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Opinions please

(14 Posts)
flower1121 Fri 30-Sep-16 13:14:45


Just wanted some advice on a little situation and wether you would do the same.....

So it's my daughters 5th birthday on the day the kids break up for half term. She's obviously going to school on her birthday then will come home, quickly get changed then head off to a soft play place for her party with her school friends. This starts at 5pm and finishes at 7pm.

Me and her dad have been separated for over 2 years and he moved back to be with his family which is 120 miles away.

Every other weekend my kids - I have a son too - go and stay with their dad. We meet half way on a Friday after school and do the same to pick up on a Sunday afternoon. I hate the kids have to travel on a weekend but it's the only way.

Anyway her birthday happens to fall on a Friday she should be with her dad but we both agreed to her having a party on her birthday and he will come over for it. He said he would take the kids back home with him after the party which I said no too. It's not fair they do a full day of school, go to the party and then have to do a 2 hour car journey. Plus my daughter won't get to open any presents as I don't see when we would be able to fit it all in. I suggested he stay at my mums house with the kids and he can take them back the next day - he's having them for a few days with it being half term.

He then announces he can't do that as he's going away for the weekend and would be leaving the kids with his mum and dad. Why he's booked a weekend away around his daughters birthday on the weekend he's supposed to have them I have no idea but anyway. angry

He rang last night to say he had changed his mind and he would stay at my mums but he would be waking the kids up at 5.30-6am as he needs to be on the train and back where he lives for 10.30am. Again I said no, it's not fair to wake them up and drag them out at that time just because he's got a train to catch.

I've told him I'll have them instead and we can meet on the Monday when he's back. That way my daughter gets some proper time to play with her new toys etc, he's not rushed getting back for his train and everyone's a winner. He then screamed down the phone to me that it's his weekend and I cannot take them away or stop them going with them. HE IS NOT EVEN GOING TO BE THERE!! I understand his mum and dad want to spend time with their grandchildren but I do not see why my kids should be dragged about to because it's convenient for him to catch his daft train.

Apparently I'm just causing arguments and being petty. I'm not, I'm just thinking of my kids and not wanting to make them over tired. I want my daughter to spend time opening her presents, not being stuck in a car for 2 hours on her bday night or first thing the next morning.

Anyway soz this is long, just needed a rant. Does anyone agree with me or am I just being petty?

3xcookedchips Fri 30-Sep-16 13:54:40

I want my daughter

Kids travel all the time at inconvenient times for holidays weekend trips to see friends and grand parents even.

Although you might think whats right or wrong - you have agreed its his weekend and how he parents on his weekend is not within your gift, the birthday notwithstanding.

Given that he's agreed to stay at your mums you have continued to set more conditions and dictating what time trains are suitable or not suitable.

You are equal parents. YABU

havalina1 Fri 30-Sep-16 14:02:08

I don't think you are being unreasonable at all OP. Very logical in fact. He's being over-sensitive. Wouldn't he rather switch the weekend so he gets one when he is actually there?

aquawoman Fri 30-Sep-16 14:04:48

Nope, its HIS access time, not his parents.

If he going away for the weekend then they stay with you until he gets back.

flower1121 Fri 30-Sep-16 14:07:55

Also suggested this too, I said he could have them from the Monday to the Saturday or Sunday and then the kids could have 2 weekends in a row with him but he can't....because he's going away......again lol. I just needed people's opinions really. If people think I'm petty then that's fine, I just always think of how things will affect my kids and what's right for them x

aquawoman Fri 30-Sep-16 14:11:25

It's not petty. The way my solicitor worded it:

It's not his right to see the kids, it's their right to see him. Therefore, they meet because the kids have a right to see him. Him, not his auntie, or his parents, or his dog.

If he's not there, they stay with you.

