Separating – he wants the child more than “normal”

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  • #49240 Report


    We are going through a separation and my 3yo child’s dad wants to co-parent, which is good, except that he wants to be look after our child actually more than he does now. At the moment I do 6 bedtimes as week and my son always ends up sneaking in to sleep in my bed every night, I haven’t had a night away from him in over a year due to Covid etc.

    Now his dad will be taking him away 3 nights a week. He keeps saying it’s best for the child, but I’m not convinced, it’s so different to what we have now, I feel like we are being torn apart. I can’t imagine not being with my son every night, and I worry he will miss me too. Any similar experiences? Will it be ok? Is the dad right to demand such a change to my sons normal routine?

    #49252 Report



    both parents have parental responsibility over the child. Perhaps because a maternal instinct/protectiveness of your child, you feel that father can not cope with child and you feel uneasy about all of this. Separation/divorce is not nice, but we have to adjust to the fact that the children have 2 homes now, with loving parents. If he was to apply to court, court are very pro-contact and he would be able to have more time with the child, as long as there are no safeguarding concerns.

    #49253 Report


    2-3 nights for a dad to have his child is fairly normal and less than 50-50 . Have you not thought as much as your child will miss you that he has a dad he/she will miss as well.  Its important that child sees both parents often and has a loving relationship with both parents. I am sure as a mum you will naturally miss your child if you are used to 7 nights , but so was dad i guess as well.

    Only thing i would say is if you do sort it out with your ex is to make sure there are set days and times as good for routine and stability

    #49293 Report


    Thanks for comments. Appreciated.

    The dad hasn’t slept in the same bedroom for over a year, he chose to remove himself, so hasn’t actually had a night with my son for a year. He’s never really pulled his weight with the childcare despite working much less than me (part of the reason for separation).

    Which is why I’m worried about how things will be when I’m not there anymore as I normally am.
    I know it will be all fine, just feeing apprehensive and wounded. No doubt Its good to have dad on board etc, this way forces him to do more to help, and in the long run i know it is “for the best”, and also very normal, but at the moment it feels very sad and not “best” considering the current context.  So very hard.

    #49509 Report


    Hi EllaAn,
    So your situation sounds very similar to mine, I was here 5/6 months ago. I left my abusive ex husband, I did almost all of the bed times and always ended up bedsharing with my child. I spent many months breastfeeding and sleeping on the floor as Dad didnt agree that a 10-18 month old baby should be sleeping with a parent/s but that’s another story, he also claimed breastfeeding to be disgusting and weird after 6 months old but there you go!
    I left our home and moved in with family which was another toxic environment but temporary. My ex insisted he had 50/50 care despite me raising concerns of how that could possibly work with his work pattern, nursery and various other factors. It was one of his ways of continuing to control me and get to me, it worked. But I do agree our Son needed his Dad in his life more (than we was together) as our Son missed him so much when we were home together and his absence made him very, very unsettled (a shame his Dad didnt see this and continued to put hobbies and friends and alcohol first).
    But I want to reassure you that the arrangement still stands as the same at the moment (and I am certain when his dads work and hobbies can return to normal our Son will no longer be his boredom buster!) and at first it was hard our Son was absolutely exhausted, wasnt sleeping well with Dad, Dad expressed he couldnt cope but that was again emotional blackmail and his attempts at ‘our Son needs his family back’, social care completely overlooked this, didnt care about my concerns. However, it has got better, our Son is 3 now and once I found us our own house he has adjusted to the routine well, he is sleeping better and would you believe it, his Dad has him in bed with him every night!! I am glad because it means he gets good sleep and they have a better bond for it, it seems. It is so hard, I am biding my time for Covid restrictions to pass and just hope I can make changes to the arrangements. It is very frustrating how his Dad has fully manipulated the whole situation and none of it is done with our Sons best interest. I currently get absolutely no weekend with our Son at all and his dad gets 2 week nights. As it stands we have zero communication (against my wishes but he just cannot hold his tongue and abuse) and I have an undertakings in place, judge dismissed full Non mol order and I represented myself so it didn’t get to a stage of evidence gathering. It is incredibly frustrating that I have hard evidence of how abusive he has been including death threats (infront of our Son) and no services seem interested. The courts have massively let me down, not just on the outcome but not sending paper work, not telling me the temporary order had been served etc). Take comfort in that kids are resilient and thank goodness at this age they are influenced by their most positive role models!!

    Our son has no memory of me living in his Dads house which has come as relief to me now 5/6 months down the line. It is very hard as a mother to accept this, especially as the most present parent. It isnt about being ‘controlling’ as some may say, it is about instincts, it is about the bond, we grew these babies and we have been their consistent and their constant. My Son had his father around him in a 7 day week for maximum 10 hours because he was out every single night and on his days off work that he opted to take would put absolutely anything else before us/child and that is very hard to stomach when suddenly he wants to play the doting father.

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