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Tons of stuff aggravating me right now (this may be long)


Forum: Blended Families

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  • 1 Post By My2miracles

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  #1  
May 30th, 2012, 09:27 AM
LoriLou35's Avatar Veteran
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There is so much going on that I literally don't know where to begin. *sigh*

I guess I should start with how our visitation is set up. The court order for our visitation is a pretty standard every other weekend setup with one extra day midweek for BD. We don't use that plan though. For the past 4 years we have done equally split visitation. The court order also states that during the summer BD gets the kids half of the time.

In previous summers the kids have spent their days with me because I am a SAHM. But this summer BD and his girlfriend decided to hire a "nanny" to watch their kids (she has 2 boys). I use the term "nanny" loosely because really it is a friend of hers that is baby sitting. This is no nanny. She is a 22 year old girl. I was very upset about this arrangement, but I decided that I didn't have to like it....but I did have to deal with it. Oh well, right? So when BD and I discussed it I told him that I understood that it was probably more convenient for him to do it this way (even though in the past I have picked the kids up from him so he doesn't have to drive to my house). He responded by saying that it really wasn't about convenience at all. He just wants my kids to spend more time with his girlfriend's kids because they are trying to blend their families. I can understand blending families because we are doing the same thing, but I CAN'T understand thinking time with the stepkids together (without any parents) should be more important than time with mom!! Basically, I went off on him at that point. As we talked more it became obvious that he is just upset because I don't work and I get to see the kids more. I pick them up from school every day and bring them to all their activities because he and his girlfriend work long hours. Apparently this bothers him.

I had just started to get past all of this when something happened yesterday. Before school ended I told BD that he was responsible for getting the kids to activities. The main activity is gymnastics for our daughter. She is on a competitive team and cannot miss practice that is scheduled twice a week. I told him that I would help out if he needed me to (because I don't want her to miss), but I made it very clear that he needed to put forth an effort with this. He agreed.

So yesterday he texted and let me know that he would not be able to bring Jenna to gym. I drove to his house to get her, got her dressed, and left. Literally NOTHING happened while I was there. It was very brief. As I drove down his road I passed his girlfriend on her way home from work (i.e. she had plenty of time to drive her to gym, but just chose not to). I kept my mouth shut and just went on to gym. After the class BD picked Jenna up. The first thing he said was that we needed to have a talk because I had hurt his babysitters feelings!! WTH!?!? I have no idea what he is talking about. Apparently the girl said that I was ignoring her when I picked Jenna up and she was upset about it. Well now I'm totally FLAMING about this! I did NOTHING!!! I have no idea what this girl is talking about! All I can figure is that she is friends with his girlfriend and has some preconceived notions about me. I really did nothing to this girl. I am just so aggravated! I am already really uncomfortable with the whole "nanny" situation, and to have this girl say that I was rude when I KNOW I wasn't is not helping the situation.


So after all of this (sorry so long), I am considering switching our visitation at the start of the school year to what the court ordered. I know the kids enjoy the extra time with their dad, but I am tired of all the transportation responsibilities being left to me. If I have to do all the work, I feel like I deserve to get the benefits of the time with them. The real "witch" in me is tempted to tell him that I really want the kids to spend more time with their stepsister. I would never actually say that, but it sure would be fun! Anyway, so what would you guys do? Continue with the way things are knowing that the kids are happy with it? ...or would you go to the court order to save your own sanity?

ETA: Yesterday was the first day that the kids were with their dad for the summer. Is this what I have to look forward to? Babysitter hates me? and BD is NOT going to drive them anywhere?
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Last edited by LoriLou35; May 30th, 2012 at 09:30 AM.
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  #2  
May 30th, 2012, 12:35 PM
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I can see why you are frustrated. I totally think that while the kids are in their care, that they should be responsible for getting them to their activities.

And what was the nanny expecting from you? A heart to heart? Seriously? When I was young & babysitting, I didn't want to spend any time chatting with the kids moms.

On the other hand, I do think it's reasonable for them to want the kids to spend more time together. They are a family too. Those are your kids siblings & I can speak from experience that it's much harder to blend when the kids don't have time together.

