Good news...

silverswordOctober 29, 2010

And bad...

BM is losing her job. She makes really good money, but her position is one of those finally affected by the mortgage/housing snafu. So she's having serious money issues. Called DH to BEG for him to help pay for SD's school. If we had the money we'd be happy to help, but we've told her time and again we cannot justify paying so much for elementary school, nor can we afford it. Since she made the decision to put SD in that school herself even though we said we couldn't help... I think it's really too bad for SD but I can't feel guilty about it.

So, she's really laying it on thick. Evidently I am.... (wait for it....)

The BEST SM EVER. She LOVES ME. And TRUSTS ME. And ___________(fill in the blank with the best butter ever).

I have to admit, it makes me a little warm inside. The only thing tarnishing the whole subject is that she has completely forgotten that when we moved states (one big reason was to be closer to SD) that she kept SD from us, did everything in her power to mess up any opportunity to see SD, would drive SD to our state and not tell us until she had gone back home, when we drove to see her would have thing planned right in the middle of the planned visit that SD really wanted to go to (hmmm, dad and SM or THE BEST ACTIVITY EVER THAT YOU WILL NEVER GET TO DO AGAIN?????????) told SD no one in her family on this side loved her or wanted her, blah blah.

Yeah. So it's kind of hard to believe her when she's being so nice. But I'll take the compliments where I can get them.

AND now BM wants to schedule visits on a regular basis, and and and and and... all of a sudden she's available anytime for more visits and "all you had to do was ask". LMAO.

I'm SO HAPPY. And I feel pretty great, even though I know she's blowing air up my dress.

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As long as you know she's just blowing air to get what she wants... enjoy it while it lasts! (I'd stand back during the backlash when she doesn't get her way though!)

At one time, I was the best SM too. BM told me how we'd be great friends for SD's sake. She told me how much she admired my domestic side & she could never bake the stuff I do... I'm so artistic & creative. It does feel good to hear the compliments, it's not likely to ever happen again but at least I have the memories!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 5:18PM
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I guess if the kid herself would say that, it would be great because we do want approval of SKs. But I wouldn't care so much if SO's ex think I am great or not, I don't care if she approves of me. I do feel warm when SDs say or do something to show their gratitude for something. I would be very suspicious if BM said something nice to me, she does not even say nice things to her own kids.

On the other hand I did say nice things to DD's SM and she probably liked it. But I was sincere plus I want nothing from ex or SM. So no secret agenda.

I do feel bad for BM though losing her job. Tough times for everyone.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 6:51PM
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I wonder how long this nice act will last though. People are master manipulators when they want something. Since she knows she may be falling into a financial hole in the near future she may be trying to play nice to see what she can get out of you all. She now knows you can't afford the school...but I wouldn't be surprised if she began asking for smaller monetary help on a regular basis. Like "oh my electric bill is behind can you help me and dd out this month?" or "dd needs _____ for this activity she wants to do". BLA BLA BLA

In the meantime take advantage of the extra time with sd.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 3:48PM
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I care that SD's mom thinks I'm a good stepmother. She's never said one bad thing about me yet, so it's good to hear. She's also told me that in person... And SD and I get along great. I'm really lucky that way.

I could care less if X's GF thinks I'm a good mom or not though. But I also care that X thinks DH is a good SF. I think it's important for Bio parents to like stepparents if possible. After all, they are spending time with your kid.

Inc, that's exactly what she's doing. She's making nice because she wants something. It's sad.

We won't help her with her bills. We have offered to take SD though...

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 3:54PM
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I think if she is going to lose her job, there might be a need for dad to help with bills. Of course he does not have to pay for her entertainment or clothes but most of her bills probably involve supporting his child that she is raising full time. If mom is losing her income and she is a full time parent, she most certainly won't be able to provide as much, unemployment is not enough.

Would she apply for increase in CS? It is understandable if she wants dad to help.

It is not nice though if she is manipulating him by saying that his wife is nice. Maybe she thinks if she speaks nicely of SM, dad will be more willing to help financially. I have a feeling that's the reason.

Or maybe she knows that dad won't increase CS and won't help so now she wants dad to see his DD more because it would be helpful for BM financially speaking, who knows. She sounds desperately trying different measures.

In any case I think dad needs to see his kid more, no matter if she has a job or not. I don't think he needs anyone's permission (unless courts decide he should see his kid only infrequently). And I do think he might need to prepare to pay more CS. But hopefully mom finds new job really quick.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 8:51PM
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Ha hah ahahahaha... dad might need to pay her bills? I sincerely do not think this is our responsibility at all. Especially since we've paid off her bills after she took out credit in his name and refused to pay it off and went bankrupt to avoid it, so they went after him. And he paid and paid and paid. We're done. There isn't a court of law in America that would expect an ex-husband to pay the bills of the ex-wife.

And if we went to court to revise CS it would be down rather than up. DH was making twice the amount he does now than when they divorced and he's never asked for a lower payment. He pays well above and beyond what is expected by the courts.

