I'm annoyed...vent

lovehadleyDecember 14, 2010

I mentioned before that SS has been struggling academically.

Over the weekend, DH found out from BM (*she called him and said SS had been having issues and she needed to talk to him)that it's been getting into the behavioral area, as well.

I guess the last two Mondays she has had him, he's come home from school with a note from the teacher and a request that he write an apology note to another student.

I guess he's been acting out, saying hurtful things, etc.

This is SO not my SS. He is normally a sweet, good natured little boy; he struggles with self confidence issues, but he is never one to be mean. If anything, I think he is exceptionally gentle and tender towards others.

For once, BM and DH were able to have a conversation geared towards SS's best interest. I think everyone is in agreement that he's struggling academically and acting out because of THAT.

Finally everyone is on board and wants a solution.

I talked with DH later and gave my input. I suggested we get him an assignment notebook and request that his teacher take 5 mins at the end of each day to go over it with him. A BIG problem is that he seems pretty unaware of assignments/tests, etc.

It's fairly easy to keep track of his work because everything just stays in his backpack---which goes back and forth between homes with him. BUT he is not good about remembering what assignments he has, even though the weekly ones are the same every week.. I hate to say this but he really seems clueless about whatever is going on in class.

Okay, so first step---assignment notebook.

Second step---DH set up a conference with the teacher and I guess BM will be going, too which is good.

But here's what got me: DH talked to BM last night and she flat out admitted that sHE---because her hubby has been working out of town---does not have TIME to help SS with his homework. IE---he has a weekly math packet that comes home on Monday, due the following Monday.

In the past, BM has done a page with him on Mon/Tues nights, then I usually help him with a page on Wed/THurs nights and then it's done.

Same thing with spelling words----I review with him and BM reviews with him.

Before everyone jumps on DH, I will just say---he works a lot. He tries to be home around 6ish on our days with SS, but it's not always possible; he does the best he can. Even so, I don't feel it's fair for him to walk in the door and have to deal with stuff. I try to keep things as calm and even as possible---I like the kids to have their homework done by the time DH gets home, so the night can be less stressful and more spent as a family.

Okay, so BM tells DH last night that, with the 3 yr old and the baby and her husband working out of town, she just does NOT have time to help SS with this weekly assignments. She said she can't do it and is not even going to try, anymore, because it is "too much."


Then she asks DH if "love could do it with him instead?'

Boy, I cannot even tell you how much this chaps my @$$ to hear. I am NOT a tutor or babysitter for HER, first of all. Me helping SS on our days is my responsiblity and help to MY husband. because HE is the breadwinner.

I am fine with that.

But for BM to pretty much wash her hands of this and pass it off on me just....gets under my skin!

It was HER decision to have two more babies, whom she and her DH cannot afford. Her decision (well, and her hubby's) to have him get an apartment in another city for work.

I'm sympathetic to her situation but this is NOT a short term situation and I resent BM having no qualms about asking that I pick up HER slack.

Again---I do not mind helping SS or helping DH--and I do. But the way she said and requested this just...ughhhh!


But am I *allowed* to volunteer at SS's school? NO. That is encroaching on her territory. Allowed to be at his class holiday party? Good heavens, no.

Thanks for reading. I really needed to get that off my chest.

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Wow, she's got unbelievable gall! Yet again she wants to dump her responsibilities off onto you - and that would be bad enough if she were otherwise a decent human being who had not assaulted you, who did not call you screaming obscenities, who did not continuously expect you to pick up her slack. Just.... words fail me.

I have an interesting thought though. Sure, you can help...but honestly, it sounds like SS (truly) needs help more often than just Wednesdays and Thursdays. That's not often enough to make academic progress if he's trying to retain that with no reinforcement between time with you and DH. What would happen if you suggested that SS stay with you during the school week until he gets back on track? Would that be something that you and DH might want? If BM is overwhelmed she might agree (especially if it does not affect her finances in any way). After six months if DH wants he could file for a modification of custody to the new status quo. Honestly I feel like less time with BM would be beneficial to your SS.

