Tweens and changes to contact(20 Posts)
DSS (now 12) would normally come and spend EOW with us. However this weekend has a cubs event he wants to go to and has text his dad to say he isn't coming to see us this weekend. This is completely fine as we knew the day would come especially as he's now at secondary school when he has things on or wants to spend time with his mates and can't visit.
However this now means we won't have seen him for a month by the time we see him again.
My DP spoke to DSS mother and she has point blank refused to rearrange weekends so DSS can come and see us next weekend instead because that would mean rearranging contact weekends with DSS sister who also visits her own dad on the same weekends DSS visits us?!?!
My DP is a little upset about it all. AIBU to think this is a little unfair? No word from DSS about what he would like to do.
If he didn't want to swap weekends so he could do his activity and still see us that would be fine but just because his mum wants to make sure both her children have contact with their respective dads on the same days feels a little selfish.
Why don't you have him a extra day the weekend after?
Midweek meet up after school or evening or brunch on the Sunday morning?
Contact doesn't have to be all weekend, with time at home, to be valuable - my DHs relationship with his DS is strengthening despite being limited to just a few hours a fortnight away from our home.
Is the cubs event all weekend? Could he not stay with his dad and be dropped off and collected.
Thanks for all your responses :-)
Sorry I should have mentioned that due to both families moving we live 2 hours apart now so mid week dinners aren't really an option and the activity is all weekend apparently.
I can see where DSS mother is coming from. Her free weekend is when both her DCs are away with their respective dads. If she swaps weekends for DSS, it means basically that she doesn't have a child free weekend.
But for one weekend so DSS can still go to his activity and not have to go 4 weeks without seeing his dad?
This seems a little unfair to me just so she could keep her child free weekend?
My and DP also have a DS together and I'm not sure having a child free weekend every other week really comes with the territory of being a parent?
Plus because DSS wants to go to cubs on what would have been her child free weekend it will make little difference if this is her reasoning.
I've been trying to see if from his mothers point of view and the only way I can see reasoning is that it would mean that for 3 weeks running DSS and his sister wouldn't have a weekend together with her. However as I say we're only proposing this as a one off.
It does if you are a single parent, it's different having two parents around, it eases things.
Maybe I'm not getting it, but why wouldn't you be able to have an extra day/weekend - so seeing DSS the 3rd and the 4th weekend, so then it carries on as before?
To be honest, it's not really the mums fault, it's not like she's trying to muck things up.
Trying to get my head round this - if DSS comes to you on the weekend he's not scheduled to, would you re-start the whole EOW pattern from that point, in which case you'll be having him on all the weekends you weren't originally meant to? In which case I can sort of see his mum's point, because DSS's weekends with his dad will all be out of sync with his sisters weekends with her dad.
But if you wanted to fit in an extra weekend, and then revert back to the existing pattern, then I can see no harm as a one-off.
You really need to get this sorted as such situations are going to be more and more common. It isn't fair that contact should be reduced to once a month as a result. I don't understand mum's view though, you are not asking to swap, but maybe next month have him say three week-ends in a row? If that is too much for her, could you make the second week-end a Friday to Saturday evening for instance? A lot of driving, but better than nothing compromise?
You shouldn't be denied a little flexibility, just because of DSS's sisters arrangements!
Is she clear that you're just asking for a one off swap, and then to resume the normal rota? I could see how she's have been unhappy if she thought you just wanted to miss one weekend then see him the next so end up all out of sync.
Otherwise get into social media and texting as best way to keep up with busy older kids/teens. At the very least you could arrange a time for a phone chat with DSS on the missed weekend
Why not just offer to have him come over an extra weekend?
This is going to start happening more frequently as he gets older. You can't reasonably expect to swap the contact schedule around every time just because you live so far away.
If Mum's dead set on her child free weekend (and if she's a lone parent, I do get it), could you not just have DSS two weekends in a row? So you have her weekend and then the following weekend too and offer to do the driving?
I can understand why mum organises access so that both her children are away on the same weekend - but what happens when DSS's sister also wants to do activities etc that may mean varying HER contact schedule? It's going to be impossible without a little give and take.
Don't mess with the long term schedule.
Seeing your DSS on one of the weekends either side of your usual weekend means his sister is on her own at home - and at that age they play together - and also the mum misses seeing her boy.
The solution is you collect from the Scouts trip (he's too old for cubs?) when he is tired and grubby, just so dad sees him safely home. Events usually finish after a brunch. You could pick him up a pizza big enough to share, on his way home, telling the mum first, and most boys would love that!!
But being 2 hours away.. seems a bit of a wasted trip just for a lift, and it's not easy for the dad. So tricky - you had to move I am sure, but for pre teens it's troublesome to be out of control of journey times and whether they can choose where they want to be. It's worth bending over backwards to help for a few years. Good relationships can be built on differing contact arrangements. The hardest times are yet to come, so go easy on this one.
modern - you seem to contradict yourself, starting your post by saying don't mess with the long term contact schedule, but then saying that positive relationships can be built on differing contact arrangements?
I'm not a fan of 'set in stone' arrangements that can never be reconsidered as e children get older.
Thanks everyone. We by no means want to permanently change the arrangement so that SS mother never had a child free weekend.
All we were asking for was a little flexibility so that SS could go to his trip and didn't have to reduce contact with his dad to just once this month.
This would have meant having SS 2 weeks in a row.
I think on this occasion DP doesn't want to cause any confrontation with SS mother so it going to let it go but I do think they need to agree on a way forward for the future.
SS is going to have more and more things at weekends now and I think a little flexibility will be needed all round.
Whilst I understand that flexibility for you is going to matter going forwards, it sounds like that's going to mean an occasional loss of her child free weekend and from her point of view, why should she lose that? No doubt that'll be the weekend she makes plans to do things with friends, dates, gets things done. In all honesty I wouldn't give up my child free night every now and again to suit my ex partner - particularly if it meant I was the only one making sacrifices
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