Do you just up and leave town (without your kid) without clearing it with your ex? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 03-06-2008, 09:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not talking about an emergency...I'm talking about: "Hey, guess what? I'm leaving town the last week of April to visit my friend in Colorado. I'm so excited! This of course means I'll need you to watch (SD) for the full week. I guess she'll have to miss school.* You'll figure something out, I'm sure, between you and ProtoLawyer."

Oh, and would you mind reimbursing me for the insurance in advance this time? I'm a little short since I bought the ticket."

*We live in a different city, so yes, she'll need to miss school. She's only 5, and compulsory education starts at 6 here, so there's no big deal, but still.

Um...just because my SO quit his job does NOT mean he has no obligations (those other obligations are WHY he quit his job). We'll have to find at least part-time care for SD while I work and while we both go to school...I hope she realizes she'll need to reimburse us for the cost (although she'll probably try to say it's us who's choosing to use drop-in care, not her).

How come every time we've asked for a switch we've gotten the "no, you asked for that time with SD, I value my 'me time,' sorry" (even when it was just a two-hour shift so my SO could work!). How come when SD is left in my care for my SO's convenience he's shirking his parental responsibilities, but when she's left in my care for his ex's convenience it's OK?

My SO has decided not to say flat-out no (the ticket's already been bought, blah blah blah)...but he's going to take steps to ensure this never happens again. She's technically in contempt of their parenting agreement ("ad hoc changes are permissible with mutual consent").


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#2 of 22 Old 03-07-2008, 02:17 AM
 
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Not cool, not cool at all.



But, how nice to have that extra time w/ dsd.
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#3 of 22 Old 03-07-2008, 12:04 PM
 
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That is absolutely not cool.

I wouldn't agree to it unless she paid for drop-in childcare. You could be setting a bad precedent.

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#4 of 22 Old 03-07-2008, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Not cool, not cool at all.



But, how nice to have that extra time w/ dsd.
That is nice, but it would be much nicer if we were consulted.

I totally understand in an emergency--"hey, I need to fly to California this week because my mom's in the hospital/there's a funeral/my job is sending me at the last minute and if I say no I'll get fired"--but this is a discretionary thing. Even an urgent situation several weeks away should at least be cleared with the other party--it's one of the responsibilities of being a grown-up. You get everything in order beforehand.

And I know if we tried to pull this during the summer (when we have weekdays), we'd get laughed at and told we need to either take her with or find someone else to leave her with, as she has to work and there's no drop-in care available at nights and it's too inconvenient to find friends or babysitters....

And pinksprklybarefoot...we're agreeing to it only because we shudder to think what will happen if we don't. (Will she leave SD--who has never spent a night apart from at least one parent--with someone trustworthy? Would that person get SD to us for the regular time? Would SD find out we 'ruined her mom's vacation' and 'made her give up a $250 ticket' and would this poison the well?) My partner is writing a very polite "this is never going to happen again" email (so it's documented).

I'm pretty convinced this is her response to my SO quitting his job ("I never get to just do what I want to do")--thing is, that's none of her business (her CS, reimbursement, and SD's placement time will not be affected). If she wanted to fly to Colorado over a weekend when we'd have SD (or on a weekday during the summer--heck, she could go away for a month during the summer and it wouldn't be a problem, because we'll be enrolling SD in day camp and we have weekends off), that would be none of our business.

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#5 of 22 Old 03-07-2008, 01:56 PM
 
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Wow.
I sudder to think what would happen with my DS if I up and did that.
Come back to my child dirty hungry and in front of the TV.

Your a better person than I.

Have a nice week with your DSD!

Mom to '97, '07, '09 and birth mom '00 and wife to my BFF
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#6 of 22 Old 03-07-2008, 02:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ProtoLawyer View Post
And pinksprklybarefoot...we're agreeing to it only because we shudder to think what will happen if we don't. (Will she leave SD--who has never spent a night apart from at least one parent--with someone trustworthy? Would that person get SD to us for the regular time? Would SD find out we 'ruined her mom's vacation' and 'made her give up a $250 ticket' and would this poison the well?) My partner is writing a very polite "this is never going to happen again" email (so it's documented).
Well, good for you guys for doing what is best for DSD. I can totally understand your frustration.

Ugh. People.

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#7 of 22 Old 03-07-2008, 03:44 PM
 
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In our case, as we live 2000 miles apart, it would make no difference, as neither family can use the other one for child care.

Or, anyway you'd THINK it would make no difference. Last summer, the kids were staying with us in our home for a few weeks. DH had to go on a short (~2-day) business trip. The kids were still in the house their mom knew they were in, and when she called to talk to them they were there. She also has my cell number and calls if she needs anything. So when she called, the kids mentioned that he was out of town and she lost it. The way I see it, they're still here, I'm still with them, he's only gone a couple of days, she has our phone number, and it doesn't affect her at all. She flipped, called his phone and mine and left rude messages, saying it was "unacceptable" and then began demanding daily itineraries of everything they did, who they were with, etc. Please.

