School runs. Can't be in 2 places at once.

(158 Posts)
needaholidaynow Tue 13-May-14 23:18:41

Not looking forward to DP putting this to his ex, but...

DP has been offered a job, and we are absolutely ecstatic as he has been unemployed for a while now. Best news we've had for a while!

DS1 has started nursery recently and he has settled in really well. He absolutely loves it. It is also a very special time for me as I enjoy taking him and picking him up. He finishes at 3:30 every day.

DP has DSD 3/4 nights a week, which involves school pick ups. DP has obviously been Picking her up and taking her on his days and I have done it on a few occasions, but can't for him now as I have to pick DS1 up.

DP's job means that he will not be able to do any school runs at all. His ex works 9-3 everyday, so whilst she cannot take DSD to school she is available to pick her up as school finishes at 3:30. She manages to get there on her days, so would DP be unreasonable to ask her to pick DSD up on his days as well, meaning every day she will have to do it? I don't think it is fair or reasonable to expect me to do it as I an not available due to picking DS1 up.

The nursery is about 20 mins away by foot from DSD's school. There is no other nursery nearby the school, and plus the nursery is nearby to us so it made sense that he goes there. I can't be in 2 places at once and seeing as both DS and DSD finish at 3:30 what can I possibly do? I can take DSD to school no problem, it's just the picking up that I can't do.

I could pick DSD up from her mum's on my way home from picking DS up. It makes financial sense for DP to take this job. It will benefit the children and surely that's a good thing?

I'm just waiting for the "Needaholiday should have to do it" "Nursery education isn't compulsory" "can't she get her dad to pick DS up while she goes for DSD?" (bearing in mind my dad works) from ILs and possibly DP's ex.

MirandaWest Wed 14-May-14 07:21:11

I'd also say that going to after school club and then being picked up from that could be equally choppy and changey for a tired child.

Morgause Wed 14-May-14 07:21:25

I'd tell her the situation - or get your DP to - and say you are prepared to pay for childcare until she can be collected but if Mum would rather pick her up then that's also fine.

Unfair to a CM to arrange for the care then change your minds.

needaholidaynow Wed 14-May-14 07:22:31

I've had some really good replies here. I think first of all I am going to talk to nursery today regarding an earlier pick up time. I like this idea as it isn't everyday he will have to leave early, and it costs nothing for the sake of half an hour. I hadn't even thought of this solution to be honest as I didn't even know it was allowed!

DSD's nan on her mum's side takes her to school when she has been at her mum's.

The only reason neither DSs will be going to DSD's school is that her school is a faith one. DP and I aren't religious at all and don't intend on being, and neither are the boys as a result. They will both be going to the same school, just a different one to DSD, so really we won't have a problem with all of that when the boys are older.

runawaysimba Wed 14-May-14 07:23:01

DYAC=Damn You Auto Correct

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 14-May-14 07:24:31

Morgause, "arrange" was probably the wrong word - speak to childminders, find out about spaces, maybe visit on or two THEN speak to ex. Most round here will give you a few days to get back to them after an initial conversation to confirm either way.

needaholidaynow Wed 14-May-14 07:25:52

DSD is 8 by the way.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 14-May-14 07:27:28

"a different one to DSD, so really we won't have a problem with all of that when the boys are older."

The problem will be that if the schools are 20 mins apart you will still need to be in two places at the same time and you can't pick up early from school like you can from nursery. The problem won't go away (unless DSD will soon be old enough to walk to DS's school, for example,you don't say her age)

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 14-May-14 07:27:51

Cross post!

needaholidaynow Wed 14-May-14 07:29:28

We're going to make his ex aware about him working and not being able to do any school runs anymore, and that DP will sort out pick ups for his days but if she wants to pick DSD up rather than anyone else then she is more than welcome to do so.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 14-May-14 07:30:28

Cross post!

brdgrl Wed 14-May-14 07:31:52

Basically on the days DSD is your and DPs responsibility, you need to structure your lives and act in the same way as you would if she was permanently and every day part of your family unit living with you.

That's all well and good, but what if the answer to that is to move DSD out of her faith school and into the school that better suits the OP?
DSD's school arrangements are not equally the OP's responsibility unless and until the OP is allowed to have an equal say in what those school arrangements are. "Acting the same way" as you would with a 'full-time' child isn't actually happening if you aren't permitted to do so across the board.

She is quite rightly willing to support her DH in his parenting by finding a way to collect both children, but her priority - her own child's arrangements - is sound.

