What would YOU do?

imamommyFebruary 17, 2009

Here's the background on the current issue:

Since BM moved 3 hours away a year and half ago, SD has lived with us and we put her in school near us (for obvious reasons). She was starting 3rd grade when BM left. For the first year, just about every week we got a call, text or email from BM the day before, the morning of from BM telling DH that she can't get SD at the agreed time... she's supposed to pick up SD from school on Friday (when school lets out). It was usually that she can't be on time so "can SD ride the bus and Ima watch her until I get there?" SD got out of school at 2, she'd get there at 3-4. I felt she was doing it just to irritate me. She knew I work from home and saved my errands for Fridays because it was the only day I didn't have to be home when SD got off the bus. The more I protested that I had to work, it just continued. I decided to be agreeable and even offer to do fun 'mother/daughter' things with SD while we wait for BM and it stopped. She picked her up on time (or so we thought) and stopped asking to get her late. Then DH found out (from the school) that BM had been checking SD out early. She had asked DH a couple of times and he told her no but then went to the school and did it without him knowing. When he found out, he told the school she doesn't have custody and there's no reason for her to take her out early. The school got a copy of the order and the next time BM tried to get her early (the next week), the school called DH. BM told him SD had a 'counseling' appointment near her house and DH agreed if she provided a receipt. BM promised she'd get him the info and took SD. She never provided the info and he let her know she is not taking SD again. That's when she started sending her mom to get SD for her. DH didn't have a problem with that as long as SD was in school all day. SD had a problem with it and cried because she wanted her mom to get her and doesn't like grandma very much as grandma favors her sister and hasn't always been nice to SD. But, that is not our problem and DH figured SD should tell her mom she doesn't want grandma to get her... of course we don't know if she ever did but grandma got her the rest of the school year.

Now, this school year SD is in 4th grade and gets out at 2:20. Back in October, BM told SD to tell dad that grandma is picking her up the rest of the school year. (Yeah, it is annoying that BM has SD delivering messages that SHE should) DH didn't have a problem with it until the middle of November when grandma picked up SD and kept her half the weekend while BM stayed home with her BF and his kids. When he picked up SD at the end of her weekend, he found out grandma had cut SD's hair short. (He had just taken SD to a salon a couple of weeks earlier and let her pick her own style) What he was most upset by is that BM and grandma had told SD not to tell her dad that mom wasn't coming to get her from grandma or that grandma was going to cut her hair. So, DH told BM if she wants SD, she has to come get her herself. EVERY weekend from the middle of November, all of December and January, has been preceded by a phone call or text from BM or grandma. In December, grandma wrote a text to DH that she is going to pick up SD the next day. DH wrote back "no you're not" and BM called him up yelling at him that whatever he wrote to her mother, caused her mom to collapse at work and an ambulance had to be called. Her mom is in her 70's so he wasn't sure what to believe. Of course BM is a pathological liar so he doubts the whole thing but by her telling him that, she gave him another reason grandma should not be getting SD for BM. He told BM that if she provides medical clearance that grandma is not prone to pass out, he would reconsider letting her get SD in the future. BM then claims she can't get proof because doctor-patient privilege prevents it. So, he told her grandma can't get SD for her anymore. Then BM went to the school (it's not the same school as last year. This year she is at the campus that is 4-8 grade) and checked out SD early. DH provided the school with another copy of the order and they told him if BM tried to get SD early again, they would call him. The next Friday, BM went to the school early again, told them SD had an appointment and told the office staff that he had discussed it with DH and he said it was okay. They either took her word or maybe she showed him her cell phone where she had called him that morning. She had called him about the four day weekend but did not tell him anything about an appointment. He was livid and the school apologized profusely.. the secretary told me that she can't believe BM boldly lied to her face... that she was SO convincing! The school told him that the order was vague and they would like him to get an order that specifically says BM cannot take SD out early because BM is on the emergency card. (She had also added her BF on the emergency card DH submitted, as 'stepdad') So, DH filed a motion for an injunction order asking the court to decide if BM has the right to pick up SD early and if grandma has the right to come get SD for BM. (with the grandma issue, he would like to be flexible with her but since BM told him she collapsed, he would be more comfortable if the Judge decides because if by chance grandma collapses with SD in the car) Well, they go to court this Thursday. BM was served last week while SD was with us. The issue of custody and visitation is not going to be addressed so there is no mediation set... just asking the court to decide if BM can get SD early and if Grandma is able to go in BM's place?

Now, the current issue:

BM either let SD read the court papers or discussed in detail what was contained in them over the weekend. SD came back last night and was in tears. She accused her dad of making up a story about grandma passing out and said that it was all her fault grandma cut her hair because she wanted it cut and asked grandma and grandma didn't know dad didn't want it cut. Then she told DH that she has a say in where she gets to live. DH told her that's not true and she's going to live here until a court decides she should live with her mom and her mom has not asked the court for that. She cried that she just wants it to go back to the way it was before, where she was with him one week and one week with her mom. He agreed that would be better but since her mom moved too far away, that's not possible.

He spent nearly an hour talking to her and he was pretty upset when he was done. He came and told me what she had said and he wanted to call BM on it. He asked me what he can do to keep BM from discussing the case with her and letting her read court papers. BM tries to paint DH as the bad guy (and I'm sure she says I put him up to it). When SD came in, she totally ignored me and went to her room. I had left her valentine's gift on her bed and she came out 10-15 minutes later, said 'thanks' and went back in her room. I felt hurt but after hearing what she told DH, I can see she has way too much on her mind and after spending the weekend hearing negative things about us, she probably is angry because now she sees BM as a victim and we are doing mean things to her mom. The saddest part of all is that BM is putting SD in the position to take responsibility for the things BM and/or grandma have done. and I say that because SD does not need to know that we are going to court nor does she need to know why. Now, SD has the burden to have this on her mind all week.

I gave DH my opinion last night. I told him that no, he should not bother saying anything to BM about it. He wants to call her on it and tell her to stop discussing court stuff with SD. He's told her to stop in the past and she has either denied discussing anything and has defended her 'right' to discuss the case with her daughter, saying "I am not going to keep secrets from my kids!" so my opinion is it's not going to change anything to tell her again and it's what she wants... she wants him to react and cause a little drama before court. The day she was served, she called him and told him how she's going to be there with her mom and she's going to bring up this and that (things having nothing to do with the issue at hand). She tried to stir up some crap on Friday by insisting on getting SD from our house instead of from my office because I have to work. I guess she wanted me to have to leave work and wait at home for her to get there. Well, no I took SD with me to work and had arranged for my daughter to come give her a ride to my house at 2pm. At 1:45 BM got to my house and started calling DH to find out where the hell I am with her daughter. She sent me a text message (time stamped at 1:55) telling me it's after 2, where am I? I told her I'm at work and my daughter will be there by 2, it's only 1:55. She told me I don't need to be so snotty. My daughter had her there by 1:59 but that is how petty she is being. She could have picked her up from my office which is closer but she wanted to make me do what SHE wanted and was pissed because she had to sit at the house for 15 minutes and wait for her daughter to get there ON TIME.

My question is "what would YOU do?" If you were in DH's shoes, would you bother to tell BM anything? What would you tell SD, if anything?

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First of all I am sorry you have to deal with this womans wrath!!

