finding change to contact difficult(115 Posts)
I have nc for this as don't want this to be linked to usual name.
I know I am probably being a bitch but I am really struggling.
We have recently moved to the coast much closer to dsc, it used to be a 3 hour roundtrip to collect them and now they are able to get the bus from school and be with is in 20 minutes, this is obviously good and the reason we moved where we did.
The part I am struggling with is dh wants them both to have their own keys, so they can come whenever they want and let themselves in. Which I can see the logic but I wanted them to text etc. to let us know they were coming round for 2 main reasons, 1) dh works till 10..30pm about 3 nights a week, so I don't really see the point in them coming round when he's not there and I also enjoy having the odd evening to myself, 2) so I know about food, they eat continuously, to the point where I have stopped buying multipacks of crisps as in an evening, they will eat 16 packs between them, which is ridiculous. Also for dinner.
I also think that I am having a hard time adjusting to every other week, to pretty much whenever they want and just wondering in.
DH says they should come and go as they please and we wouldn't ask ds (who is 2) when he's older his exact itinerary, which I don't agree with, I will want to know where ds is and whether he's eating etc.
We are at a standstill and he's going tomorrow to get the keys cut and I am feeling very invaded.
Any words of advice please.
DH says they should come and go as they please and we wouldn't ask ds (who is 2) when he's older his exact itinerary, which I don't agree with, I will want to know where ds is and whether he's eating etc
But you wouldn't ask your DS to notify you when he's coming to his own home, would you? I get your DH's point here. He wants the DCs to feel this house is their home too.
Re the food - reasonable to ask if the DCs are there for dinner. No notice, no dinner.
I'm guessing their teenagers op, I think it's normal for contact to become more flexible as they get older when they are socialising with friends but still want to pop in and see their parent they don't live with
How old are they and does he expect them to sleep at yours when they come over, or just pop in and head back to their DMs?
You have a more than fair point about them coming to see him. Do they currently come to the house when he's not there?
They're his children and he'll want them to be happy and feel at home at your joint house, as you say, you wanted to see more of them which is why you moved. But it is still your house and if you're going to be responsible for food shopping and other jobs, you have every right to know who's going to be there.
What would he say if you told him they can come over in the evenings but not if he carries on working till half 10 at night?
Would your ds have a key at their age? Yes? So should they then. It's their home as well as yours.
we wouldn't ask ds (who is 2) when he's older his exact itinerary
Other than for dinner then you won't tbh.
Tell DH to tell them to text if they are coming for dinner. Not to ask permission. If they are pigging out on junk food then you need to address that separately.
The point is they aren't resident with you, so while they probably don't give their DM an exact itinerary, it is fair for them to let you know when they intend to come round, even if it's a heads up rather than a request.
Flexible contact is great, but he's not there till so late half the week. How do you and he feel about them letting themselves in when neither of you is there?
There's no reason at this point why they need to have their own keys, there just isn't. And he has no right to do this without your agreement.
Yes I would ask DS where he was and what time he'd be home etc.
They are 11 and 15, I understand that it needs to be more flexible as contact was becoming a nightmare when we leaved further away as they didn't want to come for long weekends, because of parties, football etc.
But DH isn't here a few evenings a week, so surely it makes sense to come round when he's home? Re the food, if they're coming from school i can't not feed them, they need dinner.
I think the main problem I need to get over is I find it very intrusive to have them come and go with no notice or warning. I might have plans in the evening, etc. I don't think it's a lot to ask for a quick text to check it's ok. But maybe that is a lot to ask.
Why do you think they would want to come round on the evenings he is not there? If I were them I would ensure he would be at home - I wouldn't want to sit and make polite conversation with a stepmum.
All your DH needs to do is let them know when he won't be at home.
Do they have their own rooms in the house?
With 15 year olds you won't always know where they are as they might plan to meet up with friends but what they do depends on a million random factors (they go with the flow) They will probably have a curfew but on a non-school night, they could be home at 6pm or 10pm. Having to ask whether they can come home is not what families do (unless they've forgotten their key and wants to be let in) .
I think you are a bit U.
The not coming if dads not there ir you wanting a quiet evening is Unreasonable. Will you turf your DS out for 24 hours because his dads not there?
However the wanting to know because of food prep is totally reasonable. I would use the food prep as the reason you want a text not the other stuff as that just nakes you sound like a bitch.
They have turned up when he's not here, more the 15 year old, I will get a knock on the door about 5.30 as she's come from school, with no warning and my dh at work.
