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  #1  
September 15th, 2012, 04:11 PM
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Location: Norfolk, Va
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We got C on Wednesday like we normally do and like always I change him out of a diaper and in to big boy undies. We are all supposedly working on potty training. He goes pee pee on his potty with out pulling down his undies so I ask BF is BM is keeping up with potty training.

Long story short BF texts her and she responds by telling him that he is blowing up her phone and he should respect her enough to talk about things like this in person. He sent one message she sent 9 back to back. Then she proceeds to tell BF that at least her DF has the decency to stay inside during handoffs and that the handoffs should only be parents…UM EXCUSE ME!!! I am a parent to your son like it or not.

She said BF was attacking her and that we are pushing C too hard to potty train. Please tell me how I am pushing him, he rips off his pants and diaper to go to the potty all by him self and tells you he has to go.

So I have a feeling crap is about to hit the fan and shes about to go off the deep end again. We pick him up from her dads and step moms and hes always dirty and has a horribly wet diaper. They don’t communicate anything.

I told BF we need to start writing things down and show the same pattern I see regularly. This week he had a bruise on his cheek. I just want to be prepared when things start going downhill. Its been a while since she has gone crazy and I am starting to let her get to me.

Tonight I felt like a prisoner in my own home, angry that she was trapping me in my house not allowing me to see my little guy off. I physically spend more time with him than even BF does when we have him. Just 2 weeks ago she was telling me she would pt me on the list to take him to the dr.

Am I wrong for being so upset? I am hurt because I thought she understood that I was sitting out there and trying to make some sort of civil relationship with her for HER SON. He needs to see that we can all get along because we can. He needs to see we all love him, ALL of us love him.

ugh, I am so worked up over her. She goes from engaged to single and moving back in with her mom like I change clothes. I just dont understand. How does she not get that I do WAY more and go far above and beyond so her child can have a good life.

Sorry I had to get it all out where some one could understand my frustration. I am preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. I know I left a lot out I was a lot angrier about it on Wednesday.
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  #2  
September 15th, 2012, 05:19 PM
Keakie's Avatar Learning to walk in faith
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I'm sorry for the crazy you're dealing with.

For your own sake, I would recommend abandoning the idea of having a decent relationship with bm. I know how frustrating that is when you know how much positive attitudes between all parents and stepparents would benefit the children in the middle, but you can't change crazy. You can't form a relationship by yourself. I would assume she's going to act badly, be cordial when you need to interact and otherwise keep your expectations low and interactions brief. Assuming otherwise will only leave you getting your hopes up and then being disappointed over and over again. Ask me how I know.

I would also have a huge problem with being forced to stay inside/stay home during drop offs and pick ups. I don't know how long you and bf have been together/how serious things are but if it's a long-term commitment kind of relationship like it sounds like it might be (I gather you live together?) you are part of the family too. My dh prefers that I go with him for those things; I go because I am his partner and am happy to be there for moral support. I also like seeing my dsc and chatting with them on the way home/there. If bm doesn't like it, well, that really isn't my problem. I think you're giving her too much power by shutting yourself inside for no reason besides she doesn't like you. If her df prefers to keep his distance, that's fine; you don't have to make the same choice.
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  #3  
September 15th, 2012, 06:04 PM
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Yeah, pretty darn serious here. We just bough a house together and will be TTC when my car is paid off. Marriage will happen eventually. He says hes a princess and wants a wedding even if I think its a waste of money.

We havent been together ages or anything but we have been together for a year. DSS has his second birthday very soon. I feel like I play a vital role in his life. Sometimes its just exhausting and I need a break.
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  #4  
September 15th, 2012, 06:23 PM
Doodlebug06's Avatar Doodlebug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollydawn
We got C on Wednesday like we normally do and like always I change him out of a diaper and in to big boy undies. We are all supposedly working on potty training. He goes pee pee on his potty with out pulling down his undies so I ask BF is BM is keeping up with potty training.

Long story short BF texts her and she responds by telling him that he is blowing up her phone and he should respect her enough to talk about things like this in person. He sent one message she sent 9 back to back. Then she proceeds to tell BF that at least her DF has the decency to stay inside during handoffs and that the handoffs should only be parents…UM EXCUSE ME!!! I am a parent to your son like it or not.