PO1, you really make me laugh. Of course he doesn't need anyone's permission to see his daughter. But as it is with other parents here, the mother often makes it nearly impossible. She sets it up so that the kid is between a rock and a hard place. Go see dad, or go to THE GREATEST EVENT EVER!!! So yes, we could be the "bad guy" and force SD to come see us and she'd miss __________. It would be so easy for me to do that with DD too.

But when DD's dad says, I have _______ time off to see her, I say great. I don't tell DD that she will miss summer soccer and softball. I don't tell her about the absolutely amazing fourth of July party she misses EVERY YEAR with the bouncy castle on the beach and face painting and music and tons of kids. I don't tell her about how we went snowboarding without her, or that the movies at the pool were her favorites. I downplay all of that. I don't want her to feel conflicted.

BM isn't like that. And we don't want SD to feel awkward or uncomfortable. DH doesn't want to take her back to court to get something forced because he doesn't think it will be good for SD. Of course we want to see her. She's always welcome. It's a difficult place to be though. It's hard to know what is right.

"most of her bills probably involve supporting his child that she is raising full time"

I highly doubt it. She has other kids. And I know that most of my bills are not to support my daughter. The child support he gives, including health insurance, is above and beyond the needs of a child.

Of course, she won't be able to afford the designer brands she's been dressing her in, and she will probably have to sell one of her many luxury cars. A ten bedroom house may not be in the cards anymore. She very well might be desperate. But I have little sympathy.

We will do what is right for their daughter. She will have a house, clothes, food, education and of course, love. But to even slighly insinuate that we should help support BM is hysterical.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 1:45AM
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If dad already pays very high CS then sure there is no need to increase it. Well most of the bills do involve providing for a child, heat, car, house etc all involve providing for a child.

of course dad should not pay her bills that do not involve his daughter. Of course dad should not support mom. It would be silly.

But if she is raising his daughter full time and he only sees her infrequently for short visits, he might have to help more.

BM provides food, clothes, house, heat, transportation, education and whatever else for SD. Even if dad pays CS, still it is not the same as actually raising a child. If she loses her job it will be difficult for her to continue providing for SD the way she did. That's I think helping more with providing for SD is entirely appropriate.

But once again if CS is already very high then he shouldn't worry.

As about seeing one's children more, I have a different opinion. I don't think it is that simple. I agree though it probably shouldn't be forced on children, children should miss the parent more than wanting to attend events. It is sad if it is not there.

Although maybe it should be forced at some age, don't know, didn't have that experience.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 9:05AM
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"Well most of the bills do involve providing for a child, heat, car, house etc all involve providing for a child."

Some people make everything about the child, when they are using their child to get what they want. Child needs housing.... does not equate to living in a big house in a ritzy part of town, even if they lived there together as a family. The economy has changed, incomes change & likely that even if they had stayed together in a big fancy house, they'd have lost the house by now. I know around here, there are multi million dollar home being foreclosed & lots are moving to modest homes or even go back to live with parents or family. A portion of child support is for housing, so as long as child support is paid... THAT is taken care of. (and BOTH parents are supposed to contribute to the support of a child, so if mom lost her job & has to learn to live with HER lower income... that's HER problem, not dad's. Did she offer to alleviate him by reducing the child support amount when HIS income lowered?)

Other things like a car... same thing. Downsize if you have less income. There are also lots of parents that don't drive & use public transportation. A car may be a necessity, but an EXPENSIVE car is a luxury.

and PO1, maybe you missed the point. Mom makes kids feel conflicted by telling them if you go visit dad, you'll miss out on fun stuff here. If kids choose fun stuff (and the older kids get, they choose the fun) then dad misses out on seeing his kids... unless he forces them. Then he has kids that might resent being forced to miss fun activities. A loving parent does not make the child feel guilty, nor do they make their child CHOOSE between time with a parent & other stuff. They respect their child's right to have a close, loving relationship with their other parent, regardless of their own feelings, unless there is clearly evidence that spending time with the other parent is HARMFUL to the child. Unfortunately, some parents alienate the child because they dislike the other parent and/or their new spouse. Sometimes they interpret what they don't agree with, as being harmful to the child & use it to justify limiting contact. A parent that does that, is the one that is harming their own child... and studies have shown that those children grow up to resent and/or hate the parent that denied the other parent in the child's life.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 10:45AM
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I didn't miss any points I just don't agree that it is that simple, I don't believe mom has that much power.

Kids (unless you are talking 2-3 year olds) are not that easily manipulated.

I do see your point, but if a child has emotional connection to the parent then they would want to see that parent even if they would miss fun events (and why can't NCP offer fun events?).

