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Old Today, 08:27 AM
 
2,232 posts, read 2,653,802 times
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My ex and I separated and she moved out, and is currently living with her parents. I still use her mom as my sitter on the weeks I have my daughter (works out because she will eventually get picked up and dropped off by school bus in a few months for Kindergarten) . I drop her off in the mornings and rush over after work in the afternoons to pick her up. I feel like I am competing with a lot of other factors and is the reason my daughter, (4) is preferring to stay there and not go home with me.
She knows that her mom will be home soon after work, hence the reason why I rush over right after I get out of work, and would rather stay then go home with me. She also has her cousins there too. They arrive at the house at around 2:30pm. As you can imagine, some days are easier than others, as long as I can beat everyone else to the house.
As you can imagine, this really breaks my heart that my daughter doesn't want to come home with me, and would rather prefer to stay at grandma's. Like I said, it feels like I am competing with so many factors, and it all is stacked up against me. For this reason, I had been contemplating on finding another sitter on the weeks I have my daughter. Unfortunately, money is a HUGE issue for me and cannot afford anything. This is where I might need to reevaluate my living conditions.
One option I have been thinking alot about recently is moving into my parents place. My parents are retired and would be ok watching DD while I am at work. This is the best temporary option I can come up with. I would not be able to stay where I am currently living and ship her back and forth between my place and my parents due to the distance. So, it is an all or nothing type of deal here.
Is this what it is like for divorced/separated parents? Is this normal that the child prefers one parent over the other and that the one parent who isn't prefered needs to figure something out? This is all so new to me and I feel lost. I mean, on top of my ex and I separating (which is heartbreaking in it's own right) I also need also deal with my own daughter not wanting to stay with me on the weeks I have her.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Old Today, 08:56 AM
 
8,350 posts, read 3,041,541 times
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I truly feel for you! Separation, especially with kids, is HARD.


When my first husband and I separated, my kids thought their father walked on water. At the time, my oldest was 6, and my youngest was 4. Obviously, I felt differently (about the walking on water part) but I didn't tell my boys any different.


I would suggest to try and think logically, about why your daughter wants to stay at grandmas. She will get to see her mother, and her cousins. And her grandma is providing continuity and routine, that your daughter desperately needs, in this time of transition.


It doesn't mean your daughter doesn't love you. It means she loves and misses the other people in her life. Probably, if YOU were "the other parent", the tables would be reversed, and she'd cry because she was being separated from you. IMO, it's the nature of the beast. It often seems that the parent who 'isn't there' gets turned in to the hero...it's how the small child comes to terms with why the absent parent isn't there anymore.


I ask sincerely...would it be so awful to let her see her mom and her cousins for a little bit? If not every day, maybe a couple days a week?
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Old Today, 09:09 AM
 
2,232 posts, read 2,653,802 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassybluesy View Post
I truly feel for you! Separation, especially with kids, is HARD.


When my first husband and I separated, my kids thought their father walked on water. At the time, my oldest was 6, and my youngest was 4. Obviously, I felt differently (about the walking on water part) but I didn't tell my boys any different.


I would suggest to try and think logically, about why your daughter wants to stay at grandmas. She will get to see her mother, and her cousins. And her grandma is providing continuity and routine, that your daughter desperately needs, in this time of transition.


It doesn't mean your daughter doesn't love you. It means she loves and misses the other people in her life. Probably, if YOU were "the other parent", the tables would be reversed, and she'd cry because she was being separated from you. IMO, it's the nature of the beast. It often seems that the parent who 'isn't there' gets turned in to the hero...it's how the small child comes to terms with why the absent parent isn't there anymore.


I ask sincerely...would it be so awful to let her see her mom and her cousins for a little bit? If not every day, maybe a couple days a week?
Thank you for replying. The thing is, my DD will be there every day. On weeks my ex has her, my daughter will not see me at all, but on weeks I get her, she will still see her mom, cousins and grandma as well. It is those weeks in which I have her that will be difficult for me to get her because she will not want to come to my place.
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Old Today, 09:09 AM
 
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It's not that she doesn't want to stay with you. She's nearly 5. Her older cousins get home from school and it's a play party at Grandma's every afternoon. Of course she wants to stay. It's not that she necessarily prefers her mother to you - although it's certainly possible that she wants more time with her mother. It's that she's missing out on all the fun at Grandma's house when the cousins get home from school, AND she's not going to get to see her mother when her mom gets home from work, that week.

The answer is not to pull her away from there. Look at it from her viewpoint. Her parents have separated. She goes back and forth now, instead of having the security of having both parents available at home every night. She's had a routine of being babysat with the other grandchildren at Grandma's, too. Don't take that away from her. You want her to be happy. She's not an object to fight over, she's a human being with feelings that are just as valid as your own. You have to put her foremost, before your needs. Your ex has to do the same.

For kids this age in divorce situations, it is best to minimize transitions - that's what gets them upset. She is effectively having a transition every afternoon that you take her away from Grandma's, but how could you deny her the fun of being with her cousins? Perhaps you could go to a different schedule, temporarily, where she stays at Grandma's all week, and comes home with you every Friday for the whole weekend, you take her back to Grandma's Monday morning.

