How much should parents expect the other parent to help out?

lovehadleyMay 19, 2010

This is kind of hard to explain.

DH has always been of the mindset that whoever's DAY/NIGHT it is needs to be responsible for childcare/arranging things etc. IE--if BM has an appointment on HER day and cannot pick SS up from school, it is HER responsbility to find someone who can, NOT DH's. (And obviously this applies in reverse, as well.) Sure, it's fine for her (or him) to call and say "Hey, something's come up, would there be any way you could pick SS up today?" but neither is OBLIGATED to do it.

Our marriage counselor tends to agree, as we've been talking about it at length the last couple weeks----about expectations and who is responsible for what.

The main issue is that BM has pretty much been *expecting* DH to be "on call" for the last couple weeks b/c she was close to having her baby. The main problem wound up being that DH was out of town on business for 2 nights this week, and BM got very angry at him when she found out. (He is actually coming back today.) She told him she NEEDED him to be available to have SS whenever she went into labor. There was no way that DH could have rescheduled his trip but IMO that is beside the point. DH purposely planned his trip so that it wouldn't interfere with his custodial times and I think it's not okay for BM to expect him to accomodate her because she is having a baby. She has a husband and another child, and would have to figure something out regarding childcare regardless because she has her 2 year old, in addition to SS.

Anyway, so then BM ended up having her baby YESTERDAY and apparently she now wants DH to have SS this weekend so she can "rest" at home and adjust to having a newborn and a 2 year old. But this is HER custodial weekend. And honestly, I think it's kind of ridiculous that she thinks she can just "get rid" of SS for the weekend. SHE had another baby, SHE knew what she was getting into, and I think she needs to balance it, plain and simple. She's not sending her 2 year old off anywhere for the weekend....but that's because she can't!

Honestly, DH and I have plans to go on a DATE and spend time together. The counselor told DH he needs to not accomodate BM in these requests---but I know DH then feels guilty because he feels like he is turning down time with his son.But on the same token, he goes by the SCHEDULE and he tends to work longer Saturdays on weekends when SS is with his mom...he uses that time to get stuff done around the house...and we had plans to go on a DATE this weekend, and spend some quality time together without either of the kids, per our marriage counselor's suggestion.

what do you think? Is DH obligated to to have his son any time BM needs him to? Or should they stick to the schedule? I can honestly see it both ways, and I TOTALLY see how DH wants extra time with his son. I just am not sure it should be done because BM demands it. SIGH. It is all so darn complicated! I know that this is a unique situation, but it does worry me because I am NOT sure how BM is going to adjust to having a 2 year and a newborn, and I'm concerned she is going to expect more and more from which case SS should just be with DH! But that would never happen...I just don't want it to turn into something where BM feels she can change the schedule any old time she feels like it.

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I agree with you love. I think spending time with DH is very important right now.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 1:10PM
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Go on you date and have a good time and do it totally guilt free. A child the age of your SS is going to be far less work for BM than her 2 year old and baby is, he's like 7 or 8, right? If she needs help, surely she has family who could help.

While it may sound mean, I'm not going to feel overly sorry for BM who keeps popping 'em out and expects your DH to jump for her. Having additional children does not mean the older one is no longer her problem and responsiblity.

I remember a posting from you late last year where BM and DH were expecting to you jump and do something right after you were losing a pregnancy.

It's always about BM, let BM and her family handle this weekend on their own. I don't find it a great idea to pawn off SS this weekend anyway, how'd SS feel being sent away while everyone else is me it displaces him from part of his mother's family unit that he should be included in and learning to adjust to.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 1:19PM
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"It's always about BM, let BM and her family handle this weekend on their own. I don't find it a great idea to pawn off SS this weekend anyway, how'd SS feel being sent away while everyone else is me it displaces him from part of his mother's family unit that he should be included in and learning to adjust to."

100% agree! I think the most important thing for SS is to maintain his normal schedule. And if the shoe were on the other foot...I cannot imagine the WRATH that would ensue if WE had a baby and wanted to send SS to BM's for the weekend so we could "rest and adjust." She would go BALLISTIC. But there is ALWAYS a double standard for BM.

