AP for noncustodial parents - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 03-31-2008, 11:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It looks like I am going to lose custody of my son. It is wrong, but that doesn't matter much in the legal system. I am barely holding it together, but that is a separate issue.

I am going to end up in NYC while my son stays in Virginia because of work, that I don't know how I can change. He is almost 5. My parenting has been about being there whenever I can, and I am trying to figure out how I am going to do that from a big distance. He hates the telephone, I will visit as much as I can and my #$#@$#@ ex allows, but I don't know how to maintain the bond that we have like it is right now. He still sleeps with me, for God's sake.

Shannon, mama to Jack :
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#2 of 9 Old 04-01-2008, 12:18 AM
 
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im so sorry mama. i am not sure what to say i dont know your whole situation. i am so sorry that you have to be away from your son.

DS 5-11-06
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#3 of 9 Old 04-01-2008, 12:24 AM
 
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My heart goes out to you. How much longer is your residency?
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#4 of 9 Old 04-01-2008, 12:42 AM
 
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We have a long distance relationship with DH's kids. I strongly recommend using a video phone. Even if he hates a regular phone (as DSS does), a video phone is different. If you both have a camera, you can do it over Skype or Yahoo Messenger or similar for free. It really makes a huge difference as you feel like you've just seen them (and he'll feel the same about you!). We also send lots of mail and call frequently, even if all we get is hi/bye.

Also, even though we do not co-sleep with the kids as a general rule, we do sleep with them on their first night with us, to help reconnect. Since you do cosleep I guess you would already be doing this.

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#5 of 9 Old 04-01-2008, 10:37 AM
 
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I think there are lots of ways to maintain that bond.
Give the child a cell phone?
Write letters - mail rocks, parcels are even cooler.
Small things, favourite snacks.
Plan more long weekends, minivacation type memorable events.
Send him home with miniphotobooks of your times together (my mom does this when she has my kids just those free type ones they get at the photo place so they go home with their memories)
Start things you can do together - get him a camera so you can take pictures of life together, see things from his perspective. Involve him in the things that interest you -cooking, whatever so when he sees those things he is reminded of you.
An ipod with books read on tape...my mom also does this so they kids have stories from their nanna at night.

He still sleeps with you, get something special he can transition with that can be at your place at at his fathers...

My dd lives with her dad, its actually not that bad (she was older though ten when she went to live there) I get the fun time, not the brush your teeth young lady time. We get to go to movies, dinner, he gets parent teacher interviews.

Also with the distance vary how you go pick him up, boys love transportation, take the train, take a plane....

also make sure your custody order is temporary not permanent and it can always change ask what age he can choose where he lives in the states this is before the court. Often situations change, ex gets new wife suddenly older step child not so appealing with new baby.

You also might want to look into play therapy to help with any transition they teach neat connecting exercises with touch/attachment that might help ease the back and forth.

And please look at this possiblity as only temporary...
its easy to get sucked into the horribleness of feeling like your child is ripped away from you, and feeling like you are not even a 100% mother when your child is not there, crap most of us AP mamas can barely bring ourselves to take a vacation without the dc.....this is not going to be easy and probably most of our worst nightmares.

I got nothing but hugs for you mama and hope things don't turn out that way.
You never know what can happen in family court...never

8 might be enough
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#6 of 9 Old 04-01-2008, 10:55 AM
 
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I second the webcam. My 3 yo loves to skype with her father. Is your DS currently living with you or with his father?

I'm so sorry. Don't know what to say.

Have you exhausted every option, re: relocating? I don't know how far along you are in residency, but sometimes you can take a year off. Is it general surgery, or are you going for a fellowship? If it's something specialized, any chance you can find a position at a university closer than NY? DC, maybe? What kind of hours will you be working (I know surgery is a tough residency)? I would imagine that even if the Dad has physical custody, you would be entitled to a standard visitation schedule. This sucks, I'm so sorry.
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#7 of 9 Old 04-01-2008, 11:12 AM
 
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I love Shiloh's suggestions. AP is about promoting attachment... so the prescribed ways are not going to work for you guys for right now, and you need to get creative. Packages, webcam, notes, etc... every chance you get to reach out to him, any little ideas you have, go with them!
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#8 of 9 Old 04-01-2008, 03:14 PM
 
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I'm so very sorry :-(
I hope that you can retain custody (it sounded like it's not a sure thing yet)
Good luck to you, I don't have any advice but I'm sending some hope

Monther of Riley (11), Andrew (4) and Victoria (7 months)
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#9 of 9 Old 04-01-2008, 03:17 PM
 
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Wow, I am so sorry for you. I really like Shiloh's suggestions.

When our kids and my sister's kids were small my mother (who lives in Canada) bought them books and then she would read the books out loud on tape. She described what the book and the cover looked like so the kid would get the right book. She would read the book and let the kid know when to turn the page. So it was really like they were reading the book together and was very sweet. She would send a batch of new books and a tape every few months and the kids loved it.
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