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pure madness!

Posted by imamommy (imamommy21@yahoo.com) on
Sun, Apr 11, 10 at 3:01

I'm not a drama junkie... honestly.

There is nothing I would like more in the world than to have everyone do what they are supposed to do... not what I WANT them to do or what I think they are supposed to.. no, I let go of that line of thinking because yes, I did use to have MY opinion on what they should do... they didn't do it, so I criticized and now I realize that it's not MY standard they should live up to... but isn't there a BASIC standard? C'mon, am I right or tell me how wrong I am and why, so I can rethink this... I'm open to opinions.

Here is the latest BM drama... (ya don't wanna get me started on the DIL):

SD had a 5th grade camping trip. This was first discussed with parents at back to school night. BM didn't come to back to school night, but all the papers given to parents were mailed to her. (this was back in late August/early September) Fast forward to February. A packet came home. I scanned the pages into PDF and DH emailed them to BM, asking him if she can pay half the cost... her half $82. No response. Two weeks later, he re-sends it with a note that he needs an answer, the money is due. No response. About a week later, he is talking to BM on the phone (this was the conversation where she told him she was going to pay her half ~the check's in the mail~ but wanted to make sure he knew that she was going to take him back to court to lower the child support because she has another mouth to feed now) so he waits for the check. No check. The trip gets paid for without BM contributing.

The trip was set for the week after Spring Break. SD is with us during Spring break. (remember, SD's birthday was the weekend Spring break started... BM came late to her party, ignored her at the party & when SD asked to spend an hour with her after, BM said no... then BM didn't call her on her birthday or the rest of Spring break... she gave her a quick call on Easter ~ just my opinion but I think she just wanted to know what we were doing.. not really to talk to SD since she got off the phone after she gained her information on our plans. I know I could be wrong but that is my hunch) So, DH says, "I'm not going to remind her, she got the info already." BM doesn't call SD back so SD calls BM on Tuesday. She leaves for her camping trip on Wednesday. BM and older sister are both on the phone.. SD is asking "mom, you know what time to get me on Friday, right?" and all you can hear is BM saying "I love you baby" (that is what she says when she is trying to get off the phone) SD repeats, "I love you too mom but do you know what time to get me on Friday?" She literally repeats this five or six times and is getting frustrated because BM is talking & not listening to her.. BM is trying to get off the phone. So, SD goes on her trip and BM is to pick her up from the school on Friday. School lets out at 2:30 but the bus from the camping trip won't get back to the school until 6pm.. that is what SD was desperately trying to make sure her mother knew.

Forward to Friday at 2:30. DH gets a call from BM... Older sister & Grandma (remember, BM won't drive to get her own daughter) is at the school & they are telling her the bus won't get there until 6pm... WTH? So, DH tells her that he emailed the info to her TWICE.. she didn't respond and he HEARD SD asking her if she knew so he assumed she knew. Well, she is P.O.'d at him and now it's all OUR fault! (wait, how did "I" get dragged into this???)

Great~ We have to go pick up SD on Sunday! The last time BM got herself worked up because SD told her I knew she was pregnant, she wanted me to get out of the car & fight her... or at least she wanted the drama of calling me out because she knew I wouldn't fight her... and she had BF & DH to intervene if I were that crazy. Who knows what she'll do this time?

My question: Is there some obligation for DH to remind BM of things when she ignores his emails & won't listen to her daughter? Was he wrong to let BM (& grandma) find out the hard way?

My opinion is that he has bent over backward to try & keep BM informed and get her involved. BM refuses to communicate back and apparently is cutting SD out more & more. I support his decision to let her suffer the natural consequences of ignoring him & their daughter. I would hope she might pay attention more next time but judging from the calls & texts he got (& what was posted on social networks), they are placing all the blame on us. Of course, I also believe that if he reminds her all the time, there is less incentive for her to ever have ANY responsibility. He can't win with her. If he tells her the day before, she says she can't do things on short notice. If he tells her ahead of time... like this one, she either ignored it or forgot... still his fault, unless he adds in reminder calls at the last minute.. then she could yell at him for screwing up her schedule anyways... it really is a no win. If nothing else, at least I am venting.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: pure madness!

My question: Is there some obligation for DH to remind BM of things when she ignores his emails & won't listen to her daughter? Was he wrong to let BM (& grandma) find out the hard way?

In my opinion, absolutely not. We expect SS8 to behave more responsibly than that! And he does- because if he does not, HE lives with the consequences (for more minor things, obviously.) To keep reminding/covering for/making excuses for a grown adult who cannot bother to pay attention to what her own child is doing is just enabling her to continue to be a poor parent.


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RE: pure madness!

But in this case it's SD that has to deal with the consequences, and she did nothing to deserve to have her weekend ruined by a ranting BM.

SD should have been picked up at correct time, shared her experiences of camping trip with Gma and BM and hopefully enjoyed the remaining couple days with them. But nope. BM screws up and SD gets weekend full of BM drama.

