Travel arrangements to see skids question

(37 Posts)
Reddwarflover Thu 08-Aug-13 08:14:59

I have 3 skids and since December we now live about 4 - 4.5 hours drive away from them as apposed to the hours drive it was before.
When we moved we asked my dh's x if she would mind meeting halfway to drop skids off and do the same on the way back.
She agreed so we thought great that means the day before Xmas eve hubby won't be driving 8-9 hours non stop to pick up his kids.
Only she turned around the week before and said her live in bf couldn't do it as he was working and his x also said why should her bf drop them off anyway (she can't drive) he's not there dad, my dh reminded her that i shuttle her kids about and i am not their mum but she pointedly ignored that so seeing as we were due to move on the 22nd Dec dh had to let his kids down and not see them at all over Xmas which was awful.
We figured it was probably the cost of fuel that put them off so we upped the maintenance to easily cover fuel costs and the costs of food and drinks along the way which they agreed to.
So roll on Easter and we had arranged to have the kids then and he asked her again to drop the kids half way and his x agreed and all went well.
Summer hol's approach and low and behold his x decides that her bf can no longer do the drop so they rope dh's parents into dropping them off and in her defence they gave them half the extra money to cover costs but the x has said she can't pick the kids up which means my dh will have to travel all the way to hers and back (extra fuel costs for him) which would be fine under normal circumstances but my dh had a fractured spine and can no longer sit in a car for longer than 3 hour periods.
I cannot go with him to drive because I am looking after my own 3 kids.
So I was wondering what people do in these situations? I know we can't force her bf to help us out and neither would we want to but surely he can see our point because his dd from his 1st relationship is dropped off via his ex in laws to his.

34DD Mon 12-Aug-13 23:15:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sweetpea13 Fri 09-Aug-13 08:59:41

I just think that where there's a will there's a way. If both parents are really committed to maintaining a good relationship between the absent parent and the child then it's quite easy.

It would seem that Mum isn't really that bothered about her kids seeing their Dad, if she was then she'd get on the train or a bus with the kids to take them half way. If Dad was really that committed he'd do the same.

I suspect that Dad doesn't bother with the kids that much, the kids probably aren't that bothered about seeing him so Mum and her bf have got the attitude of 'why should we do all that driving so that he can see them? If he wants to see them he can come and get them himself'.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Thu 08-Aug-13 22:20:35

I'm not sure it's always the right thing to do to rely on stepparents to fulfil the practicalities needed for DCs to maintain a long distance relationship with either of their parents, though.
It covers up the lack of commitment on the part of the parents and should circumstances change, or relationships break down, then a DC can be facing the loss of contact with a parent alongside the loss from their life of the stepparent who made that contact happen.

In this instance, mum doesn't drive, dad can't drive long distances at a time, so a different solution needs to be found.
Relying on one (or both) stepparents to fill the void and solve the problem is a recipe for resentment, obligation and disaster in my opinion!

runawaysimba Thu 08-Aug-13 22:10:58

sweetpea I just assumed that was one of those things - Christmas visit had been prearranged and then the move date was set, didn't want to cancel the kids' visit.
Anyway, OP, just wanted to say you sound lovely. My DP's ex moved a five-hour drive away when she left him, promised to bring their DD back for visits regularly. She did that once in 6 years. He has spent hundreds every month on top of maintenance on driving and motel bills to see his DD. Even when it's unfair, you can be happy that someone is prepared to suck up the expense/inconvenience to put the children first.

Petal02 Thu 08-Aug-13 21:55:28

I agree some of the details sound a bit strange, but as we're all anonymous here I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, and assume they're telling the truths. There's no reason to do otherwise when your identity is concealed.

sweetpea13 Thu 08-Aug-13 21:43:39

Sorry typo - was meant to say 'your DSC were coming to stay with you the day after you moved?'

sweetpea13 Thu 08-Aug-13 21:42:18

Sorry that's my fault, I missed the part about the forces.

I'm not sure though, something to me just doesn't quite add up. Like you were moving on 22nd of december but the kids were coming to stay with you the day before xmas eve (23rd dec)??? really????? your DSC were coming to stay the day after xmas eve? when the house was turned upside down and ever room is piled high with boxes? And because she wouldn't drive half the journey it meant that he couldn't see the kids AT ALL over xmas? really? So he couldn't have picked them up, taken them to a relatives or out for a meal or to the cinema or anything what so ever over the whole xmas period? really???

And she forced him to take a posting that he didn't want to take? Really? That's funny because I have quite a lot of family in the forces and they never get a say over where they get posted. Yes they might get to request something, or if they really don't want to go to a particular place then they might ask for somewhere else or they might see if one of their mates wants to swap postings but as you said yourself, you had no say over where you moved to, you have to go where you are told. But she made him accept somewhere he didn't want to move to??? really??

