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#1 of 17 Old 01-23-2011, 05:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm trying to be reasonable here but I feel like I'm getting walked over.  We currently don't have any court ordered visitation as we are in the middle of our divorce.  However, we have set up an arrangement that after ignoring her for 16 months, he now gets to see her every other Saturday from 9:30-8:00 and every other Tuesday 4:30-8:00.  He chronically shows up late or drops off late which he has absolutely no reason for - they live two blocks away.  For instance, last Saturday he dropped her off 20 minutes late with no sort of communication whatsoever - he didn't even leave the house until I sent him a text asking what was going on.  When he arrived he didn't know what time she'd last ate, when she went down/got up from her nap, etc. - normal things you ask when picking up your child.  Plus, she was soaking through her tights and her onesie was filthy.  As usual, he'd also forgotten something I'd sent with him - in this instance her sippy cups and the bags I use to send her food.  Everyone was sick for his Tuesday so we rescheduled it to Friday.  Twenty minutes late picking her up he calls and asks if he can reschedule his next Saturday because he won't be home.  Fine with me.  Then he proceeds to tell me he either wants her overnight that night (while we're all still under the weather) or for the 5th to go with him to visit his family for his sister's birthday.  This is a 4 hour drive away.  We don't allow overnights at this time (she's 18 months old) and he has agreed to this.  We had previously reached an agreement that overnights will not take place until 12/31/2012.  I made ONE exception so that she could spend New Year's Eve with him as his family celebrates Christmas that night.  Now he's constantly pushing for overnights, etc.  I agreed to let him reschedule for the 5th and take her on the long drive.  Then he starts demanding I let him take her on the 4th so that he can have her over 4 hours away AND overnight.  This is starting to irritate me quite a bit.  How do I deal with this?  I've tried to be accommodating so I don't appear as the evil ex, kwim but this is getting ridiculous.  Additionally, the reason he can't have her on his regularly scheduled Saturday is because he would rather go to a Magic The Gathering card tournament rather than spend time with his daughter.  He freely admits that he could go to the tournament on Friday night but is going on Saturday instead.  I really feel like he is taking advantage of my generosity in trying to always be accommodating to his schedule.

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#2 of 17 Old 01-24-2011, 07:17 PM
 
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Why can't he have her overnight?


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#3 of 17 Old 01-24-2011, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For a few reasons - the main two being she's only known him for two months and is not ready for overnight visits.  She's only 18 months old and we co-sleep for another.  He can't provide a safe sleeping environment for her (separate or with them).  Because developmentally, she's not ready to be away from mom while asleep.  In this particular case because the drive is over four hours away.  Because the total amount of hours she's seen him her entire life totals up to less than a week.  Lastly, because he and I agreed no overnight visits until she was ready presumably around 3 1/2 which is 12/31/2012. 

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#4 of 17 Old 01-24-2011, 08:23 PM
 
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My husband had 50/50 custody of my step-daughter when she was a year old and was still co-sleeping while at mom's. Two more years seems like an awfully long time to wait before any overnight happens, and if he pushes it in court I'd imagine he would have a reasonable chance of getting some overnight visitation. You might want to figure out how to allow for overnights on your terms instead of waiting for the court to decide. In my husband's case they were happy to give him 50/50 custody after months of pretty minimal visitation that had been extremely limited by his ex.

 

Obviously I don't know the whole situation... but it's been our experience that the courts have a much different idea of what is reasonable parenting and reasonable living situations (ie things you think are awful and unsafe may not be seen as such by the courts), and that courts are much less interested in attachment parenting and much more interested in protecting the equal rights of both biological parents (ie co-sleeping, extended nursing, etc are seen as parenting choices and not as reasons to restrict the other person's parenting time). It's also been my experience that they are a lot more interested in what is currently happening and a lot less interested in what has happened in the past. That is to say that if he is interested in parenting his daughter now and going forward, and is interested in more parenting time and more responsibility for her day-to-day care, they may not care that he wasn't interested for the first 16 months. 

