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.

FreeSpirit89 Tue 13-May-14 23:44:19

There no harm in asking, of course she can say no. Is it not possible for you to pick ur DS up at say 3. Then go together and collect DSD.

Or see if you can collect DS at 4pm (my nursary are open til 5.30pm so we can pay extra if we're running late or need a one off day)

soundevenfruity Tue 13-May-14 23:58:45

What would you do if she was your biological (not step) daughter?

SueDNim Wed 14-May-14 00:06:51

Is there an after school club she could go to? I think you need to act as an independent family on your DP's days.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 14-May-14 00:13:07

Pick DS up early or arrange for friend/childminder/after school club on days that DSD is with you.

Do you know for sure that ex doesn't eg stay on a bit at work/get her own things done when she's not picking up. It's not about you having to do it, it's about your household arranging it.

brdgrl Wed 14-May-14 01:30:06

What would you do if she was your biological (not step) daughter?
She's not, though. I think that's kind of the point. It isn't her responsibility.

I think it is still DH's responsibility to sort it out on his days. If it were me, I think I'd be considering using some of the increased income to deal with this - maybe a childminder to do the pickup? Or afterschool club for an hour for DSD?

Of course, I've also seen enough posts from mums here who would want "right of first refusal" - maybe the mum would welcome the chance to pick up her DD and loves that chore as much as you do with your DS. Up to her, really, but the ultimate responsibility is with her dad.

purpleroses Wed 14-May-14 02:06:22

I think it is up to your DP to find someone to collect DSD on his days. He can ask his ex if she's be up for it but she's free to say no of it doesn't suit her. Of she does then your DP can pay for an after school club or a childminder or make an arrangement with a friend to collect her on his days.

It's not strictly your job but if you've made a collective decision that he will earn the money to support you both and you will do the childcare then you should look to see if you can help. Some nurseries are happy for you to collect a bit early, or DSD might be able to go to a friend's until you can get her.

purpleroses Wed 14-May-14 02:07:16

Sorry about the typing in that

needaholidaynow Wed 14-May-14 03:14:49

If DSD was my daughter then she wouldn't even be at that school as it is a faith school, and would be at the school that DSs nursery is connected to.

Thanks for the advice everyone. I think picking DS up earlier (3:00) sounds like a good idea. Would a school nursery allow me to do this? I'm quite happy to pick DSD up, but only if that isn't at DS1's expense and he's left waiting for me.

Of course DP will ask his ex. She can only say no cant she? smile

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 14-May-14 06:18:31

I think your point in your OP wasn't "she can only say no" but that she would say other things you weren't happy with.

Is your DP going to ask along the lines of "we plan to cover this by picking DS up 30 mins early but if you were willing to fetch DSD instead then we'd be very appreciative, have a think and let me know either way"

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 14-May-14 06:26:52

Will they continue to go to different schools? How will you manage when they are both at school and you can't pick DS up early?

meditrina Wed 14-May-14 06:44:50

I didn't notice this was in "steps" to being with, having concentrated more on th title.

Because this sort of logistic problem is really common FI all sorts of families.

You are actually lucky, because in addition to the standard range of excuses, you have the ex you can ask. But you cannot count on anyone doing such a massive favour as regular school pick ups.

Your (or rather DP's if you see this, as some posters do, as not really your responsibility) other options are asking other friends or other family if they can help out, seeing if there are other parents walking your way back who don't mind bringing an extra one; using an after-school school club, or an after-school nanny; or finding a CM.

Who takes DSD to school now on ex's days btw?

As other posts have said, when your DS goes to school, you will not be able to vary pick up times (and it sounds as if you don't want him to go to the same one), so DP needs to get this sorted soon.

MaryWestmacott Wed 14-May-14 06:53:01

If your DP wasn't with you, or if you had a full time, office hours job, then you'd have to use childcare, so explore that first. An afterschool club or childminder for an hour. Line that up first then offer exp the extra time instead. If you already have a solution and are clear you are prepared to pay for it, then you are just offering her the time if she wants it, not asking her to do this for you. She might well like not being tied to the school run on your days, and resent losing her time off.

MrsSeelyBooth Wed 14-May-14 06:57:40

Your DP can ask his EX, but if she can't/won't, then it is down to him to arrange something else.

Is there an afterschool club in the school that she can go to until your DP finishes work? prices can vary, but he should be able to cover the cost now he is working.

Inertia Wed 14-May-14 07:00:07

Surely as your DP's circumstances have changed, then it's up to him to arrange after school club or childminder if necessary. Best to discuss with dsd's mother first, as she may prefer to do pickup herself rather than have their dd in childcare.

meditrina Wed 14-May-14 07:01:32

Also, as you say DS1, I'm assuming there is a DS2 or more, so it might help you to see this as the wayfinding for likely conflicting pick ups between school and nursery when it is those two, or when their after school activites don't match, or all the many other reason that tend to crop up (far too often).

ALifeOfPie Wed 14-May-14 07:06:31

I don't think it is reasonable to get DP's ex to do pickup on days when DSD is coming to you, sorry. I wouldn't even ask. If DP and his ex are really sharing properly then DP (with your help) needs to be fully responsible on his days, not passing the buck on the inconvenient bits.

Most nurseries have flexible pickup times, surely you could arrange to pickup at a different time than 3:30 - nursery isn't like school where everyone leaves at the same time. If this isn't true then you'll need to look at using a childminder for one or other of the pickups.

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.

Artandco Wed 14-May-14 07:08:09

Either pick up your son at 3 from nursery

Or

Pay for her to attend after school care until 4pm

meditrina Wed 14-May-14 07:10:43

Just spotted weird DYAC form my earlier post.

It's not "range of excuses". It was meant to be "range of options"

jaynebxl Wed 14-May-14 07:16:03

How old is dsd? Is she old enough to start walking on her own from school towards the nursery and you meet her half way once you have collected your dc?

And what's DYAC?

