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Parallel Parenting

Posted by myfampg (My Page) on
Tue, Jul 12, 11 at 9:30

Hello All

I am nearing the end of my month long, 'vacation' as a mom to Dd 10.

Still never got to talk to her but YAY it's over and I can talk to her all I want for days on end. We are going on vacation at the end of the week and I'm so lOoking forward to spending this time with my family.

I had someone mention to me that I should research parallel parenting for the future. Basically meaning, I would disengage while Dd is with Dad.

Definition: a form of custody or guardianship order in which such authority transfers from parent to parent as the children are exchanged.

The more research I've done it sounds like basically when she is with him, I disengage. No communication with him. I assume none with her. We don't argue back and forth about each others parenting unless the child becomes in danger etc.

Does anyone know any more. Have any advice? This is actually something I am interested in and I plan to mention to my therapist. I would need coaching of course!! It wont be easy to let go of my parenting reigns but in the end I believe it would benefit me emotionally to just find that place of peace and acceptance. I think I have become so numb over the last few weeks but I don't think that is acceptance.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Parallel Parenting

I think this would probably be best for your mental status BUT is your daughter really ok not speaking to you? I think you should still continue with the contempt of court as far as the cell phone/phone calls go. Your ex is in contempt and it's not fair to your daughter or her mental status.


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RE: Parallel Parenting

Right momof3!

I intend to continue the contempt charges but as she gets older, it might be easier on her to go longer periods. It's only once a year -- but it's been so difficult for me. I can't wait to get her back!!


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RE: Parallel Parenting

Hi Myfam,
My DD left late June. She comes back mid August. I've spoken to her twice. Once to give her a password that she forgot, and once to give her the phone number of a family member.

Other than that, I've spoken to my dad, and my best friend, but not to X and not to DD. They say she's fine, I assume that's true.

I don't call because I figure that's her time with her dad. If she wants to call, she can.

I think I do parallel parenting. I almost completely disengage. It's the only way I can get through it.


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Ya I think I'll get to a point of knowing she is fine. You forget, she is spending her days with the woman who physically assaulted me and was arrested for child endangerment of MY Dd. So I'm just a bit nervous. This is the first summer since visitation has been re-established. It's been 4 summers since she was gone last.

I am sure next summer will be better. But I guess it depends on how well she does after she returns from this visit.


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RE: Parallel Parenting

Myfam, I in no way forgot your situation with your daughter. I don't know what I'd do in your case.


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I survived!! That's all I know right now. I think it's going to be so weird having her back lol
I think if Dd were ok not calling me, it would be one thing. But when she says she cries because she isn't allowed to call me... Or her brother .. Or grandparents... She has no contact with friends. They've been calling like crazy ... She is 'cut off' like she was sent away for a month.

I know my DS is super excited.

I want to know more about the parallel parenting. Silver you will have to remind me: do you speak with your dd's dad? I think what will be easy for me is to just let things Dd tells me go out the window (unless it's a major offense) I'm hoping to have my big girl panties on tomorrow and hope to not be effected by anything she may share with me. Oh I hate knowing my baby was mistreated, neglected or made to feel miserable. Makes my skin crawl.


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RE: Parallel Parenting

I don't think parallel parenting is anything more then just 2 separate parenting styles. It's what we've been doing for years. FDH and BM cannot communicate and/or agree on anything, therefore we just do what we think is best, and she does what she does best. As far as I know it doesn't mean that you don't contact DD while she's there, it only has to do with leaving each others parenting styles alone. You cannot control your ex's parenting style and he can't control yours, parallel parenting means accepting that, instead of fighting it.

FDH will still contact his DD's while they're at BM's, and BM will still ring our house regular to talk to the kids.


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RE: Parallel Parenting

I agree with yabber. I understand parallel parenting in regards to letting other parent have their time with the kid without meddling or trying to control their household. I trusted ex that he does what parent needs to do, and vice versa.

Myfam, what you described is not parallel parenting it is nonsense, your child is denied communication, crying for 2 days not being able to call you.

It would be completely unacceptable and unrealistic for either me or my ex to not talk to DD for that long, month? 2 weeks? no way. I cannot imagine my ex being OK not talking to DD for a month? OK maybe a week, but more than that??? Neither one of us is a helicopter parent, in fact we are pretty laid back yet this is ridiculous. More so not only we talked to DD, we talked to each other. Also DD wants to talk to her parents, not daily of course, but a month?

I don't think talking to your child indicates not trusting your ex, I think it is just a normal communication.

I understand when a child is 2-3 year old and maybe cannot have decent phone conversation, but other than that? I cannot imagine DD not talking to her grandparents for a month let alone her parent, mom or dad. Also I would be somewhat alarmed if my kid expressed no interest in having any communication with me or her dad. Sorry I think it is beyond ridiculous.

I think it is good to disengage from controlling exspouse's household and parenting (except abuse) but why would people disengage from their children?


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Well... I guess I had the wrong definition of parallel parenting. That's not what I do ;)

Parallel parenting is compared to two children playing *next* to one another without playing *with* one another.

Rather than a style, it's a stepping stone. Parents who are conflicted will fight, and kids will be in the middle. Parents who are parenting with conflict should instead disengage until they are able to parallel parent, which will then lead to cooperative parenting.

Example: Two people divorce, and they fight a lot, which brings conflict into the parenting relationship that each has with their child. The parents need to disengage, or remove their personal issues from their parenting role. This will lead to them parenting alongside one another, (parallel) but not interacting with one another. Eventually, they will learn to cooperate and that will lead to cooperative parenting.

I think this is really quite true. My X and I were very conflicted. We could not speak to one another, we had an email-only policy because the phone/text communication was just awful. Once emotions were gotten under control we were pretty wary (or I was pretty wary) and although we spoke to one another we were running on our own tracks. Now, nearly six years later, we are pretty much cooperatively parenting.

When I said I disengage I mean that I try to not be bothered by the fact that her dad is super annoying and the things he does are not the things I would do. And remember that those same habits would be going on even if we were married. I try to look at the big picture. DD is happy, she is healthy, she is cared for, and so my basic needs from my X as a father are fulfilled.

Myfam, I think right now parallel parenting is all you can do. Keep the conflict down and stand your ground. Maybe you could encourage your DD to write in a diary.

Not to say your DD is lying or exaggerating, but kids do blow things out of proportion sometimes. And maybe you could tell her that if she ever wants to call you and she can't, to write down her feelings in a letter to you. And maybe you could write her letters too, while she is gone, and tell her that you can exchange letters when you see one another again. That way she has a tie to you that is tangible and cannot be broken. It might make her feel more secure.

Here is a link that might be useful: Parenting After Divorce


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Yabber is right, but "parallel parenting" can even be a bit more than that. In really extreme cases nothing is shared between the parents (except the kids, of course!) No clothes except what's on their backs, no toys, no possessions go back and forth. No mutually agreed upon rules, no punishments or penalties for anything that happens at the other house. I've heard of instances where both parents take kids for separate dental and medical check-ups.

It's useful for cases where the parents are unable to communicate about anything without conflict, where the parents simply cannot agree on even the most basic of rules or routines, and also where one parent has emotional issues. Unfortunately there are some people who will, say, refuse to divulge to the other parent not only results of a child's annual physical - but even whether or not the child had their annual physical. Sure you can go to court to get that information (eventually), but it becomes a bit tiresome and expensive to do so after three, four, or five years of it. It becomes easier and less stressful to simply take the child yourself.

It does not require disengaging from your child, or not having contact with them. But since it would involve more of a "his house, his rules" approach in theory it should be up to your ex how often/when/what times you communicate with DD. In your case, "never" is not acceptable so that would have to be addressed.


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lol, when my son was growing up, that is basically how it was... at my house, my rules. at his house, his rules. I have no idea what his rules were except what my son told me, which I never even thought of discussing anything with his father... The only issue was phone calls & I had to get a court order to be able to call my son when he was there... and they always listened on a second line. I didn't even bring up that issue since nothing I talked to my son about was top secret... how was your day.. I love you... see you in a few days.. etc. I figured if they needed to listen in, that was their problem. Of course I worried they did that because they didn't want my son to tell me things about his time there, but he could always tell me when he was at my home when they couldn't stop him.

I never knew there was a name for that style of parenting.. lol, after my parents divorced, mom always wanted to know what dad was doing in his home but neither of them ever told the other anything about what happened in the other parent's home so I thought that was normal & how everyone handled it. It was a surprise to me when BM was constantly telling DH what could or couldn't go on in his home because she thought since it affects her daughter, she has the right to say something.


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In my understanding when parents cannot get along at all and cannot agree, there is a court order. I think if one parent repeatedly bluntly violates court order it becomes something different than "let the other parent do their parenting".

"We don't argue back and forth about each others parenting unless the child becomes in danger etc." That certainly makes sense. I don't see any point in arguing either.

But I don't think it is OK for DD's dad to violate court order.


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ima

"lol, when my son was growing up, that is basically how it was... at my house, my rules. at his house, his rules."

That's how we did it too. Well we are not very big on rules. And I also never knew that there is a special name, for me it was just old fashioned "common sense". lol Well SD's BM has no common sense (and grandma has even less).

"The only issue was phone calls & I had to get a court order to be able to call my son when he was there..." It is clearly a manipulation not allowing, preventing or somehow make it difficult communication between parents and children. It is never done to benefit a child. I don't see how any children benefit from not communicating to their family.


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"I don't see how any children benefit from not communicating to their family."

With my son, I believe they thought if they could cut off my contact with him, it would be easier for them. They could pretend I don't exist & they are a happy little family. They could convince my son that I don't care enough to call him & turn him against me. or they may have wanted to have more influence & control over him (because it was controlling to listen to the conversations we did have). No matter what the reason, it causes the child to feel stress or torn. They want to be able to talk to their parents when they want... unless it's excessive (such as in Pseudo's case) but kids have enough things in the world to deal with that most of us didn't have to... living under a court order to have a relationship with a parent shouldn't be one of them. That is the sad part to me... I know court orders are necessary for parents to resolve conflicts but if parents cared more about the kids than about fighting each other... they'd put their own feelings aside & think of what is best for kids. But, then again, if they could do that they might stay married & not need a court to be involved anyway. I just think it's very sad & while some people may disagree with me... when my son's father would not let me talk to my son (he simply wouldn't answer his phone) and I went to court to get the order forcing him to let me talk... when he was finally threatened by the court with jail for contempt... he reluctantly allowed my calls. The order said what day, what time & for how long. If I called a few minutes early or late... no answer. If we talked for one minute longer, he would actually hang up the phone while we were still talking. I could have taken him to court but instead, I told my son that I love him but I will talk to him when he's home... to just have fun at dad's house. I didn't want him to go through having his dad hang up the phone while we were talking, listening to our conversations, etc. I was sad/angry/etc. over it but my goal was to do what was best for my son. Honestly, I think it would have been best for my son to never be around his jerk of a father but that was not within MY control. The court gave him parental rights. Unfortunately, having parental rights does not make one put their child first.


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so true, ima. I think it is a shame that parents have to go to court to obtain permission to call their own kids. We are not even talking about permission to take them places but just a freaking phone call. And even then, with court order, some parents like myfam's ex manage to violate it, clearly to pi$$ off myfam. Like they say "loving your children more than hating exes", unfortunately some people hate their exes more than loving their children.