It is completely ridiculous to deliberately manipulate one's child. It is unacceptable. yet it is not that simple. DD sat there and cried if she could not (for legitimate reason) see her dad. No fun events would substitute for that. She cries now missing us and she is 22. She does have fun events and is in committed relationship yet it is not a substitute for seeing us or grandparents or other family.
I think it is wrong to passively sit there and say well my kid does not want to see me so i am not going to do anything about it accept complaining about my ex. I do agree that it is unacceptable for a CP to manipulate a child, but building loving and warm relation with NCP is NCP's job. I didn't prevent DD from having relationship with her father (even for whatever crazy reason I would want to, neither DD nor her dad would allow me to do that, they would make my life he&&) but I did nothing to build it. It was dad's job.

As about helping mom. If dad already pays a lot of CS, then he could relax.

I think it is funny to suggest BM had to ask for lowering CS even though dad barely sees the kid. If he thought he paid too much, then he should file for reduction. I do agree that there is no need to drive luxury cars but cars are a necessity where I live(public transportation is nonexistant in my area as in many other areas, there is none)

I think there is a lot of negative attitudes and power struggle between mom and dad and other adults involved and it effects a child. That's a shame.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 11:28AM
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Just to add that I understand I am biased here because I was a custodial parent, we had about 65/35 arrangements. I was also a single parent in every sense of the word. And I know what it means to raise a child without live-in-BF or a husband helping with bills or rich parents etc. Paying CS and raising children is day and night (or raising children with help of a spouse or a partner). And if dad barely saw DD and then complained how I should downsize and too bad I lost my job and then SM would say "we" are not going to help and SM don't feel sympathy (I doubt mom cares though), then it would be just plain unfair and unkind. I think there is more to the story.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 1:13PM
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Mom (and some dads) do have that much power, I believe. But it's not even the power you're thinking of. It's the power of persuasion. As adults we face this all the time. I planned to go to a birthday party for my nephew. Long drive, not the most fun ever. That same weekend we had an opportunity to do something both DD and I would enjoy more. It would have been very easy for me to manipulate both her and me, and my nephew's family so that we didn't have to go. But I stuck with our original commitment, and we had a good time. Would we have had a better time doing our other option? Yes. We would have. But we had good time and we did the right thing. That's not to say that while driving the 3 hours there and back I didn't wish I were right down the street!!

Since both my X and I really do want what is best for DD and we work fairly well together to ensure things are fair it is pretty obvious to us both just how easy it could be. All you have to do is find something fun the kid wants to do on a schedule that breaks up their time with the other parent. Get the kid excited about it, the kid will beg to go, the other parent won't want to be the bad guy and there you have it.

I know it works, because I see it time and again. Yes, some kids cry because dad isn't there for them. That's because DAD isn't making effort. That happens a lot too.

"As about helping mom. If dad already pays a lot of CS, then he could relax."

Dad is relaxed. There is not a snowball's chance you know where that a court would ask him to pay more. Any visit to the courthouse would leave them scratching their heads of why he's paying so much to begin with.

I think it's funny that PO1 says: "I think it is funny to suggest BM had to ask for lowering CS even though dad barely sees the kid. If he thought he paid too much, then he should file for reduction"... response to what Ima is saying when she says "...if mom lost her job & has to learn to live with HER lower income... that's HER problem, not dad's. Did she offer to alleviate him by reducing the child support amount when HIS income lowered?)"

LMAO Ima. No, she didn't. The point, PO1, is that if she expects DH to be sympathetic and offer more it helps if you aren't a greedy, selfish person for years leading up to that point. When they divorced she wanted to move out of state because she could make more money there. DH agreed, even though he would make less. The CS was set in the home state. He went, he made less, he still paid more. Her salary rose exponentially and she never offered that he could pay less. He is more than willing to pay for his daughter and did not go back for a revision.

He doesn't see her that often because BM doesn't make the opportunity, and he doesn't want to force it. If it were me, I might force it. But it's not really my business. I'm just the support staff.

And I disagree that it's not one parent's job to help build the relationship with the other parent. It so very much is!!! I build up DD's relationship with her dad by complimenting him when she can hear, never talking bad about him in front of her, making sure he can see her whenever he is available (he is self employeed and has an odd schedule), even if it is conflicting to what I want to do...I also try to build up for SD her relationship with both her parents. I tell her good things I know about her mom, I try to twist things in a positive light.

We try to show DD that we are a team. We are TEAM DD. As parents, we try to show a united front. From what SD says when she comes over, her mama talks a mile of poop about DH. And that is sad.

I also try to show SD that I am on her side, I am team SD. Not a major player, but I'm in the cheering section and am first aid certified. I also can drive the team bus and cook the team lunch.

Kids are so aware, and so complicated. I told SD last time she was here that I love her father, and I love her, and I love our little family. But that for her sake, I wish her parents were still together. I wouldn't give this up for the world, but I know how much she loves her parents, and how important they are to her. You should have seen the relief on her face. To be understood. That she was ok for wishing I weren't in the picture, and her Sfather weren't in the picture. That it was just her and dad and mom. A happy, intact family.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 1:23PM
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"Paying CS and raising children is day and night (or raising children with help of a spouse or a partner). And if dad barely saw DD and then complained how I should downsize and too bad I lost my job and then SM would say "we" are not going to help and SM don't feel sympathy (I doubt mom cares though), then it would be just plain unfair and unkind."