Alonglongway Wed 14-May-14 07:18:14

Would the option of being collected by mum and then picked up by you be tough for DSD? Sounds choppy and potentially hard on a tired child.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 14-May-14 07:18:46

LifeOfPie, I think asking is different when an alternative solution is already arranged and it's more of a "just to let you know that we plan to do X.but if you would prefer to pick DSD up and us collect her from you, that's fine"

Having said that, if OP and DH sort out after school care now for DSD, that can remain in place once DS goes to school.

MirandaWest Wed 14-May-14 07:18:55

I'd explain the situation to her and see what she says. As a RP whose DC spend a night or two per week with XH generally I pick them up from school because I am able to and because he's at work. I then take them along to his office after work, or he comes and picks them up from his house. To me it would seem churlish for the DC to go to after school club or a childminder when there is a parent able to pick up.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 14-May-14 07:19:40

...and then it's all within their control if eg e. Gets a different job and can't help them any more.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 14-May-14 07:20:55

E. Was supposed to be 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!

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 14-May-14 07:57:07

Brdgrl, all nurseries are different but OP may find that a few other children are picked up early in order to get siblings from elsewhere.

needaholidaynow Wed 14-May-14 07:58:53

DP's ex is alright to be honest. They are both amicable and she doesn't go all out to be awkward about things, so you never know she might be ok with picking DSD up the extra 2 days a week.

I think it is best not to demand she picks DSD up though as it might annoy her, and just say that she is welcome to do so if she doesn't want anyone else to pick her up.

I know that if it was me, I would gladly pick my child up if I was available to do so. I would want to rather than a CM or know that my child is going to an after school club when I could be picking them up. But it's each to their own. If she's not busy and she doesn't want to pick DSD up then all I see it as is her loss. I won't say that to her though obviously!

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 14-May-14 08:03:23

"I see it as is her loss. I won't say that to her though obviously!"

Yes, I wouldn't smile. She may use the time currently to catch up on work/housework/friends/cup of tea!

Has DH been doing homework with DSD on contact days?

brdgrl Wed 14-May-14 08:03:35

Yes, that's true, Doctrine, but in this case, the OP shouldn't need to do that.
Of course all nurseries are different. They all have routines and activities, and the children at that age are beginning to learn these and to make friendships. If it is 'tidy up' or 'calm down' time, that's important too.

Bottom line. Here we have two children who both have an equal right to stay at school for the full time. One is the OP's responsibility. One is her husband's. She can and wants to help her husband fulfill his responsibilities, but she needs to make sure her own responsibility is met first.

needaholidaynow Wed 14-May-14 08:10:05

Windymill DS doesn't start school until September 2015, so still a while to go yet. DSD is currently in year 3. I suppose DSD could wait in the school playground for me and the boys. I know that I would be happy with that if she was my own daughter. She knows about personal safety and is really grown up and sensible, so I think waiting for me at school would be an option providing DP and his ex are ok with it.

Brdgrl I really don't want to have to pick him up early. I think he will miss out on routines like you say. It's really important whilst he's so young, and I have noticed a massive difference in him since he's started nursery smile I want to keep disruptions to a minimum to be honest.
It's an option that's there and I will mention it to nursery today to see if this sort of thing is ok with them, but first explore other options. It's just a last resort now I've thought about it.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 14-May-14 08:11:53

Brdgrl, I think the best option is CM or ASC, especially as OP isn't sure when DSD will be able to walk. But there are mums at my school (which doesn't have its own pre school) legging it up the road with buggies to pick up - just trying to reassure OP that she's not the only one if this does turn out to be the solution.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 14-May-14 08:13:57

OP, she may have to wait off the premises - our school locks the playground about 10 mins after the bell. Just FYI.

PrimalLass Wed 14-May-14 08:14:16

Your DSD will likely not be allowed (by school or her mum/dad) to wait in the playground for 20 mins on a regular basis. What if it was freezing or raining. There is no way I would let my 8-year-old do that.

purpleroses Wed 14-May-14 08:16:53

I think along her if she wants to collect but making it clear your DP can sort something out if necessary is the perfect way to go.

When my ex has done that to me I've always tried to help. The times I've been cross - I'd very similar situations to yours - have been when he's simply told me he's got a new job so can't do his weekly school pick up any more. As if it was automatically my job and he'd only ever been doing me a favour.

I'm a bit puzzled by the posters who're telling you it's the ex's job not yours. If you had a DC from a previous relationship and were a SAHM to them and your younger child I don't suppose anyone would think it OK for your DP to say "I earn the money in this household but it's not for your child. You and your ex must pay for everything for them!" I can't see that providing the care for a child that's not yours (whilst your DP works to support you all) is any different from providing financially. A couple make a joint decision over who earns money and who cares for kids. The 50% responsibly that your DP has for his DD doesn't vanish just because it's him that's got the job.

purpleroses Wed 14-May-14 08:17:31

Sorry asking, not along

needaholidaynow Wed 14-May-14 08:18:17

DS is my main priority and I need to think about him first, as you say brdgrl. I am more than happy to help DP to fulfill his responsibilities to his daughter, I just don't want it to mean that DS misses out on important things at nursery. I definitely wouldn't pick him up at 4 and leave him there waiting for me when I've gone to pick DSD up first, and I'm not 100% happy with picking him early, but it's just an option if all else fails.

I think it's a good idea about me doing the school runs in the morning and then her mum does the pick ups as an option too.

Bonsoir Wed 14-May-14 08:19:15

No it is not reasonable to ask your DP's exW to do pick-ups for you on the days your DH is working. She is not your nanny.

