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How to navigate until court?

Biostep7777's picture

So long story short. HCBM feels there is no "parents time" with custody. That it's the kid's time and their lives should not strain because their parents are divorced. So, basically if the kids want to do baseball, other sports, make plans, do this and that and 10 other things ... they get to do whatever they want and mom and dad should work around THEIR schedule. She feels this is what it means to be a parent and the kids needs and wants are always the first priority. She is livid that DH remarried and has us as a priority and she feels their kids should always come first. No matters what. What are your thoughts on this?  Thanks! 
 

 

tog redux's picture

She's ridiculous and you and DH should continue to spend your custody time as you see fit.  

Winterglow's picture

I think that your bm there has the makings of a highly theatrical martyr. If she wants to dedicate her life to her offspring, let her. I also think that she must be a very sad person inside ... I mean, what kind of a life does she have if all she ever does is run after her kids? I actually feel sorry for that poor, misguided woman.

Ursula's picture

I think your BM is taking it way too far.  I think one sport or activity per season is fair, not multiple ones.  And as kids get older, they're going to want to do more things with friends, but there also still needs to be family time.  Your BM should not be scheduling anything on your husbands parenting time, such as accepting get togethers with friends or things like that.  At the end of the day, the parents are the ones that run the house, not the child.  

PetSpoiler's picture

One activity is enough.  My daughter is in marching band and as much as I love watching the halftime show, the running around is exhausting.  Just imagine how exhausting it is for the kids.  My daughter has to work hard to show up for marching practice and keep up her grades.  

Biostep7777's picture

Oh I totally agree. But HCBM signs them up for whatever they want anyway. It's difficult to make family plans when she feels their kids are the main priority in the parents lives and DH should live around them. 

tog redux's picture

That's just a reflection of her belief that she's the main and only important parent. You guys should stick to your guns.  The court isn't interested in simple parenting differences. 

ESMOD's picture

Meh... not everyone raises their kids in a child centric household.  If she wants to turn herself inside out fine, but she can't dictate what your husband does on his time.

My feeling is that the care and safekeeping for basic needs of minor children is the first priority.  So, they are warm, clean, fed have a bed and clean underwear? (could add access to education)... you have met your primary obligation.  This oblligation is a higher priority than your spouse, your stepkids.. even your job theoretically.    But, that is BASIC need to survive here.. that isn't baseball games etc...

After the priority list of everyone's basic needs are met.... you move on to the wants.  Those wants need to be weighed and prioritized along with the wishes and preferences of everyone else in your family unit.  Sometimes one person and their want is a priority.. sometimes it's someone else.. sometimes the household good is more of a priority than one individuals wants.  

So, Within reason, I think it's good to support kid's activities..but not to the exclusion of everyone else's life.  

If he were prioritizing taking your kids to baseball practice and they always got to attend their games.. and he was making his kids miss out?  That would be kind of messed up..   We can't please everyone all the time, but we can try to be fair about it.  

But, just because BM wants to have no life doesn't mean that her EX has to do the same.  He can make reasonable efforts as he can to allow them to participate in things.  

Because, to an extent, I think a parent should support their kid's activities to a point.. and that might mean from time to time the parent isn't doing what THEY want to do, but it doesn't have to be all consuming.

Tried out's picture

was okay with SS missing games because of band competitions then dad's rationale for not doing both is irrelevant. Coaches deal with teens having other commitments all the time. If this is the case, then I imagine  the coach is expecting SS to be at the upcoming game.

ESMOD's picture

I think that was just one of the reasons he was against it.  I think the BM generally has her kids overscheduled and that their activities rise to a point where they are a burden to OP's household.  I believe there is also an issue of the expense of many things his EX wants her kids to participate in and her DH doesn't have an endless bucket and would like to spend his discretionary income in other ways. 

 

 

Tried out's picture

that, but in this single instance missing a game might cause a problem for the son. As a parent, I would want to have that information.

tog redux's picture

The agreement is one activity and he's already told BM he wasn't agreeing to the other one. She signed him up anyway. 

Tried out's picture

I do understand this. But I would want to make sure I wasn't punishing my kid while working to preserve my rights. If dad has already discussed this with his son then there is no problem. If not, I would at least have a conversation with him.

ESMOD's picture

I think he should of course tell his son the reason he won't take him... if that is the decision he wants to make.  

The reason is that the family has other plans and they conflict and this is one of the reasons he has been trying to insist on only one activity at a time because doing more than one becomes a logistical nightmare.

