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Kids activities after separation

(8 Posts)
torontonian Wed 09-Dec-15 01:17:49

I don't know if this is the right section to post this. Please, advice me if it is not.

Husband and I have talked several times about enrolling our DS in swimming and music/dance lessons. I found an activity in our community center yesterday and sent him a message telling about it and asking if weekends were better since toddlers need to be accompanied by an adult in the pool (we also have a baby, so one of us would need to stay with the baby and the other go to the pool). He didn't answer (but he read, it was a whatsapp message and kept talking about other things), so I just registered. These program is free and there is only 10 spots, so they fly.

I remembered tonight and brought it up: "the swimming lessons are Saturdays at 11, starting blablabla). He asked me if I was going to take our DS and I said that I would happily do so, but we could share if he wanted to.

We are separating but still living in the same house. We don't have a visitation schedule in place yet, but I said that in the future, the activities will fall in his time as well, so we will need to discuss. He said that DS will be skipping everything when in his care since he plans to stay overnight at his parents (300 km one way).

I am upset about that. Activities are usually 6 to 8 weeks long, and he would presumably have DS every second weekend. So basically I see that I can't enroll him in any program that runs weekly. I understand that I can't decide what he does in his time sharing, but I don't think this is reasonable or in the best interest of our DS. By the way he said that it would be better during the week, a day that he is always with me. DS finishes school at 6, has dinner and goes to bed at 8.30.

So how do you make it work? AIBU wanting my son to go to some activity even if it falls 50% in my Husband's time? Do I need to find something that happens only in my time? Relevant: my husband was happy with swimming before and he wants a 50/50 shared parenting time.

torontonian Wed 09-Dec-15 03:47:10

I thought this might be relevant too:

- programs 6 to 8 weeks and *we do once a year. Sessions are 15-60 minutes
- DS us 2.5 years old
- Grandparents are under 60, both drive, both have cars
- MIL doesn't work, hires cleaning, gardening... she only cooks for herself (FIL away most of the time in a ship). So her life is going shopping, theater, movies, ... she has plenty of time.

madwomanbackintheattic Wed 09-Dec-15 04:30:40

Find a different toddler swimming session, preferably at a gym with a crèche, and do it in your own time. On the weekends you have the kids, you can rent a teenager and just go to the pool and have fun.
He can do whatever he likes on his weekends with a toddler, tbh. There is no real reason why it matters if your toddler goes to these 'lessons' or not, so I wouldn't see it as something worth arguing over. You are unlikely to have it all sorted out this session anyway.

(He is of course being a prize plum to ship the kids to babysitters for his weekends, but I guess they want to see the grandkids too. He could take them to the pool at the grandparents house, too, as he has handy helping hands)

Isetan Wed 09-Dec-15 05:19:07

Welcome to the co-parenting life, there were stacks of fun courses I didn't enroll DD on because I anticipated that she would be with her father EOW (EOW never happened and she spends zero time with him).

The priority is your child spending time with their parent and you can't dictate how his father chooses to spend his time, co parenting as a separated people means a level of parental autonomy for both parents.

Given your child's long weekdays, I wouldn't be in a rush to schedule the weekends. Personally, I would hold back on signing up for stuff until you have a contact schedule locked down and your child gets used to the new set up.

Pick your battles and this is one to avoid.

torontonian Wed 09-Dec-15 07:44:53

I am sorry to hear that Isetan. Sometimes I wish I had the kids all for myself but when I see single moms I feel happy that Husband is an ok dad and loves DS them.

I understand that I can't schedule what to do in his weekends, but I wondered if this is something that I can bring up with a parenting mediator since we agreed that swimming/music was good for him. I don't think he changed his mind, he is just thinking about himself now. I like madwoman's idea of finding lessons in the grandparents city.

Honestly, I am pissed off with his previous need to socialize with the OW other parents. But now he just takes off and frowns to any activity or birthday party. I am a bit sad if his idea is that DS misses these things. We enroll him in short programs just once a year and grandparents are more than able to drive to visit him (the activity would take him just one hour of the weekend). But that is just me.

I have enrolled in yoga with the baby during the week, when the toddler is at daycare smile I didn't need to consult that one hehe

Whenischristmas Wed 09-Dec-15 07:49:59

I have found this to be a big problem post-separation. Ex won't take dc to any activities so they only go in the week but that is logistically difficult when you have more than one dc. So they have really missed out and do far less than I would like. If he says he can't/won't take them I would take him at his word and accept that. You can't do a great deal about it really.

PoundingTheStreets Wed 09-Dec-15 12:05:34

Sadly, unless you can appeal to his better nature, you're going to have to accept this. There are court rulings stating that a child's contact with the non-resident parent trumps the consistency of extra-curricular activities, even those that do so much to nurture a child's development. Personally, I think a truly caring parent would try to accommodate something their child has a passion for or which clearly benefits them so much, but it's not always possible because of distance, etc.

What you might like to point out to your XH is that your DS wouldn't be the first child to actively reject contact if it means giving up Saturday football matches where he's worked hard to get on the team, etc., particularly if contact realistically means being palmed off on grand-parents rather than really engaging with dad. All that said, a truly involved NRP who makes contact count is is invaluable.

I'd try to find a compromise by presenting this as what's best for DS and his ongoing relationship with his father if you can, but be ready to draw a line and accept defeat rather than cause a war over this. A few swimming lessons isn't worth the stress and the potential fall out for your family.

whatyouseeiswhatyouget Wed 09-Dec-15 13:42:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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