I personally think (and the counselor agrees) that DH needs to be firm and say the schedule is the schedule. But then the problem is, he does feel guilty because he feels like he should jump at the chance to spend extra time with his son. He even said it in our counseling session: "What kind of dad turns his son away for the weekend?"

The counselor reiterated with him that is NOT what he's doing, what he is doing is holding BM accountable and enforcing boundaries, and not allowing BM to dictate HIS schedule. It would be one thing if BM said "I can't have SS live with me, he needs to live with you." DH would take him in a heartbeat!


A.) That would never happen


B.) That is not what's happening, what is happening is BM wanting DH to, in essence, be an on-call babysitter.

Maybe if the situation/relationship were different, DH should be more accomodating. But it's not, and I don't think he should, though I do understand and empathize with his guilt.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 1:35PM
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doesn't BM have a mother to help with the baby or SS? A sister? A brother? I remember grandma being mentioned previously.

On one hand it is fine to accommodate each other on occasions, especially occasion like this, but all the time? No.

People have rights to have plans.

If SS simply really wanted to be with his dad then i can see how dad would feel guilty, but SS is not the one who wants to be accommodated, it is BM. I would say "sorry, i have plans". more so "sorry i am out of town on mini vacation". that's the best. "I am not around i am in XYZ town, bargain shopping, sight seeing etc". Oops, am not here.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 6:45PM
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Love~ Tell your husband that he has nothing to feel guilty about. (I know that's easier said than done but it's true)

When I had my kids, I was literally alone (without a man) when my third one was born. My oldest was 3 yrs old, my second was 10 mos. old and I believe my mom and/or my sister watched them while I was in the hospital but the day I came home, so did they. Of course, that was 20 years ago & I was in the hospital 2-3 days... today they come home much sooner. But, I managed to figure it out.. she has her husband to help her, I had nobody. That comes with the territory of having another baby... it's HER time, she needs to deal with it.

He needs to spend time on his marriage with you and he might also think of how it might make his son to feel being shuffled off when the other child gets to stay there and help.. he's actually old enough to be a "mommy's helper" and your DH should tell his ex that. He might even tell her that sending SS away 'because he can' might cause SS to feel jealous of the baby... maybe cause some resentment. But, most of all your DH needs to take a stand for himself. His marriage is suffering because of choices he's made and catering to his ex is one of those choices that has put him where things are.. this is the WORST time for him to give in to another of her ridiculous guilt trips.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 9:44PM
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While I see your point, we had my SS a little extra when BM was due to have her baby any day, and a little extra in the few weeks after.

And it will go the other way too. When we have our baby, we won't be taking him for the weekend the weekend after the baby is born. He can come for plenty of visits, but not for a full weekend until baby is at least a week old.

Maybe it's because I'm a doula, but I cut new moms some extra slack.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 12:32AM
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agree ceph, I would watch anyone's child when mom just brings her newborn home. I would change my plans for this occasion even for a neighbor.

BUT I think this situation is different because love's DH already caters to his ex way too much and it caused problems in the marriage plus BM constantly wants DH to take care of things. BM does have some family so they could help. My mother helped me first few days and I was married and my, then DH, took several days off work. Still extra help is nice.

I agree in normal circumstance new moms no matter if it is 1st or 3rd would need help and it is nice to accommodate. But DH accommodated her up to the point that it almost ruined his marriage to lovehadley, enough.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 6:03AM
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Thanks for the thoughts and opinions. DH already told her he cannot have SS this weekend.

FD, that is a great point that it's not SS who is wanting to be with his dad, it's BM wanting this. If it were SS saying "please Dad can I be with you this weekend" that would be a different story.

