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Can you help settle stupid argument-parenting

(55 Posts)
NormalBloke Thu 09-Mar-17 20:21:54

We're both in our 40s
I'm divorced and have 2 sons 5yo and 9yo
She is divorced and has 2 daughters 5yo and 10yo
We both have our own homes
She has daughters nearly full time . I have my boys every other weekend and 1 night through the week. When I have the boys at the weekend she has the girls so we always all meet up and do something together.
We've been together 2.5 years

Anyway she works part time as a photographer. She paid for a full day photography course last Friday at a centre 50 miles away and said she won't get home until 1730. She told me last week on Tuesday that she had no childcare yet as her girls finish school at 1530. She didn't want to ask the girls Dad for some reason and her Mum was too busy.

I then offered to drive to her girls school and pick them up at 4pm from after school club. I pick my own sons up at 1530 so I would then drive the 7 miles to her daughters school. She agreed with this and I suggested when she got back we go all go out for dinner. Again she agreed as she said she wouldn't have anything prepared anyway with been on the course all day.

Everything ok so far. I then made one request. I said please can you give me a call when you are on your way back. She said No I don't need to. I said please I would really appreciate a call just to let me know what time you will be back.. She refused and said I don't need to because I've ready told you it will be 1730. I asked very politely every time but she just refused every request which left me feeling frustrated.

Now kids at 1730 are starting to get really hungry so I wanted to ensure I was pulling onto her drive at exactly the same time so her girls could get a quick change then we could go straight to the restaurant. I wanted to avoid any delays and didn't just want to get a phone call from her saying "I'm home you can bring them back now"

By the time I get 4 kids packed up shoes on strapped in the car etc etc it would just be more wasted time..Also I didn't want the situation where she says I'm home and the kids say "I've just started playing this game" or "I've just started watching this cartoon" etc etc...I just like to be really organised and know what's going on. I even told her even if your on time can you just let me know......She refused and said she doesnt seem any need to.

Am I wrong. I thought it was a reasonable request.

Would appreciate any opinions on the matter. It's caused a fall out......thanks for reading.

gamerchick Thu 09-Mar-17 20:27:51

No I'm with you, I dislike hanging around for phone calls, it's like waiting for someone to click theion fingers.

Maybe she should sort out other arrangements if she's going to be like that about it.

CrohnicallyPregnant Thu 09-Mar-17 20:29:35

YAB both U and NU I think.

U because apparently 'normal' couples don't need to do this.

NU because I am exactly the same, I am autistic and have associated anxiety. I get myself into a bit of a state wondering when I should start to worry, when is it ok to text/call and see what the delay is... I can't settle to do anything in case I get interrupted...

DH understands and if I ask him to text when he's on his way home, he will do. He knows I'm not checking up on him or anything, but it makes me feel better and it is a small request really. Sometimes I have to suck it up and put up with something because it's 'too big' an ask, but this isn't.

Did you try and explain to your DP or just 'demand' a text?

harderandharder2breathe Thu 09-Mar-17 20:33:08

I think a call if she's running late is reasonable but why does she need to call if she's on time?

Her saying 5.30 ahead of time and her calling when she leaves (not knowing what the traffic ahead will be like) are as accurate as each other.

You get the kids to hers for 5.30 or agree to allow for minor delays so get there for 5.45.

Gallavich Thu 09-Mar-17 20:34:21

I suppose she could have humoured you with a call but...
You didn't need to be on her drive at the exact moment she pulled in. 10 minutes wouldn't have caused a problem. That element is a bit prescriptive and unnecessary.
She also tole you what time she would be back. Requesting a call even if she's going to be on time is hmm all you need is a call if she's going to be late. If she had been early it wouldn't have been a big deal.

So she could have humoured you but...if you're always like this maybe she is taking a stand?

Hassled Thu 09-Mar-17 20:39:53

I think your request was a bit much but then I get it was all a bit new and stressy for you, and having a clear idea of timings would help you manage what was going on. But in her head she'd said 17.30 so why would it be any different and she was probably wondering what your problem was. She possibly took your insistence that she called as some sort of dig - an implication that she was flaky, not always punctual? So just talk to her - maybe she dug her heels in and refused to call because she misunderstood your reasons, and you need to explain that you need very clear timings and it's no reflection on her. But don't make this a bigger deal than it needs to be.

Birdsgottaf1y Thu 09-Mar-17 20:48:14

I'm 47, I hate this need to be in contact all the time.

In 'the old days' we made plans and stuck to them.

She should call if she's delayed, but not if she's on time.

I find it distracting if I'm driving and phone usage, even with hands free has accounted for an increase in accidents.

MommaGee Thu 09-Mar-17 20:59:18

Can't you have clothes for the kids so they can get dressed at yours then just meet at the restaurant at say 6?
I don't think either of you are particularly u bit it shouldn't be this complicated to pick up a few kids and meet somewhere for dinner

EweAreHere Thu 09-Mar-17 21:05:34

If she leaves on time, I don't see the need to pressure her to call you. That's just odd.

If she's going to be late, then she should let you know so you can plan accordingly.

GnomeDePlume Thu 09-Mar-17 21:07:27

A couple of minutes before she sets off just to say 'Hi, I'm on my way'. Just seems like common courtesy to me.

