Caring about bm's feelings....NO WAY!

incognitomomDecember 5, 2010

So BM has not seen the kids since her parents were here for a visit in August. She called once, in Sept. to make plans to see sd to take him bday shopping and have a party for him. THe big day came and no bm. I texted her that night and got the usual lies and excuses. She never contacted the kids after. BM's parents contacted me about the kids and Christmas gift ideas. I gave them some and asked if bm is still in the area and told them the details of her little contact with the kids since they left.

Next day bm texts me about wanting Christmas ideas for the kids. I text her back that I am surprised to hear from her after all this time. She texts back hours later about working a lot, problems with bf, and the usual list of excuses. Then she asks if I can get her a list or if she should use ideas from her parents list. I tell her I will get her ideas.

Next day the grandma texts me about some Christmas stuff. I let her know bm texted about it too. She says bm knows she messed up but they are glad she is contacting hte kids. I tell her bm never contacted the kids. Grandma says that bm is scared of sd's reactions to her. I was thinking BM should be!!! Well later that night bm texts older sd with a bunch of I love you bs and congrats on making the volleyball team. She then texts middle sd about congrats on her reportcard (from over a month ago) and all the love you bs. Both girls come to me and dh angry with bm over the lovey texts when she never lives up to her promises of being around. Middle sd starts sobbing about how much she misses bm and why doesn't bm care about her and stick around!

It was heartbreaking. I got on dh about it and said he needs to get on bm and let her know this in and out crap needs to end because it is destroying her kids. Its not fair to watch this cycle she puts them through. So he texts her and tells her how selfish she is and that he hopes she eased her conscience and got her parents off her back because she is destroying her kids! He told her of the sobbing and told her it is pathetic that her parents have to be told what a deadbeat she is for her to make contact with her kids.

BM never responded but my dh missed a call from her parents home later. No message and he has not called them back yet. HE says they are probably going to give him crap about the text and how hard bm has it. Now he is crabby and telling me that I should not have had him text all that because now he has to deal with her parents. I told him the kids are not toys bm can take off the shelf and play with till she gets bored and then she can toss them aside.

Why is everyone so worried about bm's feelings?? She obviously couldn't care less about her kids!

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How many times do we have step-parents on here complaining about how their spouses are just completely and totally oblivious to continued appalling behavior of the SD's (and SS's), and the parents just keep making excuse after excuse after excuse for them? Oh, she's young, she's immature, she didn't know better, she didn't really mean it, she made a mistake but she's a good person at heart, she's really sorry, she's trying to change, she's having a really hard time right now, blah blah blah. Underneath is always the same theme - it's not her fault.

I'm sure that it's not only divorced parents who sometimes think that way, and it's got to be really difficult for them to face the fact that their daughter is a useless piece of work who is horribly hurting their grandchildren by her behavior. In addition, I'm sure they are not aware of every single detail of her bad behavior - I can't imagine DH is calling them to let them know every time she does something wrong. So BM's got a whole bunch of gaps that she can fill in with her parents, however she wants - and her parents already want to believe her; they want to believe that, even if not now, someday she'll be SuperMom.

So, let's see.... I'm guessing if grandparents are upset it will be along the lines of BM tried, she reached out to her kids, and DH was oh-so-mean and kids were oh-so-ungrateful in not just falling all over themselves to fawn all over her and kiss her behind.

If I were DH and that's the approach that they took, I'd try to keep the conversation focused on where it should be - on how BM blowing hot and cold is affecting the kids. That's what's important, not whether DH could have put that message more tactfully or not, but on how their grandchildren are suffering.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2010 at 7:25AM
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You should not let the BM's behavior affect the peace and harmony of your family. By reacting to her actions, you and your husband took on her GARBAGE.
She is who she is, so try to change her just by simply having your H call w nasty text msgs, is just a waste of your efforts. It serves only to bring disharmony into your family's life.
Ignore her. How she make her own children feel badly, is her own choice in her own rights. You have no controls of her actions and thoughts, but you have total control of your own actions and thoughts.
By putting more hatred and anger into the situation, all you get back is the same, anger, as reflected in your husband's crabbiness and frustration. just treat the situation with compassion. Change your thinking to "Oh well, at least she texted her own children" instead of why she texted them so late; "oh, at least the middle sd still has a mom, not a good one but a live one, while many other children have NO MOM at all.".