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I think you are right Silver, the parallel parenting term compares to kids parallel play, I've read about that somewhere as well. If it can be a stepping stone, like it was for you, then that's great! Helping parents settle in their new situation and allowing things to cool off so eventually they can develop a more productive relationship, but unfortunately this is not always the case. So I guess if it can't be used as a stepping stone, it can still be used as a style.

For example our situation will never get better. It's been going on for 10+ years and if anything the situation is getting worse, not better. BM has serious mental health issues. She thrives on conflict and manipulates the children constantly to try and cause more problems. She'll undermine our parenting whenever she can, and any communication from her side is always negative/an attack/a blame game.
-And it's not just us, she now also has another ex with whom she has 2 babies, same high conflict situation there.
-Recently the police was called yet again to help calm down a family feud between BM and her siblings.
-BM's new BF is going through divorce and has 2 babies with his stb-ex, again BM is not helping that situation either.

So for us we don't really have a choice, parallel parenting it is :-)


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Exactly yabber, that usually is the case with conflicting exes, they are troublesome with everyone else, not just their ex-spouse. Wow, police was called? SDs' BM has major issues with her family as well. Her siblings are a nightmare. One of them call our phone, he sounded high, he had no clue that his sister and SO are long divorced and she lives with someone else, he did not even know her phone number, he looked up last name in the phone book and got SO's number, then he started getting aggressive on the phone. That's telling. That's how many years he did not talk to his sister.


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I think I've been parallel parenting all along and just didn't know there was a word for it. What we are/have been doing is what SM had enforced since she came in the picture. But I saw it as manipulation, anger, jealousy -- reading what you all have said, sounds like SM was teaching BD how to parallel parent with me and enforcing it.
Bd and I coparented well in the beginning. I think we were both on eggshells and trying to not upset the other which actually worked because we were agreeing with each other and communicating etc.
What it turned in to was no communication except emails through SM, Dd could no longer pack a bag, take toys, personal belongings back and forth. She became two children in one body. Here she was myfam's Dd and there she was exmyfam's Dd and the two are not the same child. I often worried that forcing Dd to be different would 'cause' her to have multiple personality disorder (don't laugh) or teach her to know how to lie well, conceal information, have an alias, she could literally work for the CIA one day with how things are for her. I don't enforce anything. I let Dd be who ever she wants to be. She has to follow rules/be respectful but literally, I am the laid back parent. I correct her manners when needed but my expectations are not extreme. I don't care what she calls dad or sm or me or grandparents, she can call us whatever she wants. I don't care if she matches or not, it's her clothes and she has to be the one to 'find' herself and what her style is. At her dad's it's so cookie cutter. Their routine makes me want to vomit because it literally turns my stomach to think of me (as carefree and random as I am) being on such a strict schedule. I work and nothing about my day job is routine except month end and reports... I have to be able to adapt to change daily. Ok I'm rambling. I worried that the different 'cultures' Dd was being exposed to would be so difficult on her and what I then realized is that I feared being judged for not being 'perfect and cookie cutter'. I am still worried. But my therapist and dd's have said she is really adjusted and she probably won't suffer from the huge gap in life styles... I also still worry that she will see me as a 'loser' because I am not this perfect cookie cutter mom that sm appears to be. I say appears because I don't know really what goes on there.

I got a few emails from Bd today telling me what to expect when Dd comes home, concerns he has and things he wanted to throw in my face. The best thing I did was move it to the 'BD' file and moved on. I actually have no response for him. It's like he just cannot stand not to have drama. They want to email me and tell me about MY daughter but if I were to do that, they would laugh me all the way to the nut farm. Why such a double standard? They tell me to get a life if I ask a simple question about something DD related or remind me that they don't comment about my life so don't email bringing up theirs. Or if I mention the stepsister OMG they write back and say 'do not even speak her name, do not include her, she is none of your business' but then I get an email telling me how Dd told them this or that about my husband or this or that about my house and they don't like what she eats at my house yadayada who cares!! They drive me insane. So basically for my sanity, not responding, disengaging, not caring about what takes place at their house, not saying anything to them about their parenting style is exactly what will be best for me.

Ok Its something I will need to work on but I can do it. I think this is best for me. :) thanks my friends!!


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"It's like he just cannot stand not to have drama."

That may be exactly what it is. If he, or SM, or both, have an emotional disorder (which seems a fairly safe bet in the case of whacko SM), then drama is like emotional food to them.

"The best thing I did was move it to the 'BD' file and moved on. " That is the appropriate response. If there is nothing that absolutely must be replied to, then don't. Let them find a source of drama elsewhere.

"Parallel parenting" in conjunction with having as little communication with BD and SM as possible should help you to stay calmer and less stressed. As time goes by and they find that tormenting you gets little to no reaction, they may begin to turn elsewhere and to not even try to poke at you as much. You'll start to feel better and will be more emotionally strong to ignore them if they do try. And DD will have a less stressed, more relaxed Mom, which is better for her.

I admire you so much, by the way. I don't know how you've managed to dig deep enough to find enough emotional strength to not just completely lose it during all of this stupidity - but you have. It has to have been really difficult and your strength (and stamina) have been incredible. Hugs.


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So Dd is home!! First And most importantly -- YAY!! I'm so excited. She's in a fabulous mood. There are several stories that have come out over the last 13 hours that have made me feel 'weird'. I don't know an appropriate word. I'm perplexed about my feelings. Not sure why I feel anything at all.

She had a wonderful time. That I am happy about. She did great things and they stayed busy -- happy about that. Dad has not been a part of any stories -- why am I surprised? I was married to him once so I'm not surprised that he isn't home much. Nothing has changed there...
I think she grew a couple of inches! Not kidding. How can a kid grow so much in a short time? Lol
My husband asked me if I felt like I needed to compete with their huge purchases or all of the fun they went and had... I thought about it and then I said, nope, BD drowned himself in debt trying to keep up with the jonses when we were married and if he wants to do it again, he can do it alone this time. I'm not jealous, I'm so glad I don't have to take Dd to do all of those expensive outings... I am a tad bit curious on the cash flow to pay for this but only curious long enough to get over it and not care anymore... But other than that -- I work full time - I have goals for our financial future and I'm not about to drown us in debt to try to compete.
He was so proud of me. I do feel like Dd is going to want to go over to 'Disney'land more because it's 'fun' but now that she is home, she is so happy to be in her own bed and keeps hugging me... I don't think Disney can compete with momma!!

Thanks Mattie! Wow that gave me chills I appreciate the kind words.
It's been a struggle... I've grown a lot. I am a sensitive person -- in fact I had a review at work and my boss said I'm too sensitive and do not take crtisizm well... Lol I laugh because it's so true. I internalize everything and it just makes me feel bad. That's why I'm in therapy!! Lol

Thanks again. Dd and I are off for a day of FUN! (free fun..lol)


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RE: Parallel Parenting

glad she is home, don't let your ex to upset you. enjoy your upcoming vacation


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I'm so glad your sweet girl is home! YAY!

I am REALLY sorry that you had no contact with her. GEEZ. :-( I really do think it's a matter of time before DD starts really standing her ground with BD and insisting upon contacting you.

At some point, he will either have to loosen the reigns and force SM to give up her control OR---your DD will probably phase out of his life.

I know she's 10 now but what about when she's 12? 14? You know? At some point, you can't drag her over there kicking and screaming....and if SM/DAD continue to be the way they are, DD may very well decide on her own that she would prefer to not go.

I know she *wants* to go now. But I do think as she matures she is either A) going to stand up to them or B)wash her hands of them.

I think you are in the homestretch, hon.

Enjoy your vacation!


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The cool thing is Myfam, your DD loves you for who you are: her mama! She may want other things, but in the end there is no mama like her mama. Period. No matter how well-coiffed the other women in her life are.

I don't think your worries are unjustified either, about the split personalities. I wonder the same with my DD. Kids of divorce have to compartmentalize a lot. How would any adult respond to having two different houses, two sets of rules, two sets of expectations? I don't think any of us would do all that well.

The good thing is that kids are resilient. And you have your baby back!! YAY!!


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Imma - what you describe with your son is exactly what they are doing with me. If they just ignore me and pretend I don't exist them
Dd is going to forget about me and they will be this little Happy family. I've read that men are quick to move on and find a 'mommy' for their children so they can have their little happy family... And that is what Bd did.. He hooked up with the 2nd girl he met and he clung to her for life ... And she just so happens to be nuts. They have been fighting for this 'American family' dream for years now, wonder when they are going to get that im in this for life. I gave birth to her, I'm not going anywhere. I want to be her mom. I choose to be an involved parent. Sorry you're not getting a dead beat out of me. I really think they thought I would go all nuts and party and drink and maybe even do drugs ... And that would be a slam dunk for him but instead I finished school, started my career, settled down, added to my family /- and that all kinds of screwed up their plans.

Normally I would type up and email, forward it to my attorney and ask permission to aim, fire and destroy but I've decided I don't have the energy nor the desire to wrestle with them. Hey maybe this is reverse psychology and they've figured out a way to exhaust me and make me not want to argue ...
These things bother me and normally I WOULD call
Bd out on it but I think I'll just let him get away with it this Time... But some of this crap just annoys me.
Dd spent more time with SM and her ex husband than she did with her dad. Wtf?? I'm serious. This just chaps me more than anything else. I was not allowed to even speak to my child but she was playing house with her stepmother's ex husband.... Huh? It's absolutely ludicrous.
She spent a week with him. A man I do not know and was not good enough for Sm to stay married too. A man that was accused of taking his own child over state lines and not returning until a court ordered him to. A man that was accused of stalking my daughter's father while he was dating this man's at the time wife.... I have a huge problem with this and there is nothing I can do about it.
Remember the lice story? Well they apparently were so worried about the lice coming from disgusting myfam's house that they retreated Dd even though she did not have lice to begin with... They told her they were doing it 'just in case'.
AND sunscreen! HELLO!!! We are WHITE fair skinned people and I have skin cancer. Meaning my child is at risk as well. She is absolutely gorgeous with her little tan but OMG!! It's so frustrating because again, nothing I can do... They swim daily... And they refuse to acknowledge my concern. SM and her Dd are Hispanic so they are dark... So.. They tan fine but Dd although she has gained a dark tan... Is now all freckled on her back and face. Ugh!! I can be frustrated by this because for 10 years I have protected her from it. I am very freckled and I hate it! I didn't want my daughter dealing with it. I blame them! They should have protected her.
Dd lost 5 lbs in 2 weeks. She weighed tonight and told me YAY! I am skinny - can you check my BMi. Absolutely NOT!!! I do not believe a child of a healthy weight should be losing 5 pounds. If she were overweight then I could see how being active and eating differently could cause her to lose weight. And now she is obsessed with it. Not to mention she is singing songs I would never allow her to listen to or acting in a 'diva'ish' way! Yuk! Like I have said, I am very laid back but this stuff goes all over me... How am I to protect her innocence, her personal body image and her skin when I have no say?

I can't do anything about this. So if I 'parallel parent' and let them parent how they parent and I parent how I parent, how do I not go nuts over these issues that to me are important?? so tell me.... What am I to do??

I actually feel better just venting!! Maybe I need to get my journal out and just start writing again.


