than yours. They aren't harming your DD - on the contrary. And why should your DD be denied better care if her father and stepmother want to provide it?

Bonsoir Sat 05-Oct-13 12:43:22

than theirs

nicknamegame Sat 05-Oct-13 13:08:32

Bonsoir I can't even be arsed to answer your question about 'better care'. I'd say you might have your answer there about why you don't her on with your DSC's mum.

nicknamegame Sat 05-Oct-13 13:09:30

*get on

sanityseeker75 Sat 05-Oct-13 13:58:15

Maybe she is insecure about her relationship with your ex and feels the best way to ensure success is to secure your dd.

Is her lo her only child? If so once she has toddler around taking up more of her time she may lay off a bit.

I agree that wart cream is important as they can spread in clusters but thats not the be all and end all, if it happened you could have sorted it then.

I also think that because you are feeling insecure about your position in your dd life you are worrying to much about what they think.

Do you love your dd? Do you belive that you are offering her the best care you can? Because if you do regardless of it being different to theirs then try to step back from them the best you can or you will find your dds early years are spent more worrying about your ex and his wife than you and dd.

nicknamegame Sat 05-Oct-13 14:40:58

I did treat the wart with cream I just didn't take to hacking them off with painful freezing kits which caused dd distress and didn't work anyway. The wart is still there ffs. If bonsoir considers that better care, let her!
Sanity, this thread was raised in relation to sm hacking off my dd's long hair in a home haircut that wasn't discussed or mentioned to me, and dd was told to keep it from me, I've had some great advice on here regarding how to pre-empt these behavior from sm and ex, so will be following it allgrin

purpleroses Sat 05-Oct-13 14:50:01

dd was told to keep it from me - how did they imagine you weren't going to notice that she'd had her hair lopped off? [confused

You are right that it's out of order of your Ex to allow that to happen without even mentioning it to you first. Even if he had what he thought were good reasons (DD wants it short, nits, refusal to brush it, etc) there's no reason at all not to at least try and talk to you about it first.

nicknamegame Sat 05-Oct-13 15:11:04

She was there for a weekend and we spoke on the phone after it had been done. DD never mentioned it. When I asked her why, she said she was told not to. They obviously wanted me to feel the shock of it....because they've since questioned dd on my reaction, wanting to know I was shocked/angry/liked the cut/asked who did it etc

Kaluki Sat 05-Oct-13 21:20:11

Bonsoir shock really????
None of what the OP has said sounds neglectful at all!

Bonsoir Sun 06-Oct-13 09:14:42

Of course it is neglectful not to treat and cure childhood health complaints, more particularly when that child has another home where he or she might infect other DC.

IME DC always end up gravitating towards the parent that provides the most supportive and caring home. I think the OP is on a dangerous course whereby she may end up losing her DD to her exH's family.

nicknamegame Sun 06-Oct-13 09:26:36

I think Bonsoir is looks for posts with the deliberate intention of misinterpreting the context, then provides sanctimonious bullshit that she calls advice.

Bonsoir Sun 06-Oct-13 09:31:00

You clearly want to hear that you are in the right. Why bother posting?

nicknamegame Sun 06-Oct-13 09:35:22

For years I've see you pull stunts like this on MN. Point out ONE example where I neglect my dd's health needs. ONE.

You are outrageous.

Bonsoir Sun 06-Oct-13 09:46:02

Do you want me to list the rest? I was preserving your feelings but if you take that to mean that there aren't any other examples to defend your position, maybe you need someone to be more explicit?

I am not trying to hurt you - on the contrary. I am trying to help you understand that your position may well jeopardize your relationship with your DD, which I am sure you do not want.

nicknamegame Sun 06-Oct-13 10:04:40

Anna if you were a poster that I took seriously I would ask you to explain how the hell you can take what I've posted as a sign of neglect. However, I don't particularly find that you do much on MN except come on to threads to show everyone how much better you are than them, so I won't bother. Besides it would be hard for me to take on the opinion of a poster who thinks her DSC's mother is a neglectful slattern because she lets her teenage sons change their clothes 3 times a day.

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