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Response times when DD is in care of her Dad

(8 Posts)
NotaDisneyMum Fri 17-Jun-11 17:02:12

On the whole, DD's Dad and I manage to co-parent her without too many problems - there are occasional glitches, but nothing that effects DD significantly.

One thing that has always been an issue, and caused HUGE problems at first is the face that he and I have very different expectations about my availability by phone/email when SD is in his care.

I plan my work/leisure/errands around whether or not DD is In my care - so may not be able to instantly respond to his calls/txts/email. I trust that if it was an emergency, he would deal with it, leave me a message which I would respond to ASAP - but if I'm out with the girls or away for the weekend, I don't want to interrupt that by responding to a text about what time handover is going to be I'n three weeks time, or whether DD needs a new school cardigan!

He expects me to tell him when I am not going to be available to pick up the phone to him while DD is with him - when I'm working somewhere where i might not be able to answer straight away or the times of my flights if I'm going to visit family for the weekend.

I'm really not comfortable with this, and don't see how DD suffers if I don't respond to non-urgent issues for a couple of days - but how do others deal with this? Should I be available 24:7 if he wants to discuss something?

BooyHoo Fri 17-Jun-11 17:04:19

wow!! he is supercontrolling!!

how on earth are you supposed to know when you wont hear your phone or be available to take his calls??

NotaDisneyMum Sat 18-Jun-11 09:54:42

He says that he realises there will be unavoidable times, but if I know in advance that I won't be free I should let him know so he can make sure he is "available".

He even asked in mediation that I send "received and understood" messages as soon as I've read a txt or email even if no actual response is necessary. If I haven't responded, he'll ring me to ask if I've got his message - there are occasions when he's sent me an email, txt and left an answerphone message about a trivial issue (library books was one I can remember) all on the same day!

I find it difficult to talk to him so try and limit contact; sometimes I just don't want to get embroiled in a debate about packed lunch boxes or spare shoes, so will delay responding until I can deal with it effectively. But he's convinced that I am failing DD and refusing to co-operatively parent if that's how I behave.

allegrageller Sat 18-Jun-11 10:16:17


I am in a coparenting situation and if xH did this I'd go bonkers.

ffs the odd email dealing with outstanding issues is quite enough once per week. I would send an email stating this and clearly saying you do not want to be texted etc at random times. Maybe set Sunday afternoon aside as a time to talk about the week ahead?

Bearinthebigwoohouse Sat 18-Jun-11 10:34:36

Response times? You're not a bloody ambulance service with targets to meet!

It is so tempting when he's being like this to dig your heels in and not answer for a couple of days. But I think what I'd be doing is thinking "what would I do if it were a friend or anyone else", and then reply to the same timescale.

With regard to the times when you aren't available, does he mean that if anyone needs to get hold of one of you about your dd (ie school, childcare) that they can get at least one of you?

Also I'd want to know straight away if there were some sort of emergency with dd, I wouldn't want a message left that I'd respond to at some point, so I can see where he's coming from with that too.

Emails though, I only log on every couple of days and not at all if I'm away, so I think it's unreasonable to want immediate responses to those, and non-urgent messages where there's likely to be a debate I'd want to avoid if I were away with girlfriends or that sort of thing.

I suppose I'm a bit in the middle if you haven't gathered. I think maybe the effort of replying "yes" to the cardigan question or "5.30" to the handover question takes a lot less energy than refusing to answer and knowingly winding him up. That said though, he too has to respect your boundaries and realise that you aren't at his beck and call for every message.

You know him best, I guess it depends whether he's one that would never respect your boundaries, or whether if you met him halfway he'd push less for you to be available.

EveryonesJealousOfGingers Sat 18-Jun-11 10:49:15

I like Allegra's idea of a weekly 'slot' - if he wants to send you umpteen texts/emails etc that's fine, but let him know that if they are non urgent you will reply en bloc on a Sunday evening for example.

Alternatively you could just text him 'will get back to you later' or similar, if it keeps him happy it might be worth it for an easy life?

Either way, he has no right to know what your plans are and I agree with Booy that he is using this to try to control you.

allegrageller Sat 18-Jun-11 11:05:52

the slot is what I now do with XH. I hated him ringing up all the bloody time as this was someone I was trying to move on from. So I told him to please put it all in email unless urgent. (I did class urgent as stuff like 'Ds1 has playdate tomorrow' i.e. stuff that was necessary and he was just reminding me of. Sometimes his reminders are v useful!)

however I took on board what he said about needing to assess all the annoying, important details about uniform, school activities, doctor appointments etc.

The thing is after divorce you really have to make space in your life for things other than coparenting, it can't be constant as perhaps it would be if you were still married, however important it is.

NotaDisneyMum Sat 18-Jun-11 21:01:29

Inthewoohouse - thing is, I used to leap to answer the phone when he called early In the morning or late at night - thinking it was an emergency - only to discover he wanted to discuss trivial; so a bit like the boy who cried wolf, if he calls while I'm still i bed, I don't take the call! He invariably follows it up with a txt or answerphone message - which I can screen for urgency and respond based on the priority it takes; but he thinks I should drop EVERYTHING if DD is even vaguely involved no matter what I'm doing! He does revolve his life around DD - which is admirable, but I don't think it's healthy for either of them!

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