Put my foot down a bit but I hope it's fair?(40 Posts)
Good evening all, I'm a bit of a lurker but could now use some impartial thoughts.
A little bit of background: I have two kids with ex.p, aged 5 and 7. We broke up almost four years ago and whilst things have not always been easy we have managed to come to access arrangements etc between ourselves. The children are with him every second weekend and a Tuesday evening.
Now my eldest is moving up from Beavers to Cubs which is on a Tuesday night instead of a Wednesday. For four weeks (before the holidays) eldest had to attend both clubs. Ex is able to pick up kids from school and able to drop them back to me at the end of a visit with help from friends (his car is off the road) but unable to take DS to Cubs. So I have been finishing work, driving to collect the children, (ex lives about 11 miles away, cubs and school are halfway between us) taking DS to Cubs and coming home. This doesn't totally suit me, there is stuff I like to do for myself but I did it so that DS would not miss out. But I was out of pocket on Diesel (bearing in mind that ex pays £5 a week in maintenance and has only just started paying that after a break of about 18 months).
I asked ex tonight what we are going to do about the mid-week evening at his. He asked if we could change evenings to which I have said no because Mon, Tues, and Weds we are busy with clubs and the children and I need 'us' time on a Thurs. He expected that I should continue to make the journey in his contact time to get DS to cubs - I asked for diesel money to which he said he probably wouldn't be able to. So I have left it that either he manages to get DS to cubs on his contact evening or I pick the children up from school and get DS to cubs.
Is that unfair?
Sorry, I'm not really following:
"He expected that I should continue to make the journey in his contact time to get DS to cubs - I asked for diesel money to which he said he probably wouldn't be able to. So I have left it that either he manages to get DS to cubs on his contact evening or I pick the children up from school and get DS to cubs"
Isn't that last option what you are already doing and have said you don't want to carry on with? Sorry if I'm being dim.
No OP has been driving extra distance to ex's house to pick up DS before cubs
By the way it all sounds reasonable to me OP
Sorry if I was unclear, it's late! Lily is right, before DS started going to Cubs ex has picked them up from school and dropped them back to me in the evening. Since cubs started I have been driving to ex's house, driving to cubs and then home.
Thank you Lily, ex was starting to get cross towards the end of the discussion but he needs to take responsibility too.
Has he given you an answer yet?
The problem is the father can't have much money to help with fuel if maintenance is so low. He doesn't currently have a car but is able to with help from friends collect from school and drop to mums in evening. the children need the weekly contact with dad.Dad has suggested changing the evening so that son can attend cubs. Why can't you change an evening - the children's time with the father is far more important than clubs every evening - surely one night mon/wed they could miss that club or maybe you could make 'us' time on one of the other evenings as the children also need 'dad' time. The children get far more time with you and it is not fair to them to remove time with their dad when a compromise can be made.
Dad is trying to compromise by offering you to collect for cubs or changing the evening
Latemates - thank you for your response.
The problem is that I neither have much money but have the full financial responsibility for the children (barring £5 per week). We tend to split the journeys where we can, I drop them off to him, he drops them off to me but generally I do more of the travelling.
Of course time spent with their father is important, and they spend half of every holiday with him. But I feel that commitment to clubs is also important (by the way the three of us do taekwondo on a Monday, DS has cubs on a Tuesday and DD has beavers on a Weds so not exactly a clubs every evening). I am also not keen on paying for these activities if they only go half the time.
By changing the evening he gets the 'chilled' out time while I do all the running around.
Not sure I understand.
Why cant they go to him on Thursday as you have clubs arranged for Mon-Weds nights?
i think you have to decide which clubs you want your children to attend. you want me time on a thursday, perhaps their dad wants some me and childen time on a tuesday to chill with them too. either change the day he has them or drop one of the clubs. you have a choice about what you do in the evenings. you don't have to miss out on chill time.
I don't think that's too many clubs tbh, can he manage dd to beavers.