You know what is just plain unfair and unkind PO1? To keep a child from her parent and then make that parent have to be the bad guy in order to see her. There is a lot more to the story, sure. I could tell you horror stories about BM's behavior. But I'm not going to stoop to that.

And no, I don't have sympathy. When my SD comes over and says "don't you wish you had a Bentley like my mom does" and I have to bite my tongue till it bleeds and say "wow, that sounds great SD, but no, I'm pretty happy with my truck. It's paid off and she drives me where I want to go". When we ask if SD can come for ______ time and BM says she'll check on it and then we find out she booked them trips to ______ (insert exotic location here) AFTER we asked and never once considered asking us if we would want her for that time.

Or, let's talk about her moving out of state so she could make more, even though DH would make less, and he agreed, with the courts (because you have to get court permission). DH moved out there, but just could not make a semblance of the money. His income dropped by half. Different area. Financially he wasn't making it. Should he have stayed there, and lived very poor, unable to do anything with SD? Or should BM have stayed here, made a little less money, but kept her daughter where both parents would be stable and able to see her?


I haven't told BM that I don't care. Nor would I. That's why I'm telling you anonomyous people :) I do feel for her, but I think she's made her own bed and I don't feel responsible to clean it up for her.

I will take SD into our home. I will give up my office so she can have her own room. Gladly. I will drive her to activities and make sure she sees her mom every chance she gets. No problem.

I will not pay even more money so her mom can continue to live the extravagant lifestyle she's created for herself. How would that be fair? If BM's mind were really on SD's education she'd have put that Bentley money in the bank and wouldn't have to worry about taking out a loan for elementary education.

Her poor choices do not = me being a miser.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 1:40PM
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"Just to add that I understand I am biased here because I was a custodial parent, we had about 65/35 arrangements. I was also a single parent in every sense of the word. And I know what it means to raise a child without live-in-BF or a husband helping with bills or rich parents etc. Paying CS and raising children is day and night (or raising children with help of a spouse or a partner). And if dad barely saw DD and then complained how I should downsize and too bad I lost my job and then SM would say "we" are not going to help and SM don't feel sympathy (I doubt mom cares though), then it would be just plain unfair and unkind. I think there is more to the story."

I am not biased, I don't think you have to be biased to think of what is good for the child. I was a custodial parent with 100% custody of my kids (except my oldest) & got NO child support or any financial assistance from the father for extra's.. nor a free night off. My two younger kids have never spent a day or night with their father, it was ME 24/7 ~ 365. When my daughter was 12, we found her father living in the same town as my mom... about two hours away from where we lived. I offered to him the deal of the century. I told him that if he would start seeing his daughter, have any kind of relationship ~ even just calls or letters ~ then I would forgive all the child support arrears he owed and forfeit any support as long as he saw her. He agreed, made an arrangement to see her two weeks later & the day we were to see him, I drove her the two hours. He had us meet at his mom's house. We waited... and waited for two hours. He finally called & said his car broke down on the freeway a couple hours away & he wasn't going to make it. I offered to drive up & get him but he made another excuse so I realized that he was lying. He wasn't broken down & wasn't going to see her. I took her home & investigated the number he called from. It was a land line in another state. I called it & the lady there told me he lives there & was at work. We promptly lost his number & left it up to him to contact us. He never did. THAT IS A FATHER THAT CHOOSES TO NOT SEE HIS CHILD!!!!! A father that allows his child to choose a soccer game with her friends over spending the weekend with him is choosing to allow his daughter to be happy. The problem is when the mother creates activities to entice the child from wanting to go see dad. IT'S NOT THE SAME THING!!!

and child support should be based on the needs of the child, not the wants of the custodial parent. We are supposed to get $216 a month for SD. That is what her mother is obligated for to cover all her living expenses. IF she paid it, we would be thrilled & do not believe a good reason to increase that amount because we lose our job, or spend more than we make. If our income goes down, our standard of living goes down. How is that her problem if we aren't working (if she's paying her obligation)? I also don't believe we are entitled to more because she moved in with her boyfriend and has pays no rent for herself. But that is only my opinion.

Child support should be increased if the child's needs increase... like as they get older, they get more expensive to raise. Obviously, if the ordered amount is based on low earnings & the payer gets a really good job with lots more money, then yeah the children should benefit from that by getting more support... just as the support can be decreased when the payer's income is decreased. Because as the parent's income goes up or down, the child's standard of living goes up or down. It is not the responsibility of the other parent to keep that standard up at all times.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 3:02PM
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ima, I meant i am biased when I read stories of custodial parents raising children full time by themselves and noncustodial parents barely seeing their kids (of course it is custodial parent's fault they don't) and then complain that they pay high CS or their exes are no good. I root for custodial parents and noncustodial parents who make an effort to have a relationship with their kids and be in their lives. I think it is a pitty when a parent who barelly sees his kid to complain that CS is too high. Really, now. I have no sympathy.