Now, I guess in our own situation.. my DH would have just let the kid stay with mom and attend whatever game that was going on.. .I understand that means mom "wins".. but the kid is also getting to do the activity HE wants... so at what point is "winning" against BM causing him to deny his kid something the kid wants?   I'm not saying it's happening here that is the reason.. but it's a fine lline.  Not agreeing to what BM for the principle of you don't have to... when you "could" without it being an imposition?  IDK but her DH does have the right to make whatever decision he feels is most appropriate for his child on his time.

tog redux's picture

I believe they have discussed it ad nauseum, with everyone involved, including BM. She signs the kid up anyway, and then uses it to alienate the kid.  

How is it "punishment" to tell a kid they can't do every activity they want to do? Especially when you well know that the mother's intention is to make sure the kids have as little time as possible with the other parent?

It's not about "winning" or "losing", it's about protecting his relationship with his kids and not spending all of his time on their activities and none on family time.

Tried out's picture

if the coach decides to bench him because he's not at the game where he is expected to be, that is a punishment.

I get the bigger picture, truly. But I would want to make sure I fully understood any repercussions that could affect my kid because of how I handled this.

Biostep7777's picture

He has missed all his fall baseball games except for one because of marching band competitions throughout the fall. They are both fine when he misses all of his games but THIS ONE is so important?? Come on! DH had a long talk with him about making commitments and following through. SS didn't give a crap and did it anyway but this ONE he must be at?? Give me a break! 

Tried out's picture

"they" the coach?

Biostep7777's picture

HCBM and SS. They had no problem when he missed all of his games for marching band. They coach may be fine with it. That's not the point. DH is trying to teach his sons that they need to show up and be a team player when they decide to join a team and over scheduling to them point that you are letting your team down by not showing up isn't the kind of person he wants them to be. It's selfish, self centered and entitled behavior. It's sickening. These boys do.not.care about ANYONE but themselves. 

Tried out's picture

the perspective of a parent of a teen athlete. Our son was kinda (weirdly) multitalented and his coaches were okay with him missing games and/or practices if he was involved in other activities. But he had to commit to being there on the other dates. If he skipped just for the hell of it he would be treated like the other players and benched or kicked off the team. He wasn't letting down the team in the eyes of his coach or other players unless he just didn't show up.

I do understand that BM tries to control your lives through the extracurriculars and I get how frustrating that must be. My comments aren't a criticism of you or your decisions. I'm just offering a different perspective of this single event. 

 

tog redux's picture

But that's the problem. BM signed him up when she shouldn't have, hoping he would take just the approach you are - that it "hurts" SS for dad to not agree to take him on his time. OP and her DH are damned if they do and damned if they don't. 

Winterglow's picture

So, do you mean that the father should plan nothing for his weekends just in case the kid happens to have a game?

Tried out's picture

I'm assuming dad has the game schedule.

I don't get why you made the leap from my perspective on this single event to a broader application to his visitation time in general.

 

Tried out's picture

cross purposes. I'm talking about this situation right in front of them. You're talking about the bigger picture. I do understand and appreciate your response.

OP specifically asked for input about this specific situation in her original post. I responded from a different perspective. At no time did I criticize her and yet somehow I am wrong for taking her at her word - that she wanted honest feedback from a variety of perspectives. 

Tried out's picture

Was there something stopping dad from getting the schedule himself? And yes, I realize their BM is a controlling PITA.

tog redux's picture

He didn't agree to the kid doing the sport on his time. Why would he get the schedule? 

tog redux's picture

Even if he did have the schedule, the kid wouldn't be going anyway, so it's a moot point. No need for BM to stick her nose into their weekend plans.

But clearly you agree with BM's point of view - that kids should just get what they want all the time or it will "hurt" them. And that's fine - but OP's DH does not.

 

tog redux's picture

I'm similarly bewildered at how you could infer what you are inferring.  That missing this game, when he's missed so many other games, would somehow hurt him. And that his father should put his desire to play in this game ahead of the family plans, when it's clearly an alienation situation.

 

Biostep7777's picture

He does not have the game schedule. He didn't even know for sure if he was on the team because he never had games on DH's time because he was at marching band. He literally just found out about this. BM said SS is free that weekend so DH needs to take him.

ESMOD's picture

I guess it's a balancing act.  Obviously, dad didn't want the kid to do too many activities so there wouldn't be so many potential conflicts with other activities on his time.  Even so, it certainly would be good to understand what your child's potential obligations might be in the future and if it can be avoided... not double book things.. even if it might be on his time.. even for activities he may not have given absolute approval for.   I mean, most parents look at their kid's sport schedules and try to plan around them as long as it isn't an undue burden on the rest of the family to do that.  

