Again NO Planning...Frustrating!!!!

finedreamsApril 4, 2009

sorry it is long, gotta vent...thanks for listening...

I can't tell you how much it frustrates and upsets me. It's been the same issue on and on with variations. I am a planner, I plan things, I stick to the plans. I simply cannot afford being wishy washy when it comes to my life.

Since I have known my SO, we had the same issue when his DDs are visiting (one is in college the other is an adult lives out of state). Nothing is ever planned, everything always changes, and everythign gets cancelled. I find it beyond frustrating upsetting and anxiety producing. It gets to the point of ridicilous like one year on Thanksgiving DDs changed plans on us 5 times during the day. 5. It literally spoiled the holiday.

Over time I have learned to plan my own things when they visit, then SO gets upset i do not want to spend any time wiht his daughters. Not true. I love to, and they are nice and we get along but I simply cannot sit around hoping they stick to the plan.

They used to never go to their moms, they hate mom's BF, so when they visit they stay at dads only, and see mom on neutral territory. It started to shift a bit because now mom is trying to get closer to her DDs, now they start spending more time with mom. Now lack of planning gets worse. Now they cancel or change plans several times a day when they visit!

Older DD27 is visiting for a week now, for the first time in like 3 years she is going to try to stay with moms because mom is upset DD never visits her. Younger DD20 came from college so she can spend time with her sister, but she doesn't go to sleep and moms, stays at dads.

yesterday DD20 said she wanted us to take her to outlet mall (2 hours away) because she needs new clothes. It is a day long ordeal, I didn't want to spend a day at that mall since we already went there last month with SO. I planned my own things for today. In the morning DD20 says "oh I am not going to go to that mall, i am going to go spend time with mom and sister". OK, fine. But i am not going to change my plans, I am doing what i want to be doing.

SO is upset that his day is ruined, and i am not willing to spend time with him on Saturday. Yes, but he initially planned on going to outlet mall with DD20. now she cancelled. oh well too bad. I am not changing my plans.

Now older DD27, who is visiting and staying at moms, planned on coming over in the morning on Sunday, so we planned all of us have some day trip. now it turns out she only comes over at night on Sunday. I kept Sunday open for her, now plans are cancelled.

I love his DDs, I love to spend time with them but i find extremelly difficult to navigate their lack of planning. And no they don't do it because they don't like me. They do it all the time to everyone no matter if I am here or not, and they do get along wiht me.

When I am gone to visit my daughter they do the same wishy washy plan cancelling wiht dad and wiht mom as well.

SO says that because they don't want to upset neither parent they make promices to both and then cannot navigate between their promices. how does it make any sense? 20 and 27 is old enough to not make promices to both parents.

Now SO says i am avoiding DDs by planning my own stuff when they are around. Not true. i just cannot tolerate sitting around and hoping they stick to plans. I am beyond frustrated. Instead of enjoying their visits I find it frustrating time.

And actually SO feels similar way because he ends up spending most of his time anxious if they stick to the plan or sitting around waiting for them (if they say they will be here at 5PM, but show up at 8PM, or don't show up at all).

I don't think they do it because they are passive-aggressive, seems they do it to everyone. It is exausting to say the least.

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DH is a planner. I am not. I like to be spontaneous and for me, it makes life a bit more exciting. It drives DH crazy but he has learned to roll with the punches. I have learned to stick to plans when it's important. (of course, then the issue of what's important may occur) But, he will make a list of errands to do on Saturday and I will decide at the last minute that I want to stop at a yard sale that we are passing... he just wants to do what's on his list. Unless his list is things that just have to get done, I don't see why it can't wait until Sunday... like washing the car can wait until the next day.

If they are making you wait hours, then it's not acceptable and the only way to 'teach' someone like me and your SO's daughters to stop leaving you waiting... stop waiting for them. Give them a time and deadline. If they are to be there at 5, wait until 5:30 or 6 and when they show up at 8, 'hey, we waited for an hour...sorry' They show up at 8 because there is no consequence.. they ruin your night, they frustrate everyone and maybe they don't care.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 12:21PM
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I am definitely a planner so I understand why this would make you nuts.

Imamommy hit it on the head when she said they do it because there are no consequences. I don't think for a minute that it is done out of malice. It just may be easier to change your plans than BM's.