Cel982 Thu 09-Mar-17 21:08:12

You were doing her a favour and made a reasonable request which would have taken her all of ten seconds to carry out. It doesn't matter if she thought it was overkill, she should have done it anyway because you asked. YANBU.

ClaryIsTheBest Thu 09-Mar-17 21:08:51


If she's going to be late she should call. If she isn't... Idk. Maybe it makes her feel as if you don't trust her to be on time...?
Which may be reasonable, if she's often late.

She could have said yes just to make you happy. but it is unnecessary imo as long as she isn't late.

BoneyBackJefferson Thu 09-Mar-17 21:13:06

She could always pay for someone to do her this for her.

A text or quick call to say that she is on her way isn't to much to ask.

BerylStreep Thu 09-Mar-17 21:14:09

After 2.5 years, do you not have a set of keys to her house? The simple solution is for you to arrive at 5.30 or so, let yourself & kids in - kids get changed, and gf arrive at 5.30 or thereabouts.

It does seem bit excessive of you, but without knowing the background it is hard to judge. Are you usually quite rigid or anxious?

Ginkypig Thu 09-Mar-17 21:15:01

Your being a bit anal but not necessarily u but then neither is she although she's being a bit stubborn.

She has told you 17:30 so why can't you just stick to that, even if she's earlier than that it shouldn't matter because it's not guaranteed.

You both need to compromise if you cant agree. Ie assume it will be 17:30 but if she's going to be later than that she will call to let you know.

To be honest if this is the first time you've looked after her kids she might see it as more trouble than it's worth.

SomethingBorrowed Thu 09-Mar-17 21:20:29

I totally get why you want a confirmation that she is on time, because then you know she isn't running late and has forgotten to let you know!
It took me years to make DH understand but now he texts me every evening when he leaves the office so I know if it is worth pushing the DC's bedime by 5-10min to give him a chance to see them, or at what time dinner should be ready.

miniatureegg Thu 09-Mar-17 21:21:16

Do you have anxiety?

ToffeeForEveryone Thu 09-Mar-17 21:24:12

She should call if she's delayed, but not if she's on time.


If you have agreed 17.30 and no call, assume she will be there. No need for a confirmation call.

If she is running late then she should let you know.

You could say she is BU by not humouring you and calling anyway, as it's such a small thing and would have made you feel better - but, to be clear, you would be the slightly odd anxious person in this scenario and she would have been pandering to you.

Stardust1901 Thu 09-Mar-17 21:29:00

YANBU.. I'm similar to you. I NEED a plan, I can't go with the flow. I need to know a time then need to know if that time is still the same or going to change. DP knows this and will always let me know when he's leaving somewhere, he understands my need and doesn't refuse to just to be stubborn.

It's a form of anxiety and a method of maintaining control. Your DP should of just phoned instead of being bloody awkward.

Patriciathestripper1 Thu 09-Mar-17 21:38:20

It's commen curtesy to give a quick call. However are there other issues going on? Did she come out of a controlling relationship where she had to account for her every move? Maybe she has some issues in this area? You need to perhaps broach this subject when you get some alone time and find out why there was an issue around your request.

NormalBloke Thu 09-Mar-17 21:38:25

No I'm not really anxious at all...I'm not the type to insist on her ringing me ever even if she out with friends I've never done that.

I don't have a key but I just know it can take 25 minutes to round up 4 kids get shoes coats on toilet into the car blah blah blah and then drive to hers

Didn't want to do all that and get a message she's not on time etc etc .I was also wanting to get to the food place asap because my boys get hungry!

I just wanted a phone call to say everything's on time as she's driving 50 miles via a roads and motorways on a Friday evening.

Thanks for the replies.......

GwenStaceyRocks Thu 09-Mar-17 21:39:06

You had a plan. She only needed to call if the plan was going to change.I am confused by your obsession about when you would be on the drive and whether the DCs would be playing. It made me uncomfortable to read it and led me to wonder if you're controlling or anxious?

RedAndYellowPeppers Thu 09-Mar-17 21:42:52

You need to start talking really.
YABU not to explain why you wanted to know more precisely when she would be there. Even if the course is going to finish at a set time, it is possible to be delayed etc.. on the road.
But SNBU to say that she has already answered the question. She is saying that she will be there at 5.30, what else do you need to know? Just plan to be there for 5.35pm just in case. The dcs don't need to be out right on the dot to go out etc... or you could also find another arrangement, like all the dcs eating together at your house, if that is stressing you out so much.

So I'm sitting well in the fence there.
Both of you need to start talking rather than starting from the pov that 1- the reason why you have X position is obvious and 2- you are obviously right and nothing else will do.

RedAndYellowPeppers Thu 09-Mar-17 21:44:44


The no key just calls for another organisation (like the dcs eating at yours).
But then have you ever been in the situation where yur DP was late when she said she would be there at x time? Does she have form?
And what is the issue about preparing the dcs to be there for 5.30 as she said she would be? Why would you need to wait for her to call?

Pinbasket Thu 09-Mar-17 21:46:03

If she's 50 miles away, what use is a phone call before she leaves? The traffic/ transport could be awful on the way home and he could end up being late, or alternatively she could get home quicker than she expected.

So' it would be better to just phone you if or when she realises that she will be later than she expected.

What did you want to gain from her phoning you before she leaves?

Maybe she feels that you are trying to control her?

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