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Crazy activity schedule

Crr18's picture

Hi. I am brand new to this forum. My SO (which we live together) seems to have this need to always run the SS13 to every practice and every game that he has. The BM is in the picture and has children 4 out of the 7 nights. I completely understand that my SO wants to see his son play sports but the constant running him to all practices and games seems ridiculous.  He SS could not care less how he gets to and from anywhere at this age and I think that he BM should run in the nights the children stay with her and we should be responsible on the nights they are with us. Does any one else seem to have this issue. By the way he is in three sports that overlap and is on multiple travel teams. There is pretty much practice or games every day.

stepmomnorth's picture

I think it's pretty typical to have it so that the kid is brought to his practice by the person they're with on that day. That's how I work it with my kids. And I have 3 kids with lots of sports and activities. Is there is reason why the bio mom doesn't bring the child to the practice or is it that your partner prefers to bring him? My only thought is that your partner prefers to do this, if that's case I would say why not? 

Crr18's picture

My SO basic says that it became a habit. He has been divorced for 8 years and dated some but never had a  permanent person in his life until me. He has said that he ran the children everywhere because it gave him something to do and he was able to see them even when he didn't have them for the night. The BM has become used to it and assumes he is just going to do it. He has been getting better at it but it interferes with everyday life when we have to arrange our schedule around a basketball practice pickup at 8 pm .I think I could understand if the SS cared that it was his dad pickin him up and wanted to see him but at this age the son hardly acknowledges his dad in public. And I understand that he want to see his children play but since it is him running him to the majority of the games I am sure since you have done it, it means getting there earlier and staying later instead of seeing the game and being done. I also can see some disappointment in my SO when he doesn't do it.

Survivingstephell's picture

Demand a regular date night.  That night is special just for the two of you and only a hospital call would disrupt it.   Right now he is teaching his kids that partners don't matter much.  That's a poor lesson to teach your kids.  Make him fit you in or find something better to do.  Or someone.  

Crr18's picture

It is not that we don't spend alone time together. It is the planning of the time together that becomes the problem. To me he has an obsession of seeing his children everyday. But there really is no quality time spent with them , it is more like possession. If he has them the BIo mom does not.  The nights they stay over is normally some sort of sport they have and then eat , shower, and bed. If it is not a sport they either have friends over or they are with friends.He doesn't completely understand that I am not their mother and I don't need to see them daily. I am sure it also has to do with their ages 13 and 15. They want to be with friends not parents . I just don't know how to make my SO understand that running them to a practice   On a night we don't have them is not quality time. It may have been when they were younger and excited to see their daddy but now I think as long as they get where they need to be an unmarked van could pick them up and take them. Lol.They definitely just expect things now and have become rude and disrespectful to my SO. They have not been disrespectful to me but I hate that they do it to him and he is afraid to correct them because he feels they won't want to stay with him.If it is possible he tries to over love us all and it is backfiring. It makes him a doormat. But I also blame him and the ex for letting them play sports on top of sports. The kids have never been told no.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

A lot of times people on this site will tell someone they "aren't cut out to be a stepparent." I think your SO, and a lot of the bioparents we read about on here "aren't cut out to be in a relationship outside an intact family." What i mean is, if your SO can't go a single day without seeing his kids, and won't let BM fully parent on her custody time, he should either try to get back with BM or be single and devote his entire life to his kids. It's unfair to drag you along while he frantically tries to maintain full control of the kids. 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Also to add, from what you describe, at least the kids themselves sound pretty "normal". In that they have friends and outside activities, and have their own lives. Read this site and you hear about boys that don't leave their video games except to threaten their parents, girls who want to do nothing but sit on their dad's lap and cuddle, all kinds of weird sh!t. The rudeness is probably because your SO doesn't correct it and kids will be as entitled as their parents "train" them to be. If your skids do all this and still get decent grades, chances are they will launch and not want to spend their whole lives attached to your SO. That's one bright side. 

stepmomnorth's picture

I was going to say this too! Having activities is healthy and good for kids and also keeps them out of trouble. The fact that your partner encourages the sports is a good sign, in my opinion, that he cares for them and wants them to succeed in life. Believe me when I say that's a good thing!! I think what your issue is, is requiring some sort of balance in the evenings, to get some relief on some days and have more couple time and that's understandable.

I've got the step kids that sit around all day on TiK Tok, constant loud arguments on the phone with their friends and texting wars, lazy, sit around all day kids. One of them is verbally abusive and the other one told my partner never to text her again, she was mad we have rules over here. 

stepmomnorth's picture

Do you think your partner would be willing to give up one or two "sports nights" per week so that you could have a couple of evenings together for couple time? Be able to order in some nice meals together and spend time together hanging out without the kids? Does he know how you are feeling? Do you think he'd be receptive of letting go a bit? Relationships are give and take. 

Crr18's picture

I am thankful that they don't just sit around. They do make good grades and I also want to see them succeed. I guess  I need to get use to  the fact that even on the nights we don't have them on a sleepover that if he feels the need to drive them he should be able to without feeling guilty that he is taking time away from us as a couple. But a problem is that he admits to me that he doesn't want to do it all the time either but now the ex and the kids are use to it. They have always called for a pick up and he has always jumped.I think I have said before that the kids just are never ever told no.He also has said he never was able to do fun things with them like the ex does due to several reason so I think the running around is his way of "spending time" with them. Even though I feel he does not have a real bond with them. I really hope as they get older that they do not become completely entitled.  But I found out from the BM last night is that the SD (15) actully feels the my SO concentrates to much on the SS and all of his sports. I am sorry that you have skids that are just sitting around all day. You don't get a break from them being around you. Thanks for all the input.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

SD15 needs to practice driving and get a license. Where I live you can get one at 16. Then, she can take herself places and maybe drive her brother some, too. 

