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Passive Email "Requests" and Visitation

CastleJJ's picture

Many of you know that SS10 is enrolled in sports year round. Soccer in the spring, football in the late summer/fall, and basketball in the late fall/winter. Often times, he only has a week or so break between sport seasons, except soccer to football where he has two months, except BM keeps him loaded up with off season training camps. This kid practices two to four days per week with games every single weekend. We aren't in agreement with this much activity and feel that SS deserves to be a normal kid, but we have no say so it is what it is. The point is that there is ALWAYS a sport going on that interferes with DH's parenting time. 

When we went to court in 2019, BM tried to argue that DH couldn't really have visitation or should have super limited visitation due to all the sports. Obviously, a completely unreasonable argument. The judge ordered that DH and BM must be flexible about summer visitation dates to accommodate SS' football, but all other parenting times stand as outlined, which is only 6 weeks per year, so still not much. 

Last night, BM emailed DH to let him know that the basketball coach was asking about attendance at a tournament they are having the weekend of New Years (our Christmas visitation time) but "not to worry," she let the coach know that SS will be "out of town." DH was like "you know BM is only telling me this, hoping I will just say 'he can go,' therefore shortening or cancelling my visitation all together." DH just replied "Thanks for the update." DH said that if BM did ask him directly to give up or switch visitation dates, he would tell her "No" and cite the CO which only allows for consideration for football. 

The irony is that SS told DH that he hates basketball this year. He didn't make the competitive team like he did last year, so he is only on the recreational team and he said he hates the coach and finds this whole season to be a joke. So why is BM pushing his participation so hard? 


justmakingthebest's picture

Because it is her way to control the narrative. She get's to be the super involved mom and he is the "deadbeat dad who only wants to take away from the things that the child "enjoys". If your DH would only listen to his child! He doesn't want to see his dad! His dad should just respect his wishes.That is what a good dad would do! Just pay the CS and stay out of his life!"

SeeYouNever's picture

Put the kid in lots of extracurriculars then she gets to say "look how your dad never shows up to practice and games! What a deadbeat!"

Regular practices and games are also low key childcare, BM used to drop SD into her extra every day and then got on dates and party.

Oh and DH paid for the privilege of not being able to see SD as often because she had her extras. After a while DH lost track of all the extras, but SD had one literally every day including Sunday school. And my God when he was opposed to Sunday school because it would interfere with his visitation BM had a field day accusing him of being evil and godless.

It really is a win win for BMs, why wouldn't they do this crap?

CastleJJ's picture

That's true. BM does use it for extra daycare. Practices two to four days per week get SS out of her hair for at least a few extra hours per week outside of school and latchkey. It really only means BM has to parent for a few hours a week, which is what she wants. 

We live 4 hours away, 8 hours roundtrip so it isn't feasible for us to attend all of that. The judge even told her that. We actually stopped paying for sports. BM would never consult DH and would just enroll SS, telling DH to pay up. DH said that since BM was using sports to limit and prevent parenting time, he would no longer pay for sports BM didn't consult him on. BM of course went on about how she has sole custody and doesn't have to consult him and him being a deadbeat Dad for not paying, to which DH told her to use her hefty CS. BM went on to say she is entitled to extra because sports and extra-curriculars are not covered by CS, to which DH said if he needed to pay extra, it would be ordered and it's not, so too bad. BM finished off her email by saying "Let me know when you decide to step up and actually be a father..." 

DH doesn't follow soccer or basketball updates. It's too much to keep track of and we generally don't see SS much during those seasons so it doesn't impact us much. He does keep tabs on the football season though. 

SeeYouNever's picture

Very similar situation we went through. SD had extracurriculars every day of the week and DH was expected to pay half. He couldn't see SD often and when we did see her all she wanted to do was sleep. BM had her going from about 6 am until after 8 pm every night. DH said enough was enough he would pay for one extra and it had to be something that SD actually liked.

Being so over scheduled like that made SD unable to entertain herself. She would come to our house and sit and just stared us and wait to be told what to do, she would have to be told to play and She had trouble playing unless it was some sort of kit with very specific instructions to follow.

I think BM kept her so busy and over scheduled that SD never learned to plan or think for herself. She is just along for the ride of life waiting to be told what to do. It's kind of sad really.


CastleJJ's picture

SS IS EXACTLY LIKE THIS. He can't think or entertain himself either. He has to be told step by step what to do. He will sit and stare at us and be like "what do I do?" Ummm GO PLAY. Doing what? 