Fairenuff Wed 14-May-14 08:21:01

OP may find that a few other children are picked up early in order to get siblings from elsewhere

Yes, loads of parents at my school do this, it's quite normal practice. Also, don't forget that whilst nursery might finish for your child at 3.30pm, others may well stay there until 6pm, so there might not be a special 'end of day routine' at 3pm. Check with the nursery.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 14-May-14 08:21:53

But at present she has the school drop offs arranged - unless her mum doesn't want to do it any more, what you are offering isn't a quid pro quo.

needaholidaynow Wed 14-May-14 08:22:48

Didn't say she was my nanny. No harm in running it by her though. What's being a nanny about having the option of picking your child up an extra 2 days a week? DSD doesn't stop being her daughter when she is with us, and of she wants to pick her up she can.

shoppingfrenzy Wed 14-May-14 08:24:22

I think it's reasonable to put the issue to DSD's mum, but she can say no, or she might agree to do one day a week. Or something. It would be totally unreasonable to DEMAND that she do it! If my ex DEMANDED that I do something, that's a sure fire way of ensuring I WILL NOT do it! If you end up using a childminder or after school club, it would also not be reasonable to ask her to contribute to the cost.

When we had a similar problem, DSSs went to after school club for 45 mins and I picked them up from there.

Another option - is there a childminder who picks up from your DSD's school, who lives near you? This is more likely to be paid for by the hour perhaps? Our after school club is per session, which is 3.30 - 6, regardless of whether you pick DCs up at 4 or 6.

OddBoots Wed 14-May-14 08:26:30

If it is any assurance I work in an early years setting and we have 2-3 children a year that are often picked up early and none of them seem upset or disrupted by this.

Bonsoir Wed 14-May-14 08:26:47

needaholidaynow - you need to re-think your attitude to your DSD's mother... She isn't there to run your family's errands just because DSD is her daughter.

needaholidaynow Wed 14-May-14 08:27:31

I could turn around and say I'm not her or DP's nanny either. I could demand she picks DSD up as she isn't at work and it isn't my job to do so. I could be really awkward about this, but I'm trying to find a solutions, so throwing the "she's not your nanny" comments at me is just not on.

Bonsoir Wed 14-May-14 08:29:32

Don't get cross - think about it. When DSD is at your house, her logistics are the responsibility of your household (whether you, your DH or someone you employ does the job is immaterial). When DSD is at her mother's house, ditto.

Asking for errand favours from the other household for no good reason other than you are putting your own child very much first is exploitation and the way to ensure the breakdown of relationships.

Peacesword Wed 14-May-14 08:30:04

Dd's school had after school club for an hour and it about £2 per half hour. She now goes to a club that's open till 6. There are also loads of after school activities. It would be worth asking at her school.

If your dp's circumstances have changed then its up to him to make arrangements. If the ex is happy to pick up then all well and good but I think it would be perfectly reasonable for her not to.

You've only got a couple of years tops to cover until she'll be old enough to walk home.

needaholidaynow Wed 14-May-14 08:30:09

Attitude? Where have I had an attitude? I posted this thread to gain some ideas on how best to sort this! I haven't once said that DP's ex should run our family errands! If she is willing to do so then that is her choice and I will be more than grateful, and will help her out in future as much as I can!

brdgrl Wed 14-May-14 08:31:44

I'm a bit puzzled by the posters who're telling you it's the ex's job not yours.
I think people are saying it is the ex and DH's responsibility between them, not the OPs.

If you had a DC from a previous relationship and were a SAHM to them and your younger child I don't suppose anyone would think it OK for your DP to say "I earn the money in this household but it's not for your child. You and your ex must pay for everything for them!" I can't see that providing the care for a child that's not yours (whilst your DP works to support you all) is any different from providing financially.
Let's look at that comparison, actually. It is more akin to a conflict in financial needs of two children. If DSD was having private tutoring, say, and DH and his ex jointly paid for it, then DH changed jobs and could no longer pay his half, it would not be OP's responsibility to come up with the cost. She might well choose to, in order to support her family and her DH - but if that meant cutting the hours her own child saw a tutor (or an extracurricular activity, or clothing, or whatever), then she'd be under no obligation to take from her own child to maintain a status quo for her stepchild. Her DH would have to find an alternative. Which might mean limiting the tutoring, unless the mother were willing to pick up the costs to help maintain that status quo.

Jeordie Wed 14-May-14 08:31:45

Are there any grandparents/aunts/uncles who could pick up either DSD or DS? While you pick up the other?

If not, then if things are quite amicably between the three of you, could you sit down and discuss coming to a solution together. Sounds daft, but come up with a rota between the three of you of who does what pick up. Obviously circumstances change as children get older and new solutions need to be thought up. If you can do it without an hostility between the three of you, all the better.

Bonsoir Wed 14-May-14 08:32:08

The only way to sort it is for either your DH, you or someone you employ to pick DSD up from school.

As others have said, if DSD were your daughter you would pick your DS up early from nursery or leave DSD waiting in the playground. Those are your options.

Trollsworth Wed 14-May-14 08:33:12

Neither is the OP there to continually pick up the slack when neither of the child's biological parents are going to get down to the school to pick her up. The OP is not a childminder. It's not fair to insist that she arranges her life around a child whose life she has no say in.

Bonsoir Wed 14-May-14 08:35:15

Obviously the ultimate responsibility here lies with the OP's DH, who is the parent with whom the DSD is residing on the days in question. But it would be equally unreasonable for him to expect his exW to run the errand for him. That is (a) exploitatation (b) a crap example to his DD.

needaholidaynow Wed 14-May-14 08:35:23

Bonsoir of course DS's nursery/ school comes first to me. I'm his mother. But I also have a job of helping DP fulfill his obligations to his daughter, so I need to work his obligations around my own, NOT work my own around his.

brdgrl Wed 14-May-14 08:37:31

Need, if you were to post that you/DH had left the mum out of it and arranged for a childminder or afterschool club without asking the mum first if she wanted to do it, you'd be getting crap for that.

Let's be honest. There are some people who think that your DH's older children should come first in every respect and your DS is an afterthought to be shunted aside. After all, you knew what you were getting into, and your DH should not have had another child if it meant his older one might have to go to afterschool club for an hour instead of having you provide her childcare.

What would the parents of this child do if YOU weren't available?

MrsWinnibago Wed 14-May-14 08:38:42

This is your DPs problem really. If his ex won't do it then he must pay for a childminder to do it.

