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Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

Posted by ceph (My Page) on
Sat, May 2, 09 at 17:33

I need a ramble. Please bear with me.

Remember back when BM got pregnant and I saw it playing out two ways??
1) She'd get so wrapped up new baby and her BF that A__ would get the cold shoulder.
2) She'd try so hard to make them all into a family that she'd pull A__ away from us.

Well, it's more scenario 2.

She no longer calls to see if we want to have A__ (she's very self-centred, so if she doesn't need us to "babysit", then she doesn't bother maintaining the A__/Us relationship) but she badmouths us to A__ saying "I guess your dad doesn't want you, because he didn't call to see if he could have you"
And, well, I see her point. I encouraged DH to call to see if we could have A__, and he didn't... But she still shouldn't say something like that to A__! And I'm not about to call anymore (we'll get into that later).

A__ needs a good relationship with his mom's BF. But BM is cultivating her BF as A__'s new dad and it makes me angry. She's said stuff like "Your dad won't need to put you in soccer next year because my BF is going to teach you to skate and will put you on a hockey team."
Now that she doesn't think she needs my DH to be A__'s dad anymore, DH is dog's breakfast. F--k.

And I can only do so much. I can encourage DH to call to see if we can have A__, but I can't MAKE him. I even said the other day, point blank, "If you want to continue being A__'s dad, you have to put some effort into it. Kids start growing away from their parents at his age, and BM doesn't need you to watch him now that she has BF and will be going on mat-leave for a year, so she's not going to push it anymore." OK, so maybe that was snotty of me, or a little too harsh-reality, but DH just got pissy.

And, as for what I said I'd come to later:
I've seen BM pulling A__ away for months now, and realized that to not get MY heart broken, I had to disengage a little from A__. That was sad and hard for me too, but I can't pour my heart and soul into him to have him taken away bit-by-bit.
I also got fed up with DH who expects me to do the majority of A__'s care, while he either sits on his tooshie and ignores us OR criticizes how I do it. "Look buddy, if you're not going to take care of your kid yourself, then don't b17ch about how I do it!" So I now leave most of the A__ care to DH. Which I know is hard for all of us, but it's better than when DH and I are fighting about A__, and I wind up mad at A__ because that's easier than being mad at DH. Since it's not poor A__'s fault, I try VERY VERY hard not to take it out on him, but sometimes that's hard.
This was all definitely exacerbated when BM still needed us. She'd call last minute and demand that we take A__; DH would just volunteer me to drive/watch him/etc and then would be grouchy if I had other plans. I suppose the bright side is that now that she's pulling A__ away, that part's not an issue.
Long story short: I'm not instigating anymore.

Anyhow... I'm so frustrated!
I can't make BM not be a twit.
I can't make DH be accountable for his relationship with A__.
I swear I'm the only person who sees that they both make bad decisions out of laziness and that a confused 10yo is caught in the middle of it.

**Runs around house screaming and tearing out hair, before collapsing on couch in tears**

Phew! I feel better for getting that off my chest.
Any suggestions on what I can do? I've accepted that I can't change the situation, but how do I cope with it?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

For those of you who know our background, skip this.
For those of you who don't:

DH dated BM for almost 3 years, starting when A__ was a few weeks old. He is not A__'s biological father. Bioguy is a mess, has been in and out of jail A__'s whole life and threatened to kill BM when she was pregnant with A__. He is not a part of A__'s life at all.

After BM and DH broke up, they decided that he would continue being A__'s dad. And it's gone relatively smoothly, for the most part, with some roadbumps here and there...
Since DH is not bio, he has no legal rights, and there is no CA.

BM isn't a particularly bad mother (not a drug addict or an abuser, etc) but she pawns A__ off on whoever will take him so that she can do her own this without the inconvenience of her child - us / her mom / DH's parents / her siblings (who BTW, call A__ a "stupid little Indian" and other racist names). She also doesn't really do stuff with him (homework, attend his soccer games, children's festivals, etc - y'know, the stuff that helps you bond with your kid)

BM has been with her BF for about two years, but didn't even let him and A__ meet for almost a year. As soon as she found out she was pregnant, she started telling A__ that they would move across town right away to live with BF, and that A__ would have to change schools, etc etc. A__ went through a ROUGH spell of insecurity last fall, and I suspect it's largely because of all that (he was also somewhat stressed because we got married, and he had a falling out with a friend at school, but those seemed to not bother him as much)

I think that covers the background for those who don't know it... Did I miss anything?


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

That's so awful Ceph! If Hubby were the BioDad and had legal rights, things would be much simpler. Every court in the land would rule essentially the same way using the same reasoning: Maintaining a close and loving relationship with his father is what's best for A_. Anyone could see that.

Well, anyone who was objective and who could truly put A_'s needs ahead of her own.
Do you think BioMom could be made to see that?
That just because she legally can pull A_ away doesn't make it the right thing to do?

Also, are you 100% sure that your Husband has no legal rights?
It might be worth consulting a family law attorney about, since he's been acting as A_'s Dad for so many years.

I'll be sending good wishes your way --


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

"Also, are you 100% sure that your Husband has no legal rights?
It might be worth consulting a family law attorney about, since he's been acting as A_'s Dad for so many years."

Ditto. I was going to say the same thing. It's definitely worth looking into.

What arrangement has there been up until now? Does DH have A on set days or is it always up in the air, depending on what BM wants?


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

Sweeby is right. See if DH has any legal rights after holding out as A_'s father for so many years. Of course, if DH is not interested in pushing it, you can't force him and I get your frustration. It's the hardest thing to see the train wreck about to happen and not be able to stop it... its' a very helpless position. Especially after everything you've done to help A_ with his ADHD!

