time with other parent and overnight stay
16 July 2019 at 9:58 am #27714
i am after an advice please..
My boy is 2.5 yo and separated with ex around 2 months ago. We have struggles with communication, harassment and emotional abuse issues but lets pass on that for now.
I signed my boy for football and swimming – of course i told me before and i asked if he had issues. He asked how much is it and he said ok.
This Saturday dad and son are spending the day together. I told him yesterday when he dropped him off that on Saturday he has swimming but football will not start for another week. So he asked if it will be every Saturday and i sad yes. And if i am going to be there and i said , that i would like to but you can be in the pool with him but i would like to follow his football as well. He didnt like the fact that i wanted to be around on his time with our son. I am not sure about this, why wouldnt he want me to be around when he plays football? Anyway the parents have to be involved at that age.. Should i not be going?
And then he said to me something that i found weird.. ‘What do i get for the time i will lose when he does activities?’ i didnt respond because i wasnt sure what he means by that.. Is my son not suppose to do his activities while he is with his dad?
Regarding overnight stay:
So far i am denying it for the following reasons:
1. my ex drinks a lot, i asked him when he has our son not to drink – his answer was that i drink too. He knows that i dont drink more than one drink every now and then but he is saying that to get to me
2. my ex smokes weed and smokes cigarettes as well. I asked him not to when he is with our son
3. i asked him to get a potty as i want to potty train him and its impossible when he is 2-3 times a week there with a nappy
4. i asked for gates on the stairs of his mums house for safety reasons – he said that he used to spend time there anyway without the gates and doesnt get why i want gates now
5. i asked him to buy a bed as he now has a mattress on the floor.
I am not happy with my son staying there with the above but we seem to be struggling to communicate to put it politely.. he is being very set to his wants and doesnt listen to me. he will send me 20 messages in one day telling me he misses our son, being nasty and ironic and i am doing my best to be nice and not get anxious because i know it will affect our boy. He talks to me and i feel that he wants me to die if that makes sense. I wasnt feeling like that but since Saturday i dont feel comfortable when he comes around and i ask my mum to stay with me and try to leave him up to the living room. Yesterday he was gathering things for an hour and i went in the garden. I cant say he is violent but there is something in the way that looks at me that terrifies me and i don t want to be in the same room with him anymore.
Does this make sense to anyone? Any advice?
thank you16 July 2019 at 8:23 pm #27733
- Unless an alcoholic, given he’s at his mums, there is more than likely to be another adult present.
- The weed situation arguably hasn’t only just come about and you presumably were aware of. Yet now it’s an issue to refuse contact. For me it would be an issue but I’d have not have ever knowingly have been involved with someone who did, so think like point one that you may have to take the approach that there are other responsible adults present. Theres a spectrum of dtug/alcohol usage and in court scenarios many get full contact. Otherwise it looks as thoughyou’re purposely just not wanting to offer appropriate contact. AND IMPORTANTLY IF WAS SUCH A RISK YOU’D HAVE NOT OFFERED ANY CONTACT. ….
- Really wanting to stop contact over a potty? He can opt to use the toilet if wishes. Train the child then send in pants.
- Stairs gates are not approved for usage after 2 years of age, so actually he could point out that you’re potentially putting his child at risk of still using. Read the documentation. It’s an issue often overlooked.
- How he chooses to reside with his child is I’m afraid his right to choose as an equal parent. He doesn’t need your “approval” and that’s a hard pill to swallow. You’re both parents who don’t have to agree, just merely act in their child’s best interests, that doesn’t mean having to do the same. So mattress on a floor is acceptable.
If you went to court with the above, you’d look unreasonable unless could really prove he’s alcoholic and as extensive addiction. But even then it’s likely that the presence of the grandparents could negate this.
I think the overnights is more your issue in not wanting your chided away and I think most parents understand that. But this is aboutwhat is in your child’s best interests. . I’d suggest trialling. Make explicit that grandparents are to be present if that would reassure. That any evidence you get of drug and excessive alcohol usage which would render him incapable of being the responsible adults in charge of a child you’ll remove the overnights.
The abuse; block his number only unblocking prior to and during contact. If he’s threatening call non emergency number and report.
Trust your gut Instincts. Message him and say that you don’t want him in your home anymore due to the abuse and the undertones. That is reasonable. He has no rights unless it’s a joint property to be there.
