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What would you have done?

GizmoBarnOwl's picture

This is a bit closing of the stable door after the horse has bolted but I would value your opinions in case this happens again.

We get the skids stay over on weds nights. BM signed sd12 up to go and see a london show with school. She did not inform us and we only found out on sunday that sd12 would need collecting from school at 6.45pm on weds.
She usually finishes sch at 2.55pm. Her school is approx 10miles from our house.
I start work at 7pm and we only have one car at the moment.
OH txt BM on sunday to say that as she'd arranged it, she'd have to have the kids weds and pick Sd12 up from school. He said we'd swap it with monday, which also enabled me to take my 2 to the dentist at 5pm, when the skids are meant to be at BMs for 6pm..
She said "Im going into town and am not changing my plans with 2 days notice. It's your problem"
She also sent a load of abusive messages irrelevant to the issue...

In the end my mum and sister drove 30miles so my mum could baby sit the other 3 while my sister and OH could collect SD12.

It was a total palava, in fact I went to collect my mum, my sister drove here and took my mum back with her..
just so SD12 could go to the theatre and not miss her school trip.

Did we do the right thing? BM shouldn't have organised it behind our back and not told us, and I had to miss the dentist on monday because BM refused to swap days...
My relatives had to go out of their way to help out with OHs kids and BM thinks she has won by inconveniening everyone.

Did we do the right thing? Should we have just said no, you need to have the kids, or said SD12 can't go on the trip?

I don't know but it was so much more stressful than it needed to be...


iluvcheese's picture

I believe if someone arranges something like this on their own, sport, event, trip, etc. that person needs to ensure its all on their time & they provide all funding & transportation. Your partner needs to deal with this level of disrespect in an effective and consider manner, while remaining calm. Something like, "what is done, is in the past. In the future, if you arrange something without a discussion & mutual agreement, you will be 100% responsible for the financial aspect in addition to transportation. You will NOT plan things on my time without consulting me first. If you can't talk to me prior to approving such things, or you can't provide the necessary transportation, the child won't be going on my time".

I would NOT have made MY family run around for someone else's kid, because that kid has a b for a mom. My family would be more than willing to help me out, but I'd still view it as them taking responsibility for a kid that is my mans responsibility. No way would I make my family run around doing BM favors, no way. If BM signed the kid up, it's a favor to BM to pick the kid up when it's her responsibility. I would have for sure done things differently.

a better life's picture

For future: make sure Dad is uptodate of any school happenings-this can usually be done by accessing the school website, asking to be included on any happenings to the school, or even calling the school weekly. That way if an event is happening on 'his time' he signs up for it for the child and makes arrangements for them to participate.

It seems like not just a shorter notice but the fact that it is difficult with work/transport. I think your dh should make every effort for his kids to participate in activities that fall on his time including asking family members to help out if your schedule/1car doesn't permit but it will help if he keeps more abreast of things and can plan ahead so he isn't waiting for bm to update.

Is_What_It_Is's picture

If Dh wants to pursue it, he can dictate what she can and cannot sign them up for when it is HIS time to get them. Either way, he should really press the issue of her being required to tell him far in advance when anything like that happens and he needs to agree to it. What would have happened if other arrangements could not have been made? Would she have just let Sd stay there until when? That's irresponsible of her to not forewarn that there would be an issue with the regular pick-up schedule.

GizmoBarnOwl's picture

I agree re OH should be more on the ball with school events, though all consent forms are sent to BMs house so she has to sign off on it.
I asked him to send her this:

"I managed to arrange for family to help with the kids on weds so (SD12) wouldn't miss out on her trip.
I will not do this again if you sign them up to something on my night without my consent. Either you will need to arrange to collect and swap nights or the children may not be able to attend the event.
Also I do not appreciate abusive and miss informed text messages and would ask you to refrain from being rude."

notsobad's picture

I think this is a case of using the blog Rags wrote about being honest with the skids.

I would have told SD12 that she can't go to the school function because BM screwed up and DH can't pick her up that late. Just honestly tell her why she can't go, don't put BM down, don't start a fight, just give her the facts of the situation.

For the next time, I'd tell SD12 that she needs to let DH know what's happening. At 12 she's old enough to know her schedule and know who's house she'll be at.

Disillusioned's picture

I agree with notsobad, this would be a case for doing exactly what Rags blogged about. Not sure I would tell skids every single thing wrong their other parent does on a regular basis (you know the old saying if you have nothing nice to say then say nothing at all) but when it impacts your family like this, time to honestly explain to the child why she couldn't go, and that you just didn't have enough notice to make it happen

a better life's picture

When it comes to school things though I think both parents need to keep themselves in the loop through communication with teachers, the school website, making sure they are on email lists, etc.., To me school stuff is different than say a community event that it would be impossible to know about if the other parent scheduled and didn't say anything.

Playing a bit of devil's advocate and putting on my bm hat for a minute I have an x that I sometimes feel like I need to be his personal secretary when it comes to school things despite it is all right there on the school calendar i use to get my info, he gets informed through group emails just like I do. I put it all on my calendar as soon as it hits the school calendar online he doesn't and then isn't prepared and acts like deer in the headlights when I remind him "oh, I had NO idea".

If it is a school thing like basically a field trip of course the kids are going vs. being that one kid out of the class that has to sit it out and as a parent both should be putting all this stuff on his calendar ahead of time and figure out how to taxi kids to stuff the same as the other parent. It can be inconvenient getting your kid to school related stuff and keeping it all straight, it can sneak up on you and sometimes there isn't even all that much notice from the school but that is part of being a parent!

Maxwell09's picture

Like you said it is over and done with but maybe your DH should start making weekly calls to his daughter and asking her what her plans are for the week. Perhaps she will let him know of any future plans that encroach on his time. I also agree with the others that if he doesn't stop BM now she will continue to do it. Next time BM gives him short notice and he tells her "I can't make that" he needs to respond "you signed her up for this so you will transport her. You wouldn't have to change your plans if you would have asked me beforehand if I was available. I won't be picking her up and if you aren't there when it's time to pick her up I will call the police and file Child Dessertion on you and show them I already told you that I couldn't make it and this is your responsibility.

GizmoBarnOwl's picture

I had a chat with OH regarding some of the suggestions / points made. He says the newsletter and school calendar only say the event is happening on such and such a date. Times are all on the permission slips which BM got. He said he had no reason to think she'd be back so late. :/
Thanks all, food for thought and great suggestions Smile

a better life's picture

So that should work out great for him if he knows the dates things are happening for school he can put those on his calendar and as that date approaches he reaches out to the school and asks for clarification of times with whatever amount of notice he needs to make the necessary arrangements.

That way kid doesn't miss out on school stuff and you guys get more of a heads up to make plans. Not having to rely on bm will make your lives a lot easier as you won't have to field as many nasty communications from her.

kathc's picture

If BM arranges something on your DH's time and it does not work for him schedule-wise he simply says "NO" and doesn't allow it.