Crr18's picture

It is 16 and 1/2 here. She has said she wants me to be the one to teach her. I hope the SO and BM let her drive as soon as she can. It will be an asset to us all. But it will also be hard for SO to let go because he babies them so. I wish she had some friends that drove. When I was 15 I made sure I knew older kids so I wouldn't have to be driven by my parents. I just see so many parents obsessed with their children. Children need space too and I wonder if divorce rates are high when adults are older because there is so much involvement( I am not saying don't be involved) with the children that parents don't even know each other by time the children graduate and move on. Just a thought since I don't have my own children I don't really know if that is the case. 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

I agree, this obsession with and coddling of children really does them a disservice. Divorce can be both a cause and a result of this. 

Crr18's picture

So I have to give an example of just today. Tonight is our night to have the kids. Last night I asked if there is anything going on. Does the SD cheer at a game does the SS have practice.  SO said no there is nothing. Now at 4:30 he calls on His way home to say he was wrong and there is cheer and the SS will need picked up from a high school basketball game later . Yes it is our night and we should do the running but shouldn't I have known this earlier ? I can't comprehend why after 8 years of being a single dad he can't get a schedule from the kids or ex.

Crr18's picture

The BM is reliable. She has just gotten use to his behavior and let's him do it. Since we have been together he has stopped staying at practices and does come home after the SS is dropped off. There are a few times if other dads are there he will stay for awhile. Part of it is that the SS is older and most parents don't hang around anymore. He has said to me he realizes the kids use him as a Uber but still can't stop the habit. I know I shouldn't let it bother so much but to be honest I think part of my problem is that when we meant he kinda misled me by saying he had his children with him 3 nights a week and it did seem like that because we met when things were closed for Covid and there wasn't much activity. I fell in love with him and then all heck broke lose with sports and the running and then it was just one thing after the next. He even admits that he wasn't truely up front with me . He is a wonderful man and somehow we have to reach a point where that works for both of us.  He doesn't understand that it is not his kids I have a problem with it it the situation he has gotten himself into with all the running.I enjoy going to games with him and watching his children play but I just think there should be more of a division/schedule for running them and I wish I knew exactly what causes him to be so fearful of the kids not staying with him.

stepmomnorth's picture

I can definietely see how chauferring the child around every day each week is draining and takes away from other things. Is there some kind of compromise that could be made? I think a little give and take would go a long way. Explain to your partner how you are feeling. Perhaps the bio mom could take over one of the nights or he could drop one of the sports or one of the nights? Something that gives you and your partner more time. 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

It sounds like 2 issues. First, you said he did it in the beginning because it "gave him something to do." So, he used that activity to fill a need he had. You also mention possession being an issue, as in if he has them, BM doesn't. This is over-the-top and abnormal. It's one thing if your SO wants to base his whole existence on carting the kid around and "beating" BM. But, that doesn't lend itself to a good relationship with you. Maybe have a serious talk with him that you want him to be more available to you and less "beck-and-call" to SS and BM. Some may call that selfish, but if it's multiple sports and travel teams, idk how your SO has time to hold down a full-time job and do all this. You could poasibly wait it out a few more years until SS can drive, assuming your SO is willing to give up this amount of control and get SS a license and car. It's fine for SO to conduct his life that way if single, but any woman wanting a satisfying relationship isn't going to want to deal with all this. I have kids and i know how all-consuming even one travel team can be. 

Crr18's picture

I thought I was crazy thinking it was over the top. I know parents of SS friends and they all do this multiple sport. Multiple travel team thing but is is different for them since they are both the parents of the children? If for some reason he can't have them one of the nights he insists on having them a different night even if they are so busy we don't see them until 10:30 at night. I can't comprehend it and I just wonder if it is because they are not my children. We have a great time together and I don't feel an actual need for more attention. We have already been on two vacations and a few weekend trips and we have only been together since October of 2020.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Part of it is that they aren't your kids. I know enough to know that nobody is going to get the same joy i do out of sitting through my daughter's concerts, or taking her clothes shopping, or whatever. That's normal. I guess, though, if your needs for time and attention are being met in the relationship, all you can do is sit back and shake your head. I do think yoir SO has a dysfunctional anxious attachment/competition with BM thing going on, though, and a need to be in control of the kids at all times. He could let go a little and the kids wouldn't love him any less. 

stepmomnorth's picture

Does your step child enjoy doing sports and activities each day of the week? To me this seems like a lot and sometimes kids need downtime or time to work on homework so I'm just curious if your son enjoys being so booked up. 

Crr18's picture

He is 24/7 sports. It is always on the TV when he is at our home and it is all my SO and him talk about. The BM is all about the kids popularity so the more sports the more friends is how she looks at it. I think I he will have to narrow it down by high school but I am sure it will still be time consuming and both the bio parents need to get a schedule.

cmd88's picture

I agree with everything that Rumplestiltskin is saying on this thread. 

Trust me, it does suck having to run my SD12 to all of her events even on the days that we do not have her. That's because BM doesn't want her in sports at all because she wasn't in sports when she was in highschool. I also think it's out of laziness and it gets quite frustrating but it's better than what other SP's go through. My SD12 can be quite ungrateful with everything that I do for her or pretty much anyone else does for her. She also suffers for mini wife syndrome which makes things far worse.