Ima I know your SD's BM is not a good parent, that's why my support is with you and your DH and I know you raised your kids alone, so you know what it takes. Maybe BM tells people how difficult you and DH made for her to be involved. Who cares? She does not do enough for SD. SO's ex also screamed how SDs do not want to stay with her because it is SO's fault. Nope, not the case.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 4:30PM
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"Of course it is custodial parent's fault they don't"

My point is that no, it's NOT always the custodial parent's fault the dad doesn't see the kids... in my case, I went out of my way to try & get my daughter's father to see her. In Silver's case, the dad wants to see the kid & mom keeps kid scheduled so dad would need to make kid cancel events to spend time with him. Should he force visits? Or should he allow his daughter to not have to choose? My gut feeling is that if the child were to choose spending time with dad, mom would share her disappointment with the child... so child is influenced by mom. Kids, by nature, want to please their parents. If mom is saying she wants one thing and dad says he wants his time, the only result is for child to feel conflicted. Do I do what mom wants or dad? One of them isn't going to be happy & that weighs on a kids' mind. So, when dad says "go ahead & play your sport", he is making it easy for his child to not have to choose. However, mom should never have put the child in that position to begin with. Instead, mom should say "you should go enjoy your weekend with dad" which isn't her being responsible for the relationship, but it certainly is what's best for her daughter. If the daughter then says, "but I really don't want to miss this game!" then the child is making the decision. The truth is that kids will grow up fast & remember who sacrificed for them and who caused them pain. They will figure out that dad didn't want to make me choose and mom always made me feel guilty... and it will affect their adult parent/child relationship ~ and how much they allow the parent to be involved with grandkids. (unless they continue the dysfunction with their own kids)

and yes, BM tells everyone we exclude her and took SD away from her & that's why SD doesn't live there. After a wile, anyone that sticks around long enough will see that she is a liar. Her kids have figured it out, I'm sure the boyfriend's family & her other friends do too. In the last five years, she has changed her group of friends a few times. You can only fool people so long, but you can't fool your kids... they know more than anyone else, even if they choose not to do anything about it.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 4:59PM
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Absolutely a parent can have that much power over a child.

Pof1, you are used to your ex and yourself---two reasonable parents who want what is best for their child--and you assume that all parents are the same.

Unfortunately, there are parents out there who WILL try to turn their child against the other parent, or force the other parent to be the *bad guy.*

Silver, don't sweat it a bit. It's unfortunate that BM lost her job but it does NOT mean you guys should pitch in for her bills. Good grief. This woman (I'm sure) is a big girl and can suck it up and cut corners where she needs to, just like the millions of us who have been affected by this economy.

Glad you're getting SD for Christmas, though!

And I also understand you being glad that BM views you as a good SM. It's normal to want that and be flattered/appreciative when the way you are is recognized and valued.

I take care of SS a lot---and it meant so much to me when BM allowed me to take him on vacation out of the country!! She flat out said "I know he is in good hands." That felt so wonderful to me, despite how things have been, to realize that she does know I am a good stepmom.

Of course, look where we are now ;) But still. It's nice to be appreciated.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 5:47PM
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Love, exactly. I'm trying not to put too much in this praise, but I'm happy to hear it. It's not so much "you're great" as "I trust you" which is so important to me. I told BM the last time we talked that I know how hard it is to send your child off with their dad, I do it with DD, and how much faith I have to have that X and WBSM are going to do right by her. I promised her I would take care of SD and that I would do all I could to make sure she was cared for and safe. It's nice to hear that she actually feels that about me. Even if it's just a manipulation, y'know?

I'm so happy about Christmas!!!

"You can only fool people so long, but you can't fool your kids...

That's what we are expecting Ima. I know that my mom fooled me for a long time, and when I finally realized it was devastating. I can't believe your X wouldn't take such a sweet deal... to just give up on his daughter like that. What a shame.

I think it is a pitty when a parent who barelly sees his kid to complain that CS is too high. Really, now. I have no sympathy. "

I hope you're not talking about my DH. He does barely see her. But not because he doesn't want to, and he doesn't complain that his CS is too high, it's just that, honestly, it is. And if anyone is saying he should pay more, yes, that will be brought up. We are paying twice what we would if it were adjusted due to income. And I say "we" because all of our accounts are joint. And I don't complain. Actually, his CS out and my CS in are almost identical. So we break even. Which is rare, I'm sure.

SD actually told me that she didn't want to come because "none of (my) family here wants to see me or cares about me". OMFG. I told her that absolutely was not the case and everyone here loves her. As she can see when she comes, she is immediately folded into the giant mesh of family we have. All related to her. "well, my mom told me...."