Ceph, I totally empathize with new moms and I understand your point, too. And honestly, when BM had her C-section with her 2 year old, we had SS for 8 days straight AND DH took him to the hospital to see her 4 times in that time period AND drove him out to her house at 7 pm on a snowy night when she finally got home from the hospital...because she really wanted to have him with her that night as it had been so long. And what happened? A mere couple hours later she called and REAMED DH and myself out because....SS had some kind of red, tender area on his hand and she was accusing us of having sent him to school without mittens or gloves and said it was frostbite. But that wasn't the case and we hadn't even seen or noticed the area, nor had he complained about it. Finally, DH said put SS on the phone and he was able to get to the bottom of it. Turns out---unbenknowst to BM, while she was showering, SS was playing with dishes in the hot water in the sink, and scalded his hand. At her house. AFTER DH dropped him off.

And really...accidents happen! Good grief. I think even if something like that happened to my DD on my mom's watch or a sitter's watch, I wouldn't be ANGRY. Stuff happens when you have kids, it is not the end of the world.

So easy and quick to blame us though! I mean, she REAMED us out as in I was a neglectful mom and DH is a deadbeat and we deserved to have CPS at the door. It was awful.

THAT is how she is. After we bent over backwards to accomodate her while she was in the hospital recovering from C-sec and with her preemie.

Yes, she does have a mother and father who have her 2 year old while she is in the hospital. She also has a 27 yr old sister whom she is very close to. Not to mention her DH and his parents! (although I wouldn't expect them to be obligated to help with SS.)

She had a VBAC this time and is actually coming home today, and will have SS from tomorrow-next Wed when he will start a 5 day stretch with us.

WTA as well...BM and DH's behavior with her is certainly not the only problem in our marriage, so I do not want to give the impression THAT is why we are in counseling. But it definitely is a HUGE part of our problems and I am so glad our counselor seems to see this. She actually doesn't see it as a prob with BM persay, but a problem with DH setting and enforcing boundaries.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 8:29AM
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I would do whats best for the child. Is it best to be around this particular BM days after giving birth? Will SS be well taken care of? If there is any even question of it, I would take the child. And you have it right there, BM is asking your DH to take him. Your DH has the history of knowing how she was before, he can help out for his son. It's not about accomodating the other parent or making their life easier, it's what is best for the child.

All this nonsense about the calling back and forth, the reaming out, the no boundaries between your DH and BM....they are strictly adult business and really shouldn't have any bearing on whats best for the child. Yes, BM is a pain and she obviously is off balanced. But your DH encourages it. They are in the same boat. DH loses credibility every time he refuses to take his son, for whatever reason, when he walks into court or goes to a mediator to go over all the bad actions that BM does...but there's no real proof that DH takes it seriously. He doesn't act like a father that is concerned for his sons welfare, everyone is too busy keeping score now.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 9:48AM
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I don't know, Nivea. Keeping score or not, peoples' behavior does have an affect on those around them and people (ie--BM) DO need to be accountable for things.

There is a little girl in my DD's class who is extremely mean--I don 't mean typical kid stuff but stuff like going to extremes in calling other kids ugly, stupid, fat, trying to get other friends to ignore certain people, etc. And this is only 2nd grade!

As a result, she is having lots of issues because other kids simply don't want to play with her. From what I've heard from DD and the teacher at conferences, no one is cruel to this little girl, but kids just avoid her. THAT is a consequence of her behavior.

Now, BM is not a child and I realize this isn't an entirely fair comparison. But it is somewhat similar in that how BM has always behaved directly affects what people are willing to do for her.

I know it seems like SS is the innocent victim here but there is NOTHING wrong or bad about him being with his mother and that family unit during the normally scheduled time.

SS will be FINE with her. She has been doing really well and since she got her drinking under control, HER relationship with her family and DH has been much improved. She has a lot more support from them than she did when she was in the throes of her drinking. I know for a fact two weekends ago, her mother and father had SS and his toddler sister spend the night so BM aqnd her DH could have a break. Things like that NEVER used to happen when BM was actively drinking/acting crazy because I think her parents kept their distance. Natural consequences.

IMO, the custody schedule and maintaining good, firm boundaries is VERY important for everyone, mostly SS, but also for DH and BM. They each need to be accountable and they need to maintain boundaries with one another. The thing is--DH is never the one to tromp over boundaries, that's BM's area. DH just ALLOWS it and that is what he has to stop doing.