Jeordie Wed 14-May-14 08:39:29

Don't get cross - think about it. When DSD is at your house, her logistics are the responsibility of your household (whether you, your DH or someone you employ does the job is immaterial). When DSD is at her mother's house, ditto.

But it's needaholiday who is expected to do the pick up because of her husband's work, so how is it her responsibility at the expense of her son.

As children get older for example, contact orders are varied to accomodate the change. While the logistics of pick up were fine before her ds started nursery, now that he has, there's a change in a family situation that needs to be discussed and sorted out. Needa can't do it because of her son, so both parents need to come up with a new dynamic now - with Needa included as she said she still wants to help out.

The fact that things are amicable is great because it means they can work on a solution together.

Peacesword Wed 14-May-14 08:40:25

I'm not sure anyone is saying that. It's not my impression of the responses anyway.

Loads of people have suggested after school clubs and asking the ex. That would mean the younger child's pick up isn't affected.

Peacesword Wed 14-May-14 08:41:53

That was in response to brd's last post.

needaholidaynow Wed 14-May-14 08:44:46

Let's be honest. There are some people who think that your DH's older children should come first in every respect and your DS is an afterthought to be shunted aside. After all, you knew what you were getting into, and your DH should not have had another child if it meant his older one might have to go to afterschool club for an hour instead of having you provide her childcare.

^^Unfortunately this is all true.

As for other relatives helping out, my dad loves picking DS, but only when he can. He works, and when he gets a day off during the week he jumps at the chance of picking DS up. That would then obviously make me available to pick DSD up on time. My mum and DP's relatives live too far away.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 14-May-14 08:52:21

"and your DH should not have had another child if it meant his older one might have to go to afterschool club for an hour instead of having you provide her childcare."

I don't think anyone has said this.

Bonsoir Wed 14-May-14 08:52:35

You cannot expect to always put your DS first, needaholiday. Or expect your DSD's mother to pick up your household's slack.

DeathMetalMum Wed 14-May-14 08:54:17

What time is your ds at nursery? If it is just an afternoon session is it possible that ds could move to a morning session or would that create the same problem in the mornings?

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 14-May-14 08:56:57

But I think she can expect to suggest all working together for a short period of time till the dd can walk by herself. That's not an unreasonable idea.

If the dsd lived with the mum five days a week and she got a new job , the suggestion would be to ask the father if he could pick her up would it not?

She should absolutely expect to be able to put her her DSs first. They are the only ones who she has a say in the parenting of, and the only ones who are her responsibility. If DSD were the OP's daughter or she had decided where she would be attending school the situation wouldn't even exist.

needaholidaynow Wed 14-May-14 08:59:58

When would my DS ever come second to me Bonsoir? I am his mother and I have both a legal and a moral obligation to him and his brother and I will until they are both grown up. DSD is my partner's legal and moral obligation, and since she is part of our family I will help him out as much as I possibly can, but not so that it ever means my DSs come second, because they don't. I will work DSD's school pick ups around DS's nursery and not the they eat around.

kd73 Wed 14-May-14 09:00:28

We have a similar problem in our household, only difference no stepchildren therefore only 2 parents. Schools finish 15 mins apart and are 20 min drive from each other. We have organised I will pick up ds 2 then drive to collect ds 1 from local childminder as dad will be unable to collect either of them 4 days out of 5 due to work commitments.

Lots of disagreements on this forum, not sure why the option of cm / after school clubs not being considered further :-)

needaholidaynow Wed 14-May-14 09:00:56

*not the other way around

Jeordie Wed 14-May-14 09:03:35

And you can't expect to always put DSD first. It's called a compromise and a discussion is needed.

Why should her DS miss out on nursery? Ultimately DSD is the responsibility of her own parents. Needa has said she's happy to help if you can and find a solution.

DSD is not an only child so the fact is that the situation needs to come up with something that suits all. Needa isn't DSD's mum and half the time the step-mum gets told to butt out of affairs. So it's her parents who need to come up with the right course of action.

If they can come up with something together then that speaks volumes about their co-parenting.

needaholidaynow Wed 14-May-14 09:03:48

Hugless you are spot on. If DSD was my own daughter (a child who I would get a say on), then she absolutely would not be at the school she is at now. So like you say, the problem wouldn't even exist.

Tory79 Wed 14-May-14 09:04:04

Out of interest, what happened when your dh was working before? Is the arrangement where he was doing school pick ups something that only came about because he wasn't working anyway, or was it always the case?

needaholidaynow Wed 14-May-14 09:04:51

DeathMetal Yes it would just create the same problem in the morning unfortunately.

needaholidaynow Wed 14-May-14 09:07:19

Tory it was the same arrangement, but I was obviously available to help DP out as I had no commitments.'we have been together since DSD was 4 so I have always been there to help until now.

purpleroses Wed 14-May-14 09:09:09

The one other thing you might want to think about is - if DSD's mum does agree to pick her up every day, DSD might then not be so keen to move to your house. I've found with my own kids that once they're home from school they don't really like being made to move again to their 'other home'. Going to a friend's or childminders isn't quite the same as that's not home. But back at her mum's it's possible she might be reluctant to have to move again. You know your DSD best and whether this is a possibility, but just something to think about.

Also - I don't know what everyone's views on the 50-50 split you have with DSD's mum are. But if her mum is keen to have her more than 50-50 and she ends up doing all the school pick ups, because you and your DP can't do them, she could use that to try to argue that it would be better for her DD to be at her house every weekday night. Again you know best whether this is likely to happen (maybe she's very keen on you having 50-50) but something to be aware of.

