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Deciding on the parenting schedule

Old 11-03-2010, 07:04 PM
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Deciding on the parenting schedule

So my AH who moved out Oct. 31st, said he needs a couple of weeks to settle in to his new place, won't be seeing his son this weekend because he is going fishing, wants to start parenting next Monday but wants me to pick up our son from his house in the morning and take him to school, I teach at the same school that our son attends, then take our son back to his house after school, he will have a key to get into his house, then AH will be home from work whenever. He said he would compensate me in some way. I suggested son just stays with me at night to save me the trip to pick him up, then AH could pick him up at 4pm and bring him home by 9pm and also have every other weekend. At first I thought, "find your own way to parent our son and take care of him", but I don't want our 13 year old son left alone in the morning to get ready for school and be in his dad's house after school unsupervised for at least 2 hours. Anyone else have this problem? What did you do?
I have been doing all of the parenting anyways, so why change things now?
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:37 PM
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When there are children involved, there is always one thing that is foremost in my mind. Do what is in the best interest of the child.

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Old 11-03-2010, 08:43 PM
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I have never been in this situation before and I don't mean to make trouble but is this just him bossing you around? I mean, really, he can't do this? And if you're going to have to do this extra work because it's more convenient for the EX, wouldn't it be easier for the teen to just stay home? Sorry if I sound negative or cynical, I just cannot see how this is helping you to live a more serene life if you are accomodating the alcoholic still. Of course, if it's not that out of the way or inconvenient, then why not?
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:35 AM
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If your ex is proposing to leave your son alone in the morning and after school, I would simply summarily decide that it's in the best interest of the child to remain with me until *he* can decide if parenting is his priority or not. The 4 to 9 + EOW (every other week-end) sounds like a good plan. It removed the responsiblity on you to play taxi for your ex, and it keeps your son safe all the while giving him time with his father.
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:42 AM
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Ditto to Noday and L2L.
The kid stays with the Mom until daddy dearest grows up.
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:49 AM
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agreed.

and i wouldn't do any of the driving either. you already have you hands full as a single mother. let AH arrange his own transportation.
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:58 AM
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I agree with everyone's advice on here, but one thing I think you should think about. Is there ANY chance that your AH will drink and drive? I thought there was ABSOLUTELY no way my XAH would do that, especially with our son in the car. That is by far my absolute biggest regret - that I trusted he wouldn't.
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:12 PM
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Thanks everyone, I don't mind taking our son to school and bringing him home with me since I teach there, but I won't go to AH's house in the am to pick him up, then drop him off for AH, so our son will just have to spend the nights with me and AH can pick him up at 4 and drop him off at 5. I think that is a good compromise. I want our son to see his father, he hasn't seen him much in the past month.

Naive: "and i wouldn't do any of the driving either. you already have you hands full as a single mother. let AH arrange his own transportation." do you mean letting son spend the night with father and father takes him to school and picks him up? AH won't pick him up at 3, he would have his mother or someone else do this, I would rather spend the time with my son after school, I think that would be better for my son.

4mylittleones: "Is there ANY chance that your AH will drink and drive?"
Of course there is, but what can I do at this point? We are only separating. I am talking to my son about alcoholism and have told him that at any time he feels his father is drinking and wants to drive him, he can text me the letter "x" and I will call him and come to get him.

Thanks everyone! Haven't heard back from EXAH yet, I will keep you posted.
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by jackthedog View Post
I am talking to my son about alcoholism and have told him that at any time he feels his father is drinking and wants to drive him, he can text me the letter "x" and I will call him and come to get him.
This is a great idea. Keeps your son out of the mess if AH starts things up. The next thing is IF he gets angry about you arriving you can simply tell him to call the police and they can decide if your son should drive with his intoxicated father.

I hope things get better. One thing that did help (not initially but later) was that part of the placement agreement we have is that no alcohol or controlled substances can be used 12 hours before and during placement.

Your plan sounds good. Things are in turmoil enough for your son. He does not need to start taking care of himself right now regardless of his age.

You are a great mom!
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by HoopNinja View Post
The next thing is IF he gets angry about you arriving you can simply tell him to call the police and they can decide if your son should drive with his intoxicated father.
Great thing to keep in my mind if I need it! Thanks for your kind words!
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by jackthedog View Post
4mylittleones: "Is there ANY chance that your AH will drink and drive?"
Of course there is, but what can I do at this point? We are only separating. I am talking to my son about alcoholism and have told him that at any time he feels his father is drinking and wants to drive him, he can text me the letter "x" and I will call him and come to get him.
This gives me chills, I have to say it.
If I suspected there was a chance that anyone would even think of driving any one of my children when they'd been drinking there is no way I'd put my child in a position where he had to decide it the driver was capable, especially if it was his father.
I would have to take that responsibility from my child and explain that he just doesn't get in a car with (whoever) and make sure that (whoever) knew those were the childs rules.
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:43 PM
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This is textbook controlling and manipulative behavior...

...don't enable him, and don't allow him to establish this even one time as something that is OK and or status/quo. It is not! This is pure BS on his part. Your son, just like my teen daughter, does not need to be a pawn in their alcoholic parent's game. He is choosing not to parent, and wants you to help him appear to be doing the opposite while at the same time having contol over you and your actions while he does what is convenient for him. He is still manipulating you. This is not co-parenting!