If BM were drinking or acting crazy, I would then agree that SS should be with DH. BUT that's not the case now. AND if it were---DH would do more than just take him for the weekend, he'd go back to court for full custody because he does have a no-drinking order in place for BM now and if she violates it, she would most likely lose custody.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 10:28AM
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LH, your DH definitely over-caters to BM's whims and fancies. It's a trend for him, and you get the brunt of it.
But IN THIS CIRCUMSTANCE, I think you guys should take SS for at least part of the weekend.

I know your marriage is stressed right now, and that you need some couple's time.
I know BM puts you through the wringer every chance she gets.
I still think that is an exception.

Think of it this way:
SS, as older brother to a 2yo, likely knows that babies are actually dreadful creatures, so he's probably not terribly enthused about being there anyhow. He'd likely have a better time with you guys.
People are going to be coming and going from their house, to admire the baby, while SS is probably going to be grossly ignored. This is a bummer for kids, so it would be good for him to have his dad and SM do something extra with him.

I'm not saying Friday-after-school to Sunday-after-supper... You can arrange it around your date:
Date on Friday? Pick him up Saturday before lunch.
Date on Saturday? Pick him up after school on Friday and take him back Saturday suppertime. OR, pick him up Sunday morning and take him to school Monday morning.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 10:36AM
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DH already said no, Ceph. He has been out of town at a car auction this week and HAS to work all day Saturday.

We're going out Sat. night and will spend half the day together on Sunday.

It's arranged and done. It's not even an issue anymore, apparently, BM said fine, and that was that. If she needs a break this weekend, she has her hubby, her parents, sister, etc.

Actually, after next week, the summer schedule will be starting and DH/BM will be doing an every other week schedule. So that should be good for BM in that she will have nice long breaks from SS, and then nice long stretches with him, and same for us. And the best part for him is that there will be minimal moving around.

The 5-5-2-2 split we do now is nice, but IMO the less moving around for him, the better. The summer schedule is much more laid back and relaxed. Ahhhhh.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 10:47AM
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"He'd likely have a better time with you guys."

Ceph, DH and I are separated. We aren't living together for the month of May.

I am not going to have SS this weekend. And like I said, DH really cannot avoid work on Saturday, he planned his business trip around his schedule with his son and has to do a lot of catch-up this weekend. Saturdays are pretty much the busiest day of the week work-wise for him.

So HE would be unable to have his son on Saturday. In normal situations, I am the one responsible for him on Sats. when DH works but not right now while we are separated.

SS was with his dad last night and will be again tonight, per the normal parenting plan; I think we all (me, DH, SS, DD) will have dinner together tonight.

Anyway, then SS will go to school tomorrow and probably grandma or BM's DH will pick him up after school and take him home. His older stepsister (12) is with them this weekend, as well. I really think SS being displaced this weekend is NOT a good idea, as EVERYONE else in that family unit will be there---mom, stepdad, stepsister, toddler sister and new baby.

There are just a myriad of reasons it's best for the schedule to remain the schedule.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 10:56AM
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lovehadley: She told him she NEEDED him to be available to have SS whenever she went into labor. That, to me, is the difference. That's not a request, that's a demand! If she had asked months ago if SS could stay with you while she's in labor, and it had been agreed upon, that would be another story. As for what's best for SS, one of the things that parents are supposed to do is to set a good example. It is not a good example for SS to grow up believing that one can either throw one's responsibilities on others, or that one is obligated to accept other's responsibilities. And, since this is HER custodial weekend, SS is her responsibility.

Have fun on your date! I hope you have a wonderful romantic evening.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 11:03AM
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Ceph you said :"And it will go the other way too. When we have our baby, we won't be taking him for the weekend the weekend after the baby is born. He can come for plenty of visits, but not for a full weekend until baby is at least a week old."

No offense, Ceph (you know I love ya!), but I think the difference here is that your SS doesn't actually live with you. BM gets the lion's share of the custody, correct? So it makes sense for you to forgoe a couple of days when your baby is born since that is your normal environment. When your SS's BM had her baby, you got extra time with SS; for BM she was getting a break from 80% of the custody.