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"Dd spent more time with SM and her ex husband than she did with her dad."

And you said she spent a week with him??? Like, sleeping at the ex-DH of SM's house? WTF. WHY?

I'm so sorry, myfampg. This stuff would boil my blood, too!

About the sunscreen/freckling, though...my DD has a different complexion than I do. I tan really easily; she does, too, but she freckles on her nose/under eyes like crazy! And I apply SPF50 to her face religiously. It doesn't matter---she still gets freckles. I think they're cute, though, and they always fade away as her tan goes.

I completely understand your concern about skin cancer, though. Would SM not allow DD to apply sunscreen? Not often enough? Can you next time send DD with her own sunscreen so SHE can do it? Or will that wind up like the phone?

Sigh. I'm sorry. But glad your DD is home with you!


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Hey Love. SM told me during therapy she didn't realize the importance of sunscreen. She said she doesn't really wear it because she has never burned. This is just ignorance. You don't have to burn to be exposed to dangers UV rays and/or develop skin cancer ... Which by the way .. Dd said SM sees a dermatologist for the same reason I see one. Which is cancer spots and having them removed. SM does apply sunblock NOW because the therapist just lit in to her for 'not realizing' but she doesn't do her face. I think it would end up like the cell phone. Dd is not allowed to bring anything in to their house. During school, her backpack is not allowed in the house. It stays in the car over night and on the weekends. I really think they believe 1. We are nasty and they don't know if we have bugs or not 2. That I have dd's bag bugged (like a wire). So basically they aren't sure of what kind of 'bugs' I am sending. The live kind or the listening kind lol I find this humorous.

As far as staying with ex husband. Yes. She sleeps at his house with step sister. When it's her time with her dad, if Dd is there, the girls go to s.sisters dad's house together. I've asked them not to do this but they tell me to mind my own business. He is not remarried. Dd says he does have a girlfriend but she doesn't live here so she isn't around. She lives out of state. Dd says he is very nice. I've looked at his Facebook and he does in fact seem very nice. He has lots of friends, nothing inappropriate, he is in his early 50's. S.sister is his only child and I think he just spoils her rotten but I Cannot for the life of me figure out WHY he would be ok with my Dd tagging along. I cannot even imagine. So weird!!
And I am not ok with it but What should I do?


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Myfampg, my blood just boils reading your posts. It is so absolutely unacceptable that your DD goes to visit her father but ends up staying at SM's Ex's(!) house for a week. I wish that I could suggest going back to court yet again in an attempt to end their stupidity - but I fear that you, like us, are playing whack-a-mole and it will just be something else next time. And the time after that. And the following time....

I'm so sorry. I wish I knew what might work.


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I agree Mattie. What about Right of first refusal Myfam?


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RE: Parallel Parenting

OK I had hard time accepting that your DD is not allowed to talk to you even though court order says otherwise. But OK...It gets worse, your DD spends time in SM's exDH house, yet alone sleeps there? That would not fly with me. Was it conveyed to your lawyer? I personally would drive to my ex's house and demand to see DD, I would bring police with me and if i find out that DD is with unknown man spending a night, I would demand she is removed from there. He might be nice, but so what? I feel very frustrated reading all this, I just don't get. Is this documented and what does your lawyer say???


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So I'm not overreacting or being unreasonable? I'm so glad you all agree with me. It makes me feel insane, I can't even describe it!!

I have talked to my lawyer. He is filing a contempt order. The ex husband thing has only been an issue this go around. I've talked to my lawyer before, he sent a demand letter a few months ago and their lawyer stated that they would not do that again, however Dd says she stayed 5 nights with him over her month visit.

PO1 you said something that had already come up in my thoughts but I thought maybe I was being unreasonable. Dd with unknown man, spending the night. I absolutely hate that she is alone with a man that I do not know. Alone with a man. Have I mentioned how beautiful and 'developed' my 10 year old is? It disgusts me to even 'suggest' it but we as parents cannot just be blind to the fact that there are men (and women) in the world that do things to children that are inappropriate. Things we normal people cannot even understand or imagine. But the fact is, it is a fear of mine and I feel very anxious that I have no say, no control. I'm trying to keep myself from being too sensitive and trying to distinguish between my feelings and if they are 'true' feelings or if I am just nit picking. But you all have clearly shown me that I'm not being irrational and that this is cause for concern.

My attorney is livid. His secretary said he keeps using the word 'hate' under his breath and is yelling lol I love that man. He is so passionate about my case because it's so ridiculous. We are going back to court. Period. We don't have a choice. These people cannot be trusted and should not be left to care for my daughter. Dad isn't ever home. He works. And I know that he is a very hard worker because I was married to him and he was never home. He is never home now. My daughter is basically hanging out with SM and s.sister and ex husband of SM and all their friends. Why in the world would she want my daughter around? My Dd is a good kid and I have to say, she is very cool to hang out with. She is well mannered and is very loving and I have no doubt I have raised her to be respectful to sm and so Sm has no problems with Dd. The girls get along, they love being together. So really there is not a problem here BUT I just do not feel that Dd should be kept from me. She is not a possession, she isn't an award I won, she isn't an 'ex' stepchild of mine that I keep in contact with. She is not a niece or nephew. She is my child. I should not be second choice to SM. I can be second to BD during his access periods but if he is not there, why should Dd be there?? I do not know anyone that would want to take on another kid for someone else in this situation but in my 'opinion' I think SM is doing it to just get to me. Keeping Dd from me is a way to punish me for everything I've 'done' to her. Instead of blaming the party who inflicted so much 'meanness' on SM which would be the judge ... She is punishing ME!

I'll let you all know... Thanks for being there for me.


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I don't think that there is something wrong with that man, he might be the nicest man on the planet, but I believe those five days could be spent with DD's FAMILY: maybe you maybe grandma maybe whoever, not a stranger! My DD used to spend time at her SM's parents summer cottage BUT certainly that was not 5 days, maybe a day, and they were elderly couple and SM's parents. Not a single exspouse of SM!

Yeap your lawyer better does something about it, no phone calls and a week with a strange man is enough to go to court. Keep us posted


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It doesn't matter how "nice" the man is. He's not family. You are, and you want to be with your daughter.

Plus, even "nice" men have "friends". WHO KNOWS who is over at his house????????????? I have a hard enough time with DD with her dad (always working) and spending time with her WBSM playing Xbox all day (yep, that's what I heard yesterday) let alone....it's just too weird...

SPENDING THE NIGHT WITH A STRANGE MAN??????????

WTF?

Bless you Myfam, you have nerves of steel.


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Ya, that's right up there with SD going to visit her mom but ends up staying over at her mom's BF's exW's house... who BM doesn't even like.

If a parent doesn't want to utilize their time with their child, then why exercise visitation at all?


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I agree with everyone else. Your dd should NOT be with sm ex. That's just very very wrong. You do have nerves of steel, I couldn't do it. I believe my ss was going with his ex ss to his ex step dad's ex wives house a lot too. We never confirmed it but I know she used to cut his hair. I always thought that was so wierd. (That's quite the sentence above LOL!) BTW... my ss is 10 as well and weighs 80... he's scrawny!!!!!! Didn't you say your dd was under 70? I think this needs brought up to the judge as well. It's mental abuse to make her think she needs to lose weight at this age and this weight. My 11 year old weighs 130 and I don't have him running and on a special diet. He's stalky and chunky but far from fat. We watch portions but not a diet. OMG!! SM is psycho!


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Myfam, I'm going to ask in this thread as I don't recall you saying after you were looking. No need to start a new thread, I'll just be nosey in this one LOL...

Did you and DH find a place over where you were looking to move? Are you moving before school starts? I'm curious if you did or are moving if Dad has caught wind of it yet and if he realizes he'll be either driving longer or waiving visitations on his long weekends.

If you answer something like 'Sms ex will do the running', I'm gonna fall off my chair.

And I gotta ask. When Stepsister goes to Sm's exs house, does she get to call home to SM?


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Oh good ones jmt!!!


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No we did not move. We have decided to stay. I forgot to update you guys on that. Sorry!! 2 reasons. First and foremost, Dd is so happy in her school. With all of the budget cuts in the districts, our current school district is 1 of 2 in our area that made no cuts because they are financially responsible. The district we were moving to cut 300 teachers and the gifted program Dd would be in. Second, Dh and I are renting because we have debt. We will be debt free December 2012. 18 months. If we move, our debt pay off will be put on hold and we will be renting longer and we are ready to buy a house. We are so ready. We love the area we are in, we just hate being so close to Bd. But that isn't strong enough to us to change Dd and to put our debt pay off on hold.

You gals make me feel so good about how I feel. I don't feel crazy when you all back me up in feeling angry.

Dd was 71lbs a month ago and is 66lbs now. She lost 5 lbs over the month. They do eat much healthier than we do. I do not know a lot about nutrition (which I agree is an excuse). We have started eating healthier in the last year which has helped Dh and I slim down but the kids are healthy. My son is actually underweight but he is tall. Dd is short (she grew almost an inch this month). Sm is a health freak. I Probably would be if I didn't work full time and had more 'free time' to shop at the farmer's market or to actually cook in depth meals. I short cut a lot and I don't like it but I'm trying to do better. I want my kids to be healthy and to make good decisions with food but I don't over obsess about it because I think that would cause more damage than good. Anyway -- I research a lot. Look for lots of healthy alternatives. It's so expensive to eat healthy but our new budget to get out of debt has cut down on our eating out habit. Which is probably the best thing I could have done all together.

SM and her ex don't get along but apparently my ex and her ex get along fine. I just hate it. I don't understand it. It's crazy!!


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Myfam... have you tried "Glorious one pot meals"? There's a cookbook.. really quick and easy and healthy for a busy mommy. All you need is a dutch oven pot.


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I have one of those. I'll look in to it. Thanks for
The suggestion!


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RE: Parallel Parenting

You know, it's possible that SM's X is a nice guy, and so his "motive" for allowing DD to stay is just that. He's most likely familiar with (and probably concerned about) SM's behavior - and maybe he figures if he can help any child, not just his own, be away from that environment for even a short time it would be to that child's benefit. How many of us have allowed kids' friends or neighborhood kids to practically (or completely!) move in for a while because of some bad situation going on in their home?

None of that, of course, is to say that it's OK that DD should be there. It's just astonishing. Your SM is truly nuts.


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It is possible Ex Mr SM is a nice guy and perhaps a good father. We can't assume he's a danger to children, but the entire thing is just weird. As this is the first summer (and basically first period of exchanges since SM has had access to Little MyFam)it could simply be it's the only way the guy is going to get to see his own kid. Kinda 'you have to take both if you want the one to visit'. SM has no kids during that time, Ex Myfam is absent as usual and SM gets a mini vacation...I could actually see her thinking it to be no different than if Stepsister were taking a school friend along. Something she's likely to start doing when she hits Jr High.

Though I would think whoever the friend's parents are would have a chance to meet Mr Ex SM and decide for themselves what they think about it. Which entirely makes what is different in that and what Little Myfam is having to do. She gets no say in it. Her custodial parent gets no say in it. While it could be as simple as the guy thinks it's fine to have a playmate for stepsister else she get bored, and there is no danger or evil thoughts that just isn't the point.