IMHO your dh has told her before not to discuss court issues with sd and she continues to do it. By talking to her about it again your dh is in fact letting her know that she is getting to you both via sd. By not saying anything at all it is like letting her know that her tactics are not working. She will have no idea that sd came home mad at you guys and thinking your the bad guys--which is how bm is trying to paint you! She may even think that sd never said a word or expressed any anger to you at all :)

Good for you for not leaving work. I am so glad that bm got there early and had to wait! I guess it is rough when you actually have to pick up your own child..lol!

Hopefully the court will decide that it is not in sd's best interests to be pulled out of school early all the time so bm can get home to her bf and his kids! And I am glad that her little story about her mom collapsing has blown up in her face and may cause her mother to not have to make the drive, but her instead. All these lies are coming back to haunt her.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 11:38AM
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"I can see she has way too much on her mind and after spending the weekend hearing negative things about us, she probably is angry because now she sees BM as a victim and we are doing mean things to her mom"

I can soooo relate to this. Last summer, BM kept SS for almost 4 weeks. She got a temporary restraining order against ME and MY DH and DH couldn't even talk on the PHONE to his son for a month, much less see him. (The orders, by the way, were dismissed at the first court hearing and BM's attorney got a "scolding" from the judge for boggind down the system with those!) Anyway, when SS was FINALLY returned to DH and 50-50 custody resumed, he was so obviously distraught. It was clear his mom had been filling his head with poison. He told his dad that he couldn't say ANYTHING to him because if he did "the judge was going to put his mommy in jail." ????? Not sure what that was about. He accused me of trying to take him and his baby sister away from his mom. We got him back THE DAY BEFORE we left on our family trip to Michigan. It actually turned out to be a really healing time for him, but the first few days were BRUTAL, he was so cold and angry at me, his dad, everyone.

It is SO sad when BMs put their children in the middle like this. I'm sorry for all of you that BM is acting like this. I know it hurts you and your DH when SD acts in a cold manner, but I'm glad to hear you are trying not to take it personally. SD is lucky to have you in her life!

I hope the court decides that BM cannot pull her kid out of school early left and right! Doesn't that right there kind of show what sort of parent she is? Most responsible parents try NOT to schedule things during the school day, especially for a child in 4th grade.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 12:07PM
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I can see why you're frustrated!
But let me ask a few probing questions just to clarify things:

- WHY does BM want to get SD out of school early? Is it a traffic thing? A just trying to needle you thing? Because clearly, there's some motive, and it's important to BM.

- What class is SD missing at school during those last couple of minutes? And is it worth fighting over? Would the teacher be willing to write a note clarifying the harm being done? Or assign extra homework to make up for the lost class time?

- And are you sure you can clearly differentiate *in your own mind* how much of this is about winning/not letting her win, and how much is about the few minutes of school SD is missing. (Not that I'm not sympathetic to your situation agree in any way with BM -- Just that sometimes it's so easy to get drawn into battle that the battle takes on a life of its own.)

By the way, I think your fun 'mother/daughter' things with SD while we wait for BM strategy was positively brilliant, and wonder if there might be a similar solution here.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 1:05PM
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"What class is SD missing at school during those last couple of minutes? And is it worth fighting over?"

I really think it's inappropriate for a child to repeatedly be taken out of school for ANY reason, unless it's medically/health related.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 1:16PM
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"I really think it's inappropriate for a child to repeatedly be taken out of school for ANY reason, unless it's medically/health related."

I agree -- But IMO, missing art or PE is different from missing math. If it's math, parents and the judge are more likely to object; if it's art, maybe Ima might be more likely to drop it.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 2:12PM
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I think i would just wait until court decides on something and wouldn't talk to BM about it. i don't think BM should be allowed to take SD out of school early espcially since she is not a CP. Her BF should not be on emergency card as stepdad, he is not. I don't see a big issue with grandma though, it is OK for her to pick up SD (not early from school but aftre school), I guess, provided of course that she does not collapse (lol), judge can decide on that.

I feel bad for SD, she is in the middle of adult battle and shouldn't be a part of it.

What would I do? I would try to redirect her attention to
something else like maybe some fun stuff, take her places and try to make her forget about courts and judges. She does not need to know that. I would tell SD that these issues should not concern her, it is for adults and a judge to decide, she should just be a kid.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 4:13PM
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First, she is taking her out at 1:30-1:45 and school lets out at 2:20. She has science for 5th period and social studies for 6th. She currently has a D in science. She is barely passing all her other classes. She is struggling as it is so if the teacher gives her more work to make up for it... a) BM won't do it with her. She doesn't even help with what she gets now. b) SD already has trouble understanding what she brings home now because she likes to talk in class and doesn't pay attention. Leaving school early only means she has NO chance to get the teacher's instructions. She is working on her 4th grade social studies report on California and her teacher is having them do a scavenger hunt scrapbook. BM likes to scrapbook and told us that she wants to do this project with SD because she IS her mom and we won't let her do anything with SD. (not true) She told us, you work on yours, I'll work on mine. So, we told her no... she can do the project but if she is, we are not. There's no sense in doing two projects and making SD do double work. So, we haven't worked on it with her. BM has had five weekends so far and has done not one thing toward the project. It's due in May. We told SD that it's up to her to get it done and that her mom wants to do it with her. If she asks us to help her, we will but we are not going to hound her or step on her mom's toes over it. But, that's a whole other issue. The point is, BM really doesn't seem to care about SD's education. She won't help with homework and hasn't been to one conference since she moved.

To answer Sweeby:

But let me ask a few probing questions just to clarify things:

"- WHY does BM want to get SD out of school early? Is it a traffic thing? A just trying to needle you thing? Because clearly, there's some motive, and it's important to BM."

I can't answer that for sure. She has complained that she has a long drive home. She picks up her other daughter from grandma, after she gets SD so maybe she is trying to arrange it so she can get her other daughter after she gets out of school and she doesn't want to make her other daughter wait? She might want to get back to her BF sooner because he gets home from work at 5, maybe she wants to be there when he gets home? Or maybe it's to needle us? She has screwed with the time just about EVERY week. 'I am gonna be late. 'Can I get her early?' 'My mom's gonna get her for me.' and then there are the cancellations, requests to send extra clothes because she has nothing for her to wear, and of course she has changed the time and/or place for us to pick up SD many times. It just gets old and I can't help but feel like she's just doing it to mess with us and wave her "I am MOM" banner around and that she's doing it to wield her power/control.

"- What class is SD missing at school during those last couple of minutes? And is it worth fighting over? Would the teacher be willing to write a note clarifying the harm being done? Or assign extra homework to make up for the lost class time?"

I think I answered this above. She really can't afford to miss any time from school. Unfortunately, they only get art on Tues & Thurs. Like I said, adding extra homework to make up for lost class time will only bogg her down more and be a burden on us, since we are the only ones that work on her homework with her. If BM would let us get her early on Sundays, we might have time to work with her on it. As it is, we get her at 6 and get home after her bedtime with the three hour drive. (add another half an hour because BM does not feed her, she leaves that for us too)

"- And are you sure you can clearly differentiate *in your own mind* how much of this is about winning/not letting her win, and how much is about the few minutes of school SD is missing. (Not that I'm not sympathetic to your situation agree in any way with BM -- Just that sometimes it's so easy to get drawn into battle that the battle takes on a life of its own.)"