In LH's case, custody is 50/50, so BM WILL have to learn how to have 3 children in her home. If LH's DH had EOW custody, I would give the advice that he take SS and be excited about his extra time.

Since LH's DH has JUST AS MUCH custody as BM, he should not have to bend to BM's reproductive whims. Someone is already going to keep the 2yo. Why not let SS spend some time with his Auntie or GP?

Also, I've gotten the impression that LH's SS is a soft-hearted, emotional kid who is used to taking care of his mom. I don't think he'll have one single problem helping BM out with his new sibling. (Pure speculation here based on LH's descriptions of him over the years).

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 11:11AM
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"I don't know, Nivea. Keeping score or not, peoples' behavior does have an affect on those around them and people (ie--BM) DO need to be accountable for things."

This is not about BM and her actions. It's about SS and his welfare. He doesn't have anything to be accountable for.

There's a lot of issues all over the place with your relationship, DH and BM etc. The point is that SS should have a safe zone from all of that. It's wishful thinking to think that he isn't suffering from all the chaos. Your DH has to balance what's best for him and best for you. And sometimes they just aren't going to work. IMO, childs needs come first. This isn't like BM is going to get a pedicure.

But in any case, you think he is going to be fine. Ok. Then what's the issue? Why did you post?

LH, I wish you the best and hope everything works out for you, you sound like a wonderful mother and you always sound like you really try. But IMO, you really need to step back from the chaos and examine your sitch realistically. If this was your daughter, in the care of an alcoholic father, SM just had a baby and living conditions are sketchy at best at their home....would you really be refusing to take care of her to prove a point about a schedule and so you and DH could go on a date? I doubt it. In any case, it's not your responsibility bottom line. But it is your responsibility to examine your DH's actions over a period of time and accept or not the impact it has on the group, realistically.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 11:12AM
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"And, since this is HER custodial weekend, SS is her responsibility"

I tend to agree. I know this logic seems strange to some, as both parents are responsible all the time for their children. Afterall, I am responsbile for my DD 100% of the time and I accept that without question.

In shared custody situations, though, it does wind up being a little bit different in that the responsibilities are split 50-50. As odd as it sounds, DH is *not responsible* for his son on BM's time and vice versa.

Now, of course, there are exceptions to this, and if this were some tragic event---ie, BM's mom had died, or someone had been in a car accident, or any other situation where it really would be BEST for SS to be with the other parent---then DH (or BM, depending) would have to take over. And if there were a time on BM's watch that SS NEEDED his dad, of course DH would come running in a heartbeat. Parents are parents all of the time and DH knows that!

BUT this situation is not SS needing his dad, it's BM expecting DH to accomodate her. If/when DH and I have a baby, we would not expect or even want BM to have SS! I would probably depend on my mom or my dad to help out with DD and if SS were with us, with him, as well. If BM WANTED him, that would be one thing...but it would not be her responsibility and we wouldn't expect her to change her plans, etc. I also cannot imagine not WANTING DD and SS around when we brought our newborn home. What a beautiful time! I long for that experience, and I don't need the kids "out of the way" to bond with a newborn. If anything, I'd want the family to bond together. I loved every minute of my DD being a newborn and I think I would love it even more with the kids around to enjoy. Sure, I will be tired and want rest, but that's where DH and my mom and babysitters come into play.

Overall, the general rule of thumb is that whoever's custody period it is is responsible. Even the GAL said that when they were in court. He told DH "if it's your day and you can't pick him up or he's sick and you can't stay home from work, YOU have to find someone who can. Period." And vice versa for BM.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 11:15AM
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"has to balance what's best for him and best for you. And sometimes they just aren't going to work. IMO, childs needs come first."

See, this is interesting. I think what is so interesting and diverse about this forum (or even when talking to friends in RL) is that EVERYONE is going to have their own opinion; and that opinion is one we have formed based on our own experiences and perspectives.