She said BF was attacking her and that we are pushing C too hard to potty train. Please tell me how I am pushing him, he rips off his pants and diaper to go to the potty all by him self and tells you he has to go.

So I have a feeling crap is about to hit the fan and shes about to go off the deep end again. We pick him up from her dads and step moms and hes always dirty and has a horribly wet diaper. They don’t communicate anything.

I told BF we need to start writing things down and show the same pattern I see regularly. This week he had a bruise on his cheek. I just want to be prepared when things start going downhill. Its been a while since she has gone crazy and I am starting to let her get to me.

Tonight I felt like a prisoner in my own home, angry that she was trapping me in my house not allowing me to see my little guy off. I physically spend more time with him than even BF does when we have him. Just 2 weeks ago she was telling me she would pt me on the list to take him to the dr.

Am I wrong for being so upset? I am hurt because I thought she understood that I was sitting out there and trying to make some sort of civil relationship with her for HER SON. He needs to see that we can all get along because we can. He needs to see we all love him, ALL of us love him.

ugh, I am so worked up over her. She goes from engaged to single and moving back in with her mom like I change clothes. I just dont understand. How does she not get that I do WAY more and go far above and beyond so her child can have a good life.

Sorry I had to get it all out where some one could understand my frustration. I am preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. I know I left a lot out I was a lot angrier about it on Wednesday.
How long have you been with your bf?

IMHO ...if my ex inserted his girlfriend into my child's affairs...I'd have issues. I didn't get in dh's business between his daughters mom until after we were married and even at that I try to let him deal with most of it if he can.

Also how old is the child?

My exhs WIFE has been involved in my kids affairs since day 1 of their marriage. But I'm not likely to add someone to a dr list or emergency contact etc who is completely unrelated to my child. It's all fine that your SO leaves you with the baby and let's you tend to him etc but I've said it before and I'll say it again ( and prob be burned for it) but its his responsibility to care for the kid.


That being said there's nothing bm can legally do about you being present for pick up and drop offs. (unless she had a court order saying so) been there done that. She can say you're not allowed on HER property. But she can't prevent you from being involved in pick ups that are elsewhere.

Just realize that if you KNOW you're setting her off by doing it when it's not absolutely necessary , she's going to go ape crap crazy and ultimately the child will suffer from seeing her go batty.

I can also totally relate to frustration of the kid back tracking from progress he's made when with you. Been there too.

My daughter pottied trained while on thanksgiving break at home with me before she reached 2. But exh's wife kept giving a pull up when it wasn't needed. Luckily dd didn't use it and still went potty.
I addressed it with EXH. Not the SM. i felt it was his responsibility to make the caregivers he chose for the kids to go by the rules we set.


As of today (4 years later) I go through SM majority of time bc she's the "family planner" in their house. And we have built a good enough relationship that I feel good doing that. She IS the main caregiver to my kids when they are there.
Ultimately tho if we had a big disagreement I'd handle it with exh. After all he IS the one I'd be taking to court if we couldn't settle things ourselves.

Long story short she has no control over you being present. If you and SO want you to be there, be there.
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  #5  
September 15th, 2012, 06:29 PM
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*hugs*

I have to ditto Kayla on this one. But I do have very little experience in this area, L will knock on my door tomorrow at 6ish, come in, talk to us, for half an hour and then head home with Reme. The only reason I don't go to her door every time we pick him up is I'm lazy, and there's no need for both of us to walk the 20 feet to the door. LOL.
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  #6  
September 15th, 2012, 06:34 PM
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I have always went with DH for drops off or pick up. For a long time I did it without him because he worked. I take care of the boys so I will always be a parent to them, BM isn't even on their school papers because she tries to abuse that priveldge. So we stopped putting her on there.
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  #7  
September 15th, 2012, 06:42 PM
Keakie's Avatar Learning to walk in faith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doodlebug06 View Post
How long have you been with your bf?

IMHO ...if my ex inserted his girlfriend into my child's affairs...I'd have issues. I didn't get in dh's business between his daughters mom until after we were married and even at that I try to let him deal with most of it if he can.
It doesn't sound like she's "inserting herself". It sounds like the child's mother is angry at her mere presence. The child is young and I'm guessing this is the first serious partner his dad has had since the split, and I don't blame the mother for having a tough time adjusting. That said, she's supposedly engaged herself and it's totally unreasonable for her to expect her ex to act like his live-in girlfriend doesn't exist.

