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Hi there. I could use some perspective on this.<br>
DS is almost 4. His father and I separated when I was pregnant, DS has always lived with me.<br>
For the past year, DS goes to his father's for dinner 1 night/week and then also goes for 24 hours every Fri eve-Sat eve. This mostly goes well.<br>
Ex and I have a lot of issues, don't communicate well, etc. Some of you may remember my older posts. He can be very nasty.<br>
Ex is remarried with 2 younger children. I don't like or agree with how certain things go over at Ex's place, and I worry that he badmouths me. BUT, DS seems to enjoy going there most of the time. I don't believe that anything dangerous or terrible goes on. He is just different than me and disrespectful of me. DS is usually eager to go and seems to come home mostly happy though overtired and sometimes melts down from that.<br>
Ex is a teacher and doesn't work much over the summer. This summer he would like to have DS Thursday through Sat instead of his usual Fri-Sat. It would mean I would drop DS off at camp Thurs am and Ex would pick him up in the afternoon. DS wouldn't see me from Thurs morning until Sat evening.<br><br>
I have very mixed feelings about this. It feels like a very long time every week for DS to be away from me. That is a pretty big change. And I worry that he will miss me, that he will get too overtired, that he will not have the grounding/home base that he needs. On the other hand, I always read that it is important to really foster the relationship with both parents. This is when Ex has the time to spend with him. I have definitely noticed DS seeking male interaction... really latching onto a male friend of mine and the husband of one of my female friends.<br><br>
Another option, that I prefer, is that DS spend 2 nights there over the summer, but nonconsecutive. Like Tues night and Fri night. So he is not away from me for 3 whole days straight. Ex really wants the uninterrupted time with him though. And he says less transitions back and forth might be better for him anyway.<br><br>
Does anyone have any thoughts on any of this? Any experience with shorter vs longer chunks of time for a 4 year old? Opinions on whether to try this out or not? Ways to make me feel better about trying it... if it sounds like the right thing to do? Questions I should consider? Thank you.<br><br>
Note that I would focus most of my work schedule onto those days he would be gone and I would have 2-3 full days off with DS each week even if I agree to this.<br><br>
I should also add that I am feeling pretty exhausted and burnt out. Not burnt out of DS. Just that I work running my own business and juggle pretty much all of the responsibility for DS. He does not sleep through the night. I never get enough sleep or exercise. I always have piles of paperwork, laundry, etc. I know that I have been feeling very stressed and anxious for a while and I'm worried that DS is absorbing some of that (which is a whole other thread!). SO... even though I DO NOT want time away from DS... some people in my life would definitely argue that I could use a bit of a break. But I would absolutely not agree to this for that reason. There have to be other ways of getting a break...<br><br>
Ok, rambling.<br>
Thank you for reading. Looking forward to some insights, thoughts, opinions, etc.
 

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In our case, with both kids, and we had visitation from age 1 and up, fewer transitions and longer visits (within reason, of course, but 2 nights seems very reasonable for a 4yo), were better for the kids.
 

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My 2 year old DD spends Wed-Fri with STBX every week, and Sat AM - Sun AM every other week. On the weeks where he has her on the weekends, it feels like a lot of transition and nights away from me, but she seems totally fine with it. I'm sure your LO would do just fine with 2 nights away, would be able to be more integrated into his dad's family, and as a bonus you'd get a little extra free time. If he starts showing signs of stress/distress, you could always scale it back again. I know it's hard, mama!
 

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Hmm... I would just be wary about making him trying to make it permanent after the summer is over. If I let him do it, I would maybe say something about it only happening for a 6-week period (or whatever). Or that maybe your son can try the longer visit every <i>other</i> week this summer and see how he does with it. Also, if things are normally tense with ex, would this also be an opportunity to ask for something in return - extra vacation time with your son, etc?
 
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