You have to talk with your ex about this, and come up with a better schedule for visitation right now, and agree that you will both have to be flexible always, to come up with what is best for your daughter at all times. Right now, the love and security that she has at Grandma's, plus the fun and close family feeling she has bonding with her older cousins, is priceless. If she were to be with you every weekend, the two of you could have intense father daughter time together, visit your family, go do wonderful things together, and she'd only have one transition away from Grandma's house (Friday night) a week, rather than daily transitions every weekday evening for the week she's with you.

Moving in with your parents isn't the answer, because she's going to have to go to kindergarten in September in one place, and you'd be right back where you started, with the shuttling back and forth every school day. Plus if there are no children to play with at your parents' house, she might be bored, unless your parents are truly wonderful caretakers for five days in a row, who can keep her entertained all day until you get home.

Take heart. What's best for your daughter right now is going to change, over and over. You and your ex being flexible about visitation arrangements, over and over, is the key to minimizing the damage for your daughter, and keeping her happy.
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Old Today, 09:43 AM
 
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OP, maybe distraction might work with your daughter.


The next time she gets upset, sympathize with her, and let her know she's validated in how she feels, and then say something like "Hey! I have an idea! Let's stop by the dollar store and you can pick something out." Or, "Hey, lets stop at the grocery store to get supplies to make cookies this weekend!"


Something she can look forward to, being with dad. Hopefully it would go without saying...if you tell her "let's do this and such" then you have to follow through.
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Old Today, 10:14 AM
 
2,232 posts, read 2,653,802 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parentologist View Post
It's not that she doesn't want to stay with you. She's nearly 5. Her older cousins get home from school and it's a play party at Grandma's every afternoon. Of course she wants to stay. It's not that she necessarily prefers her mother to you - although it's certainly possible that she wants more time with her mother. It's that she's missing out on all the fun at Grandma's house when the cousins get home from school, AND she's not going to get to see her mother when her mom gets home from work, that week.

The answer is not to pull her away from there. Look at it from her viewpoint. Her parents have separated. She goes back and forth now, instead of having the security of having both parents available at home every night. She's had a routine of being babysat with the other grandchildren at Grandma's, too. Don't take that away from her. You want her to be happy. She's not an object to fight over, she's a human being with feelings that are just as valid as your own. You have to put her foremost, before your needs. Your ex has to do the same.

For kids this age in divorce situations, it is best to minimize transitions - that's what gets them upset. She is effectively having a transition every afternoon that you take her away from Grandma's, but how could you deny her the fun of being with her cousins? Perhaps you could go to a different schedule, temporarily, where she stays at Grandma's all week, and comes home with you every Friday for the whole weekend, you take her back to Grandma's Monday morning.

You have to talk with your ex about this, and come up with a better schedule for visitation right now, and agree that you will both have to be flexible always, to come up with what is best for your daughter at all times. Right now, the love and security that she has at Grandma's, plus the fun and close family feeling she has bonding with her older cousins, is priceless. If she were to be with you every weekend, the two of you could have intense father daughter time together, visit your family, go do wonderful things together, and she'd only have one transition away from Grandma's house (Friday night) a week, rather than daily transitions every weekday evening for the week she's with you.

Moving in with your parents isn't the answer, because she's going to have to go to kindergarten in September in one place, and you'd be right back where you started, with the shuttling back and forth every school day. Plus if there are no children to play with at your parents' house, she might be bored, unless your parents are truly wonderful caretakers for five days in a row, who can keep her entertained all day until you get home.

Take heart. What's best for your daughter right now is going to change, over and over. You and your ex being flexible about visitation arrangements, over and over, is the key to minimizing the damage for your daughter, and keeping her happy.
I know, it’s about making my daughter happy and putting her needs first. I get that. I truly do. I cannot rearrange my schedule once more as I have already done so in order to accommodate one week on and one week off. So basically, me only getting my daughter on the weekends is not going to work.
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Old Today, 10:16 AM
 
2,232 posts, read 2,653,802 times
Reputation: 1809
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassybluesy View Post
OP, maybe distraction might work with your daughter.


The next time she gets upset, sympathize with her, and let her know she's validated in how she feels, and then say something like "Hey! I have an idea! Let's stop by the dollar store and you can pick something out." Or, "Hey, lets stop at the grocery store to get supplies to make cookies this weekend!"


Something she can look forward to, being with dad. Hopefully it would go without saying...if you tell her "let's do this and such" then you have to follow through.
I like this idea! She loves the park. Perhaps I can make that a thing of the norm and do fun activities and roll those into the days I pick her up.
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Old Today, 10:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaredC View Post
I like this idea! She loves the park. Perhaps I can make that a thing of the norm and do fun activities and roll those into the days I pick her up.

Yeah! And it doesn't have to be expensive stuff. Just coloring with her, or playing Candyland...lots of ways to make it fun being with dad. :-)


She'll still miss her mom and her cousins, and grandparents...but she can also look forward to spending time with dad. :-)
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Old Today, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
10,034 posts, read 8,899,625 times
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It will change.

There will be times when she prefers mom and time when she prefers dad.

You will always be her daddy and nothing will ever change that.
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Old Today, 10:50 AM
 
2,232 posts, read 2,653,802 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassybluesy View Post
Yeah! And it doesn't have to be expensive stuff. Just coloring with her, or playing Candyland...lots of ways to make it fun being with dad. :-)


She'll still miss her mom and her cousins, and grandparents...but she can also look forward to spending time with dad. :-)
Ok I’ll do this!
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