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What do I do about this? I am so frustrated! Sorry long...

Ok here is the situation and I will try to explain without confusing anyone...

 My husband has two sons ages 11, and 8. The way we split parenting time is their mother gets them 3 1/2 days and we get them 3 and 1/2 days. Neither parent could afford to pay child support so everything for them is split 50/50. We go and buy them clothes and shoes and everything they need for over at our house and vice versa....

 Here is the problem, the schooling. Having them during the week during the school year is really hard. She lives about 5-7 miles away and I have to drive too and from there Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Wouldn't be an issue if we had 1. 2 cars and 2. I didn't have 3 kids that I take to, two different schools.

It was hell last year. My kids go to a very very good charter school. My kids have done so well at this school, better than ever. It's much better than a public school. Small classrooms, uniforms etc.... We have begged her to let them go to this school instead. It's right across the street, all she would have to do is drop them off and pick them up 2 days a week. 

See, she only has the boys. Right now if we do this the same way again this year. I have to get up drive 15 miles to take husband too and from work, rushing to get back to get 5 kids to 3 different schools. I need to find a job and that is going to be nearly impossible with 1 vehicle and all this extra driving.

 The most important fact is that the kids should be more stable. Husband has tried to get her to switch but she is being a pain. If the school wasn't a better school than theirs, then we would have to just suck it up, but it IS a way better school. Doesn't she want what is best for them, meanwhile making it easier on everyone involved. Hell I would be willing to drive them home those 2 days, I wouldn't have to be rushing. As it is, I am late picking up my kids every day I have all 5 of them. Why should my kids suffer waiting for their mom to get there?

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Re: What do I do about this? I am so frustrated! Sorry long...

  • It sounds like you don't want to be inconvenienced, but you think she should be just fine with being inconvenienced.  I can see why this doesn't fly with her.

    Buy a second car.

    image
  • rori11rori11 member

    I have to get up drive 15 miles to take husband too and from work, rushing to get back to get 5 kids to 3 different schools. I need to find a job and that is going to be nearly impossible with 1 vehicle and all this extra driving.

    It seems like a lot of problems would be solved if you got another car.  And really, even if you can't do that, have your husband walk/bike/bus/carpool to work.  He's only going 7 miles.

  • Has he asked her why she doesn't want them to go to the other school?

    Just because she only has the two boys doesn't automatically mean 5-7 miles is no big deal to her.  And there are other options - your husband could pay child support and have visitation on weekends and alternate holidays, you could switch so you have the Thursday/Friday and not Monday - Wednesday are just two.

    I'm also not clear how moving schools is more stability for the boys.

    It's not her fault or concern that you only have one car.

    I'm also bothered by the tone of your post.  "I'm late pick up MY kids" "Why should MY kids suffer" I get that you're a blended family but it really does comes across wrong.

  • How old are your kids?  You said their school (or at least one of the schools) is across the street.  So why don't they walk to school?

     

  • GBCKGBCK member
    Ancient Membership Combo Breaker

    There are other options.

    THere are under-utilized 'ready ride' type things done by local transitit authorities.  THere are carpools w/ neighbors/friends.  There are cheap beater cars.  There are people who bike to work and kids who walk to school.  NONE of these are possible where you live at ALL?

    But Kuus said it best--why is it OK for her to be inconvienced but not for you?

  • Husband's work is 15 miles and there is not a bus that early and he has no one he can carpool with, believe me. I HAD thought about all that first. Yes buying a second car would be fabulous but I don't have the money until I get a job which I cant get with all the damn driving!

     

    I wouldnt mind driving them so much if we had two cars but as it is, MY kids are always late being picked up because of this, why should they suffer? 

     

    This school is so much better than theirs also!

  • My kids are too young to walk 8 and 7 and its across a very very busy street.
  • It would not inconvenience her at all, I would drive them home wed, Thur and Fri for her.... driving them home would be much easier if they all went to the same school.
  • Also my husband cannot afford child support.... which isn't the issue because we buy everything for them anyway for over at our house.
  • imageanniemay1:
    Also my husband cannot afford child support.... which isn't the issue because we buy everything for them anyway for over at our house.

    This doesn't make sense to me. If you weren't buying everything for them at your house, you'd have money for child support, no?