Sorry, but she is right, too, to establish a policy of putting her DS's educational needs as an independent concern, not something to be 'worked in' around the older child of her DH. I am experiencing firsthand what happens when the younger child is expected to 'work around', and it sucks.

brdgrl Wed 14-May-14 07:32:40

cross post here too - that sounds just right to me, needs, good luck.

LumpySpacedPrincess Wed 14-May-14 07:33:27

I do think you need to arrange this and not ask her mum. Either look at wrap around childcare or pick your son up earlier.

needaholidaynow Wed 14-May-14 07:36:27

When DS starts school DSD will be in year 5 so nearly 10. By then she could may well be allowed to come and meet me (that decision is out of my hands). It's a safe route and only takes longer with a toddler as they have little legs! DSD could be with me in about 15 mins. We could get her a cheap phone so that I can ring her after school or vice versa.

Morgause Wed 14-May-14 07:37:57

No to picking your son up earlier, I'd say. He'll miss out on story time and other nice end of day activities. Child minder or mother. No reason for your DS to lose out.

Ziplex Wed 14-May-14 07:41:06

Ok so reading responses it is ok to tell the OP to "get a childminder/pick DS up early" so SHE has to do school run but they have to ask the Mother and if she says no, then it's no?
Really, if the husband has got a job and CAN'T get there it isn't the Step-Mothers job, as stated the bloody Mother finishes at 3.00 and does pick the child up once/twice a week so there we have the solution!
There are 2 parents NOT 3 and if one can't then the other SHOULD, they not the SP decided to have the child they BOTH are responsible.

LumpySpacedPrincess Wed 14-May-14 07:41:19

Year 5 seems to be the age when they leave school independently, I will be doing this myself with dd. Any arrangement you make will only be for a term and a half anyway, fingers crossed.

I definitely think it's worth talking to the mum first. You might be able to come to a completely different arrangement if you live close enough, such as you/your partner picking up DD every morning and doing the school run, and mum doing the afternoon one, rather than her relying on her mum. If you've got n amicable relationship, why wouldn't you try and discuss it first, and look at other options afterwards?

needaholidaynow Wed 14-May-14 07:45:03

It would be Wednesdays and Thursdays or Wednesdays and Fridays that I would pick DS up earlier than usual. The other 3 days he would get to stay until the end. But then what if they are doing something really fun on the day I pick him up early and he gets upset? sad

Just talk to me about CMs and After school clubs. Would they have DSD for an hour or is that not enough time I.e would she need to stay for a certain amount of time before they will look after her?

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 14-May-14 07:45:39

What's the ex like? What's your family like?

Your dps new job is a good thing and enables him
To better support all his children. And many families work together using grand parents /aunts/friends Etc to help out and make everything work. The ex could so the same. Ultimately it's for everyone's benefit no ones ditching anyone and it does seem daft to fork out for child care when she has a mum who could take her. If the mum was the main parent then she's ask your dp to help out and do the same thing surely?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 14-May-14 07:47:12

Ziplex, it is H who had the responsibility but has now changed his circumstances. Most people are suggesting after school care for DSD rather than "it is the step mother's job"

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 14-May-14 07:51:49

You might have to pay for the full slot, you might be able to just pay for an hour - depends on the set up.

Are there any "hobby clubs" rather than ASC at DSD's school (eg gardening, cooking) as these often last just an hour? They also may be free or "nominal" charge.

NearTheWindymill Wed 14-May-14 07:52:17

OP. Will DS be finishing nursery this summer and moving up to "big" school? Is big school on for a further 15 minutes - many are? If DSD is 8, so Yr 3/4 is there any reason why she can't wait in the playground/reception for 20 minutes? When mine were at school half the children carried on playing until the head physically threw everyone off the premises. If she's Yr 4 moving into Yr 5, can't she start walking in the direction you and DS are coming from with another family and meet up with you both on the way home?

Check out next year's timings because this might be a problem for a very short period of time.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 14-May-14 07:53:36

IME the last half hour at nursery is tidy up/chill out time rather than "fun" but you could ask the nursery leaders?

brdgrl Wed 14-May-14 07:54:35

Need, please don't change to pick DS up earlier. He will miss out on things. It is important for him to be part of the routines that they have, too. It is a much more reasonable thing for the older child to stay a bit longer, and an hour at an afterschool club is possibly even something she'd enjoy. I'd say that even if they were both my own children - but I do also think that your biggest responsibility is to your son, as much as you can, to carry on with his arrangements in the way that is best for you and him.
By the way, congratulations to DH on the new job. Use it to make things easier, not harder!

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