I can definitely relate to your frustration, but I also have my own daughter that is 13 and does the same sports, so it does make it a little less annoying to have to run SD12 to every event. I would definitely talk with your SO and try to at least compromise with the running and such or start making plans on some of the nights the SD has practices and is not at your house and is with BM. Doesn't have to be all of the time, but that might cut down on the running and it's also important to set boundaries. I am still trying to work on that with BM because she has like none. 

Crr18's picture

We have talked several times about it. He is definitely trying to get better at it. He says it takes time to break 8 years of bad habits , and I can agree.  I decided at the beginning of this month I wasn't going to "nag" him about it  and just see if he would run rampant on driving them and he really hasn't. He has been only trying to run on the nights we don't have them if there is an overlap with both SC.He will then say I am only taking SS one way since the BM can do it if the overlaps are just at one of the times. Just so it is known there is a step dad in the picture too that rarely and I mean rarely runs them anywhere. And my SO will switch days so that when he knows that he will definitely have to run them we have them on an overnight . I have also started planning stuff for us to do on the weekend night we are not supposed to have them so then he can't say we are home anyway I will just run them. Sometimes I feel like I am doing this out of spite just so he doesn't have a chance to run them and th BM has to start learning that her nights are her nights and she has to run them. Should I feel horrible for doing that? I can see from reading things on here that I really don't have it so bad. But I understand when you say about the ungratefulness of it all.If I run them they do say thanks to me but they never tell my SO thanks or anything. They basically want him to drive them everywhere but never be around him. The SS acts like he doesn't even know who he is at games. Maybe the age but I wouldn't stand for it if it was my own children.

ESMOD's picture

I can see how this habit started... I think with the best of intentions, this was a way for him to have some daily presence in his children's lives.  Like he did when they lived together.  I know people say "well.. that's the price of divorce".. but I think kids still do need both parents in their lives.. and even if the time doesn't seem like quality time.. just being with your child.. seeing their moods.. hearing the odd tidbit about their day.. and the kid seeing their parent too.. there is some value in that.  My DH wasn't close enough to see his kids daily but he maintained daily calls with them.. especially once they were old enough to get calls on their own (landline.. or their own cells).  The calls may not have been much.. are you ready for school.. don't miss the bus.. love you.. but he was still part of their lives.. and he had some window to them that way.

But... I can see that over time, this has gotten to be more of a logistical burden for him.. and as the kids got older.. maybe his desire or reason for seeing them more often/daily has gone down.. because he can contact them in other ways.. that don't require him to spend hours of his free time as a chauffeur.

And.. I kind of get that the kids may not be showing a lot of gratefulness.  I mean.. they are teens.. not old enough to get themselves around.. and they just figure it's their parent's job.. like putting a roof over their heads or buying dinner.  It's just expected.. but then you also have that natural pull away from your parents at those ages.. where you don't want to even be seen with your parents.. how embarassing right..lol? But, I get that can add to the frustration that your DH really has turned himself inside out when he hasn't "had" to.. and it doesn't seem appreciated by anyone (really it's BM he has been helping.. ).

So, the current weaning off seems reasonable.  He could tell BM his time is getting tight.. and that if she needs him to help for a ride.. she will need to ask him at least a week out because he can't guaranty he can do it at the last minute.  It may resolve in the next couple of years.. because the kids should get to the point where they can drive.. and the parents should be looking at ways NOW to reduce the driving maybe finding another family that may live nearby to share the pain.. half the need because they split it?

but the pulling back and being busy will probably mean that they will end up figuring it out.  Of course.. on HIS time.. he will still need to be the one to either drive or figure an alternate solution.

And.. the kid's stepfather.. isn't obligated to drive them.. so, that is really a solution that will only work if BM can get that to happen.. it won't work out by having your DH ask them.

Crr18's picture

Thanks for your response. And you are right that it is now just not him seeing the kids it is also at the point where he is just running so the BM doesn't have to.  He has contact every day. He calls them before bed every night. I am sure that I it will get less of running them in the next year or so and just going to see them play. They will eventually want to be taken by friends that drive or drive themselves when they are able. At least I would think so. SO  does try to get another parent to drive one of the ways if it going to a friends house. But the BM does not do that and will just call him to do it. The SD has started to get rides sometimes for going places but the whole sports and cheer running is never carpooled for practices for some reason.And it is not just about time for me and the SO. He can't even do things with friends because there is no time in between running and if there is a complete free night which is maybe once every two weeks we do something together. 

cmd88's picture

No, I wouldn't feel bad about "staying busy" on the nights/weekends you don't have the skids what so ever. That time away should be just for you and your partner. Does he have a responsibility? Yes, but so does the BM and she should be stepping up and taking your SS to his practices and games. That's what parenting is all about. I know that it's not easy to have those boundaries set especially for your SO to set them after what, 8 years? I get it, but when you're trying to build a life with someone then there has to be some compromise, even including his kids and if you have future kids together. Maybe it sounds a little selfish, but that is a lot of running to be doing constantly when there is an option for BM to do it on her days.

