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Winter break visit, I need some input

stuckinthebay's picture

DH and BM split custody of sd6. 6months with mom overseas and 6months with DH in the states. Well, now that sd6 is starting kindergarten, DH only gets breaks. This winter break was our first visit since the new parenting plan started. By CO, DH can pick DH up 24hrs after school is out and BM can pick up 24hrs before school starts. DH picked her up on the 17th, her bday is on the 27th. BM basically told DH that she's picking him up the day after sd6 bday. He had no say. BM said it's because of the time difference, doctors say children need a week to adjust to their time zone. And that she already bought her return tickets to go back home On the 29. Sd6 started school on the 3, so BM took 5 days away from DH. I guarantee she won't make an adjust for summer visit and have 5 extra days.

So within sd6 short visit, we tried to do things that sd6 missed doing. Ate at mcdonalds, Starbucks, cooked spam (she's not allowed to eat spam at her moms cuz they told her it'll kill you), went to the mountains and played in the snow, watched movies at home, visits with all of her family from both of her sides. whatever we could. But those things are things we would normally do. I worked pretty much her whole Visit, but DH took time off to spend quality time. Then there were also days when we didn't do anything. For her birthday we just had her cousins sleep over and had cake and ice cream. She really did enjoy herself. During her visit sd6 would ask "how many more days til I go with my mom?" Then she would count down as the days went by. She kept expressing that she wanted to stay and she didn't like where she lived. But let me also say that BM and bmh also shared that they hate the Air Force base they are at too. Sd6 asked DH to ask BM if she can stay. DH asked why does she want to stay. Sd6 said because she has family here and she doesn't have family where she lives, just her little sister.

They say came when we had to drop her to her mom for pick up. Sd6 was ok and we let her know we would see her at the airport. As usual, they were late getting to the airport. Everyone is chit chatting, but BM came alone! Her husband or 1y/o daughter didn't come. And we already know that when bmh isn't around, BM is totally different. So, we walk to security and watch them get in line. We are waiting on the other side of the belts and BM and sd6's line is coming towards us. I see sd6 is crying. Shes walking with her face in her moms jacket. I tapped DH and said "she's crying". So as they approach us, DH picks her up and comforts her. Sd6 is saying she doesn't want to go and that she wants to stay with him. DH follows them down the line as long as he can, but I see him also talking to BM. I'm hoping it's a good talk. DH asked BM if it was ok for him to give sd6 an iPad so she can call him and BM agreed. She also said she would be ok with frequent phone calls which would be great since they can FaceTime as long as she's on wifi.

That goodbye was the hardest for DH. Never has sd6 cried that way when she left. And we've done this 4 times!

Well, DH has scheduled oovoo calls with sd6 on mon/wed/sat. Sd6 first oovoo talk at her home was a Saturday. Sd6 was fine asking questions like how many more days, hrs, minutes til she comes back to stay. She's talk to bs9 and everything is's time to go. Sd6 did not want to get off. She started getting emotional. DH comforted her to where she was ok hanging up. Then, not long after sd6 calls DH back! She said she misses him and doesn't want to live there anymore. He talks to her for a little bit and then they say goodbye. Monday comes and it's worse. Almost the whole talk she's crying. She says her mom and daddy's there are mean to her because she can't sleep. Yes, I'm sure it's frustrating trying to get her back on schedule. Sd6 said that her mommy lied to her and that she took the iPad away and that DH only asked to talk to her on their normal scheduled days. Sd6 was just not taking things well. She said she wanted to go so DH said ok. They hang up and a minute later, she calls back. She said she always cries after she hangs up. She said she wants to live with DH and doesn't care about the plane ride. Let me say that she always complains about the plane ride so that was a red flag for us. She kept asking DH to ask BM if she can come, if she can have the iPad and for her picture book. Her picture book is a photo album I made for her with all of her family here in the states and us. And when we talk to sd6, it's always almost dinner time. So convieneint for BM and bmh cuz that's always the excuse for sd6 to get off oovoo. We here bmh come into sd6 room and tells her she needs to get off cuz it's dinner time. Sd6 keeps saying " no! I don't want to go!" Instead of bmh comforting her he says "say goodbye to your dad and come and eat" she is just crying and crying. DH tries to calm her down and tells her that he'll talk to her again and she needs to eat. She says "no! I can't leave you! I just can't!" Over and over. DH is holding back his tears cuz he can't do anything. Sd6 tells bmh she wants to go with her dad and he says " you can't cuz you have school tomorrow. You're 6 years old and if you don't go to school me and mommy will get in trouble and go to jail". Honestly, I thought "wtf is that gonna do?!" And maybe today she should be an exception for her to eat and talk to her dad since she's having a tough time. At least for today. Sd6 says to DH "promise me you'll call tomorrow" since it's a Tuesday DH said he would ask BM. She said "promise you'll ask my mommy" then we hear BM walk in and tell her to get off cuz it's dinner time. But once BM said that sd6 can call her daddy tomorrow, she calmed down. DH spoke to sd6 a little longer but finally got to hang up in a somewhat calming matter.