This is a very good point and it's so true. In my mind, all of this is about winning. For us, we want to be in a position of not allowing BM to control our life. I can see that for BM, it's about trying to win/control and she has little or no regard for her daughter's feelings. If we thought she cared about her daughter's feelings, I would tell DH to try reasoning with BM or to tell BM how upset SD is over hearing this stuff. The sad thing is, BM would probably love to know we are upset by it, or maybe even get upset at SD for telling DH. The last thing we want to do is put SD in the position of getting in trouble for telling DH.

I told him that he needs to tell SD that she can tell her mom that she does not want to hear details about their court case. He agrees, but said that SD loves hearing about it. The other question we are discussing is, whether it's okay for DH to discuss the case with her if she brings up what her mom tells her? (ie. BM told SD that DH made up a story about her grandma so DH clarified to SD that BM told him about grandma and he only wrote what he was told)

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 4:37PM
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I also wanted to add that I think it's wise to pick our battles. This is something DH feels strongly about because SD has been having so many problems doing her work. We have tried to let a lot of little things go and if SD was doing well in school, it might not even be a big deal. DH also wonders if BM is telling SD to do poorly in school because last year, she tried to say SD was doing poorly at school here so she should be put in school over there. At the time, SD had been having a hard time just after her mom left and was struggling a little but I worked with her a lot and she had been improving. DH thinks she might be doing poorly on purpose this year.

With BM, if you give her an inch, she takes it all. He hasn't 'battled' with her at all over it. She had asked to take her early. He told her no & has talked to her about the grades. So, she decided to just go take her without telling him. Now, she is lying to them... told them SD has an appointment and DH said it was fine. The issues of taking her out early or grandma getting her are being left to a Judge to decide. DH is not 'fighting' with BM, he is asking a Judge to decide since they can't agree. If the Judge says grandma can go get her... fine. If the Judge says BM can take her early... fine. He thinks he's right. She thinks she has the right. Let the court decide. The major issue he is having is that BM fully discussed all the details with SD and painted him to be doing something terrible to BM and grandma... SD worries constantly about this (maybe that's why she can't concentrate in class?) and she cries in the shower and in her room. He is frustrated that BM talks to SD and we both know telling her to stop will fall on deaf ears. (plus, give her the satisfaction of thinking she pissed us off?) But, he doesn't want to discuss anything with SD to defend himself or set the record straight because then he is also guilty of discussing the case with her. But, he doesn't want her to believe her mom's lies either. and, he can't set things straight without calling her mom a liar.

FD, that is a great suggestion.. take SD to do fun things to get her mind off this. However, we usually end up with her wanting to call her mom the entire time. Usually, she can't get her mom on the phone. Here's a big surprise... Last night when she got home, she talked to her mom for 20-30 minutes. Her mom answers her phone if she thinks she'll get the skivvy on how DH or I react to something. Of course, SD asked DH what he and I did for Valentines Day? I'm sure she wasn't asking so she can tell her mom...

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 5:31PM
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just a suggestion...would DH consider for SD to go live with mom? 50/50 won't work since obviously they live too far but let SD live wiht mom full time and come to visit dad? Would BM want that? Seems like SD wants to be wiht mom (and it is a pretty normal thing to want). Mom is a pain, but still she is her mom. i wonder what would BM say if DH ask her? Would she be up to it? Hmm

On the other hand her other daughter lives wiht grandma...She has no kids at home...I wonder if she likes it this way? I do wonder what if DH addresses it in court that SD keep asking to go live with mom. i wonder what would Bm say to that?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 6:00PM
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"just a suggestion...would DH consider for SD to go live with mom?"

not going to put words in Ima's mouth here, but I think that, in this case, BM is pretty unreliable and doesn't really have a vested interest in parenting. I think Ima and her DH both feel it is in SD's best interest to be in their custody.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 6:35PM
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lovehadley, I don't want to put words in her mouth either but that's what I remeber from the past posts.

BM and Ima's DH used to share custody and it used to be 50/50. It did seem to be working somehow if I recall correctly. BM gave up custody when she unexpectedly moved farther away to live with her BF. According to imaommy BM wasn't always as nuts.

I think imamommy said that when she first met her future DH he said something like: My DD does not need a a mom, she has one. Supposedly BM was more involved in the past. It seems that her involvement went down when she got involved wiht a BF and he became her priority.

I am suggesting that maybe they can at least discuss some other arrangements...I know 50/50 won't work due to distance but it seems that SD struggles emotionally without her mother.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 7:49PM
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If BM was interested in parenting SD, it would be best for her to be with her mom. As it is, BM has her BF's mom keep the kids overnight frequently. I mean she gets six days a month and SD spends 2-3 of those nights with BM's BF's parents already. If she had SD all the time, she'd hand it over to her BF's parents... she already did this during summer. Yeah, she could have her older daughter with her but chooses not to.

"BM wasn't always as nuts."

I can't say that. I can say that she 'seemed' normal when I met her. It didn't take long for me to see inconsistencies with her behavior and her facade unraveled (in my eyes) and as I pointed it out to DH, he would tell me that she had him fooled. It was more that he didn't see it but it was always there. He even had a journal from when they first broke up where he wrote a comment about her letting her mom keep her older daughter all the time and he was not going to let her leave their daughter for grandma to raise on BM's time. So, he had some clue but I think he took the path of least resistance and turned a blind eye to it. (like too many guys do)

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 8:01PM
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Hmmm, I had to think a little bit on the way home from work about my last post... was BM always crazy or did she change after she moved with her BF? (what came first, the chicken or the egg?)

Well, she threatened him repeatedly for years (whenever he wouldn't do as she wanted) that she would stop letting him see their daughter. When he finally called her on it by filing to get a formal custody order so he can establish his rights and she can't threaten it anymore, she called him begging for him to drop it. When he said no, she again reverted back to making threats. She told him she would win sole custody and he'd only get his daughter on every other weekend and she'd make him pay lots of child support. He was willing to accept what the court decided as he was tired of her threatening him more and more frequently. (For years, she kept telling him she had her lawyer from her first divorce... the one that STILL is not final... and that he would lose without an attorney. He did not have much extra money for an attorney and it was easier to give in to her than think about a court fight with attorney's) He finally hired an attorney when I told him he had a choice, he can continue listening to her make threats to stop letting him see his daughter...for the next 10 years or he can go to court and get an order outlining his rights and BM cannot change that, only a court can. I helped finance the attorney but the 'fight' BM put up for seven months, cost us almost $10,000.00 and three weeks after they both 'won' (as neither lost physical custody and it stayed 50/50), she didn't 'unexpectedly' move away. She had been on a 'man hunt' for almost a year and she barely met this guy AFTER the court trial and CHOSE to move away from both of her daughters within three weeks of the trial, so she knew her BF a whole 2 weeks or less when she moved (considering she had already been living with him the week before she told us she was already moved) So, in retrospect I don't think a normal, not crazy person would do that. In fact, she sent DH an email the day before she told him she was already moved, asking him about the holiday schedule as the court had told them to work it out themselves. She was already moved... and 'oh, by the way what are we going to do about holidays?' then 'oh yeah, we need to talk because I'm moving'.. followed by 'well, I moved last week and SD is living with you'.. 'sure you can change her school now' when the whole custody battle began because DH wanted SD to go to school near us and BM said 'oh hell no! That will never happen!'


