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How do you handle this? I have a 5mo who is EBF and a 2yo who is night weaned but nurses 2-3 times daily; her longest nursing time in the morning. Stbx wants to file the papers as soon as we get to AZ. Devin will only be 7 months old. How does this work? And while we're talking abou tvisitation - is it OK that I want to cry every time I think about not being with my babies?
 

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Of course it's ok to cry!<br><br>
But, if your ex only has "visitation," then he's probably crying more often than you. And eventually, it might be your kids that cry the most. Why not think about trying to slowly introduce a balanced, co-parenting arrangement that's best for the kids, even if (understandably) not ideal for you and ex?<br><br>
(hug)
 

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ladybugchild77.... I have some ideas and thoughts for you. I have a BF 10 mo old and I've been separated from X since he was born. Hands full right now but wanted you to know I'll be back later, probably tonight.<br>
And yes, I want to cry too... it's really hard... but it's going ok. Hang in there.
 

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Who is moving to AZ? Both you and ex? Do you want to move?<br><br>
If you file before you leave, your case will stay in the county in which you file. It would also likely place burdens on the custodial parent as far as moving.<br><br>
My DS was still nursing to sleep at 2.5. I was WOH 3 days a week, and BF was only an issue if I was present. It really wasn't a big deal to him if he was with his Grandma (his caregiver when I was at work) or his dad.<br><br>
You may want to look into what AZ family code says about custody schedules. Many states have different guidelines for infants and toddlers than they do for older kids. Some don't do ncp overnights until age 3.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> Yes, it's okay to cry. I was doing it just last weekend.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MamaNosBest</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7946241"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Of course it's ok to cry!<br><br>
But, if your ex only has "visitation," then he's probably crying more often than you. And eventually, it might be your kids that cry the most. Why not think about trying to slowly introduce a balanced, co-parenting arrangement that's best for the kids, even if (understandably) not ideal for you and ex?<br><br>
(hug)</div>
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mamnosbest,<br><br><br><br>
i'm not sure if you're a single mama..but my ex lives in another state and has visitation and honesty, with all the conflict we have expereinced-"co-parenting"(you mean, joint custody) would not be in the best interests of my children.<br><br>
joint custody does not work for everybody. there is not "one size fits all" interms of what's best for the children in a divorce. in my case, there was domestic violence in my home so that arrangement would definately have not worked (yet i find it interesting how many abusers-including my ex-file for joint custody-usually to reduce their c/s amount and to keep constant contact with the mother)<br><br>
most mothers have been the primary caretaker of their children-particularly when the children are very young. it would be very traumatic to all of a suddenly change that relationship-divorce is already hard enough. not to mention that you just underminded the importance of the nursing relationship.
 

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I'm a little confused about the AZ thing. From what I understand I think you should contact a lawyer where you are now and contact one in AZ to find out if there are specific state visitation guidelines. Some states have them, some do not. See if the guidelines in either of the 2 states is more to your benefit and file there. But I'd check with a lawyer on that.<br><br>
You should be able to set up visitation around nursing. I would find a lawyer who will support you in this and fight hard for you if need be. There is plenty of data to support that. As long as you show you are open to visitation and fostering the relationship between your babies and their dad but just want to preserve the nursing relationship in all of this, you should be able to get that. Absolutely.<br><br>
There are no set guidelines in MA where I live. I wish beyond all wishes that this was one of those states that didn't mandate overnight visits until age 3. I happen to think that is very appropriate. Here is the visitation schedule we have set up right now. DS is 10 months and X lives close by. He comes 2 evenings/week for 2-3 hours and watches DS at my house. Usually gives him dinner, sometimes bath. He takes DS out on Saturdays for 6 hours. He usually gets also one Sunday/month for 6 hours (I hate hate hate those weekends when he has him both SAt and Sun). I am at work most of the times he is here, so I feel better about minimizing my time away from DS that way. Although it leaves me no time for myself. X is a teacher so during the summer he will have some additional time but it is time that I am already working anyway and DS is usually with my mom. We will also extend one of the evenings he is here in the summer to a later time so that, in theory, X will be putting DS to bed. This is the 1st step in starting to work toward overnights. Once that goes well, I'll try and have a couple of later evenings out so if DS wakes, X can have opportunity to resettle him at night.<br><br>
We put in the divorce agreement that overnights will start once DS does not nurse at night and the pediatrician agrees that he is developmentally ready. I know the ped is on my side at the moment... but I don't know what will happen over the next 6 months or so. I would imagine that I will have to give an overnight by 18 months... but I guess we'll see... I'm hoping for closer to 2. We agreed that overnights would start at 1 overnight/month and gradually increase to 4 overnights/month as is developmentally appropriate with consultation with pediatrician.<br><br>
So... it leaves a lot of room for arguing along the way.<br>
I have no idea how the nursing and co-sleeping thing works into overnights. But it seems that it has worked out for several mamas on this forum... so that gives me hope.<br><br>
And yes... It is my belief that all of this is the hardest part of being a single mama. It's not the doing it on your own thing. It's the sending your babies thing. It breaks my heart. It makes me sick to think of overnights and vacations and whole weekends.... But I am trying to just take it one day at a time. So far, DS gets very excited to see his dad, and that really helps. I try to foster that (even though that makes me want to vomit too!) because it will be better for everyone if it's positive all around. It's not fair. It's hard. But others say it does get easier. And yes, it's ok to cry. And to come share your tears on this forum... it really helps.<br><br>
Hugs to you. It will be ok. So far DS is doing fine. Your babies will too.<br><br>
Sorry this is so long!!!
 