 

I guess my bottom line is that if he wants to take this to the family court he stands to get a lot more than he is getting now, and that you may be a lot better off figuring out how to work it out between the two of you so you can write up a parenting plan that you both agree to and just get the courts to sign off on it.

 

Again, I have no idea what the situation is, who your ex is, how your family court tends to rule, who you are, etc etc etc etc... This is just my perspective based on my experience and may have nothing to do with your actual situation.


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#5 of 17 Old 01-24-2011, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I appreciate your input but we have reached a parenting plan on which we both agree.  This is a literally not safe thing he refuses to change.  He wanted to put a 18 month old by herself on a twin size bed with no rail and the room she'd be sleeping in is his office - so it's full of computer parts, wires, etc.  We're not going into the ridiculous abuse of the family courts who are more interested in being politically correct than in protecting the child's rights.  My question is how do I deal with him trying to take advantage of me and abuse the goodwill I've shown him?  I mean he is CHRONICALLY late and always forgets what we send with her.  He lies about what he feeds her (she has Celiac disease so this is a serious health issue).  He constantly puts his own wants and needs ahead of her - case and point skipping his Saturday with her to go to some silly card game instead of going the night before or not at all.  I've given him an open invitation from day one and living two blocks away he chose never to see her.  He sees her now because my lawyer forced the issue.  A judge may not look at his past behavior but a mediator will/has and (here at least) they are the ones deciding when/if we go to court.  We've been ordered by the judge to go through mediation first.  His past behavior should tell you about his willingness to truly care for his daughter.  For him, she's a show piece.  "Here's my daughter that my evil ex doesn't let me see and I pay all that child support for..." even though that's complete BS and 100% untrue.  For instance, his last visitation he made me change her clothes so she fit his girlfriend's level of fashion.  She started off in a pair of nice fleece pants and a nice shirt (you know, since it was SNOWING and cold).  He made me change her into a thin onesie, a corduroy skirt, and a pair of tights - completely inadequate for the weather but her being fashionable enough for the gf was more important.

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#6 of 17 Old 01-25-2011, 06:34 AM
 
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Hi Sling Mama.  I don't have a great answer on how to solve your ex's pitiful behavior, but I did think of a suggestion.  I would be writing all this stuff down.  After each visit record if he is on time, her condition when she is returned to you (dirty/clean/rested), what he says she has eaten or not eaten, which is important, obviously, because of her health, etc.  Write down all the rescheduled times and why he wants to reschedule.  I don't know if it will help in the long run, but at least you can establish a pattern of, I don't know, lax-ness, if that's a word!  It might help you fight off the overnights if it came to that.  I agree with you on the overnight thing.  My dd is 6 and never had an overnight with her dad.  Our situation is a bit different though.  HTH!


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#7 of 17 Old 01-25-2011, 06:38 AM
 
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You have NOT reached a parenting plan on which you both agree. You have reached a parenting plan that your ex is constantly pushing you to change. And aricha really is right - a court will give him much more physical custody if he pushes this so far as to go and formally ask for it. 

 

I sympathize with your situation, I do. But your expectations are not realistic. You can't expect the other parent to forgo overnights until 3.5. 

 

What you CAN expect, or at least hope for, is a mediator who will take your concerns (the celiac, the lack of safe sleeping space) seriously. So get thee to mediation. 

 

As to dropoff and pickup, you live two blocks away. You drop her off. You pick her up. If nobody's home at dropoff time, send an email about the missed visitation and make yourself unavailable for the rest of the day. If your DD isn't at his house at pickup time, again document with email, and call ex and girlfriend every five minutes to advise them of their noncompliance until they show up. It will be a pain to stand on the steps and wait for her, but the reality is that she's probably safe and that's a lot more reassurance than some mothers get when their kids are with the ex. 

