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Planning around Dad visits?

(10 Posts)
FourFish Sun 07-Oct-12 17:12:52

Bit random but I'm not sure if I'm in the right or not. My ex has our daughters one or two odd days a month (this is his choice - I have tried everything to establish more regular contact and failed). However, how much notice is reasonable for this? I work Mon - Fri so tend to like to plan things for weekends and i live in a city and you need to book into kiddy classes and stuff at least a month in advance so ideally I would like 4 weeks notice. Today he rang and gave me October and November dates - he wants them two days in half term (which is a bit of a nuisance as I had already booked them into childcare and will probably loose a bit of money for those two days but I have rearranged to fit in with him) and the 10th Nov. Now the 10th Nov is my bf's birthday and I have totally planned the day so I said no. He said he was giving me more that 4 weeks notice, I said yes but this was a very special event that I had booked ages ago. Bf if going to be driving a steam train for the day and I want the girls there to celebrate with him. I'm happy for him to have them any other day in Nov and often cancel things to fit in around him but i really don't want to cancel this as I will lose the deposit and the next course is in April and there is already only 1 space left! Am I being selfish? Or am I right to stick to my guns that this is one thing I am not willing to cancel? Both girls are very close to bf and adore steam trains and my eldest has helped me plan so they would know they were missing out.

ChocHobNob Sun 07-Oct-12 19:07:01

Are there any reasons why he cannot give you more notice? Why aren't there set days? If he can realistically give more notice (ie set days or 3-6 months notice) then you are not being unreasonable to expect more notice. Does he give dates 1-2 monthly because he works odd shifts at work and doesn't know what he is doing or is it just because he'd like to do it this way and plan his days with his children around his own life?

If it's the latter then he is being entirely unreasonable and you shouldn't be expected to cancel the special occasion in Nov. Especially not if you will be out of pocket doing so.

If he could have managed giving you dates in advance, he is very cheeky expecting you to change plans for half term and losing out on childcare money too.

It sounds like you need to nip this in the butt as soon as possible.

FannyBazaar Sun 07-Oct-12 20:39:37

If my ex requesting contact over tricky times like holidays then I tend to send him a text before I book asking him if he wants to see DS during this time to let me know before a set date. He prefers to do everything on short notice but obviously this is difficult when planning childcare and work over school holidays. I gave ex a spreadsheet with dates when DS was available over the summer so that he could request contact accordingly, he didn't bother though.

rosabud Mon 08-Oct-12 23:00:31

My ex works shifts so tends to give his dates in blocks of 2 or 3 months. I have pointed out that it would be useful for me and provide more continuity and security for the children if he were to give me these dates at least 2 weeks in advance of the present arranged ones coming to an end. He does not do this despite knowing his shift pattern months in advance. I once pointed out to him that this was rude and disrespectful to me as I am coping with the daily responsibility and pressures of his decision to leave the family home and that, really, it would be more polite and respectful to give me at least 2 weeks notice. This request failed to make a difference to his actions.

My poilcy is, I tried to ask him politely, he has chosen not to agree with me. There is nothing more I can do to persuade him. So I say no more about it. However, I make arrangements and book things to suit our family life so he often finds when he finally gives me his dates that we already have things booked and I therefore say no to some of his dates. He does not like this. Never mind, he could always give me more advanced warning. His decision really.

zipzap Mon 08-Oct-12 23:16:12

If you have something special coming up like the steam train event, could you tell him as soon as you book it so that he knows that day is out of the equation before he starts thinking about dates?

I know this might give him a reason to say 'aw shucks I was going to choose that date and if you won't let me see the dd then, I'm not going to bother that fortnight' or 'no, I have something booked that I'm not going to compromise on' - all sorts of ways of him to twist it but at least then he won't be able to say that he didn't know.

THink you are being reasonable to let him have them if you have childcare booked and loosing out on it - hopefully they will let you change the date if not get it back! but definitely not unreasonable to stick out for the special date for steam train event.

Do you know if he has any similarly special event type dates that might come up in the next few months that he could give you special notice for so that he can see things from both sides? Even if he doesn't have exact shifts yet, he might say it's my birthday or my mum's birthday at the start of december, so I want the dd's to be involved in a celebration that first week of the month, I'm just waiting to hear shift details. Then you would know that if you were planning anything that week, rather than booking something in regardless, you could double check with him and he would see the benefit of the system?

DOn't want to make this sound like you should pander to him at all - just hope that it might see he can be adult about making arrrangements in advance even if he doesn't have an exact date.

Alternatively - do you think he knows that the steam train thing is coming up, that it involves your bf and he wants to screw the day up?

fingers crossed that you get to keep the girls that day and have a fantastic day!

TheJiminyConjecture Mon 08-Oct-12 23:22:37

Does he know that it's a day out with your bf? Could he be making a fuss to spoil the day?

I would say that it's reasonable for him to offer his availability and then you say when the children are available. But I would be prepared to be a bit flexible with any special dates for him, hopefully then it'll work both ways for all of you

FourFish Tue 16-Oct-12 22:23:38

Thank you everyone (sorry for late response - I've been away). He doesn't work shifts. He works Mon - Fri term time only but volunteers at a Church youth project Sat's and school hols and is at Church on a Sun. His general excuse is either that he feels he can only not volunteer when he knows there are other volunteers or that its my fault I left him and moved away.

I tend not to give him dates and stuff as between visits we have no contact. He is welcome to ring and is suppose to ring the girls twice a week and me once a month to discuss parenting but never does. He doesn't give me any maintenance (separate issue to contact) and is suppose to use what he would give me to pay for those phone calls and travelling costs to see the girls. I refuse to phone him - I did for yonks after I left, arranging everything and stuff but it was costing me loads in phone bills and I found it stressful. So I stopped and told him to ring me instead.

Sadly the childminder can't change the days but has agreed to only charge me half for one child so I'm not too out of pocket.

redwhiteandblueeyedsusan Wed 17-Oct-12 00:28:50

the church excuse is crap. his children come before his youth group.

GetAllTheThings Wed 17-Oct-12 09:34:47

On the issue of your DPs birthday I don't think you're being selfish at all. And I say that as an NRP.

It's perfectly reasonable, even where there is regular fixed access to want to shift things around on special occassions.

Qwertyytrewq Wed 17-Oct-12 10:57:59

As a father (but not a NRP), I think if I was told I had to give 4 weeks notice of dates, and I did this, and was then told no as its the boyfriends birthday, I'd feel marginalised and a bit peed off.

Just another perspective.

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