I got the impression that the OP mentioned the doctor's office thing as a contrast to how crazily back and forth the bm is. It didn't sound like she was demanding to be put on the contact list.

I'm glad that you have an okay relationship with your ex's wife, but not all of us have that option. I don't think it's fair to imply that unless that relationship is there between sm and bm, an involved sm shouldn't be a real part of the decision making and day to day care.

---

On an unrelated note: for what it's worth, OP, if he's not even 2 years old yet I wouldn't stress about the potty training. It will happen. I'm not saying that it's all right for her to let him sit dirty, but we were really frustrated when bm would send a barely 2 yo over to our house with only underwear (and no warning that she wasn't sending diapers or pull ups, even for night time), insist that was "almost potty trained" and then get upset with us that we put him in a night diaper or in a diaper at the park/anywhere else we wouldn't be within reasonable distance of a restroom (she drilled the kids for that information ). He was having multiple accidents per day, despite constant reminders and walks to the potty.

He does a lot better nowadays, but he's also 3.5 now. He still wears Pull Ups to bed some nights (my nearly-6 yo dsd wore them at night until she was 4 as well). They're rarely wet in the mornings, but he knows how to pull them down and we get the extra back up of him being in a pull up instead of underwear (I only have one set of sheets in the size of the bed he sleeps in ). It's a learning curve.
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  #8  
September 15th, 2012, 07:11 PM
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You made references to things going downhill and her going crazy. Have things happened in the past with her?
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  #9  
September 15th, 2012, 07:32 PM
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Keakie, We dont push him to PT. He undresses him self and goes and I feel we just make it easier by keeping him in things he can take off on his own. I dont really ask him if he has to go unless he hasnt gone in a while. we still do diapers out and about and overnight and at naps. Hes showing us he is ready and has been since he was about 18mths old. PT has gone really well here after he gets back in to the swing of things. we are teething again ( i think?) and he was sick and feverish all weekend so it was a weekend of diapers. He had a HORRIBLE rash that wont seem to quit so we were keeping him diaper-less and figured it was a good time to try. Also thanks to sticking up for me.

Doodlebug06, I dont feel as if i am inserting my self in to anything when BM was with DF the night she went in to labour and then came crawling back to BF like it never happened. She also overdosed on antidepressants while breastfeeding and almost killed C, did I mention she wanted a third trimester abortion? Please tell me how my love for this child is hurting anyone? It was BM's idea to put me on the med list and her BF and 7 other of her family are on said list. what happens if I have him on fridays ( when I care for him anyway) and he falls off the slide and needs to go to ER. or when he has a horrible fever and I am the one with the time free to go with out DH ( who is our bacon bringer) cant miss work? She has no right to tell me I cant sit on my porch and say good bye, its MY porch Its MY house.

mom2more. She goes between wanting him full time to practically giving him away. earlier this year she said she wanted BF to have primary custody so she could go to school work full time and have a social life. we have a few good months of getting along great and then things flip and she nosedives back in to the " your an unfit parent" tantrum with BF. She has no real control over her BPD and refuses to be put on meds. we cant used her medical issues in court because she made it through CPS with them before. Our lawyer said that we cant use anything from before the mediation.
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  #10  
September 15th, 2012, 08:04 PM
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Hi there.

So what is it you're looking for from this group? If you're looking for understanding there's plenty of it. We're all going through similar situations to what you describe one way or another.

If you're looking for support be prepared to hear it from both sides of the coin as many of us are both BM's and Step parents. Personally, I we have custody of my dsd and my dd's with our youngest being from our marriage. I have gotten myself into a lot of unnecessary trouble with BM because I had this deep seeded need to replace her as far as DH goes, and in some ways that carried over to dsd. So while I never want to replace BM as Chloe's Mom, I very much wanted to show DH (and her) my willingness to provide and care for her and in turn that was threatening to BM.

BM in my case is a douche. She has done a lot of things that make me want to be a douche back, but I have to reel it in. I haven't always done perfectly in this, but I have learned to really assess my intentions.