Regarding who comes first and second - I think it's entirely natural as a mother to feel most strongly towards your own child. But it's not reasonable as part of a family to actually prioritise their own needs above those of another family member routinely. Being a stepparent means trying very hard to be fair and to balance everyone's needs - even though you care more strongly about some of the children than others. If you think it is less disruptive for a 3 year old to miss half an hour of nursery than for an 8 year old to have to go to a child minder for half an hour each day then that is what you should do, regardless of which child is yours. Your DP is going out to work to support all of you isn't he? And he'd do the same even if your DS wasn't his.

drinkingtea Wed 14-May-14 09:09:14

Can she walk to nursery now? Or part way, as you are on foot too, and you can meet in the middle? Or is that outright banned by the school/ will that cause wailing and gnashing of teeth on the part of various adults? My DD is also 8 and walks 20 minutes (brisk 8 year old pace, would be 40+ with a toddler) to her recorder lessons after school on a Friday, and lots of her friends do the same walk home every week day (we live bus distance away otherwise she would too).

kd73 Wed 14-May-14 09:11:33

Child / stepchild they both form part of a family, both needs to be catered for equally. The needs on ds should not trump on the needs of dsd and vice versa, surely this a common problem where stepchildren and second families are involved?

drinkingtea Wed 14-May-14 09:14:16

If all the nursery children leave at 3.30pm together early pick up may not be ideal, but check with nursery staff - it may be there is no lovely end of day story or whatever as the closing activities are done at 2.30, followed by unstructured free play precisely because lots of parents have similar logistics and pick up any time from 2.45pm til 4pm (or whenever it closes)... in that cases your DS would probably not even notice his slightly different pick up time. Again, I sometimes pick my 3 year old up 45 minutes before his official home time if I need to (his Kindergarten has c3 core hours and flexibility before and after for different pick up and drop off times), to fit around his older siblings - often even without the step family element younger siblings have rather more flexible routines than pfbs so that logistics can be made to work for everyone...

drinkingtea Wed 14-May-14 09:17:47

kd73 surely in this specific case the same exact problem happens in loads of families without even having a "step" / second family element - once you have several children the logistics get complicated, and there is a degree of compromise for everyone - it can be a good thing, helping children become a bit more independent and flexible and giving them an understanding of everyone having equally legitimate but different needs and working as a family ""team" for the benefit of everyone in the family...

gamerchick Wed 14-May-14 09:19:20

Your husband just needs to have a chat with his ex.. tell her the changes, that he has a couple of ideas for school pickup and would like to discuss options with her.

She might just do it herself.. I know I would probably offer if it was presented to me like that, after all a job means more child support doesn't it?

I don't see the need to turn it into a stepmother bashing thread.. The answers obvious.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 14-May-14 09:26:57

Needa, you might have children in different school even if they were full siblings - sometimes allocations don't work as hoped!!

needaholidaynow Wed 14-May-14 09:36:55

Fingers crossed that won't happen Doctrine! If it does we will cross that bridge when we get to it. DS2 might not get in to the same nursery as DS1 is at now (which is connected to DS1's intended school) due to there not being any places left. That scenario is definitely a possibility as well as the boys not getting in to the same school, so I think in any case a CM or an after school club would be the best way to go so that neither of the boys' nursery education is disrupted.

When DS2 starts nursery, DS1 will already be in reception and DSD will be in year 5! So fingers crossed DSs will be together!

HotSauceCommittee Wed 14-May-14 09:37:58

I don't think it would be as good for your little one to have to go early. He might have started a really good game with a new friend, it marks him out as different, he won't want to stop having fun before all the other children have.

Childminder for your DSD to run her home perhaps? But make sure you don't "take this on", because it could all become your fault it it doesn't work and although it's nice to help, DSD is ultimately your DP's and his ex's responsibility. I hope you the fact that you are helping is appreciated by DSD's parent and they neither of them expect anything of you.

Maybe83 Wed 14-May-14 09:42:55

I can see as usual this has descended into a bit of your child rights versus dsd rights my child's needs come first and don't be taken advantage of etc etc etc debate.

Why regarding step parenting does every thing have to be inflammatory and over complicated. Op if this was me and dh we would explain unable to do school pick up on these days but ask could ss be collected by his mam or nanny etc and offer to collect from were ever he would be.
If for what ever reason no body else could collect on our day I would ask to finish early for my own dd to collect my ss.

As a last resort if this wasn't possible I would explore after school club on our days.

I would not have a problem with any of this because

1.dh job is benefit to us as a family.
2. my ss and dds are siblings and being part of a family is swings and roundabouts each s needs have to be balanced and my ss needs sometime have to come after dd because that's the way family life is. So I would just see this as being the same but ss needs having to be placed first. We are a family and work as one whole unit so yes I do shock horror but the needs of my ss above that of my dds at times.
3. My dh be more than willing to put him self out to help with my dd. his sds and picking up collecting from school or dropping to his dads etc.

Hopefully as you say relations are a quite good, option one could be out in place for awhile and then maybe be looked at later if it needs to be changed due to the boys school times.

MaryWestmacott Wed 14-May-14 09:55:05

I think you need to sort the other childcare options first, so after school club - call the school this morning and ask if there's places and how much they charge, a childminder - ask around, there's bound ot be someone who'll recommend one, and call to see if htey have places, and again, how much they will change.

Then get your DP to call his exP, explain he can't do pick up anymore, these are the other solutions you have, would she prefer to pick up herself, or she might well know a childminder she'd rather use (remember if she's used to doing pick up 3 nights a week, she probably knows the childminders who do that school run).

Give her the option, but make sure you have been clear you have sorted an alternative and what that alternative is, don't give her the choice between "pick up or some unspecified childcare you have no way of judging". And I wouldn't be happy if the childcare solution was "leave DSD stood in the playground on her own for half an hour".

I wouldn't offer the solution of your DS1 missing out on nursery.

As I said, your DSD is really your DP's responsibility on his time, its great that you can help so it's only 1/2 - 1hour she'll need care, but the solution shouldn't be that your child misses out so that he/his exP don't have to pay for childcare.

lunar1 Wed 14-May-14 10:16:02

When ds was in the school nursery they celebrated birthdays in the last 30 mins, don't let him miss those!

You are doing the right thing, giving the mum the option to pick up herself or saying ou will arrange something else. That is not treating her as a nanny to run errands, it's giving her a choice!

I would give the school a ring, there might be some extra curricular activities she would like to do in that time.