 

You say that YOUR lawyer forced the issue. I don't know the details, obviously, but when uninvolved dads are hit up for $$$, one frequent result is that they start getting involved. Your are reaping the predictable result of what your lawyer has sown. You could have left him off the the birth certificate and moved away if what you wanted was sole physical and legal custody of your DD. You didn't do that. You are stuck with this guy and his succession of girlfriends, and I hope that mediation helps both of you to deal better with the situation. 

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#8 of 17 Old 01-25-2011, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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You have NOT reached a parenting plan on which you both agree. You have reached a parenting plan that your ex is constantly pushing you to change. And aricha really is right - a court will give him much more physical custody if he pushes this so far as to go and formally ask for it. 

 

I sympathize with your situation, I do. But your expectations are not realistic. You can't expect the other parent to forgo overnights until 3.5. 

 

What you CAN expect, or at least hope for, is a mediator who will take your concerns (the celiac, the lack of safe sleeping space) seriously. So get thee to mediation. 

 

As to dropoff and pickup, you live two blocks away. You drop her off. You pick her up. If nobody's home at dropoff time, send an email about the missed visitation and make yourself unavailable for the rest of the day. If your DD isn't at his house at pickup time, again document with email, and call ex and girlfriend every five minutes to advise them of their noncompliance until they show up. It will be a pain to stand on the steps and wait for her, but the reality is that she's probably safe and that's a lot more reassurance than some mothers get when their kids are with the ex. 

 

You say that YOUR lawyer forced the issue. I don't know the details, obviously, but when uninvolved dads are hit up for $$$, one frequent result is that they start getting involved. Your are reaping the predictable result of what your lawyer has sown. You could have left him off the the birth certificate and moved away if what you wanted was sole physical and legal custody of your DD. You didn't do that. You are stuck with this guy and his succession of girlfriends, and I hope that mediation helps both of you to deal better with the situation. 


Okay this is ridiculous.  I don't usually ask because a few members on this board are rude and borderline abusive.  I didn't ask your opinion on our parenting plan or your thoughts on overnights.  I didn't choose to hit him up, it was mandated by the state because of the divorce.  In our state you cannot get divorced when your pregnant and then the law requires a DNA test, child support, etc.  He's had an open invitation since I was in labor and chose not to accept.  My lawyer forced the issue and in turn his lawyer advised him to start visiting.  So he did.  End of story.  I couldn't just leave him off the birth certificate because we are married and trying to get divorced.  And no, the agreement is that he pick her up and drop her off as he has a vehicle.  Yes, we could walk but then the weather becomes a large concern with heavy rain/snow/ice, etc.  Additionally, the pick up time is late and I don't feel safe walking that street at night.  So, the only option is for him to pick her up and drop her off.  We have to get through mediation first before he can even consider court and in our area if you go to mediation you DO NOT go to court.  The mediators won't allow it - the make you return until you reach an agreement.  We have reached a parenting plan he and I agree on which includes lack of overnights until 3.5.  Are you going to send your child to sleep at someone's house that they've only known for a week?  I think not and if you would that seriously worries me.  My question was how do I draw the line with him to keep him from taking advantage or do I just have to start being the b****?  His behavior and constant requests for overnights and changes is trying to get me to trip up so he looks better to the mediator, etc.  The parenting plan we have was created together and satisfactory to both parties - he got his concessions for not having overnights and we were both happy with it. 

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#9 of 17 Old 01-25-2011, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by jeannineb View Post

Hi Sling Mama.  I don't have a great answer on how to solve your ex's pitiful behavior, but I did think of a suggestion.  I would be writing all this stuff down.  After each visit record if he is on time, her condition when she is returned to you (dirty/clean/rested), what he says she has eaten or not eaten, which is important, obviously, because of her health, etc.  Write down all the rescheduled times and why he wants to reschedule.  I don't know if it will help in the long run, but at least you can establish a pattern of, I don't know, lax-ness, if that's a word!  It might help you fight off the overnights if it came to that.  I agree with you on the overnight thing.  My dd is 6 and never had an overnight with her dad.  Our situation is a bit different though.  HTH!


