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try to help or wash hands?

Posted by justnotmartha (My Page) on
Sun, Aug 30, 09 at 12:11

But first, here are some new ones for the book of 'you have got to me kidding me' parenting choices.

So when you last heard from me SD's mom had signed her divorce papers and had her first date with match.com guy #1 in the same day. After the one date she introduced him to her daughters and had him around all weekend. Well, 2 days later she decided HE was getting serious too fast (!) and broke it off. The same night she went out with match.com #2 guy. It's been two weeks now and they've been together almost every day, spent last weekend at the beach and this weekend will be traveling to another town. She's pawned her two year old off on her soon to be ex (it's her weekend time) and skipped out on her dad's b-day party to be with this guy this weekend. Last weekend she sent SD back home 3 days early (after telling SD she took the weekend off to be with her) to go to the beach with the BF. A good way to make your kids feel loved for sure.

So then, as SD has been very against meeting every guy mom dates, BM came up with the great idea of taking SD, a friend of hers, and her younger daughter camping for three days with the new guy for Labor Day. We first heard about this from SD, but then BM texted DH to see what he thought. He, in as nice a way as possible, told BM in no way was he comfortable with this, her knew SD wasn't either, and that she was nuts if she thought any of SD's friends would be allowed to go camping with this stranger. She, rather calmly for her, replied that they would be staying in town and going on day trips, but SD could stay back alone in the apartment if she didn't want to go. HOW ABOUT THIS IDEA, BM? Why don't YOU just spend some time with your kids WITHOUT your BF? She actually put the camping idea to SD like that - 'We can go camping with my BF or stay here in the hot apartment all weekend. Your choice" This week we gave her 2 days to make up that time thinking she would spend some time with SD, but instead she took her shopping for new BM clothes (after telling her she was too broke to buy school clothes) and then gave her the choice of dinner at her favorite restaurant with BF or staying home and cooking herself dinner. Obviously SD went, and said BF is nice enough, but that BM totally ignored she and her sister.

SD has tried to talk to her mom and tell her how her behavior when she is dating makes her feel, and how it affects the younger daughter. From what we hear younger DD2 is basically ignored - to the point where she striped naked in a store and ran around. SD worries about not being there because when the BF is around it's "like her kids don't exist." BM called SD a brat and told her WE thought she was a brat too when SD tried to talk to BM about how hurt she was. She told SD she was just trying to ruin her mom's chances of being happy and was selfish. SD asked why she couldn't just be happy with her daughters for a little while, and BM replied that she wanted to go on vacations and cruises so she needed a man. HUH?

As I mentioned DH and I sat with BM and gently tried to tell her to leave SD out of her dating life, and to take it slowly with regard to mixing her kid life and her BF life as there was great potential of harm to her relationship with SD, as well as to any chance of SD not resenting this guy. Her response has been to still involve BF in every day they are together, but to tell SD she doesn't have to come. WTF? This is her visitation time with her daughter and she gives her the option of BF or nothing? She can't just spend a day with her daughter alone? SD has obviously figured this out and is beyond pissed and hurt. She just doesn't want to go anymore, except to see her sister.

So all that said, here is my dilemma. We've tried once in person and once in an email to warn BM about the consequences of her actions. She obviously doesn't want to get it - she thinks giving SD the option not to go is the solution and that her behavior is justified and appropriate. I'm torn between taking her to coffee and just basically throwing in her face what she is doing to her girls. . . or just letting it play out. The part of me that loves my SD and strives to protect her from anything I possibly can wants to try to talk to BM, more directly, and spell it out. The part of me that thinks she deserves to reap what she sows wants to just comfort SD as much as possible while BM continues to ruin her relationship with her daughter(s).

Your thoughts? Intervene again, or just butt out and watch the show?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: try to help or wash hands?

Clearly Find new guy is number one on BM's agenda, and this one 'imperative' has pushed everything else way out of kilter.

I wonder if BM is even aware of this? I mean, not that she's unaware of her desire to find a new guy -- Just that she may be unaware of how blatantly this one 'imperative' is skewing her judgement. Obviously, SD is painfully clear about BM's priorities...