Keep in mind no matter how much you love your dss, you have only been there a fraction of the time and love that his mother has invested. So even if she is a bag of suck, you still need to understand and know your role in everything and respect their relationship.
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  #11  
September 16th, 2012, 06:45 AM
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Well, FWIW, if Neely and I pick up the boys together, I stay in the car and he goes to the door. It doesn't take two people to pick up the kids. If she comes here and Neely is home, he goes to the door. I don't feel like I'm trapped in my house, I just don't want to interact with her if I don't have to. I don't think you're necessarily inserting yourself by going with him during exchanges, but I think it would be better for all parties, if you didn't.

BMs are strange creatures sometimes and they'll use anything they can to go off the deep end. Don't give her ammunition. If I felt like my place in my kids' lives was being usurped or challenged, I'd probably have some issues too. I'm not saying you're doing that, but it sounds like that's what BM is feeling, kwim?

It's hard to put yourself in her place, especially if you don't have children of your own, but try to remember that sharing her kid with you is new, not something she planned on doing when she had him/her and will take some adjusting.

Good luck!
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  #12  
September 16th, 2012, 08:24 AM
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I agree with Rachel. Putting you on the Dr list makes sense since he's with you a lot. Just because she accepts that fact doesn't mean she has to like it or want to see it. Plus pick your battles. This one isn't worth it.

I'm typically not around for exchanges but in my case it's because dsd lives 4 hours away so dh & his ex meet 1/2. I won't subject my kids to that much unnecessary time in the car so he goes alone. On occasion she's in our area & does a pick up, I stay inside. It's not a requirement from her but my choice because I can't stand her.
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  #13  
September 16th, 2012, 12:29 PM
Doodlebug06's Avatar Doodlebug
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Right. I didn't mean "inserting" as the way it's obviously understood. It doesn't take 2 people to get the child to her car. I always felt (early on) that when the SM did this, it was her way of "checking up on me" or watching to make sure there was no interaction between me and dh.

If she's done all those terrible things mentioned , she's obviously unstable and doing anything to purposely set her off is only going to hurt the baby you love. Seriously. I'm just saying for peace for the kid, try to do whatever you can to keep peace until your SO gets things straightened out in court.

As far as the dr goes, in emergency situations there's a waiver that can be executed saying you can take him to ER or whatever. SO can sign that. If he is seriously injured there's no way the hospital will refuse to help and say "sorry we can't help with this limb that's been cut off because you have no papers to this kid".
They'll stabilize the situation always. And yes they'll need a parent or both or whoever has medical decision making to be present to decide what else to do. (as it should be?)

Let me say this...dd fell off her bike @ dads and broke both bones in her arm. Sm was with her at the ER and held things down till I got there.
Did a great job. I was a little upset that I didn't get the phone call before they headed to the ER. Later I decided sm's mind was on getting dd to the hospital. She called as soon as she got there and exh was there. Since I have medical authority the hospital waited for me to make final decisions but they DID stabilize her arm while waiting.


I said I wouldn't add exh girlfriend to a list bc personally a girlfriend isn't commited in my eyes. His WIFE is. I would see it as HIS responsibility to attend dr visits or anything of that nature. That's just IMHO. If he can't, then I'd do it or I'd have my mom or his mom. If you disappear down the line and they need to recall certain things from from certain appts etc...

Anyway I've been the mom with BPD and had issues parenting etc early on. In my case my dr screwed up my meds. (i voluntarily went off during pregnancy to protect the baby and when they started me back it wasnt the right stuff ir dosage) My fault? Not really.
Just bc shes not perfect now doesn't mean she never will be. And no matter how crappy of a parent she's been, she's been in the pic of his life longer and maybe be there longer than you.
Sorry for my rant here but I get really tired of hearing BPD bashing. It's a medical issue. Just like cancer. And I struggled for 2+ years trying to get mine in order.

I've also seen *some people* do things to purposely set off a BPD mom (or dad) And that's unfair too and unfortunate.
Remember in the end the kids are the one to suffer. Your LO will thrive when everyone in his life thrives. Including the BM. If I were In your shoes if do whatever I *could* to keep peace. Even if it means *gasp* staying in the house when LO gets in the car w his mom....
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  #14  
September 16th, 2012, 01:08 PM
Keakie's Avatar Learning to walk in faith
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I realize it doesn't take two people to get a child into the car. I just disagree that if a partner goes along to drop offs or pick ups, it's to "check up on" someone or to intentionally stir up drama. I trust my dh implicitly regardless of what weirdness bm sometimes tries to engage in and have better things to do with my time than look for ways to tick off his ex. Frankly, I think it's a little self-absorbed and indicative of believing you have a lot more significance in your ex's wife's life/ex's life by assuming otherwise.