Thanks mama.  We've started taking pictures and we keep track of everything.  I suppose I just have to start being the snot and start telling him no and forcing him to put his daughter first.  I've been accommodating and amicable trying to get this finished in time for his wedding in May but I guess the time has come for me to put my foot down.  He'll either step up and get married on time or he'll dig in and won't.  eyesroll.gif

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#10 of 17 Old 01-25-2011, 05:23 PM
 
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"The parenting plan we have was created together and satisfactory to both parties - he got his concessions for not having overnights and we were both happy with it."

 

(sigh) I'm sorry that I ticked you off. It wasn't my intention. My intention was to get you to see that the above is just clearly not true. He's consistently asking for overnights. He is very likely to get them as part of the formal mediation process before your DD is 3.5. Go to mediation, by all means - I applaud it! - but just try to be realistic about the clash between your expectations and what coparenting between two spouses who divorce when a child is young typically looks like. 

 

And meanwhile, walk the two darn blocks, for pete's sake. If you cannot pick her up because of a pressing safety concern, then the very least you can do, FOR HER, is to drop her off so that that part of the process is consistent and predictable. And as a PP advised you above, the other thing that you can do FOR HER is to refuse changes to the visitation schedule at this introductory stage. Again, consistent and predictable.

 

 

 

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#11 of 17 Old 01-25-2011, 06:46 PM
 
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 Then he starts demanding I let him take her on the 4th so that he can have her over 4 hours away AND overnight.  This is starting to irritate me quite a bit.  How do I deal with this?  I've tried to be accommodating so I don't appear as the evil ex, kwim but this is getting ridiculous.

...

I really feel like he is taking advantage of my generosity in trying to always be accommodating to his schedule.

 

Sorry I misunderstood what you were wanting advice on. This (above) is what I was responding to. I think those of us who have been through mediation and court are just trying to share our experiences about what happens in mediation/divorce when one parent doesn't agree, even if it is something they had said they were fine with originally. But it's not my child or my decision, so I can respect that you are going through your own process and you are not wanting advice about it. 
 

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"For instance, his last visitation he made me change her clothes so she fit his girlfriend's level of fashion.  She started off in a pair of nice fleece pants and a nice shirt (you know, since it was SNOWING and cold).  He made me change her into a thin onesie, a corduroy skirt, and a pair of tights - completely inadequate for the weather but her being fashionable enough for the gf was more important."

 

So for this one, I would tell him that if he wants her in something else he should bring a change of clothes for her. I would say it nicely and cheerfully.. as in, "I didn't know you had plans that needed her to be in a specific outfit. Feel free to change her into something else." We often brought a change of clothes for my step-daughter when we picked her up from mom, either because we had plans that needed specific clothes (like she needed sneakers or needed to be dressed up for an event) or simply because we have different taste in clothes than mom does and we wanted her to be in something that didn't embarrass us. We didn't always change her into something else, but we always brought something in case we needed that option. 
 

 

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My question was how do I draw the line with him to keep him from taking advantage or do I just have to start being the b****?   

 

So the short answer is "yes." If you feel like he is taking advantage of you and you feel you are constantly accommodating him or making changes at his request, you're going to have to start saying "no" if you want to stop. You can't change what he does, you can only change how you respond. If it is working for him to simply tell you what he wants you to do, he's going to keep doing it. If you say "no" to demands you think are unreasonable, he will no longer be getting what he wants. If he doesn't like it, he can change his strategy or he can take it up with the mediator or the court.