I think if your kids want to do their activities the fact that their parents are separated shouldn't mean they can't!
Is it really that far can't he just walk them there? If not speak to the club leader of both clubs maybe there is another parent you can lift share with so you only have to do it every other week or whose fuel cost you can contribute to
The children's time with the NRP is way more important than millions of clubs.
I agree time with there dad should take priority over clubs.
Can understand why he isn't happy with having the children's time with him cut down and you being unwilling to compromise because you don't want your time cut down.
If they go to him Thursday and the children have a club each Tue and Wed, you get time alone with them in the week don't you, over those two days?
What about alternating Thursdays with Dad? Kids get to go to thrive clubs, you get one night a week to either chill on your own or chill with your kids.
Reverse the situatin where you only get a few hours after school and a weekend every fortnight, would you be happy to be dictated too as ti how you should spend that time?
Either swap his day to another or drop the activity, your DS needs a relationship with his dad more than he needs an activity.
I don't understand why so many if you just opt for drop the club, the kids are only doing one each and a self defence class as a family. It's not like they've both got 4 different activities on the go.
Why should one of them miss out in their club ( or both just to be fair) if they want to go surely it is up to both parents to find a way to make it possible.
They shouldn't be excluded from extra curricula activities just because their parents relationship didn't work out
They shouldn't be excluded from a relationship with one of their parents for the sake of origami lessons <or what ever it is>
They're not being excluded from a relationship with one of their parents by being allowed to continue with cubs or beavers
And besides why not stretch your brains a little for another solution why just drop the club they've been doing for x amount of time, presumably enjoy and have friends at?
Presumably they have had a father for longer then they have been attending clubs for x amount of time and presumably they enjoy the time with their dad and this time is important.
If they went to Dad on a thursday mum still gets more time with them as she does a club with them on the monday, gets 1:1 time with each child while the other is at a club, there will also be time before/after the clubs for mum to spend time with the children. This will add up to far more than the one evening they get with their dad.
Imagine if the children had such limited contact with mum I can't imagine you saying that it didn't matter and clubs were more important than spending time with mum.
Children have the right to a relationship with both parents and this is fundamental for the well being a development
It's only 2 clubs each and I don't think that's excessive, and I think it's important that children do activities like this. I can see why he would want an alternative though and if it were me I'd be happy for him to have them on a Thursday instead, I'd be happy to have a childfree evening and the opportunity to do something for me.
bugger, I just managed to delete the whole response I had made to this.
As a synopsis a) I am not cutting his time - a club happened to change to 'his' day - he could not accommodate it.
b) every second - or even every - Thursday may just work - IF he can actually get to the school to pick them up
C) I have my time dictated to all the time, any mum or hands on dad will recognise this (washing, cleaning, homework, PE kit in on time, swimming kit on the right day - the daily rigmorale of life with kids - he has time with none of this.
d) Time with NRP is to be valued. Obviously. But if the NRP is a drug-addict and homeless does that still make it more valuable than time at a society-building-club.
Ask questions before you judge.
I would ask your kid what he wants to do.
That way you know you are being fair on your child. And you can report back to dad your child's decision.
OP we can only comment on what you include in your post.
If your ex is a drug addict, surely that is much more important to tackle than rearranging existing, unsupervised contact around clubs?
Should he be having the children unsupervised at all? If you have already decided that the children are ok with him for every other weekend, then throwing him being a drug addict at posters who disagree with you is a bit daft.
Ask questions before you judge ? Maybe post a complete and clear scenario before you throw your teddy out the pram ?
DS wants to continue with cubs. We've had long chats about it.
CHN I wasn't meaning to 'throw' additional information in, only so much can be put into the original post. It would take pages and pages to fill you in. Basically it's only hash and booze , and no, to be honest I'm not always happy for them to go stay with him but they do and I help make it a happy time from my end.
Well done to both parents for making contact arrangements between yourselves for almost 4 years.