    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 8:55PM
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oh, and before someone catches my mistake and calls me a liar.. the custody battle began after they got into an argument over money for SD's birthday party where DH agreed to pay an amount, BM then started adding on more and DH said no more.. she can pay the extra stuff. She said she was calling her lawyer. He told me to file the papers he had prepared the LAST time she threatened it... and in his papers, he asked for primary custody of SD so she can go to school in our district. That's when BM said 'Oh hell no, that will never happen!' and then went on to tell him that he will lose in court and she'll get everything.

Just wanted to clarify that.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 9:07PM
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I feel so sorry for your SD. She has a lot of weight to bear. It is absolutely wrong for her mother to treat her like a grown up. There is no reason for her to discuss the court or show her the papers, other than to paint you two as the bad guys and make her daughter feel sorry for her mother. I think it shows that she has no regard for her daughter's education. Short of a medical emergency or health problem, there's no reason I would take my kids out of school early- especialy by an hour!!! Unbelievable!! She is childish for using her daughter to deal with her insecurities and lack of responsibility.
I'm guessing that you don't-- but do you or your DH ask your SD about what her BM said over the weekend or does she just come out and tell one of you? Just curious. I think if she is opening up to you, that's a good sign that she trusts you.
As far as DH talking to SD about the court stuff-- I think that if she asks, it's ok to talk about what is concerning her- as long as he keeps it as brief as possible, without giving her too many details. If she has questions, you can't ignore them- she will feel shut out. I think the most important things to remember here are that she is a little girl and simple answers should satisfy her. BM is way out of line to bring that onto her. It would be great if you could stick the parents that just don't get it into a box and shake them up real hard until their brains fell into the right place!!!! She is hurting her daughter so much more than anyone knows.
I think you are doing the right things and basically letting SD know that you two love her and support her and are there for her no matter what, is one of the best things you can do right now.
Good luck in court. I hope the judge sees how damaging this is on SD and puts BM in her place.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 9:13PM
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Ima, since 'your' BM and 'my' BM are so similar in this behavior it's amazing that they aren't the same person.
Sadly though, I don't have a magic cure for you. No amount of telling mom - by us, a psych., a judge, SD herself, would stop BM from dragging SD into everything and using her as a pawn to further her selfish motive. If it's best for mom and fits into her plan than it is best for SD, and this applies to involvement with schoolwork, scheduling, activities, whatever. Sacrifice is not a word in these mother's vocab, and there comes a point where you just have to accept that and work around it.

I guess that is my only suggestion - acceptance. For years I want to charge into battle with BM every time SD came to me heartbroken, scared, twisted in knots because of another secret she couldn't tell . . . I thought if we just explained to BM how this hurt her daughter and how if she just put herself in her daughter's shoes she would know what was happening was so wrong. I kept trying and trying because I was sure she was going to get it - it was so black and white. It took years, and many 'I told you so's' from DH until I figured out that he was right - she wasn't going to change. Why should she? She got what she wanted (by hurting who ever was in her way) so what motivation was there to change? She couldn't see past her own nose to realize the harm she was doing her daughter, and I wasn't going to change that. So, I learned to work with in it. I quit covering for her. I stopped telling SD 'you know your mom loves you.' When she asked why mom never came to a performance I told her she must have other priorities. When she told us again that we had stolen her from her mom, DH explained the true, non-sugarcoated story of why he got custody. When she would bring up court or support we would say that is between mom and I, and she should not be involving you. We explained the judge told the adults to leave her out of their issues because he knew that was best, and we were going to do what was best for her. We told her it wasn't fair for a parent to burden their child and take away their childhood by involving them in adult issues. We also told her there were many things her mother was telling her that were total lies, but we weren't going to fight them with her as we knew in time she would see the truth herself. After one or two times she stopped questioning much. Then she started questioning her mom. And now you know what their relationship is like.

So LONG story short, I wouldn't call out mom. I would flat out tell SD what her mom is doing is wrong, and you are going to do right. Then do it. It is HARD AS HELL, but lather, rinse, repeat. Soon enough, she'll get it. Be supportive, empathize with her emotions, but don't play into it. And DON'T sugar coat her mom. Don't give your opinions, just facts.
And keep your chin up.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 1:26AM
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confused1, We don't ask SD anything her mom says but we have asked her how her weekend was or if she did anything fun. The issue came up because SD was upset and pretty much lashed out at DH. She brought it up because she wanted him to explain himself and why he is going after her mom and lying about her grandma and then she wanted to take all the responsibility for grandma cutting her hair. She was more accusatory than wanting to find out if what her mom said was true. It was apparent that she believes what her mom tells her. When DH tells his side, she gets even more upset. I'm not sure if it's because she knows he's telling the truth or if she thinks he is lying to her.

I'd like to think she trusts us and that is why she tells him. But, I think she just wants to be the mediator and thinks she can control the outcome. If she says SHE told grandma to cut her hair, grandma won't get in trouble. Of course, she's a kid and doesn't realize nobody is trying to get grandma in trouble. That issue has more to do with grandma could have called DH to get his input since he is custodial parent. Getting a haircut is not a big deal in and of itself. The bigger issue was SD being told 'don't tell daddy' because that suggests to DH that whenever SD wants to do something he disapproves of, SD can just go to grandma or BM and they'll let her do it. We know we can't control that or stop it, but the decision to not let grandma get SD anymore was for a variety of reasons that built up. First, she withheld info from DH. Second, SD wants her mom to come get her. Third, we are frustrated that BM does nothing she is supposed to... doesn't pay her support, doesn't call her daughter or answer her phone, pawns her off on other people during her weekends or cancels and to top it off, she doesn't even want to come get her, even though she doesn't work and has the time.. but she sends her mother who is in her 70's. Whether it's the right or wrong reasons, BM put DH in the position of sticking to it when she told him grandma collapsed over a simple text message. DH would not care if the Judge says grandma can come get her again. What makes me sad about it is that over the last year and half, SD has cried many times when her mom would call & tell her grandma is coming to get you and she'd say she doesn't want her to...she wants her mom. Now, that BM has told her about DH's declaration, SD tells DH that she wants grandma to come get her. Personally, I am not convinced and think she is just saying that to 'fix' everything. I know she thinks the world revolves around her and that she can control what happens.

When she started accusing him and asking him why he is doing this to her mom, DH did ask her what she was told and she didn't want to tell him. He gave her his side of what she accused him of but didn't say BM was lying. It will have to be up to SD to figure out.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 2:07AM
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Ima and JNM, your BMs are my BM too!! When we went back to court BM read out FDH's affidavit to skids and everything. Anything and everythng she could get her hands on she would read out to SD10 and SD12. It was absolutely ridiculous and when FDH called her on it in court counseling she totally denied that ever happened. Instead she told the court counselor that she agrees it's wrong and inappropriate for an adult to read out that sort of info to a child.

Aaaarrrgggg how bloody annoying are you lady???

And then the skids got interviewed and they 'performed' their rehearsed little play very well. Nobody in court believed FDH's side of the story and he was put in a corner. He was painted to be the 'aggressive' person who 'attacked' the poor little BM who only wants to move on with her life. Barf barf barf...

