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on being flexible ..

SMof2Girls's picture

DH and BM agreed in the parenting agreement to be flexible with each other in regards to family visiting from out of town, etc. Meaning, if one of them have family visiting (both are transplants with most family several hundreds of miles away).

They didn't really define "flexible" though. When DH's parents visit (always scheduled on our time to avoid working out a compromise with BM), he lets her know in advance. He ONLY does this to avoid her scheduling her family visits on the same times.

When BM does it? We get 3-4 days notice.

Now, DH generally says no if we can't make a switch work. But it never fails that BM throws a temper tantrum about how he's not being flexible and thinking of the kids' best interest.

Most recently, this upcoming weekend is BM's weekend. The next is DH's. DH made plans weeks ago to fly out west to visit his aunt and cousins, with the assumption this was BM's weekends and skids wouldn't be with us. Next weekend my family is having their annual summer get-together. This was specifically scheduled to make sure skids could attend.

BM sent an email this morning asking to switch weekends because she has to work this weekend and she has "visitors" coming next weekend.

DH will say no. He won't even be here this weekend. Because of vacation schedules during the month of August, there is not another weekend in the foreseeable future to switch. She will throw a temper tantrum.

They see the parenting coordinator on Wednesday, where I'm sure she'll show up with all her "proof" that DH is unreasonable and doesn't allow skids to see her family. Which really just isn't true. DH let BM pick skids up early this past Friday because her aunt was visiting.

And let's not forget that BM has withheld visitation when she was living out of state because DH didn't give her at least 30 days notice of his plans to come see the skids (he gave 28 days). But that's totally acceptable. :sick:

DH will do the right thing, I'm just so sick of it always being something, ya know? Sad

Rags's picture

Of course he is going to shred BM's ass with more facts and data regarding her manipulative short notice bullshit right?

The only way to deal with toxic and manipulative blended family opposition is to bring the facts and bare their idiot asses.

As hard as it is for a decent person to come down on the toxic opposition like a ton of shit in a 1Gal Ziploc it has to be done to keep the toxic folks under control.

IMHO of course.

SMof2Girls's picture

Oh he will bring the evidence showing how she never gives any type of adequate notice and that he actually is reasonable and flexible the majority of the time.

And BM will claim she told him as soon as she found out. Or as soon as plans were confirmed. She'll likely start crying about how she tries so hard .. yadda yadda yadda ..

And before DH can argue otherwise, the mediator/coordinator will shut it down because that's "not the point" of mediation. They're not there to point blame and drag up the past .. they're there to find solutions for the future.

It happens every time.

tiny kitten's picture

God I hate that. The "it's in the past" thing. BM has a history of drug use, alcoholism, emotional abuse, child abandonment, and just generally being a POS, but the courts/mediators don't give a damn because "it's in the past." Well, you know what? It shows a pattern of behaviour. A habit. And we're concerned that it's going to happen again IN THE FUTURE, so we want safeguards to prevent it.

In fact, if I were your DH, that's exactly how I'd phrase it in the next mediation.

SMof2Girls's picture

That's an excellent suggestion! I will pass that on to him!

ej'scrazy's picture

Yes, I know this scenario all too well! We make plans well in advance and notify well in advance (90%of the plans happen on our time, only vacations don't and those supersede the normal schedule). BM, on the other hand, makes plans, gets the kids excited and then the week before drops it on dh telling him "it's not fair to the kids if you don't let me do what I want. "

Doing the right thing is not easy, especially when you are dealing with someone who wouldn't do the right thing if their life depended on it!

Fyi, dh has said no before, due to our plans already being made, but he would offer alternative suggestions that she would automatically turn down. It's all in writing, so there's a paper trail. Last minute plans do not supersede the other parents time with the kids.

SMof2Girls's picture

Well .. the LAST mediator they had would have disagreed.

BM brought up another situation like this over winter break where her brother flew in to visit. DH didn't know until he was THERE and BM asked if she could keep the skids an extra two days until he left.

He said no. We didn't have any other big plans, but skids had already been there for 6 days with him at that point and winter break is to be split.

Mediator sided with BM .. said that it's not about "his" or "her" time, it's about what's best for the skids .. and apparently visiting with an uncle they see every few years is more important than visiting with their dad. Who knew?

ej'scrazy's picture

Is the parenting coordinator court ordered? Dh and bm have one as well. She hasn't done much as far as siding with one or the other, but she has stopped a lot of bm's crazy crap arguing about little stuff and refusing to give an inch. She has said that dh doesn't have to give up his time and bm doesn't have to give up hers. But flexibility was good.

What's the point of a parenting coordinator if the co isn't followed by the parents? And the parenting coordinator?

SMof2Girls's picture

They are mandated to see the coordinator before either of them can file in court. DH wants to have the current schedule they're following court-ordered (or added to the agreement via amendment which they can do with dual consent).

The only change is to define the weekend to include Sunday evenings. BM does not like it because 3 weekends per year she has to work early Monday morning and would not be able to keep skids Sunday night.

SMof2Girls's picture

Here's hoping she does. This is a new coordinator .. I hope she's more reasonable.

BM has already said she's not willing to change anything so I suspect the whole meeting will be a waste (as it usually is); so we'll see.

Orange County Ca's picture

I would suggest that the flex clause be eliminated. Then stick to the given visitation schedule come hell or high water. Ask for no leave and give no leave. If Aunt Bessie misses seeing the kid well maybe next time. Obviously if its a VIP like the grandparents they will have to be told of this arrangement and to check with their son to make sure its a appropriate weekend to visit.

After a year of IN flexibility on his part and asking for nothing she may decide it was better the other way.

If the clause is kept then a 2 (or whatever) week notice should be included but the inflexibility plan is always easier to implement when it comes to a troublesome or just plain inconsiderate ex spouse.

SMof2Girls's picture

I could not agree with you more! Unfortunately, these mediators/coordinators do not see it that way Sad