Ex says I'm negligent

myfampgMay 27, 2011

I actually was naive enough to believe that this fight was over. Court is over, we have a final order in place. We are going on with our lives...

I get an email that says DD told BD (BD wasnt home so basically DD told SM) two things that I have done and apparently BD does not agree with me so now I am negligent and he is calling child protective services on me (well not BD but SM even though the email cam from BD's account)

It's this long email about how dd could be killed by riding in the front seat of my car (BD forgets that dd rides in the front seat of his pick up truck).

What is so frustrating is I don't always let her ride in the front. Most days, she is in the back. My air bags turn off if the passenger weighs less than 100 lbs. Well lesson learned, dd won't sit in front seat ever again. Because he is right but there are ways of talking to someone about things that you don't agree with.

I don't need everyone posting how negligent I am because in my life I have let 10 yr old dd sit in front seat to the store or over to the school. I would never do it on a freeway -- It would make me uncomfortable. But the point of my post is that BD says he is contacting cps on me.

I've cried all morning. Not because I'm scared or anything. My attorney says 'bring it'

But the fact that I will never ever ever do enough in their eyes as dd's mom. They will never see me as 'fit'. They called me negligent. Omg I've never been called that in my life.

I'm sure another case will be opened and they will again file for custody. I wonder when I am going to just be able to live my life instead of worrying how they perceive things. Ya know? Worrying how will BD react to this and 'can I do this without consequences from BD?'

I will never be free from their criticism. When will they ever notice that Dd is an A honor roll student. She has been nominated for many awards for behavior and courage. Dd didn't just 'get lucky' she is in a nurturing, loving environment and has a great support system ....... That is apparently negligent.

When will they notice how well mannered she is or how respectful she is to adults and friends? Those things she wasn't born with.

She was taught those things. I don't want credit, I just want the finger to stop being pointed at BAD things.

I don't drink. I don't do drugs. I have never been arrested. I haven't had a speeding ticket in about 8 years. I think I'm a good person. I believe I am a good person. I'm a loving mother. I do make mistakes, I'm by no means perfect. Hell I forgot to send $5 on Wednesday to DD's school for her party so I had to turn around and take it up there yesterday.. I will never claim to have all my crap together -- I have three calendars so I don't forget important dates.... But one thing is certain, I love my children and I would lay my life down for them .... When will

I just get to be DD's mom instead of having to watch my back from BD.

He is out to get me and I have no doubt one day he will figure out a way to take me down.

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Oh hon. (((HUGS)))

"I think I'm a good person. I believe I am a good person. I'm a loving mother"

I am so sorry this h*ll continues to go on for you. Your ex and SM are so completely out of control. I don't even know what to say other than deep breaths and hold your head up high.

I would venture to guess he's all talk and he won't call CPS. And if he does----who cares.

My SS's BM called CPS on me about a month after she ASSAULTED ME and I got a RESTRAINING ORDER on her. She claimed that SS had a "bruise" on his wrist. But funny, when asked about it by the CPS worker, BM said it had been there days before.

It's like "Okay, if your child REALLY has a bruise and you REALLY think Love did it, why would you WAIT until the bruise is GONE to report it?"

Even SS himself was upset and kept saying he had not had a bruise, did'nt know what his mom was talking about, etc.

BUT by law, any time a report is made, DSS is required to investigate. I, at the time, was devastated.

A social worker had to come out to our home and talk privately with BOTH kids and then me and my husband. It all worked out fine, obviously, this was almost 2 years ago. We were given a safe home report and that was the end of it.

But, still, it is just SO upsetting to be accused like that. I can completely empathize, although I think yours is even more upsetting because this is your own DD, your flesh and blood!

I'm sorry. I hope nothing comes of this and ex-DH and SM crawl back under their rock and leave you alone!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 11:40AM
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myfampg...I think your DD's SM was cut from the same mold as mine. She's always looking for a fight and doing everything she can to cause trouble. All I can say is hang in there. I think you are unfortunately in for a long, hard road with this crazy woman. I can tell you are a fantastic mother and all you can do is your best. Do not let her get to you. The more she bothers you, the happier she'll be. Let it roll off your back and in 15 or 20 years, your DD will more likely than not be in the same boat that I'm in right now, cutting Dad out of her life because he can't stand up for her and for what is right. Love on that precious girl as much as possible. She's gonna need her Mama's love to get through the emotional abuse that this woman is going to be doling out over these next several years.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 12:49PM
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Sorry you're going through this. It does sound like you will never be "good enough" in BD's eyes.

Try not to let it get to you. Even if CPS investigates you, I doubt they'll do anything. All these stories you hear in the news how CPS drops the ball on cases, I doubt they'd do anything with your case.

If it makes you feel any better, I let my daughter ride in the front seat when she was six a couple of times, because the back seats were full with smaller kids. You're not the first person to have done it and won't be the last.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 12:52PM
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It's not that "you're not a good mother" --
It's that they're looking for ammunition, and this is the best/only thing they could come up with.

And when / if CPS comes to visit, appologize for taking their time, explain there is a custody battle and that this (apparently) is the best they could come up with... But that said, you realize he does have a point and will no longer allow DD to ride in the front seat.