 

I hope that addressed more of what you were asking about. It's never my intention to be offensive. I've been to hell and back with my husband to protect his rights to parent his daughter despite his ex's best efforts to remove him from her life. Obviously that means you and I will have very different perspectives. Sometimes it's useful to see the perspective from the other side, but if it's not what you are looking for it isn't necessarily very helpful. And sometimes you have to go through your own journey to figure out how things are going to play out in your situation. I'm always willing to share my experience and perspective, but I can't guarantee it will always be helpful! :)

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#12 of 17 Old 01-25-2011, 11:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So the short answer is "yes." If you feel like he is taking advantage of you and you feel you are constantly accommodating him or making changes at his request, you're going to have to start saying "no" if you want to stop. You can't change what he does, you can only change how you respond. If it is working for him to simply tell you what he wants you to do, he's going to keep doing it. If you say "no" to demands you think are unreasonable, he will no longer be getting what he wants. If he doesn't like it, he can change his strategy or he can take it up with the mediator or the court.

 

I hope that addressed more of what you were asking about. It's never my intention to be offensive. I've been to hell and back with my husband to protect his rights to parent his daughter despite his ex's best efforts to remove him from her life. Obviously that means you and I will have very different perspectives. Sometimes it's useful to see the perspective from the other side, but if it's not what you are looking for it isn't necessarily very helpful. And sometimes you have to go through your own journey to figure out how things are going to play out in your situation. I'm always willing to share my experience and perspective, but I can't guarantee it will always be helpful! :)


Thank you very much, you weren't offensive at all!  I came here to ask so that I could see it from a different perspective as I know there are several moms on this forum from "the other side" as it were.  smile.gif  I know our tastes run different so I try to be polite when I dress her (nice clothes that are still suitable for play, no advocacy shirts and no "mom" shirts, and clothes that are easy to handle).  The problem is he has nothing for her so I can't just tell him to change her.  NOTHING.  I provide it all because he refuses to get off his bum and buy the things she needs.  Seriously, I even provide her food for when she's over there because it's easier on him than trying to find stuff that is okay for her.  I'd rather provide it then have her go without because he's an idiot so it's rather a catch 22 there.  duh.gif  I suppose he'll learn to start telling me he has a specific event in advance or he'll buy some clothes and the proper detergent won't he (allergies dictate the few her clothes can be washed in)?  I was really trying to avoid being the evil ex but it seems that is what needs to happen.  The ONE time I did that the whole situation imploded.  (Long story short, he wanted her 8-9 Christmas day so he could leave to see gf's family.  I rearranged our entire schedule to be there Christmas Eve and offered to let him have 10-2 on Christmas Eve instead so he could have more time and that the latest I could do was 3:00 because she needed to eat/nap/rest inbetween his house and my family's activities at 5:00.  Three days before he insists he MUST have her 3-5 and she can just sleep at my family's & miss dinner waking up around 30 minutes before bedtime.  He said he got that time frame or we were going to court.  I told him that was fine and he didn't need to see her at all with that attitude.  Ten minutes later I'd set up a visitation with his family because DD and they should not suffer for his stupidity.  The day before he says he'll take the 10-2 again.  This is where I put my foot down and told him no, that my family, SO's family, and their families were not rearranging AGAIN because he decided to be reasonable and the best I could do is 7:30 on Christmas Day so he could still see her and I'd still be able to honor my agreement with his family.  HUGE mess.)  I try to always view things from his perspective which is why I've been so accommodating but it's just getting ridiculous now.  For instance, the most recent Saturday business.  A TRUE father would've gone on Friday night or not at all rather than miss seeing his child and could've just ASKED for additional time to celebrate the birthdays on the 5th.  The problem is he doesn't WANT additional time.  He doesn't REALLY want her overnight he just asks because he knows that I'll say no so in his twisted mind he looks better by default.  Any time I offer additional time he hems and haws and finds a way out of it (and it's "what time works for you" not "you can have her at x time if you want extra".).  The consistent lateness bringing her back is becoming a real problem because it throws off her whole routine and she is incredibly routine oriented so this creates a BIG problem.  He straightened up for about two weeks the last time we spoke to the mediator and she laid into him for being a crappy father, etc.  We can't get in until mid-February so hopefully it'll work again and he'll be able to see DD's needs need to come first & way ahead of his wants and a miracle will happen.  Lol, one can hope right?  :)  Thanks for help.  I was really worried about this - I suppose it's time to bring out the mama bear.  wink1.gif

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#13 of 17 Old 01-26-2011, 12:04 PM
 
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Bolding mine.
 