Tt is so hard to see the children suffer from a irresponsible mother, we all want to see that suffering stop for them. Unfortunately, pleasure and pain are all parts of life. We can have pain, but we can chose not to suffer. Suffering is only a state of mind. In your case. you all have the pain from a dysfunctional XW, BM, but you can chose NOT to let her destroy the other parts of your life.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2010 at 7:35AM
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Shakti, I agree with most of what you say, in that incognitomom and DH cannot control or change BM's behavior.

But I wanted to respond to "at least the middle sd still has a mom, not a good one but a live one, while many other children have NO MOM at all." I am not sure if you are implying that any mom is better than no mom - but that is not always the case. It must be awful and horribly sad for kids to grow up knowing that Mom won't be there to help them get ready for the prom, or Dad won't be able to walk them down the aisle at their wedding, or no one will see their first grandchild. However, kids with a very erratic parent grow up not knowing if that parent will be there - and if they are, what shape they will be in. Perhaps their Mom won't be around to help them get ready for the prom, perhaps she will, perhaps she will show up and then tell them that they look like a whore. Perhaps Dad will skip the wedding, perhaps he will show up and be fine, perhaps he will show up drunk with a stripper on his arm.

You may not realize the incredible stress that these kids go through, hoping and praying that the parent will be there and be "normal", or barring that, that they won't show up at all. To hope for the best, to hope that this time the parent means it when they say things will be different, to hope that things really will change - and to be disappointed over, and over, and over again is a terrible thing.

Perhaps I should say "Oh well, at least your kids got to grieve but they'll slowly begin to recover". IncognitoMom's Skids can not grieve over what is, for any practical purposes, the loss of their mother, because every time they begin to she resurfaces for a few hours.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2010 at 9:12AM
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Shakti I honestly think it would be easier on the kids if bm was not alive. I don't wish death upon her. But if she were dead they would be able to grieve and understand why she is not around. BM is constantly in and out of their lives and acts like she does nothing wrong.

She moved out of state years ago and barely contacted them. All of a sudden she is back and telling the kids how she is going to be around. That lasted a few months and then we had no contact from her. Her own family also didn't have phone numbers for her. Later we found out she left state with her bf. It was almost a year before she contacted the kids again! Her excuse: she had no access to a phone!! PATHETIC! The kids were beside themselves because they knew it was a lie, but at the same time they missed her. THey gave her heck for it. Then she moves back and promises to always be here for them. She sees them twice and then falls off the face of the earth for a few months until I show up on her doorstep one day and ask her what the heck is going on. She gives me the sob story of an abusive boyfriend and misery. I start bringing the kids to see her once a week while her bf is at work and pick them up before he gets home. It happens a few times before excuses start on why she can not see them. Then in August her parents come here to visit and she sees the kid everyday for the 4-5 days her parents have the kids. She plays supermom and the kids fall in love with the act. Grandparents leave and bm disappears again. September comes and she makes plans to take my ss shopping for his bday and throw him a party and she does a no call no show. Later I get excuses and lies through text from her. No contact since until the other day. And that was prompted by her parents because they found out she was being a deadbeat again.

This behavior is destroying her children. They see what it is like to have her around playing mom....then she disappears. They start to get past the fact she is gone and then she opens the wound with a phone call and a visit or two before she takes off on them again.

Oh but she does think about them often I am sure...when she is collecting welfare benefits for them. She has been lying for years saying she has custody of them and getting money from the state. We have reported it several times and even given the state copies of the custody paperwork. But for some reason they don't cut her off!!!

What bm puts the kids through is awful and unfair. None of us should have to accept it. Giving birth to them does not give her the right to make them miserable. DH and I feel like if we are less accommodating to her reappearance this time and make it harder for her then maybe she will rethink disappearing on the kids again because she will know it won't be easy to reappear.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2010 at 10:34AM
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I wish the season could be a bit less stressful for you Mom. Congrats on expecting, by the way.

This was always is. BM ignores the kids, a holiday or Bday rolls around and Gma gets on her buns. Right on cue. I don't know what would be more hurtful and anger me more, a BM who has little use for me, or one that only calls to upset my life because Gma guilted her. She didn't finally call/text because she wanted to, only to shut her mother up.