Nivea, you were treated in a really cruel and hurtful manner by your SM, correct? (or am I mixing you up with another poster?) I believe it was you. Anyway, naturally, you are more inclined to empathize and identify with the child (stepchild) and perhaps even project a bit of your own feelings; and that's normal, we ALL do that. Just as I am more likely to identify with someone like Ima or Lamom or Silver, someone who is a SM dealing with difficult situations.

Anyway, I know what you mean about the child needing to come first; but I think you are saying this out of your own experiences, which included being emotionally hurt by your cruel and emotionally immature SM who insisted HER needs come first. Correct?

That is awful that happened and it's sad that your father allowed you to be pushed aside. (And please correct me if I am mixing up your history with someone else.)

Our situation is a little different in that DH had continually made the mistake of doing things to harm our marriage---all under the guise of "it's best for SS." But a lot of what he was doing wasn't even really best for SS. DH wanted me to smooth things over and be nice to BM, even after she attacked me in front of SS. Sure, it might be superficially easier for SS if everything seemed hunky-dory again. But in the long run, what lesson is that teaching him? That violence is acceptable? That it's okay for his mom to behave like that and I will just pretend that everything is okay? Those aren't lessons I want SS or DD learning. So sometimes what IS best for SS isn't necessarily what one might think at face value. Sure, it would be more *pleasant* for him in the short term, but in the long run, I think it does more harm than good.

(I don't think this particular weekend issue is even really about anything being "best" for SS, though.)

And one thing our marriage counselor has been helping both of us see is that sometimes what's best for the marriage has to come first. And I will say this with 100% conviction: it would NOT be in SS's best interest for DH and I to divorce. Not at all. That would be one of the worst things that could happen for both him and my DD. I may be "just a stepmother" to him but I have been a positive and caring person in his life for almost 7 years. He views my daughter as his sister. He genuinely loves our family and feels a TOTAL part of our family unit...because he is! We are not just some people he spends a few days a month with, he has two families and we are one of them! If that unit were to dissolve, it would honestly devastate SS. It would devastate my DD, as well, but I really think it would be worse on SS. He is very sensitive to these things, and he is the type of child that turns his upsets inward. I know if he were to lose his family, it would really impact him negatively in an emotional sense.

So in marriage counseling, one thing DH is having to focus on is sorting out when SS's needs really DO come first, and when it's just BM manipulating "in the name of their son."

Obviously, there are times that the child's needs have to come first---heck, that is 95% of parenting! But it is my belief that this is not one of those times. SS's mom is doing well and there is no reason he can't be with her.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 1:05PM
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LH, you're close to the background with my SM and some of it does influence my decision making and I believe most of it is for the better. But I answered this thread as a mother. What I would do if this was my child and my marriage was in big trouble and my childs bio parent was an alcoholic. I'm not just a stepkid, just like most people here are not just a stepmom. I'm a mother, a co parent with my ex, soon to be wife to a stepdad, aunt, sister, professional and a college student (again!) Not all my beliefs are based on one aspect of my childhood and one relationship out of many, well that's kinda silly.

It would be like me saying well you believe X because you're just a stepmom.Or the reason why you posted this thread when there is no problem (DH isn't watching SS after all and there is no threat to your date night) is because you're upset that BM is having another baby.

And yes, I'm very much childrens needs are first before adult needs. I also think that marriage comes first at all costs does not work well in any stepfamily. But that is a subjective issue and other people will ascertain needs I think are wants and vice versa. Nothing is cut and dry.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 1:29PM
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Nivea, I posted the thread when DH had decided but A) had not told BM his answer yet and B) I posted because he was wrestling with some guilty feelings over it, and I wanted opinions.
I was fully anticipating differing opinions and I am not arguing with or negating your viewpoint at all. All of our opinions are drawn out of our own experiences.

I do think marriage has to be tended to first and foremost. I know what you mean about a stepfamily situation making this harder, but I still think it is important because when the MARRIAGE starts to crumble, that is really when the angry issues of resentment/frustration really come out and I think that is when stepparents are MOST LIKELY to take those resentments out on the stepchildren. Speaking from my own experience, when my relationship with DH is in harmony and things are good, and the kids are happy, I am a positive person.