Crr18's picture

She would be doing some of it if they were still married. I am not saying she does nothing but compared to how he has to rush around and do it and rarely have time for himself seems unfair. Yes there is time between running them to and from but you always have to be somewhere at a certain time .And thanks for saying it is comprising that has to be done. I think some people think that since he is the dad I should be the only one that has to change completely. 

cmd88's picture

If they were still married? She divorced/split up with BD not her kids. By no means does that mean to stop parenting or taking your kids to where they need to go, especially on her days. Her days=Her responsibility unless she absolutely cannot for some reason. I deal with the same stuff coming from DBF's BM. There's been times where she would talk about my SD12 to DBF and then say hey, " Can you stop at the school and pick up an extra picture form and then drop it off at my house?" And he would do it and kept doing stuff like that until I just had had enough of it. I said there needs to be boundaries and she stated that she has never had boundaries. I had him step back, and try to look at it from my side. It seems that that helped a little. On the days when SD12 comes to us or on days when she goes back to her moms, we have to bring her or pick her up. BUT there's an upside because in the past she would just walk into our house without knocking. She has not been at our new house what so ever, even though she has tried because she is pretty nosey. Compromise is key with anything and everything in a relationship and/or marraige. Keep expressing how you feel and have him take a look at it from your side and like you said, he doesn't seem to get a break and niether do you. It's never just one person who is the problem, especially when it comes to stuff like this. You have every right to feel how you feel.  

Crr18's picture

I am so glad I am not the only person who has this issue. I wish there were boundaries set from the beginning and then this wouldn't look like I am just pushing for attention. We also live within walking distance so it is like you said the BM asking if you could just swing by for them etc. Again not that she does nothing she does . She does take them to the dentist , doctor. Etc. But she has a job that allows it. He does not.  He by far feels obligated and does the majority of the running. I am glad things seem to be going better in your relationship. We are always open and communicate here I just get exhausted feeling I bring it up far to much. I have stepped back from discussing it with him For awhile and this forum is helping so I can tell someone about it and not keep it in.

cmd88's picture

Oh it's still rocky, not perfect but a little better. BM still gets away with stuff just like SD12 does. I am just glad that BM doesn't really know where we live and come to our house. At the same time, it would be nice not to have to drive SD12 everywhere, especially on days that we don't have her. It's definitely a boundaries thing and how this issue is communicated. I hope that things get better for you and that you both do not have to be running everywhere as much. Keep an update! Smile

Crr18's picture

We have talked several times about it. He is definitely trying to get better at it. He says it takes time to break 8 years of bad habits , and I can agree.  I decided at the beginning of this month I wasn't going to "nag" him about it  and just see if he would run rampant on driving them and he really hasn't. He has been only trying to run on the nights we don't have them if there is an overlap with both SC.He will then say I am only taking SS one way since the BM can do it if the overlaps are just at one of the times. Just so it is known there is a step dad in the picture too that rarely and I mean rarely runs them anywhere. And my SO will switch days so that when he knows that he will definitely have to run them we have them on an overnight . I have also started planning stuff for us to do on the weekend night we are not supposed to have them so then he can't say we are home anyway I will just run them. Sometimes I feel like I am doing this out of spite just so he doesn't have a chance to run them and th BM has to start learning that her nights are her nights and she has to run them. Should I feel horrible for doing that? I can see from reading things on here that I really don't have it so bad. But I understand when you say about the ungratefulness of it all.If I run them they do say thanks to me but they never tell my SO thanks or anything. They basically want him to drive them everywhere but never be around him. The SS acts like he doesn't even know who he is at games. Maybe the age but I wouldn't stand for it if it was my own children.

PetSpoiler's picture

  My daughter isn't like that but would be embarrassed if I came over and talked to her during football games.  I give her space and occasionally wave at her or just make eye contact so she knows I am there.  She did acknowledge me at a game saying "hi mother".   Some teens get embarrassed so easily and for whatever reason, a lot of them are embarrassed being seen with their parents. It's a phase that a lot of them go through. The pretending not to know him is somewhat normal teen behavior but at the same time almost seems disrespectful.  They need their space but they don't need to be disrespectful about it.  

When I was in school, my mom would come to band concerts when she could.  If I spotted her I'd casually touch my ear to acknowledge that I saw her and she'd do the same. Our way of saying hey, I see you.  We saw this on the Carol Burnett Show reruns.  Something like that could be a way for them to acknowledge Dad without feeling embarrassed.  

PetSpoiler's picture

I don't see how kids have time to do multiple activities.  My SS played baseball when he was in school and it took up SO MUCH TIME.  It was mostly on us to drive him except for one year when BM lived nearby and she was good about helping with that. 

It wears me out during football season driving my daughter back and forth for marching band practices.  Hopefully that will be stopped this coming season though because she'll probably be getting her license this year(she turns 16 in a few months). Now if we can get her a car....

Then it will start all over for me when my son starts marching band until he can drive.  

I get that he wants to be there for his kids but he needs to let BM share the responsibility for transportation.  She's reliable, she's available, he needs to allow her to help too.  She may be enjoying not having to do the running around but it isn't fair to you or him.  Surely he could use a break a couple of days a week.  

Crr18's picture

I hope that it does help when your daughter gets her license. My SS schedule is so crazy and then the SD has cheer and tumbling on top of it. I am sure some people think I am just about myself and wanting attention but there needs to be a break for both of us and the responsibly needs shared by both the parents. Just to see if anyone else agrees this is a lot here is a typical week that is only the SS. MondayIndoor baseball practice for  2 hours and then basketball practice after that on some days. Tuesdays basketball practice. Wednesday indoor baseball practice. Thursday basketball practice. Friday he needs run to friends houses if there is no basketball practice because they do add in practices and he will actullay call to go to different homes in the course of the night. Saturdays basketball game and then friend or over or we run him to friends. Sunday indoor baseball practice and then a travel basketball game over an hour away and then another basketball game In the evening. Add to that every other week he has CCD class in an evening for confirmation and once a month he has to go to a Mass.  And until a week ago he had 2 school basketball games during the school week. Maybe this is normal for all families and I am just thinking it is a lot.

bananaseedo's picture

It's not normal to me, but I know there are lots of parents that like to keep their kids busy 24/7 in sports.  To me it is insanty and causes a HUGE level of stress and burnout for both the parents and the kids on so many activities.

