Ex requesting I take annual leave??(58 Posts)
Quick background story. The ex and I have been separated for a year and the divorce was completed just before xmas. It has all been on good terms and have maintained a very good relationship going forward for the kids benefit.
I work full time, in excess of 50 hours per week, this includes shift work.and around 26 days holiday per year. I have the kids every week.
Every time I have had to work on "my days" I have arranged child care so not to impact on the ex's routine. Although I do believe she would be felixable if I had to ask her. It is for this reason I need some advise on my current situation. I want to continue to be flexable and accommodating but also not be walked over.
Problem: she has asked that I take some annual leave in term time to look after the kids so she can go on holiday with friends.
2 things. firstly, I know they are my kids and I have responsibilities towards them and the fact is I like and want to see them more. However, they will be at school and I feel due to the limited amount of leave I get this will be better spent taking time off in the holidays so I can take them away or out for the day.
Secondly. This has no impact on the kids at all, if I say no the ex won't be able to go and the kids will be none the wiser. As far as I see it this is me helping out my ex to go on holiday rather than to benefit the kids.
I want to do the right thing but think it's a big ask to use my leave, to look after our kids, on her days so she can go on holiday. I would understand if it was within school holidays so I could benefit from days out with them.
Is this a normal request from an ex? Am I just looking at this from the wrong angle? I don't want to rock the boat.
Maybe ask her to arrange childcare during day to cover your work time ( that she pays for ) and you agree to have the children overnight ...
she's expecting too much imo
Why can she not go on holiday with friends in the holidays so you can spend time with the kids in the holidays? Is the holiday actually a hen do or some other special event which needs to be on a certain date/time?
Also you say you have the kids every week, do you have them mainly on weekends when they are off school? In which case she will probably only see them properly at school holidays hence wanting to go away while she isn't missing them.
Honestly I think a little more information is needed.
I agree with thewookieswife - have your ex arrange and pay for wraparound care to allow you to work, but have the kids to stay with you. Win win. She gets to go on holiday, you get to spend evenings and mornings with the kids but don't need to take annual leave to do so. Your ex can't expect you to accommodate her holidays.
There is no special event surrounding the holiday. I believe it is just a time to relax after having a time of significant change last year. Which I understand. As for doing it in term time it's just down to cost.
I have them Friday night until Saturday afternoon then back again Sunday morning until Sunday evening ( she works Sundays) I have them after school once a week too. this was arranged very early on as it suited both of us and means we share the time out of school.
More info necessary. It's totally irrelevant if you arrange childcare on 'your days'...they are your days to look after your kids and it's your responsibility to sort - nothing to do with inconveniencing your ex.
What's the split? Do you have the opportunity to have a child free holiday when she has the kids? If so, how? Depends on the contact arrangements?
To be honest IMO that's selfish of her towards both you and the kids; like you said it limits time you can be properly "off" with them. If I wasn't the resident parent I wouldn't like to sacrifice that kind of time with my children, so YANBU.
If it's during the school week and they are all school age it would be more appropriate to arrange her own wraparound care, with you helping on any days you have free for your/their own benefit. Make sure you angle your reasons for declining to do this that way though, I can foresee it might be a bit of a minefield, but if you say you have a good relationship then she should be understanding
Posted as you updated. Obv not a 50/50 split, so she doesn't get as much children time to work with as you would. Is this fair with how much time she works?
Well it is relevant that the OP arranges childcare on his days (as he obviously should) because it shows that as he doesn't inconvenience his ex for his requirements when she is (presumably) working, then his ex shouldn't inconvenience the OP on days when he is working to suit her needs.
TBH I hadn't thought about suggesting she find wraparound care whilst I'm at work. That would suit me fine.
I was initially interested to see if I was being unreasonable by thinking I didn't want to take leave, however that seems to be a good compromise where everyone is happy.
Just noticed you said you do shift work - will it intrude on night shift?
No. That's what I meant - you arrange childcare on your own days (both ex partners) - so this is a different matter to asking for help with holiday. That's what I meant by not relevant (to the holiday). I was asking if she has them more than he does usually, so it wouldn't be unreasonable to ask him to have them for a few days if she has always done the lions share of care.
It's not a 50/50 split as she works a Sunday and a few hours self employed in the week and I'm full time. It just wasn't a practical set up.
I agree, if they could attend breakfast/after school club, arranged and paid for by your ex it would be a very fair compromise.
I honestly think you should be able to save your annual leave for times that suit you to take the kids away etc. You sound like you have a good co-parenting relationship, and it would be a shame to jeopardise that if you were caused to make decisions that soured it for you.
Fortunately I can request day shifts as necessary for something like this.
OK, but as far as I'm aware being self employed doesn't mean she is doing any fewer hours than you (?), so if she cares for them for a much greater proportion of the week, all the time, can't you see how she has no choice but to ask you to help on your non contact days?
Sorry by few hours I meant not full time. I believe it's probably around 16 hours a week in total
I think it's selfish of her to expect you to take leave. A fair compromise would be for her to pay for wrap around care and for you to have them overnight.
So she has the kids most days. And doesn't have the same opportunity as you would to get away for a break?
The OP has said that he works 50hr week, and reserves his holidays to spend time with his children. Nowhere can I see him mentioning him asking the ex to have the children so he can go off on a lads week. If the ex wants to go on holiday then that's fair enough, but it's not fair for her to expect her ex to take annual leave on her days to allow this to happen.
i think it's unfair of her to ask. you should be able to take your holidays in line with children's holidays to spend time with them.
if you can get day shifts that week and then she arranges wrap around it would definitely be a better compromise. you say u arrange childcare on ur days if necessary, maybe u could arrange a day or too as well to help her out?
it is in the best interests of the children u maintain an amicable relationship so i think treading carefully and trying to find a workable solution is best for u all
If she is unhappy with the split then I'm sure she could revisit it, but I somehow doubt that will happen, as for one thing, it would reduce the amount of maintenance the OP would need to pay her, not to mention, she might actually have to give up some of her continual free Friday night, not to mention find childcare for her Sunday shifts, if things were rocked.
I do actually understand what you mean now. Yes you're right, she wouldn't have the same opportunity to get away as me. The question is, is that my responsibility to make sure she can go on holiday without the children by using my annual leave? Of course I am willing to help out, and I believe it's ultimately in the best interest of the children that we continue to be accommodating however it just seems such a waste of leave when they are at school anyway.
So you have them every single weekend and never during school? I think you should do it for your children as well as your ex. You've never had them in school time alone!
Plus OP a week you may use for her holiday is a week less you can take during the school holidays.
With wraparound care it maybe cheaper for her to go in school holidays anyway.
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