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Quasi new and visitation issues

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
hi all

i am a single mama of a beautiful 16 month old girl. Since i separated from my dh life has been a nightmare. to make a long story short he is an abuser (thats why i left) and got worse once we separated. i have a restraining order now. we were ordered to court ordered mediation to determine custody and visitation. that was a joke. the standard in california is everyother weekend with one weekday visit. i explained to the mediator that my daughter has never been apart from me for more than a few hours, is still breastfeeding and that it would be traumatic for her to have a full weekend visit. she said that is the minimum standard and that the judge wouldnt except less. so i convinced her to do a transitional phase to full weekends which is extremely fast (2 months to full weekends) but i guess that was better than nothing. anyway..i am a nervous wreck. i am so afraid of breaking the bond my daughter and i have. it is so strong. but i am afraid this weekend visits will be so traumatic for her. i wonder if weaning her (my goal was natural weaning) might make it easier since she nurses all night long. god just thinking about it makes me ill. anyone been through this? has anyone been through it and there kid was okay? any advice i would love and support.

thanks for hearing my woes

nurture mama
post #2 of 11
I have not been in this situation, but I send you lots of hugs. My thought was that if he is an abuser, and enough that you were granted a restraining order, then it is probably documented abuse. If he is abusive enough to need a restraining order, how can the courts give him alone time with your dd in good conscience? Does that make sense? Also, there is a La Leche League site about this with an email at the bottom to ask questions. The site is: http://www.lalecheleague.org/Law/LawDivorce.html

I don't know if any of this helps, but i hope you and your dd are safe and happy.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

I couldn't agree with you more

Hi Joanna

Thank you for your support..it is much appreciated. I am not sure why he has such extensive visitation rights, being that there is documented abuse and a restraining order. I think it is because the abuse was not to her, but to me. California is very pro father and I think they only restrict visitation if there is a long history of abuse, abuse to the child, etc. Thank you for the La Leche League link. I have visited that site before. I emailed the attorney so hopefully she will be helpful.

Thanks again for your support!

post #4 of 11

My heart is with you.
post #5 of 11
Hugs and kisses to you, my dear.

I am going through something very similar this week also. I went to a mediator with my former husband, who also has a history of abuse, alcohol, neglect, etc. I followed all the advice...documented everything, etc. But it didn't matter. The mediator said it was "in the past" and that we have to look forward to tomorrow.

I have been going through the same issues as you...and I know it must help to hear that because hearing that from other mommies helps me a great deal.

Something my sister told me when I first left a year ago is something that still gives me strength. That is that you are still the mommy. No matter if your sweet child goes with dad, if you are a loving and constant nurturing presence in your child's life, you are still the mommy. Even if it still means your breastfeeding patterns are disrupted a bit or a great deal. Even if you don't get to have special Sunday dinners every week. Even if..........

You are still the mommy and you and your child will still maintain your sense of family if that is your goal.

I used to get very sad thinking how different my son's life would be as a 'child of divorce' but I don't think about that anymore. Because every child has a different reality. There are children in married homes with miserable daily realities. There are children in single parent homes with wonderful daily realities. And vice versa and all the way around.

Of course, our life is not what I dreamed it would be. But I am determined to give my son the perfect life. Support, Love, Cherish, Discipline. Everything.

If you concentrate on enjoying life one day at a time, it will be smoother, I do promise that. That's what helps me get through times when it seems like my lifetime is ruined. It is not. And neither is yours.

Peace, love, and strength to you!
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thank you!

Thank you so much JRsmama! Your email really helped me a lot. Really put things into perspective. I am sorry to hear you are going through the same ordeal. I am praying for you sister . I feel really blessed to have the support of these discussion boards..without it, who knows where I would be. I think I am going to print your email to remind myself that I am Zoes Mama and nothing..nothing will change that. I get so caught up in the what ifs? I dont know..just thank you and you and your ds are in my thoughts and prayers.

post #7 of 11
I was in the same situation about a year ago. Our mediator did not work for us, so we had a Guardian Ad Litem appointed. I also convinced my ex to attend counseling with a family therapist, who was able to educate him about developmental stages of children. He wound up agreeing that it was best if our daughter did not have overnights until she was done breastfeeding, AND had been given a VERY gradual introduction to visitations.

The visitation you describe seems very liberal in light of the circumstances. The mediator is not the final authority on what the judge 'will' or 'will not' accept. Research professional opinions on the topic and find out for yourself what the laws in California say.

You probably don't want a lawyer but it may be worth it.

Good Luck,
post #8 of 11

Re: I couldn't agree with you more

Originally posted by nurturemama
I think it is because the abuse was not to her, but to me.
That's probably the reason. I've seen it happen before. REALLY stupid in my opinion. I mean, if they abuse the mother, what's to stop them from abusing the children?

My thoughts are with you. I hope it all works out. {{ }}
post #9 of 11
I have been meaning to write for awhile. I could have written your post myself one year ago! I can so relate to the feelings you are having, and the fears you have. My son began overnight visitation at 15 months, and all day visitations at 12 months. He was breastfeeding, and I had the same concerns you do. Here's what helped me, and what is turning out to be true for us:

The fact that you and your child are so close, and the bond is so strong, is a good thing. Studies show that these children do so much better with the adjustment to being away from mom. You have given your child such a beautiful gift of attachment, and it will be her source of strength while she is with her dad. She will be okay! She will want to nurse as soon as she sees you, and it will be a great way for the two of you to reconnect. I think at your daughter's age, they can go without nursing without harm done, and they aren't wanting it, because that is what they do with you. I really think at that age it is "out of sight, out of mind. "

Like you, I was worried about my ex's ability to do all the parenting things alone, since he never did them before, and because he had anger issues, ect, while we were married. Turns out, by having to do it, he stepped up to the challenge, and is a million times a better parent than he was before. It isn't that hard to be fun for a weekend. There will come a time when this won't seem so scarey. I promise.

A strange thing happens to a mommy when you see that for some reason unknown to us, our child likes their daddy, and is happy to see them.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thank you!

Wow so glad that you can relate so much to my situation..that you went through the same thing! And things are good! Whoo Hoo! (Can you tell I am excited My daughter had her first overnight on Friday and did really well. She was so happy when she came back. She was babbling and smiling and saying Da Da. It was a beautiful thing. My mind was full of all these negative things and she came back happier then when I left her . She truly enjoys her dad. She goes to the door each day with my car keys and says Da Da? Very cute. Something I never would have expected. And you were right she wanted to nurse within the first hour she was home. And has been doing well since. YA! THank you so much for your email. I really appreciate the support and encouragement. Also..side note what is the Nestle Boycott for? Just curious.

post #11 of 11
I am sooo glad it went well.

Here is a thread in activism that helps explain the boycott:


Also, if you do a search in the Breastfeeding Support and Advocacy forum, or the Activism forum there have been several threads on Nestle.

Take care!

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