To me it has an opposite effect that parents are wanting to see...there are so many opportunities for learning on 'down time' whether it's quality time, time to chill out and decompress, help with making a dinner, help with family chores, connecting to friends or family, ...check this link out:  https://www.lifehack.org/886295/overscheduled-kids

 

Crr18's picture

I will have to check out the link. Thanks. I understand that my SO doesn't want his children to sit around but there is so much sports it is unbelievable to me. There are no chores expected of children except to put their clothes away that are folded and on their beds.  The SD does throw her comforter up to "make her bed". But I had thought the SS was doing this but my SO does it for him. At least they are not messy kids but they really don't have the time to make messes. The SD says she doesn't need to learn to bake or cook( we try to do This and have fun with it but it is like we are pressuring her) The BM never cooks or cleans. When my SO was with her he did it all and from what I gather the Skids Step dad does the cleaning. But for dinner they eat out or have take out all of the time. We cook at our house and try to eat as a family but the kids just hurry and leave the table. I can't blame the kids . The parents have caused this. I want family time and to do things with them but since it has always been running and sports the kids don't know how to even act with my SO when we do things. It seems very forced.  I am glad I don't blame myself for being an intrusion because this has all been the way it was before I came into the picture.

Winterglow's picture

Personally, I would NOT do the Friday run from house to house for my own DDs. After the first drop off, it would be up to them to find a solution. Dammit, your dh has a life! 

Crr18's picture

He worries that if he says no  to anything or makes them them a chore that the children will not want to be with him.  One time he told the SS that he didn't play a baseball game as well as he could have and he didn't see him for several days. The BM was also mad and said he shouldn't say those things to his son . I kind of laugh at it because if he decided not to see his dad how would he get to all of these things plus the finacical part of it.

Winterglow's picture

Doesn't he realize how pathetic he makes you both look? As if your only purpose in life is playing chauffeur for a kid. The kid will get over it or lose his taxi. 

It's more than time bm did her share in the transport. 

Crr18's picture

He doesn't look at it like that. He feels he is their dad and wants to be in their lives and this is how he does it. Catering to every whim they have. And please don't think I am being mean but do you think at the age of 13 he is knowing that he gets everything he wants and pushes it because he won't be told no? Do you think he says to his friends my dad will do anything I say . The SS even volunteers for SO to pick up and drop off other kids for parties etc. 

stepmomnorth's picture

I think it depends on the kids attitude. How does he react when he is told no? Is he appreciate if the rides? 

Crr18's picture

He has never been told no since I have been in their lives. The closest to no was one time when the BM said my SO needed to drive the SS to a party( yes on a night that wasn't ours) And we had to pick up another friend. We were going to do errands after the drop off so I rode along. While we were on the way I was asking whose party and he said he didn't know the name of the kid having the party. My SO said how do you know about it and he said another one of his friends(that we know) were invited and invited him. He said the kid is older whose party it is. I never would have dropped him off if he were my son but my SO said the BM must know something about this. He then called her and she said she didn't ask the SS about it and it didn't matter he wanted to go so she said yes.  When my SO picked him up he told him that had he had known the BM knew nothing about it and it was older kids he would not have let him go and that from now on he would be asking more questions about where he was going. The SS said the if my SO was going to treat him like he was in prison he didn't need to be around him. My SO explained it was to keep him safe. The SS didn't seem to care. I guess just the thought he could be told no at sometime upset him.So there was no appreciation.

ESMOD's picture

I just want to say that for what it's worth.. I can understand your frustration because you don't have kids.. and it can be irritating that you have to adjust your schedule for kids you didn't have a "choice" in bringing into the world and don't have much say in what level of activity they do.

I mean.. yeah.. when you have a spouse with kids, you have to understand that your life will experience some of the limitations having kids brings... but that doesn't mean you always have to love it.  and... it sounds like he does more than his fair share of the driving.. which isn't really equitable.. and hopefully will slow down as the kids get older and more capable of doing for themselves.

 

Rags's picture

Which has two obvious outcomes. It stops, or it does not.  The risk is, your demaind ends the relationship.

Time for your SO to gain clarity that when his kids are on their time with his XW, that is YOUR time as a couple and he does not allow his failed family to interfere in your Skid free time.

BM can schlep the Skids to practiced and games on her time.  Now, if your SO wants to watch the game, consider going with him but... only as spectators and not as SKuber drivers.

Crr18's picture

I agrees that she should be driving them on her nights. I have never made him miss a game for me.  But  he feels if we are going anyway why can't we take his son. He can't understand that that is another hour added on to the game time because of the getting him there early and the waiting afterwards. Plus the time in the car when we could have a conversation now becomes my SO trying to get a 13 year old to talk and I end up talking about sports if there is even a conversation.

Winterglow's picture

Maybe if you stopped going with him and he found himself doing it all by himself again he might be a bit more motivated to get bm involved? 

Crr18's picture

Actually I have done this for the past few weeks. I have quit the telling him about how much it bothers me and I have told him that if he chooses to run them on nights she should be I am eating dinner when I want , going to the gym when I want and doing other things without him if he is  not available. I have quit going to Sunday morning games and go to church (this is what I did before him). So he is extremely upset that he eats dinner alone and late and isn't at the gym with me and doesn't have me beside him at the games.  This month has been extremely busy with so many overlaps for both the children but he has said no a few times. I am not trying to make him choose between his children and me this is making him let the ex be responsible for her nights. He is not getting enjoyment any more from running the kids they don't care who takes them at their age. It is a long process and hopefully it makes us a stronger couple.I hate to think of the other option of us not staying together. Thanks for your advise.