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The problem is he has nothing for her so I can't just tell him to change her.  NOTHING.  I provide it all because he refuses to get off his bum and buy the things she needs.  Seriously, I even provide her food for when she's over there because it's easier on him than trying to find stuff that is okay for her.  I'd rather provide it then have her go without because he's an idiot so it's rather a catch 22 there.  duh.gif  I suppose he'll learn to start telling me he has a specific event in advance or he'll buy some clothes and the proper detergent won't he (allergies dictate the few her clothes can be washed in)? 

 

If he wants her dressed a certain way for fashion reasons, then he can buy clothes.  I wouldn't change her clothes over that.  Heck, tell him to have the GF (who cares so much) help him pick out a few outfits.  Tell him about the detergent.  Then let it go.  If it is a serious medical issue, get a note from her ped/dermatologist.

 

I would also stop providing food - just provide a list of things that she is allergic to.  If he is going to be parenting, then he needs to parent.  One of the basics of parenting is providing food for you child.

 

 

The problem is he doesn't WANT additional time.  He doesn't REALLY want her overnight he just asks because he knows that I'll say no so in his twisted mind he looks better by default.  Any time I offer additional time he hems and haws and finds a way out of it (and it's "what time works for you" not "you can have her at x time if you want extra".). 

 

If he really doesn't want her overnight, call his bluff and say, "Yes."  He will either stop asking, or he'll have to start taking care of his child.  As far as the safety of the overnight conditions, I have two thoughts on this: 1) People who are new to parenting sometimes don't honestly realize how much little kids can get into.  I am guessing that he likes his computer, so once he realizes that she will mess with it, he'll have to do something about it.  As far as the bed goes, he could put the mattress on the floor and that would help with the safety issue of rolling off.  I know that some people with Montessori-style homes do this.  You could have a casual conversation about what he plans to do if she wanders in the middle of the night (I know my 17 mo would!).  2) The bottom line is that at his house, he is the parent.  At your house, you are the parent.  He doesn't get to inspect your house for safety violations.  There are a lot of mainstream people that would call the co-sleeping at your house a safety violation (not that I agree with this).  Safe/dangerous can be subjective.  Each parent gets to use their own judgment.

 

The consistent lateness bringing her back is becoming a real problem because it throws off her whole routine and she is incredibly routine oriented so this creates a BIG problem. 

 

Something that my husband's lawyer told him when he and DSD's mom were hashing out their parenting plan was that the parent receiving the child should always do transportation because they have a vested interest in getting there on time.  Also, you can make sure that she has everything that she came with.

 

He straightened up for about two weeks the last time we spoke to the mediator and she laid into him for being a crappy father, etc.  We can't get in until mid-February so hopefully it'll work again and he'll be able to see DD's needs need to come first & way ahead of his wants and a miracle will happen.  Lol, one can hope right?  :)  Thanks for help.  I was really worried about this - I suppose it's time to bring out the mama bear.  wink1.gif




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#14 of 17 Old 01-27-2011, 05:31 AM
 
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We've found that being an incredibly polite broken record sometimes works wonders. For example:

 

Him: "Oh God, she's wearing that? You have to change her into something more fashionable."

You: "If you want her in something else, you are welcome to change her when you get to your house."

Him: "I don't have time for that. Just put her in the other outfit."

 

You: "If you want her in something else, you are welcome to change her when you get to your house."

