Big vent---excessive calls!

lovehadleyJune 9, 2010

With a two year old and a brand-new baby, you would think SS's BM would be busy, maybe not have time for excessive calls?

Nope. No chance.

We went to the circus last night. SS was with me during the day yesterday and DH got home from work around 4 pm. He had SS call his mom and SS told her we were going to the circus.

Fast forward to 8 pm, smack dab in the middle of the circus, DH's phone starts vibrating. She called once. Then she called again about 2 mins later. Voicemail left. Then she sent a text message asking where her son was/if she could talk to him.

DH texted back "at the circus."

It's just crazy to me b/c DH ALWAYS has SS call at bedtime. ALWAYS. He never doesn't have to call or "witholds contact" so I don't understand why she can't just wait for SS's call. Especially when she knows we are doing something.

So my restraining order on BM expired last month and I didn't mess with renewing it. Partly because DH & I lived apart last month, but also because I felt (hoped) enough distance had been created and that BM would not resort back to her old ways. She certainly has not been fighting with DH/causing issues the way she used to. I think her not drinking has helped A LOT.

Anyway, we are doing a week-by-week summer schedule. SS is with us from Monday at 5 pm until the following Monday at 5 pm. Then he's with BM for the following week, then with us again, etc. It is a simple schedule and SS is really enjoying it so far. He was excited about not having to move around as much.

BM does not have my cell phone # and she will not. But she was complaining to DH that she didn't have a way to talk to SS during the day. (We don't have a landline anymore.) SIGH. We do have a MAGIC JACK that runs through the computer. I took it with me when I took SS on spring break to the Carribbean and he talked to his mom 2x a day (per her request) that way---morning and night. I ALWAYS had him call at those times, without fail. Side note---it was a struggle to get him to call her. He would moan and complain that he was busy, didn't want to talk to her, already talked to her, etc.

He is at the point where he gets embarrassed by her calls and he honeslty doesn't have much to say on the phone, anyway. It's not that he doesn't love her, just that he is in the moment when he's with us, and doesn't like the multiple forced conversations. (He is the SAME w/DH when he is with his mom, which is WHY DH only calls SS once a day---at night---to say a quick goodnight.)

Anyway, the Magic Jack is now up and running through our computer so BM can call SS and vice versa if he wants to call her. (which he never does.) NO ONE else has this number so if it rings, we know it's her.

I was nervous about this and now I know for good reason:

Phone rang at 8:30 AM while I was in the shower. I saw the missed call and asked SS if he wanted to call his mom back. Nope, not now, playing the Wii.

I was doing some online work on the computer and the damn thing rang 4 more times in a span of about 20 minutes. GEEEZ.

Then DH called my cell and said BM was b*tching to him that no one was answering the phone.

UGH. First of all, she doesn't even know if I am home with the kids or not! For all she knows, we could be out at the park or running errands or at the pool.

Secondly---SS is NOT going to be "on call" for her all summer long. It honestly is intrusive and disruptive.

The phone rings THROUGH the computer, not through the house. If I am not near the computer room, I don't hear the phone, plain and simple. Likewise, if I am in the room and SS is downstairs in the basement playing the Wii, I am NOT going to run down there and get him. His mom can leave a voicemail and he can call her back when he wants to.


Anyway, I guess BM called DH to see if HE could call ME on my cell to see where we were. UGH. Thankfully, DH told her he had no idea what I was doing with the kids today and if there was no answer, for her to leave a message and SS would call her back when we got the message.

So she called AGAIN and left a message. I had to MAKE SS return the call, and it was literally a one-sided conversation. He was short and trying to get off the phone.

Then she called back AN HOUR LATER and left another message saying she misses him and for him to call her back this afternoon to talk.

GEEEEEZ. Can the kid not just BE in the present at our house without her bazillion calls?

I mean, she goes all day without talking to him when he's at school, so what is the difference?

I guess what I really don't like is the excessive calling. If there is no answer, LEAVE A MESSAGE. Don't call back four more times in the next twenty minutes!