Even SD tried to make sure BM knew and remembered. One thing I think DH should remind SD for any future events/changes is that SD start off with 'mom you are picking me up at _____ o'clock, right?'. The SD has to try and communicate with this lady for years to come. Might be best if DH gently coaches his daughter to reword her questions/reminders to cut to the chase because BM is so busy in her own little mind/world to pay attention to what SD is trying to say/ask. Direct questions 'getting me at 6pm , right, mom'.

Second, no obligation and certainly should not be necessary but considering BM's track record and fingerpointing, I'd go one extra step. I'd certify mail her the information via the post office. She has to sign that the 'letter' has been picked up. In this way, you know she really got it, she can't claim she did not get an email (lost in cyber space) and can not blame anyone other than herself if she was foolish enough not to actually read it. I'd even go so far as to yellow hightlight the important parts (place, time, whatever) so to bring attention to details. It's cheap and worth the few bucks if for no other reason to clearly lay the crap on BM's feet if she isn't paying attention and screws up.

Coaching direct questions and signed for letters/info may be the only way to deal with someone who blames everyone but herself. Except for the fact she focused her weekend on ranting instead of enjoying her time with her daughter, which is a shame, I'd not let BM's fingerpointing and demonizing DH/you bother me. You know who's fault it is.

Stay in the car when you pick SD up, pay no attention to a ranting BM, drive away and enjoy happy talk with SD about her camping experience.

The letter bit is a pain, should not be necessary, goes beyond what is required, but, hey, one tiny gesture that would help stop BM drama in her tracks with all her BS. I might even go so far as to certify the letter to Gma since she is the one you know has to do the picking up. BM can't be counted a few bucks would be well worth removing possible BM drama from my weekend.

But as the question was " Is there some obligation for DH to remind BM of things when she ignores his emails & won't listen to her daughter? Was he wrong to let BM (& grandma) find out the hard way?"... no, you're not wrong and no, no obligation, but it might take some BM stress off DH/your plate. One less thing she can make an issue of.


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RE: pure madness!

my ex is no where near BM in terms of craziness but he never remembers days/times/events.

I never had to coach DD but over the years she figured out herself how to juggle dad's craziness like for example give him wrong deadlines, like 2 weeks ahead of the actual day or tell him wrong time for the event like 2 hours earlier to make sure he shows up. He'll do things just at the wrong time and place.

As about me, I constantly reminded ex about dates, I know I didn't have to but I did just to save DD some headache.

No dad is not obligated to remind anything but sometimes when you deal with exes and just for the sake of our children we do have to remind.

Heck, both I and DD told ex date of her college graduation about 5 times plus it is on college website, he still does not know actual date.

As about your contact with BM, stay in the car, like justmetoo said, don't talk to BM at all. Let dad deal with it, keep your door locked.


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RE: pure madness!

The sad thing is that I am sure bm told grandma nobody told her anything and it is just ima and ex trying to make things difficult!

Maybe next time grandma won't do the driving and she will tell bm to get off her babymaking butt and do some things for her own kids!

I think that you and dh tried to keep bm informed and sd tried to keep bm informed. If bm dealt with angry grandma too darn bad. I would not go out of my way to update bm so much. Tell her what she needs to know and if she ignores it or forgets it well her fault!


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RE: pure madness!

I can see why you're so frustrated --

But I don't think you can 'win' here...
When BM deliberately ignores or pretends not to get your messages, you can't expect her not to try to 'blame' you for those messages she refused to look at. She has all of the 'blame cards', and she can make more any time she wants to.

Did you do anything wrong?
Of course not.

Did you make every possible effort to contact BM and let her know?
Well, no. But you did make reasonable efforts.

Maybe you could email BM with a bcc: to GMa, since she's the one doing all of the work anyway. At least GMa seems a little more stable.


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RE: pure madness!

*sigh*
You can't fix stupid.

No, you and DH do not have any further obligation to remind BM of these things. You did your job; she didn't do hers.

JMT has a good point about helping SD to learn to communicate with her mom in a more effective manner. Maybe SD should say "I won't be back in town until 6 o'clock. You remembered to tell Grandma, right?" instead of "Do you know what time to pick me up?"
It's a skill she'll learn with time and a little help. She's 11, so her communication skills are likely going to really grow over the next few years.

And Mattie has a good point too about that BM is not keeping up to the standards that we have for SS11! If he doesn't read or listen to the instructions and then things go poorly for him as a result, he knows it's his own darn fault. I'd like to think that, as a grown woman, BM would know that by now, LOL.

I have no real advice to help you deal with yet another parenting eff-up from BM, Ima. My only suggestions is to try to make sure this week is a good week for SD, as she likely had a crummy weekend of having fingers pointed at her. Poor girl.
I know she's not always a real peach to you (in fact, she's been known to be quite a lemon)... So I'm impressed by that you continue to try to be there for her. Good for you!


