how to co-parent and adjusting to having things go back and forth?

Brenda - posted on 10/09/2014 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My husband and I are still in a custody battle for his 5 year old daughter, currently we have somewhat of a 50/50 custody agreement meaning she is 5 days with me and dad and 5 days with mom. Her mom has always been very over protective of her things, making us act the same with our things. I didn't agree with it but after all this time we respect each others things and return them. It wasn't really a problem but now that she has started school she leaves her moms in the morning and either me or dad pick her up after school. I make sure that i pack up everything so it is ready to take back to her moms. Now my problem is her mom isn't doing the same, it takes forever for our things to return after nagging at her of course and its affecting her outside activities like soccer and dance gear, outfits, shoes etc. because her mom isn't paying any importance to having it sent back with her. What should i do?

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Ev - posted on 10/09/2014

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Your husband is going to have to have a chat with her on keeping up her end of the bargain of this making sure all things are sent with the child so she has what she needs. There is nothing you can say or do that will make the mother reconsider how she is doing things. You are basically a support to this situation and you can tell your husband what you think should be done, but it is up to him in the end to communicate this to his ex. What things is this all about? Clothes, shoes, the soccer and dance gear, toys...? They should be just letting things go back and forth as the girl wants them too. Its not about the mom or dad or you even but the girl's needs. if this is becoming such a problem then maybe the lawyer you have should contact her lawyer about this. And this 5 days on and off if quite unusual, I have heard about parents splitting it one week on and one week off. But also, if mom is working and stressed at that could she just be forgetting things? Maybe something going with her is causing this mix up. i do not know. But something needs to be done or this poor child is going to feel like that no one really cares anymore if this leads to disagreements. I do not know if her parents get it but there is something that parents must realize: "The kids are the ones that suffer the most.: A quote from my own grandmother who never divorced. She was married to my grandfather over 50 years before he died. She could see thngs for what they were though most times it was not her business. I took those words to heart when I got divorced and made choices on that one reason along with some others for my own kids' benefit. We did not always go through the "THINGS" game where we had to make sure the kids came back with what they brought until they were older but then the kids chose what they brought and took back. They did however return in the outfits they wore on Fridays when going back on Sunday. Reason was dad would not send some clothes for the weekend and I had to build up a reserve of clothing for them to wear over time until i had enough of their sizes espeically for breaks from school and summer time. It was not easy. My oldest is since gone but my son is still in school and comes and goes with most of his things by choice from dad's including a lot of his clothes. We are now well beyond the things for dad's house and things for mom's house routine.

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Sarah - posted on 10/09/2014

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I think creating a way for your little girl to enjoy packing her belongings is a good idea. You could get a canvas tote and let her decorate it with fabric markers. She can draw pictures of her different activities or whatever. That she can pack or "remind" mom to pack her things. If your little girl makes something she is excited about, she won't forget it and I can't imagine mom would send it home empty. Good Luck!

Brenda - posted on 10/09/2014

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Thank you for your advise it was actually helpful, me and her mom have built a wall of hate i actually forgot she is also a human being and youre right she also could be stressed out or have other events in her life i will mow put that into consideration, i was thinking getting her a gym bag or anything and putting soccer or dance in the front to remind her of things she needs . That way my daughter and her mom dont forget? But i want to approach this in a fun way, like diy project for our kid in no means to affend mom. I dont want it to.seem like, hey i bought this bag because you keep.forgetting to send her back with our stuff. No, i dont want it to seem like that but a helpful reminder for daughter and mom. And i didnt explain the custody agreement well, she is with us wed-mon on our week and on her mom week we only get her wed-fri. It has been like this for the past 2 years and she has grown use to it.

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