Holiday issues - skiing(44 Posts)
My wife and I are in the middle of a tricky divorce. We have four beautiful children and we're doing our best to insulate them from it all. My ex wants to take them on a skiing holiday in a week's time on her own. I'm concerned that, even with a family holiday company, going skiing as a single parent with all of them (aged 7 down to 3!) is going to be tough. I'm not sure I can say yes. It's not the finances (not really my call), and it's not the fact that it's in term time (that's another debate!)
Am I being unreasonable?
Do you actually have the right to say no? Because tbh I think it's got fuck all to do with you.
Something tells me she might already have an idea of what managing four kids on her own is like and thought that through. It's incredibly condescending of you to say no on the grounds you think she can't cope.
If you have parental responsibility then surely you have the right to prevent them being taken out of school? That's the issue I would focus on. I don't know the legalities but I would certainly be putting it in writing to the school that you do not agree with it - to make sure you don't get fined if nothing else.
Many thanks for the replies.
To give it more context...
1. We've been separated for approx 2 years. We are both used to looking after them alone. We're also both very proficient skiers.
2. My STBFW has just dismissed her nanny. She'll be travelling alone with no support.
3. The company is Esprit.
4. This has not been planned. It was only decided upon last night. They depart next Sun.
I've raised no objections to this trip. I've since discovered that it's being used to dispose of as much money as possible, so it's now less about skiing and more about divorce.
Very many thanks for all of your considered comments!
Oh, and @Jengnr, if one of mine gets air-ambulanced to hospital, and the others are in ski school, then yes, it has very much the fuck to do with me. It's their welfare I'm concentrating on, not a spat with my ex...
Skiing is a high-risk, high admin sport. The worst can (and does) happen to the best skiers, as I'm sure you will understand...
one of mine gets air-ambulanced to hospital, and the others are in ski school, then yes, it has very much the fuck to do with me.
That kind of scenario applies equally to any other foreign holiday.
So far you've told us that it's not about the finance (08:27) and that it IS among the finance (17:44) (although from a financial point of view, surely the money spent on the trip is now non-refundable if it's been booked?).
So if you were still together and on a family skiing trip, all but one of your DCs were in ski school and that one were air-ambulanced to hospital, what would be materially different about the situation?
Ponders what the responses would be if it were a woman saying her STBXH wanted to take their children out of school at a week's notice for a nice holiday and the OP felt her former H was just trying to spend the money to avoid her getting so much.
In the event of an accident, at least if there are two adults, one can go with the child in hospital while the other takes charge of others. But this is a bit of a red herring as otherwise no single parent would be able to ever have a holiday!
I'd they were together then one could go to hospital with the child.
And air ambulance is far more likely to happen on a ski holiday than any other.
I wouldn't be happy in your situation.
I've just taken my dc's skiing - 3 under 6. Your wife is mad! 3 under 6 was more than enough hard work and I had DH to help keep track of them.
Do your dc's ski? Will she just be putting them in ski school/child care all day?
The accident/ illness thing also occurred to me, having recently being very unwell on a skiing holiday. The endless jaunts down icy roads to visit doctors and collect things from pharmacies, all co-ordinated with hotel meals and kids' ski classes was
a fucking nightmare fun...
er, do they have ski school for 3yos? Presumably proficient parent goes off skiing all day down expert runs while dumping the kids in some kind of ski-theme creche all day with no adult they know well? How does that count as a family holiday?
I learnt to ski @ 7 & love it, was as close we got to an annual only family holiday, and ALWAYS in term time, but I still don't get it.
I think YABU. I totally understand where you are coming from and I think it will be stressful for her, howver I am under the impression that you don't have the kind of relationship yet where you can ask her whether she has considered the stressful was of it?
I think if you generally approve them skiing then you can't disapprove of it this time (apart from the school term time thing).
What holidays have you done / got planned as a single parent?
Any single parent holiday is hard enough because you are the only adult. Even with one child it's tough. Have you done any holidays yet?