BTW, I agree with your theory of homework. If I left homework for DH every evening, by the time he got home, we ate dinner, SS did homework, takes bath....they'd have almost no free time together.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 6:07PM
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I actually think she is not helping because she does not know how to, so she makes up some other reasons, kind of lying out of embarrassment like her son does. My niece is in 4th grade and my SIL absolutely cannot help with school work and waits for my brother to come home from work no matter how late that is.

If that's not the reason, then I am not getting it how she has no time? Does she work? If not, then she has more time than she needs. She does have young kids, I get that, but still she is home all day long, right? Husband is gone, so she only needs to take care of the kids, what else does she do all day long?

But if she truly does not have time for some bizarre lack of time management skills, then she should hire a tutor and pay out of her own pocket. Good tutor would be better than her unskilled help anyways.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 6:11PM
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'BM tells DH last night that, with the 3 yr old and the baby and her husband working out of town, she just does NOT have time to help SS with this weekly assignments. She said she can't do it and is not even going to try, anymore, because it is "too much"'
This just breaks my heart.

For this child's sake, I hope you can find it in your heart to take your place as momma & alpha female.

God or the great universe or somebody has put this child into your orbit-
thank goodness, because his original lottery ticket for home environment was not a winner.

I my own personal self think you need to set hubs down & read him the riot act:

He hasn't supported you or helped you or placed any structure or demands on his ex, which was bad enough all along, but this is the limit;
not only does the ex pull his strings in regards to you as a partner, now she wants to turn you into a nanny *so she won't have to take care of her own child*.

As far as being "allowed" to attend functions, you gotta say, "Nope. reject. I'll be the only wife & the best momma I can be & participate in school functions, or I'll be a carefree spirit & you & your ex can continue your miserable, irresponsible, repulsive "child-raising" without my participation."

The person who bears the responsibility for the job has to have the authority & power to get the job done.

You're entitled to regular & enthusiastic appreciation from hubs, & he should have enough sense to be immensely, abjectly, getting-down-on-his-knees-&-thanking-you-&-his-guardian-fairy-angel-godmother grateful.

& the two of them need to put up or shut up & get out of your way.

I'm sorry this is disjointed.
It distresses me greatly to hear that a child is in need.

I hope you can take control & turn this shipwreck around.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 6:21PM
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"As far as being "allowed" to attend functions, you gotta say, "Nope. reject. I'll be the only wife & the best momma I can be & participate in school functions, or I'll be a carefree spirit & you & your ex can continue your miserable, irresponsible, repulsive "child-raising" without my participation."

Sylvia, thank you for saying this.

Honestly, DH is long past the days of siding with BM. If I told HIM that from now on, I AM signing up for some volunteer activities and being an active participant in SS's school, etc, HE would be supportive.

He is over the days of telling me to cow-tow (sp????) to BM's wishes.

Honestly, a lot of it has been ME recently. I just despise the awkward, horrible situations----at soccer games, school programs, etc----and will do anything to avoid them.

But I think you are right, I just need to suck it up and attend, and BM can pitch her fit to DH and HE now will ignore her.

He has been GREAT with his boundaries with her. I think he is appreciative of what I do for SS just as I am appreciative of how hard he works for our family.

Parent---I think she means she is busy with the 3 yr old and baby in the evenings and doesn't have time to help SS with homework, etc.

Which is a load of crap----she needs to figure it out.

I do what I can when he is with us but that is only half the time. Sigh. Mattie, I really wish BM would consider letting SS be with us during the week---and her on the weekends.


A) she would NEVER go for that. Ever, ever. She is a VERY *smothering* parent. I think she is a crap parent--very permissive, guilty, etc. But she would never voluntarily give up time with SS.

B) DH would probably be opposed to her having EVERY weekend (as would I, honestly) because Sat. afternoons and Sundays are our family time and I know HE would not want to give that up. KWIM? If we ever had SS full time during the week, I can see him wanting BM to have SS every other weekend. Which, again, she would NEVER go for.

