How much should parents expect the other parent to help out?
This is kind of hard to explain.
DH has always been of the mindset that whoever's DAY/NIGHT it is needs to be responsible for childcare/arranging things etc. IE--if BM has an appointment on HER day and cannot pick SS up from school, it is HER responsbility to find someone who can, NOT DH's. (And obviously this applies in reverse, as well.) Sure, it's fine for her (or him) to call and say "Hey, something's come up, would there be any way you could pick SS up today?" but neither is OBLIGATED to do it.
Our marriage counselor tends to agree, as we've been talking about it at length the last couple weeks----about expectations and who is responsible for what.
The main issue is that BM has pretty much been *expecting* DH to be "on call" for the last couple weeks b/c she was close to having her baby. The main problem wound up being that DH was out of town on business for 2 nights this week, and BM got very angry at him when she found out. (He is actually coming back today.) She told him she NEEDED him to be available to have SS whenever she went into labor. There was no way that DH could have rescheduled his trip but IMO that is beside the point. DH purposely planned his trip so that it wouldn't interfere with his custodial times and I think it's not okay for BM to expect him to accomodate her because she is having a baby. She has a husband and another child, and would have to figure something out regarding childcare regardless because she has her 2 year old, in addition to SS.
Anyway, so then BM ended up having her baby YESTERDAY and apparently she now wants DH to have SS this weekend so she can "rest" at home and adjust to having a newborn and a 2 year old. But this is HER custodial weekend. And honestly, I think it's kind of ridiculous that she thinks she can just "get rid" of SS for the weekend. SHE had another baby, SHE knew what she was getting into, and I think she needs to balance it, plain and simple. She's not sending her 2 year old off anywhere for the weekend....but that's because she can't!
Honestly, DH and I have plans to go on a DATE and spend time together. The counselor told DH he needs to not accomodate BM in these requests---but I know DH then feels guilty because he feels like he is turning down time with his son.But on the same token, he goes by the SCHEDULE and he tends to work longer Saturdays on weekends when SS is with his mom...he uses that time to get stuff done around the house...and we had plans to go on a DATE this weekend, and spend some quality time together without either of the kids, per our marriage counselor's suggestion.
what do you think? Is DH obligated to to have his son any time BM needs him to? Or should they stick to the schedule? I can honestly see it both ways, and I TOTALLY see how DH wants extra time with his son. I just am not sure it should be done because BM demands it. SIGH. It is all so darn complicated! I know that this is a unique situation, but it does worry me because I am NOT sure how BM is going to adjust to having a 2 year and a newborn, and I'm concerned she is going to expect more and more from DH....in which case SS should just be with DH! But that would never happen...I just don't want it to turn into something where BM feels she can change the schedule any old time she feels like it.