Agony aunt: parent trap

Dear Wendyl,

I have a full-time job and handle most of the care for my two school-aged children. My ex has them every second weekend and some nights during the week if I need to work late or have to go to a function. He’s always been quite flexible, and will take them even if I call him that afternoon, but lately he hasn’t been available. He’s got a new girlfriend and I think he’s putting his time with her ahead of our kids, and I’m not happy. How can I get him to return to taking the kids during the week when I need him to?

oarg, by email

Dear oarg,

I think your problem here is that your ex has got a life. It’s perfectly reasonable that he might not be able to drop everything for the chidlren in the afternoon any more if he’s arranged to see his girlfriend. So give him some slack, stop relying on him as a last-minute babysitter and perhaps give him a few days’ notice if you’re going to need him. I think you’ll find he’ll be much more likely to oblige.

It wouldn’t hurt you to be more organised, and respect that your ex now has others in his life who are important to him.

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