Along with that you could get a third party to do handovers or meet in a public location like in front of a supermarket17 July 2019 at 4:22 pm #27851
hi, i think taht was a bit harsh
Just because someone was drinking while i was caring for my son that doesnt mean i should allow him to drink when he is solely responsible. Also just because I accepted his addictions in the past does that mean that forever i should accept them? I am allowed to change my opinion if i see that what is happening affects my family. Alcohol was the reason of the separation to start with.
of course the potty is not a reason solely but i am only saying that he is not cooperating with the situation at all.
i offer the contact at the minute during the day and i will not refuse that because i know that he drinks or smokes only at night when he plays.
I dont know how it came across that its for me that i dont want the overnight contact because i am actually ‘pushing’ to get reassurances so i will allow it. its better for me as well as i will get less harassment
i understand what you are saying but it seems that you are being a harsh on me and i honestly not only i dont think i am doing anything wrong here but i am being nice to a person that wished my death and belittles me over and over again messing me with my self esteem
Anyway, thank you17 July 2019 at 5:04 pm #27856
Regarding the football and swimming I can see your ex’s point, I would see it as ‘my’ time with the little one and I don’t mean this hardly but that wouldn’t include you. It would be different if the lo was doing something one off like a school play(obviously when older).
It would be far better for your lo if your ex worked with you over the potty training and it would make everyones lives easier, have you thought about buying a separate potty to give to dad reminding him that it’s in his interest to help as he could say goodbye to nappy changing?
Is your ex staying at his mum’s?
I am a smoker but will not smoke around my son, if your ex is going outside to have a smoke then I don’t see it as a big issue. The drinking is a more difficult question, having a few while staying in control is far different than getting paraletic, if he is getting smashed that would be a safeguarding issue and you’d be right to say something.
Under the circumstances perhaps it best if you don’t allow him into your home, it should be your safe space, at handover time either meet him at the door with lo ready or meet him in public.
Mark18 July 2019 at 11:27 am #27899
i agree with the swimming but football… ok i will let that go and take him every other week.
re the potty i bought him already and took it there, i emailed him links to read about ideas and how it happens and explained to him how i do it , ie when we go out explain to him about the toilet show him where it is.. and guess what he does? says ok and puts a nappy in front of me like he is doing it as a reaction. i think because potty training needs commitment and staying at home a lot to achieve it and he doesnt want to ?
yes he stays at his mum with one more lodger.
Of course i wouldnt mind if he doesnt smoke in front of my son but he does. ok i will have another chat about that.
about the drinking.. of course 1-2 drinks i wouldnt mind. My ex the last few months started drinking more than that. to the point that he will start with a beer, have wine, and whiskey or gin. more than once a month he would fall from the bed, vomit around the house, dont remember what happened. i let it go for a bit because i thought he might be going through something but during the break up he informed me that i am boring and i dont like going out while he is young and he wants to have fun. ok, fair enough.
i am thinking to ask him to arrange not to drink too much when he has lo and if he wants to drink to feel safe to ask me to take over. and i am thinking to suggest the overnight to be friday and sunday so he can have saturday night to himself.
i am struggling because i really want to help but he thinks i want to take my son and stop him from seeing him which is not the case. i dont even want to ask him to drink less because he doesnt think he has a problem and he attacks me when i say something.
re meeting, i am trying to avoid him coming in the house and he doesnt like it at all. he is still on the mortgage and i cant not allow him but i asked him yesterday that it would be nice if i drop lo as well at his instead of only him picking him up so he will know that mummy can take him and leave and she will come back.
is there anything else i can do?
A18 July 2019 at 11:43 am #27903
At this stage I wouldn’t be looking at two overnight scenarios yet until one is well established.
Friday is a good option, but so could be a midweek if he works as an alternative with perhaps a weekend day contact still.
The smoking thing if cigarettes is a life choice and a parental choice to do in the child’s presence. Not something I would permit but no-one smokes so I don’t have this issue to navigate.
Do you get on with his mum? Could you use her to mediate the situation?18 July 2019 at 11:55 am #27910
So I was thinking to suggest the below:
every monday (he doesnt work on mondays)
every other saturday (he works every other weekend)
and every Friday and Sunday evening. He would pick him up straight from work the Sundays he works at 16:30 and on Friday at 6 (he works every Friday)
That would give us both in a period of 2 weeks 3 days each with lo and he will get 2 overnights – eventually.
the trouble with the midweek is that some times he doesnt finish until 8 and it will be useless to have lo as he should be asleep by then. And he will need to rush to bring him in the morning as my mum takes care of him in the day – otherwise it could work like a charm !