I may be wrong, but I don't think I am.

Do not do the father's work for the father, even when he claims you are "keeping him from being able to do so by not enabling him (he'll label enabling as helping, and use it to guilt trip you about your son)." Also, you run the risk of teaching your son this is a normal interaction between a man and woman, and or the normal behavior of a "father." Just don't do it. You can't control his actions but you can control yours.

I say this as a husband of a alcoholic, father of a 15-year old girl, and son of a single mother.


Originally Posted by jackthedog View Post
So my AH who moved out Oct. 31st, said he needs a couple of weeks to settle in to his new place, won't be seeing his son this weekend because he is going fishing, wants to start parenting next Monday but wants me to pick up our son from his house in the morning and take him to school, I teach at the same school that our son attends, then take our son back to his house after school, he will have a key to get into his house, then AH will be home from work whenever. He said he would compensate me in some way. I suggested son just stays with me at night to save me the trip to pick him up, then AH could pick him up at 4pm and bring him home by 9pm and also have every other weekend. At first I thought, "find your own way to parent our son and take care of him", but I don't want our 13 year old son left alone in the morning to get ready for school and be in his dad's house after school unsupervised for at least 2 hours. Anyone else have this problem? What did you do?
I have been doing all of the parenting anyways, so why change things now?
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:44 PM
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So what do I do so that my son can see his father without me always driving him? I do agree, but at this point my EXAH thinks I am nuts to think that he is an alcoholic. How do I stop him on the weekends when he stays with him? I am so open to ideas.......thanks.
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:48 PM
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My EXAH does own his own company and leaves the house by 6 and works until 5 at the latest. I am most afraid that if I don't do the picking up he will get someone else to do it and son will still be alone after school. I know what he is doing, but what about my son?
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by jackthedog View Post
My EXAH does own his own company and leaves the house by 6 and works until 5 at the latest. I am most afraid that if I don't do the picking up he will get someone else to do it and son will still be alone after school. I know what he is doing, but what about my son?
Are we talking every weekday here? I mean every weekday your son is going to be with his dad (or rather at his dads place) from four till nine? and every other weekend?

If that's the case isn't he going to be at school all day, come home to you and more or less go straight off to bed?

Didn't you split because of your AH's alcoholism? or have I missed something?

I'm not being funny, but if you did split because of his alcoholism how can you so easily let your child spend the majority of his waking hours with the alcoholic parent?
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:05 PM
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jackthedog,

I feel your frustration. I wish I had the answer for you. Luckily your son is older and will hopefully know if it is unsafe to get in the vehicle. I also felt I had no choice and had to let XAH drive with my then 3 year old son. Fast forward 3 years and I had to pick my sons up (luckily my 15 year old decided to go that weekend-he usually didn't) on a Sunday morning because my XAH was going to drive with them and he could barely stand!

I think the idea of texting "x" is really smart. It sucks to put him in that situation but the bottom line is his safety is what is important. I admit I do/will end up doing all the driving for my children for a very long time now. Knowing that relapse can happen at ANY point my XAH will not have the children for long periods and will be supervised for a long period. It's not ideal and gives me very limited free time or flexibility but I have peace of mind that my children are safe.

Will he agree to no alcohol within 12 hours of visit?
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:06 PM
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I don't have an answer...

I've been there with my daughter and it has broken my heart when she was let-down or hurt by her mother's drunkeness or absenses, or when she has had to spend many hours alone. I'm never sure what is right in this situation other than you must teach your son that his father is 100 percent responsible for his own actions.

Per the drinking on the weekends, if you feel your son is in danger I highly recommend consulting a lawyer. If not, let it be and get to an Al-Anon meeting ASAP.

Per the transportation I don't know if this helps, but my daughter has been taking the bus by herself since the age of 11. She also walks a lot (farther than I ever imagined when I was her taxi driver). Neither my wife or I drive her unless we can do so conveniently. It turns out she is capable of many things when we leave her alone to do them, and give her permission to do so. ;-)

Per what your ex thinks about you, it doesn't matter. You know what you know and you know it.


Originally Posted by jackthedog View Post
So what do I do so that my son can see his father without me always driving him? I do agree, but at this point my EXAH thinks I am nuts to think that he is an alcoholic. How do I stop him on the weekends when he stays with him? I am so open to ideas.......thanks.
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:08 PM
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He would be with his dad every other week during the week. I see your point.
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:08 PM
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Also, I would suggest trying to have your son with you (the sober parent) and just have short visits with his dad. Does he have to go there for whole weekends?
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:15 PM
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He would have to walk because the busses are not taking any kids within a 2 mile vicinity. I agree with all of you, I don't care what AH thinks actually, I was just making the point that he is still in denial, that is all. You are right, if I let son go with dad then I am acting like I don't think he has an alcohol problem. I will tell him about the not drinking 12 hours before a visit, but how is that monitored? I mean really how will I know? I think I will make up a contract that states he agrees to not drink and drive while son is in his care so I will have some evidence if needed later on? This is so new to me, my parents never divorced, so I have no idea. thanks everyone!
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