So yeah, I know how annoying it is!! Probably no point for DH to talk to BM about her behavior; only fuelling her fight for whatever it is she's fighting for (to make your lives as difficult as possible no doubt). So save the energy, BM will not change anyway.

I REALLY hope that all will go good for you guys in court, thinking of you and all the best!!!


    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 2:55AM
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"The point is, BM really doesn't seem to care about SD's education"

(Please note tongue in cheek)

Well, of course not! What mother would care about a daughter's education?
An educated girl or woman is not nearly as likely to find a good man who will take care of them all the time. Men will think that she is smart and able to take care of herself.
By providing your daughter with an education, you are robbing her of her chance to be loved. Because, as we all know, nice men don't like smart women.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 11:05PM
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Ceph... thanks for lightening the mood. Made me chuckle a bit.

It's been a bit of a stressful week so far with SD moping and having an attitude. True to her past history, BM has called SD every night this week and stayed on the phone for at least half an hour or longer. (she's NEVER available to talk to SD unless something is going on that she wants info on, especially just before a court hearing. Maybe she needs to get some moral support from SD and it's not just her attempt to dig for info) Tonight BM asked SD to get her dad so they can talk. He couldn't come to the phone so he's going to call her later when SD is asleep, but her M.O. is to call him the day/night before any hearing and try to get him to agree to drop it or postpone it... last time she had to work, the two times before she had a job interview. Hmmm, she doesn't have a job.... at least she isn't paying any support so she doesn't have a legitimate job. DH is a bit stressed and nervous as this is his second hearing without his attorney (we can't afford to pay $300 an hour on nonsense). The last hearing went in his favor but didn't go as he expected. lol, he expected an arrest warrant to be issued because it was an order to show cause for contempt, she was served, she did not show up, he figured she should be found in contempt. Instead, the Judge gave him a money judgment for the amount of unpaid medical bills and attorney's fees and now he turns that over to DCSS to collect for him.... just toss it on the mountain of debt she owes.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 12:13AM
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We had it written in our last agreement that
"neither party shall say or imply anything derogatory about either biological parent or other parts of the family to the child"

Maybe you can try and squeeze that in there?
You won't have a problem in court.....school is one of the most important things in a child's life and I absolutely and dont think the courts will either, permit a child to leave school early one day per week or every other week to go visit mom. This is moms problem and she needs how to figure out how to get there on time...
You may also consider putting something in your agreement about her being late (we did and it went well) what we had set up was that if BM was more than 30 min late..dad could leave and visitation would not happen.... My thought would be that if she doesn't show up at school to pick her up then, the school calls you and she loses her weekend......and tough crap for her she will either show up on time or not give a crap.....

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 2:14PM
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Our order reads:

"No negative comments. Neither parent will make or allow others to make negative comments about the other parent or
the other parent's past or present relationships, family, or friends within hearing distance of the children."

and it also specifically says:

"No use of children as messengers. The parents will communicate directly with each other on matters concerning the children and may not use the children as messengers between them."

But, what are we gonna do? Drag her to court EVERY time she does it? We'd have to camp out on the courthouse lawn!

There is a provision that if she doesn't call to say she's going to be late, then after 90 minutes the weekend is canceled. I think it's TOO relaxed because she ALWAYS calls if she's going to be late, which is all the time, except when she wants to be early. (lol, that's how we know something's up... when we don't get the phone calls. DH asked me to go to the school to make sure grandma doesn't go get SD and when I got there, teacher says 'oh, she left early with mom.' ARRGGG!!! I am irritated at wasting MY time and DH works an hour away from the school so he can't exactly do it himself. The school told us to get an order so they can stand behind it, so here we are. It's almost noon here and the hearing is at 1:30 so I'll post again tonight)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 2:59PM
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our order also says she can't smoke around SD or leave her home by herself but she does. It says she must notify us if she's going to move, which she didn't tell us until AFTER DH said she can't take SD until she gives him the new address. She is supposed to notify him of childcare providers when SD is there but she leaves her with whoever and has never told him any info. Well, we've kept good records and document everything so if SHE brings him to court for custody or change in visitation, he can bring those things up. We would go bankrupt if we took her to court for EVERY violation. Let her dig her own grave... and bury herself.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 3:04PM
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I agree 90 min and a call of being late is way too lax....it might be worth it to have that changed, you can definately show that she abuses it....it does suck though that you all will be the ones to have to pay financially to have that fixed (been there done that!) You know you would think you could charge her attorney fees etc... in a case like that just as they do in small claims court...I guess it doesn't work that way though :( and your right you can't stay camped out on the court house lawn!! Our BM skipped out like a year and a half ago so ours says it but we haven't had to really enforce anything......

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 11:16AM
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After yesterday's hearing, DH says NO MORE! He does not want to go back to court. He got what he wanted but it just isn't worth the stress, time lost from work, etc. to deal with it. In order to change ANYTHING like times or terms regarding visitation, they have to go to mediation and it opens the door for BM to ask for custody. He isn't going to open THAT door. If BM files for custody, he will present his side but he is not going to start that fight. BM doesn't have much chance of gaining custody but she will surely put up a 'fight' and drag it out with many hearings or a trial. DH would need an attorney for that because he is terrible at speaking up in court and saying what he wants to say... and he WAS awarded attorney's fees last year when she dragged out the child support hearings with three continuances and then failed to show at the final hearing. He was awarded $1000.00 but his attorney at the time was charging $300.00 an hour and like I said, there were 3 continuances (where we showed up with our attorney and she phoned one hearing in... the judge told her to appear the next time... she did but didn't have her proof so she got another hearing and then just didn't come because the proof she said she had at the first two hearings, just doesn't exist because she was lying to the judge.)

Still, nothing happened to her for lying to the Judge except she was ordered to pay attorney's fees that she still has NOT paid. DH has a judgment but as BM likes to remind him, you can't get blood from a turnip. I guess she is calling herself a turnip. DH is tired & frustrated with dealing with her and if she wants to send her mom to get her, fine. If she wants to cancel her weekend, fine. If she doesn't answer her phone, fine.

SD goes to BM's today. She was upset because she came back on Monday and they didn't do her laundry since she came back and 'her moms' clothes are in the dirty clothes. It's just another thing BM may complain about. I'm going to do her laundry and have them in a bag on Sunday for him to hand back to her. We don't want her clothes... neither does she but it is something to argue about.

In court, she also brought up that DH wants her to get his permission to cut SD's hair and she is OUTRAGED that she would have to get permission because she is the mother. The judge rolled his eyes and told her he isn't going to hear that. Just last weekend, DH told SD that her bangs are getting long and if she wants them cut, her mom should take her because he is no longer going to take her to the salon because every time he does, BM takes her the next week to cut it differently. Why waste our money so BM can 'redo' it? The issue DH had was that BM and her mom told SD not to tell DH what was going on. She doesn't get that it wasn't about the haircut, it was about teaching SD to keep secrets from him.

btw, I posted what happened in court on the other thread.

Here is a link that might be useful: IMA wishing you all the best!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 11:59AM
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It is bizzare that BM will be allowed to take a kid early from school. Terrible decision on judge's part. I took my kid out of school early maybe two times in her entire 12 years of school. there is no reason to take kids out early.