I'm don't think Gma is doing the kids any favors here. Think Gma means well, but what ends up happening is disruptive, hurtful and pure BS.

I'd not ask Gma about BM again. I get why you did. You knew Gma would be harping at BM to call her 'babies' and all heck would be exploding in your home when the 'oh, honey, I love and miss you' started rolling in. You probably did wonder if BM was near or far and what the fall out might be this event. Can't blame you.

I also get DH feeling stuck in it all. Here comes the 'oh, ex son in law, you know blah blah ______ ______ ______ (insert excuses)'. Texting BM is just going to make it worse as now BM gets to tell Gma what a mean mean man he is that just does not understand. (rolls eyes)

The text is sent already. Can't change that. Maybe though when the calls come to DH from Gma DH has an honest talk with her. Tells her how disruptive, hurtful, stressful blah blah it really is for the kids. Your whole household. It is what it is with BM and maybe it would at least be better for the kids if Gma did not interfer, not jump BM. Does Gma really want BM to call the kids only to get Gma off Bm's back. I don't think Gma means the results she is causing when she does this.

Gma needs to keep contact with her grandkids...end of story... she needs to let BM struggle with BM's ownself. I bet the kids would rather get a rare call that was made because BM really was thinking of them, then to get these predictable forced ones. The older girls are seeing right through this BS by now. Time for Dad and Gma to have a heart to heart. Gma really means to have the kid's best interest in all this...she thinks the grandkids deserve an active bio mom... but the meddling is backfiring badly. Gma needs to stand back and just be grateful that she, herself, has a close relationship with these kids. She can't 'fix' other people.

Next will come the forced calls about 'when can I see the kids to give them their presents' followed by both doubt and excitement from the kids. Then the 'I can't make it' then more excuses and "I love you' texts because Gma jumps her again.

I think Gma is afraid of losing her grandkids and her 'right' to contact them if BM is not involved.

To Gma: Let it be what it can have and build a relationship and bonds with these kids, BM does not need to be tossed in the middle for that to happen. Dad/Mom2 will not ever try to interfer with the love and bonds you, Gma, share with these kids.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2010 at 11:38AM
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I made a vow to myself not to mention to grandparens what a deadbeat bm is anymore! Grandma is trying to help but her forcing bm to call makes things worse. I know the grandparents want to see the best in their dd, but the truth is there in plain view. She is a deadbeat mom to her three oldest kids. And she keeps her 3 youngest kids in an abusive home so she does not have to be on her own. She is a liar.

As for the forced Christmas visit I think DH and I will just keep saying the kids are busy so it gets to the point where bm dropping off her gifts is the best option. This way she can fade away after as expected. And a short visit with her will be easier on the kids. The girls do see right through bm's tactics. Older sd really dislikes bm, but middle sd still really holds onto false hopes that bm will turn into supermom. SS is just getting to the stage where he is let down by bm. He used to be kind of oblivious to her drama.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2010 at 1:49PM
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The best thing you can do is continue to be the best mom to s'kids. Comfort them and love them and be there for them when the ax falls cause you know it will fall again.
I know it has to be frustrating, all is good and then BAM here she is again trying to fix her guilty feelings and pacify her own mother.
Grandma is just trying to guide her own daughter and I agree her heart is in the right place. My mom did this with my brother. He just had not interest in his child and my mom was determined he was going to be a good father. He is now a good father to his younger children but never stepped up to the plate for oldest DD and it's been 16 yrs.
Being a child with a father like your kids BM, it never gets easier. The disappointment never stops. Last yr my dad remembered my bday but this yr not a word. I am 30 and it shouldn't effect me but damn he was there... Shouldn't he know the date? I also hate when my mom says I knew it I told you so what a deadbeat. Makes me even angrier.... At 30 yrs old. So the best thing you can do is to comfort them when she hurts them and support them in their decisions regarding her and don't let her crap bring down your family like it did this time.
She really should not have any access to them. Their #s need to be changed and kept from her. Contact should go through BD so he can decide if they are ready to hear from her or not. Not just randomly when she feels like texting. I hate texting by the way. It's so impersonal.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2010 at 11:05PM
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