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to not want my children to travel an hour to school every morning?

(116 Posts)
glg2108 Tue 22-Oct-19 12:29:01

My children are 9 and 5, at present, I live a 10 minute walk from their school and their father a 5 minute drive. Our arrangement is that he picks the kids up from school on a Tuesday and I pick them back up on a Thursday. He doesn't have anything else do do with them except his set days.

He has decided to relocate (on Monday just found out) to somewhere that will now take around an hour to get them to school every morning (on a good day), yet doesn't seem to think this is an issue. My daughter has a club that goes on until 8pm one night which means my 5 year old won't be in bed until 9/9.30pm every week then having to get up again for school the next day.

He works in hospitality so it's not an option for him (apparently) to arrange to see them on weekends. There's nothing concrete for access/custody it's an informal arrangement at the moment.

May I add, he's moving into a 2 bedroom house with his new (pregnant) girlfriend and her son - who they have chucked out of his bedroom to sleep on a blowup mattress at the foot of their bed to make way for my children to sleep in his old room for the 2 nights they are there.

No one seems to be putting the kids first, am I being unreasonable to want to just keep them at mine for stability? If I'm not, is there any legality on my side?

SpoonBlender Tue 22-Oct-19 12:30:54

I don't know anything about legality, but I wouldn't put myself through an hour's commute each way let alone kids. His choice of house also shows extreme incompetence in thinking ahead.

TeenPlusTwenties Tue 22-Oct-19 12:34:38

So not every day, but Tue evening, Wed both & Thursdays mornings?

I still wouldn't want it and consider it unrealistic and unfair on the children.

NearlyGranny Tue 22-Oct-19 12:37:30

I suspect the current arrangement re weeknights will not long survive this move, OP. It isn't just the hour drive for him, is it, it's the hour back again?!

It depends whether you're OK with your DC having dwindling contact with their DF or not, though of course you can't force him to.

I would be making it crystal clear to him - and getting his commitment in writing - that you will never drop off or pick up from his new place, only from school. He may expect you to do half the driving in school holidays!

His move, his choice, his travel.

OhMyGodTheyKilledKenny Tue 22-Oct-19 12:38:31

It's not just the commute that's a problem surely it's the fact there will be 2 adults and 4 children in a 2 bed house

Sounds to me like he's trying to cut/reduce contact.

glg2108 Tue 22-Oct-19 12:39:06


Yes, pick up on a Tuesday, Drop off on a Wednesday morning (my daughter then has a club from 5pm - 8pm so would need to hang about here for 2 hours prior to that and then a further 3 hours while it's on) to then take them back and then again back for school the next day.

glg2108 Tue 22-Oct-19 12:41:49


This is what I think TBH, I think he'll get bored of it. The question is do I stop it now and come out as the baddie stopping him seeing his kids or do I let it go on for as long as he can be bothered, potentially putting the kids performance at school at risk?

TheTrollFairy Tue 22-Oct-19 12:42:40

I doubt the arrangement will last long if he moves as it’s a 2 hour round trip for him each time to take and pick up the kids from school which I’m sure he will tire of quickly especially if he’s ferrying around grumpy, sleep deprived children. Also the kids will tire of sharing bedrooms and getting kicked out their room each time your kids stay over.

inwood Tue 22-Oct-19 12:44:25

The bedroom arrangement would concern me more tbh, sounds unsustainable with a new baby and he will soon grow to resent getting chucked out of his room.

So your daughter wouldn't be getting home until nine, when does dinner, reading, homework etc happen?

OnlyFoolsnMothers Tue 22-Oct-19 12:47:07

I wouldnt allow it, seems like a pretty mean experiment

glg2108 Tue 22-Oct-19 12:50:17


Exactly. Not to mention the fact that my 5 year old would also not be back until then because there is no way in rush hour they could get from school to his house then back again to dancing by 5pm so they would have to hang about somewhere (bearing in mind he has no family here) before the club.