I'd be saying this in the strongest possible way. He comes to the party, he leaves. You make them available from the Monday and he hasn't got a leg to stand on. Your responsibility is to make them for available for contact with HIM. Not his parents, his auntie etc. This you have done.

cloudyday99 Fri 30-Sep-16 14:20:47

Depends really whether his parents are keen to see them. They are their grandparents (not his dog hmm) and if they're really looking forward to spending some time with them then an early start being bundled into a car won't hurt them.

On the other hand if they're only having them to help your ex out, it would seem more sensible to do as you suggest. Overall though time with their dad isn't just about being with him. I think it's fair enough that it can include being with his family too.

And it's not generally helpful to get into trying to control or veto what each other do in your own time with the kids. It's his weekend. He agreed to compromise over the party, so you're probably better just to accept whatever he wants to do with them after that. There may be times in the future when your want to leave them with someone else (your parents, a new partner etc) and would probably prefer your ex to butt out and leave you to it.

aquawoman Fri 30-Sep-16 14:22:19

The grandparents have no right to see the child.

What does your daughter want to do? Her feelings should be paramount.

Time with dad can be time with dad AND family. But dad needs to be there too.

Fourormore Fri 30-Sep-16 14:25:56

I disagree with the "it's his time, not his family's time sentiment".

See this quote from the President of the Family Division - "The law is very simple and has been for a long time. It is underpinned by Strasbourg jurisprudence and is spelled out in English jurisprudence. Unless there is powerful reason in the interests of the child that the child should not have a relationship with the child’s family then the starting point is that the child must have a proper relationship with everybody in the family. And I put it that way quite deliberately. Obviously the focus tends to be on parents but it applies equally to aunts, for example, and grandparents. I have long been troubled by the, as it were, institutional barriers, the technical barriers put in the way of grandparents.
But the principle is absolutely clear. There is a judgment by Lord Justice Macfarlane and a judgment of mine that makes it clear the starting point has got to be a proper relationship with all members of the family unless the imperative needs of the child show that it should not be."

I agree it's odd that the father has chosen to go away on the weekend of the child's birthday but that's his choice and he's well within his rights to decide that his daughter should stay with his parents. Nothing bad will happen to your daughter as a result of his plan (providing he explains why he's away!).

Fourormore Fri 30-Sep-16 14:26:50

And no, her feelings aren't paramount at all. What sort of parent makes all parenting decisions based primarily on their childs feelings?!

stitchglitched Fri 30-Sep-16 14:48:22

'Time with dad can be time with dad AND family. But dad needs to be there too.'

Why? Does the same rule apply to the OP? If she wants to leave her kids with her Mum can their Dad interfere? He hasn't just cancelled his weekend and left default care to the RP, he has sought childcare in the form of presumably loving grandparents. Not sure what the problem is.

flower1121 Fri 30-Sep-16 15:39:40

I can see everyone's point here. Just to clarify, I have absolutely no problem with my kids staying with their grandparents, they do all the time anyway and its them that does everything for the children. My ex is never really there for them. It's his mum and dad that care for them when they are there and I am very thankful to them for everything they do. We can go for a week without hearing anything from my ex. That's why it doesn't surprise me that he's booked to go away on his daughters birthday weekend. He doesn't have a clue about his kids, their likes and dislikes etc.

What's frustrating to me is that my children are expected to wake up at daft o clock just so he can get on his weekend away. I just wish he would think about his children more that's all. I'm still going to stick to my guns on this though

3xcookedchips Fri 30-Sep-16 16:18:59

So you're going to go against the agreement that it's his weekend - just because you now don't like it.

He agreed to you solution of staying with his mum - you're now moving the goalposts.

I wouldn't be surprised if he now doesn't hand over the kids at the time you expect to make up for the messing with the arrangement.

flower1121 Fri 30-Sep-16 16:27:09

Not because I don't like it, because he needs to take responsibility for his children. I've actually just got off the phone to his mum and she totally supports me on my decision. They love their grandchildren so much but they are also sick of his behaviour and the fact they have to re arrange their weekends to have his children. They've admitted he is never in when the kids are there. He's 34 and still gets his mum to do everything for him. It's sorted now so no need for anyone to comment further on this.

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