DH is going to have to consider what he's willing to do now and in the future. If he doesn't push seeing and maintaining the relationship with A_ now, what is he going to do further down the road... if things don't work out with the current BF and BM wants/needs to pawn him back on DH.. a year from now, five years from now... is DH going to refuse to see him? That relationship MUST be maintained.


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

I feel so badly for A_! I am upset that your dh is not doing more to maintain this relationship, but on the other hand maybe he is also distancing himself emotionally before bm pulls A_ out from under you completely. Such a sad situation.

Can DH have a civil talk with bm to the effect of "I am happy for you and bf and new baby, but I still love A_ and am his father. I still want to see him and keep things as they were! I love A_ and will always be there for him"


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

Yup, I'm sure DH has no legal rights. DH and BM looked into DH's legal rights back when they were together. He can't adopt A__ and was told that he has no legal claim the way our system is set up. (Canadian courts are weird when it comes to Aboriginal kids and custody disputes)

I'm conflicted because I WANT her to pull up her Mom Socks and stop pawning A__ off on people. But I want to have my cake and eat it too - I still want US to have him!

Our arrangement is flexible. We don't have set days. We tried pushing for set days a few times, but BM met that with a lot of resistance. See, if we had set times, she'd have to adhere to it too, and that would be less convenient for her.

Nope, I can't force DH to step up. And I'm watching the train wreck. I see A__ getting further from DH (and I, but I'm less important in this one) and I'm just waiting around for everyone's feelings to get hurt.

See, BM pulling A__ away is only part of the problem. The other part is DH letting her. But he doesn't see it that way. He thinks "Meh, it's no big deal that he only stayed here three nights in April, we'll have him more somewhere down the road"
But I keep rough track of when we have him, it was about 12 days/10 nights a month in the fall, but has dwindled since January. If it was on a graph, there'd be a pretty steep negative slope there!

I'd love for DH to say something like mom2emall suggested... But he doesn't see the repercussions like I do (he never does - I love him, but he's clueless) so he doesn't understand that he needs to do something if he wants to maintain a good relationship with A__.

Ima, I've definitely thought about the what-if of if BM and her BF break up. If she's succeeded in alienating A__ from DH, then we either have to start again with him, or say "Nope, you ruined it by being a selfish beeyatch."

I'm so frustrated with DH that he's not TRYING!
Maybe he has seen BM pulling A__ away, like I have, but just doesn't want to admit it? And he's distancing himself too, like I am. I don't know.

Thanks everyone for your support. Having you GW ladies to talk to helps a lot.


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

Oh man, Ceph...:( This is an unusual and tough situation, given the fact that DH has no "rights." BM really is holding all the cards here.

I hate to say this, but does DH pay any child support or otherwise contribute financially? Not to be cynical, but if so, at least THAT would be a reason BM won't cut ties?

I think you are right in that DH really needs to be assertive here and push to see his son. I think you might be right that deep down he's backing off from the situation to protect himself from getting hurt. :(

Wow. What a tough situation.


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

Hi Ceph, here's my long reply :-)

I can relate to your feelings of frustration. My FDh and I also are different in our approach. In my opinion FDH could make more of an effort with certain things, and it frustrates me to see him sitting back sometimes. We have a great relationship and FDH is a great dad overall. I think you and your DH are mostly on the same page as well right?

So with this issue I've also learned (still learning) to disengage a bit more. When we first got together I started doing things automatically, for example if a birthday comes up for one of the skids I would organise a party, bake a cake, invite the family and some friends over, get decorations, you get the picture. I would also be the one to start thinking about the presents in the months before, come up with ideas and then buy them when I come across them. FDH thought that was great and had no worries in the world.

Untill I realised I was just doing that automatically because that's what I used to get as a child, and I realised I didn't know what FDH used to do before he met me.

So that turned out to be not that much. A simple cake from the supermarket, shopping for presents in the last minute so getting whatever was available, maybe nan and pop over for a cuppa, and that is that.

Now things are different. FDH has started to take a lot more initiative in organising things with/for his own kids, and I've taken a step back. There are still moments when I think he could do more, but I'm learning to not push him too much. I do sometimes tell him that it wouldn't hurt to bother, they ARE his kids, but if he doesn't then I don't either.

It's just something you have to get used to doing, even when it feels unnatural.

Example of the birthday again: next week is SD12's birthday. I suggested to have a surprise party and invite her friends, have a sleepover. Too much trouble for FDH, we don't have the friends' phone numbers blablabla. He says she'll have that at her mums anyway. I know, but why should that stop us from doing something fun? So then I suggested to let SD12 go to the movies with her friends, also too much trouble to organise. So now it's no party, just nan and pop coming over for dinner. I still bake the nice cake and we have done the shopping for the presents together, in time. It's a comprimise.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that you'll get used to doing it. And the best thing you can do is be there for A_. It's up to DH to take the initiative, as you know, and I really hope that he will. You guys talk about it and that is the best you can do to try and make him see different. With my FDH it has sometimes helped that somebody else happened to confirm what I was saying, and then it suddenly sunk in. Do you guys talk to his parents or his friends about this issue? It might help to get some other people who are close to him and who's opinion he values in on it. Not to gang up on him, or pressure him, but I think you know what I mean.

And a last thought; when I'm disappointed with FDH not bothering with something for the skids that I would; I then think to myself that he is a loving and caring person that I love being with, and that I know he cares about his kids very much, but that he's not seeing that issue the same as I am, and my opinion is not more important than his so it's one fo those things you just have to let go. Or have your say that you don't agree with it, and then let it rest. Sometimes it sinks in later on and he might handle the next issue differently. Your DH sounds like a caring and committed guy, I think it's fantastic how he's been a dad for A_!! And also for you to be like a stepmom for him, good on you!!!


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

I understand how you feel and you personally do everything right in this situation. as about other people I am not so sure...

why don't they have a schedule? I guess I am a bit confused. Even if he is not biodad why don't they have a schedule? Didn't they have one before?