But i have a different question. Why would DH not want to give custody to BM? I know that she might not be a very good parent but he does not seem to like the fact that she does not see SD much. I remember you complained (and it is udnerstandable)that she abandoned her child and does not want to live wiht her. You said it was upsetting that mom promised to take SD wiht her to live but then she never does. So now when she might do that, DH doesn't like that.

So if SD would live with her, she would see mom every time (hopefully). Why object to something that would actually solve the problem of mom not seeing SD more. If mom asks for custody it means she wants to live wiht her SD. She can't live with her SD and not have a custody.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 4:37PM
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" If mom asks for custody it means she wants to live wiht her SD. She can't live with her SD and not have a custody."

This woman has not behaved in any manner that indicates she has her child(ren)'s best interest at heart.

She most certainly could have "custody" but dump her daughter off with grandma or whoever so she can spend time with her boyfriend...I recall Ima has said she has done this in the past.

I just think, given the situation, it is naive to think that BM wants SD to live with her because she wants to be with her daughter. Why did she voluntarily give up custody then????

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 4:45PM
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love, of course, mom is a bizzare parent. Who knows why she gave up custody, she wanted to move away with her boyfirned, I guess that's her selfish reasoning.

It is very clear about BM. But it is not as clear about imaommy and her DH. When mom moved away, they were upset she dumped SD on them and left. But whenever she mentions taking SD wiht her, they say "no". It makes me wonder if she left SD wiht them because she knew they won't give her custody. It seems pretty simple to figure out what mom wants, probably to have fun and never worry about anything. But I am unsure what imamommy and her DH want. They do not like the fact that mom left SD wiht them that and yet when mom mentions to take SD wiht her, they don't like that either. 50/50 is not going to work due to geographical distance. So what do they really want, that's the question. SD wants to live wiht mom. Mom might not want SD but DH and imamommy aren't happy about current situation either. So what si the solution. I would let mom try and see if she can get custody and maybe it would work out.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 5:55PM
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If BM wants SD, she can file court papers. At this point, she has not even picked up the phone and asked DH if she can take SD to live with her. What she does is tells SD that we took her away and won't let her live there. I believe that SD probably says things that make BM feel guilty, like 'why can't I live with you?' or something along those lines and BM tells her that DH won't let her and that she wants her to come live there and that she is going to file the papers, but to this date, BM has not done anything to try to get SD to live with her. All she has done is telling SD whatever SD wants to hear to appease her but what she doesn't realize is that eventually, and I think it's already happening, SD is realizing mom is full of it.

FD, for someone that doesn't read my posts, you always have something to say and you usually get the facts all wrong on top of it. We were not upset that BM dumped SD on us... I resented BM for that because we had just spent $10k in a heated court battle where DH wanted SD to live here primarily and BM said she would never let it happen. Three weeks later, she has her new BF & without regard to her kids, she moves away and I am stuck here with an 8 year old that was completely devastated because as she does now, BM discussed the custody battle with her the entire time telling SD that she will never give her up and then SD is left wondering what the hell just happened. Mommy met BF and left me? Yeah... I was extremely pissed and you (FD) defended mom quite a bit at that time. But, no we were not upset to have SD with us, it was what we wanted all the time. We just the way it happened. If BM had stayed living where she was and SD was still living with both 50/50 or even DH primary and her mom being closer, it might not have been so crushing to SD. I think the fact that she dumped her for a man is what crushed SD most. So, no we are not going to hand over custody to her because she tells SD she wants her. She tells her that because she doesn't want to answer SD about why she didn't take her with her.

In court yesterday, she sugar coated why her older daughter lives with grandma... she needs to finish out Jr. High... hahaha she was going into the 6th grade when BM moved. It's not like she's in a private or prestigious school, grandma lives in the bad part of a major city. It's funny but nobody asked her about why her older daughter lives with grandma but she felt compelled to give a fully detailed explanation. Of course, the Judge didn't look impressed. He had a look on his face of "you mean you don't have either of your kids with you?" LOL, it only made her look worse.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 6:34PM
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I do agree that if BM wants to take SD she should file it in court and see what happens. Sometimes parents cannot live in the same area. It is not like mom moved to a different country or stopped talking to her kid. Sometimes people get married or get new jobs and do have to move. Now, she didn't take SD wiht her. It is bad. But dad says she is not a good mom anyways and SD is better off wiht him. Then he should be happy she left SD wiht him. It seems like no matter what mom does, dad is unhappy. What if she got married, wouldn't she be able to move wiht new husband? Then she wouldn't be able to take SD because dad does not think she is good mom, and she cannot leave SD wiht dad because that means she abandoned her. It is just lose/lose situation for mom in any case.

yes it is bad mom does not have her other daughter wiht her. It is pretty stupid. Grandma is 70. My dad is 71 and although he is in great shape and healthy I would never dream to ask him to take care of a minor child full time! it is ridicilous. But I don't think it pertains to SD's issue.

"we had just spent $10k in a heated court battle where DH wanted SD to live here primarily and BM said she would never let it happen"

So dad wanted SD to live with him primarilly and that's what he got! he didn't get it the easy way because mom put up the fight and then moved away. But he has what he fought for initally. why does it matter that mom moved away? he wanted primary cutody, didn't want 50/50 anymore, that's what he got! So why is it upsetting mom moved away? he has what he wants.

I just think a lot of the issues in your blended family are over a power struggle. Who is going to win, not what is the best for the kid and how to avoid uneccesary drama. I do not think either parent understands how ti traumatizes their child. I agree that dad had to go to court over taking a child out of school early, but over grandma? you know that BM lied about grandma's collapse. So why arguing over it in court? of course judge says it is fine. It was unneccesary drama. I think one of the parents have to take a high road and let it all go.

I would just kill (well not literally)my X if I would let every little thing bother me about him and what he does. I get upset, then i let it go. Not worth it. And not worth to traumatize children, of any age.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 10:41AM
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Ima, first let me say that I think you and DH are good parents and have the child's best interest at heart. I feel like you do much more for her than her mom does. However, if the child is unhappy with this arrangement I'm not sure it's the best thing for her. From what you've written she seems to be unhappy away from her mom and I think this causes a lot of her problems. I know it's a hard call and I don't envy judges that have to make it. I understand the mom isn't worth a crap and probably doesn't really want her DD but prefers to stir up drama. Why not call her bluff? Tell her and SD she can spend the entire summer vacation with her. That will give you a break and let SD see what it would be like living with her and give her mom a dose of what it's like being responsible for her all the time. If SD wants to see you & dad during the summer let her ask, otherwise don't make her leave mom. I'm concerned that if she thinks you're the bad guys that keep her away from mom she's always going to resent it and it may affect your relationship for life. My DS was made to live with his bio-dad for a few years and he hated it, always wanted to be with me. He came here permantly at 12 and has never gone back, not once. He's 34 now and has no use for bio. My DH helped raise him and is PaPa to the baby they've recently had. Bio-dad doesn't even know he has one although he lives a couple of miles from us. I asked him recently what it was he disliked so much about bio. His answer was 'I felt like he only used me for a pawn'. I think he's correct. Anyway, back to your situation if you will consider it. See how it goes for the summer. If things go well and SD is happy there then let her stay if her mom wants her. I think it's more important for her to be happy even if her living conditions aren't as good as they would be with you. You've raised your 3, give yourself a break and see what happens. If things turn out not to be the paradise she invisions then she's learned a lesson about mom. If she's happier there then let her stay, maybe without giving up custody in case things change. I think in 'most' cases a child is bonded closer with the mom than the dad. I just can't see the advantage of having her unhappy so much of the time and having to deal with the constant drama from her mom. SD is probably going to always blame you for keeping her away from her mom. Oh, and IF you should decide to try this the first thing mom will do is holler child support. Tell her y'all will pay just as good as she did.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 11:07AM
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"So why is it upsetting mom moved away?"

