I've been slow about updating with what happened last week in informal mediation.
Basically, we agreed on the financial aspects. It's amazing what ex will agree to when two lawyers basically tell him he needs to.
Anyway, we did not agree on custody. He wants Sunday overnights. I don't want him to have them. So we're going to limited case management where if we don't agree in front of the mediator, she will make her own recommendation to a judge, who will likely agree with her and make it so.
Of course, now ex is emailing me, pleading to "work together" so we can have a harmonious relationship for the sake of the girls. (As I told him - we can be harmonious at any point, no matter who "gets their way.")
But he has stipulations that, if I don't agree to, will derail all attempts at "working together." It is so tempting to go along with his ideas, because he claims that he would agree then to pretty much any ideas I have. Who wouldn't want to be able to actually talk things out regarding the kids???
But he wants me to agree to: Him having equal shared custody as soon as school starts this fall. (Seriously? Is the moment your 5-year-old goes back to school after a long summer and enters all-day kindergarten for the first time in her life REALLY the same time she should have to adjust to a completely different custody schedule?! Are you thinking this through at all, or just demanding what you want?)
Granted, last week he just wanted overnights on Sundays (he already has them two other nights and all day Sunday). Last week he also wanted shared custody in two years. Now he wants it this fall. And don't forget a couple months ago when he wanted custody exactly the same and told me he was happy with how it is, but he just wanted Sunday overnights and for me to accept less child support and no help with daycare. Before that, he was OK with not even bothering with Sundays yet. His "offers" change with the winds!
He also wants me to agree to: His mom watching Sunshine two days a week from after school till we get off work, and possibly watching Little Bit all day one of those days.
How does that work? So she watches one kid for a measly 1.5 hours twice a week (while her little sister gets left out of the grandma time) and also watches the younger kid one out of the FIVE days that she needs child care.
And who, oh wise one, will watch the kids ALL THE OTHER HOURS OF THE WEEK?
So again - what do we do with the kids the rest of the time? If we're lucky, there may be one facility in our town that will watch children on a part-time basis. But somehow I really doubt that I get to have a 3-year-old in there four days a week without paying full price. If his mom doesn't watch Little Bit at all, and my mom gets another job, MAYBE Little Bit will get into the daycare by my work that I've had her on the waiting list for nearly two years. But then he can't just opt out of paying his part of daycare. And again, who would watch Sunshine the other three days a week when she gets off school? Who would watch her during Monday holidays, inservices, spring breaks and all summer?
If his mom doesn't watch Little Bit at all and ONLY picks Sunshine up from school twice a week and takes care of her until 1.5 hours later when we get off work, I ask: What on Earth is the point?
Ex is trying to save money, but that would save like $30 a month. It's useless and actually helps nobody. What it does is leave Little Bit out and confuses Sunshine, who would prefer to be home with her Nana and sister.
I see what his point is, and I don't in theory disagree with it: Utilize his mom/parents, who loves the girls and are free. But unless they're going to take over full-time duties (that is 50 hours a week and only increases in work when both kids are off school in the summer), it only serves to confuse our schedule and make us lose our current daycare provider (my mom). And the girls have know no other childcare provider besides their Nana. Why would we change that for a measly $30?
Not to mention, his parents are healthy at the moment, but have big-time past/ongoing health issues that at any moment could land either of them in the hospital. We need consistent childcare. Period.
Please, any of you who read this, let me know if there's something I'm not seeing clearly about this. Because it seems obvious to me that his plan to use his parents for childcare doesn't work.