And remember the core point -- They are desparate for 'ammunition'. That's all.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 1:25PM
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oh holy crap! She is just trying to cause trouble. I mean the girl is ten. Both my eight and nine year old ride in the front seat on a regular basis. She is just trying to rub you wrong DONT LET HER! She has you questioning yourself over something sooo silly! I hope CPS laughs at them for bothering them with such utter nonsense when they have children in real danger that they need to spend their time on.

What was the other thing? (if you dont mind) you said there were two things.

At this point I would be tempted to respond with an incredibly snarky return email but that probably wouldnt help anything.

Don't let her get to you... if she was truly happy in her own life she wouldnt give a flying flip what you are doing... so take comfort in the fact that apparently she is an incredibly unhappy person if she spends all of her time thinking of ways to cause problem... hug your babies and thank whomever that you are happy and content in your own life. If anything feel sorry for her that she is so petty and ridiculous.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 1:30PM
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Oh for heavens' sake. The reason that the airbags automatically turn off is because it's more dangerous for kids to be in the front seat with airbags than without them. It's true that it would be "safer" for DD to ride in the back seat. It would be even safer than that for her to not ride in a car/school bus/airplane/boat/hot air balloon/army tank at any time. Perhaps you could just buy a big plastic bubble to keep her in? Oh - but then you'd be "negligent" for not allowing her to get fresh air, exercise and sunshine.

Your ex and his wife have mental and/or emotional issues. The fact that they call you negligent does not make it so. And, BTW, I doubt that they really believe for a second that you are negligent. It's just their latest stupidity.

KEEP THE EMAIL! If, as you say, BD was not home, SM will have a grand time explaining to CPS or a judge why, well, she lied. Anything that starts off with "Well, yes, I did lie about that part...." doesn't tend to go well.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 1:37PM
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--"But the fact that I will never ever ever do enough in their eyes as dd's mom. They will never see me as 'fit'. They called me negligent."--

Chin up, sweetie. You knew this was coming. SM is going to go on a rip because of the hearing with all the wins DD/you achieved. Dry those eyes and as your laywer said 'bring it on'. The system will check you out, see you are fine and a good parent. Creep lets DD ride in front seat of truck in place of driving her in a vehicle with a rear seat...maybe somebody should suggest to him that his vehicle choice should be more 'family friendly'.

--"He is out to get me and I have no doubt one day he will figure out a way to take me down. "--

Stop that. You need to be pulled together and hold confidence in yourself. You are good, a great mother and a stable family...repeat it and repeat it and believe it. You will be fine. This is merely a vindictive attempt to rattle you from the hearing and to shake you up. Again, dry your eyes, hold your head up and greet these people when they call/come with the grown up loving capable great mommy that you are.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 1:38PM
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what sweeby said.

I can't imagine that CPS or a judge would condemn or punish you for having done something that you changed as soon as you were told it wasn't the best idea, but I *can* imagine CPS & a judge being very exasperated having been dragged into a "family squabble" in which one side uses the authorities to harrass the other side.

You might make a journal of the "issues" that this couple keeps bringing up;
it really amounts to harrassment & threats, & eventually it'll come to a head & somebody somewhere (judge?) will tell them to stop it.

Take care of yourself & don't ever ever ever let anybody see you cry.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 2:00PM
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They are just trying to cause drama. My sister's ex took her to court for 11 years and wasted about 500k between the two of them.

It took a second marriage and divorce to make him reevaluate his perspective on life and realize that he needed to stop the fighting. (his second wife actually told him to knock it off.. and he did.. but it was too late by then and the damage to their marriage was done)

Keeping a journal is a really good idea though. If they keep doing petty things to stir up trouble it will only make THEM look bad, not you.

Anyways, 10 doesn't seem that young to be riding in the front seat. The main thing is whether or not the seatbelt fits correctly. I have neices who are 10 and they are tall enough to fit in the seatbelt and nobody even thought about whether or not that was not ok.

It would make sense if it was a 5yo who is going to get tossed around if you got into an accident.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 2:58PM
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MyFam - You're reacting emotionally to their statements as if they were saying them because they thought they were true. You're reacting like your Ex really believes you're a bad mother -- which is utter and total nonsense! He doesn't. He's just looking for things he can use and this is the best he could find...

I'm reminded of that wonderful TV show about the Cosby family -- the episode where Rudy comes home from kindergarten in tears because the kids made fun of her name. And wise Dad Bill goes on about *wonderful* it is that the kids are making fun of her name! He says kids look all the other kids up and down to find their weaknesses, and that her name was the only thing they could come up with -- so she was a pretty fabulous kid.

Always remember -- this was the worst 'mothering' he could find.

How do I know? My Ex did this to me. (And if I'm being completely honest, I did it to him too. Though I like to think I had better stuff!)

The really important part is NOT to change what you're doing to try to appease him and SM. It CAN NOT be done because they're not acting honestly.

