How to handle Mom's complaints?
Since I'm the one that handles all the flight arrangements for SD15 to visit her mom, I feel like I'm the one that gets the brunt of her mom's snotty replies, remarks and reactions. Maybe I'm taking it personally, but how should I handle this?
Just a quick recap: SD15 came to live with us this year, for the rest of high school (she's a sophmore), after living w/Mom for 10 years several states away.
Recent issue - visitation: SD spent majority of summer w/Mom in anticipation of moving here. She returned here mid-August for volleyball tryouts and showteam auditions (dance). Then school started. She visited her mom late September for a long weekend (Thurs-Sun). Her volleyball schedule prevented scheduling an October visit, then she blew out her ankle late in the season. At that time, she probably COULD have gone to visit, since her v-ball season was done, but flight prices were astronomical with no advanced purchase (over $800). And her mom and stepdad had already planned a trip here to see an NHL game and visit SD for this weekend.
So, the last week of October, I email her mom to tell her I found a good airfare for Thanksgiving ($183), and she would be able to be there for 5 days (Tues-Sat), as opposed to the typical Thurs-Sun. She replied via email that she wanted her there the entire week of T-giving, since she didn't visit in October. She finished her email with "and I am not willing to budge on this" and "I always tried to honor your requests for extra time when you wanted it, and I would appreciate it you would do the same"...which is about as far from the truth as one can get. At that point, I handed it over to DH...not my ex-wife, not my problem.
He emailed her, explaining that while she didn't visit in October, Mom would be seeing her this weekend, and they were welcome to take SD w/them for the entire weekend, if they wanted. He said he understood her frustration entirely, as he, too was often disappointed that he couldn't see daughter as often as he wanted (when she lived w/Mom), especially as she got older and her schedule more involved. He finished his email with "I was always understanding when her schedule prevented her from visiting as often as I would have liked, and I would appreciate it if you would do the same".
Then, there was nothing. No response or reply. So, after a couple days, my DH said we should book the flights for T-giving, before they get more expensive. I was able to find flight for $313 (which is $150 higher than original). She will be there Mon-Sat (missing school Mon & Tues). DH said "book it". So, I did and emailed the itinerary to Mom. She immediately phoned SD to complain to HER. I overheard the conversation (she was standing right next to me), and I told SD if her mom wanted to discuss it, I would be happy to, or her dad would. SD has commitments on Sat & Sunday. I was able to change our tickets for Sunday to the Saturday performance, but the flights were nearly $500. Since she is doing well in her classes, DH said it would be ok for her to miss Mon & Tues, so I booked the first avail. flight on Monday (early a.m. was sold out).
We DO want her to see her mom as much as she can. The fact is, she's a busy girl. And the older they get, the more complex their schedule is. Our goal is for her to visit once a month, but we realize this may not always be possible, given her activities. That was something that we had to accept when she lived with Mom, and that Mom will have to accept now. Dad (and I) really do understand that it sucks.
I don't feel like anything further needs to be said about this visit. But, I anticipate another snippy email from her, demanding extra time at Christmas, etc. Which DH is not willing to do, especially since she will be gone for both Turkey Day and Christmas Day (this is Mom's year for the actual holiday). So, I wonder if it would be best for him to just set the stage for that now, and get it out of the way. So, we're not scrambing for decent airfares at the last minute again.
Would anyone here do anything differently?