Ok, so DSS has been living at his stepdads home now for 6 weeks. We were supposed to have DSS bank holiday weekend but his mum decided that wasn't to be and we were to have him last weekend instead. That wasn't our weekend and the Friday was only the day after I was meant to be induced with DS (I.e. I could still have been in labour when DH was to go collect DSS), which DH had informed his ex about in April after we saw consultant.
DH put his foot down and said no for last weekend and we now have DSS again on what is his weekend anyway. DSS arrives with a letter from his mum saying either DH does a 3.5 hour round trip to bring DSS home or sticks him on a train. This is how it is going to be from now on and DH must decide by Saturday morning. DH and his ex had come to a mutual contact agreement months ago (meet half way) ahead of the big move in the hopes of minimal disruption to DSS. We managed 2 contact weekends on this agreement until now.
DSS has read letter it wasn't in a sealed envelope, and has been told to say certain things to DH by his mum. DSS is stressed that DH has told him that he can't just decide by tomorrow morning as we have plans and he needs to discuss with his mum about arrangements.
DH would put DSS on a train, but engineering works this weekend and would involve 2 bus journeys and a ridiculously long travel time for an 11yo who has never travelled alone on a train before or on this route. Its also his 3rd day at secondary school on Monday and DH doesn't want him getting home too late. I can't believe she didn't check the trains were running before psyching DSS up to do this. DH has to tell DSS that there aren't any direct trains and not as simple as he thinks - dad sees him on train, mum meets him at the other end.
I have my dad over Sunday they are travelling over 5 hours to come for Sunday lunch and meet DS (10 days old born early), everything is arranged, and DH cannot just leave early to take DSS home without lunch having to be cancelled. We are eating out as we also have a 14 month old and I can't cook and play host with 2 infants at home and we only have one car so if DH has it I can't go out at all.
So WWYD? What would you advise my DH in this case?
I am so mad, DSS has had his first weekend with his newborn brother ruined. Instead of enjoying DS tomorrow, DH and DSS are now going to spend most of Saturday trying to come to some arrangement with the ex on how DSS will get home. I am probably going to have to tell my dad and his partner not to bother coming over.
DH wants to try mediation now, but that doesn't solve this weekends dilemma.
I also think mediation will be a waste of time/money I just know this letter idea of the ex was meant to cause upset because we have had another child and DSS has been excited for weeks to be getting a brother. She never writes letters and usually emails/texts in advance of any changes she wants.
I just want to shut myself, DS and DD away in our room until Monday. I am too tired to pretend everything is ok in front of DSS and he doesn't need to see me lose it emotionally and cry which is what I want to do. I really feel for the lad, he doesn't need this crap, this stuff should be kept between his parents.
What was the plan to get dss home before the the letter? How goes he usually get home?
Also, is there a reason dss can't be taken home after lunch? Or on Sunday?
Firstly congratulations on the arrival of your little boy! I'm sorry you're having to go through this
It sounds like nothing but a power struggle imo. And for what it's worth, what a b****.
Personally I think your DH should call her bluff. Send a polite text this morning stating that because of engineering works it's unsafe for your DSS to travel alone on such a complicated journey and because your DH already has plans and has a 10 day old baby, he is unable to take him the whole way home hence he will be dropping at the agreed place, as per the agreement dated ? (I'm presuming the agreement was a written one). I'd also state in the same text that all future requests for changes to the contact schedule should be made by email, and well in advance for the sake of DSS.
If she won't budge, I'd have your DH take your DSS back to school on Monday tbh and explain to the school what has happened. Let them keep a log of what's happening. Make them aware of the situation. Take evidence.
I'd follow it all up with a court application so it doesn't all happen again and again and again.
She clearly does not have her son's best interests at heart and that (imo again) is grounds for court involvement. If her main objective is to cause you distress and upset at the expense of her own child, I agree with you that mediation will be a waste of time. A basic requirement for mediation is two parents both committed to acting in the best interests of their child. If one is hell-bent on hurting the other, mutual cooperation won't be achieved.
I hope you're sleeping as I type this OP. Get some rest and disengage as best you can. Enjoy your newborn.
They meet halfway, so DH usually sets off here at 345pm, DH thinks he would need to leave at 230pm to see DSS home for 5pm. DH never driven there before, and no motorway for final part.
Lunch was booked for 1230pm at a pub 20 mins from home.
Don't think we're going to cram a relaxing Sunday lunch with a fussy eating 14 month old and a breastfed newborn into a 2 hour slot.
I think if dss's mum has changed the plan re travel then your Dh has every right to change the return time. He should just send him home later but let her know in writing (text/email) the reasons why so she can't hold it against him later.
I'd at least pretend to assume she'd unaware of the train problems and contact her to tell her about them and ask to resume the meet halfway plan.
If she really won't do it then your DP leaves at 3.45 as normal and drops him back around 6 - or later if that suits. No way he needs to be back as early as 5pm and no reason to spoil your lunch plans. Personally I wouldn't say anything about the new baby as a reason for not wanting to drive all the way as it's probably a touchy subject - she's no doubt feeling that her DS is a lesser priority now which is why she's being difficult in the first place, so don't fuel those fears. Just say that the meeting halfway was what was agreed previously.