The only problem I can potentially see is that either the mum or dsd might not want to come to yours after being picked up. I guess you would have to look at that if it did happen.

brdgrl Wed 14-May-14 10:21:47

yes. rule out changing DS arrangement and see whatother options are available.

you have said that the time is special to you and i get that. it is to me as well. hang on to it.

needaholidaynow Wed 14-May-14 10:34:02

We are looking in to after school clubs/ CM/ and extra curricular activities. I would rather pay for those than disrupt DS and feel like his education is any less important. It really is a special time for me, and I want to enjoy it whilst I can.

needaholidaynow Wed 14-May-14 10:36:21

It's actually a good job DP is the one who's working and not me like it was before, because I could see him keeping DS off nursery on the days he has DSD to make it "easier for himself".

MrsSeelyBooth Wed 14-May-14 11:34:39

I also don't think you should collect your DS from nursery early, I think you said it is a nursery attached to a school? they tend to finish around the same time as the school, so the day is more structured to fit in with a school day, as opposed to a private nursery that finishes at 6pmish.

He shouldn't have to miss out on story time etc.

After school clubs are typically flexible on pick up times. When my children went to one, sometimes Id pick them up just before it ended, but if I got away earlier I would collect them an hour or so earlier and it was ever a problem.

They charge per session, not per hour etc, so it never made any difference to what I paid.

It's actually a good job DP is the one who's working and not me like it was before, because I could see him keeping DS off nursery on the days he has DSD to make it "easier for himself

Hmm, I can see why it seems to be you that is having to sort this issue out!

Its great that you are supportive of your DPs parenting of his older child and you sound lovely, but don't let your DP take the P!

Petal02 Wed 14-May-14 11:43:11

It’s great that you are supportive of your DPs parenting of his older child, and you sound lovely, but don’t let your DP take the P!

I couldn’t have put that better myself! It’s sad that your DP probably wouldn’t inconvenience himself for DS if it were you that had got a new job. Which is why I’m especially pleased that you’re putting DS first, as it sounds like no one else will.

lostintoys Wed 14-May-14 13:32:47

Why wouldn't your DSD's mother jump at the chance to spend more time with her child if she possibly could? I'd find it very difficult to be away from my child for half the week and would welcome the chance to see her on a day that I wouldn't normally. After all, if she's not working at that time she has no reason not to, and most parents don't have the luxury of choosing to put their feet up or have a cup of tea instead of picking up their child.

Petal02 Wed 14-May-14 13:43:28

Lostintoys that’s a perfectly good question – but many (but not all) separated mothers are hellbent on ensuring that the child spends as much time with the father as possible, even if it’s neither possible nor practical, due to his working hours. And often, the more chaos it causes in the father’s life, the better …….. I’m all in favour of father’s doing their share, but sometimes it gets ridiculous. A man is expected to work to pay maintenance, but then expected to do more parenting than he ever did before the split. You can’t have it both ways.

needaholidaynow Wed 14-May-14 13:57:37

And if she said she wouldn't mind doing the school pick ups, that is far from "exploiting" her as well. DSD is her child, and picking her up from school whilst DP works to support his children and provide maintenance (which I'm not
moaning about before anyone calls me for not wanting DP to provide for DSD financially) is not exploitation, neither is it her being a "nanny".

It is called CO-PARENTING

If they were still together who would be doing the school pick ups then? I imagine she would be.

I honestly don't mind picking DSD up. I've done it many times. But I think it's ridiculous to say her mum would be "used" if she decided she wanted to pick her own daughter up from school because her daughter's dad works.

Petal02 Wed 14-May-14 14:08:11

Good point Need - if DSD's parents were still together, it would be quite acceptable for Mum to pick her up from school if Dad was working. Sadly there doesn't seem to be much co-parenting going on between separated households, and quite a lot of women (but not all) often refuse to engage with any aspect of parenting if it's "not on their day."

The argument about a working man having to deal with a significant amount of child care when his ex isn't working, has been done to death on MN - but it does all boil down to co-parenting.

brdgrl Wed 14-May-14 14:42:27

All true, but to be fair - and need absolutely has been, don't misunderstand me! - the mother doesn't have to want to have that extra time with her kid, and I think there is a danger in even slightly suggesting that she's somehow less of a loving mum if she doesn't. That's the same kind of thing which is used to choke stepmums who are suspected of being not maternal enough or not loving their stepkids enough. We (well, apart from the OP maybe) don't know what she does in that time or what other commitments and needs she has herself.

I do maintain that it is the DH's responsibility to sort childcare in this kind of situation, on his days; much as he would do if he didn't have a current partner. Obviously that can't rule out making changes to the status quo, and one would hope that the two parents could arrive at an answer that is best for the child that they are responsible for.

Similarly, the notion of offering 'first refusal' to the mum is a nice one, but then - we also see posts from mums who are furious at the idea of their ex making his own decisions about childcare on his days, like mums who say the DH can't leave the children with the stepmum or a childminder - and in those cases, it's equally unfair for the mum to try and insist on having it 'her way' on his days.

fedupbutfine Wed 14-May-14 15:06:29

I'll go against the grain, as a PWC. I would more than happily listen to my ex and any proposals he may have in this situation but I would not, under any circumstances be agreeing to do the pick up then have the new partner swoop in and take our children to dad's house. Either he takes on the responsibility of caring for his children or he doesn't - and if he doesn't, I'll do it but I'm not doing half the job for him! As far as I'm concerned, my ex has responsibility for the children on 'his' days and it's his business what he does with them and how he manages pick up. I would of course deal with the unexpected stuck in traffic, too ill to drive etc. but that's my limit. As it happens, my ex is 'lucky' that he's unreliable and I pay for afterschool club and breakfast club for everyday of the week so that his constant chopping and changing can't ever threaten my job. He doesn't generally use it, but has occassionally done so. I don't believe it should be my responsibility to pay for childcare on his time, however, his game playing left me vulnerable to job loss if it continued so I do what I have to do.

