BM constantly switching schedule arrangement.
My partner, who I have been with for nearly two years, has two, 6-year-old twin daughters with his ex-wife. They are supposed to have 50/50 (1 week on, 1 week off) shared custody however BM is constantly switching and complicating the schedule. Most of the time, these changes work out in her favor, meaning we never get the time back. Since he continues to accommodate her, she continues to make plans on the weeks she has the children, leaving him (us) to take care of them. This is getting very frustrating to me. I've told my partner that he needs to stop agreeing to take them for her, that she has TWO entire weeks a month that she can make plans with her friends or schedule extra catering shifts. That's far more than many moms out there. My partner has no problem with this schedule. We make plans on the weeks we don’t have the kids. End of story. We basically never have to ask her to take the kids and take responsibility for our week.
My partner and I currently live in separate homes, so I've been putting up with BM’s schedule switches because I can always retreat to my own space if need be, but we are planning on moving in together this fall and I've told him that if he doesn’t start putting his foot down and stick with the schedule, this is going to become a big problem. When we live together, it'll be me babysitting for BM too, and I think it's extremely selfish of her to expect me to give up my time (Remember, I'm already committing myself to 50% custody of children who are not my own) so that she can go out with her friends. When I try to speak to my partner about this he tells me I need to look at it as getting to spend extra time with the kids. As parenting, not babysitting. He thinks I’m being unreasonable. I can’t even believe he doesn’t understand where I’m coming from. It’s bad enough that BM doesn’t get it, but when your own partner doesn’t, it’s disappointing. I should mention that when he does have the kids, I’m trying very hard to be there for them. I buy and cook them healthy foods, I arrange crafts for us to do, we hang out together etc. I’m not just some vacant babysitter, I’m genuinely trying to take interest in the children and help them grow into great little people.
Last week BM told him that he needs to be more flexible with schedule changes. I’ve said I will take them:
- 50% of the time
- In emergency situations
- Special family functions that we don’t want the kids to miss
Is this unreasonable? I don’t even care how the 50/50 split goes, as long as it's a consistent schedule that we can plan around.
I don’t see why we should have to take the children so that BM can go out with her friends or schedule an extra catering shift. She doesn’t realize that while she’s out catering and making MORE money, WE are making less because we can't work - we’re babysitting. And that while she’s out having fun with the girls, we’re at home with the children and I’m getting less one on one time with my partner.
How can I get my partner to understand my position?!