The point of Little Myfam going to her father's home for this summer is to see her father. Eh, guy is never home. So why did he fight so hard for the frickin' time? Could it be really that SM wanted the time so she could 'entertain' her own daughter during the long summer days? Pfft, let the girl make friends like other children do.

Even if everything is fine and dandy and Mr Ex SM is the bestest nicest guy ever I'd want legal opinions on the situation. It's not like Little Myfam is being sent to say SM's parents (stepgrandparents) or Step Aunt's house, she's being sent to SM's Ex husband's house while Dad works works works...why even have summer visitation weeks? I'd push for the usual weekend timing as per the school year.

Dad has broken every single 'agreement' in the lastest contract and now even the child is being shipped off. There was nothing in agreement saying that Little Myfam would have visitation rights with Mr Ex Sm in place of Dad during the long hard fought for summer schedule.


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We cannot assume that he is nice or assume that he is not or assume his motives. I mean if it was my child I'd rather not assume anything. I think anyone who has children would rather not assume that strangers are all great with wonderful motives. Plus the issue is not if this man is nice or not, I said previously he could be the best man on this planet.

The issue is that dad has DD per court order yet she spends a week with a stranger who is exDH of myfam's exDH's wife. Nice or not nice, it just does not make sense. A week? By any logic this week could and should be spent with a family, either dad's or mom's family, or maybe summer camp with authorized staff. This man is not authorized to be taken care of DD or provide her shelter from abusive SM. He is only authorized to be with his own daughter.

I would go by what the lawyer says, and it appears that lawyer does not consider this situation appropriate.


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Thank you Po1


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"This man is not authorized to be taken care of DD or provide her shelter from abusive SM. He is only authorized to be with his own daughter."

REALLY good point! What if DD got hurt? How will he know what to do, who to contact, etc...?? His character is negligible. He's not an authorized person, period.


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Sorry I didn't get to finish my post.

I think he is a nice guy. He is very active in his daughters life. My Dd had fun with him. They did a lot of fun things. She calls him 'Mr. Exmyfamwifesexdhlastname' so strange she can't call him his first name. Even more strange that she doesn't call him 'dad' since these names are thrown around so lightly over there.

You all will get a kick out of this. For the third time now Dd has been instructed a 'change of name' for SMs mom. Lol first she was 'Ms. Last name' then she was 'first name' now she is 'granma last name'.
why all the changes?? How confusing!!

Let me ask this. Of course Bd has every right to take Dd out of state without my permission but do you all 'know' vacation plans when your ex will be out of state with your kids? Or do you tell the other parent when you plan to travel out of state? I have never told Bd because he has not always had rights but I think now that it's happened to me I think I will start telling him. Dd went out of state during her time which she says is why she could not call me. If she were allowed to use her cell phone there would not have been a problem. But I didnt even know she was out of state. I'm not mad but I realized I actually would have liked to have known. Thoughts?


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RE: Parallel Parenting- silvers

Silver-- not sure if you are referring to his past 'character' as negligable. But in case I did not post about him, you are correct. He took off with SMs daughter when her and Bd were dating. They had been together about 1 1/2 years but she was still married, not separated from him. So he had legal rights. But he did it to get back at SM for something. They were fighting and so he took off. Also ex told me he would stalk them. He showed up almost everywhere they went. He apparently was a lot of trouble during that time and during the divorce. So why now is he Mr Golden and capable of taking care of MY Dd but I'm the crazy BM that drives them insane? I've never kidnapped Dd or kept her from her dad Nor did I ever stalk them??

I think stalking is part of 'their' culture because when Bd and SM first met, he and I had just divorced but we were going back and forth, getting bal together, breaking up, getting back together and of course he would break up with her, get back together and so on. When we would go out during our 'on' time, SM would follow us. She sat outside his house for three hours and called and called and called over and over again. Then left notes on his truck and then one time left flowers another time left a present. I know this is why SM hates me but she won. So I don't know why she doesn't move past it. It's why BD is not allowed to talk to me. At this point in the game I think she is safe from us getting back together. In fact I know she is! I am happily in love with my husband and have NO feelings for Bd other than the normal, he is my daughters father, I loved him once, we have some good memories but nothing that would make me go back to him and vice versa.. Well actually I'm not sure. The therapist said it was obvious he has never had closer and that he still holds a lot of feelings, anger is one sign of that. Hate is another. I am not angry at him. I do not 'hate' him. I dislike his behavior and I feel frustrated with him and I am quite sure I am 'over' him. It's why you don't marry your rebound when you aren't 'over' an exspouse. It causes too much friction with your new spouse. She was his shoulder to cry on. His sounding board. So she was privilege to all of his feelings in the beginning -- and that isn't something you just forget.
Anyway - I'm sure her ex is a nice guy but I can't forget all the crap that went on before. In fact, when he took off with their daughter, my daughter was there and right in the middle of the police showing up and SM was out of her mind in worry. I even cried a few sympathetic tears for her (back then). I had to go over and pick up Dd so they could deal with this and my heart broke for her because she didn't have a clue where her child was. She was only 4 I think at the time. It actually was awful. But they expect me to just forget about all of that and be ok with my Dd being over there and I not knowing where she is. What if he takes off again and 'disposes' of my daughter because she is just an extra body in the way... It's happened ... I just hate it. This is that part of me that thinks the worst and only the worst.


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Since you're not changing schools for Little Myfam, don't forget to update the 'contact list' again before school starts. Take Sm off that contact list...you don't have to tell her, just do it.

--"His secretary said he keeps using the word 'hate' under his breath and is yelling lol I love that man. He is so passionate about my case because it's so ridiculous. We are going back to court. Period. We don't have a choice. These people cannot be trusted"--

How soon is your court date? I hope your lawyer can try to set for the same judge that was not impressed with SM when this agreement was just signed. If he/she didn't 'like' her then, he/she will really dislike her after the behavior since. And it is HER (SM) stubbing her nose at the order, that is very obvious as Dad is never ever around. YOU did not have a child with SM and it's high time this crap comes to an end. Dad has proven he can't be trusted by allowing SM to run the show. She violates entire agreement right off the bat showing she has little intentions of following any farther attempts at agreed upon orders and enough is enough. I think your lawyer can use this point hard and then hoepfully successfully. Dad's just a puppet figure in all this. Why is he even attending court and sllowed to partake in the negotiating? He has no intentions of being a 'father' during his awarded 'father vistation' time...what a weak little man to put SM and Sm's warped sense of 'mothering' (and eating and washing and blah blah blah) ahead of his daughter.


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once again it does not matter if he is nice or not, he has no authority, no legal rights, no any kind of rights to be spending a week with your DD. this should never ever take place.

"do you all 'know' vacation plans when your ex will be out of state with your kids? Or do you tell the other parent when you plan to travel out of state? "

I am not sure in your situation. I and ex communicated to each other very frequently so we knew where DD was just because we talked, plus DD talked to both of us. We knew each other vacations plans even if they did not involve DD (for example ex wanted us to know that he will be out of town in case of emergency or we just told each other for no reason).

But I am talking about major trips, like oversees or a week long vacation. But if it was a short trip over the weekend, then oftentimes we only knew after the fact, we didn't always bother informing about little trips, sometimes out of state or out of country might mean 20-minute drive, not a big deal IMO. You might want to ask your lawyer though.


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No, just saying that it doesn't matter how nice he is/how nice people think he is/if he's a good dad/if he's an ax murderer...

What matters is he hasn't been "cleared" as an authorized person to care for your DD. That's the real point here.

I do tell X when I travel with DD. I always tell him. I want him to have a place to start looking if we go missing!!


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exactly

Exactly, he is not authorized.

Good point, where to look if you gone missing.

I wasn't always that proactive if it was a short trip, long vacations of course. My ex always called to tell us that he (even without DD, DD could be with me at the time) is going out of town so we know in case DD calls and he isn't answering. For whatever reason I wasn't always proactive if it was short trip. Ex sometimes complained that he called and called on the weekend and we didn't answer, turned out we went somewhere for 3 days and did not tell him and there was no cell phone connection. I wasn't always thinking that 3 days of worries is long enough for him.


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"I'm sure her ex is a nice guy"

Famous last words. Go with your gut. Don't talk yourself out of your mom instincts.

Before I moved in with DH (before SD moved away), he wanted to let SD have friends spend the night so he would ask me if I would stay those nights so it wouldn't be weird for the parents of SD's friends. Everyone knew us and knew what a great dad was (and still is), and that we didn't live together. But DH knew it would give the parents of little girls a weird vibe for them to be spending the night at the home of a single man, because it would give HIM the same weird vibe if it were SD staying in the home of a single man. Strange how it seems like most parents were more ok with sending their kid to spend the night knowing we weren't married, but ok lol!

It creeped me out beyond belief that your daughter spent the night in the home of a single man to whom he has no relation to (legally or blood). Hell, my uncle tried to molest my aunt, his own sister, so relation really has nothing to do with it. UGH! You'd think BD would be more protective of the innocence of his daughter! How can people be so willy-nilly with their children?


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Willy-nilly yet fight so hard to prove someone who is not willy-nilly IS!


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You're right....very good point, myfam. I hope this works out in your favor. Your daughter deserves better than to be shipped off to some guy for a week.


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AHAHAHAHAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Talk about Parallels..... or not even on the same map...

Ex would never let DD ride a horse. NEVER. Because a friend died riding a horse. Whatever.

Just got a picture from WBSM. It's DD, riding a horse, STANDING UP.

And she has no helmet.

WTFWTFWTFWTF?????????


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I hear you silvers, no helmet and standing up, smart SM...

My DD rode horses competitively for many years, I know it is dangerous, but that was her choice of sports and we supported it. She certainly wore a helmet though. But I cannot guarantee she wore a helmet with ex because I knew he also took her to farms and she rode horses there, I am not sure if she had a helmet every time, I'd rather not know.

To make you feel better my DD did/does a lot of other dangerous things with ex that were truly dangerous and unnecessary and not age appropriate (maybe even against the law)and I usually found about it much later. Paramotor, paraglider, paraplane, sailing etc etc All in minor age. And not occasional thing, like weekly. Some of the stuff she still does with dad, but she lost interest for most things as she got older. My ex is risk junkie and I knew I'd have to deal with him getting DD into that...

In your case it is not even dad, but dad's GF, it would piss me off.


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Thanks, it's ok. I grew up doing very dangerous things too, except they were in nature and weren't even with licensed operators.

I'm not sargent psycho safety but it's just the scenerio.

Me: DD is interested in horses, I want her to get lessons
X: HORSES ARE DANGEROUS, NO WAY
Me: ok (thinking we'd just do it on our own)

Two months later:
WBSM: Look at this cute picture of DD standing up on a horse!

I know it's not WBSM taking her out to do dangerous things, Dad knew about it. So I don't blame her.

It's just aggravating to deal with people who change their minds like that.


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This is something I deal with constantly too. On all sorts of things. From sports to clothes to ear piercings to toe nail polish to hair length to sports again. Make up your damn mind!!