Esprit are a great company with tons of childcare. If anything happened they'd step in and help.
I wouldn't be happy at DCs being taken on holiday during term time. But that doesn't seem to be your main objection here- so, on that basis I think YABU.
The fact that your soon-to-be ex-wife may find it stressful is not really anything to do with you anymore- you don't get a veto on the basis you think she might find it tough going. I think you're right- it will be hard work- but doable if she's using the right company and resort.
You don't mention that you disapprove of the children skiing, so can only assume that you don't mind them skiing. So the fact it's a risky sport is a red herring as you're happy enough to take that risk at other times. I'm assuming your STBXW will have appropriate travel insurance, as you've not mentioned this as a concern.
I'm struggling to see what your objection is really about. It's not about money; or your DC missing school; you normally let them ski, so it's not about you being unhappy about them taking part in a risky sport. So if it really is as simple as thinking your STBXW has bitten off more than she can chew, YABU.
thanks for posting more detail.
"I've since found out it's being used to dispose of as much money as possible. so it's less about skiing and more about divorce"
So what if it is? it's just a bit of money. Money spent on a holiday for your own DC who are going through a family breakdown. What matters more, DC or settlement pot?
I still think time out of school is iffy, but for DC caught up in an acrimonious divorce there are worse things. It's natural to be concerned for their welfare but as you haven't said you don't want them skiing, that's not what's bothering you.
I don't think this is about concern for your ex ability to cope either, since you've said she is a good skier and used to being a lone parent. Plenty of single parents manage to holiday without taking a nanny, Esprit are excellent and have ample provision for DC, so they're not exactly roughing it.
If you get het up about a single piffling holiday then your DC won't be insulated as much as you think and this is how their lives are now. Inability to compromise, torpedoing each other's plans because it doesn't quite meet expectations will only hurt the DC in the end.
I read your thread last night and my first thought was that it was total madness to take 4 DCs under the age of 7 skiing with one parent. But then I thought again.
Ski holidays have a lot of childcare provision, there is an expectation that they'll either be skiing or being looked after for most of the day and I understand that Espirit has a good reputation for childcare. Probably far safer than taking 4 of that age to the beach or swimming pool and trying to keep an eye on them.
Mornings will be tricky to ensure that everyone has what they need and are ready for the slopes in a timely fashion, plus keeping an eye on everyone's belongings is tricky as well.
It sounds like you feel that her motivations for taking them away are not the greatest and I wouldn't think that a ski holiday, where the DCs will be on their own for most of the day is the best thing to do, but I guess it's not your shout any more. Not agreeing to it because you have concerns about your exWs ability to look after them will appear vindictive and controlling.
However I have very strong views about taking DCs out of school and that would be the reason I wouldn't agree to it.
no...i don't think you are being unreasonable. the safety of your children is important to you and it doesn't sound like she has given you enough information to feel reassured that they will be adequately looked after at all times whilst on holiday. Your concerns and opinions are as equally valid as hers - doesn't matter if she's the main carer - and despite what some have said above - it DOES matter and it IS your business.
as for her making this 'last minute' decision as a way of just getting 'rid' of joint money - that's disgusting behaviour! She is not thinking rationally or acting in a mature manner and she certainly isn't thinking about what is best for the children. i wouldn't stop them from going - this time - but i would speak to your solicitor about the knock on effect of taking the kids away during term time and making sure that you have an equal say in all future situations like this. Nip this silly game-playing in the bud because it's your children it will suffer in the long run.
You've been separated long enough now that i'm surprised you haven't signed any written agreements re the children, i.e she should be giving adequate notice and information about taking them abroad/where etc and taking them on unnecessary trips abroad during term time. also, if she is doing this primarily as a reason for disposing of joint income before the divorce - then i think you definitely need to be talking to your solicitor about it. Really by now you should have separated your finances anyway so she can only play games with her own disposable income.
makes me wonder also...would she be this reasonable about it if it was YOU doing what she is doing?!!!! (i think she would have an issue with it and would make sure everyone knew about it too! )
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