Her mom is LUCKY I don't play the same games she does and call her on her BS... that I can bite my tongue and turn it around to something like "that's probably a misunderstanding. whatever issues there are between your mom and dad and the family have nothing to do with you. everyone loves you and wants to see you. let the grown-ups worry about that kind of stuff and you just have fun, ok?"

grrrrrrrr...... It's wrong what she does. SD is a pawn in BM's game.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 7:17PM
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hahaha... I just read this to DH. He wants everyone to know BM actually went to the DA of our state asking for more money and he laughed at her and told her she is lucky DH is not requesting the $$ be lowered. He told her she shouldn't rock her boat, she's sitting pretty nice, and that technically he should move her case to the state in which she moved, in which case she'd be getting a third of what she's getting now.

All we really want is for SD to be here, but to have her conflicted by BM's influence and guilt the time he gets to spend with her is not worth the pain she has to endure in order to spend time with us.

DH reminded me of the double holidays we've thrown (with the whole family involved); Thanksgiving the week before (and yes, the turkey and all) with all of the family so that SD can have Thanksgiving with our family too (because we have NEVER had her for an actual holiday before). The parties we throw just for her when she comes out.

Anyone heard of "Disney Dad"? The park is in our backyard... that's how outrageous it gets when she comes over. Because she gets so little time, it's to one aunt's house for a party to the next.... then to the beach, to the mountains, trying to cram it all in so that everyone can see her in the small space we have.

Quite often we only actually get her a few days because we are sharing her so much with her cousins. And I would want to spend the time with my cousins too if I were her age... kids want to play with kids. It's just sad for DH. But he wants her to know her family here, so it's a trade off. Being selfish would be so much easier.

So, DH said he wants to say "thank you" to some of you who understand and to those who are disillusioned enough to think he should pay more, "good luck with that".

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 12:57AM
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Silversword, congratulations on Christmas.

I'm a bit late here, but parents can absolutely, positively affect whether or not kids want to go to NCP's by offering alternative plans. I've seen it happen with SS repeatedly; back when BM was making sporadic visitations and SS looked forward to seeing her. If he was invited to a birthday party or somewhere with a friend, he was very upset to have to miss it to see his BM - but if he had no special plans, he'd look forward to seeing his mother. (This was years ago, but still.)

The whole CS thing reminds me of a guy I worked with years ago; he was in the process of divorcing his wife of a very short period (months). He had offered her temporary spousal support that seemed extravagant to me (basically paying for all necessities; it was more than I made working); she felt it wasn't enough and wanted him to pay for such things as baby sitter expenses for her children from previous marriages, for which she was receiving CS from their fathers. They ended up in court, the (female) judge reviewed the financial records and announced that the woman had brought no assets to the marriage, had contributed nothing financially during the marriage, and, do to the brief duration of the marriage, was entitled to temp spousal support of..... nothing. Nada, zilch, zip. I guess it should go without saying that once she hauled him into court his previous offer was off the table, although I think she did try to ask him if he was still willing to pay that amount. Ooops. It just astonishes me as to how one-sided some people's perspectives can be.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 8:55AM
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Hi Mattie,
Thanks!! It's been my dream for years to have both girls for Christmas in the snow :)

Your CS story reminds me of Heather Mills. One-sided indeed.

And if kids are given a choice they often won't choose the parent. DD will often make choices that are not logical, IMO, which is why I don't give her too many options. And she loves her dad, has a great time with him. So it has nothing to do with not wanting to be with him and everything to do with not having a clear understanding of the effects of her choices.

We learned this BIG time last time SD was out here. We (I) happened to mention a 'party' that was going on. We wanted to go to one of her cousin's house in the next town and have family time rather than the giant block-party-ish shindig. Well. I never should have mentioned the "P" word. Because that's all she wanted to do. We ended up letting her go and she spent the night with those cousins. Yet another night not spent with dad.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 10:25AM
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I never said DH has to pay more. If he already pays enough, then good for him. I do think he needs to see his kid more though.

If the issue is mom denying him visitations then it is easily fixable because it is not legal to deny visitations. So he knocks on the door and she is hiding inside not opening? But it seems that the issue is that the kid would rather do something else like parties with cousins or other fun stuff, then I don't see how it is mom's fault. I see it as a completely different separate issue of a lack of connection between a kid and a parent.

Love, this is nothing to do with reasonable. If my ex was unreasonable and kept DD from me, I would drive, or fly or swim there and knock on his door 24/7 until he opened and if he didn't opened I would go to the police and then to court. I would not sit around allowing my child to become estranged from me due to lack of contact.

"and yes, BM tells everyone we exclude her and took SD away from her & that's why SD doesn't live there." exactly

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 6:30PM
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"I know how hard it is to send your child off with their dad"

It is? Hard? With their own dad? Why? I am puzzled.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 7:25PM
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That's great PO1. We think DH needs to see SD more too. I'm sorry you don't understand why beating down the door won't work, but I don't think I can explain it to someone who just hasn't had the experience.

As for it being hard to send a child off with their dad, again, unless you have had that experience with a person who is even slightly unhinged but on the whole a good parent who just makes bad choices, well... kinda hard to explain. I hold my breath for three months a year.