I can't believe that they let her stand up on a horse.
Is WBSM mean 'wanna be' ? Lol


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I understand too silver, my ss bm always let him ride 4 wheelers and such... starting at like 2 years old. I was so against that. I told my dh he was going to get killed. (There was an 11 year old kid here who just lost an arm to a 4 wheeling accident)

Now it's..... my dh's mom just died in June. SS took it hard. DH asked bm to call him after graveside services to talk to him. She freaked out cause she's always "kept him away" from funerals and such. OMG!!! That's a part of life! He's 10 and that was his paternal grandmother. One that we stayed with everytime we went home. Plus, she was cremated so there was no "body" for him to see. Just a small box at the cemetary. Small little service for her. Yet.... here bm is taking ss to her new in-laws homes drinking it up, smoking dope and who knows what else. That's ok but funerals are a no no. Really?!?!


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It's not the danger. It's like Myfam said "MAKE UP YOUR MIND"!!!

Yeah... WBSM is Wanna-be-sm. lol.

She's really nice. I have no real complaints. My grouchiness is with DD's dad. And I wouldn't care IF he hadn't made such a big deal before...

and caused me to think I'm being sneaky by even CONTEMPLATING letting DD get ON a horse without him being ok with it... let alone what she's doing with them.

Oh well. Just goes to show...


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LOL! This makes me think of the other day. DS12 got a pretty bad sunburn. He called me at work and asked if he could go to the community pool with a friend. I told him yes, but he had to put on sunblock and I would know if he didn't. I told him he would not be allowed to go again if he didn't. He's always complaining about putting it on. So, anyway, he doesn't...lies to me and my mom who was at my house that day. DS takes pics of his sunburn and texts them to X. I didn't know this until DS brings me the phone and says "it's dad."

My big mistake was saying "hello." He didn't yell at me or anything, but I got a 30 minute lecture on how to treat a sunburn. As though DS nor I have never had one before. Ummm...isn't this the same guy that used to douse himself with babyoil before going out to the pool? LOL!


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I wonder if it is something in your ex's head like ex (you) suggested something, well let me think about it, maybe it is a bad idea, his current partner (GF) suggests something "lets get DD to ride horses" , oh sure let's do it, what a good idea.

Maybe your ex respects his GF's opinion so much even in regards to DD that he thinks if she suggested it must be a good idea, I am not saying it is right, but there might be something into it. Men often operate this way in regards to their new partners.


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Po1 YES! Absolutely! My exdh and I were always on the same page when we were married. Being parents isn't what caused our divorce. We never really disagreed when it came to Dd. UNTIL he met now SM. He was a Disney dad at first but it didn't really bother me. Dd wasn't a bad kid back then. (not now either). He only saw her 4 times a month and so he would get her and say 'what shall we do?' they would do FUN things. She was our only child so weekends for both of us were used for DD time because we didn't have a 'family' - we both only had Dd. And we both worked full time. They would go to the park, swimming, movies, home movie night with popcorn and candy, window shopping, bike riding (kind of). But SM came in the picture and told exDH, you don't ask a kid what she wants to do, you tell her what you are going to do. So he did. She didn't like Dd calling him DADDY it's too 'immature' although for years he loved to hear her say daddy.. But he put a stop to it. SM even told me one time, it is nails on a chalk board for me to hear her say, DAAAAADDDYYYY'. I was offended. I think it was just her being a jealous B!/&% and had nothing to do with my Dd or the name daddy.
ExDh just changed into this weirdo all because another woman came in and said, this lifestyle is better.
I remember when we bought our house, exDH was adamant about the colors he wanted to paint the walls in each room. I literally had no say. (this is how he was, kind of controlling over the house since he 'bought' it before we were 'married'). I was young and didn't really assert myself yet. I liked the colors he picked and I worked to incorporate them with the new furnishings we purchased over the years. I thought we had a nice home and that it was nicely decorated. When we divorced, he kept the house. When he met SM he decided to sell the house. But not before he blamed
Me for the color scheme when SM/GF said the colors were awful. He immediately painted the rooms different colors. I saw the house once after he repainted and I thought yuk! But whatever. Then when they sent a pic of them in their living room at SMs house, I realized, they were the same colors. He would never have thought the paint he had picked was awful until his new gf suggested it was. Sometimes men are just that way. Same with the ear piercing thing. He was ok with it when we 'agreed' while we were married to have Dd's ears pierced but NOW the story is, he never approved and I did it without him because SM doesn't like little girls to have their ears pierced.... I wasn't even the one that took her. She wanted them done when she was maybe 4?? And my sister took her because both ex and I were too 'scared' lol but to keep SM from seeing 'more of his bad parenting decisions' he blamed it on me and all of a sudden he would NEVER have let her get her ears pierced.lol
Ugh!
I hope that SM and ex have a baby... And then get divorced. That would be such sweet justice for me because then she will get a taste of the crap I've dealt with for years!! And I could only hope that he remarries the first b!$@% that he encounters and that she makes SM just as miserable... Lol nah I would never wish that on my worst enemy.


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myfampg, there is nothing wrong with little girls continuing to call their dad daddy. Now.... my ss is almost 11 and still continues to call dh daddy and bm mommy. I did explain to him that he is getting older and he might want to rethink that and just say mom and dad. Just like the sitting on dh's lap in public. His friends might make fun of him. AND.... he did mention before he left that some of his friends DID make fun of him a little for saying daddy or mommy. It's different for boys/girls. I was just trying to help my ss cause we all know kids can be cruel. It doesn't help though when his mom sends him cards and signs it "mommy".... I think she likes him getting made fun of. When he was with her he always got made fun of at school... even bullied because of the way she dressed him.

I have to say that it isn't just men that change for their new SO. Yes, my son's dad's changed with each new woman. BUT... so did ss bm. With sperm donor he wanted to get to know his son when he was with the woman whom he cheated on me with. (We get along... wierd I know).... then now with mom number 4 who he's been with for about 6 years.... off and on... he wants absolutely NOTHING to do with my son. NOTHING! Obviously there were numerous others in between those two women. Each made him do different things. This current one has a child with him that looks EXACTLY like my son... only a girl and she is one that absolutely REFUSES to believe that my son is his. ds16's dad really has only had the one woman. SM who is 50. He always had tons to do with his parents till she came along. Now he hardly sees them. Which makes me the absolute angel in their eyes. LOL... I'll take it. :)

SS BM NEVER liked sports with ex husband, now all of a sudden she likes new dh's team... which is a completely HUGE rival of ours. She sent ss a shirt when their team beat ours. I just sent it back and when we beat them I sent a weekends worth of our team clothes for him to wear. She has never cared about sports, now all of a sudden she does. Plus she cut out her family for the most part for this new dh. I HATE when people do that.

Ashley.... my ds16's dad called me once to remind me to put sunscreen on him. I about lost it. I ALWAYS make him wear sunscreen. I call him see through cause he's sooooo pale. Plus he's already had bad spots removed from his leg. BUT... when he took him to a race he completely forgot to put it on him. I just couldn't believe he would call me to remind me.


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RE: Parallel Parenting

OMG myfam, SM said it is annoying DD calls him DADDY, OMG how rude, my DD not only calls me mommy but also has bunch of silly names she uses with me. Older SD calls her dad daddy and also has some other silly names for him, I would never allow myself to make any comments about it, in fact why would it even bother me. SM is disgusting!

But then again DD's SM is not bad plus DD is grown, but she made some weird comments to me like "DD is so lucky, she can have longer childhood because she is still daddy's little girl" or something of the sort. WTF does that suppose to mean? MY DD lived on her own since the day she graduated high school, worked 2 at times 3 jobs to pay her own bills, her own apartment, she never even lived at home during college breaks because she had to pay her rent, graduated college in 3 years, holds professional job. Yes her dad paid her college tuition but that's what plenty of parents do.

I had to bite my tongue because SM was married at 17, lived with her husband at her mom's house and then met my ex while married, left her DH and moved in with my ex, now she is married to my ex (much older than her), since she's been with ex she didn't work a day (they do have young children) yet she says something about DD?

She also made a comment, that I had a feeling did not mean to be a compliment, that my attachment to DD is not very typical, most mothers and daughters do not have such emotional bond. Again WTF does that mean? Maybe that's meant to be a nice thing, but why would even comment? I don't comment on what bonds SDs have with their mother (which is none by the way but not my business)


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RE: Parallel Parenting

The daddy thing is so sad. :-( My mom was very competitive/jealous of me and when I was about nine or ten, she told me it was time to stop calling my father 'daddy.' :-(

That part really made my heart hurt for your DD, myfampg. I am so sorry this cruel woman is in her life. She sounds SO strange. I wonder what her deal is??? I mean, I know you've said she treats DD well in some ways, so what's with all the other crap?

Seriously, it sounds like she would benefit immensely from some therapy herself!


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momof3

after reading momof3's post, I wanted to comment that soemtimes it could be a positive thing to do things differently with new partners.

My SO fell out of relationship with many of his relatives and friends while married to BM (last 10 bad years of marriage), some of the relatives had huge fights with BM and other big issues etc Since we've been together SO rebuilt relationship with many friends and family. He has some distant family that never met BM, yet in 5 years that I know SO I have met them many many times. Heck i became friends with female distant relative who had never met BM and they were married almost 30 years! SO also never had anyone out of state visiting and now we have people visiting all the time. First of all i constantly encourage SO go visit family and friends and invite them over which BM never did. There are a lot of positive things SO does that he never ever did while married to BM (hobbies, traveling etc).

SDs always say how happy they are he met me because I am such positive influence and dad finally does things that they always wanted him to do. And I know that they are being sincere.


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RE: Parallel Parenting

"SM even told me one time, it is nails on a chalk board for me to hear her say, DAAAAADDDYYYY'."

Oh no, sometimes I feel that way too! Not with SS; he is nine now and has (on his own) gone to "Dad" most of the time. He still says "Daddy" sometimes when he's happy and excited ("Daddy's home!") or sad and needs cuddling and love - or when SS is trying to comfort DH if he's sick ("Daddy, I wish you were feeling better.") I think it's sweet and very cute, and suspect the "Daddy"'s are going to be more and more rare - I'll miss hearing it.

When I hear "Daddeeee" and it grates on my nerves is when it's from a 19 year old girl (and it only seems to be the girls who do this), who normally call their fathers "Dad" or such, unless they want something. Then all the sudden it's reverting to "Daddy's Little Princess" role and batting their eyelashes up and whining "But Dadddeeeee....."

Every time I'm out somewhere and witness this I want to scream "Don't do it! Don't give in! If you do you're teaching a young lady that the way to get what she wants is to behave like a helpless child - not as a responsible young adult." It's so strange to me - most people wouldn't dream of giving in to a son of that age if he were whining "Please, Mommy and Daddy...." so why they do it for young ladies I do not know.

(I am not, of course, talking about an eleven year old like myfampg's DD! Nor am I talking about anyone of any age calling their father "Daddy" at other times - hospitalization, weddings, whatever. Just the whining I-want-something princess attitude thing. I had a health scare when I was in my twenties and called my mom first thing - when she answered I said "Mommeee" and started crying. I'm hardly one to judge others on that, LOL!)


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well if it is just to get the money LOL then it is annoying (although how do we know it is to get money?), rather than that people could use whatever names for each other, does not bother me, it is kind of between family members. When DD calls me MOM I know she is in a a bad mood lol because she normally uses some crazy variations of mommeee names no it is not just special occasions, it is pretty much always, I have the stupidest names for her too. OSD always has affectionate names for dad, it is different variations of DADDYYY, she always does it. When she wants something she is pretty direct: ok dad we need XYZ LOL


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RE: Parallel Parenting

Dd just turned 10 and this was what SM told me when Dd was 6.


