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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DX keeps our second son 2 weeks then I have him 2 weeks. We find that this works better than passing him back and forth every couple days. Anyway I ask my ex what they do at his house so he can keep a similar schedule so it's easier for him to transition between the 2 houses. I found out that my son (who is almost 5) has an alarm clock over at his dads that he wakes up to in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Kind of an ingenious solution to a night time bed wetting problem that recently cropped up. So I called him up to get the lowdown on how it works and what time to set the alarms.

My older son and his dad don't really get along which is why he only takes the younger one. I think the older one is more like me and the younger one more like his dad. Not that my ex won't take him, he's said that anytime Wes wants to go over there he is more than welcome but we aren't going to force the issue.

Anyway I was wondering what the other people do that share custody.
 

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We primarily do weekdays/weekends, so no, the schedule wouldn't stay the same (SD has school on weekdays, and swim lessons/church/etc. on weekends).

If we had week-on, week-off, I suspect we'd keep some things consistent (bedtimes), but we wouldn't go to extremes (if SD's mom wants a Friday IHOP tradition, that's fine, but we're not going to follow). If there was a problem and the other parent came up with a good solution, we'd want to know about it to try it, too.
 

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We certainly try to, though we have to get the schedule usually from the kids since communication with their mom isn't good. We are long distance, so we even try to keep them on their primary time zone, to eliminate jetlag.
 

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It doesn't sound like you need advice on the subject (sounds like you and your ex are coordinating just fine about the younger son), but if you're just taking a survey...

My ex and I get along very well, but part of the reason may be that we don't try to coordinate doing things the same way at our two homes. We're both strong-willed and have different takes on when our kids should wake up/go to bed, what they should/shouldn't eat, what is/isn't appropriate for them to watch/play/read, what chores they should have, etc. So we keep the peace by respecting each other's right to set the tone in our own home and only trying to insist on sameness when there's a really serious concern. One could argue that it's harder on the kids not to have perfect consistency. But it's a broken, doubly-remarried family. No amount of consistency is going to make our kids "forget" that their parents keep completely separate homes. On the other hand, the more peace, respect and good will my ex and I learn to extend toward each other, the more we minimize stress and anxiety for the kids, given the imperfect reality of the situation.

Our kids know if they want to stay up late on weekends, they need to bank on doing it when they're with me, but if they want to watch Zombie Land, it'll have to be at their Dad's. But they also know that if I say something is so completely unacceptable that they can't do it no matter where they are, their Dad expects them to be honest and not try to weasel him into giving permission in spite of me - and vice versa!

On the opposite spectrum, my husband's ex used her "consistent schedule" for their son as a way to marginalize my husband: Instead of letting my DH pick him up from school on his visitation days, she made the kid spend 1.5 hours on the bus and "transitioning" at her house, because that was his "routine". Even in 2nd grade, she insisted DH's weekday visits end at 7pm, because she claimed their son had the same bedtime he had in preschool and needed time for his "nightly routine" at her house. When she moved across the country, one of the weeks my husband flew out to visit, she refused him ANY weekday contact because their son had standardized testing and she wanted no deviation from his usual schedule (which - by her design - no longer included DH, but DID include some 13 hours of after-school care...)

SO, there was no coordination with his ex - it was too difficult just trying to coordinate BIG things, like exercising his court-ordered visits. And there was no way to know whether she was honest about things like bedtime, or whether she just said what was most convenient to limiting DH's visitation. That's how she is. Now that their son lives with us, he sees so little of his mom and she's so resentful of DH getting custody that DH tries to set as few parameters as possible for her parenting time, when she does visit. Anyway, when DSS flies out to see her, or she comes here and he stays with her in a hotel for a week (twice a year), it's such a big upheaval for him that I can't see how details like keeping the same bedtime would really matter.
 

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It interests me that you find it easier to do 2 weeks on/2 weeks off, rather than visitation throughout the week.

My step-son's mom happens to be in town this week to visit him, so with just a few exceptions, he will be with her for 2 consecutive weekends and the school week in-between (so, 1.5 weeks). In contrast, my older sons visit their dad 2 days/week after school and EOW.

I have just been reflecting how much nicer my sons' schedule is because there are never long periods when I miss them, like I'm starting to miss my step-son. And I assume it's easier on the kids to never go more than a couple days without seeing either of their parents.

But I know a lot of people prefer your schedule.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Our old schedule was I would get him 2 nights, he would get him 2 nights and we would alternate who got him the extra night each week. It was really hard for him to transition between our 2 houses. I think that's a personality thing and probably a 4 year old thing. He really needs to have consistency and routine.
 

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DBS is almost 2. We have him every weekend from Friday evening until Monday morning. BM has him every Monday and Tuesday. We alternate Wednesdays and Thursdays. He is in daycare every Thursday and Friday regardless of whose week it is.

So far we don't really keep the same schedule on the things we know about. He takes a 3 hour nap when he's with us. She says he doesn't nap at her house but he does go to bed at 8:00 there. We don't put him to bed until 9 or 9:30.

The only reason I every inquired about sleep schedules is that I thought it would be a good idea to have a consistant one between the two homes. No WAY he's not napping when he's with us though. I can't imagine what he's like on the afternoons that he's with her! I just think he would be cranky-pants. He naps 2.5 - 3 hours at daycare too.
 

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My ex and I had 50/50 custody of my son for the last 2 yrs until recently when I got primary custody. and No we did not keep the same schedule. He went to daycare when he was with his dad, and he didn't when he was with me. so our daily lives were very different. But, my son adjusted well... and I totally understand what you mean about the 2 wks at a time being easier. for about 6 mths we did 1wk at a time (this started when he was 18mths old) and it was much harder for him to transition between homes.

Now D-EX gets him for 1 wk out of the month, shared holidays and 6 wks over the summer. Eric is 3 1/2 now and he transitions really well.
 

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I think things are reasonably similar between DSD's two houses. We are week on/week off. School takes up the majority of her weekdays, then homework, so there isn't *that* much room for variation.

One difference is that we have a much more set routine (as we have younger children in this house) and less spontaneity. We generally do not suddenly decide to pack up and go somewhere. People do not just drop by. We plan things. One is not necessarily better than the other - just different.

Something else that is different is that her mom will take the girls to spend the night at her boyfriend's house (apparently even on school nights, as I heard yesterday).
 
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