How much time is enough?

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  • #43220 Report


    Hiya, I separated from my wife two years ago and have 3 kids. Boy 11, girl 9 and boy 8.

    my ex and I agree a month in advance when I will have the kids and generally not an issue. I live with my new partner who for info doesn’t have kids.

    We can’t see eye to eye on how often the kids should come or stay over. At the moment they come over Wednesday morning I until Thursday night or Friday morning depending on if it’s my weekend. If I have them for the weekend I pick them up Saturday around 11am and drop them back Monday. So they stay either 2 or 3 nights a week.

    my new partner doesn’t see why they should stay overnight during the week seeing as they have their own home. Also she thinks I spend too much time with them when they’re here. At the moment they can be a little fixated on me due to various reasons but I am aware and working on this. I am encouraging them to be more independent and have enrolled them in to sports and dance classes for September.

    Sorry for the long post!

    I suppose what I’m asking is 2 or 3 nights a week sleeping over too much for the kids and unreasonable of me to expect my new partner to accept that.

    also on weekends generally how much one to one time is healthy to spend with your kids. Either on their own or as a 3 and what do people constitute as quality time?



    #43222 Report


    Generally speaking I don’t spend much time on my own, hence the difficulty finding someone to match with. Youngest one is ten and that means full time parent, apart from the odd babysitter for a theatre or cinema visit, school and after school club. If he isn’t with his mother, he is with me.

    #43234 Report


    I can’t help but read this post and think your new partner is jealous. I don’t think anyone should tell a parent to spend less time with there children.

    there are so many parents out there that walk away from there children and I think you should be proud, that you play an active role in your children’s life.
    relationships come and go but your children are yours forever, put them first and if she doesn’t like it, than that’s her problem. xx

    #43248 Report


    I think you are asking the wrong question…it should more be a question of ‘should I stay with my parter?’ Of course 3 days with your kids isn’t too much (they are your children so full time wouldn’t be ‘too much’) For a partner to say you are spending too much time with your kids when you only have them 2 or 3 days is shocking and maybe she isn’t really prepared to take on a relationship that involves children….but kids come first and for someone to not understand that would make me think that maybe they are not the right person for me. My partner has his kids every weekend and they have moved into my house and I have mine full time. It’s been a rocky road sometimes finding the balance and having time together without any children around and it was certainly not always easy having someone else’s kids regularly (for me or my kids) but there is an understanding from both of us that our kids and time with them is vital and it would never work without that. I can I understand it’s difficult taking on someone else’s children if you don’t have any of your own but your partner made that decision when they chose to be with you…you are a package deal!!

    As for how much time when they are with you, I do think yours are at ages when they should be able to entertain themselves a fair bit and shouldn’t need constant attention. Maybe set some time to do something as a family and something over the days 1:1 with each of them (even if just 10 mins just two of you playing a game, for each child ) but then set aside a clear time where you expect them to go and play, with no adult required! I’m a teacher, and some children thrive on a visual timetable for this or use a sand timer, telling them that you are having some down time for half an hour and they can go and entertain themselves, then reward this with doing something together.
    Maybe a conversation with your partner is needed though to make it clear your kids are part of your life and time with them is not something you are going to get rid of and see how committed to that they really are. In a few years your kids will want to hang out with their friends instead of you so you can’t let someone guilt trip you into missing out on time with them while they are young enough to still want it!

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