Him: "I don't have any clothes for her."
You: "I guess you should buy some so that if you want her in something else when she's at your house you can change her."
(repeat as necessary, always pleasantly, like you are conversing with a lady in the check-out lane at the grocery store)
 
We found that the broken record helps us from trying to argue with someone who is irrational, keeps us calmer, and it gets hard for the other person to keep arguing if you don't engage. 
 
For the most part I would say stop accommodating his schedule. If he wants to do something that conflicts with his parenting time, he can choose to skip one or the other. You aren't obligated to reschedule when he has a conflict, and if you choose to you should just pick a time and just stick to it. Same broken record approach. Stop engaging in his arguments. He can't play the game if you refuse to participate. Just make super sure you are being reasonable and then stick to your decision. Is he really going to take you to court over whether or not you will put her in a different outfit or won't change the agreed upon schedule so he can go play Magic?

Parenting four little monkeys (11, 8, 6, and 4) with the love of my life. Making it up as I go.
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#15 of 17 Old 01-27-2011, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by aricha View Post

We've found that being an incredibly polite broken record sometimes works wonders. For example:

 

Him: "Oh God, she's wearing that? You have to change her into something more fashionable."

You: "If you want her in something else, you are welcome to change her when you get to your house."

Him: "I don't have time for that. Just put her in the other outfit."

 

You: "If you want her in something else, you are welcome to change her when you get to your house."

Him: "I don't have any clothes for her."
You: "I guess you should buy some so that if you want her in something else when she's at your house you can change her."
(repeat as necessary, always pleasantly, like you are conversing with a lady in the check-out lane at the grocery store)
 
We found that the broken record helps us from trying to argue with someone who is irrational, keeps us calmer, and it gets hard for the other person to keep arguing if you don't engage. 
 
For the most part I would say stop accommodating his schedule. If he wants to do something that conflicts with his parenting time, he can choose to skip one or the other. You aren't obligated to reschedule when he has a conflict, and if you choose to you should just pick a time and just stick to it. Same broken record approach. Stop engaging in his arguments. He can't play the game if you refuse to participate. Just make super sure you are being reasonable and then stick to your decision. Is he really going to take you to court over whether or not you will put her in a different outfit or won't change the agreed upon schedule so he can go play Magic?

 

 

Thanks!  What's sad about it is that yes he would try and take me to court over something like that.  He honestly doesn't understand that what he's doing is wrong or that he's not putting her needs first.  The broken record tends to infuriate him but it's usually effective.  I appreciate all your help!  :)
 

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#16 of 17 Old 01-29-2011, 02:01 PM
 
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aricha has an excellent view on how you ought to handle things, and in your saying those thing and sticking to what is agreed upon in your parenting plan, and i dont recal which poster said to keep a journal, any dollar store notebook will work and keep a record of all interactions, whether they are positive or negative or whathaveyou, write them in pen and date each entry. i dont know about the states, but here they are considered enterable valid evidence and take precedence over 'recall' of a situation, discussion or event.

