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After school activities

(13 Posts)
Bluebell9 Wed 26-Apr-17 11:39:04

Posting for my DP.
He has 2 DCs with his ExW. She is RP and DP has the kids as often as possible, working round his shifts. ExW has a job with flexible shifts so she works when DP is off. They both help each other out and we all get on well.

Neither DP or his ExW are very organised. This isn't a dig at either of them, but it does have a bearing on this matter.

I'm very organised and as I like to know who I'm cooking for when I do the weekly shop, I remind DP to sort out days we are having the kids.
We were all out for the day together at the weekend and as we were leaving, I asked DP when we had the kids this week, prompting ExW and DP to discuss and arrange days before we went our separate ways. All sorted.

The ExW texts DP at 10pm the night before we are due to have the DCs to say that one of the DCs has an after school activity that finishes at a time where it would mean that by the time DP got DCs home, it would be bed time and they still wouldn't have had tea.
So they agreed DP wouldn't have the DCs that night. Due to DPs shifts, he can't have them again until the next time we are due to have them at the weekend. DP was disappointed not to see them but said that as the activity was something that DC wanted to do, he was ok about it.

ExW then text the next day and said that DC wasn't doing the activity after all as it was fully booked and she hadn't booked in him, having been told she could just turn up, so did DP have plans as he could have the DCs if not. DP said he didn't have plans but pointed out that by the time he'd come to pick them up, it would be the same time as the activity finished and he'd have the same issue with feeding tea and bed time.
ExW then text back 'Oh, so you aren't going to have them until the weekend then?'

We live 30-40 mins away from the DCs and younger DC really needs her sleep. ExW and DP agree that the youngest can't have late nights on a school night.

Obviously I'm involved so not impartial, but I don't think DP did anything wrong, did he?

Justmadeperfectflapjacks Wed 26-Apr-17 11:42:12

Exw shouldn't be making plans for the dc in df time.
Judges words told to my ex.
Time with parent overrules plans with friends. .

ZilphasHatpin Wed 26-Apr-17 11:47:04

Exw shouldn't be making plans for the dc in df time.

Except they don't have fixed times so she wouldn't be able to book DC into anything going by that rule. It doesn't suit this situation.

OP no, of course he didn't do anything wrong. What exactly could he have done? He wasn't going to see them until the weekend anyway so the situation is the same as had they been doing the activity.

Bluebell9 Wed 26-Apr-17 11:54:12

DP is happy for the kids to do whatever activities they want, yes he misses them, but he doesn't want them to miss out on things because his work means they can't do set days.
DP didn't understand why ExW was being off with him, which is why I asked here.

Debrathezebra Wed 26-Apr-17 12:19:17

I don't understand why he couldn't have them, if I've got it right. He was due to have them, then that changed as they had an activity. They couldn't do the activity so were available to come, but couldn't because by the time he'd picked them up there was no time for tea before bedtime.

If that's the case then surely there wouldn't have been time for tea before bedtime in the first place?

Bluebell9 Wed 26-Apr-17 14:07:38

ExW didn't tell him that DC wasn't doing the activity until it was too late. He would have got them from school if they had been coming but he didn't find out that DC wasn't doing the activity until 2 hours after school finished. So by the time he'd driven to pick them up, it would have been the same time as the activity had finished.

swingofthings Wed 26-Apr-17 15:09:07

It is confusing. From the way your OP reads:
- They'd agreed over the week-end that he would have the children on? Tuesday night?
- She then called to say DC had an activity that went on too late so made sense they would stay with her. He said ok.
- activity not happening, so children available again, but your DP says that it would still be too late to have them?

AnneLovesGilbert Wed 26-Apr-17 15:39:15

The issue is that she told him too late for him to get them at a reasonable time, and my mutual agreement between both parents, the youngest shouldn't have late nights in the week.

Have I got that right?

In which care, she's probably annoyed with herself for not having been more organised, and for letting the DC down who missed out, but it's not your DP's fault at all.

Doesn't sound to me like he was trying to duck out of anything, let anyone down or be awkward, he and his ex agree the DC don't benefit from late nights and it was very short notice for everyone involved.