SD doesn't want to see cousins MORE than her dad. I remember going to dad's house as a kid and taking friends with me. I LOVED him to death, but I wanted to hang out with friends. My dad and I had a terrific relationship when I was a kid. Super fun, super cool. He was the best dad ever. Made so much time for me, played with me, etc. But if my friends came by... buh-bye daddio!!

So this is not a rare thing, for a child to want to hang out with kids her own age rather that dad. This does not mean their relationship is not good.

It has to do with taking their mom to court puts them in a position in which they get guilt tripped, they have to choose sides, not the side of which is right for them but who is the saddest, lonliest, neediest and which one the child needs to protect and care for more. Pushing only creates more conflict, which is taken out on the child.

We have had this experience several times, each time we have her BM has some sort of emergency that she involves SD in (Mommy is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO sick, mommy is in hospital, mommy is DYING) when really NOTHING is wrong with mommy except mental illness. SD is traumatized, feels she needs to be with mom. We try to deal with it, the entire time we are with her, when we take her back MOMMY IS ALL BETTER. IT's A MIRACLE!

It's called manipulation.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 11:40PM
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It is too sad. I wonder if BM is reluctant to send her DD to dad for the same reason: she does not believe he will do a good job as a parent? She thinks he is not as fit as a parent as she is?

It might not be warranted, but maybe that is her subconcious fear. Maybe she even makes herself sick over it when DD is with dad. DD comes back and mommy feels fine.

I never had such experience worrying over DD being with dad, but I do/did worry myself sick if DD was/is in potentially dangerous situations. DD never knew any fear and it gave me grey hair. She used to work night shifts and go home at 3AM on a public transportation, now she works late again and commutes home in the dark walking far from the tube station. i try not to, but i do worry. If i call, she does not answer I worry that maybe something happened to her on the way home.

Maybe BM is the same way just in relation to her DD being with dad. So she invents all these activities to keep her kid with her. heck my SO stayed in bad marriage for 27 years (20 of thsoe years were bad)out of fear that kids would have to be with mom and mom would bring dangerous BF home(which she did but kids are thankfully grown)and girls would be exposed to it.

Oh things we do worrying about the kids...

    Bookmark   November 2, 2010 at 7:33AM
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"I would not sit around allowing my child to become estranged from me due to lack of contact." I think what Silver is saying is that her DH is stuck between that option and option B, where his child may become estranged because he is hauling her mother into court.

SS was invited to go to a pro-football game several weeks ago, on BM's weekend. If we were to have told him about the invitation, he'd have been crushed to have missed it (tickets are very hard to come by here, involving either years on a waiting list or much money to scalpers). So, if we were to have told SS naturally he would have wanted to skip visitation (even if they had a great relationship) because it could literally be years before he got another chance to go. BM would then have filed contempt charges and taken DH to court - and we could have sat back and told SS "Wow, how selfish your mother is! We can't believe that she is taking DH to court and she didn't care if you missed the game! She didn't even do anything special with you that weekend anyway."

Either way BM would have come out on the losing end; SS would have gone to BM's and been unhappy because he was missing the game, or SS would have gone to the game, BM would have filed for contempt and SS would been unhappy because BM appeared to not care if he missed it. Or BM could have done what Silver's DH is doing; realize that neither option was very good for their relationship and hope that maybe next time SS would not have conflicting plans.

Of course, a normal person would have either rescheduled visitation; in our situation that is not possible so we went with the next "normal person" option - since the family friend who had invited SS is familiar with our circumstances the invitations are always run through us, and we explained and never told SS about it at all. The problem is if only one parent is trying to make it work and the other is not.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2010 at 9:05AM
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Nope PO1... BM is not afraid of SD being here. BM is afraid of SD having more fun while she's here. Of her actually enjoying herself. That's why every time BM doesn't pack her the items she needs "...oh, right you were going to the water park!! Sorry I didn't pack a swimsuit". and snow outfits. And and and and and. Since her mother is a traveler and manages to get SD's stuff right when they go places, and it happens EVERY TIME I'm inclined to think it's not an accident. I call X when DD's going, ask what he wants me to pack, he tells me. If I can't find something or her suit is too small, I'll call and tell him right away so he can make other plans. So he won't expect he'll be able to get her off the plane with her carry-on packed with a swimming suit for her cousin's indoor pool party the same afternoon and then having to try to borrow one or drive around looking for one in winter. HA! Yes, this happened. Poor kid, right?

SD was supposed to go back one night we were in their town but BM got "mysteriously" ill, and was extremely grateful (we spoke by phone for over an hour) that SD could stay with us. Nevermind that we had plans that night (and that we had asked for SD to spend the night and BM said no, she has ______ planned with her family) so our plans were ruined. Because we couldn't take SD out with us to visit the friends we had planned to see, because she was a sobbing mess on the couch.

