"Mid-week visits"

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acc1984

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"Mid-week visits"
« on: August 13, 2019, 02:29:00 PM »
Does anyone else with 50/50 custody do a "mid-week visit"? This was suggested by our parent coordinator for my DH's kids. We have week on/week off custody and then each parent is entitled to one 3 hour visit during the other's week (5-8 Tues-Thurs-whatever works). We are rarely able to have ours because we double down on work the weeks we don't have the kids so we're more available the weeks we do. H and I have also observed that it might make it harder for the kids to settle in at one place or the other. I think that in many other custody situations it isn't a big deal for the kids to migrate back and forth (especially older kids) during one parent's time. But with a high-conflict PD (BM is uBPD) this has been a nightmare.

We just came off of a stretch where BM had the kids for 3 weeks. DH was out of town for work on our week so she kept them. This immediately made me nervous but it doesn't happen much and we just sort of braced ourselves. Before they had even returned home from her time she had emailed DH about getting the kids this Thursday. It's the first week of school, the older two kids are in activities, we have play dates scheduled with friends and a few meetings with teachers. DH told her we had a conflict with Thursday. She then emailed about this evening (Tues-the night before the first day of school-we also have practices and plans) and he told her that was also a conflict. He offered her Friday (which she has taken before when her schedule didn't allow one of the other days) and she quoted the agreement to him, refusing anything but Tues-Thurs. Do you think this might have something to do with the fact that they have a meeting with the PC today over a huge violation she made a few weeks ago?

We were just notified that practice this evening was canceled so DH texted BM to let her know, and offered tonight. He asked if we could bump the time up as the kids go back to school tomorrow and we need to get into routine earlier than usual. She responded with "Our agreement says 5-8 so I will pick them up at 8:00." UGH. Like... this is NOT about her visit with the kids, this is solely about control! What parent wouldn't recognize that the first week of school may be an exception and it's in the kid's benefit to come home a little earlier?! DH requested earlier times and again she refused. Good thing they meet with the PC in an hour I guess they can sort it out there. The PC has been good to recognize BM's tactics and has used many terms I've learned about here... so I'm positive she knows BM has a PD.

I guess I'm just wondering if anyone else here has had "mid-week visits" and how those have gone? Do you see a noticeable change in the kids not being able to settle down? An increase in conflict because of extra communication? Thanks in advance!

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Phoenix Rising

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Re: "Mid-week visits"
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2019, 07:58:56 AM »
Mid week visits were tried between court dates (2 months) and it was worse than a one week on/one week off. It was difficult already because our child needed a lot of redirecting and down time after coming back from NPDex. The mid week visits caused a lot of confusion for our child and I found he acted out a lot more than before. It gave NPDex more opportunity to cause conflict and pull stunts to try and draw everyone into it (me, daycare and school staff).

And here you are living despite it all..

Know this: the person who did this to you is broken. Not you... I will not watch you collapse

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Stepping lightly

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Re: "Mid-week visits"
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2019, 10:55:45 AM »
I have to say, this would have been our worst nightmare when we had 50/50!  It's bad enough when we have to swap time during birthdays, to have to arrange it every week with a PD would have likely pushed us over the edge of sanity.  A PD is not going to make that easy on you!  I also agree that with 50/50 the kids need to settle in each house while they are there and not be pulled back and forth....it's the most you can give them for a level of stability. 

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athene1399

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Re: "Mid-week visits"
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2019, 10:56:49 AM »
Quote
"Our agreement says 5-8...
I would think this means you can only see them between 5- 8, not pick them up at 8 pm. Depending on the age of the kids, that could be pretty close to bedtime. I would note this somewhere for evidence about how irresponsible she can be. She'd rather get the kids at 8 pm on a school night then let them get ready for bed and get a good night's rest.

We only did overnights with the 50/50 visitation. But every time SD was with BPDbm, there was always an issue getting her back on our time. There was always an excuse why we couldn't pick her up on SO's night. Or SD would want to switch nights, but when it was our turn she'd just make an excuse to stay at BM's more or BM would invite family over.

I'm hoping good things happened with the PC.


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Penny Lane

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Re: "Mid-week visits"
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2019, 12:55:36 AM »
Agree with everyone else - we don't have this schedule but it seems really terrible. We have enough problem with disruption from nightly phone calls! Good luck in handling this, maybe this is one of those times you can say "not my problem as a stepmom" and not worry about it. (I am the worst at this, so it's not really advice more like a hope that you can be more zen than I am.)

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hhaw

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Re: "Mid-week visits"
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2019, 02:34:49 AM »
I agree with Athene.

Seems to me the visits take place BETWEEN 5 - 8, not begin at any number she wants to pick.   

I think that request works against the mom, and I'd offer her the time btween 5 -8, not the option to pick up at 8... that seems nuts to even consider, IMO.

hhaw



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cant turn back

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Re: "Mid-week visits"
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2019, 03:19:03 AM »
We have this schedule, week on/week off, with a 5- hour mid week visit, always on Thursday.  When itís my midweek visit, I pick up DD16 from school, so, 3-8 (my work is flexible).  When itís ExHís midweek visit, he keeps DD16 5-10 (his work is also flexible but he still didnít want to do the earlier 3-8).  When I do it, it works great to just pick up at school, itís just a more natural transition.  Much easier for DD16.

Honestly, over the past 18 months, with DD16 getting older, the hours of the midweek visit have become much more flexible, based on what DD16 wants, based on what she might be doing, with friends or maybe homework or projects... as time has gone on I have tried to become more open to just listening to where DD16 is at on that particular day, versus trying to follow the schedule.  There has been the occasion when DD16 is busy with other stuff and doesnít do the mid-week visit.  ExH has been similarly flexible.. mostly when it somehow benefits him or when he needs to find a way to try to demonstrate why he is such a good dad and why I am... wrong... for whatever, just wrong.  It is certainly easy for us to be flexible like this, as you pointed out, DD16 is old enough to be dropped off, be home alone, and to communicate with both of us via her cell phone, etc.

The midweek visits are sometimes challenging, emotionally, It always takes my DD16 and I a day or two to really reconnect when she returns to me for my week, so a five hour mid-week visit is sometimes awkward, I try to keep it very light and expect nothing. 

I can definitely see the possibility of writing this out of your parenting plan, esp if it is just harder on the kids.  I canít imagine having to work with my ExH to come up with a day every week, so much opportunity for conflict, manipulation, game playing, confusion.

Hopefully the meeting with the PC went well.

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acc1984

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Re: "Mid-week visits"
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2019, 01:04:10 PM »
Well DH lost that battle and the kids were with BM from 5-8. It was only one hour so maybe we were just trying to exert control, I don't know. The Parent Coordinator they met with that day basically said "Yes, I would hope you two could work together and be flexible when things come up, but I can't force you to." and BM refused to change the time so it just was what it was. Our PC is VERY insistent in "co-parenting" and "working together" which, in ANY other situation can probably be really helpful! I don't think she realized she was dealing with a PC when they started with her. When they disagreed about something (everything?) would ask them how they would handle things when they were married?! (it was all DH could do to answer seriously) Now she just says "well yes, I would hope... but I can't really enforce anything..."

You're also right about the "adjustment period." Honestly, they do pretty well with this for whatever reason. When BM is in a particularly wild phase they'll get a little edgier and I do feel like the midweek visit throws things off as well. They come home Sunday, by Monday evening they're usually doing great, then they go to her house Wednesday, it takes another day or two to settle them back down, Saturday is great and then leave Sunday. And we start all over again the next week.

It mostly just makes me feel sad that they appear to have two, totally different lives between the two houses.