If DH doesn't call to have A then why would BM expect he wants to? i don't think she needs to call and offer DH to spend time with A. he needs to be the one who calls.

I don't understand comments about babysitting. Parents do not babysit their children. If it was established that DH just babysits, then it is only logically that if babysitting is not needed anymore relationship would vanish.

As about BM not letting her BF meeting SS is a normal and wise thing to do. Since she dated all kind of people her whole life it is unwise to bring them all in SS's life. Waiting almost a year is appropriate time to find out if there is a future. I actually command her for that. maybe the only smart thing she did.

It is wrong of BM to tell SS bad things about dad. Possibly she is upset he shows no inetrest anymore and to avoid seeing SS being hurt she says thta. No excuse but this whole story can be interpreted that dad pulled out not mom.

another point unless I missed that did DH ever pay CS? If not, then it sounds a bit selfish of him to say he should have rights to see his son, but wiht rights come obligations. I wonder if he ever said: i have obligations to pay CS. Or it is all about rights. Sorry if he does pay CS.

I think i said it before but I will say it again, DH had to push for legal rights long time ago. It might be too late but he can still try. I wonder if judge will ask if he ever contributed financially.

It sounds like you are upset about it and it is totally understandable, heart beraking and you got used to him. I wonder if DH is as upset, doesn't sound so.


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more

"She no longer calls to see if we want to have A__ (she's very self-centred, so if she doesn't need us to "babysit", then she doesn't bother maintaining the relationship)"

She is not the one who needs to maintain the relationship. I am very surprised that you would put this responsibility on her and blame her. It is not her job. And she doesn't need to call, like at all, like never. He is the one to maintain a relationship and call his son.

If my X would stop ever calling DD or wanting to see her would it be my responsibility and I would be the one to blame? Doesn't make sense.


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

Wow, a very sad move for A's BM and one I would never have expected. If at all possible I would try to make your DH understand the effect all of this is having on A. Then maybe he would at least call A and re-affirm that he loves him and looking forward to seeing him again when possible. It wouldn't be putting his BM down.
Do you think she is in nesting mode and in reality after the baby is born and she is busy she will want to pawn off A again?


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

FD
I called it babysitting because that's what BM views it as. Not what we view it as.

I've explained this three dozen times to you. DH CANNOT get legal rights to A__ because DH is white and A__ is Aboriginal. The problems Canada has had in the past with residential schools, abusive foster parents, bad people adopting Aboriginal kids to basically use them as slaves, and so on, has caused changes in our laws. White adults have no legal rights to Aboriginal children that they are not biologically related to.

Yes, DH needs to be taking initiative to maintain things with A__... But for the past ten years, BM has needed DH, so she has always called to see if DH will take him. This is he status quo. But now that she no longer needs him (because she can sub her BF in as A__'s new dad) she has changed the system. Changing the system is her action, and I have every right to hold her accountable for her own actions.
I also hold DH accountable for not adjusting his actions to fit how BM has changed the system.

I've also told you before about why we don't have a set schedule. I told you in this thread in fact. BM resists it! If we had a set schedule, she would be inconvenienced because she couldn't call us last-minute. She'd have to plan ahead.
Also, she and DH both work strange shifts, which makes scheduling ahead a bit of a challenge. But we've tried to meet that challenge and she's said no.

There isn't a set CS amount - DH has always paid for things as they are needed. But it's baloney to imply that you buy rights to a child.

Sure, it was good that BM waited awhile to introduce A__ to her BF... The two problems with is though: She'd ditch A__ for entire weekends to hang out with her BF, leaving A__ feeling abandoned for some dude he's never met. BF was nearly a stranger to A__ when BM got pregnant, and he was suddenly informed he would be living with this near-stranger. Yes, it was good that she held off on introducing them, but it caused some problems too.

The point though is that DH isn't the one who changed anything! He's not the one who started this spiral. But he's not changing his actions to fit the new situation either. Not because he doesn't love A__ or isn't upset that we haven't had him as much, but because he's just not very good at taking control of his life. He's great, but making changes in his life is just not his strong suit.

EandH - She might just be nesting... And part of me hopes she will be back to her "regular self" after the baby comes. Part of me also hopes that she keeps it up, because A__ needs his mom to be his mom!
My ideal situation: DH pulls up his socks and is more proactive about maintaining his relationship with A__, but BM stops pawning A__ off on whoever will take him.

I'm really surprised that she took "option two" and pulled A__ away. We had thought that it would be "option one" and she'd be so wrapped up in BF and pregnancy/baby that she'd be put A__ on the backburner.

*sigh*


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

we can disagree. I disagree with your view of a situation. Nothing against you, it is not up to you. But I have my opinion on this.

well I know you said about the law. if DH would apply to adopt some random child i understand...

But did he ever apply to adopt SS while they were still together with X? Adopt him as his son because he is raising him? legally marry SS's mother and then apply for adoption because he is a stepfather. did he do that? Did he get a documented negative answer from a judge after he did all that? that's what i am saying about legal rights. Did he ever apply (no matter what laws say), did he do any of that?

I still don't understand why BM is required to call your DH and ask him to take A? The fact that she did in the past, doesn't mean she has to continue. She doesn't have to call. I understand we disagree but I strongly believe she doesn't have to call her X.

the fact that she used to need babysitting but doesn't anymore is a normal thing. Kids get older and need less babysitting, she used to drop SS at grandmas because she needed it, she doesn't anymore. But i do not see how is it up to her for DH to see SS?

Of course one doesn't buy rights to see a child. But it is more complicated that that. being a parent is more than just seeing a child. I see my niece and love her, but I don't think i have any particular rights. I certainly do not raise her and I never contribute to her upbringing financially, yes parenting is also fincial obligation in raising your children. being a parent is also making decisions about medical needs, providing medical care, paying for a roof above their head, feeding them, enrolling them in school, paying for their education, helping when they are grown, it is a lot of things. It is not just seeing them or watching them when other parent needs it. as trivial as it sounds things like paying bills and CS is a part of being a parent.

