Working out glitches in parenting plan

User - posted on 06/16/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My husband was just awarded primary residential custody of his daughter, 4. During summer, we have 50/50 time, week on week off with BM. But during school, we will have her all week and BM will have only alternating weekends, plus two dinner visits each week. This plan went into effect about 3 weeks before school let out this year. SD goes to preschool at the school where I teach, so I have to either leave with her right after school (or not be able to accomplish anything), or last year I had an older student watch her in my classroom or play with her on the playground until I was finished. The problem is, the parenting plan doesn't state anything about when BM has to tell us which days she is taking her visits each week. It just says the days are to be agreed upon by both parties each week. There were days when she'd call my cell while I was at work to tell me she was picking up that day. I would like to just institute a regular schedule...same days every week. Otherwise it's way too hard to arrange the sitter after school, and way too inconvenient for us to be waiting on her to tell us what days she is taking b/c we can't make any plans for anything else. I don't think we can just tell her, "You get these days and that's that" but that is what hubby will try to do. What's a tactful way of handling this and am I even justified in thinking she should give us at least 48 hours notice-a week's notice would be even better- or a regular schedule?

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Betty - posted on 06/18/2009

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She should at least give you a heads up about a week ahead of time so that you can make plans. If she calls the day of, than you should just tell her "sorry but we already made our plans. Give us more notice next time". That's life and it's not asking too mutch for her to give you some sort of notice. If you don't lay down the law now than your'e in trouble for sure and your babysitters aren't going to like working for you.

User - posted on 06/17/2009

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Part of my challenge is that things tend to be resolved more quickly if BM and I work things out b/c my husband tends to be very confrontational with her. It puts me in an awkward position because he should be doing most of the talking! Thank you for your suggestions. I am relieved to hear that others agree that a regular schedule would be beneficial.

Jessica - posted on 06/17/2009

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Ask BM to sit down and make a regular schedule. Let her know, that as her daughter gets older, and is going to school full-time, she will start to understand the schedule more, and will beneifit from the maximum amount of consistency. Let the BM to pick the two days that she prefers, and work around her schedule. Let her know that if something comes up, and she needs to switch, you will work it out as long as you have 48 hours notice. If she can't give you that, let her know that you will still try your best to work it out, but it can not be guaranteed. Be as fair and non-confrontational as possible, and it is probably best if your husband does most of the talking!

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A regular schedule would be better all around for everyone-something that means the SD has something to look forward to in advance and allows you some notice for planning alternative care arrangements when you need to. Maybe approach it from that perspective -giving BM the opportunity to schedule a regular day/s during each week but also allowing a little bit of flexibility for unexpected changes of plans that unfortunately can be unavoidable

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