Look at your DD's success. Clearly, what you're doing is working brilliantly. Just continue to do it --

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 4:10PM
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The second thing I did was leave DD home alone for 1 hour. I was hesitant to post that until I had my bearings to defend myself.
Dd will not be going to daycare next year after school. They do not offer daycare in intermediate school. So she will have to come home (by bus or walk or friends parent) and she will be home for 1 1:2 hours alone. My Dh and I discussed that we don't want to throw dd in to staying home alone and we do not want her alone during the summer but we feel that she is mature enough, responsible enough and trustworthy to stay home for 1 1:2 hours. I left my phone with her and gave her a written list of rules which consisted of no answering the door. No going outside. No calling friends on phone. Do homework or activity, watch tv, read, no Internet etc. We also said no microwave, no stove, no oven, no knives lol I was very VERY specific. I made her snacks so all she had to do was get them out of fridge and her drink was prepared etc. I picked her up, I dropped her off and my Dh was home within 1 hour.
My neighbor was Also home and checked on her once.
I talked to dd maybe 4 times and my mom checked on her by phone and my Dh called to tell her he was on his way home. Dd did awesome. She was so proud!! I was proud of her too. She wasn't scared or anything.

But BD does not feel that it's appropriate and is calling Cps. I talked to dd this afternoon (I had to hire a babysitter today so she isn't home alone) and she told me that they told her 'mom does not make good choices for you and we want you to live with us where you are safe'. I'm not even mad. I am so numb right now. $35k got me this. I could be driving a Lexus for $35k. And this is what I got instead.

They also told dd that she causes drama between our families.

She is really hurting right now. She is scared. She says she doesn't want to live with them. She said she loves dad. But she loves me too the same.

I stand by my decision to leave dd home for 1 hour. I understand some will have a problem with it. But in 2 1/2 months dd will have no choice but to be home alone unless I 1. Quit my job 2. Hire a nanny that can pick her up after school.
That is probably possible and I have been looking in to that but reality is, we are in a very safe neighborhood. We have a 0% crime rate. I know my neighbors. We have no sex offenders within miles of us. Granted I know they travel but I can't worry about the might happens, I have to teach dd to be responsible.

I second guessed my decision this morning because I really was feeling like a piece of crap. I even told DH maybe she is better with them. SM is home and I HAVE to work. We just cannot go without two incomes and I enjoy my job.
But I feel better now. Thank you all for your support. I needed a slap to get myself picked back up. I don't know why I let their words effect me but I believe it's because I just try so hard and it's never enough. I'm trashy to them. I'm not up to their standards and I wonder, what are their standards? I'm confused?! Is anything good enough for them? And I hate how I even care. It's my biggest weakness.

Another thing they did was share with dd that they pay child support and that the money needs to go to her not to me. I'm not going there. I can't even begin to argue on that. I have never told dd about child support but I reminded her today, 'have you ever had to go without?' and she said no. She was so upset though. I can't believe they would put her in that position. Poor kiddo.

Oh and by the way... Dd's report card came home: straight A's.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 4:50PM
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I am sure we could all come up with stuff on our/their Ex's ... just to start trouble ... it's how you react ... if thats the "worst" that they can come up with ... ha

reasons BM called CPS on hubby
Broken shoes (broke them on sunday they went to court on tues BM brought the shoes)
no cable (Hubby lost his job)
no phone (see above)
no desserts (refused to eat dinner no dessert)
Hubby put SS in his room ... (BM took SS to the police station to file an abuse report for that one)
I made children walk 3 houses to the bus stop

Hubby and EX went to court every 6 months for almost 4 years 45 days before the court date ... CPS would be at the house because of an "anonymous call" ranging from abuse to neglect anything the anonymous caller could come up with. Closed the cases immediately ... until the very last time we requested they keep it open and investigate completely ... while it was open ... there were several reports made against BM that were valid ... sadly neither hubby or myself made those complaints ... the fool that BM is she told them to talk to her neighbors!!! ha

2 years ago ... BM was told by a judge unless the children are mortally wounded she is not to use CPS as a way to prove she is the "better parent" Next time she will be charged with obstruction of justice and filing false reports ... 2 years not one report to CPS ... gee wonder who made all those anonymous calls.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 5:00PM
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I just wanted to say----check with the laws in your specific state regarding leaving a child home alone.

In our state, it's TWELVE.

Now, believe me, my mom started leaving me home alone for brief periods---while she went to the store or whatever---when I was about 10-11ish. But this was twenty+ years ago, as well. Different times.

Just be careful. I'm not knocking that your DD is mature enough to be home alone---it's kinda like driving a car. Certainly there ARE thirteen year olds who are plenty mature enough and could handle the responsibilities of driving but the age is still sixteen. Just because there has to be a defining line.

Don't give BD any ammo, kwim? Check to see what your state's laws are.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 5:14PM
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oh goodness, you are fine and did the right thing. They are the ones doing the wrong thing. They are way out of line, especially telling DD that she should be getting the child support. How ridiculous. Don't worry about it. Just keep doing the right thing and you have nothing to worry about. She is plenty old enough to say "Have you ever felt unsafe? Are you happy and comfortable?" "Don't worry about what SM and BD says. They may want you to live there but that is not their decision."

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 5:22PM
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This is ridiculous, they are just threatening you to intimidate you, don't let them do so. CPS over every issue?

My ex used to let DD ride on the front seat, I wasn't too happy about it, and did ask him to stop explaining what could happen. He did stop. CPS? I personally would not allow 10-year-old in the front seat, but I don't think people need to be called CPS for that.

As about leaving kids at home, in my area it is against the law if a kid is younger than 12, I literally waited for DD's 12th birthday.