Deadbeat as she may come across, she does LOVE him, and she is very *possessive* of him, even. If that makes any sense.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 6:44PM
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LH, I understand completely how you are upset that the BM is asking that you help. BUT I am sure if your SS asked you for the help you would be more than willing. Perhaps on the school days BM has him he could stay late at school and get the help he needs. I would imagine if he saw improvement in school work it would help his self esteem. Good luck and glad you vented here. Oh and your assignment notebook is a great idea and you/DH request teacher and parent sign it daily. (This part won't help your SS but it would quickly show mom is not doing a good job helping her son)

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 7:01PM
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Here is my spin... You have every right to be annoyed... I think the part about her having two other kids that they can't afford is harsh... I had a child I sure as heck can't afford.. Oh how I miss the days of $300 a month afterschool care... Instead of $1300 a month total... BUT God gave me a second child and I am blessed and I don't care how much it cost...

Anyway... I don't have a problem with you helping SS on the days that you have him. That's your family unit and how things run in your family. I read a lot of posts where the *steps* are accussed of over*stepping* but well... If it works for you and ss is ok, then what's the problem? Here I am going to *conflict*resolution where it's drilled into our heads that DD is OUR child ... All 4 .... So if it works for my $175 per hour therapist... No one should have a problem with it.

I think BM is exhausted bc her husband isn't home and that should not linger into your family time. They are choosing to live their life this way... But it shouldn't fall on your family to support her decisions.. But I also think if you can help SS in anyway possible to get him out of his *rut* then do it! But suggest that ss live with you full time if you will be responsible... That will change her mind and force her to step up... Maybe. I know that I would if it were me...

And you not getting to go to parties or school functions is ridiculous. Is it in your order that you can't participate or is this just something you respect? I would go. You have every right to be in his school life... Especially since you are going to be providing your tutoring services...

Good LUCK!!!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 11:41PM
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"I think the part about her having two other kids that they can't afford is harsh... I had a child I sure as heck can't afford"

Wanted to clarify----I am not talking about money being tight. BM is and has been on welfare for years: food stamps, state health insurance, cash benefits, etc.

She has not worked since SS was a baby---and she and her DH are continually broke as a joke, horrible credit, yada yada. REALLY bad, like she will not have $20 for gas broke.

I just have an issue with someone like that having two more children on hardworking taxpayers' dime. KWIM?

BM is a drinker, etc. NOT a responsible person all around.

No, the school event stuff is not in our order. BM assaulted me a year and a half ago and I had a restraining order for a year. In that time, I got used to not being around her----it was always such a horrible event with her screaming, sending me nasty emails, leaving me and DH nasty voicemails, etc.

It got to not be worth the trouble.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 12:55AM
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I thought that BM asked lovehadley to help SS on BM's days, which is a ridiculous request. Did I misunderstand? If love helps SS with his schoolwork on dad's days, then I don't see what's wrong with that. Of course it is dad's job, but dad works, so stay at home wife helps with the kids. No matter whose kids. I do think though that dad has to make that request not BM, it is not BM's business how you run your household.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 9:23AM
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I took it to mean that ALL of the SS's weekly homework would be done on DH's time (by Love), despite the fact that BM has SS half of the week.

I think eandhl's idea is a very good one. Love, I think that you and DH need to think about the preliminaries of positioning yourself for a custody mod at some point in the future. I do not think this situation with BM is going to improve and you cannot keep trying to overcome her inadequacies in the limited time that you both have him.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 10:53AM
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Wow. Just wow.

SS is 8 and in 3rd grade, right? My DD is 8 and in 3rd. I completely understand wanting to get homework done before dinner. Our schedule is to come home from school, get a snack and do homework. Then the rest of the afternoon is free.

Last night DD had a page of math. Maybe 25 questions. She asked if I could help her, I said I didn't have time (I'm cleaning like mad to get ready for company). So I told her to read off a question to me. Something like 6x2+3= and I walked her through it (she knows how, she just gets.... needy about it I guess). So once she got the answer right she went on to do the rest. After she was done, she asked if I could check it. Again, I'm too busy. I had her read them out, question and answer. And she corrected the couple I asked her to look at again and we moved on.

My point is that even if a person is mopping floors and dusting and working like crazy they can still listen to an 8 year old. And I think having the kid read off the question helps more than sitting right next to them too, because then they have to think about it more.

My DD has a blank calender with abbreviated indicators. Like this (I just found this on the web):

The teacher puts her calender up on the board, and writes the homework weekly in the spaces: MA or SP or RE or whatever her little acronyms are for the homework. The kids copy it, and then they get a homework packet for the week.