She was fine with him not seeing the DC till the weekend when she was the one changing plans to accommodate activities - and it's good he's flexible about this, a lot of people would find it a giant pita - so she doesn't have a right to grump at him for sticking with her plan, as the late pick up time applied either way.

OP, if relations are usually amicable I'd tell DP not to worry and just assume she was pissed off that the DC missed out on the activity and was lashing out about that. Neither of them really did anything wrong and all 3 of you are only looking out for the DC involved.

Debrathezebra Wed 26-Apr-17 15:50:43

Perhaps she thought that he'd like to have the 40 minutes in the car with them, and the opportunity to do the bedtime routine, and then presumably breakfast and school run. If you live 40 minutes away she'd have time to give them a quick tea while waiting.

Or perhaps the children miss him and thought they'd be able to see him.

Evergreen777 Wed 26-Apr-17 15:52:47

As a parent and step parent of teens, I think your DP may need to change his routines a bit as the kids get older. They do start wanting to do more activities, and then social outings with friends. Having lots of chopping and changing between houses becomes complicated for them, and if it is to continue will have to be something that they're involved in themsleves, and that can change a lot a short notice. This isn't really anyone's fault, it's just life.

Your DP's ex asked him first before she signed the DC up for the activity, but that then meant she had to un-ask him, but if she'd tried to sign the DC up first, she'd not have known whether it was OK with your DP or not - sometimes these things are hard to juggle.

This week I have DSD as an extra overnight (as she wants to go out this evening near our house), DSS out all evening and missing dinner another night, DS and DSS out at different times another night, and DD supposed to be at her dad's on Friday night but in fact out at a sponsored sleepover, which I did let her sign up for before telling my ex because it was a first come first served thing and she was very keen to do it.

I think your options are either to try to become a bit more relaxed about comings and goings, get some ready meals in the fridge, freeze leftovers, etc. Or else encourage your DP to move to a more structured routine where he doesn't have them much in the week. As kids get older I think there's less need for such frequent contact, as long as he spends decent time with them at weekends/holidays, and has contact by phone/text etc at other times.

I don't know how old your DSC are now, so this may be something more for the future.

Debrathezebra Wed 26-Apr-17 15:56:27

I think too that you could take that text in two ways. Oh as an expression of disappointment, or oh as an expression of surprise. She may not be being off with him at all. If she's a bit chaotic she may well have just shrugged it off after the text and got on with things.

Bluebell9 Wed 26-Apr-17 18:03:37

annelovesgilbert yep, it was too late by the time she told him.

She didn't ask him if it was ok before she decided DC was going but DP didn't want to stop DC from going as they wanted to do it.

DP is flexible, we have the DCs at short notice whenever we can as long as DP isn't working.

Gogglerox Sat 29-Apr-17 10:15:54

I've had this the other way round recently - my ex has a forever changing shift pattern which makes it extremely difficult to plan things, I feel our whole lives are dictated by his work.
Generally he sends me his rota at the start of the month and we plan which days he's having our DS - 2yrs old.
This month coming he has kicked off because he expects to be able to have him whenever he's off work but I have 3 days where I'm insisting DS is with me - one day is for my DDs 7th birthday party as I feel it's important he's at his sisters party! 2nd date is my 30th birthday party with my family, and 3rd date is because I've booked very fun expensive day out for me and both my DCs during May half term.
He seems to think I'm unreasonable for this?
Your DP isn't being unreasonable at all, he seems extremely chilled out in fact.

I'm response to justmadeperfect that is only the case if father has set days not changing shift patterns. I know this because I consulted a solicitor with regards to the lack of routine with my ex... I was told in no uncertain terms that both the court and childcare professionals could insist that there be "set days" for custody arrangements, the ExW is under no obligation to be so flexible about days and access etc as it isn't in the best interests of the child - a regular routine is what's considered the best solution. Solicitor also told me I am perfectly within my rights to make plans in advance especially considering I don't know what my Ex's shift patterns will be from week to week

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