Now let me tell you this story...When DD was 8-9, my grandma was babysitting her and they went to the pharmacy for meds, my grandma thought for a minute to run without DD (it was across the street). She opted against it, so they went together, they stopped to get something else, they were gone 30 minutes, my house was broken into, everything was taken out. Apparently someone was watching. If DD was home alone, who knows what would happened... 1 hour might be not much, but it is enough for a burglar. I would find a babysitter for an hour.

But what ex does is nuts, why calling CPS? why not discussing nicely? Jerk..

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 5:22PM
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Stop beating yourself up. You did not go off and leave DD all to herself...a neighbor right there checking on her and a million phones calls. She likely did not even know she was 'home alone'. She had emergency contact within scream (the neighbor), you feel is is ready for this and DH was home within the hour.

Normally I would not agree that children should be left alone...but this one might as well be said was not really alone. There are a lot of latch key kids out where I live. We are a 'bedroom community' where most parents work in town and not our little village. Village is full of older ladies or SAHM that do exactly what your neighbor did...just be right next store in case. Perhaps you could even offer to pay the lady something a week to be sure she will be around and that she lets you know ahead of time if she needs to go somewhere and another neighbor might stand in. You've gone over the rules, feel DD is mature enough for this and there is an adult within feet away. Is there perhaps a neighbor girl in her teens 14-18 that might want a earn like $30-$40 dollars a week to come and stay if DD would rather not be in house byself? Something to think about.

Do not panic. Prepare yourself to justify and support your decision when questioned. You know this little girl better than anyone else and you know what she can and can not handle. You made the decision that she could indeed deal with an hour and you had her well covered in case there were mishaps.

I had a 14 year old (my oldest daughter) that I would not have left alone even at that age, my youngest DD now 11 1/2 I would think about it for brief periods after being sure DD was ok with it and that I had someone within a house or two to check on her or that she could call and/or go over to if needed.

Here is a link that might be useful: kids home alone

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 5:30PM
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check the laws... many people think that the law says 12 in a lot of states (not to discount those that said that that is the law in their area) when there is actually no law. For example you could ask 20 parents in our area what the legal age is for kids to stay home alone and they would say 12 but there is no actual law. Infact, red cross provides babysitting classes to 11 year olds with cpr and first aid training.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 5:33PM
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I checked the law before leaving her Alone. I'd like to think I'm responsible enough to do my research. I looked on child protective service website and it states:
There is no law in (state) that defines a specific age at Which a child may be left home alone, there are several factors that should be taken into consideration when deciding how closy to supervise a child including:
The age and emotional maturity and capability of the child
Layout and safety of the home
Neighborhood circumstances. Hazards and risks
The child's ability to respond to illness, fire, weather or other emergencies
Weather the child has a mental, physical or medical disability

The number of children left unsupervised, the accessibility to other responsible adults, the length of time or frequency with Which the child is left alone, and the child's knowledge of the parents whereabouts are additional factors .

I believe i took said law into account, weighed all answers to the considerations and I still stand by my decision to leave dd for 1 hour.

I understand that we live in different worlds than we used to live in. Otherwise most homes would not come equipped with burglar alarms and panic buttons which we do have and DD is fully capable of operating the alarm system. She has been arming and disarming it for the last year as 'her Job when we come home every day'. I use the alarm system as a safety system and for a since of security for myself. I was raised by a very paranoid mother and I still live fairly paranoid at all times.

Next year dd will be staying home alone. There is no after school care and there are no daycares that pick up from dd's intermediate school. I thought about rearranging my schedule to be home for her but that would involve me having to work on Saturday's to make up my time. We will see what I came up with.

I respect BD's concerns. And I won't throw back at him that when I have had concerns he tells me to mind my own business. But I will respect him and for now I will not leave dd alone and I will not allow her in the front seat.
Like someone said, why give him more ammunition and so I won't. If he would have emailed and said 'hey I am concerned, these are my reasons, can we work something out?' instead he had half of the information wrong, from a ten year old, he didn't bother asking the facts, he just immediately started yelling and using caps letters and underlining, using exclamation points, like this !!!!!!! After every sentence and ya he got what he wanted, I'll stop what I'm doing but he could have gotten more if he just would have talked with me.

He also talked to her about inappropriate things that have nothing to do with the decisions I have made.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 6:29PM
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Ex is a jerk, it needs to be documented, his nasty emails and saying inappropriate things. No doubts there.

As about other stuff, we are just saying our opinions, we are all different. My DD was always very independent and responsible yet I think staying home alone and riding in the front seat at 10 is generally not a good idea. Do I think it is CPS kind of negligent thing, no. Now, it is your kid, your life, you can decide what is appropriate for you. We are just making suggestions.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 7:45PM
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Of course. I wasn't offended by any posts. I was offended by BD. I wouldn't have posted if I was going to be offended. I know a lot of people were not going to agree with me on it, I just say I stand by my decision.

Also, I just wanted to post what my CPs website said because I thought it was good information.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 8:06PM
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"I understand that we live in different worlds than we used to live in."

I made a reference to that but I didn't mean it the way it sounded. I said my own mom used to leave me home for brief periods at 10-11 years old. And I said it was a different time.

Personally, I don't think things were THAT much safer, I just think people are hyper vigilant today.

My point in saying "different times" was not that it was SAFER THEN but that people freak out about things today that they would not have then.

It sounds like your DD is very mature and I think, especially given the fact that the neighbor checked on her, AND there is no law in your state----you're FINE! It is obviously left up to the parent's discretion.