Last time SS was left to "figure it out," I found him and his friend playing catch with his friend's phone. Like what?! That was promptly stopped. Do kids not know how to play with Legos or draw or do anything like that anymore? So ultimately, SS ended up going outside and... you guessed it - playing sports. He would throw the football or kick the soccer ball. He can't function outside of sports. 

halo1998's picture

if you think about it...she controls all of SS's time.  It will make him dependant on her.  Plus she can tell everyone..oh SS is just sooooo busy.  **insert eye roll***  She thinks she looks like the model parent and a martyr.....poor BM has to take SS to EVERYTHING all by herself. 



CastleJJ's picture

LOL except BM's GF is the one doing all the skid transportation, sitting through practices and games, etc. all while BM is working, sleeping, or sitting home having "me time." BM rarely shows up for SS. 

notsobad's picture

So sorry this is happening to your family. It's aggravating when something that is fundamentally a good thing is twisted and used as a weapon.

Sports have always been a source of good things in our family. It gave all our kids tools to deal with others, how to defend themselves, how to not take things personally, self discipline, and a lot of character building came from sports for us.

DH coached SS, so he got to spend a ton of time with him that he never would have been able to. BM was always taking SS away on DHs time because of something stupid. She once picked him up in the middle of a golf game on FATHER'S DAY to spend time with her Step father!

My exH coached our kids and again it was a great way for them to bond and be together.

I spent so much time at one game or another between my kids and the skids and honeslty I miss it now that they are all grown.

CastleJJ's picture

I fully believe in sports and was an athlete myself, but I also believe there is more to life than sports and that it is all about balance. My parents raised me that you are committed to your team, but family time is also important. If sports interfered with something major that was family related, the major event came first, not the other way around. SS has no balance - it is all sports, all the time. No family vacations, no holidays, etc. if a sport interferes with it. Sports are #1 above all. SS doesn't know how to do literally anything else and is so rigid that it has actually had a negative affect.

BM also uses sports to parade SS around saying "Look at my all star amazing son who gets his awesomeness because of ME." If SS doesn't perform like BM wants him to, she takes it out on SS emotionally, putting him down, telling him to work harder, enrolling him in extra camps to improve his skills, etc. BM puts the pressure on SS that he will be the next NFL player. SS feels that he can never fail and never lose and SS deflects and blames others when he does fail. It's never HIS fault, it was some other teammate or the referee's fault. 

notsobad's picture

That's so sad. Sounds like he's getting all the bad lessons and none of the good ones.

All our kids had balance and actually had to choose which sport they wanted to play because they could not do them all. The skids got scholarships, which was fantastic, and my kids got lifelong friends and lots of great experiences.

It's funny, BM here started out bragging about how all the skids skills came from her but all the coaches knew about DHs HS career and that he'd turned down scholarships (to stay with BM of course). They made a big deal about how the skids got ALL thier athletic ability from DH. It drove BM NUTS!! She bitched about it every chance she got, "no one values women in sports" "If my teammates were better I would have gotten scholarships too" Just like your SS, never her fault!

Rags's picture

NO! The kid needs to be the one to give the BM that message.

My SIL (My brother's wife) raised all three of their kids with this model. Until the three kids finally just told her "no, we are done".  You would have thought they shot her. She is an avid runner. Like a dozen or more runs per week.  Marathons, tri-athelons, etc, etc, etc....

She is a 'hider'.  Their home always looks orderly. But do not open a closet or cabinet without a hard hat on.  Head injuries from falling objects and a high risk of being burried in an avalanch of crap.

Once the kids stood up to their mom, my brother took the lead to keep his wife appropriately aligned..  It took a number of years for SIL to get past the 'my kids don't like me'. 'Why don't my kids want oto do XYZ and LMNOP.'  She never stopped signing them up for every sport, activity, etc... They just refused to go if it was not something they were interested in. The just needed a break.  So, they took breaks.

My brother and his wife have been married for 29 years. They are both in their first married and neither has non joint children.  Even with the stability of a foundational family and not a blended family, they struggled through this raising their kids.

In a blended family, the onus is on the non-helicoptor parent to keep the overscheduling parent under control and to have the kids backs so they can have a live of their own rather than having to live their lives as the vicarious parallel life of the invasive overscheduling parent.

IMHO of course.