FD, can you not read??? It is NOT upsetting to us that mom moved away... in fact, it was a happy day for us. It was upsetting to SD!!! It devastated SD!!! Not us! We would love for her to move off the face of the earth but it would crush SD, not us!

I (not my DH) resented being left with an emotionally shattered child. I was the one that was home when she came in after school and went to her room to bawl her eyes out every day for weeks. I had to hear it, DH was at work. I was the one taking her to counseling to deal with it. So, yes I began to resent that BM was off in la la land with her new love and no kids (and not a care in the world except what to do with her BF's kids on his weekends?). She didn't have to listen to her daughter's tears... she was too busy with her boyfriend and planning things to do with his kids. DH is not unhappy, he wants the drama to end.

Sorry if you don't agree but if BM tells DH that grandma collapsed and he knows she's in her 70's... even if he thinks it's a lie, it would be irresponsible for him to ignore it and let SD drive around with her. What if she did pass out or have a stroke or something else happened with SD in the car, after BM told him that and he didn't make sure she is okay to drive? Yes, we knew the Judge would okay her to drive SD but DH wants to cover his ass in case something does happen with grandma when SD is with her. We were not surprised or upset that he ruled that way, we expected it and so what extra drama are you talking about?

I think you might understand blended family issues better if you were actually in one.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 11:19AM
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SD does spend the entire summer with BM under the current arrangement. When she moved, DH gave her the most liberal visitation he could. She gets three weekends a month (he was going to give her all weekends but wanted at least one for himself but they ended up she gets the first three weekends, he gets the fourth and fifth if there is one) and BM gets all Monday holidays that fall on her weekends, they alternate Spring break, Winter break (each gets half & they alternate so they each have her on Christmas every other year) and Thanksgiving week is alternated. She gets all of summer from the day school lets out until the weekend before school resumes. During summer, visitation is reverse so DH has her the first three weekends (including Monday holidays). She even gets SD from 2-6 on her birthday but since she has a 3 hour drive, DH offered to give her from 8am-8pm on her birthday (it fell on a Saturday) and she said no. She then told SD she wasn't going to see her on her birthday because I did not invite her to the party. The party was on Sunday, the day after her real birthday. However, she promised SD that they would celebrate the following weekend at her house. Then, the weekend came and she decided to drop SD off at BF's parents house and go out with her BF to a party. SD said BF's parents made her a cake and sang happy birthday to her but she was crying her eyes out all the way home from that weekend because her mom had gone out and didn't come to her party at the BF's parents house.

Last summer, SD gained 20 lbs at BM's and spent the majority of her time at BM's BF's parents house. Her BF has three kids (7-12) that visit and BM has an older daughter (12 at the time) and all the kids would go play at the park, go on bike rides and hang out at the community pool. BM would stay home and take a nap. She does not work. SD says she can stay up as late as she wants, watch whatever she wants, BM goes to bed with BF and they leave the kids alone to watch TV until they fall asleep in the living room. DH was concerned about her BF's kids because he has two sons that are 10 & 13 and BM lets her daughters that are 9 & 13 sleep on the same bed or in the living room after the adults are asleep. BM told him it was none of his business and of course while it's true, what she does in her house is her business, if his 9 year old daughter is sleeping in a room or bed with a 10 & 13 year old boys that are not related to her in any way, he is (and has a right to be) concerned.

If he thought BM would actually keep SD with her, he might consider it but if he let SD start a new school there, it would be nearly impossible to bring her back here if it wasn't working out. (We live 3 hours apart) They have joint legal custody so BM would have to agree to let him bring her back here once she is in school there. And SD would probably spend more time in other people's homes than with BM... BM does not want to be bothered with raising her kids. If she did, she would have taken her older daughter and asked to take SD. She didn't and while I know it's horrible that SD wants to be with her and can't, it's more because BM really doesn't want her than we won't let her. She is beginning to see that her mom is the one that keeps putting her off. (doesn't call her, doesn't hardly answer her phone, doesn't call her back, wants to send grandma to get her, sends her to BF's parents house when she is there, and doesn't come to her school stuff) She doesn't want to admit it but I think she sees it.

As to child support, there is no doubt she would RUN to the court to get an order against DH if he let SD stay with her. She would get three or four times what she is ordered to pay him.. because he works & makes good money. She would also collect it better than he is able to collect from him because in our state, all child support orders are automatically collected by wage assignment and he has worked in the same place for 22 years. She doesn't pay because she refuses to work. If nothing else, she would want custody so she would not have to pay the measley $216 a month and she would go after DH for support, even if she didn't have SD actually living with her. Right now, she is living off child support her first husband pays for her older daughter that still lives with grandma.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 11:55AM
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"I think you might understand blended family issues better if you were actually in one"

I have to agree. I am always surprised at all the posters on here that post about blended family issues, only to find out they don't even HAVE one.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 2:34PM
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FD, give it up, some people have to control every little thing -- and then wonder whey people dont get along with them.

And FD has seen blended families from just about every angle -- former BF and his kids, her family, her parents -- unlike some people who onnly see one side. I hear people who have no relationship with their children's father, or minimal, and they think they understand all sides. They may, but they dont live them.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 2:44PM
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"I hear people who have no relationship with their children's father, or minimal, and they think they understand all sides."

Oh, yeah, that would be me KK. I NEVER said I *understand* it completely, but I HAVE stated before that as a MOTHER, I can IMAGINE how difficult it must be at times to have another woman in your child's life. As a SM, I certainly try not to step on BM's toes in regards to parenting. I don't attend school conferences, I don't correspond with teahcers, I don't volunteer for activities or school functions---IMO, those are a parent's rights first and foremost. It's one thing if a BP doesn't have a problem with a SP being that involved---but I would never take the initiative to get that involved without knowing if the BP would be comfortable with it.

But what do I know???? :)

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 2:51PM
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Love, you were the one who started with the critism re posters who arent in stepfamilies. FD has seen every side I can imagine.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 2:53PM
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And, actually, KK, why do YOU post here? I'm just asking out of curiousity because I really can't see ANY reason in your situation for you to be posting on a STEPFAMILY board. Your ex's GF has almost NO involvement with your DD, if I remember correctly. So you can't really say that YOU understand what it's like to have a stepmother participate in raising your child.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 2:54PM
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"FD has seen every side I can imagine."

FD has never been a step parent. She has a BF with adult daughters she hates or can't stand. As far as we all know, she is not a step child. Her ex traveled or lives far away and didn't have EOW with their DD so she was basically a single parent. HOW THE HELL DOES SHE SEE EVERY SIDE YOU CAN IMAGINE??? From where? From on top of her pedestal?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 3:19PM
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Imamommy, I don't know if you know this quote "Jupiter you are angry therefore you are wrong". Why screaming?