BD doesn't really have a leg to stand on.

I will share a funny (kinda) story, though.

About fifteen years ago, my best friend's mom had to run to the pharmacy (5 mins down the street) and her 7 yr old son was engrossed in a movie. He did not want to leave. They lived on a little lane with about 5 houses on it---all brand new with state of the art alarm systems.

She decided he was so engrossed in his movie, she'd zip out, come straight back and be home in 15 mins tops.

Okay, not something I would do BUT I can *kinda* see how it could happen. (and this was a VERY responsible woman, maybe she had a slight brain fart but she was a GREAT mom. Three kids, my best friend went to Yale, the brother that this happened to just graduated from NYU, just a nice, normal family.)

As my friend's mom left, she set the alarm, but forgot that the MOTION DETECTOR was armed.

Little brother gets up or moves off couch, whatever and the alarm goes off. Except no one else is home to disengage it, and when the alarm company called, he didn't answer the phone.

My friend's mom arrives home to find police cars, ambulance and fire truck.

And SHE got cited and had to appear in court. The judge ordered her to take PARENTING CLASSES.

Crazy, huh?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 8:07PM
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Don't change what you're doing! Really... They're playing games with your head and your parenting decisions, and if you give in to their tactics, you're allowing them to control your behavior.

I absolutely trust your judgement when it comes to whether or not your daughter is mature enough to stay home alone for brief periods in your neighborhood. As you say -- it depends on ALL the factors and you've considered them. Trust your judgement. When I was 10, I WAS the babysitter! And for all those who say life is so much more dangerous now -- Your DD can reach you at ANY time for any reason since you have a cell phone. That was not true when we were kids... If Mom went to the grocery store, she was not reachable.

There's one more line you ned to learn. *Practice* it until you can say it (no matter how angry you are) with just the right credulous 'what kind of idiot are you?' expression on your face and in your voice:

"And you believed that?"

You pull that out whenever Dad or SM gets all nasty about something DD allegedly said or something you allegedly did. Variations like "Do you really think that's the whole story?" or "Can you think why DD might be telling you this?" are also useful.

This thing is, once a kid (any kid) knows they can get a reaction out of one parent by ratting out the other, then said kid will tell all sorts of tales. They'll exaggerate, spin, flat-out lie just because it gets them so much attention. "She did what?!" Perfectly normal kid behavior... But NOT behavior you want to feed.

And you and BioDad both need to put a stop to it. If you can, make a rule that you first check out any outrageous story with the other parent to 'get the whole truth' before 'rewarding' DD by reacting dramatically -- it'll improve things a whole, whole lot.

Weren't you seeing a counselor with BioDad? This is definitely a suggestion to make at the counselor's office, and if I'm not mistaken, the counselor will endorse it whole-heartedly.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 8:12PM
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I doubt Dad wrote the email. How many men "SCREAM" and do the !!!!!!...sounds more just a busybody that has her nose outta joint and is bent on causing trouble. This is the lady who called the school and tossed a hissy fit to be put on the contact list from the courthouse during the hearing no less.

I think if Sm seriously thought there were neglect she would have called CPS and sent them out on you without notice. Better odds of being caught doing a no-no (which you did not do) or with a sink full of dishes and stove with dirty pots on burner (only there as you hurry to get kids feed and homework done and showers cared to inwhich dishes and laundry will be tended to before you fall exhausted into bed).

I'm sure getting the kids showered is not on the 'must do' before dishes list of SM. This is the lady who penalizes children from water in fear they'll use a drop too much after all.

Myfam, please work on building your self confindence. You just doubt yourself so much and I don't see a need for it. After all the postings since your arrival here I can't say I have ever read one that made me think 'what the *ell is wrong with that lady'?

You're raising and taking care of your family the best that you can...I've not seen anything that indicates otherwise. You work, pay your bills (plus lots of lawyer fees to fight the intrusive game playing SM), provide a decent home and decent clothing and food and blah blah blah. You're doing it Myfam, you're making it happen. You must be doing something right as you've got a family that loves you...not only loves you but counts on and depends on you. You're their special lady that makes it all happen and always has time to snuggle and cuddle and read stories and sing songs all while she's doing a out of the home job and putting dinner on the table. They love you, Myfam, you are their Super Mom/Wife. Believe in yourself.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 8:19PM
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I love you just me too. You sound like my best girlfriend. She chewed me this morning for doubting myself. I appreciate all the responses. Sometimes I feel like I'm in disbelief over the drama that plays out each day. It's something every week. I'm just going on with my life and then BAM!!

My attorneys first words today in an email were 'not written by a man' and that was it. I said what about the cps thing, I'm scares they'll start crap on me and he said 'bring it'

I trust him. He is always my first critic and he stands by me on this.
Thanks again your words
Mean a lot!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 10:06PM
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Sweeby -- thanks for the advice -- I'm going to say those things in the mirror over and over again so I can perfect it.