Pharlapwasthebest Tue 22-Oct-19 12:51:46

What will the 5 year old do whilst she’s at her 3 hour club?

glg2108 Tue 22-Oct-19 12:54:15


Who knows... I think he sometimes takes him to soft play anyway when she's there to be fair to him.

greeentopmilk Tue 22-Oct-19 12:56:56

I would tell him it isn't happening for all the logistical reasons you have stated.

He needs to rethink his plan or accept he is putting his kids last and will see less of them as a result.

He can't just up and move and expect them to be dragged along with it when it isn't feasible.

user1480880826 Tue 22-Oct-19 12:58:48

That arrangement is cruel and unreasonable for all of the children involved. 9pm is FAR too late got both kids to go to bed on a school night.

Fuckenstein Tue 22-Oct-19 12:59:38

Would it be possible to have the arrangement changed to Sunday overnight to Monday so its only one commute to school but a similar amount of quality hours. He will barely have any time for them after an hours commute on a school night and they would need an early night to enable an early start.

If he had them all day Sunday they could actually have quality time.

Bellringer Tue 22-Oct-19 13:00:27

It's his problem, let him deal with it. They can go for dinner before or during her class. I hope he is paying 9pm is too late for ds but he'll find that out. Idiot.

Lonely234566778 Tue 22-Oct-19 13:06:53

Children need structure and stability, the fact he didn't even consider this before thinking of his new place does show some concern.
does he just want to enjoy his new family ?
i think you are perfectly resonsonable in that you want to keep them at yours

NearlyGranny Tue 22-Oct-19 13:07:04

He may be proposing the arrangement expecting you to object and passing you the blame.

I'd hold off, let him try it and make him take responsibility for crying off. You could have over a decade of your DC being told you stopped them seeing their DF if you don't.

Your DC are resilient enough to go along with it for a week or two without taking any harm, aren't they? I bet he won't last longer than that. You can step in at any point. I doubt DF's work and new DP will stick it for that long, and school can be alerted to watch for lateness, tiredness etc.

I really would practise masterly inactivity for up to a month, depending on DC's resilience. Let your ex call time on it and have no gripe against you.

Hooferdoofer37 Tue 22-Oct-19 13:07:20

I wouldn't expect him to bring the DC back to yours whilst they wait for a club to start.

Ask him outright:
1. What will you do with the DC between school pick up & club starting?

2. How do you think DC2 is going to cope with a late night followed by an early start and full day at school?

3. You will be picking up an absolutely shattered & grumpy 2 kids on Thur pm, who have had a late night, early start and rubbish sleeping arrangements. How is that fair?

4. Surely it would be better to change the arrangement to Sun-Wed.
He picks the kids up Sunday pm, has 2 long school runs (but not when there are clubs).
You pick them up Tue pm, give them an early night before club night on Wed (and obviously use your house as a base before and during club time).

If he doesn't want to do weekends then that's his problem to resolve, as the mid-week thing clearly isn't going to work.

Another man putting his new relationship before his existing DC; what a surprise, not.

TheMustressMhor Tue 22-Oct-19 13:10:03

He may be proposing the arrangement expecting you to object and passing you the blame

It certainly sounds like it. .

Apolloanddaphne Tue 22-Oct-19 13:11:49

If he thinks it is okay then I would let him crack on and just see how it goes.

Iwantacookie Tue 22-Oct-19 13:16:15

I agree with pp let him crack on with it and he'll soon get bored of it that way your not the bad guy.
Ds2 dad is 20 minutes away and he cant be bothered to come see him.
Sorry op it sounds like hes stepping back from being a dad.

Passthecherrycoke Tue 22-Oct-19 13:16:27

I’d let him try and do it. Doesn’t he have to deal with the 3 hours waiting around issue now anyway? Even if he goes home he’s still bundling your 5YO back in the car for collection. I wouldn’t be concerned about that but everything else and I think it’ll fail.

Justbaking Tue 22-Oct-19 13:18:16

I'd let it go ahead. He will soon see it isn't doable and that means you don't have to be the bad person for saying no.

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