So you think perhaps i should start with only the Sunday eve?
I get on pretty well with his mum and i didnt involve her in the separation on purpose because i dont want to ruin the relationship. Its a good idea to ask her to have a chat with him as well though yes.18 July 2019 at 6:10 pm #27990
My first questions would be:
How much involvement with your child’s care did he have before the split?
What’s the current arrangements with regards contact? Is it only weekend Saturday contact?
Unless he was significantly involved with his care, so would have been doing as much as you regarding day to day care – nappies, baths, cooking, doing nursery runs, doctors appointments, housework etc, then I wouldn’t be offering what would build up to 50-50 contact as your starting point.
I’d also query how much quality time he’s going to be having with the child if presumably he goes to bed at 630/7 and picking up at 6.
Also by offering every weekend to some extent means that you NEVER get quality weekend contact when you could go away with your child or have activities planned. On that basis I’d only ever suggest offering every other weekend at best with a midweek visit.
From what you have said, in your shoes, I’d offer an alternate overnight on Friday to Saturday 4pm. I would offer a midweek visit – that is up to him to be able to facilitate or decline. He can apply for flexible working to be able to have a consistent midweek – though they can refuse. When established I would add in the Saturday so two consistent nights – obviously on the alternate week to the one he works.19 July 2019 at 8:50 am #28004
ok, so before we split he wasnt doing any housework, cooking, doctors, sleeping unless i asked him which was about once a week. Every Monday he is off but he wouldnt get out of bed until some times lunch. Even though he was off my mum will prepare lo meals and feed him unless lo wanted dad. Dad was doing the playing in the afternoon and if I arranged to go somewhere in the weekend (parks and things like that) he will come as well. So they would spend lets say 2 hours a day together unless he was working 10-8 which was 0 hours or weekend when he would participate to what i arranged.
Currently he picks him up on Monday between 9-10 and i pick him up at 6. On Thuesday i drop him off to his mother at 8 (his mum looks after him on Tuesdays) and as he doesnt go to work until 9 they have breakfast together in the morning. And also on Thursdays 6-8 the meet and have dinner together and some play either at my house or his (i delay bed time during the summer to 830)
This weekend he is off so he is taking lo for the day (9-6) and on Sunday he decided that he wants to be going to church and take him. I didnt want to make an issue so i said, i ok.
I dont want to offer 50-50 because my personal opinion is that it will not go down well with lo. Maybe eventually but not as a starting point. But when i dont do what he wants he texts me all the time and starts being nasty at me and threats to take me to court. i am struggling to explain to him that we are on the same side and i am not trying to keep lo away but i want to do it right. i understand that he might want to be a better dad now that we are not together but there is also a possibility he is doing it for other reasons (boredom, regret, revenge)
So perhaps a good idea would be to suggest: every monday 9-6, thursday afternoon, every other sunday evening or friday evening which will continue to the next day until 6. I could tell him that if i see that working (for 2months is that reasonable?) we can make the overnight stays weekly and later on 2. Does this sound reasonable? I read that more frequent visits and shorter are better for this age is that true? thats similar to what they had , pretty much 2-3 hours a day
I really want to avoid harassment, constant messages and threats. I am sure if i dont do what he wants he will start again Everything affects the lo and the last thing i want is to give me a childhood from which he will need to recover.
thank you very much for the advice19 July 2019 at 2:28 pm #28068
Frequent short visits are usually what is encouraged for under two year old – rule of thumb etc. 18-24 months overnights would generally be given to the non resident parent at this point, though some have been given much younger as it is circumstances dependent.
So currently it is:
Monday 9-10am to 6pm
Tuesday – doesn’t really count as this is your childcare.
Non working weekend 9-6pm
On this basis and given this is now the established pattern, I would offer the overnight on Mondays. So would get from 9-10am until he goes to work on Tuesday at 9am. With gran for childcare on Tuesday and then home with you.
That would be my suggestion of an offer. I would ONLY add in the every other Saturday if he pushes for it. However it would be only one of the two weekend days not both as he already has a full contact day on Monday and you should be able to have two full contact days as well.19 July 2019 at 2:36 pm #28070
Yes, thank you i think this is reasonable.
Basically i will give him one overnight preferably on Mondays but if he chooses another day instead of that ie Sunday , its not a massive thing (he might do) As long as we commit to that for 1-2 months and then if everything is well we can reconsider.
thank you for the advice
x19 July 2019 at 2:53 pm #28075
Yes that sounds like a good starting point.