It's not that we don't get on, we can chat happily and sit and watch telly etc.
They share a bedroom here.
It's not the same as my ds though, I don't really see the comparison as it is a totally different situation
As I have said I think it's going from having a very rigid eow routine to having them come and go without any information or a heads up.
I think you're being unreasonable I'm afraid. For the DCs to feel like they have a home with their Dad is perfectly normal and natural and it's sad that you don't feel the same.
At the ages they are, there is no reason why they can't entertain themselves and why you can't carry on doing what you were going to do anyway.
And ref food - all you have to do is say something like "I hadn't planned on cooking today - beans on toast OK with you?"
I don't think YABU OP, I feel the same.
I'm prepared to be told that I shouldn't feel like that but I do and I can't help it.
I don't like people just wandering in when I'm on my own in the house and DSC don't have keys to our house.
Besides all that, I do actually like DSC
I don't understand why they'd come to your house if their Dad isn't there? Why aren't they going to their Mum's on those nights? Is she also not at home? Surely she's 'doing dinner' for them on those nights and is expecting them home? I can't imagine them rocking up at yours with no notice is working for her either if she's cooking for them. Any chance of you speaking to her directly about it? Are they coming to see their little brother or you? Sorry - lots of questions!
I don't think you're BU at all expecting a quiet night on your own when your DH isn't there. Presumably your 2 yr old goes to bed early and I completely understand you not wanting a teenager showing up expecting to be fed. It would be different if they were resident with you but it doesn't sound like they are. What's the contact routine?
I don't think you are entirely unreasonable. It is your house and if you are going to be the one responsible for feeding them and keeping them company then of course you are entitled to some consideration.
I think I would agree to the key (if you trust them to lock up properly if you are out) but insist that they don't have free reign over the kitchen cupboards but are limited to whatever snack food you feel is appropriate. I wouldn't want my teens to be filling up on junk food. I would keep healthy snack food available and let them know that they are welcome to have a sandwich or soup or fruit but if they want to stay for dinner then they must arrange this with you first. You have a right to lnow how many people you are shopping and cooking for, in advance.
I also think that if your h wants his dc to visit frequently them he needs to be there more often. Parenting them is his job and not to be passed onto you whether you like it or not. Don't feel you have to change all your plans. Your dh needs to understand that while he wants them to feel at home they don't actually live there and you are entitled to time alone because they are not your children, but his.
Oh and I have a 2yr old too. By the time he's in bed, I'm knackered and crave 5 mins peace on my own
I never thought of it from their mums point of view of cooking etc. She's not complained to us about it. She is at home in the evenings as works in a school near by. It's not always both of them, they come on their own as well, there is no pattern to it.
yes my ds is in bed at 6.30, so if dh is working I would usually have 3 hours or so to chill and do what I want alone, I work full time so it's nice to have some down time on my own.
There is no official contact arrangement, it used to be eow, now we've moved and they are able to get here on their own, they just turn up when they want.
Every so often dhs ex will ask for us to have them for a specific night or for the weekend, if she is going away.
Ilovenannyplum that's how I feel. I do get on with both dsc.
Your DH is being very disrespectful towards you and trying to create a situation where his DC, not you, are the boss in your home. It is never a good situation for DSCs to come and go from their two homes as they please.
You need a contact routine - life is unmanageable without one. And it is a very bad idea indeed for DC to be brought up to roam freely and unchecked between two homes.
I think your dscs should let you know in plenty of time in advance before they intend to come over. When I was the child in this position I actually asked if it would be OK to come over and it did me no harm. And I very very rarely was at my mum's when she was out, and felt very awkward when it was just me and mum's dp.
Your DS is different. It's his only home and you will be expecting him every night.
If they do turn up out of the blue then point them towards the kitchen for tea and they can make do with what you have got. Don't go running out to the supermarket at short notice.
CozyAutumn yes I used to ask my dad if I could pop round, never thought about it being anything other than polite.
I will speak to dh again about trying to establish perhaps a routine that is flexible but at least known in advance, as dhs shift changes, it can be different days each week he is working late.
I will also dh to speak to his ex and see what she thinks about it, as she must be buying/cooking food for them expecting them home.
While I agree that a contact routine is not appropriate for older teenagers, I definitely think an 11 yr old would benefit from one. How else can you be sure who is responsible for overseeing things like homework?
it is a very bad idea indeed for DC to be brought up to roam freely and unchecked between two homes I think Bobochic has hit the nail on the head here....unless your DH and his ex are extremely amicable and communicate very regularly?
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