My DD has a father whom she saw and sees on a regular basis (by the way she is with him now for February break), your 3 children all have different bio-fathers and none of them is in their lives. But I do not think you have no perspective or shouldn't discuss topics about fathers or don't know the sides. You are still free to discuss issues about fathers. You do nto have exspouse but you can discuss issues wiht divorce or exspouses. I do not really care what you know because your life is very different from mine, but so what? You are free to post, I am free to read what you post and free to respond. Why getting angry? What do you accomplish by getting angry at people you don't even know? If you only happy when people agree wiht you, it is fine wiht me. Why getting all upset?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 9:06AM
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This board gives me a lot of perspective. I read where SMs say I am the queen bee.

It is a public facility, open to all.

And FD was or is (cant remember) in a relationship with a SO with children.

Many SMs here have minimal relationship with the father of the children, and dont have to deal with SM issues of their own -- but oh yes listen to their advice only. Go for it.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 9:40AM
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I just don't understand WHY you like to post here. In my wildest dreams, I can't imagine myself posting on a divorced wives forum. Why? Because I have no reason to be there. It simply wouldn't pertain to me and I would not feel I had any relevant things to say. I personally don't care (I don't mean that in a mean way, just that I have no experience with it) how a bunch of divorced wives are feeling and what issues they are dealing with; so why would you care what a bunch of step-parents are saying and feel like you need to weigh in on issues they are dealing with?

Are you a SM? NO
Are you a stepchild? As far as we know, NO
Do you have stepchildren? NO
Do you deal with a SM in your daughter's life? NO

I just don't understand why you would WANT to post here. I never said it wasn't a public or open forum...I just don't get the reasoning.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 9:47AM
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KK, I took time off from my relationship, I was concerned wiht his alchohol consumption. I do not drink at all so for me even couple of beers at night sounds too much. We have been working on our relationship and are currently together. I do not neccessarilly know if it is going to be for life or maybe not, who knows, maybe I will change my mind. I am in no rush. As about my relationship with his children, it is very good now, we currently plan to attend upcoming older DD's weddding (and the reason I ask nothing about them here because there are no problems wiht them currently, i used to ask here when there ewere problems).

But i do not even understand how is my normal relationship challenges (don't we all have them?) justifies what other people subject their minor children to? I never said my relationship is prefect. But both i and SO have grown children and none of them lives at home anymore. All 3 children are well adjusted and are either educated and have professional jobs or are finishing 4-year degreees. Are they perfect? No. But they are certainly aren't troubled or poorly adjusted.

yes i do not have experiences wiht courts and judges and suing Xs for anything. I went to courts twice in my life. Once when i got divorced, had to appear in court once. And the second time I had to testify in a murder case that i unfortunatelly witnessed on the street and called police for. That is it. i never sued my X for sending his mom to pick our child or him cutting her hair or any other minor stuff. If that's makes me unqualified to post here, then be it.

Love, people can post in any forums they see fit. They do not need to justify anything. KK is divorced and her daughter is in a stepfamily. That's good enough reason. Oh yes KK has to deal with SM because her daughter deals wiht her! You might think that it is not important reason because you do not have to deal wiht SM in your child's life. But it is a big issue for some people, sometimes good issue sometimes bad. But issue nonetheless. If you do not experience that, it does not mean others don't either.

There are plenty of unmarried women here who post their opinion on stepfamilies because they are dating men with children. Even when i was not with my SO I had some concerns wiht the stepfamily that my DD is part of.

KK's sister is a stepmom so maybe KK is looking for different perspective here? Really who cares?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 11:23AM
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FD said:
"your 3 children all have different bio-fathers and none of them is in their lives."

A lot you know, again you have facts wrong. My oldest son visited his father and so, yes he is in his life. They still talk and see each other. I may not have 'co-parented' because of our situation, but we did share custody of my son for several years. My son also has a step mother and a half brother with his step mother. My middle son also sees & talks to his father now. My daughter used to talk to her father until she decided he lied to her too much and she cut off contact with him.

In addition to raising my three kids, I also raised my exBF's three kids for 7 years. I was a step child (of a marriage & family therapist). I am a step mom. and I am married now but have also studied marriage & family as well as family law. (also took courses in sociology & psychology... nope, I don't have a degree, just an interest in learning about things.) I love my chosen career and may never change but I do still have an interest in marriage, family and the law so maybe someday I will combine it and be a family law attorney specializing in step situations. Maybe. But, when I have an opinion, I at least have a basis for forming an opinion. I also try to make sure I have the facts correct and if I am not sure, I ask for some clarification. However, when you give your opinions, which you are entitled to do, why don't you 'disclaim' that you are not speaking from experience but you still have an opinion? Better yet, why don't you do what you said and not read my posts? (I'm not saying you can't, just reminding you that you said you don't read my posts!)

I am not angry FD, don't worry about me. There was only one little sentence that I raised my voice because what kkny said was so utterly ridiculous that I had to say it louder, ARE YOU KIDDING ME????

and KKNY:

I AM THE QUEEN BEE! I have told that to my bio kids all their lives. They know I'm the boss in my house, they are not the boss... they are the kids that do what the boss says. I have also told them that when they grow up and get their own house, they will be the boss! So what? Do my kids hate me? No. Do my kids resent me for being 'queen bee'? Who knows? If they do, that's THEIR problem but I AM the boss in my house and if I were to tell SD the same thing, tough crap. It's my house. When it's their house, they can make the rules and I will abide by them in their house. It has NOTHING to do with being a step.. nothing at all. Except a stepchild is more likely to get bent out of shape being told anything from someone they probably don't want in their parent's life anyways. I sure the hell would not walk on eggshells in MY house and worry about what words I use with a grown up 23 year old mother of a child herself... whether she was my stepchild or niece or just a family friend. She should be out in her own place with her child.. that would be the first thing I'd tell her.. of course my husband would agree.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 11:28AM
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I am entilted to post, it is a public forum. I can only surmise that others that attempt to harras me off the board deal with others like that IRL, and by attmepting to control every situation, even when it is not their business, create more problems.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 11:31AM
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"Oh yes KK has to deal with SM because her daughter deals wiht her! You might think that it is not important reason because you do not have to deal wiht SM in your child's life. But it is a big issue for some people, sometimes good issue sometimes bad. But issue nonetheless. If you do not experience that, it does not mean others don't either."

I do KNOW that this is a big issue for a lot of BMs and I understand that!

But according to everything KKNY has told us, this is not true in her situation, finedreams. KKNY's daughter does NOT really have a stepmother. Yes, her dad has a girlfriend who (I think) he lives with, but KKNY has said that DD does NOT visit her father at his house NOR does she spend ANY time with dad's GF. I remember KKNY stating that DD has dinner with her father occasionally but does NOT spend time at his home. So, no, it is NOT accurate to say that KKNY "knows what it's like" to have a SM in her child's life.

KKNY,I am not saying you don't have a right to post here. Like I previously stated, though, I just don't understand the intent--why would you WANT to post on a forum with a bunch of people whom you can't really relate to? Wouldn't a board suited to wive's whose husbands cheated be a better fit for you? I don't say that in a mean way. I think what your husband did is awful and I'm sorry it happened to you. I just still do not understand what you "get" out of this forum. How is it relevant to YOUR situation and how does it help you?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 12:48PM
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