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  • How would it be easier for her on her days with her kids if they went to the school you want them to?

    And I'm side-eying the hell out of both you being able to afford private school but not child support, and the repeated MY kids business.

    image
  • No, because the court will demand xtra, we all know this.... its easier to buy things when they need than to shell out x amount of dollars every month....

     

  • It's a charter school- no tuition.... awesome amazing school and yes I am sorry I have that attitude but its her making it difficult on us. I do everything I can for the boys and she doesn't seem to care its MY girls being picked up late everyday
  • imageanniemay1:
    It's a charter school- no tuition.... awesome amazing school and yes I am sorry I have that attitude but its her making it difficult on us. I do everything I can for the boys and she doesn't seem to care its MY girls being picked up late everyday

    sooo... you doing everything you can for them involves her having to drive across town so they can go to a school you chose in part because it's more convenient for you?

    I don't think you're going to win this one. She's their mother. She gets to make decisions like where they go to school. You admit that you only have the kids as much as you do because your husband can't afford to pay proper child support. I gotta say, I don't think you're coming off as the selfless step-mom here.

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  • and neither can she and her work is right down the street from our house.... she can easily do this.

     He is their father! He gets a say also in how and where his kids go to school.. I will just make her life a living hell this year and get HER kids to school late everyday like mine are late everyday.

     and SHE cannot afford child support either otherwise he would take the kids from her, she isn't a good mom by any means.

  • imageanniemay1:

    and neither can she and her work is right down the street from our house.... she can easily do this.

     He is their father! He gets a say also in how and where his kids go to school.. I will just make her life a living hell this year and get HER kids to school late everyday like mine are late everyday.

     and SHE cannot afford child support either otherwise he would take the kids from her, she isn't a good mom by any means.

    okay... So you're leaving them with a crappy mother because you can't afford to keep them an extra couple days a week? I thought you couldn't get a job because you were running all over town. If the boys lived with you, you could send them to the nearby school, you could get a job, and afford to feed them an extra couple days a week. Problem solved.

    I'm starting to feel really sad for the kids caught in this mess. Especially when you add in gems like "I will just make her life a living hell" because she won't agree to uproot them and make them change schools because it would fit into your schedule better.

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  • I know it would be easier if they all went to the same school, but you cannot make her do it.  I think that you should look for other solutions to make things easier.  Maybe you can switch days so that she picks them up three days a week.  If you only picked them up Tuesdays and Thursdays, then the girls would only be picked up late twice a week.

     You should not blame this situation for the reason you cannot find a job.   How much extra time per day are you spending driving them around? 

     Do the boys want to go to the charter school?  If the boys really wanted to switched schools, maybe your DH could bring that up with their mother.  Otherwise, you just have to deal with the situation. 

  • imageanniemay1:
    It's a charter school- no tuition.... awesome amazing school and yes I am sorry I have that attitude but its her making it difficult on us. I do everything I can for the boys and she doesn't seem to care its MY girls being picked up late everyday

    There is absolutely no reason in the world why she should care about your daughters. Ever.

    Her concern is her sons. Your daughters don't, nor should they, rank in her list of priorities.

    And seriously you think she's a crap Mum and you'd take the kids, but you can't afford a few extra days of feeding them, when you have all the stuff you need for them at your house??

    And from what I can understand your girls shouldn't be being picked up late every day, just some days. When I was that age I was late being picked up all the time. I am in no way damaged. An 8 and 7 yr old are more than capable of understanding that, "it's Monday, Mum won't pick us up until x o'clock" It's hardly rocket science.

     

    [IMG]http://i55.tinypic.com/213pzit.jpg[/IMG]
    Elizabeth 3yrs old Jane 1yr old
  • OP, I think you will get much better advice if you look at this objectively.  I'm sure there are ways to look at your schedule and budget and make this routine less stressful for you.  I also think that it's OK to ask for help from neighbors and friends.  And, if you put your dukes down, maybe the stepkids' mom will even work with you a little bit so that her kids can stay in their school.  

     

    ETA:  This board is great for advice, but I'm willing to bet Money Matters would be good, too.  It must be scary to be so on the edge that you can't afford a second car or to pay child support (if needed).  That might be contributing to your stress level and the way you're looking at this situation.   