UGHHHHHH. It is particularly irritating BECAUSE it rings through the computer, so if I am doing online fundraising or blogging, both of which are WORK for me, it messes up the screen, and I have to wait until the phone stops ringing to go back to what I was doing. Or I can hit IGNORE but then it's clear (to her) that I hit ignore.


I wish we could just go back to not having a line for her to call. It was fine before with her calling DH's cell. She would generally talk to SS around dinner time and then again at bedtime.

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You're so much nicer than I because I would not think twice about hitting the 'ignore'.

EX DIL does this once in a while to GS when she is bored and has nothing planned for herself that day. He actually told her once 'hey Mom, I love you very much and miss you too, but what do you want now'. Sad, but when BM calls and calls and has nothing new that was not said an hour ago, I could not blame him.

You might try suggesting to DH that since it is you having to take these calls and the real fact that you may be busy (if even home) that a time schedule needs to be broached with SM. Say she calls once in morning (not home leave a message)and then waits until the late afternoon call (or similar routine time).

Make it clear that SS can and will call her whenever SS wants to and those calls will not count as limited. Also if there is an actual true need of contact inbetween that she is free to text the father who can reach you at anytime at any place if such a need be genuine.

GS has his cell when he visits, he shuts it off when he does not want to be bothered over and over. Usually after several tries and getting voicemail, BM finds something else to do. BM does and can contact father via voicemail and/or text.

Ex DIL knows that if something were really wrong, one of us would immediately contact her and there is no need to get all frantic if phone goes unanwered or message are not return instantly.

Annoying as heck, isn't it?

If DH can't get your BM to control her urges, next time get the calls in with the agreement plan.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 12:53PM
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Hi Love,

Sorry you are having troubles, but if it were me, I think I'd have SS call her first thing in the AM, leave a message if she doesn't pick up and then call her again at bedtime. I'd say the Magic Jack is "broken" and I'd trample that thing with my car:) You and your DH have enough to go thru without her "acting out" like a moron. And SS doesn't need the added aggravation either. The Magic Jack should come "un-jacked", permanently:)

Have a great day and hope things get smoother..

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 1:20PM
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Haha Shannon! I would love to trample it!

The problem is, initially DH was saying "no magic jack" and then BM said "Fine, I'll get SS a cell phone."

She tried that route last summer--got him a cell and he arrived at our house one day with it, announcing it was HIS and NO ONE could touch it or take it away, per his mom.

Dh said absolutely not, a 7 year old does NOT need a cell phone and took it away from SS. He sent it back to BM's and said if it came back again, it would be turned off and put aside until it was time for SS to return to his mom's.

The reason was that this was all at the height of my order of protection against BM and it was at the same time SHE, in retaliation and as a court-move, called the POLICE and said I was abusing SS. I had the cops arrive on my doorstep because they had had a call that he had a bruise on his arm. They talked to me, and talked to SS and saw that there was NO BRUISE. But any time an allegation is MADE, CPS has to come make a home visit. So they came out the next day, talked to me, talked to DH, talked to our kids separately---gave us a safe home report and closed the stupid file.

BM later admitted to DH she'd done it because A) her attorney advised her to and B) she was mad about the order of protection.


Anyway, it was at this time that she tried the cell issue and DH said no way, you do not need 24 hr access to him any time you want.

It actually was brought up in court and the guardian ad litem was flabbergasted, and told BM himself that a 7 yr old having a cell so his mom could call anytime was excessive and ridiculous.

SS knows he can call his mom any old time he wants. The thing is, he is A) not a big phone talker and B) he really doesn't miss EITHER parent when he is with the other. He is used to going back and forth and he's used to the 50-50 custody. When he's with BM, I know he doesn't particularly miss DH or miss us, and he doesn't want to call DH. The same is true in reverse when he is with us.

It's BM that cannot stand the fact that he is having fun/living life with his other family. SHE misses him, she feels guilty, whatever. I can even empathize with that. I would miss my daughter incredibly if I didn't see her for 5-7 days at a time. BUT I hope thatr I would know she was loved where she was, and was having a good time/good life. And I hope I wouldn't disrupt her daily routine the way BM does with SS.

It's actually kind of sad.

