99% of the time, no exageration, my ex calls very last minute with excuse to either not be able to pick kids up to spend time with them, or will be later than expected. There's always an excuse, ALWAYS. He just called 5 minutes ago to say that he's coming 'around' 1 hour later than planned, because of work. I also work full time and still manage to keep appointments, and find his excuses very irritating. OR he'll show up unannounced, when NOT planned (last Wed. he was too hung over, Friday morning showed up unannounced, went to party on Sat instead of having kids, didn't have them another night to make up for it, will be late today, won't have them next Saturday becuase he'll be out of town..) What the f is going on here? is this some kind of way to jerk me around?
when ex always calls at last minute with excuse to be late/not pick up kids at all
yes, this is an excuse to jerk you around. The problem is that he's going to make the kids feel like they don't matter, in his attempts to make you feel like you don't matter. =/
I would start enforcing some boundaries with him asap. He'll either shape up or start flaking out on visits. The latter would have happened eventually anyway, if that's his path. The former may never happen if you don't start demanding some respect on behalf of yourself and your children, though. You have a set visitation schedule, right? So, that's your schedule. He needs to give 48 hours notice of any changes. Period. Feel free to accommodate his requests as long as he gives notice. Even if you *can* accommodate him in less time, though, I would stop doing so. It encourages him to believe he has the ability and authority to control you. That will get worse as time goes on, not better. Also, explain to him that he has a 15 or 30 minute window to pick up the kids. The local "norm" for this window varies. Most seem to give 30 minutes, though, even where the courts expect 15. Explain it ONCE, via email if he emails, then stop playing along with his games. Don't argue. Don't explain. Don't bargain. Half an hour after pick up time, be somewhere else with the kids. Go to the park, or pop out to the store to pick a few things up. Preferably, plan outings for the first few times you will be setting your boundary. It will make the whole transition smoother for you if you are totally inaccessible for a few hours. Once you've sent the message, you can start turning him away at the door when he shows up unexpected or dramatically late.
The only other options I see are to change your attitude and stop minding when he treats you and the kids like doormats....or continue to be frustrated but not do anything to change the situation.
I have a claus ex has to pay for a sitter if he doesn't take his time. My suggestion is you drop the kids off at his place and make it known you are not available until the fixed time at the end of his parenting time, when he can drop the kids off with you. He needs to be shown he can not treat the kids as optional entertainment when he has nothing better to do. If he is more than 30 minutes late then he misses all of that parenting time. If he consistantly misses parenting time then tell him you are returning to court to have the hours decreased and child support increased.
I made me and my kids 'scarce' after last delay, which resulted in XH switching his phone off until next day. When he was available agian I made my boundaries known, which obviously ended up in a huge argument, in which he conculded that he'll have the kids on his day only (Saturday evening-Sunday noon), which is fine, but then he also said WHEN HE ISN'T AVAILABLE, HE'LL SKIP SATURDAYS. In the same conversation he said that if the kids are too much trouble for me he'd do a much better job than me at raising them on his own than I do...this guy is all over the place. There is no reasoning with him. So all I can do is yes, set my boundaries and let him reel all over the place.
Good job, mama! I know it was rough dealing with his tantrum. He may or may not turn out to be the guy that blows off his kids or gets his act together. That was just a tantrum, after all. Once my xh realized I was going to stick tight to the visitation schedule, he dropped to seeing the kids once every 6 - 8 weeks. That was about how often his family would ask about them. He'd claim he was seeing them all the time, and promise to take pictures at the next visit...so, he'd actually show up for a visit to get some pics, then drop them back off after maybe an hour. That was until he started dating someone seriously and wanted to show what a great dad he was. Then he used max time until they were married...at which point, she would sometimes contact me so the kids could spend time with her son, but xh would always go to a friend's house to escape. *eyeroll*