Hi all! I haven't been around much lately, been busy w/a new job and winter weather & illnesses.
I'm butting up against a new issue. My kids just turned 6 &4. Their father lives about an hour away - it's only ~30 miles, but can take easily much longer than an hour b/c of traffic. He chose to move there about a year and a half ago. He used to live 15 minutes away. When I moved, I told him he would be responsible for transportation, & he has been. Since he moved out 3 years ago, he's never committed to a regular visitation schedule. I started a new job/career last summer, and have work every other weekend. Last fall I finally made a strong request that he take the kids every other weekend when I'm working. He has sort of done it, with significant prodding on my part. I need this for childcare - my parents do all my childcare, & my shifts are 12.5 hours.
But, now I'm running into the problem of kids' weekend activities. They're getting invited to more parties, and there are activities that they are involved in, or want to be involved in, that are on weekends. Obviously, some stuff can be skipped - birthday parties that aren't for close friends, etc. But there are a lot of things that are important to both them & me - lately for instance, a dance school performance/fund raiser & a cousin's baby's baptism.
The kids don't have any friends of commitments to speak of at their father's house, this is pretty much a one-way issue.
How do others handle this? Switching to a job w/o the every other weekend requirement is very unlikely in the immediate future.