I go along with my dh because he prefers that I go along with him and there's no reason why going along is a problem for me, and that takes precedence over whether or not bm wants me there. That said, other than some passive aggressive stunts I mentioned in another recent thread, the bm of my dsc has never really complained about my being there when dh picks the kids up (at least not to him) and tends to keep her hissy fits at bay for the couple of minutes we're out of the car during pick up and drop offs. Besides - some of us LIKE spending time with our spouses. If that means keeping him company in the car for 30 minutes each way while we drive to pick up or drop off the kids, so be it. I don't have biochildren I'd be dragging along for the ride. It works for us. It really has absolutely zip to do with bm.

When you're dealing with crazy, SOMETHING is going to set that person off no matter what you do. In our case, she is going to be miserable or find something to complain about/take out on the kids no matter how many self-absorbed whims of hers that we cater to. Ask me how I know; we tried for a year and a half to be considerate of her feelings and put our preferences to the side for the sake of not rocking the boat. The boat gets rocked anyway, because some people are simply bent on creating chaos. So while I appreciate your (needlessly snarky) remarks about -gasp- staying in the car, I really don't think you understand the type of person some of us deal with. She doesn't have BPD. NPD is actually pretty likely, but generally speaking she's just a miserable person with control issues.

We've come to realize that, given this, the best we can do is operate in a way that keeps us emotionally and mentally in tact so that we can counteract the craziness she's going to inevitably dump on the kids.
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  #15  
September 16th, 2012, 04:42 PM
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Going along for the ride is one thing. I've done that frequently with Neely. It's both of you going to the door to knock that I think is the problem. What's wrong with waiting in the car?

I like spending time with Neely too, and would love that extra two hours of time with him, but it's honestly not worth it anymore because Keelan is only good in the car for about an hour, and after that the rest of the ride is miserable for everyone.
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  #16  
September 16th, 2012, 05:04 PM
Keakie's Avatar Learning to walk in faith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel View Post
Going along for the ride is one thing. I've done that frequently with Neely. It's both of you going to the door to knock that I think is the problem. What's wrong with waiting in the car?
I have 5 dsc. When I started going along with dh to pick them up, they were 4 hours away and I was on limited time with him, being internationally long distance (I could only stay for a few weeks at a time). Not going would have meant losing entire days with him and during our time living apart, those days were precious. In 2010, 2 of those 5 needed help buckling into their seats and visitation was every 6 weeks and 2 weeks in the summertime, so they had next to nothing at dh's house - which means we had a lot of bags to bring with us. If I didn't get out and help dh with buckling and packing things up, bm would come out and chit chat with us for forever. He prefers that I help him so she stays in the house and we can be on our way quickly.

In 2010, we were also vehicle swapping with bm, so not getting out of the car meant I would have been hanging with her for the week or I would have awkwardly slunk from our car to hers.

Now only one kid needs help buckling, they bring less with them week to week and we have our own van - but that was the standard for over a year and we're both accustomed to doing it together (and so are the kids). They would think something was wrong if I stayed home or stayed in the vehicle at this point. I don't insert myself into anything; I hang back with dh, help kids carry things if they approach me and ask me to and am otherwise a harmless entity. If she has to give something to dh, she gives it to him (and he'll usually pass it to me to put in my purse). If we have to give something to her, I'll sometimes be the one to hand it off - again, though, because I probably tossed it in my purse for convenience. I don't barge into her house and start picking up children just because I'm the stepparent and I feel entitled to.

Quote:
I like spending time with Neely too, and would love that extra two hours of time with him, but it's honestly not worth it anymore because Keelan is only good in the car for about an hour, and after that the rest of the ride is miserable for everyone.
And like I said, I don't have any biochildren I would have to drag along. It works for us.

I just feel like a stepparent or partner having to hide out in the vehicle or the house almost de-legitamizes their role in the family. Why shouldn't she be allowed to come out and wave goodbye to the kid? Is it necessary? Not really, but given the way the bm in this scenario approached the OP's presence at trade offs (i.e. randomly in the middle of a tirade about not communicating with her about PT in person) it sounds to me like it's a lot less that she feels the OP is inserting herself beyond the point of reasonable and a lot more that she's ticked off already and just looking for things to lash out over. She sounds like the kind of person who, if the OP *did* stay in the house or the car from the get go, would pitch a fit about never seeing the OP/why is she always hiding out/blah blah blah.