Love -- I actually think the world has changed so much since I was a kid but how would I know since I was a kid and 'dumb' to what was going on 'out there'. I think we are more 'hyper sensitive' such as sex offender registries and crime statistics at our finger tips, amber alerts, car seat requirements, etc. Speaking of sex offenders, The community we live in does not allow sex offenders or felons to apply for leases, granted someone would have to be honest for you to know if they were a felon ao of course anyone can allow a sex offender to live with them without letting the owners know.. Until they got caught.. So there are no registered sex offender that live here or in the surrounding neighborhoods. BD lives in an upscale neighborhood and has several sex offenders living on streets surrounding him. If I knew that there was a sex offender in my neighborhood, hands down, there would be no way I would leave dd home alone. Ever. I just wouldn't take a chance like that. But no one except my mom, Dh and my neighbor knew that dd was home alone. Like PO1 suggested someone could have broken in and dd would have been home alone. I do agree, but I can't quit my job on what if's. I have to work and this is something that we are having to prepare for slowly because the day is coming that I won't have a choice but to leave dd home for an hour and a half every day when she gets out of school. I don't know why daycares don't provide child care up to age 14 but they don't. I was walking home from school in the 4th grade and staying alone. In jr high (11-13) I rode the bus and stayed home. We didn't have cell phones. At least now dd has a cell phone.
Dd is first aide certified and I am going to get her CPR certified when she turns 11. I haven't found a class for under 11. I would never leave her to care for someone like DS or another child. She really is only mature enough and independent enough to care for herself for a short time.

Whoever posted the link for staying home alone, thank you. I liked reading that. I actually felt like I had done most of those things without having to be told by a website but a few things I had forgotten about that I'll go over with dd. I don't think she will be staying home alone for a while. I'm not going to give BD ammunition.

Whatever he did to dd has really taken a toll on dd today. She has been awful today. I didn't realize this but it seems that they placed 'doubt' in her mind regarding me and my intentions when it comes to her. She didn't want to be touched, hugged or hardly even talked to. We went to dinner and she treated DS horribly. Normally she is so helpful and loving and she was just flat out hateful and mean. She normally cuddles and she didn't want to be touched. When she went to bed, she was OUT. I just explained to Her when I put her to bed that I love her no matter what and that I know she is confused but that maybe tomorrow we can talk and she can ask me any questions she has and I'll answer them for her. She said she would like that.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 12:09AM
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CPS investigated me once. I was terrified that my house had to be perfect, my kids had to have perfect clothes, rooms, toys, etc. or they were going to take my kids away from me. I was young & naive. My stepmom was a CPS worker, which helped me understand the system better & later I worked for social services in the same office as CPS. They don't remove kids for sitting in the front seat of a car. And I know I may not be politically correct here, but I rode in the back of trucks, grew up hardly ever wearing a seat belt in the front and back seat of the car... I grew up before there were laws about where kids can sit in a car or what kind of oil can be used to make french fries. (can you tell I'm a little cynical about the role government has in our lives?) I think using common sense should be enough but people want to legislate toys out of happy meals, etc. and tell everyone how to live their lives & now you have parents afraid to let kids play outside or ride up front with them... it's too much!

They may never stop criticizing, but you will be free of their criticism when you no longer let it affect you. They want to control how you feel by instilling fear of CPS or going back to court... it's a way to terrorize you. It's a form of mental abuse that causes you to doubt yourself, feel insecure, etc. so they can feel more powerful & in control when the truth is, they have NO power, NO control because you are the custodial parent that is actually doing the work & job of raising the child, day in & day out. My son's SM complained about everything... she didn't even hide behind my son's dad or pretend to be him. If it wasn't his underwear were too small, the wrong kind, the wrong color... she even tried to argue that SHE knew what his favorite food was & I didn't. It was a mental game designed to make me feel inferior or insecure & for a while, it worked... until my brilliant SM told me what she was doing. (did I mention I was young & naive?)

The courts recognize pretty much the same public policy across most states when it comes to child custody....


The courts don't usually like to change custody when the child is stable & doing well. What I'm seeing even more is courts being annoyed by the parent that brings a modification proceeding when there isn't enough evidence to justify a modification.... it's seen as wasting the court's time. In CA, a modification requires a "significant change in circumstances". Using my situation, if BM got married, got a good job, bought a nice house, or any other improvements to HER life... it isn't "significant" to warrant a change because it has to be a significant change in SD's circumstances. If they wanted to drag you back to court, things like school attendance, grades, bad behavioral problems that they can attribute to something going on in your life, etc. are usually the things the court will consider as it affects the child. (hence, perhaps it's why BM may have encouraged SD to fail in school) Just do what you've been doing, love your kids, parent your kids & ignore the criticisms.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 12:39AM
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myfampg, I did not suggest that robbery might happen, it did happen, and DD was almost left home alone for 10 minutes, and yes she could be home alone when they broke in. She was actually sick but my grandma opted to drag her to pharmacy with her. My DD was very very upset when they got home and saw what happened, I would not want to know what would happen if she was home.

myfampg what do single parents do? I work every day of my life, i never did not work, I was a single parent my whole life and lived alone with DD since she was 4. I never NOT work, I never had anyone to support me, was single since I was 25. I am 45 now, until 44 never lived with any man/parents/roommates. You make it sound that it is a rule that working parents must live their children alone. Or you are somehow unique, in fact you said you first lived with your husband, then your parents, then new husband. Many single parents do not have that luxury. With 2 incomes, you can find someone to watch your child for an hour.