Mind you, when they are with her they are frequently staying overnight with her friends and such and we never have a clue where they are or who's in charge. We just call to talk with them and after about our first 4 number don't work, we figure they're out and that's that. We, on the other hand, always tell her where the kids will be staying and give her phone numbers (and even addresses!) even though our lawyer says we don't need to. It just feels polite. So everyone was right where they should be and she was not affected and the kids were still here with me as normal and yet she still felt that she was entitled to DH's travel schedule.

Now, if his travel plans affected her, obviously we'd ask first. I'd be really offended to be in your case and just presumed as the default sitter. Does the custody agreement state who the default is? In our state, we have to pick a primary, and it's her. In our case this means DH could theoretically bail on a visit and they would be her responsibility. We don't do this, of course, but that's the way it's set up.

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#8 of 22 Old 03-08-2008, 01:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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There is no default sitter listed (not that a parent is a sitter, but I know what you meant), nor a right of first refusal (though that's how it often ends up, due to cost)--child care is the responsibility of the parent who has placement at the time (so, say, if the elementary school has an inservice day, her mom figures out drop-in care; if we need to attend a weekend work brunch, we have to call a sitter or drop her off with a friend). If it's for work or school, the cost gets split; if it's for discretionary things like the brunch (or, as we're arguing, the trip), it's not.

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#9 of 22 Old 03-08-2008, 04:26 AM
 
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Yow. No. Not cool at all.

That said, I'm waiting for summer to roll around, and for ex to inform me that he's taking a week to go on a bike trip. I don't think his reaction's going to be good when I tell him that that's very nice, have fun, and that I'd appreciate it if he'd let me know who he's found for childcare.
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#10 of 22 Old 03-09-2008, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, this is super rich: She told him he was being immature for carrying on, told him that her trip was none of his business, that him quitting his job *was* her business because it will mean her daughter will grow up in squalor over here, and obviously he doesn't care about having extra time with his daughter, and he's under some strange delusion that he's even close to an equal parent in this relationship. She will travel when she wants, and NO she won't reimburse us for any of the child care because we don't reimburse her for her lost wages when SD is sick.

(Which she's never asked for, and we've never asked her for reimbursement when we've had to miss work/school for Monday snow days, etc...)

Sigh.

My SO's on the phone with her now and it's not pretty...last I heard she told him he was blowing off his parenting responsibilities yet again because he let SD have a friend over, and was not playing with her and obviously doesn't care about "his time," which apparently should be at the expense of SD's social life (which is why he's on the phone now...SD is occupied out of earshot).

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#11 of 22 Old 03-10-2008, 12:15 AM
 
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Er...possibly distancing yourself from this would be wise.

Whatever's going on, obviously she's not over the facts that a) she's no longer responsible for him; b) she's no longer married to him; c) she's a single mother struggling to get by. But whatever, it's not yours to deal with. It's not really even his to deal with, unless he chooses to. So -- unless this is fun for you -- I'd go get a massage, or go get some coffee, or otherwise skip the drama.

If you're not married, btw, then I can see why she's pitching the fit. I'd been assuming you were, and that you live in a state where your income counts for support. Unless he's got some terrific loans, he's essentially telling her that she's now dependent on his girlfriend's goodwill (or his 401(k)) for child support. And any single mother would be a fool to rely on her ex's girlfriend for child support, no matter how nice or together said girlfriend might be. And I gotta say, I understand that you see yourself as really being together with this guy, but sharing a lease and beneficiary status ain't gonna look like much to a woman who married him, put aside years of her life to nurse him, and had a child with him as an act of love and faith in his recovery. A child for whom she's responsible nearly all the time -- and if she's got primary custody and he's got visitation, then the legal fact is that she's responsible, period. I'm not saying she handles herself with maturity or class. But I'm just sayin'.

Anyway. Distance. Yes. Probably a good idea all around. It's not a headache you need to borrow.
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#12 of 22 Old 03-10-2008, 12:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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If you're not married, btw, then I can see why she's pitching the fit. I'd been assuming you were, and that you live in a state where your income counts for support. Unless he's got some terrific loans, he's essentially telling her that she's now dependent on his girlfriend's goodwill (or his 401(k)) for child support.
They have joint legal custody, and it comes to about 60/40 time (she's here almost the whole summer and other school breaks, and most weekends during the school year). So he doesn't get "visitation"--that doesn't even exist in WI--he gets a pretty significant chunk of parenting time, and they're both equally responsible.