The way I see it, the crazy is going to take stupid things out on the kids no matter what we do. It's infuriating and it's not fair, but we simply can't be the crazy police. If it were something I didn't care about, I would roll with it for temporary peace. If it's something I *do* care about, I'm not going to go into appeasement mode for someone who will just find something else to act badly over. Like I said - I would rather stay the course with the things that are important to us and important to our emotional and mental well being so that we have the emotional energy to counteract the crazy she's going to dump on them regardless of what we do/don't do.

Edited to add: That's not to imply that if you don't care about going with, or you would rather stay inside the house that there's anything wrong with that. Not everyone values those things the way my dh and I do. I'm just saying that if the OP *does* feel like she's trapped in her house and just wants to wave goodbye to the kid, why should she have to feel those things because the (engaged!) bm can't handle her existence? At what point does it stop? Is she allowed to be present when they get engaged too? Married? What about graduations, weddings, etc. down the road - should the stepparent not be allowed to attend because another adult can't manage their big feelings about it? At what point does the demand for partners to separate themselves to keep an ex happy become unreasonable? Like I said - if that's not a big deal to others, that's totally different. If it *does* matter and *does* hurt the OP's feelings, it's a problem IMO.
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Last edited by Keakie; September 16th, 2012 at 05:25 PM.
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  #17  
September 16th, 2012, 05:30 PM
plan4fate's Avatar I may bend, but not break
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To Doodle:

My mom was a Girlfriend for 17 years to my father. That made her no less his partner or stepmother to my sister. My sister was two when my parents started dating, and I was born 2 years later. They marred when we were 15 and 19 respectively. It was mom who took my sister for visitation every other weekend, not my father who got 4 weekends off a year, because it was the right thing to do. I personally think it doesn't take marriage to make a family committed.

Having known some pretty awful parents on both the biological and step sides, I think it's awfully great when someone is willing to love another person's child as much as they would love their own. Cause the flip side, ain't pretty.
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Last edited by plan4fate; September 16th, 2012 at 05:33 PM.
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  #18  
September 16th, 2012, 08:28 PM
.Katie.
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How many girlfriends has the Dad had since he and BM divorced?
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  #19  
September 16th, 2012, 11:09 PM
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I know Holly in RL. Her BF and the BM were never married and to my knowledge Holly is the first gf since all of that. I could be wrong preggo brain is in full effect.

You know me. You know my life. Do I work with the BMs to make sure R and M are happy? Yes. Do I trust them or would I say we have a relationship? No. Right this minute BM2 is thinking because overnight visits are going well that M is one step away from moving back in. Aside from the fact she's on the court record as wanting M to live with D and I and has admitted she's not in a position to adequately care for him; none of that has changed, she's still in a 2 bedroom house and her third child is due in a month.

Some folks will never make sense. And trying to figure it out will make you crazy. Don't do it. Don't go there. And honestly, until your BF is willing to get legally aggressive with her, your hands are tied. And I would get another lawyer. So what you went to mediation and worked out an arrangement? That doesn't give her carte blanche to be unstable for the rest of C's life.
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  #20  
September 17th, 2012, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keakie View Post
I have 5 dsc. When I started going along with dh to pick them up, they were 4 hours away and I was on limited time with him, being internationally long distance (I could only stay for a few weeks at a time). Not going would have meant losing entire days with him and during our time living apart, those days were precious. In 2010, 2 of those 5 needed help buckling into their seats and visitation was every 6 weeks and 2 weeks in the summertime, so they had next to nothing at dh's house - which means we had a lot of bags to bring with us. If I didn't get out and help dh with buckling and packing things up, bm would come out and chit chat with us for forever. He prefers that I help him so she stays in the house and we can be on our way quickly.

In 2010, we were also vehicle swapping with bm, so not getting out of the car meant I would have been hanging with her for the week or I would have awkwardly slunk from our car to hers.