DH writes BM an email about his concerns and wants to discuss what they can do together to make sure that sd6 is coping with everything that's happening well. I told DH "BM needs to email you back with a plan that reassures you that she will be there to support sd6". Take a wild guess what kind of email BM sent. An email full of BULLSHIT.


stuckinthebay's picture

CO is crazy but DH had no choice but to agree to it. And we wouldn't ask BM to let sd6 stay with us longer by missing school. She would stay with us longer because she stays with BM two weeks in the beginning of summer and two weeks before summer ends. So they would just figure out what days within those weeks DH can have.

stuckinthebay's picture

BM is a stay at home mom and at the time, DH and I weren't married yet. So he was viewed as a bachelor. BM "showed" that her home was stable with two parents.

DaizyDuke's picture

I'm kind of with BM on this one. Without a doubt SD6 probably misses her father. BUT that is something that she is going to have to learn to cope with, it's the nature of the beast. I also think that after your paragraph about all the "fun" things you did while she was with you guys, eating "forbidden" foods, etc. ANY 6 year old would want to be with the "fun" family, vs. the schedules, rules, school etc. family. But to be honest, schedules, rules, school is what she needs right now.

I don't think that BM did anything wrong here. Did your DH really expect for his 6 year old to hop on a plane and fly overseas 24 hours before she needed to return to school? And so what she came in her room and told her it was time for dinner? At least she's being amenable to the IPad and Facetime and Oovoo and whatever.

I'm curious as to what BMs email response?

stuckinthebay's picture

Yes, BM needs to teach sd6 how to cope with it, but I don't think taking things ways from her that connects her to her father is helping. BM said they take her photo album away because it was keeping sd6 up at night and that she can't have the iPad until she gets back on track with her sleeping schedule. But BM already agreed with DH that they would let her use the iPad when she calls him. So we are wondering why she's still using their laptop after BM said that the iPad would be better because sd6 broke a couple off keys from it. It's a control issue and bmh has a problem with everything.

stuckinthebay's picture

I believe this is the same. DH is not a Disney dad. My sons dad is a Disney dad. DH gets on sd6 if he has to. Sometimes I think he's too hard, but he feels he needs to make her strong for life. And that's a father to a daughter. Sd6 says she's always getting in trouble. I know she is no angel, but when it comes to disciplining, I call for my DH because he is her dad. Yes, I am mommy, but I know I am not her mommy. She def knows the difference and I think that's why she respects us more because BM and bmh both get on her for discipline.

Ooooh and there are times when BM pulls shit and DH wants to be a total dick, but we always gotta be the better people for the kids. Fucking sucks cuz they'll never know until they get older.

stuckinthebay's picture

CO is everything BM wanted. And now that it's not working in her favor she just changes things and doesn't ask. Her and bmh rally feel like they can do whatever.

moeilijk's picture

What would have happened if DH just refused to exchange 5 days early? If she went nuts and called the police, you guys have a valid CO you can provide, right?

I ask because I'm picking up a bit of a theme in your post. Sounds like DH (and you too, OP, to some extent) try to make everyone happy. But that's not an effective strategy in parenting or dealing with disruptive, advantage-taking exes.

stuckinthebay's picture

Yes and I've told DH this. If she wanted to call the cops, you have a CO. But he doesn't want to cause problems because he already doesn't have a say cuz BM and bmh do what they want. They share everything 50/50, but physical custody because she lives with BM overseas.

moeilijk's picture

Circular thinking, DH!

If he doesn't have a say, he can't cause problems anyway.

You guys are in a tough spot.