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RE: pure madness!

Almost any time I've gotten tangled up in plans with DH's family, I've regretted it later. But then I do it again! ugh. When will I learn?

I feel for you. Your heart was in the right place.


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RE: pure madness!

Ditto Ceoh. You can't fix stupid.

I don't think you did anything wrong, Ima.

Sure, you didn't do ABSOLUTELY everything you could have done to make sure BM/Grandma knew the correct time to pick up SD. But there's a fine line between helping and enabling. It is NOT your job to enable BM or Grandma. If at some point THEY let SD down or disappoint her....well, that is THEIR problem. SD is going to have to figure her relationship out with them as the years go on, and it's not up to you to smooth things over or make them look like something they're not.

You are always in a tough spot with them and SD, I feel for you.


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RE: pure madness!

Ima, I re-read my posting and I realized that I sounded kind of curt. My apologies; it was not meant to be directed at you. I'm just so frustrated with grown adults who behave like toddlers. This woman is supposed to be your SD's mother, and she cannot pay enough attention to what's going on in her own child's life to know what time to have her picked up - and it's YOUR fault?!

I can understand that there are some situations where additional reminders might be given; if a parent had either a medical/mental condition that made it difficult for them to be that organized, or if they were just really absent-minded, but only if they were otherwise loving, devoted parents. But it just seems a bit much to expect the SM (and/or her DH) to have to constantly remind BM of her parental responsibilities.


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RE: pure madness!

Fortunately there was no drama. Well, BM walked SD to the car and tells DH that she washed all of SD's clothes so he won't have to. We get home, the jeans I bought her for Christmas are gone from her bag & there are at least a dozen pair of underwear in her bag... I ask how many she took & SD says she had those at her mom's over time. LOL, I'm a little confused because I went & bought her more because she only had a couple pair after all her laundry was done... now she comes home with a dozen pair. I'm confused at how so many ended up at BM's house and there aren't any at ours? Surely she doesn't come home with none, right? Oh well, not a big deal... just bizarre. The jeans, I think BM kept them there to see if I will say something.... remember "those damn pants!". Well, who cares... she can have them, SD will be there in summer anyways and she only has six weeks left in school. She has enough to get by or I can buy more.

As for SD... she started talking about how BF's kids had been there for a week (spring break) and three weekends in a row. She says they couldn't go roller skating (like BM promised at SD's party) because her sister's friend (the one that came uninvited to SD's party) was skiing and they are doing that next week. My inner cynic says "yeah right!" Today we were at the store & saw Easter stuff on sale, I asked her about her basket. Before she left, she was talking to BM & was saying BM told her all the candy that was in her big basket. As we are standing in the clearance aisle, SD starts telling me what was in her basket... coincidentally it was all the same things on the shelf at the store. I don't know if she really got a basket but she has fabricated stories to include her mom in activities that never happened... like telling us that her mom took her to the movies with BF & then they went to BF's exW's house to play... yeah, she went to the movies & exW's house with BF... but BM was at work but SD insisted to us that her mom was there. It's either wishful thinking or lying to protect her mom since she believes her mom is trying to get custody of her and is very protective of anything that might make mom look bad... and nothing BM does makes her look good. Today I made an appointment to have SD tested for ADHD and resume counseling.


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RE: pure madness!

Just a quick thought on the extra underwear and missing pants. Though you're more than likely correct on the missing jeans (your BM and pants LOL) the camping thing mixed in made me remember what it was like leaving a camping weekend when I use to take kids camping for Brownies/Girl Scouts/Cub Scouts.

Always amazed me what I'd find left behind when I'd do the last check sweep. Hair brushes, bras, underwear, socks, pants, tees, blankets...I'd gather it all up, wash it and bring the box of things to next meeting so it could be claimed. Other parents would bring in the 'it does not belong to my kid' items that had been jammed in bags by mistake. The girls were worse about ending up with wrong stuff than the boys, but the girls always packed more stuff to misplace and/or get mixed up. Even when some labeled stuff with names, in the confusion of repacking and moving out on time things got hectic.

It's just a thought, you might ask who was in charge of kids if they ended up with left overs or returned items.

Glad the pick-up was drama free. You're a good SM, Ima, don't doubt yourself, you're the stable part of this girl's young life, even when they all (SD, BM, GMa) don't make it easy for you.


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RE: pure madness!

with the underwear, SD says they had been accumulating at her mom's. That's what is so bizarre about it. Where are the ones she wore here if she left those there? Just weird.


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RE: pure madness!

I see what you mean. Did she wear any home? LOL.


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RE: pure madness!

SS11 has come and/or gone without underwear. Socks too.
For awhile we had to remind him to wear socks and underwear each day. Now we just have to remind him to wear CLEAN socks and underwear each day, LOL.


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