Shannon, the set times are a good idea. They worked well in the Carribbean. I had SS call his mom every morning when we woke up--before we left the condo to head to the beach or pool---and then I had him call every evening to say goodnight. A few nights, we went out to dinner, so I had him call ahead of time to tell her that we were going out and the bedtime call wouldn't be until later.

It worked well so we probably should implement it now.

The middle of the day calls are just excessive.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 1:31PM
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BM is just too much!! Dh just needs to tell bm that ds will call her every day in the morning and again before bed, when it is convenient for him and you guys. He needs to tell her ds can not enjoy himself with the constant phone calls.....nobody could enjoy themselves with a phone ringing constantly!

It sounds liker her overcalling is honestly making the kid miserable and dh needs to put an end to it. Nobody NEEDS to talk to their child that much throughout the day. She is probably just lonely and bored and jealous if her ds is having a good time with his dad and stepmom.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 1:35PM
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It boils down to jealousy/guilty feelings FOR SURE.

We are fortunate in that my family is really generous and, as a result, we get to go on vacations we could otherwise not afford. We go to Colorado every fall, the Carribbean every spring, and Michigan in the summer. Additionally, this year, we are going to Table Rock Lake for a week with my grandparents. All of this is free to us, and SS gets to experience a lot, and also be a much loved part of another family. My grandparents refer to him as their great-grandchild, if that tells anything about how much of a part of my family he is.

I think BM is jealous. I know she is. THat drunken night at our home, she told me so. She was sad because in SS's "book" (a 1st grade book they had worked on in class all year and then had made into a hardcover copy) he drew a picture of our family trip to Michigan, our family trip to the Ozarks, our family trip to colorado , our family out to breakfast. ETC.

Understably, it makes her sad that she doesn't have these experiences. And we ARE so blessed that we can. But we also do things on our own (financially)---such as taking the kids to Chicago for the weekend, taking a trip to Orlando to visit DH's family, taking a trip to the lake of the ozarks, going to the circus, going to the zoo, the bookstore, going bike riding etc etc. We do a lot of things with our children.

BM and her DH don't have the means to do much of anything. And I KNOW it makes her jealous.

But at some point...ya gotta either LET IT GO or DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. They have NO money b/c BM doesn't work and her DH makes minimum wage. Yet they KEEP having (planning this last one, even!) more babies! Between them, they now have FOUR children! Yet BM is on state medical, foodstamps, and gets temp. cash assistance. HELLO. Stop having kids you cannot afford!

When she was at my house, she was telling me about some nursing RN program she wanted to do---it was an 18 month program that the state would have paid for--and I was saying how great that would be for her, for her kids. Her reason for not wanting to do it? Her DD would have to go to daycare and her SS would have to go to extended-care at school for an hour on her days and she thought that would be unfair to them. For pete's sake! Honey, if that's what it takes to make yourself AND your kids have a better life, then do it! The STATE was going to not only pay for her program, but also for her daughter's daycare.

And then once she was finished, as an RN, she could have worked 3 12 hr nightshifts or worked in homecare--any variety of options so she didn't have to put her DD in daycare. I am sure she could have found a flexible schedule that would have enabled her DH to help out in the evenings or whatever.

But she didn't. Instead, they went and planned another baby and now with 4 kids, I doubt she will ever work, and I doubt they will ever be able to do much of anything. They only have 1 car right now and cannot afford to buy or finance another one. So BM sits home all day with the kids while her DH uses her car to work.

She might as well get used to it. OR DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. But stop harrassing SS in the meantime.

UGH. Told ya this was a vent!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 2:17PM
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I have taken to leaving my phone in the car when i do not want to be interrupted. I used to silence it at the movies, but then you see it light up or it vibrates & you feel you HAVE to look to see who it is... is it important? Then I realized that not too long ago, we didn't have cell phones. My kids are early 20's and I didn't have a cell phone when I went to their dance recitals or ball games. I don't think we realize how much we miss out on because we carry those damn phones everywhere. More & more, I am noticing more signs that say "NO CELL PHONES"... they are a nuisance in many places.