Also, don't pre-just the nanny too much. She may be just what you think she is but then again she may not. My kids will be taken care of by a 22 year old non-professional nanny this summer too. However, she's a college student getting her degree in elementary education and she's a tumbling coach as well. So don't judge a book by it's cover Also, my dsd will be spending 3 weeks with us and she'll be with the nanny & kids during the day except for the weekends. I don't think it's fair that we (kids, dh & I) not get to see her because her mom has the luxury of not working during the day (of course in our situation bio mom is in another state). It sounds like your kids are used to that arrangement but I think for most, it would be hard to transition back & forth that much.
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  #3  
May 30th, 2012, 01:24 PM
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I will ditto Kris here. While I understand what you're saying, it is important for the kids to bond as well. When I was working and DSD was down here with us for her summer visitation weeks, she went to a sitter (be it friend or family) with my kids. For all the time she's spent here, it was mainly spent with the kids or with me and the kids over DH. He had to work to provide for us. Now, that dsd lives with us full time, it's an easier transition for all because to each other they are siblings, not just step sisters and half brother.
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  #4  
May 30th, 2012, 01:53 PM
Keakie's Avatar Learning to walk in faith
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I totally agree with Kris and Liz. That is pretty about the nanny being offended, and if bd wants to have them for extra time and is capable of getting them to activities, I don't see why he shouldn't be responsible for it. I'm sorry it's been falling to you.

For what it's worth, I would advise you to stick to the schedule in the agreement. We've had SO many issues with bm being "generous" (in her words) with flexibility and then feeling entitled to jerk us around because we are somehow in her debt because she agreed to switch a weekend with us so that dh wasn't working through his visitation time with the kids. No, she doesn't have to switch. Yes, it was appreciated that she did. No, I don't think she's a martyr for doing so and no, I don't think her "generosity" entitles her to do whatever she wants without regard for our schedules.

It will save your sanity if you don't even go there. If you don't mind him having the extra time, is it possible to modify the agreement to reflect a new schedule and add in a provision that he's responsible for getting them to extra curricular activities during that time? Would he agree to that? I *do* agree that it's important to blend families and know from experience with my own step siblings that the more time spent together, the better, and so if you can come up with something that works for you both, that would be awesome. Modifications are expensive, but if you're both in agreement and neither one of you is a nutcase , I would assume you could simply draw up a document and have it signed and notarized. Otherwise, I think you'd be fine if you simply went back to the old schedule.
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  #5  
May 30th, 2012, 01:56 PM
LoriLou35's Avatar Veteran
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My2miracles View Post
I can see why you are frustrated. I totally think that while the kids are in their care, that they should be responsible for getting them to their activities.
I completely agree with this. If only that was the case. The problem is that he EXPECTS me to get the kids to their activities. I know that if I don't bring them, they just won't go. A few months ago I had to go out of town for a week while my dad had chemotherapy. BD and his girlfriend said they would take care of everything. I came back to find that the kids did no activities....they didn't even do homework.

Is there a way I can get him to step up more on his responsibilities? I'm trying to figure it out now. I'm to the point where I feel like if he is working THIS much, he can't care for the kids on weekdays. There's a part of me that wants to be bitter and mean, but I am trying to push that aside. I want what is best for my kids. I don't want to have to tell Jenna that she can't compete in gym anymore. It would break her heart.

Kayla,

Our custody agreement already says that he is responsible for all extracurricular activities. He just doesn't do that.
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  #6  
May 30th, 2012, 02:06 PM
Keakie's Avatar Learning to walk in faith
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You *could* file a motion for contempt if it's in there. It might be a little extreme, though. I guess it depends how much it would cost you, whether it's likely in your state that you'd be reimbursed and, most importantly, whether it's worth the time and energy to you. The court technically can't force him either, although they can fine him for being in contempt of the agreement if they hear the case and he can't give them a reason why he isn't in violation of it. Would that be enough of a motivator for him? Would he fight you on it more than it would be worth?

Other than that, I really can't think of anything you can do to "force" him to step up - clearly it isn't important to him if they miss the activities altogether, and you've tried talking to him about the importance of his getting them there with little results.
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Last edited by Keakie; May 30th, 2012 at 02:09 PM.
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  #7  
May 30th, 2012, 04:44 PM
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Id doubt you'd get anywhere trying to get him to do more. He's used to you doing it and he's going to depend on you not wanting them to miss so you'll continue to do it.