To be very clear, I have no expectation that his partner should do a pick up for my ex and manage her child at the same time. It's his problem. He should be sorting it. I have no issues with him using his own childcare 'cos my job means that I have no choice but to use it - I know for some parents, it is an issue and that's where asking mum in the first instance to help out would be sensible but having a back-up of 'then she'll go into childcare' issued as a statement of fact, rather than a threat.

fedupbutfine Wed 14-May-14 15:12:24

Why wouldn't your DSD's mother jump at the chance to spend more time with her child if she possibly could? I'd find it very difficult to be away from my child for half the week and would welcome the chance to see her on a day that I wouldn't normally. After all, if she's not working at that time she has no reason not to, and most parents don't have the luxury of choosing to put their feet up or have a cup of tea instead of picking up their child.

In the early days of my separation, I would have done anything not to have to share care of my children with my ex. But as time has gone on and I have been able to re-build, I actually have a life that doesn't involve my children in any way, shape or form. It has been essential to my mental well-being to build that life because the alternative would be to sit at home, missing my children and then run the risk of all the bitterness and anger that goes with it. However, not being with my children isn't a 'luxury' and I resent the persistent stereotype in our society which suggests women who share care of their children post-divorce somehow don't really care about their children or are just sluts out on the piss if they dare to enjoy their childfree time. My ex has a new partner, a job, a life to live...and so do I.

Bonsoir Wed 14-May-14 16:07:19

A school run commitment without any chance of actually chilling out at home with your child that evening is pretty crap deal.

Fairenuff Wed 14-May-14 16:12:10

I could demand she picks DSD up as she isn't at work and it isn't my job to do so.

I don't think you can demand she picks her up because it's not currently her time with her daughter, it's your dp's time. If he wants to rearrange that he should talk to her about changing the days and/or times that she comes to him.

Maybe, as he isn't actually going to be there, he could not have her on those days?

Morgause Wed 14-May-14 16:15:47

I imagine he'll be home for his tea, Faire. He isn't away overnight.

Petal02 Wed 14-May-14 16:18:12

Maybe, as he isn’t actually going to be there, he could arrange not to have her on those days?

Sounds sensible – although If your average working non-resident father only had access when he was available to spend time with the child, he wouldn’t have much access at all (and that’s a whole new argument) !!!!

OwlCapone Wed 14-May-14 16:34:07

If they were still together who would be doing the school pick ups then?

That is irrelevant. They are not together.

If they were together, all the parenting tasks would be shared. It is very wearing having to do all the day to day parenting crap by yourself

Petal02 Wed 14-May-14 16:37:20

If they were together, all the parenting tasks would be shared

I beg to differ. If they were still together, the person who is not working usually does the lion’s share of the parenting. Because the other parent is out at work.

SpottieDottie Wed 14-May-14 16:39:18

How would you solve this if both children were your own children?

thebluehen Wed 14-May-14 16:46:44

Spottie, if both children were op, then she wouldn't have sent her dsc to the school they go to now, she said this up thread.

As a step mum she has no legal right to decide where to send the children to school so that it suits her like a bio mum would.

Therefore, in my opinion,it is not her problem to do the school pick up.

I think her dp should ask the mum if she wants to do it and, if not (although I do think she would be being awkward if she wasn't working or had other serious prior commitments) then the dad needs to sort childcare if he wants to continue with his contact on those evenings.

Spottie If both children were the OP's own her DSD would be going to the school attached to DS's playgroup. She's also said that if her DS2 doesn't get into the same school as DS1 then she'd use afterschool clubs or a childminder.

OwlCapone Wed 14-May-14 17:05:59

If they were still together, the person who is not working usually does the lion’s share of the parenting. Because the other parent is out at work.

In this scenario, neither parent is not working.

Doing all the parenting tasks alone is wearing. To then have to take on the parenting tasks when they are actually the responsibility of the other parent is not acceptable. Ask if it's OK? fine. Expect her to do it? Not fine.

OwlCapone Wed 14-May-14 17:07:54

And actually, just having someone who entertains the children when they come home after work, baths them, reads to them, supervises homework etc would be a huge relief. Parenting doesn't only happen during work hours and having someone to share the stuff outside of work hours would be bliss.

OwlCapone Wed 14-May-14 17:13:42

It's not the OPs problem to sort out though. Unless, of course, she wants to.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 14-May-14 17:13:53

If they were still together, the ex would have been involved in the discussion about whether DP should take the job, if he should ask for flexible working on certain days whether it would be good for DSD to go to a CM a couple of evenings so ex could catch up at work or home etc. If DH or I are contemplating taking on work, we absolutely discuss how that might work for us as a family.

Plus no-one would have to be in two places at once.

needaholidaynow Wed 14-May-14 17:27:16

TheDoctrine That is precisely what we have done as a family. We discussed. DP intends to talk to his ex about the fact that he will be working soon (doesn't start until 2nd June), and will talk to her about the potential arrangements, also letting her know that she is more than welcome to pick DSD up if she wants to.

If she can't or won't, then that's fine. If she chooses to, then that is not necessarily a bad thing seeing as she is her parent. I wouldn't ever see her as being used to run our errands at all.

SpottieDottie Wed 14-May-14 17:27:52

Yes, I realise that. However, if for some reason they were at different schools presumably she'd use the after school club. I think that is the solution in this case really, it's her DP's responsibility to collect his DSD and if he can't because he is working then he needs to sort out the after school club or a child minder?

needaholidaynow Wed 14-May-14 17:31:52

I've decided I definitely won't be picking DS up early anyway. Why should he miss out?

After school club, CM or an extra curricular activity is the way to go!

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 14-May-14 18:03:09

Glad you are making progress!

MaryWestmacott Wed 14-May-14 19:13:09

That sounds like a good decision made! I would explore child care options (prices, if there's spaces etc) before talking to exp because if she asks what the alternative is, you can have an informed discussion about the actual options.

shoppingfrenzy Thu 15-May-14 07:45:31

Mary is right I think. If you have options for childcare all mapped out when youvspeak to DP's ex, it will come across much more as giving her the option, first refusal, rather than making a demand.

shoppingfrenzy Thu 15-May-14 07:45:50

Mary is right I think. If you have options for childcare all mapped out when youvspeak to DP's ex, it will come across much more as giving her the option, first refusal, rather than making a demand.