It seems to work well for DD. The parents have to sign off that they read 20 minutes a day as well.

Love, that BM is a piece of work. I worked full time, went to college and had a 2 year old. And my X-husband worked nights. So I never saw him. If I could do that, BM can handle a 3 year old. Especially if she isn't working. She can do housework or whatever in the afternoons and when SS comes home she can plunk 3yr in front of the telly to watch Nemo for an hour (don't tell me she doesn't plunk that kid in front of the telly often!!!) and help SS with his dag-nabbing-fer-dawgs-sake homework!!

And I TOTALLY agree. Either you get to be Polly-Participator or you become Carefree-Carla. No more of this work like a dog and rarely get thrown a bone stuff. pshaw.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 11:16AM
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"I took it to mean that ALL of the SS's weekly homework would be done on DH's time (by Love), despite the fact that BM has SS half of the week."

Yes, this is what I was trying to explain. Sorry if it did not come across clearly, parent.

BM has SS EVERY Monday and every Tuesday; we have him EVERY Wednesday and every Thursday. The weekends (Fri-Sun) alternate.

SS has WEEKLY assignments----a math packet is sent home on Monday, due the following Monday. It is 8-10 pages, and typically, we do 2 pages a night.

Same with spelling words---he gets a weekly list and has different activities he has to do WITH the list over a week's period.

It boils down to the fact that there is work he needs to be doing EVERY night of the school week----even though it's not DUE each day, he needs to work a little bit each night to keep on track.

So BM was basically saying she is not going to do ANYTHING with him on Mondays or Tuesdays; and she was asking that I do all the work with him on our nights.

If that makes sense.

Silver, thank you. I feel the same way, totally agree with everything you said.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 11:29AM
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Same with my DD. It has to be done EVERY night or it is just overwhelming.

The spelling list goes something like: Mondays, write the spelling words in alphabetical order. Tuesdays, write a story using at least five of the spelling words. Wednesdays, abbreviate the spelling words. Thursdays, use each one in a sentence. The tasks vary, but you get the idea.

It can take her an hour to get her homework done on a regular night (that's with the interruptions that happen, bathroom breaks, broken pencil, etc). Double homework would mean 2 hours or more each night. And we all know, with 8 year olds they get frustrated sitting that long. So realistically it could take you over three hours to get the homework done from the time he sits down to the time it's actually done.

What would probably happen is SS would have a meltdown on those nights. Overwhelmed. And the content would not soak in because it's information overload.


She's ASSuming that Love will have the time to do this with SS. Because Love doesn't do anything else with her time. Her husband is home in the evenings to help, right? She has no other kids who may need help also, right? She has a maid and a cook and no responsibilities, right?? /sarcasm

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 11:52AM
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"I think the part about her having two other kids that they can't afford is harsh... I had a child I sure as heck can't afford."

It's not harsh to point out the obvious. Lots of people have children they can't afford.... otherwise, there would be very few children born. However, when you choose to have another child (planned or unplanned), you must accept responsibility for all your children. Myfampg, it sounds as if you have done that... you do not have more children at the expense of your existing children. But when a BM like LH's chooses to have more children but then would rather schlep some of HER responsibility for her son off on a SM that she has been so adamant about creating boundaries to keep her from overstepping, simply because it would make BM's life easier... it's not harsh at all to criticize her decision to having additional children that she cannot afford. My 3 children were born within 4 years & I certainly couldn't afford to give them everything I would have liked to, but what they did have was a mom that devoted every waking hour to making sure they were taken care of... even if it meant no sleep at all for me. I was a single parent with nobody to help me & I never asked anyone to help them with homework, pick them up from school, take them to events/activities, or anything else. I did girl/boy scouts, baseball, dance classes, etc. with them & quite frankly don't know how I did it, except I was in my 20's & had more energy along with determination. That is what you do when you have kids... planned or unplanned. When you make the decision to continue the pregnancy and keep the child, you devote yourself to being a parent to the child, and it should not come at the expense of your other children. (and we see dad's that have kids with wife#1 go on to have kids with wife#2... then kids from wife#1 suffer because they don't see dad much anymore, he claims he can't send the same child support, etc. That's no different from a BM that has more kids when she begins to neglect her older children to provide for her new baby.

