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bio parent contact during the other parent’s time with kids

wineoclock's picture

Has any bio parent needed to make contact with BM/BD during their visitarion time - particulalry at the start and end, in order to coordinate pick up/drop-pffs? What typically happens during changeover?  I just want to know how interaction can be avoided. I suppose it can be difficult if either parent is running late for pick up/drop off for any reason. If this happens they would need to make the other parent aware.

BM sends voice notes to DH and as I've mentioned in previous blogs, I find this kind of phone contact too personal. When the kids are with BM, she also sends photos of the kids to DH's phone. For example, SS made DH's signature dish at BM's house (DH taught SS how to make it while kids were with him) and BM sent a photo of SS holding the dish. I don't know if any one else has had experience with this and whether thia kind of day to day contact is all very normal. Is she simply keeping DH in the loop re. Kids or is it pushing boudaries? 


Lillywy00's picture

She sounds a little bit thirsty 

But you're married to this dude so it's not like he's going to run back into her open arms anytime soon even if he wanted to - he's locked in with you. 

Make yourself busy, take up a hobby, get a male personal trainer....and now he's going to be so focused on what you're doing that he won't have time to pay attention to his attention seeking ex 

You could raise hell and tell him to knock it off enabling her thirstbucket antics but he might accuse YOU of interfering and double down on the "I'm doing this for the kids" bs. 

Just use reverse psychology on him. 

wineoclock's picture

He says it's only communication to do with the kids which I can understand to a certain degree, I just wanted that communication to be through something other than WhatsApp. Whatsapp just makes it feel too personal and the other thing with this is that you can see the other person's profile picture if you have their number saved on your phone. I just feel it's too intrusive but I don't think DH thinks it's a big deal because any communication is to do with the kids only. I think I just second guess everything -  I don't trust her because of her history. I know it's probably the case that BM doesn't want DH to miss out on moments of the kids lives while they are with her.  But it feels like at times that she's always there when DH video calls his kids throughout the week. But I know this can't be helped, the kids are still young and BM will still have a big presence in our lives until they grow a little older. 

Yesterdays's picture

When the kids are younger the parents usually have to send texts to each other regarding logistics of things such as pick up's and drop offs. My own ex and I regularly text brief things about who is bringing the kids to certain medical appointments etc. My husband and his ex texted about if they were running 15 min late caught in traffic etc.

So your ex texting a pic of their son who just made DHS signature dish is a bit of jealousy showing through and I feel it's inappropriate. My ex and I have sent the odd pic, but not many in 8 years. One time my daughter playing violin at a prestigious event. But done in a jealous way... Like that dish you described   that seems jealous

The voicemail issue... If it bothers him he should text her and say he wants her to communicate over text rather than calls or voicemail. If she gives him a hard time about it then he needs to tell her he won't listen to the voicemails so she needs to text. If she sends more voicemails then I'd actually text, "I don't listen to voicemails so please text me whats going on that was in the voicemail .. Ie/don't let it continue.. make it clear.

My ex kept sending me emails to 2 or 3 separate email addresses of mine. Which meant I see my exs emails popping up all over the place... Deleting them off 2 or 3 accounts    it started to bother me so I asked him to kindly send to this one certain email account only. He had no problem with it and I'm glad I asked him that. It's much better now 

wineoclock's picture

I understand that for practical reasons during changeover, they may need to make phone contact. But email contact for everything else that requires discussion or action. 

Regarding ciruclating photos while kids are at the other parent's house. I don't know where we can draw the line with this. If a child's milk tooth falls out, BM would probably send a picture of that too (she has done in the past) and she would argue it's "for the kids".

Historically for kids birthdays (before we got married), DH would go over to BMs house, sing happy birthday and cut a cake - only because SS would ask to see dad on his birthday. Again where is the limit? Is it ok for them (BM, DH and kids) to take family photos together without me? I don't know how I feel about that. I always felt that for birthdays both parents should do something separate with the kids. It's difficult if the kids want to do something with the parents together - they wouldn't understand the complexities of this when they are so young. All they know is that they want memories with both parents together. The question is, do we go along with it for the sake of the kids? Or do we explain to the kids that both parents love them very much but won't be able to do things together with them?  It's a very vulnerable age when they are still in primary school.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Look, this guy is enmeshed because he either wants to be (even if no feelings for BM, maybe it makes him feel like an amaaazing dad or he gets positive attention from others for it), or because he's afraid of BM. Trying to change him will be hard. I think maybe only counseling will help and only if the counselor doesn't buy into the "Instagram blended family" fantasy. 

wineoclock's picture

What is the norm when it comes to birthdays with young kids? How do bio parents usually split the time? Fort SS first birthday after DH and I got married, we (DH's family) celebrated SS birthday, this was not on the actual date itself, as his birthday fell on a school day. This didn't stop BM asking DH whether he would be seeing SS on his actual birthday, We need something in writing about this - I am all for DH seeing his kids on their actual birthdays every year, but not particulalry comfortable with BM being there. 