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RE: Parallel Parenting--momof3

'SS BM NEVER liked sports with ex husband, now all of a sudden she likes new dh's team... which is a completely HUGE rival of ours. She sent ss a shirt when their team beat ours. I just sent it back and when we beat them I sent a weekends worth of our team clothes for him to wear. She has never cared about sports, now all of a sudden she does. Plus she cut out her family for the most part for this new dh. I HATE when people do that.'

Momof3 why would you send a shirt back from BM to SS but then send him in a weekend of your teams clothes in return? Off topic but this just grabbed me. That's odd to me almost like playing games?

We do the team rival thing with my brother. It's a joke. We give him gag gifts of our college team and he does the same. He even put a sticker on the back of my car once. Exdh sent Dd a college shirt that is rivals to our fab college. He isn't into sports but it's his home state. She wears it. I dont care. I'm going to allow Dd to pick whatever team she likes. In fact she has multiple college team shirts just because we all went to different colleges. My Dd even got a Harvard shirt once from exDH's brother after He was there for a conference. It's been past down to DS because it wads in good condition. It's ds's fav shirt now lol ironic that its a shirt from exDH's brother... But it doesn't matter. Doesn't fit Dd anymore and it's still in good condition.


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RE: Parallel Parenting

I sent it back because ss actually said he'd never wear it at our house. We actually live it the college town. The rivals are HUGE and the kids at school would really get on him about it. He doesn't like that team anyway. It was just like your jokes. She sent that to us to be a brat, I sent it back cause her evil ss is there. He can wear that horrible RED shirt. My ss only wants to wear black and gold. It's better then what my dh wanted to do with it.... he wanted to burn it. If you live where we live, you DO NOT wear red! (There's two diff teams that are our rivals that wear red.... I happen to work for one of them so I have no choice but to wear their symbol. DH says my uniform is NOT allowed in our home... haha!... and it's the other rival.. not bm team)


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RE: Parallel Parenting

So he would be made fun of and picked on by kids at your house but who cares if he is picked on and made fun of at bm house.. Just saying.

I do get it. For us it's a joke but you and bm aren't friendly.


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RE: Parallel Parenting

myfampg... he'd get picked on and made fun of while wearing it in our town... at school. We live in a college town. You only see people wearing that college stuff. Her "choice" is a HUGE rival. He'd get made fun of at school. He even said so. He didn't WANT to wear it. She lives in the other state. She has bought him our college stuff before... when she was with her ex husband. She changed college teams when she changed husbands. SOOOOOOOOOOOOO annoying and obviously not a TRUE fan. (She didn't watch the sports with ex... just wore the team stuff) She made it a point to tell my dh that she was sending him a shirt because "they" beat us..... when we beat them I sent the clothes for him to wear for one weakend to her house because WE beat "them". He was only there for a weekend. He doesn't go to school there. He only had to go be with her and her new dh and devil kid. They know he likes our team. It's a whole different world for a kid getting made fun of at school and getting to go spend a simple weekend at bm's.


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RE: Parallel Parenting

I understand being sports fan, but playing such games with one's ex is kind of childish. I live in a state with huge college rivals and work for a school district, NEVER EVER anyone gets beat up for wearing wrong college shirt (in no districts I ever worked at). what kind of school this kid goes to???? I don't even know why is it annoying what colleges she supports, i can't care less what my ex, let alone someone else's ex likes.

Seems like playing games like this only causes problems. If a kid didn't want to wear a shirt at school, I still would not send it back along with my college shirts. It is just childish and makes you look immature.


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RE: Parallel Parenting

ok, so next time PO1, I'll just let dh burn the shirt. That'll probably make bm much happier. The kid goes to a GREAT school with 90% ISTEP scores and it's a four star school. Kids are kids, they make comments to one another. He doesn't want to be the kid wearing that shirt at school.

You want to talk about childish... how about the way you nit pick at EVERYTHING anyone on here says and turn it around to make you look like you are much more mature then everyone else. I believe someone called you a cyber bully at one time. I'm holding you to that. I'm sick of having to defend myself. I'm sure you've NEVER done anything just out of spite for someone. Little miss perfect.


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RE: Parallel Parenting

momof3, some of your actions come across as immature. if it wouldn't concern kids, i wouldn't care but when kids are involved i think it is to your benefit to listen to advice. and i am not the only one who pointed it out on several occasions. you have 4 kids at home and they are looking up to you, i just think they might assume that such actions are appropriate.

you don't have to defend yourself at all, I shouldn't be your concern at all, you are free to live your life the way you see fit no matter what I think. but when we deal with children we have to think twice about our actions.

to answer your question, no i never did anything out of spine for neither mine nor anyone else's ex, sure i probably wanted to many times, but i don't believe it is beneficial for my child or anyoene else's children. so no i didn't.


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RE: Parallel Parenting

I guess I would have burned it. Or stuck it in a drawer.

I change teams. I'm not die hard for sports. I prefer ballets and musicals to a specific team. My husband and his family are huge college fans. I really wasn't until I met him. I didn't go to a college with a sports team, we had a mascot but you would never see it with the NCAA teams at a local store. I am more for the underdog team anyway. The team that never wins, someone has to root for them. But after a few years in this family, I was either going to convert or get left at the curb. I like it though. I feel part of something by being a part of the big group on game day. I only enjoy the food and the company not so much the politics of college football or the championship. But I support my husband and his almamateur... And if my son is going there, I gotta get used to the colors... Which by the way are red... Lol nothing wrong with switching teams. We live smack-dab in the middle of NFL country and I hate our states team... I don't have a team I follow. It's whoever is beating them that I root for.


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RE: Parallel Parenting

sometimes people get gifts that they cannot or wouldn't use for whatever reasons. there are many things you could do with that item rather than sending it back (unless gift giver specifically says he/she is OK with it and is going to exchange or give it to someone else). for example if you can't wear it, you could donate it. some homeless child would not care what team the shirt represents.

Between me and SO and 3 kids we attended 10 colleges (counting undergrad and graduate schools and PhD for one person) we have shirts, blankets, mugs or caps representing different schools up to our neck LOL and YSD got OSD's new baby her colleges's item made for babies LOL


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RE: Parallel Parenting

You know what.... I didn't say "take this back"... I put it in his bag.... it never came back. So I assume ss told her he wasn't going to wear it. Her dh evil kid can wear it. Isn't it better he has it then to burn it? Seriously! I'm far from immature po1.... and you retaliating after being called a cyber bully is just as much so. Personally id be totally embarrassed to be this teams fan.... they got caught in a huge no no this year, fired a coach and had to forfit all games from 2010. They are rude and obnoxious people and anytime you come in contact with their fans it makes you hate them even more. Bm was only only with her dh for like 6 months when she did this anyway. Its totally annoying when she changes everything she is to make new man happy. I'm sure the relationship will work out brilliantly since she becomes the person new dh wants. I really would prefer that man have no influence on ss what so ever.... including teams. He is raising a devil with no consequences and left a daughter for bm.

To prove point about devil kid.... ss xbox was taken from bm home this summer. They found it at devil kids friends house. No discipline given to either child. Yep... that's exactly what I want ss to become. Ugh!


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RE: Parallel Parenting

LOL momof3, I didn't say you are immature, I said your actions sometimes are, and many point it out to you not just me. You actions are often immature in real life in dealing with children and exes. People just give you suggestions what could be done differently in confrontational situation you end up in real life. I also think that maybe to protect your own sanity it is better to not let exes to take so much space in your head, would you be able to address it in court, therapist, school, work anywhere in real life that you don't like what team your DH's ex supports. People would laugh. But that's your life.


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RE: Parallel Parenting

Momof3- I see what you mean by 'sending it back in his bag'. He can wear it at BMs house where it would get worn instead of sitting on a drawer at your house. I also get that SS doesnt want to wear it - my Dd has some clothes she doesn't want to wear to school because they aren't 'cool'. My interpretation of your post was that you sent it back to say 'your team sucks BM and then sent SS with a weekend of clothes with only your team, saying 'ha! You sent your shirt first now I am sending my shirt to throw in your face'. Not sure why ss11 still packs a bag but you've mentioned before bm does not provide clothes for him. Odd she can provide a team shirt which likely as most team clothing is more expensive than an entire outfit from target or jc Penney/Khols.
But I do see what you mean, however maybe sending the weekend clothes was the 'immature' part. That was my first thought. Playing the back and forth with BM on team clothes.

I don't think PO1 is a cyber bully. She has disagreed with me on things before but I didn't feel bullied. Po1 and I actually agree on more and recently many have noted that they are breaking records in agreeing with PO1. It's an Internet forum. People have different points of view. I know that's why I seeked advice from an Internet forum was to gain a second opinion/different point of view. Many have pointed things out to me. I might not have liked it but I actually have implemented many suggestions from this forum and it actually has changed things for me. You do tend to get defensive with PO1 and she was saying the same thing I was saying. We were in agreeance yet you weren't defensive at all with me, you explained your side and what you meant but got all upset with PO1. Maybe she said it differently. Maybe she was more blunt. I don't know but I hope maybe I can shed some insight here to fix this little bump. I consider our little group my favorite past time here. Even if we disagree sometimes. After all, isn't it why we are here??


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RE: Parallel Parenting

Absolutely correct myfampg, sure I am blunt. But I have common sense, here and in real life. Most people on this forum have common sense, doesn't matter if we agree or not.


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RE: Parallel Parenting

Po1 you remind me of my favorite Aunt. She is an 'adoptive' aunt -- childhood friend's custodial Aunt, although I have kept in touch with her into my adult life. She often gives me advice often through email and your writings just remind me of her. she is quite blunt so I'm very used to it. Lol and I don't get offended.


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RE: Parallel Parenting

Ok... here's the thing.

PO1, when you say "I have common sense, here and in real life" it may sound to others that the (unspoken words) you are saying are "and you don't".

Also, when you say: "would you be able to address it in court, therapist, school, work anywhere in real life that you don't like what team your DH's ex supports. People would laugh. But that's your life."

It sounds like you are mocking the other person, saying that their comments are invalid and worthy of laughter.

That may not be what you meant, but I think you can understand that other people may take it like that. Where there is no non-verbal cues things can get tricky.

How old is Mom3 again? I believe you're in your mid-20's?

Take a step back everyone. A BIG step back for some of you. I'm 10 years older than Mom3. In that time I've been divorced, moved thousands of miles, worked at different jobs, had a whole bunch of stuff happen to me, gained experiences and realized I was immature a lot. I'm sure someone who is 45 and reading this will say... BWAHHAHAHAHA you think YOU'VE been through it from 25 to 35... I was so immature at 35... but in the last 10 years...

Being 45-50 years old and calling someone who is 25 immature is immature. It's shooting fish in a barrel and it accomplishes NOTHING except to get the 25 year old defensive. Because really, what else can they do? Just trying to live life and do the best they can.

And, it's all pretty fricking easy in retrospect. Sure, I divorced my husband and it was nasty and now it's actually pretty good with very few bumps so I could la-di-dah about how great I'm doing as a divorced mother but the truth is at 25 I was going CRAZY and probably acted a bit crazy and immature and I'm ashamed and sorry for things I did but you know what? If I hadn't done them I wouldn't be so knowledgeable today.