Winterglow's picture

I'd say you're on the right track.  Looks like it's starting to take effect too. There is no reason for your life to be put on hold just because his is. 

Keep up the good work!

Rags's picture

DH and I will talk."

Then you direct the conversation on the topics you want to engage DH in.  The ill behaved rude 13yo in the back seat can continue to be silent, or participate appropriately.  

I for one would initiate a discussion along the lines of ....  "Dear, have you ever noticed how annoying rudely silent 13yos are? It is a good thing they are only 5 years from moving out."

Diablo

Rumplestiltskin's picture

As a parent who is pretty involved with my kids (or at least the one still home), i get the dad's point of view. I don't sit through practices (music, not sports in my case) but i do go to most things. I even bring my daughter to some things on the days she is with her dad. But - i don't expect my SO to completely rearrange his life to accomodate my daughter's extracurriculars, either. It's not fair for one partner in a relationship to be expected to be basically an accessory to the other partner's life, changing everything simply because one partner reproduced and the other didn't. 

My advice - don't try to control or harp on your SO. Let him do his thing, but don't always be available. His passion is his kids? What was yours before being sucked into his black hole? Do what you love. If his life truly has become being an unappreciated chauffeur, maybe he will start to see that BM really isn't participating in the parenting like she should have been all along. The kids are getting older and maybe he will see that some kids are even getting licenses and driving themselves. Kids get older, things change. He will either bend a little or not, but one thing i have learned is that constantly bitching and harping is counterproductive. Tell him how you feel, then let your actions speak for you. 

Crr18's picture

I agree and have quit the harping. He knows how I feel about it and there is no reason to continue it. I don't think it is a passion just a habit that he become obsessed with because that was all he knew for 7 years. 

Maria10's picture

Even when married parents ( I'm talking not divorced and remarried)do this multiple sport thing they don't go EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. If you two were these children's parents you would still have a problem with them being so involved. 

So it is not frivolous ! Get schedules from the school! Start by taking one night off then two then three. Might take a year or so! 

Crr18's picture

I am hoping this can happen. The problem is he is not just in school activities. He plays in travel teams outside of school . They add games and practices all the time. I know I aM new to all of this but it sure seems excessive to me. Now the bio parents are getting him private baseball practices. So I am wondering how much driving that will involve. Thanks for your response.

Rags's picture

One or both bio parents operate under the naive and IMHO mistaken perspective that they can keep things "normal" for their failed family progeny.

Dad, nor Mom, can successfully tune out the fact that they are no longer together.  Nor can or should they be continuously on beck and call duty to their X or to their children when there is a visitation schedule.  They should not even try.

My XW and I did not spawn. However, if we had procreated I would like to believe that I would have the fortitude to give my kid(s)  the best of me during my time with them, and give their mother clarity that she would  be entirely responsible for their care, to feed, and transport them on her time and I would do the same on my time. PERIOD! DOT.  If there is no emergency, blood, hospitalization, etc... don't call me. Of course my kids could call me any time they chose, and I would call them periodically.   If I wanted to attend a kid event on the oppositions time, I would. Though I would not be the SKuber on the oppositions time.  And I would not allow the "influences" of my past to interfere more than necessary on the lives of the mate I choose to make my life and future with.  The time allotted for the product of the past is defined. The time for the partners making their lives and futures together is sacrosanct. Or at least as sacrosanct as can be made to happen.

If I were a failed family bio parent, in my kid free time I would hope that I would live my best life so i could be happy for myself, my mate, and for my kids.  Kids have their place. They are the top responsibility. But they are not the be all and end all of life. Even for entirely devoted parents. If they are, that is the recipe for screwed up  kid lives not only during childhood but also throughout adulthood.

The result is miserable parents, miserable kids, miserable SOs, miserable GKs, etc, etc, etc.....  and most sadly, misery for anyone who has any interface with the entire shit show of tragic choices. Those choices may include choice of initial mate, parenting choices, etc....

IMHO of course.

 

Crr18's picture

Your opinion is correct. My SO is definitely over the XW but I don't think he has ever understood and gotten over what a divorce is. He  lives in a a fantasy that him, I , and his children are a close family. We are not. I have not become emotionally attached to the children. Me and the Skids get along and but by no means is there the connection that he thinks we have.  He always says how much the kids like me in their lives , blah, blah  but they don't even care that he is in their lives at this age and only care that they get what they want and of course the driving them everywhere.              
                                                    

Crr18's picture

I am at witts end. My SO drive SS to baseball practice and 2 basketball games today. It was BM day to do so but that didn't happen.  I would never ask SO not to go the game but yet again he was the Uber driver. At least he dropped the SS at the BM after and didn't bring him here for the evening. But I guess the SS did not do well at either game, he made no baskets at either game. The coach told him he needs to get better at shooting , as I think I a coach should do. So SO tells me SS was upset and was saying how bad he is and the coach told him he needs to do better. Now SS has two basketball practices a week along with three basketball games and three baseball practices (you probably have seen this in my previous posts) . SO says he feels so bad for him and thinks he needs to drive him to more practices at the Rec center . I know what my face looks like when this crap happens and SO said tell me what you are thinking. I said no I told you I was done with saying anything about it. He insisted I give my opinion. So I said this will now be one more thing you drive him to for what reason, he already has enough practices and games. He has to get use to coaches constructive criticism because it only gets harder in High School. My SO said he just feels so bad that SS is so down on himself.  I am not sure how I should continue to handle this? 