Childhood belongs to children and not their parents and although contact with their father is important part of parenting is being involved with taking and collecting to and from activities. Some years ago ChildLine said one of the most frequent complaints from children of separated contacting them was missing out on activities.
I can understand why the father maybe feels this encroaches on "his" time, but it gives him the opportunity to meet other parents and the children's friends so he can be more part of the children's lives. Lots of Dads would jump at the chance. If he genuinely can't do it a compromise will need to be made and what the children need is for parents to focus on them rather than the determination of "who is right and who is wrong."
No you cannot include every detail in a post but you included a background. Drug addiction is quite an important part of that background. Especially if you then go on to scold posters for making judgements before they are even made aware that the father is a drug user.
If you don't mind expanding further, how far away does your ex live from the club and how far away does he live from you?
Erm - if he is homeless how on earth are the children staying overnight with him?
Sounds like you threw this line in because people weren't agreeing with you. Either he is equipped to care and look after the children, or he isn't. If he isn't then you should be fighting for supervised contact. If he is then you need to suck it up and provide him with his one night a week with the children.
Why not alternate, tuesday one week (with your solution of dropping ds1 off after cubs - he could still surely collect dc2?), thursday the next.
Dad hasn't said they can't do cubs on Tuesday only that he will struggle to get them there. He has offered that you collect them from his or that the evening changes.
I think that is being flexible.
I don't buy the drug argument as either drugs are a problem and therefore the post is irrelevant or you are purely looking for justification to get things your way.
The children shouldn't be asked what they want because it puts unfair pressure on them to please mummy or daddy and take sides. Children need to be told what is happening and not drawn into their parents conflicts.
* Asks the children to choose one parent over the other
* Setting up temptations that interfere with visitation
* Allowing children to choose whether or not to visit a parent, even though the court has not empowered the parent or children to make that choice
* Asks the children to choose one parent over the other
* Setting up temptations that interfere with visitation
* Allowing children to choose whether or not to visit a parent, even though the court has not empowered the parent or children to make that choice*
Parental alienation isn't as simple as that and if children resist contact (which doesn't appear to the case here) it takes a professional to find the root cause.
In any event there's no general agreement what PAS is and there are experts who would say it is a response in children rather than a behaviour of a parent. Both parents and even children themselves can be implicated in children resisting contact. For example children might reasonably feel contact is boring or unpleasant if a parent a parent is restrictive and doesn't do normal everyday things such as activities.
OK I should not have mentioned drugs and homeless, I can see how it would appear that I was trying to justify 'getting my own way'. It is irrelevant to this post. My apologies for an ill thought out post.
Lastmates - I will gladly pick them up on a Tuesday and take DS to Cubs BUT I do need diesel money for it, he has said no.
I did not say to DS 'either go to cubs or go to your dads', that would be extremely unfair for a child to make that decision. I did ascertain that he wants to continue with cubs.
I have not 'set up temptations' - DS graduated from beavers and moved up to cubs. Just for your information two years ago the midweek contact was on a Wednesday but then DS started beavers so we moved the days. We have also come to an agreement to that on his weekends with the children they stay with me on Friday night and I take DD to ballet on the Saturday and then drop them to him to save him the hassle of taking her there. I should have mentioned how flexible I/we have been in the past sooner.
CHN, as I think I said in my original post Dad is 11 miles away and clubs and school are half way between us.
STIDW (trying to figure out what that is an acronym for???). You speak some very wise words!
Just as an aside I had a text from their dad on Tuesday to say that he would not have been able to pick them up from school, let alone take DS to cubs.
Why should the children miss out on clubs? I'm a massive fan of scouts, I think it's brilliant, and it helps build important life skills. Part of parenting is taking your children to these clubs, it shouldn't matter if you're the nrp or not. He needs to suck it up and change the contact day to suit the children.
That is what he is asking. OP doesn't want to. Why should the NRP get to see so little of his kids?
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