I'm really batteling with something D said to me this past weekend.
Ahh, visitation. My favorite topic. SIGH. I can offer a few tidbits from my own experience. First, C. admitted to me recently that he let his ex walk over him a bit when it came to visitation and vacation schedules -- because it was easier than trying to deal with her drama. Now, though, her random changes to visitation and vacation affect another person's life -- mine. She just scheduled a vacation for March -- which, of course, just happens to land on my birthday. So, we have the kids that whole week. She didn't know it was my birthday -- but the fact that she scheduled it without telling C. first is a symptom of the problem.
C. agrees that he needs to push back more now.
I'm guessing D. might be in the same situation -- just trying to avoid ex-drama. Working out more concrete schedules often means even more contact with the ex. He could be going with the flow to avoid having to talk to her as much. However, I do think you need to keep voicing your opinion and your needs. You are a significant part of D.'s life and the ex shouldn't get the luxury of dictating D.'s whole schedule.
It might be a pain in the neck, but it might be worth D. taking his ex to a mediator to revise their visitation agreement. It is possible to define very distinct parameters in the agreement -- when visitation happens, for how long, how much notice is required, etc. It IS frustrating and infuriating at times. I totally validate you on that. It just plain stinks that someone's ex can still play such a role in YOUR life. The good news is that it can get better. Just keep talking to D.
It might also help if you aren't so flexible -- if he keeps changing plans without telling you, don't change your own plans to conform to his. The message should hit home a bit better when he realizes that you won't always change your plans to fit his random schedule.
AJ, enjoying life with C.
AJ - Thank you so much!!!!
I am happy to share my own experience. None of my friends are stepmoms, so I feel alone a lot, as well. It helps to have some online friends who get it! I love the idea of you going for pedicures. You need to take care of yourself, too! I haven't read that book. I have read several good ones on stepfamily life, though. Again, it helps to know that others have not only been through it - but survived it AND thrived.
Well, we definately went to get pedicures this past Wednesday and I'm glad I did.
Big fat BOO to bad moms! Seriously. Grr.
(...and for the good moms on this board, a big giant YAY for you! Your kids deserve that and thank you for doing your best at a very hard job.)