I think 10 is too early, but not due to maturity level of a child. If something happens to your child first of all you'll face consequences with the law, with your ex, and with your conscience.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 1:01PM
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FYI... if you are confused finedreams is PO1

personally, I do not think myfam made it sound at all like it is a rule that single parents must leave their children alone. But, it is a simple fact that single parents and married parents alike sometimes have to make hard choices like leaving their kids home alone. Daycare is ridiculously expensive... so much so that it can take away most of a persons income especially if they have more than one child. Our kids stay home alone twice a week for 1-2 hours and this summer will probably stay home much longer if I happen to get this job that we so desperately need.
Myfam does not need to fear consequences from the law because she already knows the law in her area just as I know the law in my own. If something happened while we werent there ofcourse we would feel guilty but I would feel just as guilty if something happened to my little girl while she was in a daycare I put her in... it's the curse of motherhood.

There were many parents that had to make these kind of choices in the school my kids used to go to since it was in an incredibly poor neighborhood. Children as young as first grade walking home to an empty house. It may not be preferred but they have to do what they have to do. Instead of judging I understood their burden and gave kids rides home so they at least did not have to walk through a rather bad neighborhood.

You are right myfam is not unique... she is making a hard choice and being reasonable and responsible about it like so many parents do all over the place.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 2:34PM
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i accidentally posted under old screen name that i don't use anymore, how the heck did that happen...

i think leaving her alone will aggravate her ex even more and will give him more to complain about...and it is besides the fact that 10 is too young. we all make choices, i made a choice not to buy a house and rent in a more expensive area so DD can attend the best school, I chose to go into debt so i can take DD to a doctor when I did not have insurance etc etc we all make sacrifices. I still believe that it is doable to find someone to watch your kid for an hour a day, especially if you have two incomes even if those are minimum wages. Ex is a jerk the way he went about it, but I see his point.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 4:53PM
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"Whatever he did to dd has really taken a toll on dd today. She has been awful today. I didn't realize this but it seems that they placed 'doubt' in her mind regarding me and my intentions when it comes to her. "

Exactly what I was trying to say would happen if you let your fear of SM/BD change your parenting. You know what's right; so does she. Remind her that she knows how to behave and that she knows you. Tell her that SM is angry about the court stuff and let her know that sometimes angry people say things that aren't true or let their anger change how they view things. Ask her to apply some critical thinking before swallowing everything SM (or anyone else) tells her.

"They may never stop criticizing, but you will be free of their criticism when you no longer let it affect you."

Amen, sister! An excellent way to say it.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 6:02PM
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Blah PO1 -- today's not the day. I think I've made my fair share of sacrifices and they haven't stopped nor will they ever. I never said a word about it being about finances.
I did it as a test to ease dd in to being at home.
We are sacrificing buying a house, it's called attorney's fees. Although I got a judgement I still have to pay regardless of whether or not BD pays his judgement.

I've decided not to leave dd at home alone for a while because I don't want to aggrevate BD because although he did do it the wrong way, I do respect his concerns.
Next year child care at a daycare center will not be an option. Next year meaning this coming fall. I'm looking in to hiring a nanny to pick up dd and watch her for 1 hour. On BD's days, he will have to make sure he either has child care or is there to pick her up when school let's out because I won't have him coming to my home while I'm not here. he is to pick her up from school any way. Child care for the summer is not an issue and never was.

PO1 you throw out how independent you were when you were single and I applaud you for that. I've never used the 'I'm a single mom so give me hand outs'. When I lived with my parents, It wasn't for child care, both of my parents worked full time jobs and never picked up dd or took care of her for me. They never paid my child care expenses. Yes they put a roof over our heads but they let me be otherwise independent. I already went this round with you on another thread. I was bringing home $700 every two weeks and paying over $400 every two weeks in child care ... Sacrifice that I made was making sure dd was in a good daycare that cost me most of my pay therefore I lived with my parents so please come down off of your high horse.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 10:34PM
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And to add another point, yes we have two incomes now and we have another child, child care NOW is almost $1500 a month with both kids.. We are paying ALOT for DS to go to a good preschool because child care in our area sucks. Literally the saying is, you get what you pay for. This was NOT about finances. We will pay daycare until the kids can't go anymore. This is an area where we do not compromise. Daycare gets paid before anything else each month. The fact is, daycare centers do not provide transportation to and from intermediate/jr high school which dd will be attending in the fall. I don't really think 5th grade is old enough to be switching classes and having 'jr high' like atmosphere but that is how it is here and there isn't any way for me to change the way the school systems run. Apparently the schools and state feel that 10/11 is old enough to ride a bus to and from school and they would have to expect that SOME or most of parents are working. I've talked to other parents this weekend that are in the same situation and none of us feel 'mentally' ready to leave our kids at home but it's kind of the situation we are put in by the state.
I am thinking this must be way our state does not have a law or age requirement for staying home, because their own school system is sending kids into jr high atmosphere at 10.
I called around two different areas yesterday about childcare, all daycares cut off at 11 and none pick up at the intermediate schools.

So I'm finding I'm not the only one.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 11:54PM
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myfampg, no high horse, it is just that your posts sound like working mothers have to either quit their jobs or kids have to stay home alone. I don't think it is either or. If you feel you must leave DD at home alone, then by all means do it. But if ex keeps making waves, then what are you going to say? That you must work, and can't quit your job? Oh now I see you plan on asking someone watching DD for an hour, that's a solution. That was my point...