There are a few CSM's on here, like myself, that are dealing with a BM that has more kids that they really can't afford (financially, physically, emotionally) so their other kids suffer. They have a mom that wants to be a mom to someone else but not them and the dad/SM are left to pick up the pieces. It only adds insult to injury when those BM's demand parental respect, criticize SM's involvement, and it's "MY BABY" or "MY CHILD" until they don't feel like doing something or they don't want to be inconvenienced.

I agree with what Sylvia said. BM can choose package A or package B. But, I also think LH's DH should make BM ask LH herself... of course, given past RO's I get why LH may not want that. and I think it should be brought up as an option to allow SS to stay at dad's during the week so he can get help with homework. BM may not agree with it, but it is her idea to find alternatives for getting SS the help he needs. She may be possessive of SS, but she isn't as devoted as she might have been before having two more kids & things change. She might take him up on it as long as it's presented without making her feel like a bad mom... and it's "temporary" until SS improves in school. Every weekend visits where she can pick him up from school Friday until Monday morning she can drop him off at school, as long as she agrees to let DH have him on weekends that he has plans might be an option too. I'm not saying she would agree to those options but they should be brought up.... anything that would be agreeable to you/DH should be brought up. BM chose to have more kids & while nobody wants to see SS suffer for it, that does not mean that BM gets to use SS to interfere in your life. She can't have it both ways ~ "I'm the mom!" but "You can take care of things that I don't have time for" ~ It really disgusts me when these women use their kids to remain involved in dad's life (ie. it's their business because it's their kid so what happens at dad's house is relevant because they are the mom) or they use their kids to get away with stuff. (ie. "if you put me in jail for not paying my support, our child will suffer" or "if you don't help with school work, our child will suffer" or "if you don't do what I want, our child will suffer" and of course, they rely on the fact that dad/SM are good people that don't want the child to suffer... oblivious to the fact that if she didn't want the child to suffer... she would pay her support, help with homework or do whatever it is she expects someone else to do for "her child".)

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 12:00PM
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are those packets designed for parents to do with their kids? or for kids?

My niece requires quite a lot of homework help that my brother does every night because SIL is not capable.

My brother is puzzled how neither DD nor his son (we raised kids together and they always went to the same schools and they went to very demanding schools) required NONE, as ZERO help with any schoolwork ever and how his DD needs so much help.

well only one part of it as that school is not as easy for her, but I also think because she is raised very needy. It is not just schoolwork, it is everything, she needs to be entertained and constantly needs attention.

If kids get into a habit of someone doing work with them, then what is going to happen when they will take Chemistry, Algebra 2, are you going to sit with them?

I actually have a friend whose son is in his first year of college and yes she sits with him doing homework because he just has no habit of independent work. That's too funny.

What if your kids do their work and then show it to you for check and corrections rather than doing work with them? Of course if we are dealing with true academic struggles then it is a different story, but rather than that I think parents do their kids huge disservice by doing work with them.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 12:14PM
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ParentOfOne, I tend to agree with you. I don't recall my mother checking my homework ever (maybe in first grade), and while I could go to her for help I had better really need help.

I honestly wonder if part of it is that we tended to have more siblings who were very close in age? My slightly older brother and I were always very competitive academically, and if he or I were behind where we should have been in some area we would have been teased mercilessly by the other! Of course, when I was in third grade, we had a teacher who seated us in the classroom based on our weekly grades - if you did badly you got moved back behind the kids who scored better, so the whole room knew who had done well or not. That would never happen these days.

SS's coursework is not structured the way that mine was. For example, in math, when we worked on addition we worked on nothing but addition, until we knew it forwards and backwards (literally). But when SS was working on addition he was also working on counting money, telling time, and various shapes (like a rhombus - I kid you not!) So when it was time for homework he didn't have a page or two of addition practice, he'd have two pages which covered everything from addition to parallelograms to "If Susie put a pie in the oven at 3:47 and it was supposed to bake for 75 minutes what time should she take it out?" to "If Jimmy buys a toy plane that costs 60 cents and he paid with 3 coins, name the two sets of coins he may have used". It's idiotic, in my opinion. I don't know how they're supposed to retain anything when they jump around like that.