I think your DH uses BM not calling him as an excuse. What kind of excuse is that? If A asks his dad why don't you call what is he going to say: your mom doesn't call me. Does it even make sense?


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

I'm so sorry to hear that Ceph.
And I can see why you're disappointed in Hubby. Even though it appears he's trying to protect himself from future pain, it's still sad to see it happen.

Maybe frequent phone calls can help keep the relationship alive while BM sorts out her nesting, new-baby and honeymoon phases.


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

"But did he ever apply to adopt SS while they were still together with X? Adopt him as his son because he is raising him? legally marry SS's mother and then apply for adoption because he is a stepfather. did he do that? Did he get a documented negative answer from a judge after he did all that? that's what i am saying about legal rights. Did he ever apply (no matter what laws say), did he do any of that?"

Finedreams, if you read Ceph's explantations and responses, she is stating that DH CANNOT do that and COULD NOT do that. It has to do with the fact that A is (part?) Aborignal and Canada has very strict guidelines as to who can adopt children of that heritage.


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also...

"But i do not see how is it up to her for DH to see SS?"

I wanted to add here, too---that Ceph's DH is not the biological father of A. He has NO LEGAL AUTHORITY to play any part in A's life. So, unfortunately, BM IS holding the cards here. At ANY point, she could say "nope, you can't see him ever again" and there would not be a darn thing Ceph's DH could *legally* do about it. :(

My guess is he has catered to BM and worked around her needs/schedule all along for fear of upsetting her and having THAT scenario happen. Am I a little bit right, Ceph? It seems like BM has always had most of the *power* in this situation simply because your DH has no legal grounds to be recognized as A's dad. He has been at BM's "mercy" ever since A was born---because any time BM could have walked away with A, and not looked back.

I'm not arguing that since DH HAS been A's dad for 10 years, he needs to put more effort into maintaining this relationship. BUT it also has to be scary for him because deep down, he's gotta know that he can put all the love and effort he can into raising A, only to have BM yank him away for good. :( I can't imgine living with that looming over my head.

BUT--burying his head in the sand about it is not going to do anything productive and it sounds like you are trying to make that clear to him, Ceph.


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

love, i know all that. I know the background. I don't ask if DH CAN apply and get it, i ask DID he apply? I understand there is a law. but my question is if a person is married and is a stepparent to a child and is raising a child as his own and applies for legal adoption, he might get a different responce. My question is did he ever do that or he just says there is a law. You never know unless you try. of course he cannot do it now, too late.

yes one can apply for adoption of a stepchild, yes he possibly would get a negative responce but did he try? what do you mean he COULD NOT? It is not illegal to apply. possibly he wouldn't get it, but he certainly COULD apply.

as he certainly can call his son and ask to see him.

if he is going to ask for legal rights now, maybe judge would ask how often he calls his son and how often he asks to see him. then what Dh is going to say: NEVER because BM doesn't call me and doesn't ask me to see my son. Huh?

If he calls and asks but BM denies him visitations then it is a different story but it doesn't sound so.


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

Finedreams, Ceph said, "DH and BM looked into DH's legal rights back when they were together. He can't adopt A__ and was told that he has no legal claim the way our system is set up." This is how she knows that what you're suggesting is impossible under the Canadian legal system. It's sort of like saying that he ought to apply for a license to be allowed to drive at 80 mph on streets that are marked 30 mph: you can't apply for such a thing.

I can sympathize with how you feel, because I think that most of us agree that if someone is and has been a good, involved parent regardless of bio-relationship, it's not good for the child for a mother to shut out a father-figure or vice versa. But Ceph's husband's not applying for legal rights isn't her husband's fault. His only legal recourse would be to try to get lawmakers to take up his cause... and given that lawmakers made the law in question after what was probably a lot of debate, it probably wouldn't be a very swift process or one that was guaranteed success. If knew that you had to get the Canadian equivalent of a Congressional bill and a presidential sign-off to make something happen, you might decide that it wasn't a winnable fight, too.


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

But for the past ten years, BM has needed DH, so she has always called to see if DH will take him. This is he status quo. But now that she no longer needs him (because she can sub her BF in as A__'s new dad) she has changed the system. Changing the system is her action, and I have every right to hold her accountable for her own actions.
I also hold DH accountable for not adjusting his actions to fit how BM has changed the system.

Well, BM actually didn't change the system (from her perspective). The system (i'm projecting but bear with me) is that she calls DH (and GM and whoever else) to help watch A__ when she needs help, and (maybe?) lets them call and ask if they want more time with him when she doesn't need it. She's still doing the exact same thing she's always done. The circumstances have changed, such that she's now living with BF and has more help at home, and doesn't need DH as much, but she has not changed. From her perspective, she may not think it makes sense to call DH and ask him to take A__ when she doesn't need the help, but still be perfectly willing to let him take A__ as much as he wants. She might actually think that if DH is not calling to ask, that means he doesn't want or care if he has A__.

Now, I'm not defending her, she should be wanting to nurture and maintain A__'s relationship with DH, and even if that's what she thinks is happening, she shouldn't tell A__ that his dad doesn't want him, I'm just pointing out that if her entire history is that she asks DH to take A__ when she needs, and she needs less right now, she isn't necessarily trying to withdraw him from you guys, she's just doing what she's always done.

It may or may not help to look at it like that... unless if you really do think DH might be pulling away because he thinks BM is pulling A__ away from him... then considering the possibility that she might not be doing that might encourage him to try a little harder? I don't know...


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

so far in this particular situation the only wrong thing BM did is saying to her son that dad doesn't care. even though she feels this way (and that's how anyone would feel-dad doesn't call and doesn't pick his son up), she shouldn't be saying things like that.