Yesterdays's picture

For the birthdays my separation agreement states that the child's birthday is spent in accordance with the regular custody schedule. So whatever parent they're with. So what usually happens for us is the other parent celebrates on another day or weekend. 

We did 2 combined birthday parties at bowling alley /climbing gym when the kids were younger. I felt it was super awkward and didn't like the idea of it so I quit doing that. If my ex invited me I declined, etc

We each do our own celebrations for the kids for years now we don't do combined parties. I think that a lot of people on here handle it this way

The idea of going to BMs house for a combined birthday party, or to my exs house... Is an absolute NO for us... We just don't do it. I don't want to be in bio moms house and my husband doesn't want to be in my exs. We find it's better to celebrate separately 

If you do go the separate route...i wouldn't explain it to the kids other than... No we aren't attending bio moms... We are going to do our OWN fun birthday celebration at our house with our own cake and presents etc and hype that up, lol.

The kids like having 2 parties and 2 cakes, lol! :) 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

We did the same. Birthdays were celebrated separately on whatever day i chose to do it on my CO'd time. In our family we do it on a Sunday after dinner. Christmas had a specified split. My ex's family always did a big Christmas eve so he always had them for that. We alternated years on who got them to wake up Christmas morning but i always had them Christmas afternoon/night, as that's when i celebrated with my parents and sibling. Mother's Day they were always with me, Father's Day always with their dad. Easter Sunday was alternating years. If i didn't have them Easter, when they got back to me it was "Look what the Easter Bunny brought you! They saved their teeth to put under their pillows at my house since they figured out the Fairy didn't go to their dad's house. We actually sat a whole day with a mediator to iron out the details of the CO and it covered everything. My divorce lawyer recommended it so i just thought everyone did that. Best money i ever spent though and it wasn't cheap. 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

When my kids were younger we had a schedule. Pick up and drop off were done at after-school daycare on a schedule. In the beginning it was 2 days on, 2 days off, 3 days on, something like that, to where they were at one or the other house every other weekend. My ex and i could both remember what day it was on any given day so we didn't require a conversation or string of texts every time the kids changed houses. If we could keep up with that, anyone can. As far as pics, we weren't texting each other pics regularly. The ex would send one if they were on vacation, maybe yearly. I thought even that was unnecessary but to be polite i would say "cute" or something, since it was rare. 

Felicity0224's picture

As defined by a lot of people on this site, my XH is "enmeshed" with me. We celebrate DD's birthdays and holidays together, sit together at her events, send pics of her back and forth, and update one another on how her day was, what's going on at school, attend her therapy appointments together, etc.

And here's the thing; it IS better for her this way. I know because I saw what happened when BM and XH parallel parented my SDs and it was a mess, to say the least. The kids were emotionally disregulated all the time, neither of their parents ever knew the full truth about what was happening in the other parents' home, kids were having to constantly code switch, and so on.  It just was not good, and as a result both of my SDs struggle with attachment and emotions. I didn't want that for my DD, and neither did my XH.

We are only communicating about DD, but it is pretty regular (multiple times a day) communication. The result is that DD doesn't feel any tension between us, and she transitions as easily between spending time with either of us as she would if we still lived in the same household. She doesn't ever have to be the messenger or update either of us on what's going on in her life, because we both already have the same information. 

Now, I'm sure this would NOT be good for my partner if I was in a relationship. As it happens, I'm so scarred by what XH put me through that I have no desire to date. But even if I did, I would wait until DD was grown because I'm not willing to put anyone else's needs ahead of hers. I have no idea how our relationship effects XH's dating life, but the man is incapable of being faithful to or truthful with a partner anyway, so from my perspective, that's not my problem and really it would be the very least of any potential girlfriend's problems. And DD is not allowed to meet any of his romantic interests anyway.