So Mom3, take it all with a grain of salt. A lot of the women here are old enough to be (or already are) grandmas. Their kids are raised. It's all simpler and easier in retrospect.


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RE: Parallel Parenting

Very well Silver - I agree. I was a nut case at 25. That is when I was going through my divorce and I was ALWAYS accused of being immature. It does make a person more defensive.
Also. I really think momof3 is older. Isn't her oldest 16? Gosh I can't remember. Momof4 and momof3 get me all confused. Lol sorry! I'm so sorry momof3!

This is why I hate email. Because you cannot read a person's tone. and I have been very defensive at times so I can understand.


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RE: Parallel Parenting

oh we were all in 20s at some point, and were crazy, heck I was nuts and wished someone told me don't do XYZ then (there was no Internet forum then). heck I was nuts in my 30s too. in some areas of my life I am still nuts and useless (bad with finances for example)

BTW momof3 can't be in mid 20s, if one of her kids I think (might be wrong) 16 or so? she can't possibly be that young! or like myfam i am confusing momof4? haha

and age has nothing to do with anything, plenty of people make immature decisions at any age! i don't think anyone is immature, just some actions are. i personally think sending unwanted gifts back or getting into facebook fights or phone arguments with ex's family etc etc is not very mature hence I suggested different course of action (donate a shirt, block the phone calls etc). she is welcome not listen, take it or leave it. but age has nothing to do with anything.


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RE: Parallel Parenting

I didn't need an internet forum to tell me not to do things in my 20's, I had plenty of people IRL to tell me what to do.

Age may not have everything to do with maturity, but most people can't help get a little wiser the more years they have behind them.

Facebook fights may seem immature now, but they're just as phone fights were when I was younger, or letter writing fights prior to that. It's just a new medium, and people all have to find out for themselves what works and what doesn't.

Saying someone is welcome not to listen is fine, and it sure is easier than looking at yourself and making changes in approach. There are many ways to give advice, being uber-blunt to the point of making someone not want to pay attention to ANYTHING you say is one way. If that's effective, by all means, continue.

I think a sign of maturity is honing communication skills so that your message can be received easily by those with whom you are communicating. Calling someone names or pointing out what you think are their weak spots is not going to make most people jump up and acknowledge your insight. Most people will recoil because, let's face it, it hurts. Right or not, it still stings.

You could tell a woman she looks fat in that dress, and if it's true or not it's still not the best way to get the message across, especially if her purpose of initiating communication is to ask for help. No right or wrong way to do things, just ways that are more effective. Of course, if all someone cares about is being right, it really doesn't matter how you communicate. The other person can just take it or leave it. Right?


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RE: Parallel Parenting

"You could tell a woman she looks fat in that dress, and if it's true or not it's still not the best way to get the message across, especially if her purpose of initiating communication is to ask for help. No right or wrong way to do things, just ways that are more effective. Of course, if all someone cares about is being right, it really doesn't matter how you communicate. The other person can just take it or leave it. Right?"

Excellent analogy, silversword. Furthermore, whether or not a woman "looks fat in that dress" is, as with most things in life, usually an opinion and not a fact. Someone who thinks Kate Middleton has the ideal feminine shape is likely to think that Beyonce looks fat in pretty much anything she wears, while others may feel that Kate looks anorexic in her dress. Neither is more nor less "right" than the other; they just have differing opinions.


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RE: Parallel Parenting

I often get comments intended to invalidate my opinions (or maybe to offend), =often from you silvers, i don't really care because my opinions are valid and make sense, but it is what it is. so not everybody is so thoughtful...

"easy to say in retrospect"-no not easy but because i already experienced that i give suggestions on what might work, nothing easy, it invalidates my struggles as a parent/exwife etc

"you don't know because your DD is adult"-she was not born an adult was she? it invalidates my experience of raising her

"you are not a real SM'-I am actively involved in SKs lives and deal with day to day juggle of blended family, who is to decide what's real? it invalidates my daily sometimes annoying sometimes positive expreinces of dealing with SO's adult kids

"you don't know about custody agreements, visitations blah blah because DD is adult"-she was not an adult always, i was in a midst of CS/visitations/SMs/ex's crap for YEARS etc for years and it is just recently ended (or did it? my DD is at dads now for a week vacations i just got off the phone with ex over some stuff he thinks DD should be doing LOL -topic for a different post)-it validates my experiences dealing with raising children in divorced families

"your DD does not have SM and you don't have to deal with it,so you don't know"-wrong, my DD always had/has a SM since she was 9, she only didn't have a SM from 4 to 9 when ex was single. true she didn't have a crappy SM but it does not make my opinions or dealings with SM invalid

none of this bothers me (with few occasions ha), but no not everyone is very considerate and respectful

yes what we express here are just opinions, mine could be right or could be wrong, we are agreeing or disagreeing, using it in real life or not. I never say my opinion is right, it is just that, opinion. If people don't want to hear opinions, they don't post here.


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RE: Parallel Parenting

Thank you very much silversword. I am 32. I do have a 16 year old son.

How many of you have 3 other bio parents to deal with? It's not exactly ideal. I had my first son at 16. His dad and I still for the most part get along ok. We have moments as do most ex's. My moments are more with his wife then with him. I try VERY hard to not let her get to me. I for the most part brush her off. That's easier with her because they pick my son up, they pay their support. The only thing I have issues with them is not including my son more or acknowledging him on holidays/birthdays.

I NEVER expected to have a second bd to put up with. When I got pregnant with my ds11 I honestly thought we were a good match. I expected to marry him as soon as I finished my degree. Before I finished though, he had another girl pregnant. I realize that I shouldn't have gotten pregnant before marriage yet again but it happened and I myself have taken FULL responsibility for that child. I am NOT one to put up with cheating. I booted him from the moment I found out about it. He and his family have given me nothing but grief since then. He was given three chances to have a dna test and no showed every time. So the court "defaulted" him as the father and he has all the responsibility. I tried giving him rights, he didn't want them. I've sent pictures trying to get him to acknowledge the child. All I ever get is grief from his family when he gets arrested for nonsupport. They initiate all contact with me. I WILL NOT speak to them on the phone. I call with the phone number blocked knowing I will get voice mail. That is to simply give them a simple message.... like I will fight for the support not to be $0. His sisters and family post things about ME on fb... I then ask them to remove the post. They are cruel to me. I do NOT start these fights. I simply defend myself. I have gone as far as to file a police report. Which means I shouldn't have any more problems as far as them contacting me. I HAVE to by law contact him if something is wrong with my child. I have done that. My dh is trying to adopt him which will end current support. It CANNOT end until the day the adoption is final. I CANNOT forgive any arrearages. I have been told by about 5 lawyers, a prosecutor and the Title IV D office. He will always owe and they will always proceed with trying to get him to pay it. I don't think he should just "get off" for responsibility of my son because he chose that child to "get rid of"....

SS BM..... My dh made a HUGE mistake going home from a bar one night with her. She's a horrible horrible mother. Her own mother has told her these things. (She actually told my dh this)... From day one of me meeting my dh we have had to do way more parenting then she ever has. He was 6 months old when they went to court to establish paternity/support/visitation. She gave my dh EVERY weekend and EVERY Wed. Sounds like she's just a nice person, right?..... We always ended up getting calls to "just keep" the kid till the next ending time. He as a baby hung on to me and would scream not wanting to go back to bm. He called me "mama" at 9 months old because we had him more then she did. I tought him to call me my name for fear of her drama. She would call and tell my dh that ss wouldn't have food or diapers if he didn't pay for this or that... on top of child support. We have always paid for the insurance. I even had it on him before marriage as a domestic partner/dependent. She would always be out partying when we had ss... which is the reason why we had him all the time. I understand partying while your child is away but don't send your baby away EVERY weekend. My ss became very whiny. He cried ALL the time.... I believe it was because he was confused. He was hardest to potty train, he was sick for a good 2 years. I would get him "better", he'd go home and come back sick again. He had RSV and she sent him to us and said "it's just a little cough"... we took him to ER and he was admitted. He could've died had he stayed in her care. There were so many reasons my dh could've gotten custody but he was scared to make her mad. Scared she'd take time away. And I'm sure she would have. She was with her exdh for 10 years. She just got divorced Feb 2010, got remarried March 2011 to the new man she dumped ss for. She gave him to us to move there.

All this time she's been VERY difficult to work with. We always bought him numerous clothes, paid for sports, paid for whatever. Since we got him she's now almost 2 MONTHS (not weeks) behind on support, has only bought him 2 shirts.... well that she sent home with him. She sends him toys or giftcards to him directly when she feels guilty for cancelling visits. (That doesn't help us)She hasn't paid for one sport or equipment. She's getting off by NOT paying $56 per week. We still have the insurance. We've started braces on him that she didn't want. His mouth is a mess... but so is hers. We've filled 5 cavities, gone to the dr for asthma... which he's had she just never fixed it, side pains (from her anxiety).... got him help for bed wetting (which she threw a drunkin fit over). She's just VERY VERY difficult to work with.

I've lived in my new town for 5 years. I've been "out" twice. 2 times!! That's it. We don't do much that doesn't include our children. I take care of 4 children, 3 of which should get assistance from other's who want the "title" of parent but don't act like it. I'm sorry if it consumes a lot of my head. I may say on here how things went a little diffrent. Like the shirt thing. I didn't tell bm that I hated the shirt and tell her to keep it. I just put it in the bag and it never came back. That's hardly immature. SS LIKES wearing the black and gold college gear and most of his clothes are just that. I have to pack a bag for him because she doesn't have clothes for him. I'd love to pack nothing but socks and underware but I don't do that. My ds16 still packs a bag. I haven't actually spoken to bm since August of last year. The last time I spoke with her my ss had taken my ds8's shoe with him on accident and I asked that she send it back. She threw a massive fit and said no more communication between us. FINE!! I was communicating with her regarding MY CHILD because he needed his shoe but FINE.... I don't speak to her. She's since tried to speak to me and tells my dh to tell me things but I'm not speaking to her. Not because of immaturity.... because she told me not to. So be it. She hasn't actually spoken or texted my dh since she got ss at the end of June. My dh has texted her to have ss call her every Sunday. He then does. I haven't actually spoken to bd of ds16 for well, since Feb I believe. My ds talks to him and they make plans. I'm ok with whatever they usually decide. Ds16 is a teenager now and the "regular" visits aren't the same anymore.

Also.... I freak out about ss bm NOT paying ontime because I've gone that route with my ds11.... WAY BEFORE my dh decided to adopt him. Once they know they can get away without paying ontime it becomes a habit. Especially due to the fact she married someone just like ds11 bd. That scares me to death! She needs to continue to help out with ss. It's not fair to my children that I have to ALWAYS provide for him over them. I do most of the providing for my ds16... YES, dh does provide for ds11 but because he has chosen too. If bm suddenly disappeared (which honestly, yes, I'd be all for) I'd take over for ss. I DO love him like my own.... I am just sick of her sugar coating her leaving him and NOT providing for him yet wanting to be his "mommy".

And YES, PO1, you could be MUCH nicer with the way you state things. I feel like you attack EVERYTHING I do or say on here. I have tons of responsibility. Being immature is hardly acceptable. I actually work two jobs at the moment, keep a NICE clean house and take all the children to multiple activities. All without having much time for myself. If any of these three children had only that other parent, I really believe that their lives would be so much worse. I try very very hard.... I just don't get anywhere with the "others".