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 12:24PM
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yes, that is exactly what you say and then you defend yourself in court with the laws that are at hand if necessary.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 6:31PM
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I think your ex is an ass and sm is a b*otch. My son started sitting in the front seat at 10 but that's because he weighs 120 lbs. My ss is 10 and only weighs 80 so he doesn't. BUT.... with as few times as you did it I don't think it should have been an issue. CPS should NOT be called because of either of these issues. I personally think they'll laugh about it. I've called and reported my son's sperm donor for much worse then this and nothing came of it. Your state laws say exactly what mine say when it comes to leaving a child at home. The police did respond to the call of my ss staying home alone at 9.... but it's because it was an all day situation. My kids come home and are there sometimes for 30 minutes or so alone. I think you are absolutely fine. I'd love to tell your ex and that sm where they can shove it!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 8:00PM
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I'd like to also but I'm taking the high road on this...

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 8:30PM
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Myfampg, my younger brother grew up living with my father. BD and SM both worked. Bro apparently really disliked the only neighbor who was available to watch him after school, so after a year of it he made his case to stay home alone, and father agreed. My brother was eight. To me, that sounds horribly young to stay home alone every day, but he did, and the worst that happened was that he developed a habit of having the television on for "company" that remains to this day.

I agree that ten or eleven seems young to be home alone - but five seems young to walk to the bus stop alone. Twelve seems young to babysit. Sixteen seems young to drive. And those are all things that we did! (Or at least I did.)

SS is nine and in third grade, and apparently there are plenty of kids in his class who are already latch-key kids. The district will not bus kids to after-school care, period, and the only after-school program who has vans to come to pick them up at that school (which is allowed) has a waiting list of up to a year. The school has after-school "tutoring" which a lot of kids are in just because they are supervised and they stay there until 5:00 or 5:30. It's insane. So it's a similar situation here - whether you want your kids to be in after school care or not, it doesn't really matter unless you can figure out some way to get them there.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 8:52AM
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Myfam, have you a Boys & Girls club in your area? They will pick your child up at school and I think it's something like $70 per year.

Yes, if you leave your child alone a robber might come and things could get bad. But such is life. You do the best you can, you try to make it as safe as you can... and no matter what it's not going to be enough. And who knows? Maybe if PO1's DD had been in the house, with lights and the TV on, the robbers would have decided it was too much work. Most crimes are that of opportunity rather than masterminded.

I let DD ride in the front sometimes too. Not on the freeway either, but statistically it's more likely to be in an accident in the five miles around your house, right?

Beh! You do the best you can. I agree with Sweeby, practice saying "and you BELIEVED that?" with incredulity. It works well.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 10:33AM
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Yes there is a boys and girls club but not for our district, I'd still have to get her there myself and it's more like $70 per week. I looked into that already. We don't have a Y in our area. There is a gymnastics place that picks up 5th graders but there is a waiting list too. I'm on it by the way. There is one daycare center that will pick her up willingly but the school does not offer a loading place for daycare children. They would just have to go through the parent line and they say, they WILL do that but never have and are uncomfortable agreeing to that. If we move my mom said she would pick her up and stay at the house each day with her. We still have not decided though.

I was 9 and in 4th grade. Walked home every day and I was fine.
I actually was just angry about the email and the way it was handled and I was angry about the threat of CPS...

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 8:57PM
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I wasn't "mentally" ready to let DS start staying home by himself after school, but I did what I had to do. Texas doesn't have a "legal age" law. I evaluated whether I thought DS was ready; not whether I was ready. I consulted X (even though I did not need his permission) and we both agreed DS was ready to stay home for 3 hours in the afternoons by himself. He was 1 month away from turning 11. For the most part, he has handled the responsibility really well. He even called me because the UPS guy knocked on the door and he was scared to open it. LOL!

If you think DD is ready, then that is your decision. Chances are, nothing will come of this latest threat, but if it does, you are within your legal parental rights to make that decision for your daughter during your custody period. THEY are the ones who have time-and-time-again proven to make bad decisions (like SM attacking you). They would basically be fighting their own reputations in court.

They seem, to me, like wounded animals. You know how when a cat is hurt, it swipes and hisses at anything that tries to help it? Why would they keep on swiping at you when they JUST got overnight visits and SM visits back? They are only hurting themselves by continuing their petty behavior when they should be grateful. They really want to go for full custody when, until recently, they couldn't even have an overnight? Seems really stupid and futile on their part, and a judge would see that too.

As far as riding in the front seat, check your state's laws on that, too. A lot of the things we hear are just recommendations and even change all the time. If there is a LAW in your state that says children have to ride in the back seat until a certain age, that's one thing. But if it's just a recommendation from some stupid research firm, or non-elected government agency acting as though they have authorities they don't have, then just blow it off and tell BD you checked the laws in your state and it is perfectly legal.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 10:54AM
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Sounds like there are a lot of parents in your area with the same problem. Have you ever thought about organizing a co-op? You'd need to find 4 other families and each family would pick the kids up and supervise them all one day per week. Or maybe there's one parent who'd be able to do it for a minor weekly amount -- It's not like kids that age require much supervision... You could even call it a 'homework club' and knock the schoolwork out before you get home from work. Or have regular craft projects or activities for the kids, like scouting or 4-H.

Just a thought...

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 1:55PM
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