Kerrywho's picture

A poster above summarized some single fathers well by saying they're not well suited for anything but an intact family. 

 

Your SO has never processed the split and what they means for his life. He hasn't adapted to single fatherhood and not only that but, he's never once thought of what he needs to do to make room for a new partner. He just picked you up one day and expected you to assume the new mom role and go about life the way he does with his kids. 

 

This is execpetionally selfish of him considering those kids aren't your kids and you're not just some spot filler, you're a woman with your own needs and wants that don't fall in line with his fantasy of pretending he never even got divorced. 

 

If you've spoken to him about how you feel and he's not making changes to better serve your relationship...then it is what it is. IMO, a lot of single dads are broken in the sense that they can't or won't make room in their lives for a new woman. Instead they treat their SO's like side chicks, mistresses while the kids are upfront and center and then get surprised when that doesn't pan out. 

 

Not much you can do if he won't change. This is why I refuse to date another single dad. 

Crr18's picture

I am pretty sure he thinks that this is an opportunity for him to have that family unit back . But that is not how it started out. I am in this relationship for my SO not for the kids. They have a mom and do not need another one . Some people say I knew what I was getting into since I knew he had children. I did not since I was misled.  It is not that he is making me take care of the children I just think he wants me to love them like they are my own and care about them the same way he does. Any time I bring up about him ubering them on days that aren't his or bringing anything up about no boundaries on time he turns it around on me and says I just hate his kids and the fact that they even exist. I tell him that is has nothing to do with the children themselves it has to do with him and the situations he has created with them and the BM.  He says that there is no problem with me doing things I want to do. But then he is so sad when I do them and plus I want to do these things with him . He does not need to be at his children's beck and call for rides 24/7. He know exactly how I feel about all of this running but he doesn't know I am giving him until all of this overlapping sports is finished , which is around the middle of February, to see if he stops it. If he continues to run when on nights that aren't his and won't see my side of it I will have to move on. It is not the type of person I want to be , but I also don't want to be unhappy and taken for granted. Everyone deserves to live their best life. That includes him and if it means that he is happy with his kids and no one else in his life so be it. 

Kerrywho's picture

"I am pretty sure he thinks that this is an opportunity for him to have that family unit back "

 

That's why most single dads date. Because they want to reestablish their family. They want a whole family unit again. They want the white picket fence they came so close to acheiving. They date with the goal of being a family. 

 

And you?

 

You're dating with the goal of being a couple. You want dinners out and time alone and hot sex and spontaneous trips. I get it, that's my goal too. 

 

So can you see the problem? You two have very different ideas of what a relationships looks like. Above, you said you're dating your SO, not your step kids. Anyone and everyone who has that mind set (including myself) fails when dating a single dad. You HAVE to be okay with the kids. You HAVE to be okay with taking them on being on the back burner much of the time if you're going to make it dating a single dad. Honestly, some people can truly adapt that role and be content with it. But in all your posts I don't see anywhere where you're willing to assume that role. 

 

Cut your loses and find a child free SO where you both date, to be with each other, not to be with the kids. This won't get better. 

 

(((hugs)))

stepmomnorth's picture

That is totally reasonable. I grew up as a kid who did tonnes of sports, including competitive soccer in a city an hour away and even across the border. But my own parents only drove me one night a week and usually I carpooled with another family on other nights. Sharing the driving!! When I got older I drove myself or hopped in with my other friends that were driving. I hope that you're able to reach a good compromise with your partner. Because I can't imagine having each night booked with so much driving and unnecessarily so. I'm actually surprised that so many sports are even still running, with covid. 

Crr18's picture

I sure do hope we can come to a compromise soon. Covid sure helped my SO misled me into thinking he didn't run the kids like this when I first met him. I don't want all those shut downs again but it worked in his favor , not so much mine. If he would have been upfront I wouldn't have bothered even starting a relationship and I wouldn't be putting us both in the situation I am.

Winterglow's picture

Seeing as being nice about it isn't working out too well, have you considered using brute reason? Calculate how much petrol he's burning through every month and present the result as a an absolute cost and also as a comparative one.

Example: My DH had a wild idea about signing one of our daughters up for a school that is about 50 km away. Now, that's not very far but it's on small, winding mountain roads and over a mountain pass. This is also a very touristy region (imagine being stuck behind a camping car or three). So, one Sunday in summer, at around lunchtime, we took to the road to see how long it would take. The conditions were perfect, no rain, no wind, no tourists, nobody on the road but us and it still took us an hour. This would amount to him being on the road for a minimum of 4 hours per day (2 round trips) - imagine winter ice and snow, delivery lorries, etc. He was still adamant that he could do this for his little girl (idiot that he was). So, I told him how much it would cost in petrol per month ... and explained that this was X% more than our monthly food bill. THAT hit home. If it hadn't, I was ready to hit him over the head with vehicle depreciation too. We signed her up to a school closer to home.

Si, work out the minimum and the maximum and hit him over the head with the financial reality of how much it costs and how much it compares with utility bills. Then ask why BM isn't contributing her share (is she getting CS? If so, compare the cost of transportation with that ...). 

Good luck.