All that to say, multiple things can be true at the same time. It can be better for your SKs that their parents communicate this much. And it can also be detrimental to your relationship. Only you can decide what you're willing to deal with. The other thing is that you will drive yourself insane if you try to micromanage DH's communication with BM. He has to be on board with enforcing whatever boundaries y'all agree to. Because if he's just going along with it to make you happy, he's never going to stick to it in the long term. 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

In your case, the enmeshment works, as both you and your ex are ok with it and you aren't bringing a new partner into the mix. People should do what works for them. It's when new partners are involved that enmeshment becomes a problem from what i can tell. If there were a new partner and they were ok with it, great. I don't know of anyone who would be but it's possible. One thing to be wary of is that if your ex does get a new partner, it could spell drama for both you and your ex and it could spill over to affect the kids. 

ESMOD's picture

That kind of joint parenting can work for some people.. even with partners.. but it definitely takes a lot of emotional maturity by all the parties involved.. and it requires a lot of security in the way people are viewing their relationships with their new partners.. and the ability for the other bio parent to accept the new step parent and not attempt to overstep into their household's operations.

I actually could have dealt with maybe not total enmeshed activities given the relative distance we lived from BM.. but some amount of joint parties etc.. IF BM had not been so high conflict with us.. had not been so.. to be honest.. a real btch to me and to my DH.

I imagine that there are some reasons why relationships don't work... yet both parties are able to rationally see that.. and agree it is best.. and are able to put their children's ability to have both parents in their lives first.. and aren't inclined to continue to punish the other parent for the breakdown of their relationship.  But.. again.. that takes a LOT of special circumstances.. and attitudes and real work to not allow the enmeshment to turn into control over another household.. it only works if it is equally beneficial to the kids.. but also both parents (and their spouses or new partners).. this is pretty rare.

Personally, I was not raised in a child centric home.. so when I met my DH.. he also had that kind of parenting growing up.. so our views kind of matched... Kids came along for the ride with us.. not us running them around and only doing "kid things".  I'm not saying the kids were not entertained.. or payed attention to.. just that we didn't drop everything and craft our lives around what they might like.. they tried more adult foods.. they traveled with us.. where we wanted to go.. not disney.. 

And.. that meant that they had their birthday celebrations with us proximate to the actual day.. they got a call from Dad.. but the actual present.. and cake.. or dinner out.. was when we saw them closest to the actual date. same with other holidays.. to us.. there was nothing particularly magical about the actual DATE.. it was the celebration instead.

I would say that almost no one on this site who is in a new relationship would be inclined to do the joint and enmeshed parties.. because most of us have less than great experiences with the EXes.. lol.

ESMOD's picture

You minimize need for contact by setting the expectations and following them.. but yeah.. last minute I'm late.. it happens.

I would not have been upset by the picture of his son holding the special dish he made.. he was likely proud and wanted to send it to  his dad to share his accomplishment.  Your Skids are a bit young for phones.. so mom's is the one that gets used.

Your SO has relatively little time with his kids.. so seeing these things likely is something HE enjoys.

I personally feel you are gioing to have very little success limiting his contact with his EX.. unless HE wants to do that and is asking you how.

Rags's picture

As for hand off, what does your CO say?

Ours was clear. Each party was responsible for SKid transport to the party's location.  Hand off for us was easy since visitation was long distance.  When he was too young to fly unaccompanied, the SPermClan would send someone to pick him up. We would drip SS at the airport or at the hotel where the SpermClan transportation delegate would take him.  Since none of the primary SpermClan members ever came to get SS,it would usually be a SpermClan GGP when SS was a toddler, and then it was SS's Aunt's (the Speridiot's sister) MIL when SS was older single digits and early double digit aged.

DW would go get SS when visitation was over. Occassionally my MIL or FIL would bring him home and they stay for a visit.  DW did have her BFF bring SS home a couple of times before he hit the age where he could fly unaccompanied.  Once he was at that age, we would pay the unaccompanied fee when we put him on the plane to SpermLand.  They paid it when SS returned to his real life.  Though a couple of times when we had to have LEOs collect SS from SpermClan functions when they "forgot" to return him or "had the return date wrong", etc... My FIL would pay it. We would reimburse him.

I would start nailing BM's feet to the ground on her crap and start setting the expectation with YOUR mate that sniffing BM's ass is decidedly not acceptable and it will end or you and he will end.


wineoclock's picture

Rags seeing your posts gives me confidence in facing all my obstacles! You make it look so easy.

We need to get this CO, it's all informal at the moment. I suggested to DH why not get a CO but he is worried about the kids being dragged into it - particulalry SS11. I'm not sure how it would work as sometimes kids do get asked for their opinion in court -  if they are deemed to be old enough. I think if there was a CO in place we could cut out all this crap of unnecessary interaction with the other parry.