I am recently separated from my children's mother and still in the process of establishing a custody arrangement. I was the one who filed for custody because when we split, she gave me no access to them until the court papers arrived. Since then she is in total control of how and when I can see them and doesn't allow me any real time to bond with them by doing all the things I did with them since birth like putting them to bed, waking up with them, feeding breakfast et. She only recently started letting them come to my home after school two days a week and I sometimes have time to give them a quick bath but must drop them off after only a few hours.
I am a loving and involved father of two young girls. 5 and 18 months seeking shared legal and physical. My problem is that she does not feel that the children should sleepover at my house. She thinks that it is not good for them and their routine and that I should be satisfied with visits limited to days without spending the night. There is no abuse or concerns about my parenting ability and my home is ready for them.
There are a lot of mixed opinions on this topic with experts claiming that is not good for development to take them away from the mother because she is the primary parent for children to develop a close bond and fathers are secondary. These experts claim that removing them from the primary home will create brain development issues as well as separation anxiety among other things. I totally disagree with this but I am not expert, just a father who loves his children and is desperately missing those critical bonding moments that I had when I was living with them.
Also my oldest daughter originally wanted to sleep at my house but no longer does. She claims the reason is that she will miss her mother. I don't want to force her and want her to enjoy sleepovers and not feel like she has to. Her mother wants no parts of them sleeping at my house and is fighting me on this.
Any fathers with young children experience this and what is the best thing to do? I know the court will award sleepovers with me but I don't want that to come at the expense of my children's well being and I don't want the to recent me for sleeping at my house.