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I would talk to a lawyer as soon as you can. Have them draft a visitation agreement that specifies that your children will not stay over night until they are weaned. Unfortunately there isn't much you can do about day time visitation in my experience, but you could try to meet up with your ex during lunch time so you could nurse? otherwise you would need to pump for your 5 month old. I know it isn't ideal, but definitely better than sending them for the whole weekend right off the bat! That and you might be able to request shorter visits that are supervised by you to begin with considering your ex lives in another state right now and is virtually a stranger to your children because of it. (My paperwork stipulates my children will not go anywhere with thier father unless he has maintained a stable relationship with them).<br><br>
MamaNosBest- you do realize that this is the single parent's support forum, right? A couple of times I have wondered....
 

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<b><i>'m not sure if you're a single mama..but my ex lives in another state and has visitation and honesty, with all the conflict we have expereinced-"co-parenting"(you mean, joint custody) would not be in the best interests of my children.</i></b><br><br>
No, I don't necessarily mean joint physical custody, particularly if the children are very small and their father lives in another state.<br><br><b><i>joint custody does not work for everybody. there is not "one size fits all" interms of what's best for the children in a divorce.</i></b><br><br>
Very true!<br><br><b><i>in my case, there was domestic violence in my home so that arrangement would definately have not worked</i></b><br><br>
Was the violence against the children or you? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"><br><br>
If it was against you and not the kids, from what I've seen that usually doesn't impact visitation or legal joint custody (not even physical, sometimes!), and almost never unless there is a criminal record on hand. Also, there are safe dropoff/pickup places for people who can't be trusted around their exes, which sound like they may work for you.<br><br><b><i>most mothers have been the primary caretaker of their children-particularly when the children are very young.</i></b><br><br>
Probably most, but certainly not all. My dh is no less a parent than me, that's for sure.<br><br><b><i>it would be very traumatic to all of a suddenly change that relationship-divorce is already hard enough.<br></i></b><br><br>
But in the long run it would be better for the child to have two safe, involved, "primary" parents, imo.<br><br><b><i>not to mention that you just underminded the importance of the nursing relationship.</i></b><br><br>
I did not! I'm a CLW long-term nurser for both my kids, I would never undermine the importance of nursing. i just know there are ways to handle it that don't include keeping children away from their other relatives!
 

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Thank you all for your support. I will be trying to find a lawyer when I am not gearing upfor finals - I am going to start looking soon. I totally want Jeremy to be as integral a part of their life as he can but I am the primary caretaker as I have stayed home since Kiera was born a little over 2 years ago and he really has no clue how to care for them. I hate to put it that way but I guess now he'll have to learn. I fly back to AZ on Mother's Day (what irony, right?) and he will come out a few weeks later to move himself. We are going back there since we both have family there. He is primarily coming to see the kids and told me he wants to be in their lives as much as possible. I have no problems pumping for my baby though I will miss them terribly and wonder how much milk I'll get when I do pump! This is so hard.
 

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You can disagree with the idea that its best to for a child to have two safe, inolved, "primary" parents but <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: ?????? I can't imagine why you would! I sure can't understand why?!! It's not always possible, but it's pretty obviously ideal. Don't take my word for it, there's tons and tons of social science research on the issue.<br><br><br><b><i>I don't think it's better "in the long run" for children to have their security and emotional needs neglected<br></i></b><br><br>
I didn't say that, and implying that I did comes pretty close to a violation, imo.<br><br><b><i>And I certainly think that domestic violence against the mother affects things legally as far as visitation, as it well should. C<br></i></b><br><br>
You may think, but you are incorrect in most cases. Documentation does help, tho, which was why I asked about it.
 