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RE: try to help or wash hands?

You have already tried to tell bm what she is doing is hurting her kids. She does not want to listen. So unfortunately you just have to sit and watch the show and be there to help sd pick up the pieces.

The only good thing in this is I think it is showing sd that it is pathetic to NEED a guy in your life to make you happy.


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RE: try to help or wash hands?

I know mom has visitations, she is NCP, right? I wonder if DH could adddres that if there is always a strange man sleeping in the apartment as well as camping,it could be dangerous for SD. maybe visitations could be limited or supervised to ensure BF is not there. And maybe DH could contact X's exhusband and tell him the his DD is around strange men. Just talking to her won't help. she is trashy, so give up on talking.


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RE: try to help or wash hands?

You have spoken to her and she has no intentions of listening. so sit bakc and watch the show.
But be there for Sd all the way emotionally and make it clear to her, that you and father are there for her.
BM is in the dating zone....she is star struck. I feel sorry for the toddler.


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RE: try to help or wash hands?

FD brought up a good point. I had not even thought about the danger aspect if this man is sleeping over while sd is around. Obviously BM barely knows these men and rushes them into her kids lives. If she is advertising that she has 2 girls and has their pics on her dating profile she could attract some pedaphiles!


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RE: try to help or wash hands?

You've led the horse to water (gotten BM to sit and hear you guys out) but you cannot make her drink (she isn't gonna do what you suggest) but I would have a hard time sitting back & watching the train wreck too.

Instead of SD just not visiting, would it be within your ability to offer to take her younger sister for those weekends? (or an occasional weekend)? It sounds as if BM would welcome less distractions to her dating and you are not going to change that... if she gave a rats behind about her kids' feelings, she would at least feel guilty if not change her behavior. But, instead she gives the option of include him or stay home. I don't even get the sense that she has an ounce of guilt or remorse or any consideration to how this makes the kids feel. Trust me, she will reap what she sows...

When BM moved away with BF and left her other DD with grandma, we offered to take her other DD one night a week to have dinner with us so SD could see her more because she was used to seeing her sister every other week and after BM moved, her other DD chose to stay at grandma's on many of the weekends SD was with BM so SD was going weeks without seeing her sister. (of course SD's sister was 12 and declined to have dinner with us... I think because BM had a problem with it and talks badly about us too) But, in your case, your SD will probably worry about her sister and fall into the role of caretaker at BM's and that is not good for SD. While it's not your responsibility to do anything at all, it would be a nice gesture to babysit her sister occasionally so SD gets to see her sister and doesn't have to be the caretaker or worry that mom is neglecting her.

It's such a sad situation... there really should be a license to breed!!!


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RE: try to help or wash hands?

I worry about 2-year-old. I think SD could at least inform other adults if something fishy happens, but little one cannot. I would give the little one's father know what is going on (unless he is crazy too). I don't understand how women are not scared to bring strange men home to little girls. And those trully are strange men, one can never know who they are. If SD knows their names maybe you can at least google them, you'd be surprised what you could find.


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RE: try to help or wash hands?

I worry about the 2 yr-old as well.

You've tried talking to BM, so that part is done (and did not help much). Sit back and watch is all you can do I think.

I feel like her ex should be informed about what's going on, like BM ending up in ER with baby after baby took drugs. That is a serious concern. But I'm not sure what to advise you here, because it's a fine line between looking after babies' welfare and mingling in BM's business. It's a hard one.

I myself am tempted to warn our BM's ex-fiancee for hard times to come and I'd like to give him 'Divorce Poison' and 'Stop Walking on Eggshells' to help him assert himself, but it's not my place so I won't.
Our BM's fiancee has just moved out this weekend. We are dreading the new dating phase that is inevitably going to come for BM (after next baby is born I guess). How will that affect my SD's? And what kind of guys is she going to have around these teenagers/ pretty girls? And BM's previous BF's don't give us a lot of hope either (druggies/ rough etc). The ex-fiancee was the exception, being a decent guy (but a bit of a douchebag). And now he's gone, so here we go again :-(


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