And yes, they did have the "word" math problems as homework in first grade - when half the class couldn't read them. I think it's supposed to get parents "involved" in their kids schoolwork, but I agree with you; at what point are these kids suddenly going to decide that they don't want the attention of their parents? We try to have SS do his homework on his own and we check it; in good weeks it works well, in bad weeks, he requires so much attention and that is not very successful.

Sorry Love, I went OT. It's a sore spot with me because the schools treat the kids like babies who cannot be at all responsible for their own homework at even age 8 or 9, at the same time that they're sending home an hour or two's worth of homework each night.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 1:00PM
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"If kids get into a habit of someone doing work with them, then what is going to happen when they will take Chemistry, Algebra 2, are you going to sit with them?"

I totally agree.

My DD does her homework (3rd grade) on her own every night. Occasionally, she will ask me a question---very seldom, though---and my first response is always "See if you can figure it out yourself."

Almost all the time she is able to.

I will quiz on her spelling or vocab words, or for tests and such but that's as involved as I get.

She is VERY bright, though---MUCH smarter than me :)---and does really well in school. She is very easy in that regard.

SS struggles and he really DOES need someone to be *right there* to help him. He gets stuck/stumped very easily, then gets frustrated, cries, and gives up. Honestly---I think he should have been held back a grade. :( He truly does need the assistance and help with his work.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 1:46PM
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I agree mattie, I also think that not only schools treat them as babies but also parents treat their own kids as babies for way too long.

My DD had the same spelling packets and math packets as everyone else described here, but it never occurred to me to do with her? If it said, "write a story" then she would write a story. Maybe if I wrote a story with her it would be a better story, but then it wouldn't be hers and what's the point?

DD went to very demanding schools, but she was never A+ student. maybe if i sat with her, she would have A+ but what's the point? i think if schools assigns work that kids cannot do (work is too hard or kids are not ready) i would call the school and meet with the teachers.

i do have to say that situation with love's SS is clearly different, he does have academic struggles. parents do not want to test him or hire a tutor, so they try to help by doing work with him, but it does not seem to help. They studied for a test with him, he still failed. I think that doing work with him accomplishes nothing, it just makes parents feel better, but that's just me and really love cannot do anything here, her hands are tied.

Mattie, I see that they use one of those EverydayMath programs or something like that? Oh boy, it is awful, you are right. And why are they assigning problems that kids cannot read???

Seriously, your teacher moved kids in the room depends how they did? Wow, would be a lawsuit nowadays. How degrading.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 1:50PM
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I see lovehadley, sometimes it feels like life is somewhat unfair, life is so much harder for people who struggle at school.

I don't know...At the same time when academics are a struggle, it forces people work harder.

Both my DD and my nephew are somewhat lazy. DD did well in school yet to be honest with you, she did bare minimum she could get much better grades if she worked harder, she never felt she had to. She knew she would get 100% on the test, so she didn't bother, she would not turn all her work in because she knew her grade would even out, but it never was what it could be.

School is much harder for my niece, and she works very hard, she requires help but she is also very hardworking for a 9-year-old child. My brother laughs how his son and my DD grew up lazy because they never had to put any effort into school work, and maybe his daughter would grow up less lazy due to having to work harder. LOL

I also think some people have different ambitions. My DD always wanted to do reasonably well to get ahead in life but she didn't care to have As or not, she is not competitive. I always wanted to have As, I am competitive. I want to do better than others, she never does. She does not care about it at all. Just her personality I guess.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 2:08PM
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"SS struggles and he really DOES need someone to be *right there* to help him. He gets stuck/stumped very easily, then gets frustrated, cries, and gives up. "

Love, your SS sounds so much like mine. On good days he'll try if he gets stuck, but sometimes it's like he just.... stops. Shuts down, sits, waits, stares at the paper. Sometimes he'll skip it and move on - but sometimes I'll go to check on him and he is just sitting staring at the same problem. I've tried telling him it's like a puzzle or a game, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I know that he just zones out in class sometimes; he's admitted as much, but he still manages to do well on the tests at school (so far). I wish sometimes he were more determined, if that's the right word; he can be incredibly stubborn but unfortunately not usually when it comes to schoolwork.