Other than that the only problem I see here is that dad (bio, not bio, doesn't matter, in fact could be not his father at all, but uncle or grandpa)doesn't call his son and doesn't ask to see him.

If he continously calls and asks to see him but BM doesn't let SS to the phone or denies them time together then let's blame BM. Until then let's call things the way they are. dad, if that's what he is, isn't doing what he is supposed to be doing. and SS is the one who is suffering.

PS When I want to hear my daughter I pick up the phone, easy as that.


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

Interesting posts. I am going to say that I tend to agree more with finedreams here.
When I first read the OP,
"she no longer calls to see if we want to have A__ (she's very self-centred, so if she doesn't need us to "babysit", then she doesn't bother maintaining the A__/Us relationship) but she badmouths us to A__ saying "I guess your dad doesn't want you, because he didn't call to see if he could have you"

uh yeah, so not the BM's responsibility there. LOL, I can't imagine thinking that way. I have never called my son's dad to "see if he wants to spend time with our son....that isn't my freakin' responsibility. Wow!! That just seems like plain old fashioned blaming. Guilt points a finger at someone else.

Since the OP's dh is not even the bio dad, well that is even more interesting. But from what I have read, it seems that he is actually the one that is pulling away and just blaming her. I mean think about it....he doesn't even call to find out if he can see A.... blames her for that, cuz she didn't call him. Whatever.
Says she is changing everything, simply because she has a new b/f and is starting a new family....um was she just supposed to keep things the same for him? She isn't supposed to go on with her life so he can deal with it since he doesn't do well with change/??? Again, whatever.
If the schedule thing doesn't work out one way, then that doesn't mean one is just inflexible, in this case, it was bm of course.....it just means back to the drawing board for more ideas.
If the Dad in this situation doesn't want to put any effort into seeing the child, then why all the fuss....perhaps biomom is already sensing this and is trying to protect her child. Because it sure sounds to me like he is backing off and not the other way around.


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

"LOL, I can't imagine thinking that way. I have never called my son's dad to "see if he wants to spend time with our son....that isn't my freakin' responsibility. Wow!! That just seems like plain old fashioned blaming. Guilt points a finger at someone else."

"Because it sure sounds to me like he is backing off and not the other way around.'

Exactly, wild thing.

i also wonder what did he plan on doing when his son will grow up and won't need babysitting? Like when he will be 14-16-17-20-25-40 etc. did he plan for BM to keep calling him when SS is 20 and asking would you like to see your son or would you like to talk to him? Or he planned on eventually maintaining father/son relationship himself?


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

Ceph-

What a crappy situation. I'm sorry you are having to go through this. I know you care for A______ in the way I care for the girls so your frustration is partly because YOU want to comttimue seeingg A______. I would be heart broken if I didn't see the girls so I understand how you must feel. I am sure disengaging was a hard thing for you to do. HUGS!!!!

Do you think hubby doesn't see the point in tryingto get BM to see A____ because of the legalities? We all know how men hate confrontation. DO you think he's thinking "What's the point" because of A_____ cultural background? Just a thought. If BM is trying to paint the perfect family picture and is trully trying to erase HUBS as A_______'s father, maybe he is just afraid all pushing the issue would do is cause a fight. A fight he legally can not win no less. Maybe that's why he seems to be stepping back a little.

On another note, chances are this guy and BM won't even stay together. DOesn't sound like they got to know each other very well before she became pregnant and the stress of a newborn is challenging for even the most established couples. They may wind up splt and she will be ringing you guys up again when it's convienient.

If I were you I'd also incourage Hubs to maintain contact. It's really all you can do right now.

Good luck Dear.


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

Portions of this thread have taken on a tone that saddens me --
But on the other hand, they kind of have a point -- they're simply viewing the situation from a different angle --

Sure, Hubby didn't have to do anything before -- just be there as a convenient 'dumping grounds' for BioMom.
And now BioMom's most convenient dumping ground is much closer to home.
So really, she didn't change much and is still taking the easiest course.
And FD's point about what did Hubby expect when A_ outgrew the need for a sitter -- well, that's actually a good question, and could have been foreseen for a 10 year old...

Some different perspectives --

I hope your Hubby and BioMon can work something out that keeps A_'s sense of security intact.


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

I agree with FD and wild thing to an extent.

Being a parent is hard. Being a single parent is HARD. DD's dad is good dad all said, but I don't think he has a fracking clue how hard it is to be the single primary parent.

Between work and DD, I don't have much of a social life and that's fine, but I still struggle being the primary parent. I don't have a whole lot of family support and I was very overwhelmed a lot of the times. If I was the BM in some of your cases, I have no doubt you'd complain about me too. I've been known (in the past!!!) to feed DD McD's 4 times a week, sometimes she's worn socks two days in a row, there may even be a hole in them or two :) lol and they definitely don't match. Either do mine lol. Most days I just do not have enough time and it sounds soooo simple just to make time, right? It's not for me, I have normal human flaws. One of them is time management, I have gotten better but just becoming a Mother doesn't erase all my preexisting flaws. One time I had to hold off taking DD to the dentist one day because I had an important meeting and can't lose my job, you know, the thing that puts that awful McD's (but the yummiest fries ever!) in our mouths. Turns out she had a cavity. I felt awful, just awful for that. I'm only human.

I've had to leave her with babysitters I'm not altogether certain about (background checks and stuff done, but the warm fuzzies uncertain) So I know how it feels to know that you are leaving your child with someone you implicitly trust, but if they did not call to see your child....why would you continue sending them there?

I can't imagine DD having add or anything of the sort. I really have no idea what I would do.