Now only one kid needs help buckling, they bring less with them week to week and we have our own van - but that was the standard for over a year and we're both accustomed to doing it together (and so are the kids). They would think something was wrong if I stayed home or stayed in the vehicle at this point. I don't insert myself into anything; I hang back with dh, help kids carry things if they approach me and ask me to and am otherwise a harmless entity. If she has to give something to dh, she gives it to him (and he'll usually pass it to me to put in my purse). If we have to give something to her, I'll sometimes be the one to hand it off - again, though, because I probably tossed it in my purse for convenience. I don't barge into her house and start picking up children just because I'm the stepparent and I feel entitled to.



And like I said, I don't have any biochildren I would have to drag along. It works for us.

I just feel like a stepparent or partner having to hide out in the vehicle or the house almost de-legitamizes their role in the family. Why shouldn't she be allowed to come out and wave goodbye to the kid? Is it necessary? Not really, but given the way the bm in this scenario approached the OP's presence at trade offs (i.e. randomly in the middle of a tirade about not communicating with her about PT in person) it sounds to me like it's a lot less that she feels the OP is inserting herself beyond the point of reasonable and a lot more that she's ticked off already and just looking for things to lash out over. She sounds like the kind of person who, if the OP *did* stay in the house or the car from the get go, would pitch a fit about never seeing the OP/why is she always hiding out/blah blah blah.

The way I see it, the crazy is going to take stupid things out on the kids no matter what we do. It's infuriating and it's not fair, but we simply can't be the crazy police. If it were something I didn't care about, I would roll with it for temporary peace. If it's something I *do* care about, I'm not going to go into appeasement mode for someone who will just find something else to act badly over. Like I said - I would rather stay the course with the things that are important to us and important to our emotional and mental well being so that we have the emotional energy to counteract the crazy she's going to dump on them regardless of what we do/don't do.

Edited to add: That's not to imply that if you don't care about going with, or you would rather stay inside the house that there's anything wrong with that. Not everyone values those things the way my dh and I do. I'm just saying that if the OP *does* feel like she's trapped in her house and just wants to wave goodbye to the kid, why should she have to feel those things because the (engaged!) bm can't handle her existence? At what point does it stop? Is she allowed to be present when they get engaged too? Married? What about graduations, weddings, etc. down the road - should the stepparent not be allowed to attend because another adult can't manage their big feelings about it? At what point does the demand for partners to separate themselves to keep an ex happy become unreasonable? Like I said - if that's not a big deal to others, that's totally different. If it *does* matter and *does* hurt the OP's feelings, it's a problem IMO.

Kayla it seems to work for you guys, so I wasn't suggesting that you were inserting yourself, or that you should change the way you do things. And if BM doesn't care that you're on her door step, then what's the harm anyway?

I'm just saying in the OP's situation, it seems that her BM is annoyed by her presence as would Neely's ex be annoyed if we both walked to the door to retrieve his 11 and 13 year old children. It doesn't take both of us and even if it weren't so, she would accuse me of doing it to stir up trouble. I have, once, gone to the door with Neely and that was only so I could communicate with her something that I wanted her to hear from me and not second hand from Neely.

At any rate, I don't think even the OP is inserting herself, I'm just suggesting that the BM thinks she is, and that's enough for most BMs to go off the deep end. I just prefer to pick my battles, kwim?

Quote:
Originally Posted by plan4fate View Post
To Doodle:

My mom was a Girlfriend for 17 years to my father. That made her no less his partner or stepmother to my sister. My sister was two when my parents started dating, and I was born 2 years later. They marred when we were 15 and 19 respectively. It was mom who took my sister for visitation every other weekend, not my father who got 4 weekends off a year, because it was the right thing to do. I personally think it doesn't take marriage to make a family committed.

Having known some pretty awful parents on both the biological and step sides, I think it's awfully great when someone is willing to love another person's child as much as they would love their own. Cause the flip side, ain't pretty.
This. Neely and I aren't married and though we do plan to be at some point, the fact that we're not doesn't make me any less step-mom to Will & Clayton. Even the school acknowledges me as stepmom. Hell, we've been together longer than BMs last marriage and longer than she's been with her current husband.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ember Rose View Post
Some folks will never make sense. And trying to figure it out will make you crazy. Don't do it. Don't go there. And honestly, until your BF is willing to get legally aggressive with her, your hands are tied. And I would get another lawyer. So what you went to mediation and worked out an arrangement? That doesn't give her carte blanche to be unstable for the rest of C's life.
A-freaking-men.
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