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RE: Parallel Parenting

PO1, aside from the fact that your quotations ARE NOT verbatim what I said and are colored by your opinions of them, your statement that:

I often get comments intended to invalidate my opinions (or maybe to offend), =often from you silvers, i don't really care because my opinions are valid and make sense, but it is what it is. so not everybody is so thoughtful...

First of all, I'm not trying to invalidate your opinions. That's your opinion. I'm simply stating that what they are is OPINION. Not fact. You may think your opinions make sense, but again, that's just an opinion. Yes, you're entitled to them. And sometimes I agree with them. :)

You have taken me out of context and posted your interpretation of my words as fact. That's an egregious interpretation of the truth.

I'll just take the first one, and leave it at that. You wrote:

"easy to say in retrospect"-no not easy but because i already experienced that i give suggestions on what might work, nothing easy, it invalidates my struggles as a parent/exwife etc

Yes, I did say, and I quote myself directly: "And, it's all pretty fricking easy in retrospect. Sure, I divorced my husband and it was nasty and now it's actually pretty good with very few bumps so I could la-di-dah about how great I'm doing as a divorced mother but the truth is at 25 I was going CRAZY and probably acted a bit crazy and immature and I'm ashamed and sorry for things I did but you know what? If I hadn't done them I wouldn't be so knowledgeable today."

I don't understand WHERE you got from that any indication that I was invalidating PO1's experiences. I was talking about myself, and I think I made that PERFECTLY CLEAR by saying "I" repeatedly and by bringing up MY own experiences.

It's not all about you PO1.


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RE: Parallel Parenting

quotes were not from the last post silvers but just things you said to me over time, (and yes in the past you said directly to me that it is easy for me to say in retrospect or that I don't know because DD is adult or doesn't have SM even though i explained many times it is not the case). sure I am blunt and could say things less directly but some of your comments in the past were directed exactly at me (not general comments) and were as unpleasant even if said with much sweeter tone of voice than my blunt comments LOL, but they are as unpleasant (if not more)to their recipients, so no one is perfect here


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mom of 3

Mom of 3, i missed your post, yeah you right i could be nicer to you, my apologies. don't have to agree but sure could be nicer to you. by the way i did not realize you are that young, i don't know how you do it with 4 BOYS, my...it is tough.


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RE: Parallel Parenting

"quotes were not from the last post silvers but just things you said to me over time,"

Not true. You are posing those quotes as if they are direct quotes from me, which they are not, and then you are taking offense. Anything taken out of context like that can be seen as a slam.

I've explained over and over and over again that I did not say you are not a "real" SM in the context in which you are insinuating yet you continue to beat the horse.

What I actually said was that you and I both are not SM's in the same sense that many are here. Which is true. It doesn't mean we aren't REAL it just means we are not hands-on, day-to-day PARENTS to CHILDREN who are not biologically ours.

I stand by that statement. I don't think it's mean or rude or out of line. It's *my* opinion.

I'm not claiming to be perfect, and if someone says I've hurt them or feels I was rude to them I apologize. I think if someone is interested in dragging up old posts they will find I apologized multiple times if you took offense to the "real" statement and explained my rational as many times as well.

Instead of graciously moving on, you have pulled that statement into multiple threads and held it in front of me accusingly as if I had never acknowledged it. I have. Over and over. And I will say it again.

I'm sorry you interpreted my comment as saying you're not a *real* stepmother. I did not intend it like that, what I meant was that you, like me, are not and have not actively been in the role of mothering on a day-to-day basis, children who are not biologically ours.

And yes, I do direct my comments directly to you on occasion. I think you could do well to respond to them rather than make personal things I have said in general. It sure would make things less complicated.


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RE: Parallel Parenting

Thank you PO1. It's tough but I love them. At this point it's too quiet without all the chaos. (From the boys... not the "others" LOL!)


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RE: Parallel Parenting

silvers at this point you are the one who is not graciously moving on, everyone else moved on already...

momof3, it is hard but it must be fun with full house. I always wanted many kids. My ex has 4 kids and when DD is there it is hard to even hear anything on the phone from the noise everyone makes. LOL


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RE: Parallel Parenting

Well, I will admit. I never wanted any before I had my first. Then with him so young I only wanted just him. They just kept coming. LOL!! I met my dh at 22 and we married 4 days before I turned 23. So by 22 I basically had 3. We wanted to have one together and didn't want him spaced to far out. We had him 11 months after we married.... (the right way.. woohooo!!, LOL!) So I had all 4 of them by 23. I probably wouldn't know what life is like without the chaos.


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momof3

oh i didn't realize one of your kids is together with your DH, that's neat


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RE: Parallel Parenting

Yep, another PO1 hit-n-run... you sling the mud, then stand back with a surprised look on your face.


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RE: Parallel Parenting

silvers, relax, momof3 pointed out that I am not being nice to her and I could do better, I totally agree and I apologized TO HER, she accepted, we moved on. drama is over, let it go. move on


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RE: Parallel Parenting

You seem to be missing a step PO.

1. I point out (fairly gently, I think) that your words may be taken a little harsher than you intend.
2. You attack me and accuse me of things I never said
3. Mom3 says thanks because she did feel you were unkind
4. You apologize to her

Good job. I'm glad you apologized to her.

It still stands that you're misquoting me. This has happened over and over about the "real" stepmother comment.

It is you who needs to let that go. I've apologized and clarified, and every post (I can get citations) you bring it up on I clarify again, and then you tell me to relax.

I am just really tired of you maligning my words PO, and until you cop to your egregious statements, no, I'm not going to let it go this time. Enough.


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RE: Parallel Parenting

So how about that parallel parenting?


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RE: Parallel Parenting

Welll.... since you ask....

I've had to remove myself a bit from DD's summer yet again because my mother is there with her too (and is STAYING in my X's house) and is taking DD with her all around the state to stay with people (who, I don't know) and of course, of X letting DD ride sans head protection. To say nothing of the fact that I asked him last summer for a math tutor and this summer for a math tutor and he supposedly got one this summer who, alas, fell through.

Yep. There is only one math tutor in the whole state. Gotcha.

DD was telling me yesterday that she went on a sleepover when she was with Grandma and I nearly passed out. WHERE is she sleeping? And with whom?

Thankfully when I casually asked her she mentioned a name, which led me to ask if the parents were _________ & __________ and she said yes... so I've known the family for 25 years. No big deal. But it's really scary.

And it's really hard to detach and to trust that everyone else has my child's best interests at heart.


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RE: Parallel Parenting

Oh Silver! Wow! That's like my exdhSMexDh sleepover thing. Wow!! I'm SO sorry! I know how you feel though! Let's go drink!


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RE: Parallel Parenting

Im sorry ... I am a little confused YOUR mom is with your ex.

and I really dont think the parallel parenting thing would work for me... I dont care who is in charge but I should know where my kid is ... I would hate to not be able to answer where she was if something ever happened... ya know??

btw... I have rode horses bareback and standing up without a helmet... courtesy of my dad. Dangerous maybe but really some of the most exciting parts of my childhood were probably dangerous in retrospect.


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RE: Parallel Parenting

Momof4 -- I absolutely agree with you! I hate this. However parallel parenting for me is not a choice. I am not privilege to my child's whereabouts. Yes I have a court order giving me the rights to know but I'm denied. I have been to court countless times to enforce orders and there really has been no consequence. The judge talks and talks about what is right and what is wrong and how the child feels blah blah

I think it's easier for me to be on the 'outside' when I acknowledge that the best thing is to parallel parent and let go of the 'control' of being mom. I use control loosely. I don't mean controlling anyone's life just the part about being 'the' mom, I have to block out things from my thoughts. Etc.

But I know what you are saying. I hate not ever knowing where my daughter is when she is with her dad.


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RE: Parallel Parenting

Ya Mom4, you're not the only one who's confused :) DD goes cross-country for the summers with her dad, and my dad, and a lot of family. My mother is currently in my home state, visiting. She no longer lives there and lives across the country (within 8 hours of me). She decided that she was going while DD was there. FINE, except that cuts into DD's time with the people there who haven't seen her since spring break.

Grandma saw DD less than a month ago, here. Anyway, I found out through the grapevine that when she goes there, she will be staying with X in our old family home. Which she is. Right now. For a week.

And X is letting her take DD all around the state. My mom is a GOOD grandma. And DD loves her. But it's still weird. When we divorced my mom was all over him worse than I was (I believe feeding him some of his own mountain oysters was mentioned more than once). My mom is like a mama bear where I'm concerned... except that she really does have mental/emotional issues and twists just about anything for her benefit. My mom is a really smart, funny, amazing woman who happens to be an emotional vampire. I don't hate her, (most of the time) I just can't be around her at this point in my life.

Anyway. She has a TON of friends, and they are all good people. Known them my entire life. DD's having a good time. I TRUST my mother to keep my DD safe. And I think they are mentally separate enough that she's not going to mess with DD like she did with me when I was a kid.

I can't help but feel a bit betrayed though.

******************
As to dangerous things, I too grew up doing very dangerous things. But, as a mother, when you see a picture of your daughter doing dangerous things and you aren't there to make sure the horse is a good one or the rocks are only a little slippery or the current is reasonably strong or or or... the fear goes up a bit. And when I get scared, I get angry. I think it's a pretty natural emotive progression. :)

So, just as DD's father doesn't know who she stays with here I don't know there. It's just the way it is with divorced parents I guess. There will be times that you just have to hope the person you had a child with is as invested in them being safe as you.

Thanks for the offer Myfam... a nice cold one with a friend would be really nice.


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RE: Parallel Parenting

I stayed in my ex's and SM's house when visiting hometown, so it would not be a big deal for my mom staying. My ex is offended if I am not staying there. When my family goes to hometown they are not staying in ex's house as sleeping there, they have other arrangements, but they always visit him and ex in-laws, do stuff etc And it is not even when DD visits there, so it is separate relationship from DD. During our short marriage my mom and his became friends, so my brother and my ex so it continues. I understand it is unusual relationship but think it is not a big deal.


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RE: Parallel Parenting

Haha! If my parents and ex's parents EVER were in the same room, I'm thinking it would be a world war... There is NO way. However, with sm.. Apparently her relationship with ex and family is so great they include my Dd.....

I am really annoyed today. So much that I'm sending my family off to the lake and I am crawling up on the couch and watching lifetime. PMS...
Dd told me that SM screams her name to wake her up at 6am even on weekends. Wtf? Well Dd came home last night and today she slept until 10am. Ok so I am the 'bad' parent. I am the bm that everyone complains about. I am laid back I let my kids sleep in and according to Dd I don't serve green beans in a LONG time. Then Dd tells me they ignore her when she talks. How AWFUL! She says she tries to talk to sm about 'things' like what is SM doing, what is she making/can I help, what is SM's favorite color and SM just flat out ignores her and then says ' you ask too many questions' ugh!! I feel awful for my Dd. She says it's lonely there. She says that stepsister was gone and so she had no one to talk to. She says she wishes she could have gone with stepsister and exmyfamsmexdh because they are nice to her. So maybe this guy is doing me a favor by being good to my Dd.


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