Communication is key. Sit them down (or maybe a nice phone conversation next time a visit is being planned) and tell them that you truly enjoy spending time with them and since you don't see them often you would like to be able to plan a day or few hours to catch up etc. Explain to them that your time is important as well and don't wait several hours if they are late. Have a back up plan for you, or you and Dad. I went through this alot with his ex-wife. She would call last minute and tell us that the girls made other plans, she had plans and was dropping them off, etc. She and I get along pretty well and I explained to her that she affected more than just what the girls had planned and that she needed to give a little more than a couple hours heads up that we would have them/not have them. And most importantly that Dad's time with them was precious and taking that away from him was unfair.

I wish you the best of luck!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 12:53PM
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I agree that little things can be switched around, like car washing or like if you want to stop on a way and see something. I am flexible wiht that. But if something is planned like a trip or events for the entire day or half a day and then it is always cancelled or switched around it is a big problem.

I do not wait around anymore, I just go along wiht my own thigns. In fact I avoid any plannig wiht them at all, which upsets SO. SO is always terrified of upsetting his daughters (guilt parenting), so he never teaches them any lessons, he keeps on making plans with them and then sit around with plans cancelled.

They don't just show up late (that wouldn't be as bad), that's what they do, which fills the entire day wiht drama and endless phone calls:

1. they call and confirm what time they are coming over,

2. then they call again that they will be later

3. then they call that they changed their mind and they hate sitting around with mom's BF and now they want to leave and come to dads for dinner earlier

4. then when dinner is made, one of them calls that she goes to see her friends, and the other one stays wiht mom.

5. then sometimes one of them will change plans again and end up coming over for dinner (after we already ate dinner)

I am telling you it is more than just "let's wash cars tomorrow but do somehting else today". They don't live here so it is not like daily commotion but it is like this every time they visit.

Yeap there are no consequences but it is really nothing I can do. Their mom is much more into applying consequences, but whenever she does DDs avoid her and older DD doesn't talk to her.

Once SO actually told me he is afraid if he pushes for something the way mom does, DD27 will do what she does with mom: stop talking and visiting. So he is always scared to upset them.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 12:53PM
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I am a planner too. What I have had to do with people like that in the past is

1. Only cook stuff for dinner that can either be served cold (my favorite -- cold salmon), left in a crockpot, or reheated AND that I love as leftover.

2. Fudge -- tell someone to be here at 5 , when I want to 5:30.

3. Have backups -- a good video or book.

My Xmil could never get anywhere on time. She wasnt a bad person, she just had trouble making decisions.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 1:17PM
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FD, the only thing you can do is what you have been doing. Stick to your plans and tell your hubby to stuff it. THey're actions have been proven time an dtime again and you've stood your ground all these years.
I also was accused not too long ago that i make plans when my dh's kids are not here and when they are i make no plans.
Not true, i too am also a planner and when i make them, i do not like it being thrown out the window because of a no show...Been through it many times with my hubbies kids and i put my foot down. i even put my foot down to his visitation because of this same reason. He gets his kids eow...i use to make sure to plan all activities to include his kids. Then they would cancel...or one would and the other wouldn't. we'ld go ahead and the other would say why didn't you reschedual...Then the weekend swapping started...and all scheduals went bazurkAnd my husband started to get angry too.
So i said, ENough. you get them EOW, you stick to EOW , i will only plan things at the 'last minute' so their mother or them to not sabatage in anyway. Its been like this for a while. then my husband said i dont plan things...
So last Xmas i planned them to have family photos...guess what FD??? THey cancelled!!!! I turned around and told my husband to go F himself and that i'm planning things regardless whether they are here or not. And it happens that alot of bday parties and outings now happen without them...too bad. They would cancel anythings so no loss there.
Finddreams...keep doing what you are doing. make your plans and tell your husband you love his kids, but indecisions and cancellations and let downs are nto your cup of tea. You've learned many years now of repetitive behaviour not to play the field with them. SOOO... that being said, if they cancel...its his tough..not yours.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 1:59PM
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What ever your plans were today, could you have said to SO since they cancelled again why not join me?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 2:41PM
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thanks everybody. My brother and SIl are never on time and never stick to plans, yes we usually invite them over at 5Pm when they have to be there at 6PM, LOL everyone is always waiting for them.

being late is somehting I can kind of tolerate, but constant cancelling or not making plans at all is not something I can deal with.

When they visit, SO just sits home 24/7 in hopes they show up or in hopes they make plans. It drives me nuts.