Parent Of One, I loved my third grade teacher, but I did very well in school. It never occurred to me until I was older just how awful that was for the kids who just weren't capable of doing the work. She was almost retirement age back then and was very old school; she still would smack kid's hands and such. School board couldn't really stop it because too many parents loved her - most of the kids were terrified of her but we all learned in her class. (Of course, half the class probably became stutterers and bed-wetters during that year ...)

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 2:22PM
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My second grade teacher not only seated the kids in groups of "intelligence" she had the names up on the wall on big sheets of paper. They were Blue, Orange, Yellow, Red

Blue was the smartest. Red was the "dumb" group. Horrors!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 2:38PM
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I agree with you all. Welfare, food stamps? Tubes tied? Yes please! I see the situation now.. Nope not too harsh... Sorry for not understanding.
I think my little bit of insecurity came out there. SM had critisized me before on money. She has an ex that pays for everything while I don't. . So they live a fancier lifestyle than me. When I said no DD cannot go to your dd's private school, I can't afford it, she suggested I should not have had a second child. Well... Sorry, if your ex wants to provide my dd with private school then where do I sign up?? Not the same situation obviously.. My apologies. Your BM seriously is a piece of work.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 7:46PM
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if SM wants DD to go to nice school, then how about DD's dad pays? If dad is not paying, then too bad DD will have to go where you can afford. SM told you you should not have a second child? Nice

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 7:55PM
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Oh yes... Lol yes yes yes.
See ... BD can't afford private school. His stepdaughter goes to an exclusive private school because her BD pays for it. So they wanted me to take DDs child support and pay for private school ... No thanks. We actually are in an excellent school district and PAY very high school taxes and DD is excelling in school. I only wish they had a better art program as DD is very artistic and is an amazing artist... But academics are more important for now... And we do pay... Just to the city not the private school ... Lol I think she is getting a more diverse outlook on life honestly!!

Love - I want to know how your first school function goes. Go be there for that little boy. I get that you want to keep the conflict down and OMG I don't want you being attacked. But you are obviously an awesome mom 'ok stepmom' to you ss and I swear... I really wish my DD had a sm like some of you although I am afraid it's never that easy!!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 12:09AM
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"Love - I want to know how your first school function goes. Go be there for that little boy."

The strange thing is---I used to go all the time, to soccer games and baseball lessons, swim lessons etc. I even did some volunteer reading work in his first grade classroom. Have been to at least three or four Christmas concerts, etc.

Then she assaulted me and the order said SHE could be around me only at school/extracurricular events. Otherwise, she could not come within 20 yards of me. In the event she had to come to our home (most dropoffs are at school), she had to stay at the curb, could not even pull her car into the driveway.

THAT was when I stopped going to stuff. I just decided it was too much.

The problem, too, is that SS now FREAKS---because he witnessed his mom punch me, saw her be taken to jail, etc---if we are even in the same vicinity. :( He is worried about a repeat.

The big issue, I think, is that BM will still say nasty stuff to him. He senses the animosity from HER to ME and he has as much said that he worries she will punch me again.

Then, when he gets upset, BM turns it all on ME and complains to DH that I made a big deal of the restraining order and it must be all MY fault that SS is scared. That he really KNOWS his mom would never do that again and if he is worried, it's because he thinks I want his mom to be arrested.


Honestly---the family therapy you all have done would probably be beneficial to US.

Just last week, for example, SS had a half day of school. I had a doctor's appt. in the afternoon and my DH had some work stuff. DH said he would miss his work thing if he HAD to but he just asked BM if she wanted to pick SS up and spend the afternoon with him; normally, she jumps at the chance for extra time with him during one of our five day stretches.

She said sure, no problem.

Okay, well, at 6 pm that evening, I had a haircut and color scheduled. I went a bit darker and the night before had been looking at magazine pics with the kids, asking them to help me pick a look.

So BM asked SS what *kind* of doctor's appt I had that prevented me from getting him???


Well, SS knew nothing about the dr. appt, and he just said, "I don't know, I think she is getting her hair cut."

BM flipped! Absolutely flipped. Nasty texts to DH about how high maintenance I am, and what a joke it is that SHE had to drive to get SS so I could get my hair done???? And that I owe her GAS MONEY.

