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Man won't let ex-wife talk to kids while she's on vacation. AITA?

Man won't let ex-wife talk to kids while she's on vacation. AITA?


When this man is annoyed with his ex-wife's behavior, he asks Reddit:

"AITA For not letting my ex-wife talk to our kids while she's on vacation​​​​​?"

My ex-wife (37F) and I (39M) divorced last year after 10-years of marriage. We have 3 kids together (8, 7, & 5). We have split custody, but the kids primarily live with their mom during the school year.

My ex is currently on a week-long vacation in Mexico with a group of friends, so the kids are staying with me. I live outside of the bus route for their school so I have to drive them there in the morning and pick them up. This requires me to get them up a bit earlier than they usually do at their mom's house, so I try to get them to sleep a bit earlier too.

Last night I had all the kids in bed by 8:30pm. They weren't asleep yet, but they were in bed. My ex sent a text at 8:45pm saying that they just finished dinner and she wanted to do a quick video chat with the kids to say goodnight.

I replied that the kids were already in bed and I didn't want to disturb them or get them riled up because we have to get up earlier in the morning to get to school on time.

She said that it would be a quick call and she just wants to say hi and that she loves them quick. I told her no. She asked if they were asleep and I told her not yet, but I don't want to turn lights on or do anything that might delay them getting to sleep. I told her that if she wants to talk to them the next day, that she should do it earlier in the night, possibly before she goes to dinner with her friends.

She kept replying that it would be a quick chat and she just wants to tell them she loves them. I told her no again and said I would let the kids know in the morning that she was thinking of them and that we can do a video chat the next night.

She told me I was being a jerk and that a quick 2-3 minute call with the kids wouldn't hurt anything. She just wanted to tell them she loves them before they go to sleep. I told her she should have thought about that earlier in the day and not right at bedtime.

She said she doesn't get them ready for bed until 9pm at home so she knows they're awake. I reminded her that I need to drive them to school which requires waking up earlier so if she wants to talk to them the next day, it's going to need to be earlier in the night, not right at bedtime.

She tried one last time to say it would be a quick chat and I shut it down again. I told her that just because she's on vacation time doesn't mean I am going to adjust my schedule to hers. I told her that if she wants to talk to the kids while she's gone then it's going to be on my terms, not hers.

She told me I'm being too rigid and that a quick chat with the kids wouldn't be as big of a deal as I'm making it out to be. I told her maybe not, but I'm not changing my mind and we can try again the next night. She agreed, but told me again that I'm being a jerk about this and I didn't need to make it so difficult. AITA?

Let's see what readers thought.

leastbreakfast writes:

NAH - she was fine in asking, you were fine to say no.

However, I do want to point out that rigid inflexibility almost never works out, as there will likely be a time in the future wherein YOU are hoping for an exception to a rule, and she will have little incentive to adjust to your needs. In fact, she is likely to buckle down and refuse, simply because you did the same.

So I would suggest you hold to your boundaries when it’s really necessary, but attempt to work with her for future calls.

dangerouswinterelf writes:

I think she was fine asking one time. But after hearing the reason, she should have dropped it.

Disturbing a 5 year old that's laid down to fall asleep even for 2 min is enough to disrupt it all. Light are on, they are awake, chat will most likely take more than 2 min as all kids get gathered to talk with mom.

They might start missing mom. Or ask questions. And then you start all over again with getting them laid down and calm. And they might be grumpy in the morning.

Honestly, when you co parent. You also have to think, "What would I say if they did what I'm doing now"

Would mom be willing to deal with starting all over on bedtime routines on 3 kids to get them back to bed. Would she be fine with grumpy kids in the morning. Or if they are late for school because they were grumpy and the morning didn't go as planned?

OP offered a call the next day where they would have more time to chat together. And it wouldn't disrupt nighttime routines when they need to get up earlier.

etoufees7 writes:

NTA. All the YTAs don’t have kids or don’t deal with bedtimes, I’m sure. The fact they were not asleep doesn’t mean much, because they were already in their room and winding down for the night, and a 30-second “hello, goodnight” can easily turn into having to spend another 30 mins of winding them down afterwards.

OP handled it appropriately- a reasonable mom would have said- ok, I’ll call back tomorrow at a more suitable time. I’ve been on business trips where I couldn’t free up until past bedtime, and I wouldn’t dream of asking my husband to interrupt the bedtime routine.

That said, I read between the lines that OP and ex’s relationship is not the most amicable, so perhaps, in the future, better communication between OP and ex on timing and expectation will go a long way.

Looks like the jury's out here. What do YOU think is best for these co-parents?

Sources: Reddit
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