i am not sure if you call it a 'parenting agreement' or what it is called in the states. anyhow, if you stick to the agreement completely you should be fine, if he wants to vary that agreement then i suppose it is up to him to either talk to your mediator about it or file another court application or do what ever it is you have to do in your state to change or vary what is already occurring. i guess that is his choice and  you cant do much but deal with it if or when it happens. it does look like you eventually will end up in court long before she is  3.5. from what you say he is rather talking that way, or talking in a way that seems it could only lead to ending up in court to get more than he has already.  especially if he is getting married. sometimes, well mostly it has been my experience that once a new partner enters the picture, whether they are a new wife or dh, if the ex spouse is the type to not go along smoothly to even conditions that they agreed to (like pick up and drop off) then it gets worse when a new spouse enters the picture. i sure hope that is not the case for you and your dd. generally courts are supportive to a parent who wants to increase access as their child gets bigger, it just depends on the judge or sometimes state law how young is too young for extended and then over night care then eow access. here it is and would be veiwed that he will be/is forming a new family unit in the eyes of the courts and over nights will become harder and harder to avoid, here he he would probably get every other weekends if he had a wife there to help in his care of dd easily at 18 months old. he would also get overnights easily at that age even if he had no wife there to help.. anyways i am getting off topic, but it really changes things ifhe is re-marrying, especially if she is a parent herself. that means she is fully capable of parenting and looking after a young child. well at least it make a big difference here, as the court sees the blended family and the bonding of that new unit as equally important as the family unit that is you and your spouse {if you have one, i know you arent yet divorce so i know you havent remarried ;) } and your extended family. or even just you and dd. either way you have a choice to make in how you are going to deal with what the future holds for you and your dd and her dad. i cant imaging that your lawyer hasnt discussed it with you or the mediator, which we also have to go through here before a judge will even look at your case. you sound like you have a clear idea of what you want for your daughter and whether any of us agree or disagree doesn't really have any bearings on wanting to vent the worst of your feelings and ask for advice and help in how to cope with both your feelings and the situation. at least that is what i got out of your original post. and the rest i read by you seemed as though you were sort of seeming to have to defend your feelings and choices rather than get what you were looking for.

you dont seem to be at the far far edge of the spectrum in what you want for your daughter or the  pace which you feel comfortable in having her access with her dad increase as she gets bigger and is less reliant on you. she is used to sleeping with you, at that age my children were also still co-sleeping and some still night nursing, or morning nursing or whenever nursing, but i feel that child lead weaning is the way... i dont know if you feel that way, but obviously you feel that her deciding when she is ready to not sleep with you is exactly that, her deciding.  not unreasonable at all. i dont think that any court would find that what you are requesting to be unreasonable, i dont know that you would win on every item, but i can sure understand and relate to how stressful and frustrating it is when you feel as though you are bending over backwards to accomodate someone and they want a mile for every inch you give and not just the mile but could you change the colour shape time and place of the mile while you are at it. it is enough to drive you crazy.

all i can offer for advice is stand by what you believe to be best for your dd, when you feel stressed remember to breathe and when asked a question by someone like the mediator or his lawyer or a judge, take a deep breathe, count to ten, think about what you want to say and be in no hurry to answer. that was the best advice i have ever been given and it has saved me so many times in situations where i was upset, or being goaded and in the case of a judge nervous as all get out.

 

hang in there, and good luck to you, vs

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#17 of 17 Old 01-29-2011, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you vivvysue, I think you understand me perfectly.  smile.gif  The original wording in our agreement was whenever DD was ready would be when overnights would begin but our lawyers said that the court wouldn't approve that so we had to change it to 3.5 and give a specific date.  He and I understand it will start sooner if she is ready but no later than 3.5.  I think it finally clicked in his head today so I'm hoping things will improve.  The fiance is my ex bff that he was cheating with during our marriage so that creates complications sometimes.  We had to deal with the tax filing mess this morning and I think he FINALLY gets that DD must come first and is working harder at that.  Fiance made a not well thought out move that has caused their wedding to be pushed back a year so they can afford it since this move cost them a lot of money.  For some reason, this seems to have helped his mindset.  He finally LISTENED so I have allowed the overnight he requested.  We'll see how it goes.  I know the place she'll be staying and it IS safe so I was willing to try it.  It seems he finally GOT IT and understands I'm not trying to just be a controlling, obnoxious b**** but that he's only been around for 2 months and missed a very large and important chunk of her life and that I've been their since day one.  Hence I know things he doesn't about our dd and that I'm trying to help him catch up so he doesn't inadvertently hurt her.  WHOHOO!  He's still got a long way to go but thankfully he's at least trying now.  He uses court threats because he thinks it scares me and tries to bully me with it.  I don't think he really wants to go to court because he KNOWS he won't get what he wants in the support department.  That's going to be our biggest issue is finding a suitable support amount but as I have the law and mediator on my side I think things may be looking up.  Here's to hoping - our mediation will be in 2-3 weeks!

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