As I said, this story just doesn't quite add up to me.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Thu 08-Aug-13 17:34:48

red A common issue faced by many SMs that you may want to consider is that some mums will refuse to handover the DCs to SM - so you may may drive all that way only to face a refusal from her to let them go with you.

Petal02 Thu 08-Aug-13 17:06:27

There are two particularly good suggestions that have been made:

Firstly, consider having fewer visits, but of a longer duration. Probably not ideal but definitely more practical.

Also secondly, I think the idea of visiting the children, but not necessarily driving them back to your house, is worth exploring. And if the money you save might cover a Travel Lodge etc, then it could save a lot of hours on the road.

And who knows – with the forces you could find you’re soon posted again, fingers crossed you might be a lot nearer the children!

Reddwarflover Thu 08-Aug-13 16:47:03

Yeah I know your right china and its an on going struggle but we have to keep it at I'm afraid. We've already had the 'any date you suggest is when we are busy' debate.

Reddwarflover Thu 08-Aug-13 16:45:21

Btw my dh doesn't know I'm going yet as I've only just decided to do it myself today. He thinks he's going and hasn't complained once about that its the messing around with promises he's annoyed about. He loves his kids so much and done and put up with so much so he can be with his kids and while we have moved because of work we are trying our best to keep up contact and if that means I go to collect the kids or he does then so be it.
I was just wondering what other people's experiences with this sort of thing were because I know we are not the only family to be going through this. It's sometimes nice to know you are not the only one.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Thu 08-Aug-13 16:42:34

End of!

Unfortunately, I doubt it.

If your DPs ex has form for being difficult then any solution you and your DP propose will be countered by more obstructions and unreasonableness.

Good luck!

Reddwarflover Thu 08-Aug-13 16:26:46

Like I said my dh is in the forces and he can't refuse a posting, you go where you are told to go!
I have already confirmed that because of my dh's poor back I will be collecting and returning the kids. I am willing to put myself out even if his x and her dp won't. End of!

ChinaCupsandSaucers Thu 08-Aug-13 16:22:02

sweetpea the OP has explained that her DP is in the forces and so has no choice but to move - BUT, the forces dads I know go and stay close to their DCs as often as they can - they don't expect the DCs to travel!

I appreciate that means that the OP won't see her DP as often during leave or whatever, but it's not like this situation is unexpected - being in the forces comes with the expectation of moving around, and if the OPs DSC parents solution when they initially split was to rely on their 'new' partners to do the ferrying around then it makes you wonder about their commitment to the DC maintaining a relationship with their Dad at all!

sweetpea13 Thu 08-Aug-13 16:04:22

I'm not getting in to the 'skids' argument, it also seems a little petty when it's quite clear that OP was just using an abbreviation.

Regarding the drop offs though, it is really annoying but I agree that it shouldn't be down to Mum's bf to do the drop offs, nor should it be down to her parent's or his parents or anybody else by that matter. If she drove then I'd say that it would be fair, if she was happy to that driving.

But if I was her then I wouldn't be best pleased with having to spend half a day taking my children half way to their Dad because HE CHOSE to move 4.5 hours away from his children.
If my DP asked me to drive 4.5 hours to pick his kids up and then 4.5 hours to drop them off again, so 9 hours driving for one visit, I'd laugh and tell him to do one! Yes I'll drive them around whilst they're with us but there's a big difference between ferrying them around taking them to friend's houses, taking them out for tea, taking them shopping etc than to spend a whole 9 hours driving.

yes she agreed to meet you half way because her bf said he'd do the driving, but what if they split up? What if he lost his license? what if they had to sell their car? My point is, your DH made a decision to move 4.5 hours away from his children, it was silly to base that decision on the promise of her bf being able to bring the kids half way. If he wants to live 4.5 hours away from his kids then it comes at a price, he needs to be prepared to spend 9 hours driving in order to see them. Yes it's fantastic if they can meet in the middle but he can't expect it.

My friend's DH's ex moved 4 hours away but he is still the one who has to do ALL the driving to see them, basically it's a case of "if you want to see them you can come and get them yourself". That wasn't even his decision but you hardly ever hear him grumbling about it.

