I want to hear from all sides, I want opinions if you are the stepparent, if you are the parent and your partner is the stepparent, if you are the parent and your ex is remarried.
After the divorce I moved 200 miles away to be near my family. First of all, I was working three jobs to make ends meet and getting no child support, no help at all. In fact, he was borrowing from me. Plus we had other issues (him being at my house whenever he felt like it etc.) Anyway, the distance helped all that. However, ds was born and raised in the same town for his first 11 years, same school k-5th. I had tremendous guilt issues in the first place moving, but he loves it here now. Smaller town, smaller school etc.
The way my ex and I always handled it (before I moved) was ds did what he wanted, more or less, as far as who he was with when. If he got out of school monday and wanted to go to his dads, fine, Id come get him if/when he wanted or his dad could drop him at school tuesday. Maybe we didnt have enough boundries, but I just thought we were doing the best for ds. Obviously we cant do that now, but I try to accomadate weekends. If ds wants to go EVERY weekend, I have no problem with that and I generally drive to the halfway point to drop off/ pick up.
Now, just about the ONLY thing dh and I ever argue about had to do with ds. He thinks every weekend is excessive and that driving half way every time is too accomadating. He SAYS he's mad at my ex for "running all over me". I suspect hes jealous and resentful of time taken from him and our kids to help out my ex (as he sees it, I do it for ds and to be fair, I dont think its unreasonable). Now, when dd was born and ds2, my ex drove all the way for many weekends in a row to accomadate that. Of course he b#tched whined and moaned about it, basically saying that I was neglecting ds1. I feel constantly torn between my kids like that. ANd both daddies basically make it worse.
I tried to compromise with both by saying, Id drive halfway every other weekend and my ex can still have ds the other weekends(and this was dh's idea), he'll just have to do all the driving. Of course that hasnt happened at all and my ex complains anytime he drives at all, even halfway, because he sees it as my fault in the first place for moving. When he drives farther, I have to listen to it, sometimes he even yells or cries (he was verbally abusive when we were togather). But when I DO drive, I hear it from dh, even if I hadnt drove the weekend before. Now, he never yells or cries or anything like that but he just kind of makes snarky remarks, if I call him on it, he claims its my ex he's mad at, not me or ds.
Im so sick of it all. So I'd like opinions on that, but also, the big thing right now: camping.
The weekend before Hurricane Rita ds stayed here to celebrate his birthday. He had been to his dads the three previous weekends, including the one that actually was his bday.His dad also had him for the fourth of july and the labor day weekend two years in a row, most holidays in fact. We took him and three friends out to lunch. Well, then we had a camping trip planned, so he was gonna miss that next weekend too. Well with the hurricane they were predicing bad weather here so we cancelled. He would have gone to his dads but his dad lives near houston, so with the weather and the traffic, he didnt go. Now, if he were to go this coming weekend, its been three weeks since theyve seen each other. We are going camping with dh's aunt and uncle. They all got togather and picked this coming weekend despite the fact that I said ds NEEDED to see his dad. They claim if we wait, it might get too cold at night to camp. In a week? So....
DS really wants to go, of course, dh's has been promising him this trip for three years, but I feel like he's being made choose between this trip and seeing his dad. Plus, dh doesnt understand what its like to not see your kids, to him, its no big deal, whats one more week? (I DO know, when we were first togather, ds went to live with his dad for threemonths before deciding to move back). Anyway, I asked him how he'd feel, so he said to invite my ex to go with us. I thought maybe that could work. Well, no, my ex says he does not feel welcome, that he wouldnt get any time with ds because of all the cousins that would be there etc. and he doesnt want to come. But he was REALLY upset about missing this weekend, because by next weekend it will have been four weeks. ANd to be fair, he HAS been made to feel unwelcome. I dont know, once after dd was born and he drove all the way and it was late, dh offered him to couch to sleep on, but after ds2 was born and my ex drove all the way here and was here hours before ds got out of school, dh said he didnt want him hanging out at our house. But see, dh will say, he could have come and seen his son and he chose not to and see it all as my ex's fault, and my ex thinks we are being incredibly selfish to have scheduled it this weekend at all and that we only offered for him to come because we knew hed say no, because he knows hes not REALLY welcome, and so we wont have to feel guilty.
On one hand, I think my ex is wrong, he'd get plenty of time with ds. I'll be tied up with the little ones, he could take ds fishing, swimming etc. On the other hand I blame dh for the position Im in, Im furious in the first place that dh didnt take ds into consideration AT ALL when planning this trip. Maybe he feels like he doesnt have to take my ex into consideration, but really, because of ds, he DOES. I think this is the most selfish thing he has ever done and Im so tempted to say Im not going camping, but I dont want to ruin the trip for everyone else. Im mad and hurt that Im in this position to start with. What would it have hurt to pushed the trip one more week so ds could have gone to his dads THIS weekend? DH thinks Im letting my ex dictate my life, but I think Im just trying to take into consideration the situation with ds, a situation dh knew about before marrying me!
Im so upset right now Im afraid to speak to either one of them because Im afraid I'll yell at someone. Of course my mom thinks thats what I NEED to do to get my point across. And I should have made a bigger deal earlier. DH is gonna say, NOW you back out of the trip?
Any input would be appreciated.
~Me, mama to soapbox boy (1991), photo girl (1997), gadget girl (2003), jungle boy (2005), fan boy (2007) and twirly girl (2011). Twenty five years of tree hugging, breastfeeding, cosleeping, unschooling, craziness!