Crr18's picture

I wish that was the case. He has a work vehicle that they let him use for petty much anything and a gas card. It is one of his work perks. I have though told him that he has to pay for food while they are out and that since he takes him every time there is a fee in the day of the game he pays for it. Plus he will bring him here after and the SS will eat and shower before he goes back to the BM . My SO will ask why the gas and water are high . When I tell him why he says you always blame it on anything the kids do. Oh and also when the SS goes to a birthday party (and there are so many because of all the "friends") My SO pretty much runs him to all of those too and has to buy gifts cards every time. It all adds up.

Winterglow's picture

"It all adds up"

So start keeping a tally. A nice, clear, orderly spreadsheet with all the household expenses included should show where the leakage is.  

Crr18's picture

That is a good idea. The problem is he always has a comeback. The last gas bill came in and I told him it was high. He said why and I told him there are more and longer showers being taken by your son because he is here more then normal and he said on no look gas has gone up in price  Which it is a tad higher but that is not the only reason. One day on a day that wasn't ours the boy took a shower after baseball practice after his first basketball and after his second basketball game. The SO said why is he doing that he is just going to sweat again. I said that is on you why doesn't he know when it is an appropriate time to shower? You have to stop it. The activitieswere only like an hour apart from each other and he wasn't gross and smelly anyway. It is ingrained in this child's head that as soon as you get to dads you eat and shower . So now every time he steps foot in this house that is what he does. I wish I knew more about what went on before me. There is definitely some OCD going on here.

Harry's picture

To sit down and really go through your life.

I would set a time, two month. And what you want  SO to be at.  In spending time with his kids. Make him go on a weekend Three day away with you. To a fun place. Get BM to do some picks ups.  Ect.   Either he will do this or not.  If not then nothing is going to change.  Hey gas lighting you. 
Yo me, he's gaslight you,  saying he will try, but nothing really has change. 
Then you will know if this is the relationship for you. You are not happy about this because you are here. 

Crr18's picture

You are right I am not happy with constant obsession with him running the children everyday. That is why I found this sight. I needed to see if I was unreasonable and should be okay with the situation. Also reading other posts is helping me to realize that it may not get any better and I need to reconsider how I want to live my life. Thanks for your response. 

Crr18's picture

So today I get a text from my SO saying that the BM asked if we could run the kids tonight ( not our night) because her mom was going into the hospital . He was asking for my permission to run them. He never asks my permission to run them on her nights. He knew I wouldn't say no to that. Then I always call him when I make on my way home and he tell me he is at his wits end Te BM texted him and said her mom is not going to the hospital but since we were already running the kids can we still do it. Needless to say we are running kids to baseball and cheer practice and not enjoying a nice evening together.

stepmomnorth's picture

What would happen if your partner said no when she asked him if he could run the kids on her night occasionally? 2 scenarios. She's given the chance to find someone else to do it, or she ends up doing it. 2nd possibility the kid misses a practice, etc. Neither is the end of the world. I know sports are committing. Having said that, my kids have missed the odd piano night of they had other things going on. Could the kid jump in with another family on some nights? Why can't the bio mom figure out alternate arrangements once in a while? She seems very dependent on your partner. 

Crr18's picture

He worries that the kids won't want to see him if he says no or that she will keep them from him.I believe he has some underlying form of OCD that he won't admit too.  Miss a practice , that is unheard of unless  a game is on practice day. The game will override the practice. If he can get the SS to even a partial practice before a game he does it. I don't know why there is not more carpooling . I would think it would benefit more people if all the parents carpooled. But why would the BM even bother when my SO will do it.I blame my SO more then the BM. He has let this happen.

Winterglow's picture

It's kind of funny that he thinks bm would keep the kids from him ... look at all the extra work that would generate for her!  As for the kids not wanting to see him - they don't get to make that call. HE'S the adult, HE decides.

I think you should follow through with your idea of staying somewhere else because he's going to need some kind of electroshock to make any kind of change. He also needs to understand that if he can't free up a few evenings then he should not be in a relationship. You are in a position where you are his plan B ... for when he accidentally (because, let's face it, he won't do it deliberately) has some free time. You deserve so much more than that!

 

 

Crr18's picture

Is it even fair of me or worth me to ask him again to stop the extra running? Should there be one final attempt to make him understand how sad I am.If he thinks this is what makes him a good dad and does not think there is anything wrong with it is he really wrong? Maybe he is right and this is what a dad should do. Maybe it is just me not understanding.  

shellpell's picture

No it's not you, it's him. Running kids all the time when BM can do her nights? Having you as plan b as someone said above? What woman would stick around for being treated like an afterthought? And he admitted he lied to you. Wow. Do you want your life to revolve around the kids' schedules? That's not fair to you at all. If he wants to do it he shouldn't expect someone to be ok with being low priority and should just stay single.

stepmomnorth's picture

I think that your partner is too afraid to rock the boat with his ex and his kid. He's afraid if he changes anything it will ruin things. He's being passive. It's putting your needs last. It seems you're in a relationship where your needs are put last. What you are asking of him is reasonable. He needs to see that if he's to be in a relationship he'll have to cut back on the driving somewhat. To expect otherwise is really just expecting someone to live according to your own terms only and is completely selfish.

 

If you really love this man and believe that he can change I would be completely honest with him. Lay all of the cards on the table. Tell him how you feel and that you are thinking of ending the relationship. Be concrete. Tell him what needs to change (etc X nights per week, have bio mom do X drives, whatever it is that is your boundary.) Put it all out there or you will just continue to live HIS life as an afterthought. If he wants a relationship, your needs must be considered or else its a one way street. He's not fitting you into this family or relationship currently. He says you guys can get through anything. If that's true then tell him how you feel.