Reddwarflover Thu 08-Aug-13 12:53:24

Thanks catsmother, I shall look forward to when they get the coach and until then I shall do my (evil) step mother duty and pick them up ;)

catsmother Thu 08-Aug-13 11:26:55

Red ..... now you've elaborated I agree it sucks. I feel very much the same, for similar reasons, as you do - even though we are in effect on "different" sides of the fence because the ex in my case did the moving and in your case, you moved (albeit you had no choice). As you say in situations like this it's the double standards which are so frustrating and upsetting. I think of all the times DP had bent over backwards for his ex and older kids - times when the ex was being selfish and/or manipulative and he still did it in order to keep the peace and minimise the chances of the children being involved (though this often didn't work) and just how much she benefited .... and then I think of how she's resolutely refused to "help" him, even though she created the distance (and she did have a choice!) and my blood boils. On one occasion when the kids were with us they let slip the ex was away for the weekend at a location close to us and en route back to her house. The logical thing would have been for DP to take them to where she was staying as she had to drive home anyway - and thus save himself at least a 5 hour round trip back - but no, she utterly refused to say where exactly she was, and refused to meet him, so you then had the stupid, spiteful, ridiculous scenario of both of them driving back to her house, probably within minutes of each other, on the same bloody road - except we had to bear completely unnecessary expense and DP had to spend hours of extra time making a journey that could have been avoided.

It is just so so frustrating when you realise that other people don't share the same common sense, honesty and compassion as you do. Above all, it really should be a case of what's best for the children. For example, we found that because DP had to do all the driving his kids were invariably getting back here and going to bed really late. The alternative would have been him getting up at the crack of dawn on a Sat to fetch them which would have then cut into contact time so he couldn't win.

It does sound as if your DP's ex doesn't give a stuff if the kids see their dad or not. I think a large part of my DP's ex's attitude was also due to her hoping that he'd give up and disappear if she made it as difficult as possible practically for him to see them.

It's a shame they're not old enough to coach it - I guess it depends on the child but when the oldest is 14 you might be able to trust them enough to look after the younger ones on a coach if it has a conductor but appreciate that's still several journeys in the meantime. The only other thing I can suggest is less frequent visits, but longer visits during the school holidays maybe which would at least reduce the number of journeys required though that's hardly ideal I know.

emilyeggs Thu 08-Aug-13 11:14:35

China, when will you learn, SM's are always the OW wink

Reddwarflover Thu 08-Aug-13 10:58:28

Do you know I am so confused by all the terminology that its given me a headache ;)
China your comment was a blinder and I still can't figure out exactly who's who ;) but thanks though as I had a chuckle.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Thu 08-Aug-13 10:54:16

Oh, FFS - nowhere else on MN is the terminology used by the OP judged by people who have no interest in helping the OP.

I saw a post this morning describing the OPs DCs SM as the OW, even though the OP made it clear the DSC dad had been on his own for years.
I chose not to post out of respect for the OP - pity that SM doesn't get the same.

Reddwarflover Thu 08-Aug-13 10:51:12

I promise I don't say skids except for on here.
I really think that the drop off place has no bearing on a child's life. It's not like they are abandoned there and dh always treats them when they arrive and they love seeing all the cars and especially their dad.

Reddwarflover Thu 08-Aug-13 10:47:01

I think it's going to be down to me to do the travel 'catsmother' my dh really cannot do it and money is so flipping tight since we moved because the cost of living has gone up and his wages have gone down due to a cut in his home to duty that I can't afford to keep paying way over and then pay my fuel costs. I don't have anywhere to stay and his x has kindly offered a coffee and the use of her loo so I will just have to suck it up.
I think it's a bit double standard though how because we moved we are made to feel like its all down to us but she moved away first, she made my dh move somewhere he didn't want to go a posting he didn't want and then kicked him out and then moved an hour away so he couldn't see his kids or intrude on her life so my dh has always had to bend over backwards to help her and she's never helped him at all. She also knows all about his back problems because she ran off with some bloke a few days after he fractured his spine and left him to manage 3 kids one being a baby who was only 6months old. Oh and she never asked her bf about driving to the service station because we caught her out over it. She came up with excuse after excuse before she rolled out the 'its not my bf's job but its ok if your dw picks them up when you are unexpectedly called into work line'.
Roll on when they are old enough to get the coach down, eldest step child is almost 10 and youngest is 6 so quite awhile to go.
I beg your pardon to all those who took offence to me using the term 'skids' other peeps used it and I thought it was ok.
Thanks for the replies too.

burberryqueen Thu 08-Aug-13 10:33:52

yes in this house too - nasty annoying stains.

gymboywalton Thu 08-Aug-13 10:33:11

when i saw this thread title i thought it was about poo marks in undies

thats what skids are in this house

burberryqueen Thu 08-Aug-13 10:32:47

I'm quite sure that anyone who uses that abbreviation here doesn't use it in their real life speech
you might be quite sure but i am not.
it is bye- the -bye though as you say.
and what your partners ex calls you is even more bye the bye.

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