That would at least solve the problem of being interrupted at events.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 3:18PM
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Love, I hear you. My SD's mom called her several times a day each day we had her. To say "hi" and to ask what time we were returning her. It was very very intrusive. I'll start my own thread, don't want to hijack yours :)

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 3:32PM
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too much, crazy

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 4:35PM
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BM told the courts we (meaning I) don't allow her to talk to her children ... so after that we granted free access to a phone to call mom don't care what time it is ... she pays for their cell phones ... she bought one for SD for christmas.

So here we have a cycle of phones ringing if mom wants to talk to her children ... house phone, 3 kids cell phones, and hubby's cell phone ... she calls them in a circle until someone answers

one time....
I was sick as a dog and the last thing on my mind was taking a phone with me into the bathroom .... she called the house, hubby's cell, and 2 kids phones consecutively for almost a half hour hubby was outside with the 2 of the kids doing stuff in the yard.. i yelled for them to answer the phone mom's calling ... no one heard a phone ringing ... finally it stopped .... 15 minutes later the ringing started again ... at this point i picked up the phone and said unless ss14 is on fire stop calling here! She said he's not on fire but I want to talk to my babies!!!! I hung up the phone.

The police showed up, had to explain to the officer that I was spewing liquid out of every orafice of my body and that hubby and the children were not in the home to answer her calls ... showed him how many times she had called EACH phone. She called again while he was here this time the house phone. He answered the phone and told her everything was fine and the children were fine did she need anything else ... she needed to talk to her children he told her your children are outside playing they will call you when they come in.

SS14 broke his cell phone on purpose .... 2 months ago .... he doesn't want another one ... what 14 yr old wouldn't want a cell phone he has had it since he was 11 mind you ..... he can't stand how his mom bugs him all the time calling him constantly so he told her he doesn't want a new phone ... i gave him an old one of mine which he really likes he refuses to bring it to mom's to have it turned on .... this way she can't bug him ....

So LH until SS gets tired of the phone calls you just have to deal.... he needs to tell her i'll call you and your hubby needs to set her straight ... no clue how my hubby never could .... I totally agree it interupts his time with the kids and undermines anything you are doing with them and its a distraction ... but see your hubby is not the one getting the phone calls ....

When SD was seeing a counselor who told me she can't really talk to her mom that much on the phone .... told her ok I will leave a message on your phone everytime she calls mom and another when she gets off the phone .... did it for a week .... the counselor told mom there has to be a better way to deal with this than being on the phone constantly.
So thinking your hubby needs a call everytime mom's calls just to interupt his day ....

When the house phone rings now ... unless one of the kids answers it it goes to voicemail.... I do not even look at hubby's phone to see who is calling.... kids phone are on vibrate while here and if they are talking to mom they have to go in their rooms.

SD isn't allowed to bring her cell phone to school ... so mom drops it off here when SD is here so SD can have it if she needs it. she's 11.

I see it as a control issue ... mom gets to control the kids and dad's relationship even when they are here.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 5:29PM
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"He answered the phone and told her everything was fine and the children were fine did she need anything else ... she needed to talk to her children he told her your children are outside playing they will call you when they come in."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Too funny the officer told her that!! I'm dying laughing!

Pseudo, thankfully, she does call and irritate DH when she doesn't get an answer at home. (Well--this is all new w/the phone line through the computer, but in the past, before the RO, she would call my cell and if she didn't get an answer, she'd call DH to "see where LH was with her son."

She annoys him, too.

We'll see...I left the house with the kids around noon and didn't get back until about 3 pm, and there had been no calls from her.

Hopefully she got the hint this morning! And DH did tell her---leave a message and wait, don't keep calling.

Totally a control thing, you are right!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 5:45PM
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I am wondering if you can train the to speak. Maybe if you just never answer or return calls during the day and only allow calls once first thing in the morning and once at bedtime she will get in the routine?? Tell DH not to answer any calls on his cell during the day either and let bm go to voicemail. When she gets angry and talks to him during the 2 calls a day between her and ds that you permit he can just say "ss was busy doing _____________ so he could not talk". After a while of that she may give up!

And if it ever goes to court what judge is going to think more than 2 calls per day are necessary??

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 8:54PM
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