My favorite story is when two years ago we went to a Thanksgiving party at my aunt's house an hour away, his DDs were visiting mom. They called SO on a cell phone and said they are dying to see him and cannot stay at moms one more minute, it was, let's say, 7PM, they said they will be over at 8PM and have desert wiht us. We left my aunt, drove for an hour, no one showed up. they showed up next day late morning!!!!! Their excuse was: we had no car but mom refused to drive us to your house because she was too tired and had some wine and it was too late to call you again. Those are legitimate excuses but why did they call and made these kind of promises? of course mom would not drive, but I bet they never even asked ahead of time.

I hear you organic but at least minor kids can blame on their mom not keeping up wiht visitations, these women are grown, enough blaming on mom.

especially tough times are around holidays. instead of fun times it becomes a constant drama. we (my family)aren't rigid or uptight but if let's say we have family Christams or any other major holiday celebration we know much ahead of time so we can plan. With his family, SO and DDs to be precise, we literally do not know until a day before what is going to happen, and we are talking about major parties or events that need preparation.

His DD27 is getting married this summer and i certainly hope at least wedding is going to happen on a day that we are invited to. hahahahaha I guess I have to laugh about this whole situation.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 2:57PM
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You know, I don't think it's an issue of 'planner' vs. 'spontaneous', I think it's simply a matter of respect. If SD's, however wonderful they may be, respected the time of BM, SO or you, they wouldn't pull this. I don't think they do it out of malice either, I think they were just never taught to respect people's time and see what their constant changes do to everyone else. I'm sure it is hard to please everyone and they feel it's a juggling game to see everyone enough and make all happy, but everyone ends up unhappy with all the changing.

What I would suggest is before they get into town they set a schedule of what they would like to do, and run it by both parents. After whatever tweaking is needed they copy it and everyone gets a copy. Then stick to it. Let them know that you and SO will be making other plans around the set itinerary, and BM has a right to do the same. They can not expect to make changes and have any of you available.

OR, if you want to give a dose of their own medicine, offer to visit them. Then change the dates. Then change them again. Maybe they will start to get it. :-)

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 4:44PM
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this is so true JNM. This is about respect.

Yes I suggested all possible ways of planning events and sticking to pans, nothing changes. Sitting them down and making them to create a plan doesn't work. SO wouldn't do it wiht older DD (she is a queen in the family) and she only visits few times a year. DD 20 comes home every months or so. SO did tell her (after I was beyond frustrated) that she needs to make plans and stick to plans, but that doesn't work. I saw a bit of change but not much as you can see by this weekend.

This past Christams break DD27 didn't make plans about visiting until few days before the visit. So BM assuming she is not visiting went wiht her BF on vacation. Then both DD27 and SO were mad that BM left for the whole Christams break when DD is visiting. But vacation had to be booked ahead of time, BM didn't know DD would change her mind and visit. So she planned her vacation and wasn't about to cancel it. I totally am wiht BM on this. SO as always got upset "You always defend my exwife". Well if his exwife makes more sense than him and DDs, then yes I defend her.

Just send me a lamp. LOL

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 9:15AM
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new update. just send me a lamp someone. please, and a big one.

yesterday DD27 said she comes over in the evening. she just called that she will over as soon as the church is over which is like noon. then both DDs said that they are going to spend night at dads. Now DD20 goes back to college now, and older DD27 will go back to moms in the evening.

Also initially DD27 said that Bm works next week and DD27 will be at dads house, now it turns out BM has break next week not the folloiwng one (both are teachers). Unbelivable, how hard is that to find out when your mother is off?

I told him just 5 minutes ago everything what JNM and other people said here in terms of sitting them down and making plans, SO agreed that it is unacceptable and no one should put up wiht that. How much you wanna bet that nothing will ever change. he agrees it is wrong but does nothing. Unbelivable.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 9:41AM
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What about giving them a taste of their own medicine?

Make plans with them and then you be the ones to cancel.

Bet they will be furious...then they can be told that is how you both feel when they do it over and over again!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 11:24AM
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mom2emall he wouldn't do it. frankly problem is him not DDs. if when DD27 said I am coming over now instead of planned time, he would say "oops, you are welcome to come over, but sorry I won't be home, I would be in the gym, library, shopping etc" then maybe it would teach them the lesson. But he wouldn't do it. and that's why i see the whole problem.

and by the way if my brother is ever late for anything (which he is frequently late) my SO doesn't forget to make jokes how he is always late. I guess i am angry at SO that he allows his daughters to do whatever while other people are held to much higher standards.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 11:40AM
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The lamp is in the mail . . . but don't be surprised if it shows up late! :-)

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 2:31PM
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