Peacesword Fri 16-May-14 08:16:38

Good call. I agree Mary's suggestion is really sensible.

swissfamily Fri 16-May-14 09:17:45

Haven't got time to read the whole post but I've been there. When DS started school we sent him to a different one that DSD was at. They started finished at the same time...

We used after school clubs; they took it in turns (DH had 50:50 week on week off contact at the time). So....and we were lucky the schools let us do this; every other week DSD did M-W-F at breakfast club while DS did T-Th and DSD did T-Th at after school club while DS did M-W-F.

It didn't cost a fortune (breakfast club was £1 with breakfast included!) and kind of worked OK-ish. Not ideal for the kids but not awful either.

I hated it and ended up feeling really resentful of the amount of running around I was doing for DSD. It lasted two years before I insisted DH make some changes to his working hours!

needaholidaynow Fri 16-May-14 10:45:20

This thread has got me thinking about school holidays and the fact that DP will now be working.

Whilst DP has been off he has had DSD on her mum's days whilst she has been at work, and then her mum has picked her up on her way up from work.

I was just thinking, I don't really want to be a babysitter for DSD's mum so that she doesn't have to pay for childcare. I really don't mind picking DsD up from school on DP's days, but I'm not prepared to be subject to any double standards and if the rigid routine has to apply on our part then it should on hers as well.

She should sort her own childcare out on her days.

gamerchick Fri 16-May-14 10:47:35

Has he actually broached this subject with his ex yet? you may just be overthinking it and annoying yourself for no reason.

needaholidaynow Fri 16-May-14 10:58:02

He spoke to her about last night, and she said she doesn't want to commit to the extra school runs each week, which is fair enough. He said that she is welcome to do it but our plan is to pay for after school care if not.

Peacesword Fri 16-May-14 11:07:43

I think how the two parents cover school holidays now that your dp is working is something else they will need to discuss. I suppose as he is now working she will be getting more maintenance, so it wouldn't necessarily impact on her financially if she has to pay for holiday clubs during her time.

It might be though that between them they can work out their annual leave and how holidays are going to be covered.

Is it just the days she would normally be with her mum that you're not keen on helping with?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 16-May-14 11:14:02

I think it's perfectly fair for her to sort "holiday clubs" on her own days. Or a different arrangement in the holidays might suit both - one week on one week off rather than split days.

needaholidaynow Fri 16-May-14 11:17:27

Yeah just the days that she should be with her mum. Now that DP is working he isn't here to look after his daughter, so I will be doing all of that for him which I don't mind as she is his daughter after all and therefore part of the family. But what I'm not happy with is the possibility of the same routine happening during the holidays whereby DSD comes here for the majority of the time and I am left to look after her, provide for her, plan everyday around this commitment etc...

It would just fill me with resentment to be honest at being used like that.

It's definitely another conversation he needs to have with her as this routine has been standing for a while now and obviously it should change now.

needaholidaynow Fri 16-May-14 11:19:35

This coming half term won't be a problem as DP will still be off, it's the summer holidays onwards that arrangements will need to be made.

Peacesword Fri 16-May-14 11:31:47

I get that you might feel like that. There are lots of options available in the summer holidays, so your dp isn't the only option while your dsd's mum works.

I run into problems with dd as generally the holiday clubs start later and finish earlier than the term time providers do. Having someone to A I have a bf (don't live together) now and he will help out with things like that, but if xh and his gf were more amenable and I had no-one else, it might be something that I would ask xh or his gf to help with. After all, if I can work more hours, and have a better income, it's better for dd.

Peacesword Fri 16-May-14 11:33:23

Oh .... something got missed in the middle!! Having someone to help pick dd up at the end of the holiday club is really helpful is what it's meant to read.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 16-May-14 11:43:29

Do tell ex ASAP about summer holidays as she may need to book the clubs now.

purpleroses Fri 16-May-14 13:20:24

Sounds like your DP handled it well.

I would tell the ex ASAP about no longer being able to cover her days in the summer. Don't know what it's like where you live, but here there are lots of holiday clubs, activities, etc for DCs to do in the summer. Your DSD is a good age for them and would probably enjoy them. Presumably some of the summer will be covered anyway with family holidays? A lot of people split summers up into whole weeks with either parent - rather than chop each week in half. It tends to be much easier to book holiday clubs in whole weeks (as some only run that way) rather than trying to get childcare for 2 days per week. So you might want to think about whether you'd be prepared to do that.

needaholidaynow Fri 16-May-14 13:45:06

Yes I think it's best to let her know now regarding summer holidays. Usually during the summer holidays because its so long, they do the one week with mum, one week with dad arrangement. Easter and Christmas holidays are obviously a little bit different and more flexible due to DP and his ex obviously wanting their daughter with them for Christmas and Easter, but DSD generally doesn't spend one week here one week at her mum's during those holidays as well as the normal half terms in February, May and October.

So summer holidays would be fairly easy for her to arrange childcare in weekly blocks eery other week rather than the odd day here and there. It's just the other holidays throughout the year that it might end up being 2 days at kids club, 3 days at our house, etc..

Inertia Sat 17-May-14 08:58:27

I agree that your DP needs to have the conversation about holiday care arrangements soon, so that DSD's mum can book holiday clubs etc. Will DP even be entitled to any holiday time so soon after starting the job ?

Inertia Sat 17-May-14 08:58:53

I agree that your DP needs to have the conversation about holiday care arrangements soon, so that DSD's mum can book holiday clubs etc. Will DP even be entitled to any holiday time so soon after starting the job ?

needaholidaynow Sat 17-May-14 09:46:44

I'm not sure Inertia, it's something he will have to find out. He will be training so they might be a bit strict for the first couple of months.

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