In order to do this, you HAVE to trust your partner and trust that your partner has your child's best interest at heart. I believe I do with SS, which is why I do for him and go above and beyond on a continual basis. I might not always like it, just like there are times I get aggravated with DD's needs/demands, but when either of them has emotional or physical needs, those are ALWAYS first.

I might have a different bond and feelings than I do for DD, but at the end of the day, DH and I try to do what is best for our family unit, which includes our children.But our family unit is HEADED by our marriage. If that crumbles, there's no family. And that would devastate our children.

I did not say the marriage has to come first "at all costs." I do think, though, that what is really detrimental is when spouses continually put the marriage on the back burner. And I think this happens A LOT in stepfamilies and it may be one the reasons why there is such a high rate of divorce for 2nd marriages. (ETA--this is actually OUR first marriage, but given the fact that we ARE a stepfamily, I think DH & I can still fall into that category.)

You keep throwing out the fact that SS's mom is an alcholic. And she is. BUT she is not actively drinking at this time. It's not like SS is going to be over at her house, with her swigging vodka from the bottle, and him having no supervision or clean clothes or food, and DH saying "nope, too bad, I don't want him his weekend!" She is doing extremely well at the moment and hopefully will continue to do so. SS is in no danger at this point in time. No HARM is going to come from SS spending time with his mom as he always does.

My opinion and answer would be totally different if she were drinking or acting crazy. We WILL have to keep a close eye on things, as she has been to known to go off in the deep end after having a baby...but in that regard, only time will tell. She seems to have a really strong support system around her; like I said, now that her behavior has changed, people AROUND her are responding positively.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 2:01PM
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"You keep throwing out the fact that SS's mom is an alcholic. And she is. BUT she is not actively drinking at this time. It's not like SS is going to be over at her house, with her swigging vodka from the bottle, and him having no supervision or clean clothes or food, and DH saying "nope, too bad, I don't want him his weekend!" She is doing extremely well at the moment and hopefully will continue to do so. SS is in no danger at this point in time. No HARM is going to come from SS spending time with his mom as he always does"

I'm throwing it out there because this is not like she is going to get a pedicure, Love. She's about to give birth, already has a 2 year old which is not the most helpful age, a husband that is not always supportive AND she is a dry alcoholic that never received professional help. And in fact, weasled and manipulated her way out of it so that she *wouldn't* receive help.

Perhaps I am putting the cart before the horse, but I've read enough about her over the years that I just do not think she will handle this well at all. And of course, you are there, in person and I'm not discounting what you believe, I just don't think its going to go well even if you hear anything about it or not from SS. It's not a burden he should have to carry. And she asked for the help, further proof to me that she is not going to be in the right frame of mind to take care of SS. I'm of the opinion when someone writes you a check, you better cash it.

She's going to be under enough stress and add childbirth ontop of it with all the crazy hormones and fluctuations, a dry alcoholic, very young child in the house it doesn't add up to stable home to me. If it were my child and this woman was involved, I'd have my nose so far into it I would be able to smell the new babys dirty diapers.

As far as general debate of how much should parents be expected to accomodate the other parent - I really think it's "your mileage may vary" type of scenario. If one parent has a mental disorder, I'd expect the other parent to pick up the slack etc. A lot of people don't have the luxury to decide how much to accomodate because they are carrying the full burden.

As far as marriage, I personally just think you need to have a really good foundation for a marriage to work. I don't think it needs a marriage comes first rule to be a good foundation. Most needs and wants need to match up. Reality has to match with the needs and wants of most members. But thats a different topic.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 2:35PM
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well I would be upset if my ex refused to take DD because he has to go on a date, but we do not have boundaries issues, lovehadley's DH and ex do. It is different.

But I do agree with nivea, marriage does not need "marriage first" logic to survive. Especially when young kids involved.

again normally I would say it is unkind to say 'no" but heck this dance BM and DH do, being overly involved is just got to stop at some point. maybe now is time.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 6:57PM
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