There just are not words.

A.) I DID have a doctor's appt.
B.) He is HER son. Good heavens.

DH told her---and he was SUPER nice about it---that it was NOT a big deal and if she couldn't pick SS up at noon, he would do it! He just put it out there as a solution if SHE wanted to do it, and he made that very clear.

But the biggest issue is that BM then runs her mouth to SS aobut how terrible I am, and how poor BM had to drive sooooo far to SS's to get him so "I could go get my hair done."

Hate her. I really do. :( She throws fuel on SS's issues---because I never say a WORD about her to SS, nothing bad AT ALL. I smile my fake happy smile and *fake it till I make it.* I would never let SS see how much I despise that woman. She's his MOTHER.

But she....makes it really difficult.

So...then being around each other at events and such, just...ughhhhh...like I said, at some point, I would like to do the family therapy you guys did.

Now is not the time---I am in my own individual therapy right now, and want to focus on that, on me, the only person I can control. :)

Thank you for your kind words. I try to do the best I can, glad you can tell.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 7:47AM
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OMG. "I think she got her hair cut". That is too funny!!! (sorry, but can you imagine the look on her face?)

NOYB lady. What does she think you are, the chauffeur?

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 9:53AM
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"sorry, but can you imagine the look on her face"

Oh, she was livid.

DH picked SS up at her house at 5 pm on his way home from work---and he said she was ranting and raving, not really about that but just POd about everything. She was ranting that she has no money b/c her DH hasn't sent her any----they don't have a bank acct. so it's not like he can just deposit funds for her. She was ticked and DH said the baby was screaming and she was just pretty much tearing her hair out.

And then she started b*tching to DH that she hoped MY hair turned out great (said snidly) because SHE cannot afford to do anything to her own. That was when she told him that *I* owe her gas money since I didn't pick up SS and *she* (HIS MOTHER) did.

Which, again, not sure how this has ANYTHING to do with ME.

Whatever. DH and I both agreed that from now on, on those RARE occasions when something comes up, rather than offering it to BM----we will just hire a babysitter.

The problem is---I think she genuinley WANTS to spend extra time with her son if she can, BUT she also feels guilty, and would not say NO, even if she wanted to.

Does that make sense?

But then it just seems to fuel her resentment towards me/us.

It's so silly because this stuff almost NEVER happens---maybe twice a year something will come up where DH will say, "Hey, I cannot pick SS up, or I am sick or whatever, would you like to do it?"

He NEVER says she has to----he is very serious about HIS custodial days being OUR responsibility.

So we will just not involve her ever again.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 11:17AM
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"But then it just seems to fuel her resentment towards me/us."

It does not matter what you do or don't do. It's all about **HER** ~ Her feelings of inadequacy as a parent.... you are a good, involved mom that, to her, has it easy. Your life isn't as hectic as hers... but she will never connect the dots that it's because she is an alcoholic & probably does not know how to live without chaos in her life. You are living the life she once wanted & her life is a mess.

I'd agree the best thing is to not involve her again. She may want more time with SS & your DH may think it's best for his son to spend the time with his mom over a stranger, but really that isn't always true. Her dysfunction is really harmful to SS and she really needs to get help for her problems. Your DH should want to protect his son from that.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 1:42PM
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love, maybe your DH had to tell her "yes my wife is treated like a queen, she gets hair cuts, mani, and pedi weekly in the best beauty shops, you have a problem with that?" LOL Just kidding, this woman is sick

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 7:44PM
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Wow. You have some patience. I would be so annoyed. I think you are handling it well, though.

She sounds like such a jerk. For her to suggest you without ever talking to you is just rude.

It sounds like you really love your DH. He sounds very lucky.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2010 at 1:32AM
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Love, it's almost funny reading about it - I know it is not for you, who actually has to live it. But I'm just picturing this woman who is totally irate and upset that you, a woman who is pretty much completely unrelated to her, got (gasp) ....a haircut! How DARE you! Now the national haircut allowance quota for the year has been exceeded by YOUR haircut and SHE cannot get one - or something. LOL!

I think our BM's are related in that they both think anything remotely good that happens to us, is something that should have been given to/done for them - and that includes things we buy with our own money.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2010 at 9:12AM
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