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How do you cope with 'sharing' your children?

9 replies

Scree · 03/05/2007 21:34

I also posted this on relationships, but think this may be a more approriate place to post this:
I have serious doubts about relationship with OH, and fantasise occasionally about ending it with him, but I just can't stand the thought of DDs being away from me. I couldn't bear for them to stay the night wihout me, or spend a weekend away from me. Just out of interest really, how do you cope, and what sort of arrangements are normal, i.e. every other weekend away with oh??

I guess my littlies are still very little 18months and 3 months, so I will probably be able to cope better when they're older, but I just can't imagine it.

OP posts:
morningpaper · 03/05/2007 21:37

Hello I saw your other post

I am not a single parent but I would just say that your children are SOOOO young, and you will feel very differently when they are older about this particular thing

Of COURSE you don't want to spend time away from them at the moment - they are YOUR BABIES! And that makes you an EXCELLENT mother. Your feelings about that are NORMAL at this age. When they get older, you will be more ready to stretch those apron strings.

But this is the wrong thing to focus on. You need to think about your relationship with your partner and consider how to progress things - maybe with counselling, or more support?

Scree · 03/05/2007 21:55

Thanks MP, I know you're right, but things just keep getting worse. I have made contact with a counsellor, but finding it hard to find a time we can do it. I can not see that we have any chance of staying together in the long run, and keep thinking that in some ways it may be better for the girls to be too little to be hurt by the break up. I don't know. Just desperate for an answer, but there isn't a clear one. Trying to just plod along with him, but he really can be toxic, and it's very hard! Could go on forever.......thanks again x

OP posts:
morningpaper · 03/05/2007 22:04

Good luck Scree x

Harra · 03/05/2007 23:01

Hi Scree, I hate it. My ds is 15 months - split with xp in Dec 2006. Xp adores ds and has him 2 nights a week. Very acrimonous at the mo as he won't pay any maintenance and is verbally abusive and wants to have more access to ds. Breaks my heart when I don't have ds with me. I 'cope' by booking the time I don't have ds up, going out with friends, sport, if I didn't I would probably mope around at home. I do have times of crying and I hate the situation where my little boy is pulled between us. Though very early days for me yet. I go back to work in June so that may help. Current arrangements are xp has ds every other Friday to Sunday and every other Wednesday to Friday. Unusual as xp 'works' from home. XP would like 'shared parenting' but he lives 40 mins drive away and ds is so young. However he is threatening to move to where I live. My BIL had his 2 every other weekend, every Wednesday night and took them on 1 week holiday in the winter and a 2 week holiday in the summer. Hope that helps and sorry for your situation.

electra · 03/05/2007 23:08

I'm obviously not a good mum because I can spend a week away from mine and not bother . I love them dearly but I can love them from afar too.

madamez · 03/05/2007 23:10

DS dad looks after him on Wednesday evenings and generally at least one day or evening every weekend if I want to go out or am working. We also spend time together every couple of weeks or, which DS seems to like. But we have not been a couple for nearly 20 years, we are old mates who had a couple of bunk -ups which resulted in our unplanned but much loved 2.7 DS.
Appreciate that not everyone is this fortunate and some XPs can be absolute arses, but it may be worth trying to distinguish between an XP's arsey behaviour to you (having sex with other people or not wantting to be your partner any more) and arsey behaviour towards DCs (refusing maintenance, being violent towards you or DCs, not wanting anything to do with them etc). If you're not with the DCs other parent any more becasue the other parent didn 't want to be in a couple with you any more, then it;s worth trying really hard to get over that to the point where you can be as amiable as possible.

mamazon · 03/05/2007 23:27

at such a young age no court would agree for an overnight visit so it would probably be agreed for only a couple of hours at a time.

if it was an amicable split then the two of you could arrange what works best for you, so maybe an hour or so on a wednesday evening and then 3 hours saturday afternoon or whatever.
if its not quite so amicable and you result in court then between you both and your solicitors you would arrange somehting that was least inconveniant for the both of you.

when you first have to hand them over it is heartbreaking and you worry that he is doing everything he should be, but after a whike you get used ot it. you realise that your children are enjoying themselves and its good for them to have this time with their father and you relax....and even enjoy the time you get to yourself.

or at least that what im told happens

squidette · 04/05/2007 09:01

scree - i hated it too. When we first separated, our smallest son was only 14 months. Even though the adults were barely on speaking terms for the first 12 months, we both managed to understand that they were OUR children, not mine, or his, and that THEY deserved time - and that included weekends and overnights - with both of us.

I felt like i couldnt bear it, that i would literally shrivel up and die inside when they weren't with me, but i didnt. I felt sad and the house was SO quiet, but i did get through it. A great friend reminded me that Feelings are not Facts - here i am.

For quite a long time it felt as though a whole stretch of my life was just empty, i could see all the weekends and holidays were we wouldnt be together, the times that we were not able to spend. But, now - i really love the time i have on my own. Its a chance to recharge my batteries, study, garden, learn about ME and taking care of my needs so that i can be there for the children when they are here. Nothing really changed apart from my thinking.

You cant stand the thought of it, and i really do understand that part in my own way, but if and when it comes to that, you will be able to stand it, even if you feel sad and lonely. As you know its going to be really tough, you are in a really good place to look for support and understanding.

Scree · 05/05/2007 11:54

Thank you all. I've been really interested in your posts, and they're very supportive and reassuring in some ways, although I know that one day, if worst does come to worst, I will (we all will) have a lot of heartbreak to go through.

OH called me from work yesterday to apologise (unreservedly) for being so horrible recently, and said that he wants to start seeing a therapist again. His old one retired (nervous exhaustion I shouldn't wonder!) and things have been spiraling out of control since then. I guess that if he is feeling like this and can see how he's being we have got something to work on.

Many thanks everyone, and best of luck with all your situations. xxx

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