The rub here is that his EX signs him up for so much stuff.. he is almost always going to have an obligation on dad's time.  Now, sometimes it might work out that dad can take him to that thing.. but sometimes it won't work out and hence part of the reason dad doesn't want multiple activities going on at once.  He is willing to work around one... but not more activities.  I am assuming OP's kids also have their own things going on too.  So, for this game.. it sounds like there is a family activity planned for the same day.. a direct conflict.  It's in dad's court whether he allows him to play.. or not.  Apparently missing games has not been an issue in the past but yeah.. the kid will likely be unhappy to miss it.  It puts dad in a pretty tough situation.. he can allow him to play.. but that means possibly less time with his son.. but if he doesn't.. more time with an unhappy son?...   I know my DH would have just let the girls do their activity.. it's not like visitation would have been pleasant if he made them miss soemthing they wanted to do.. but obviously, her DH doesn't have to do that.. he can insist on his time and not take him to the game that he didn't approve.. he is absolutely within his rights there.

tog redux's picture

He's already said, NO, I don't agree with this. So why change and now take him to this one game? That will just reinforce BM's behavior. The kid has missed every other game, what's the big deal with this one?

Personally, I don't agree with the passive approach when the kid is being manipulated by the other parent with the goal of parental alienation.  In a normal divorce, sure, let the kid go play. But we all know this has zero to do with baseball. 

Tried out's picture

I'll try one more time. If the coach was okay with the kid missing games for band competitions it is possible that he required a commitment for the other games. If this is true and the kid misses this game the coach would be within his rights to bench him or even kick him off the team.  That may not seem like a big deal to us but it might to the kid.

 Dad is, of course, within his rights to use his visitation any way he wants to. It's great that they have planned what sounds like a really fun event. I can understand OP's frustration with BM yet again intruding in her family life. But if it were me I would want to know if there would be any repercussions to missing this weekend's game. That is absolutely all I'm saying.

tog redux's picture

Sounds good. If it were me, I'd stick to the plan, which was that dad does not agree to having the kid attend this sport on his time. That plan has been articulated to the kid and to BM. If the kid and BM went ahead and enrolled him without Dad's consent, they can suffer the consequences of being benched.  

lieutenant_dad's picture

This kid is a teenager, right? Old enough to know his schedule and relay that to DH? Old enough to communicate how important certain games and activities are?

We had issues with BM enrolling the boys in various activity "flavors of the week" that would result in DH feeling like he HAD to go do these things for them.

Here's the thing about kids: when they want something, they advocate for themselves. Kids are GREAT at incessantly reminding you about something that THEY find important.

Unless SS has come to DH with a schedule, a plea to attend, a plan on how he'll get himself there, etc then DH sticks with his plans. He could talk to SS about how important HE feels the game is, but honestly, if the kids isn't clambering about it, he probably doesn't care.

Let BM squawk. She has violated their original agreement about activities. She has kept SS out of games for other activities. She doesn't have much of a leg to stand on with this, especially if SS is older. While I suppose it's possible that a judge could throw the book at your DH over this instance, I don't think it's going to sway the court decision one way or the other. Perhaps I'm cynical, but my guess is that the judge will offer a pretty standard package on all of this since the SKs don't seem to be in harm's way and BM isn't physically abusing them.

Your DH should enjoy the time he has with them while he has it. There are WAY more important things than a second ECA, and any judge who doesn't see that isn't going to side with your DH anyway.

Tried out's picture

completely hope you're right and that my concern is a nothing burger.

lieutenant_dad's picture

The person to know the answer to that question is SS. If SS isn't advocating for himself, for his own activity, then it must not be that important.

Having dealt with a less-chaotic version of BM, the fastest way to find out if the kids care about something is to go to them. I cannot tell you how many times BM just gushed about how important something was and how much the boys cared about a thing, only to talk to the boys and have them shrug because they didn't care.

I know WAY more about Pokemon than I ever thought I would because that's what the boys cared about. Boy Scouts? They couldn't have told you their rank without looking at their neckerchief.

tog redux's picture

Yep. BM here was always going on and on about how something meant the world to SS, and when we asked him, she hadn't even talked to him about it. It was always just a way to get some of DH's time away from him and prevent them from enjoying a good relationship. 

If the kid wants to play this sport, he can't do it on Dad's time. That was made clear to him upfront. And if he really wants to do it, HE should advocate with his dad, not have BM do it.