Parenting plan + vacation = smooth sailing
It is sooo nice having everything spelled out in writing. There is NO room for debate anymore!
I LOVE IT. I don't know how DH (and we) made it so far without a court-ordered plan. DH didn't get anything in writing via the courts until SS was 6! And they had been split up with 50-50 for 5 years at that point!
In the past--we've taken SS to Chicago, the lake of the ozarks, Florida and Michigan. Everytime we've gone out of town, we've a) had to "clear" it with BM and b) had to deal with her flipping out at the last minute and insisting he wasn't going. It always causes so much stress and makes the time leading up to the vaca terrible b/c she's always been angry/jealous and we've never been sure if he would be able to go. And with nothing in writing, in the past she COULD have not let him go with DH. (though she never did.)
Thanks to the parenting plan that spells everything out---we just got back from a wonderful, relaxing, stress-free trip to Colorado.
BM actually did FINE with it and I think it was really because she knew there was nothing she could do about it. There is something to be said for neither BM or DH having control---the papers spell everything out. We went Wed-Sun, DH's regular long weekend regular days.
It was heavenly. The best part was we had no cell reception in our resort area, and had to go into town to get it. So rather than the usual 3x + calls a day from BM, SS only talked to her 2-3 times the entire trip.
i don't mean it in a bad way but it was just nice to see him have some independance from those calls. I truly think her calls are SO disruptive to his time w/his dad and our family in general. I think the incessant calling sometimes keeps him from feeling "in the present" with us. It's hard to explain but it's just like he cannot fully be WITH us when he's worried about mom or feeling like he has to give her a play-by-play of what's going on, or report back to her. It's not that he doesn't like to talk to her, but just that he doesn't seem to really care b/c he DOES get involved in other things. He is the same way when he's with BM---DH calls at night to say sleep tight, and that is sufficient.
She had also terrified him before the trip about not to get lost, to stay close, to not get close to the "edge of the mountain" (HAHAHA) and to watch for bears and mountain lions! NO JOKE. (she also did this when we went to Michigan---it took us a few days to get him in the lake b/c she told him there were poisonous snakes in the water!) Really, BM is a very fearful/phobic person and DH and I both think she's passed a lot of her fears on to SS. I totally understand fears--am TERRIFED of heights---but this trip we went on a drive that took us to 12,000 ft elevation and I was white knuckling it---but I refused to SAY a word b/c I didn't want the kids to pick up on my fears. THEY had a blast!
Anyway, I'm rambling but I just cannot stress enough how much fun it was and mostly, how much fun SS had! He was in the HAPPIEST MOOD I think I've ever seen him!
It was so rejuvenating for our family!