Ceph, my point is is that it is "easy" right now for you to point and pick out all her flaws. There isn't a parent out there who doesn't make mistakes. There isn't a parent out there who wishes they could change something they did. Some would crucify your BM for introducing A early.
People always have something to say. I think many stepmoms feel that they could do a better job because they are more objective, but that doesn't really mean they could.

I think when you and DH have your child, the overwhelming responsibility might be a little more "real" for lack of a better word. Everyone has high hopes of the parents they are going to be, but when reality sets in, it's just not that easy. It's a lot of time and effort and just everything. It really is, the one thing you complained about that BM should not have done was tell A that dad must not care. And with the lack of calling etc, I can easily see A coming to that conclusion himself.


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

as always nivea is to the point. I am glad some people here actually read this situation for what it is.

I raised a pretty accomplished adult and am a good mother but when I think of mistakes I made as a parent it makes my head spin (worse mistakes than missing dentist appointments). So many things I would do differently if I would do it again.

And besides everything else it does cost a lot of money to raise a child. And if you are the only one who takes care of that part (I wasn't, but this BM raises A without father's contribution) it makes it even harder. I had CS (for the most part) and yet I worked two jobs most of the time. Until people have their own children they can't even begin to know.

I also wonder that when DH was seeing his son, SM was the one to take care of him and drive him and watch him. And even though she did a great job, it was his job not hers. he is the one who made a commitment to remain his father yet it is either SM or BM who have to pull the weight.

He is a nice and kind person that he wanted to stay a parent, but being a parent is hard daily WORK and LIFE LONG COMMITMENT. I don't think he ever realized that. I hope he will. that's why it would help if ceph doesn't critisize BM, but maybe guide her DH the right direction and help him to see what his faults are.


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

Ohforchristssake!

I can criticize BM for dropping her end if I goddamn well want.
And I have criticized DH for dropping his too! He's not without his flaws.

The point is that this is all out of my hands and I have to sit around watching EVERYONE's feelings get hurt. It sucks and I need someone to help me cope with watching this train wreck, and something constructive to encourage DH to be less passive in his role with A__.
What I don't need is a bunch of sanctimonious nattering about how BM must have it sooooo hard and is absolutely fcking perfect in every fcking way. I guess I missed the memo that giving birth makes you utterly flawless.

You can sit there on your high horse... But I want you to think long and hard about that I needed to get something off my chest and figure out how to HELP with a problem in my family, and you immediately set about making me feel worse about it all. You promptly crucify any SM who finds any fault with the BM in her life, without thought or concern for that that's not going to help with anything.
You offered absolutely no solutions; only your complaints and attacks. Do you feel better about yourself after attacking me for finding fault with BM's lazy coparenting? I hope you're happy on your pedestal, but remember that there's rarely room for more than one up there and it will start getting awfully lonely, awfully quickly. I will not be investing further time or energy in your destruction and will not be opening this thread again, so if you want to b17ch about me behind my back in here, go ahead.

Changing gears:
Thank you to those of you who offered constructive and helpful advice! You ladies are what make GW a good place to be, and luckily, are the majority of posters. Good support systems are hard to come by, but you do a good job of trying to keep GW supportive.


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

Ceph - just wanted you to know I'm sending hugs and the lamp. Hope you get them.


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

You ask for solution. I offered one: dad picks up a phone and calls his son tomorrow. No other solutions.

No being a parent doesn't make one flawless but it does make one to understand certain things.

I don't think your DH fully understood what he signed up for and what parenting really means. Even though you are not a parent, you probably have better understanding so you can help him to understand. Heart breaking. SS is only 10, there are years of schooling, teenage eyars, college, dating, work, grandchildren etc. Does he understand that? Is he ready for that?

Does he miss his child? Does he need him to be around?

DD is 21 and doesn't live with us but I call her every other day. I don't do it because I have legal rights. In fact she is an adult and legal rights don't apply. I do it because I miss her. So does X. Is your DH able to not call SS every other day, or once a week? Does he feel enough connection to his child? does he see himself being a father 20 years from now? those are hard questions, but when he answers them then he can make a decision what to do to stay involved if he seriously wants to.

What you can do is to help DH to understand the responsibility of such commitment as being a parent.


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finedreams!!!

"DD is 21 and doesn't live with us but I call her every other day. I don't do it because I have legal rights. In fact she is an adult and legal rights don't apply. I do it because I miss her."

That is like comparing apples to oranges! You are her mother. He is her father. She is not 10 years old. She can answer the phone or pick it up and call you when she wants. I don't see how it compares to Ceph's situation. Unless you can say that you have ever lived with the fear that someone could cut off your contact and ties with your DD (which is impossible BECAUSE YOU HAD LEGAL RIGHTS WHEN SHE WAS A MINOR), then you can't understand what it feels like to be cut off! My ex cut me off from his kids cold turkey. "Nope, we aren't together anymore so nope, you can't see them or talk to them." after me raising them from diapers to middle school. But, when you are sitting by watching it happen slowly... the kid goes from visiting every week to once a month, then every few months, etc. you know you have no right to fight for anything and there is pain involved in that. You can't understand that pain unless you have been there!!! and whether you think it's right or wrong... nobody knows how Ceph's DH feels... maybe not even Ceph if he hasn't shared it. It sounds like she is doing everything possible to encourage her DH to see A_. But the responsibility to A_ is on BM. She is his mother and she should be the one worried about maintaining the relationship her son has with the man he has known as a father all his life. SHE made the decision to allow A_ to form a father/son relationship with someone that has no legal rights. SHE should be concerned about her son's stability and keeping that relationship going... We can throw more blame at Ceph's DH if BM was pushing for her son's relationship and he was shying away. That isn't what's happening. BM has the responsibility for her son & as a mother, when I broke up with my ex, I attempted to get him to continue seeing my kids BECAUSE HE WAS THE ONLY FATHER my two younger kids knew. He refused so that's on him.

BM has a responsibility here because legally, she is holding all the cards.