He moved around some money (his separate, inherited assets -- he's already paying more CS than legally required because he has more assets, although most he can't touch for several years per the trust instrument) which will basically pay him the same he was making per month with the job. He had to get the trustee to agree to this, and he did, considering it an educational expense. It means the fund won't grow quickly anymore but it'll also enable him to get out of school faster, and more successfully, and into a good-paying job.

We are marrying this summer, BTW. I don't think she cares we're not married, except when she does (if that makes sense). She's actually got some pretty nontraditional views of marriage and monogamy. She told her daughter it would be OK if she called me Mom (she's Mama); she doesn't but it was a nice gesture.

I know I should distance myself, but it's difficult. Part of it's the law-school brain; it doesn't really let go. Part of that is small apartment/little privacy/household answering machine/etc. I think I should take a break, at the very least...I'm taking a school trip next week (which my partner and I discussed before I signed up ) and that'll be a very good diversion.

Again, thanks for your insight--I've not read your backstory, and can only guess what you went through with your ex. It's helpful, even if you say things I don't want to hear (and if I sound defensive above--well, I do--please don't take it personally; I really do appreciate your point of view and it's helping me be a bit more empathetic to hers, even if I'm venting and not showing it).

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#13 of 22 Old 03-10-2008, 10:30 AM
 
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Usually I think mama41 is right on, but in this case I think she was a little harsh. Your SO is doing his duty and more by his daughter and you are supporting his decisions and trying to make the best of things. I think his ex is controlling and not empathetic, which probably one of the reasons they are not together anymore. You are planning on marriage, which means you are responsible and care about the little girl. I don't think "pitching fits" by the ex is good in any situation, whether you are married or not. As far as the whole she married him, nursed him etc business I think my ex husband's wife would not care about that argument at all. She is the wife. Period.
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#14 of 22 Old 03-11-2008, 01:29 AM
 
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Sorry, protolawyer, I hadn't understood about the trust and impending marriage. (Congratulations, btw.) Both of those should really be mitigating, and again, it sounds like she feels totally screwed and taken advantage of...and while I find that understandable, she really has to accept the loss, rebuild her own life, and get past it.

I can see how the custody schedule could make things difficult -- my state actually won't allow a setup like that. But something tells me that she's not exactly in the right frame of mind for fun down time with dd.

angilyn, I'm sure there are new wives out there who are nowhere near as thoughtful/understanding as protolawyer seems to be. So I'm not saying that the new wife would necessarily care. But from the ex's perspective...the wildcard in this one is the spousal caregiving, and the intensity and length of it, with a baby in the mix. I really don't know how to describe what an exhausting, isolated, lonely, impoverishing, fear-riddled nightmare that can be. There is essentially no support for caregivers; the experience is largely invisible to the world. I'm a fairly strong and resourceful person, but in the midst of doing similar work, I recall periods where I avoided using certain mugs because they just seemed too heavy to lift. (And I thought I was fine.) I wrote about control issues in caregiving in protolawyer's other thread, so I won't rehash here.

Anyway, if you go through a thing like that, and you lose the marriage, you need to be a very resilient person to pick up and go on. If you can't look at the situation, understand that you damaged yourself and lost years of your life for nothing -- except the very significant gift of a child, despite the work involved there -- shrug, and move on, then yeah, you're going to have big problems, and be a problem.

Really, there should be a Field Guide to the Ex-Spouse out there...
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#15 of 22 Old 03-11-2008, 09:59 AM
 
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Sorry, protolawyer, I hadn't understood about the trust and impending marriage. (Congratulations, btw.) Both of those should really be mitigating, and again, it sounds like she feels totally screwed and taken advantage of...and while I find that understandable, she really has to accept the loss, rebuild her own life, and get past it.

I can see how the custody schedule could make things difficult -- my state actually won't allow a setup like that. But something tells me that she's not exactly in the right frame of mind for fun down time with dd.

angilyn, I'm sure there are new wives out there who are nowhere near as thoughtful/understanding as protolawyer seems to be. So I'm not saying that the new wife would necessarily care. But from the ex's perspective...the wildcard in this one is the spousal caregiving, and the intensity and length of it, with a baby in the mix. I really don't know how to describe what an exhausting, isolated, lonely, impoverishing, fear-riddled nightmare that can be. There is essentially no support for caregivers; the experience is largely invisible to the world. I'm a fairly strong and resourceful person, but in the midst of doing similar work, I recall periods where I avoided using certain mugs because they just seemed too heavy to lift. (And I thought I was fine.) I wrote about control issues in caregiving in protolawyer's other thread, so I won't rehash here.

Anyway, if you go through a thing like that, and you lose the marriage, you need to be a very resilient person to pick up and go on. If you can't look at the situation, understand that you damaged yourself and lost years of your life for nothing -- except the very significant gift of a child, despite the work involved there -- shrug, and move on, then yeah, you're going to have big problems, and be a problem.

Really, there should be a Field Guide to the Ex-Spouse out there...