We happily stayed back with SD, but she was a traumatized WRECK. BM wanted us to go sit in the hospital with SD. I told BM absolutely not. If something happened, we would be over there in a flash, but we weren't going to sit in the ER with a child in the middle of the night. And BM was FINE. So she needlessly worried her child, kept her and us up all night. If she were sick about SD being with us she would have done it on the first night we had her, not on the last, where we asked to have her, were told no, and then we made plans. She sabotagued us.

SD got sick one time she was here and BM wanted us to drive her down and put her on a plane. SD is saying, but mom, I'm throwing up! BM tried to blame it on us, that we got her sick, but SD came out after a phone call a few days later and told us BM had been sick with the same thing right before SD left.

I'm sorry you can't understand PO1, but I feel that you are intentionally taking the side of BM, creating farsical "what-if" statements and making it out that my DH is a deadbeat dad who doesn't care about his daughter. Nothing could be further from the truth. After SD has talked to her aunts and uncles and they've talked to me it's pretty obvious BM is poisoning her daughter against his side of the family. Unless she wants money. Then she's nice as pie.

Mattie, the football game story is spot-on. He didn't get to go, did he? That's too bad. That's exactly what happens with us. I don't think that if he choose the game over mom it means he doesn't love her as much.

It's like this: in healthy relationships kids know their parents will always be there for them. We've made it clear to SD that we want her to have a good time and that we won't guilt-trip her into spending time with us. We will love her even if she chooses other activities over ones with us. In unhealthy relationships the child will cling to the parent because they are afraid if they choose something over the parent the parent will reject them.

I want SD to be happy. I don't want to make her life complicated, and I don't want a war between BM and us. I always give DD the "dad choice" and try to make it sound like the most fun one, because I think it's important to have a father.

It may not work so much when she gets older, but not mentioning the sleepover with her friends on the weekend she's going to visit grandpa in the hospital with dad and then "go out for chocolate sundaes!!! WAHOOO" works for now. I'm her parent. I pick what I think is important and then manipulate her into choosing what I think is right.

That's right, I said I manipulate her. I withhold information, I try to make things sound more fun than they actually are. But it works. And she has fun. And she has a great relationship with her dad.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2010 at 2:37PM
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Oh Silver, I know exactly how you feel. While DH and I were on our break, BM told him that she hoped we would get back together because she "didn't have a problem" with me. Then...1 month after we got back together, BM started hacking up any bonds between SD and I, oh, but she still used those bonds to get me to do stuff for her...for SD's sake...of course.

I know well the feelings of relief that BM actually sees your value in SD's life. I know well that small thought that says "Maybe all that stuff with BM wasn't sooooo bad," and that maybe she really doesn't have such a sinister plot.

All 3 times we have visited SD's town this year it is the same thing. It's always that DH doesn't involve himself enough and that we should try more. Also, she says that if he'd have just asked he would've been invited to this or that. They provide us with dinner or whatever meal we are around for and show us all kinds of video of things SD does. Yep, BM and SF come off looking like prize-winning parents and DH comes off looking like the "uninvolved" father.

Oh and they pretty much agree to anything. Like they agreed to SD going to her brother's wedding (that she didn't go to) and even getting to spend time with SD on the way back through her town from the wedding (which didn't happen either).

But the rest of the time, they are ducking phone calls, emails and text messages. If we do get to see SD here, BM texts her constantly (I mean every minute of the day). They do everything possible to interrupt visits.

Yes...parents do have THAT much influence over kids. But at least you get to have the good times for a little while.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2010 at 4:56PM
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Its great that you will have both girls for Christmas. I know your DH must be thrilled. We give up our Christmas Day in exchange to a week after Christmas. The kids want to be at home for santa and we understand that besides we get more time after.

We have missed our last 2 weekends with them because BM had plans that they really wanted to be a part of. DH could have made them come but would not be fun for any of us. We only plan fun stuff for when we have them, if by chance we go do something without them that they would have realy enjoyed, we dont tell them we went.

I agree that parents can manipulate their kids. I see it happen all the time with my Skids. I have seen with my own eyes how BM treats them if she thinks they have betrayed her. It was right before SS11 football game, the girls and I went to sonic to get drinks for during the game. Sonic was busy and we were a few minutes late getting back to the game. By that time BM was there. She saw that my DH was there and we were not. So she saw all of us walk in together and knew they went with me alone. Keep in mind this is our weekend. So the girls went over to her to hug her, she would not hug them or speak to them. They were crying and upset. So after she got them upset before the game was over she finally hugged them. They did not have much to do with me the rest of the wkend. How sad is that? She is a needy selfish woman who punishes her kids for liking SM or having fun with us.
If we are all having a good time, if she calls, they all tell her they are bored, miserable, missing her so much, not doing anything. They hang up and its back to having fun again.
Enjoy all the time you can get and hope like we do when she gets older she will see the whole picture. My SD13 will tell me "momma is just bitter" so she is starting to see it for what it is.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2010 at 5:36PM
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