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

"You promptly crucify any SM who finds any fault with the BM in her life, without thought or concern for that that's not going to help with anything."

Nope, not at all. I have an A** of a BM to deal with and so do a lot of others here. I just read your post and call it like I see it., Sorry if that doesn't rub you the right way.
That is the funny thing about message boards/forums. You can ask for opinions and by golly, you sure get them....and not all of them are going to make you feel warm a fuzzy. Some are going to give you a different perspective. Maybe you need to take a step back and really look at this situation. You are biased towards the dad/non dad here.
It honestly looks like he is backing away.
Maybe the best thing for everyone to do is get together and have an actual conversation?????
Get it all out on the table and see whats what.
Just an Opinion.


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

"Being a parent is hard. Being a single parent is HARD. DD's dad is good dad all said, but I don't think he has a fracking clue how hard it is to be the single primary parent."

"What you can do is to help DH to understand the responsibility of such commitment as being a parent."

J and I are raising the girls (all three of them) together and we STILL get no free time and no nights out. We also have no family who live close by to lend a hand. My mom lives in the same town I work in so she keeps her during my work hours. As far as WEEKEND free time though....forget it.

I don't think ANY parent has it easy whether they are single or not. I'm not too sure where this even factors into to Ceph's situation since niether she or hubs was complaining about not having any free time.

If you are trying to say BM wasn't in the wrong for dumping A______ to hang with BF every chance she got because she is a single parent I'm here to tell you she most deffinatly WAS in the wrong. You don't put your damn love life over your children. There is no reason A______ couldn't have hung with BM and BF.

Instead of totally tearing Ceph and her husband apart we should all be patting them on the backs. This child is blood to niether of them and they have still been involved. I'm sorry but whether Hubs is calling now or not THAT says alot to me. How many men do you know that would be a father to a child not even theirs? Hell, some of you complain that your Ex's don't even do right by their BLOOD CHILDREN! This man obviously knows what it is to be a parent because this child calls him Daddy. This man raised this child who isn't his. That's alot more than some of you would do.

I mean, some here don't believe a child is yours or can even be LOVED by someone who didn't take part in CREATING them so how can those people possibly understand this situation?????? They can't. They can't understand having no legal rights either. Only a Step Parent could sympathize.

My guess is he feels like BM is filtering him out because she doesn't "need" him to play daddy to her child now that she has a bio-child with another man and this guy doesn't even see the point in fighting with her over it because the poor guy, after years of being A_____'s dad, has not the first damn right over him. He knows BM is cycling him out. The BF might even be encouraging her to cycle him out! I know first hand how jealous and controlling the BF's can be.

Ceph, just keep encouraging Hubs to try his best to keep the relationship alive. Talk to him and find out what his stance on the subject is. Is he scared? Is he mad? Does he want the connection with A_____? Find out what his thoughts are and then go from there. It's all you can do and honestly, If BM wants you guys out of the picture, there isn't much you can do about that either.

I hope it works out. I know A_____ loves you both to pieces.


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

I am all for supporting SM's , and love to bash the BM I have to deal with.
But I just see this situation differently for whatever reason.
I see the step dad here, as someone who is a little bit wimpy. As all men can be in these situations.

I don't see the BM as the one who is pulling away, it is definitely the step dad who is pulling away IMO, and it is way easier to point the finger at the BM and say "no it's her, she is the bad guy" because that is what the norm is around these boards. It really is and that is okay, because most of the time the BM's are complete idiots. But no, just not seeing evidence of that here.

She met someone else, she is having another baby....sounds like she is living her life. To say that she had no business having a b/f or love life, is just plain ole ridiculous. Everyone deserves some time to themselves. I think the OP and her dh are being worried that any time they may have had this child, that BM was out on a date or whatever.......so what??? Is she just supposed to stay home and sit by the phone waiting until she can come and pick him up? No way. How about stop worrying about what BM is doing in her free time and spend that time with the kid?

IF this issue is that big of a concern to the OP and her dh then she or better yet, the dh should call up the BM and speak to her and let her know they would like to talk and let in be known in no uncertain terms that they would like to continue seeing the child on a regular basis, and stop worrying about what BM is doing during the time they have the child. Unless it's drugs, drinking, or other illicit illegal activities, it should be of no concern.

Geez, I don't spend all my time wondering where and what my son's dad is doing because I have him. I know what he is doing...living his life. He is entitled to that. He doesn't see him as often as I would like, but that isn't for me to push, and I NEVER talk bad about my son's dad. I never have and I never will. Whatever transpires between my son and his dad is between them and I have nothing to do with their personal relationship. I won't stand in their way, and I never have. I made that decision when my son was a baby.
I can't force them to do anything, the best thing for me to do is be as flexible as I can so that when his dad can spend time with him then he can do that. Because what my son wants in regard to his relationship with his dad is way more important to me than trying to be difficult out of spite or being selfish and saying it isn't good for me so, no. I am flexible. It is my son's happiness not mine. I won't put him in the middle of anything like that. No way no how... so now, that is where I am coming from.


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

Ceph, my heart goes out to you and DH, but mostly to A. Apparently all your DH can do is grovel and ask for whatever time he can get.


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

"That is like comparing apples to oranges! You are her mother. He is her father. She is not 10 years old. She can answer the phone or pick it up and call you when she wants. I don't see how it compares to Ceph's situation."

But she was 10 at some point, she wasn't born 21, and we got divorced she was 4. And she was with me most of the time. But dad called and asked to talk to her. Not because he has LEGAL RIGHTS but because he LOVES her. I brought an example of her being 21 is that we still call even though there is no custody or legal rigts issue anymore, we did when she 10 and still do. she doesn't need babysitting anymore but we didn't stop needing her in our lives.