I'm sorry, the whole situation sounds very frustrating. Whenever we have something to do that requires us to get a babysitter, we always offer W&C's mom the option to have them. It seems kind of dumb to pay someone to watch your kids when you're perfectly capable and willing to do it. I agree that the kids should spend time together, but I don't think it's necessary that they spend every day there while dad and his GF are working, especially if you don't work.
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  #8  
May 31st, 2012, 09:45 AM
LoriLou35's Avatar Veteran
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Well thanks for all the input ladies. I know the situation is my fault as well because I have let BD get used to this. You guys are right....he knows I'll do it because I don't want the kids to miss out. I think I am going to wait out the summer and see how things go, but I am really leaning towards enforcing the court ordered visitation rather than the friendly agreement we've had up until now. It is going to suck at first because BD likes to pout when he's unhappy, but he'll just have to get over it. I'll just make a point to schedule the kids' activities on my days so he won't even have to worry about it.
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  #9  
May 31st, 2012, 09:52 AM
Keakie's Avatar Learning to walk in faith
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I forgot to mention yesterday, most states have what's called the "right of first refusal" too which means if bd isn't available to watch the kids, you should have the legal right to refuse childcare if you can watch them instead.

The good news is you can still turn it around. I think blended family life is a learning curve for EVERYONE. It would be nice if we could all be friendly and casual about visitation schedules, and for some people it can work that way, but for many it just isn't a good option. It sucks.
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  #10  
May 31st, 2012, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel View Post
Id doubt you'd get anywhere trying to get him to do more. He's used to you doing it and he's going to depend on you not wanting them to miss so you'll continue to do it.

I'm sorry, the whole situation sounds very frustrating. Whenever we have something to do that requires us to get a babysitter, we always offer W&C's mom the option to have them. It seems kind of dumb to pay someone to watch your kids when you're perfectly capable and willing to do it. I agree that the kids should spend time together, but I don't think it's necessary that they spend every day there while dad and his GF are working, especially if you don't work.
It won't cost me anymore for the sitter when dsd is here. I'm already paying to someone to watch my 2 kids. 1 more is no extra expenses. In this case, bd is already paying someone to watch the kids that live with him. Personally I think it would be more difficult to transition back & forth for everyone involved. It's not like they are going to daycare or summer camp.

I do think it totally sucks that he doesn't get them to their activities. It's not his girlfriend's responsibility it's his.
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  #11  
May 31st, 2012, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My2miracles

It won't cost me anymore for the sitter when dsd is here. I'm already paying to someone to watch my 2 kids. 1 more is no extra expenses. In this case, bd is already paying someone to watch the kids that live with him. Personally I think it would be more difficult to transition back & forth for everyone involved. It's not like they are going to daycare or summer camp.

I do think it totally sucks that he doesn't get them to their activities. It's not his girlfriend's responsibility it's his.
It sounds like they had done it that way in the past anyway and he changed it this year.

I think it makes sense in your case because your dsd lives so far away, but out sounds like her and ex live close enough that out wouldn't be so bad.
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  #12  
June 1st, 2012, 11:08 AM
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But if they want to blend the 2 families they never will if they don't treat them like 1 family. That's been 1 of our biggest issues. Because of the distance & a lot of other things, dh's kids never saw us as family. Dh got caught in a world where he had 2 separate families. It's been very difficult for all of us.

Yes, they've done it before but it sounds like circumstances have changed. I think it's bd's right to change how it's done. I really don't see it as unreasonable.
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  #13  
June 1st, 2012, 11:55 AM
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I see your point, Kris. That is difficult.
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  #14  
June 1st, 2012, 12:42 PM
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I think it's good that your kids spend time with his gf's kids, although I'd be worried about what happens if they don't work out. Also babysitters are a fact of life. BUT he's just as responsible for his children's development as you are. What's his excuse for not taking them?
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  #15  
June 5th, 2012, 06:46 PM
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Does yoru order not have the firs right of refusal in it? so that if it is his time with the kids but needs a 'sitter' he has to come to you first to offer the child to you? if so then you should be keeping the kids during the day if you are a SAHM.


other then that. no matter how much my ex pisses me off, the kids happiness comes first.
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  #16  
June 5th, 2012, 10:18 PM
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If he is not able to get the kids to activities then they should not be with him on days they have activities.

Also if you have a visitation agreement that says he gets them EOW then technically you don't have to keep this split agreement if it isn't working. I understand blending families, but your kids don't need to be with a babysitter half the week when you are home. Maybe you could offer up your ex more time on his days off work to do the blended family thing and spend time with the kids? Or just tell him that he is welcome to pick the kids up on his way home from work if he still wants them more? But just because his girlfriends kids are with the babysitter everyday doesn't mean that yours have to be just to help blend the family.
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