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In my state, in cases of abuse of either the child(ren) or the other parent, sole custody is automatically awarded to the non-abusing parent. This is per the Family Code, it is the law.
 

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What state, Watermelon, do you mind saying?<br><br>
And yes, sole custody is frequently granted in DV cases, but that does not preclude mandated visitition, even overnights.<br><br>
Even criminals in jail have won the right to see their children on a regular basis.
 

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If anyone's interested, by the way, here's an easy to read white paper that talks about the issue of DV between parents and how it effects custody -- the answer is, not much.<br><br>
<a href= <a href="http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:1tr00vIknrAJ:www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/jr000251f.pdf+child+custody+domestic+violence+cases&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=9&gl=usWhite" target="_blank">http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache...d=9&gl=usWhite</a> paper</a>
 

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Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled topic....<br><br>
Ladybugchild77, it might help you to poke around here on MDC and see what types of parenting time arrangements others with little ones have made. Most courts are agreeable to implementing reasonable plans that parents themselves come up with, as long as they both agree to it.<br><br>
For instance, I know some with infants start with the ncp coming to the cp's home for a couple of hours on a regular basis, gradually increasing the time, and working up to the ncp taking the child on their own.<br><br>
For very young children, the "expert" recommendation is frequent, short duration contact. Like an hour or two every day. And you can certainly ask for a plan that gradually increases contact with your ex for both DC.<br><br>
It might also help you to do a little research as to what is standard for AZ, in the event you and ex cannot agree. In the absence of a mutual agreement, courts tend to go with the default. I did this, and felt at least a little more powerful just because it wasn't all a huge unknown.<br><br>
Keep chuggin' along mama. It does get better <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">.
 

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<i>Most courts are agreeable to implementing reasonable plans that parents themselves come up with, as long as they both agree to it.</i><br><br>
This is the greatest thing you could do, actually. I hope you're able to.<br><br>
Oh, and for the OP -- I'm pretty sure that Arizona requires a 6-month residency waiting period before you can file for custody in that state, so you've got some time.
 

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"most mothers have been the primary caretaker of their children-particularly when the children are very young. it would be very traumatic to all of a suddenly change that relationship-divorce is already hard enough. not to mention that you just underminded the importance of the nursing relationship."<br><br>
But only after you undermined the importance of the fathering relationship. Which will stay with the child longer? An involved, loving father or a breast?
 

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How is not wanting to let your 5 month old child spend the night away from you, with a parent that I gather does not even live in the same state at this time, undermining the importance of the fathering relationship? A father can still be involved and loving and not have overnight visitation.<br><br>
If the well being of the child is what is most important then security and stability should be the most important consideration. A baby can not understand why s/he is sleeping some place new and different and without his/her primary care giver. A baby doesn't understand why it can not nurse when that it all it has ever known. Add to that a care giver that has been absent from his/her life and that sounds anything but secure to me.<br><br>
Why are there so many defenders of paternal rights in here lately? It is beginning to feel kind of combative.
 

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"How is not wanting to let your 5 month old child spend the night away from you, with a parent that I gather does not even live in the same state at this time, undermining the importance of the fathering relationship? "<br><br>
Please note that the OP indicated that both she and her STBX are moving to AZ to be closer to both their families. In fact, the inference I got from her second post was that he was primarily moving to be close to the children. This is not an absent father as described in the OP.<br><br>
"Why are there so many defenders of paternal rights in here lately? It is beginning to feel kind of combative."<br><br>
Because it is generally in the child's best interest to have both parents in his/her life. This is not about whether mom or dad wins the best custody deal, but what will best contribute to the child's emotional health and stability. I am cynical about the BF point, because I have seen women on these boards suggesting or in fact using extended BF as a weapon to stop the father having overnights or more extended visitation.<br><br>
"If the well being of the child is what is most important then security and stability should be the most important consideration. A baby can not understand why s/he is sleeping some place new and different and without his/her primary care giver."<br><br>
I think a number of the studies on daycare have shown that what matters most to an infant is attentive, loving care -- not so much that it is the same person providing it. To my mind, the goal here should be that the children have 2 primary care givers. The father should not be penalized because he went to work and supported the family while the OP stayed home.<br><br>
Have enough people here not experienced a positive father/child relationship that nursing can truly be seen as being more important?
 
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