As about cutting off. i agree that if BM refuses to call SS to the phone or denies time wiht him, then it is cutting off and is wrong on every possible level. Father not calling his son and not asking to see him indicates that he is cutting him off, not BM.

When your SD's BM doesn't call SD and SD is upset it certainly says a lot about BM. I wouldn't dream that it is your DH's fault she shows no interest or he is required to keep calling her, what for? He does his job, she should do hers.

and i would critisize any parent who doesn't pull his/hers weight. I do not support ima's SD's BM, mom2emalls' Sk's BM, doddle's SK's Bm, ima's chidlren's fathers, etc etc. I don't care if it is a man or woman we are talking about. Whoever doesn't do the job is in the wrong.

pretty sad. and yes if he continues withdrawing BM will start pulling back as to protect her child from a heartbreak. and of course it will be her fault again. never his.


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doodle

"How many men do you know that would be a father to a child not even theirs?"

I know people. One in my immidiate family.

My grandfather is not my mom's biological father. She doesn't know her biofather. he was her only dad and our only grandpa (well, maternal grandpa). we do not have any bias dad/not dad/bio dad. It makes no difference to us if he was bio or not. DNA is not what makes one a parent.


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amen

"IF this issue is that big of a concern to the OP and her dh then she or better yet, the dh should call up the BM and speak to her and let her know they would like to talk and let in be known in no uncertain terms that they would like to continue seeing the child on a regular basis, and stop worrying about what BM is doing during the time they have the child. Unless it's drugs, drinking, or other illicit illegal activities, it should be of no concern."

here we go. amen.


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

Doodle, I get that it is hard for two parents together as well. BTDT too lol. It's not easy for anyone or any situation. Sometimes hearing the other side (well when neither side is a whack job, but rather normal human beings with flaws) helps.

I've been there with DD and family only wanting to see her when I call for babysitting. This wasn't her father, but it is the same principle. If you don't call to see her on your own, then why would I continue to do it. I already feel guilt having to ask for babysitting all the time, if you're not calling on your own, then that signifies you don't want time and only doing a favor for me. That's how I see it.

I can't imagine anyone DD's father telling me or expressing that he wishes I called him to see if he wants more time. I can't. That just seems so backwards.

Ceph doesnt have to see it different ways and can blame whoever she wants and vent away, we all need to sometimes. But it doesn't solve anything or take away her feeling of a trainwreck about to happen.

Oh and my father, god love him, is a father to kids not his. We don't have a great relationship, but I will give him that, when he gets involved with women he takes in their kids like his own. My uncle was a stepfather to two kids in his first marriage and he put them through college, bought their first cars and taught how to drive, walked one down the aisle, been there for birth of her kids etc she still calls him dad. And I actually, I know quite a few men who have done that too. I thought that was more in the realm of normal than not? Especially with the new face of blended families.


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

"if BM and her BF break up"

"if"?

Hang in there & call the little guy every afternoon, stop by to "take him off your hands this afternoon so you can get some rest", make sure he keeps hearing your voice & seeing your face.

& drag hubs along.

When that baby starts taking up all her time & all her energy, & her boyfriend gets bored with family life & moves on, her story will change.

(The laws intended to protect American Indian children in this country can be devastating on the "other" parent & family, even a child's non-Indian birth parent & family sometimes lose custody solely on the basis of race.)


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

"When that baby starts taking up all her time & all her energy, & her boyfriend gets bored with family life & moves on, her story will change."

I totally agree with Sylvia. SHe may even try to dump the poor baby on him too:( Hey, she's done it before right?


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

first they complained that mom dumped her kid on them, now they complain mom stopped dumping kid on them. what do they really want? ..so was it that dad was spending time with his son as he was supposed to, or was it that mom dumped her kid on him so she can have free time? you cannot have it both ways, can't demand mom to watch her kid herself without dad's help and at the same time dad spending time with his son. can't have it both ways.

it is certainly possible that mom will need babysitting and will be asking for help again. but it's not what parenting is, it is not babysitting. people babysit their nephews and their neighbours and friend's children too.

if I want to talk to or see my niece I call. I don't wait until my brother needs a babysitter. and I am not even talking about my child.

sylvia, nobody took his kid away.


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

I'm really confused. Didn't Ceph say that Mom had been with her boyfriend for two years now? And that she waited for a year to introduce A? Not a string of boyfriends in/out playing dad.


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

I really feel for A and Ceph. Since she came into her DH's life she has accomplished so much for A. Her DH took her guidance and did so much better. I fear all that was gained may be lost and Ceph is hurting for the boy.
I am sorry Ceph that you have to watch this happening to a boy you love and have done so much for.


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

"nobody took his kid away"

The point I was making is that laws intended to protect children sometimes backfire.

Ceph's husband doesn't have the support of the law because the little guy is Aboriginal & Ceph's husband is not.


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sylvia

to call your children one doesn't need support of the law. one just needs to love and miss them to pick up the phone. In fact to call anyone, one needs no support from the law. great excuse though.


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

first they complained that mom dumped her kid on them, now they complain mom stopped dumping kid on them. what do they really want? ..so was it that dad was spending time with his son as he was supposed to, or was it that mom dumped her kid on him so she can have free time? you cannot have it both ways, can't demand mom to watch her kid herself without dad's help and at the same time dad spending time with his son. can't have it both ways.

it is certainly possible that mom will need babysitting and will be asking for help again. but it's not what parenting is, it is not babysitting. people babysit their nephews and their neighbours and friend's children too.

if I want to talk to or see my niece I call. I don't wait until my brother needs a babysitter. and I am not even talking about my child.

Can I get an AMEN?! We see this eye to eye FD


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RE: Out of my hands... Frustrated. (Long)

to call your children one doesn't need support of the law. one just needs to love and miss them to pick up the phone. In fact to call anyone, one needs no support from the law. great excuse though.

LOL...I love that. It really was a nice attempt at an excuse wasn't it?


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