     


     

     

  • I'm just wondering, if everyone is 5-7 miles away, how late are you picking up your daughters? You make it sound like you're a couple of hours late picking them up. I'm sure they understand and deal with you being late. I'm sure it isn't a pleasant situation, but these are the terms that your husband and his ex-wife agreed upon. If it is so bad and she is such a terrible mother, then you could always file for sole custody.
  • imageanniemay1:
    I do everything I can for the boys and she doesn't seem to care its MY girls being picked up late everyday
    Here's the thing- YOU chose to marry a man w/ an ex and kids. SHE did not.  She doesn't have to care about your girls.  She didn't marry you.  He did.  Your issues w/ your girls are yours and your DH's. NOT hers.

    I have to agree- there is an attitude here that doesn't sit right w/ me. 

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

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  • imageanniemay1:
    My kids are too young to walk 8 and 7 and its across a very very busy street.

    If it's such a great school, they should have crossing guards. The public school I work at has crossing guards for the kids that walk.

  • Doesn't this awesome charter school have before or after school care?? 
  • WahooWahoo member
    Ancient Membership 2500 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker

    I see a lot of this as a difference between you and the mom/biomom.  But, what about your H?  Why can't he be responsible for pickup / drop off?  Is it because you are SAH now, because you are not working?  What would happen if you got a job?  Who would take care of pickup then?

    How about hiring a kid from the school (sixth grade or older) to walk your kids home and stay with them for 15 minutes right after school?  If you pay them $30 for three days a week, your kids would be ok, and it would only cost you $30/week out of pocket. 

    Alternately, you could pick up YOUR kids first, and allow the stepkids to be picked up later.  True, the biomom shouldn't worry about your kids being picked up later, but if that's the case, there is no reason that why YOU should put the stepkids ahead of your own children.  Maybe if they were picked up late a few times a week bio-mom would see that there is a problem that needs to be addressed.  Maybe your stepkids could join an after-school homework club (dd's school has that on Weds) or do a sport so they get late pick-up.

    There is a Kia with commercials for a 3 year lease at $125/month ($2K down).  Of course, gas and insurance are extra, but your H could take that car to work, and you wouldn't have to drop of H in the morning. 

    image "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.
  • imageanniemay1:

    and neither can she and her work is right down the street from our house.... she can easily do this.

     He is their father! He gets a say also in how and where his kids go to school.. I will just make her life a living hell this year and get HER kids to school late everyday like mine are late everyday.

     and SHE cannot afford child support either otherwise he would take the kids from her, she isn't a good mom by any means.

    And  there we have it folks!

    So, your H won't take the keeps from the crappy mom because she can't pay him to do so? uh huh yep the writing keeps gettting clearer and clearer.

    charter schools should have a crossing gaurd...especially since it is sooo damn wonderful and better than all the rest.

    if you didn't want to have any responsibilty in these kids you shouldnt have married a man with prior responsibilities.

    Here is one for you...why doesnt daddy take the kids to school and you walk all the way across the street with yours?



  • Does the CO say she has the decision on where they go to school?
  • GBCKGBCK member
    Ancient Membership Combo Breaker

    have you TALKED to the MTA (whatever the bus=system is in your area) about the 'dial-a-ride type ting for kids to get to school?  or home?  Because they do exist.

    Have you talked to the schools abomut hte possibility of being a part of a carpool?  Because when I was suggesting carpool, I wasn't suggesting it for your husband...

     

    You're really not looking any better w what you post.

  • I don't understand.... Are there no school buses in your area?? In my area & district there are school buses to the local schools & the charter schools.

    Also an alternative... Do you have any neighborhood friends? Couldn't they help you out once or twice a week with walking your SK home?

    Sorry you're feeling overwhelmed with all of this... But It really appears that you aren't being able to look at the situation objectively from both sides of the fence... ya know??

    Photobucket
  • What does the CO say?

    Why not go back to court to have the boys placed in the better school?  If that were truly the point of concern, you guys should be fighting to get them into the better school, child support be damned.  Make the argument to yourself that if you didn't have to run everywhere, you might save enough gas to feed the boys the days they are with you.

     

    (I am putting money on the fact that you guys don't have a CO.  Or that you have never seen a copy of it.)

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