And congratulations on the new arrival
Many thanks for the congratulations. DH has informed her of the engineering works, and advised her that when trains are running getting DSS to use them is not a bad idea. She still refusing to meet half way as before and is suggesting DH to take DSS to school Monday, he would have done that as he is off work except we are registering DS birth at 0930 (by appt here), and as its a long way away DH and the car will not be here, so I can't go on my own. If she had just attempted to discuss this in advance we could have worked around the fact the trains aren't running.
She changed pick-up time from 6pm to 5pm about a year ago saying 6pm was too late. 5pm at her front door will mean DSS leaving Sunday at 230pm.
DH did say he wanted to stick to the agreement (sorted via solicitor but not legally binding) and to communicate via email/text so DSS is kept out of it, but She says she doesn't want to email/text anymore as DH refuses to 'speak' with her on the phone, she isn't very polite and it ends up with them rowing and acheiving nothing.
She also says she won't do mediation, DH suggested they try to resolve issues with professional help.
DH is going to see if she will meet DSS at a different station on a different line (30 mins away from her). DH tried to explain we had plans tomorrow and she says that's not her concern. If that's not good enough, he will take DSS home but not for 5pm (I assume 630pm-7pm would be ok for school next day?) she will just have to seethe about how unfair that is.
Regarding the power struggle, the ex used to dictate everything and out of fear DH would agree. Now we are married and have young family DH has tried to formalise contact and has met resistance each time. It's like having a 3rd person in our marriage telling us what we're doing on our weekends and when to take our holidays etc. Yet we don't get any notice, just informed by DSS when he turns up. Its hard to say no when DSS is here though isn't it. Because he has to get to school and she knows DH won't make him miss school or be too tired.
DH is taking DSS and DD out soon so I can rest. I'm going to practice my detaching skills which are pretty non-existant
He's being far too accommodating!
So what if she says 6pm is too late for DSS - doesn't his Dad have an opinion of his own? I think she's done you a favour - by placing responsibility for getting him home with your DH, he can now decide for himself (with DSS) what time he will be leaving, in order to get DSS home at a time that he considers acceptable. It gives you the option of doing things the way you want to during contact weekends - not beholden to meeting her at a particular time, and not worrying about putting DSS on a train.
I know that DSS will worry, my DSS is terrified of his Mum - so your DH can tell him it's all sorted. A breezy 'it's OK, I've spoken to your Mum, it's all agreed' should give him the message that no matter how stressed his Mum gets, it's not a big issue for you.
Oh, and you need to detach - your new baby is your priority - congratulations!
As the ex has changed the arrangements and it affects your day I would take DSS back when its suits you. Why should your day/weekend be spoilt because of someone changing the normal routine!
Why has she changed it>
Congratulations on your new arrival too
6.30-7pm is absolutely fine for a 7 year old on a school night. And really not for her to dictate if she's refusing at short notice not to meet half way as planned. Just make sure he's done any homework due in Monday before you drop him.
Hope you manage to enjoy your weekend
I agree with louby44 ans the others. It's sounds like a power struggle and perhaps she is trying to exert some control over your lives as she is unhappy/jealous/worried about you now having another baby to think about.
She isn't really being fair by demanding to change plans with no notice and refusing to meet halfway as previously agreed, but I guess you're a bit stuck now as he has to go back doesn't he.
Don't cut your lunch plans short, let you DH take him back Sunday evening leaving at the normal time, he's 11 years old so arriving at his mums around 6-7pm is hardly too late for him! I certainly wouldn't put an 11 yr old old a long, unfamiliar and possibly confusing journey when their are engineering works. The replacement buses are a pain at the best of times and I have been left confused and frustrated about them at times. He's only young still and seems too much for him to do alone.
Blimey DSS is 11 years old - I'm lucky to get my 8, 10 & 11 year old in bed by 9pm (not for the lack of trying!) so as long as he is home for 8pm all is fine.
Your DSS is also now of an age where is wants and opinion would be more taken into account too.
Enjoy your lunch out and get DH to take him back when it suits. You can't predict traffic anway so arriving at a set time is impossible over such a long journey!
Have a lovely lunch with all your family and H can take his DS home when it suits, an 11 y.o. can easily be home at any time on Sunday evening (up until 9 or 10 if necessary) without it causing issues, he's not a toddler!
If his mum has issues with it your H can explain that you had plans, that DS had a lovely day with his extended family and that if she wants you all to stick to rigid times and schedules she must do the same, by sticking to the half way agreement you had made.
Yes, I would text something like.
Happy to bring ds home this time - train problems- he will be home by 8. Cheers.
If she is annoyed say that the only alternative is mon morn.
Mediation might be a good idea again.
Poor you, you don't need this stress.
Sorry just saw she won't have mediation.
Let's hope that now she is happy living with new partner, she stops interfering with you guys so much.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.