LOLOLOL bolded gave me a real chuckle....I love it!
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#16 of 22 Old 03-11-2008, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Really, there should be a Field Guide to the Ex-Spouse out there...
Hee! I can picture the entry for my own ex-spouse...

Species: Really-needs-to-learn-boundaries sapiens
Range: North America, and caught in his own mind
Distinctive markings: Bruises on chest from broken rib acquired attempting to assemble a coat rack
Calls: "Hehehe. I farted"; "I'm married, but I think you're hot"; while "this is ABC Collections, do you know where Al is?" is not his call, it is closely associated with him.
Behavior patterns: Spends every cent that comes in and then some the second he's away from someone with better financial sense. Calls his ex-wife while his new girlfriend is peeing on a stick. Calls his ex-wife, six weeks into her law school career, to seek legal advice about whether divorcing his new wife would keep her out if his impending bankruptcy.

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#17 of 22 Old 03-23-2008, 07:17 AM
 
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aaah!! this sounds soo familiar!

yeah. what do you do?

what we did was hoped she never came back. except for my step-son would have freaked.

but for real, how responsible, safe, caring, compassionate is that?

oh! and what if you and your partner had done that. we probably would have ended up back in court or at least CFPS. :
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#18 of 22 Old 03-23-2008, 10:14 AM
 
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My SO's on the phone with her now and it's not pretty...last I heard she told him he was blowing off his parenting responsibilities yet again because he let SD have a friend over, and was not playing with her and obviously doesn't care about "his time," which apparently should be at the expense of SD's social life (which is why he's on the phone now...SD is occupied out of earshot).
I just want to say that this cracked me up! Isn't it funny when these Supermoms feel like the dad needs to spend every waking hour of the visitation time staring at the child, reading educational literature, "bonding" or they don't care about the relationship? I was a single mom before I met my DH, and I know that my DD watched DVD's or played with friends the same as any other kid.

Also, re the travel thing, in our case BM does whatever she wants and doesn't tell my DH. Recently she said she would need to put DSS (11) in daycare over Spring break because she will be working a lot. I don't think she is working at all (she is unemployed since last year), I think she is going on vacation. If DH would ask her about it, she would also say it is none of his business, so he just pays the 1/2 of daycare.

I'm fine with that, but I think it should work both ways. If DH & I go on a trip and don't take DSS with us, we shouldn't have to hear about how we have all this $$ for trips and not for her child support. (She gets $700/month for DSS.) Or how it's showing DSS that he is not loved because we don't bring him along.
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#19 of 22 Old 03-23-2008, 10:30 PM
 
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I just want to say that this cracked me up! Isn't it funny when these Supermoms feel like the dad needs to spend every waking hour of the visitation time staring at the child, reading educational literature, "bonding" or they don't care about the relationship?


This is part of why we call ours Mother Superior.

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#20 of 22 Old 03-24-2008, 10:10 AM
 
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This is part of why we call ours Mother Superior.

LOL That's funny...that's what we call ours too!!
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#21 of 22 Old 03-24-2008, 02:58 PM
 
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This is part of why we call ours Mother Superior.
Er...I understand the pleasure in black humor, but there are good reasons to avoid taking the pot shots. I've posted elsewhere about my former in-laws, with whom my daughter still has a close relationship, and who, in their way, help look after my ex. I have every reason to be nasty about them, and let me tell you, it would be unbelievably easy to be snide. The targets are a mile wide. But I don't do it, even in private, because it's not helpful to anyone.

When they made my life difficult, when they made me angry, and I couldn't do anything about their behavior, I finally told them how I felt, and let them deal with their own reactions to that. When it was clear no good would come of it, I just stepped away. Stopped going along to their house, stopped being home if they were visiting, stopped calling or emailing. Stopped responding to their complaints and suggestions; stopped relying on their promises. After a while I learned to stop bitching to my XH about them, too -- and if he had problems with them, I stopped listening to his complaints, and told him to find his own way to deal with them, since we were already into multiple reruns and he was after all a middle-aged man.

The truth is that a) I don't know them well, or know the world from their POV; b) they're good to my daughter; c) now that I'm gone, they're willing to help my ex; d) I believe their presence during visitation leaves my daughter better off. That's good enough for me. I have little idea what goes on during their visits. If I see that there's some sort of damage going on, obviously I'll step in. I trust my daughter is bright and honest enough, and close enough to me, to say something if they put me down to her. But it seems to me my dd comes home happy and with presents, and feels loved, so as far as I'm concerned, there's no problem. And no reason to get snide about them.
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#22 of 22 Old 03-24-2008, 04:41 PM
 
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[QUOTE

This is part of why we call ours Mother Superior. [/QUOTE]


LOVE IT!!

DH DS 1996 DS 2000 We are the Mods! We are the Mods! We are, we are, we are the Mods!
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