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2 Bumps

Need Step Parent Advise.

I just got married to a wonderful man, that has full custody of his young daughter. The mother has her every other weekend, and phone time. At first, when we were dating, the mother started things here and there, mainly she told the child (who is way to young to understand) that she was kicked out, and her daddy wouldn't let her come back. Had this been true, that would be one thing, but, its far from it. She left him, and never asked to come back. In the begining, while we were just seeing each other, we choose not to involve her. I was around the daughter but, until we married, there were never any over night stays, most of my interaction with her was trips to the park and together diners. He choose not to involve her in our relationship unless we were sure that we were going to work and out of respect for the mother not to put our relationship in her face, like she did with her relationship with her boyfriend. Of course those, she questioned the child when she had her, and got second hand information from around town. Once she found out she tried her best to make things hard for us, until she fell on hard times and needed help from his family.

Since then Her and I pretty much course and re-course. I get along with her out of respect for the child, and I feel that its what is best. Most of the time we have no issues, she seems to be involved in her own life, until this last month. She has been unable to meet us half way for her visitation, and the child's birthday was on her weekend. We took her to her, with the deal we got her back when we wanted her back, for our party for her. When went to get her, and apparently, according to her, the child told her that she was spanked for lying by the grandparents and us. Now, this honestly never happened. When I was told, I got confused. We normally use the corner or take toys away. The grandparents do the same. When we talked to the child, she explained to us that she was pressured into answering that way. Apparently, she is trying to get the child to tell her things that aren't true. She is also filling her head with lies. She told her not to listen to me, because I'm just her step mom and she doesn't have to do anything I say. She tries to get her to keep secerts about her well being while she is with her.

Also, another problem is that when she visits her, there is smoking in the house. Everytime she comes back, she needs breathing treatments, and her medicine that when send comes back full. She comes back starving for food and attention. Before we send her, she cries not to go.

I'm not sure what I can do to protect her. She feels like my own child, and I am worried about her every minute she is gone. What should I do?

Answer Question
 
dustbunni

Asked by dustbunni at 5:08 AM on Apr. 3, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 7 (161 Credits)
Answers (15)
  • document and have hubby go back to court to get visititation supervised.
    shivasgirl

    Answer by shivasgirl at 5:22 AM on Apr. 3, 2011

  • What a truly hideous situation, particularly as you likely feel even more powerless having no real power status as "just" a step parent. I took on a step daughter when she was 5yrs old (now 17..!) and it is so hard when you can see things that need to be sorted out, particularly re the biological mother, but can only voice an opinion and do no more. Of course it's much worse for you, as there are real safety issues at stake too i.e. her respiratory health.
    I urge you to be brave and push the point with your husband, rather than keep quiet or back down to avoid an argument (I'm sure he agrees with all your opinions but is scared or at least wary of rocking the boat in case the ex behaves even worse) BUT he married you therefore he has legally shown the world that he has made you a bonafide member of his family, your opinion IS as valid as his, and you'll be glad you took a stand sooner rather than later about this woman xxx
    Twinminator

    Answer by Twinminator at 6:07 AM on Apr. 3, 2011

  • Truthfully you can do nothing about this. Your DH has to do everything. Sense it is his child. Document every thing and go back to court, that is what he needs to do.
    louise2

    Answer by louise2 at 7:33 AM on Apr. 3, 2011

  • I agree with Twin. While there is legally nothing you can do, there is a lot you can do behind the scenes. Be the one to make sure things are documented, push your DH to follow through on things.
    I was there as well. My ex DH had custody of his children and there was a lot of crap going on. I pushed him to do what he needed to do for the sake of his children.
    layh41407

    Answer by layh41407 at 7:59 AM on Apr. 3, 2011

  • Honestly there is nothing you can personally do. What she is doing is not anything to warrant supervised visits even though I know some might think so. All you can do is go back to court and ask that bad mouthing of the other parent, questioning of what happens with each parent, and maybe no smoking be done around her. A judge might be able to enforce something like that. It a way it would tie your hands as well though. BM can put things in her head & legally you cant question her. I went through the same thing, only opposite. I was BM & dad did these things. I went back to court and it bit me in the butt.
    gemgem

    Answer by gemgem at 8:26 AM on Apr. 3, 2011

  • gemgem
    There ARE other things you can get put into place besides supervised visitation. We got the BM to have to go to counseling on a monthly basis. If she missed an appointment, she could not see the kids until she went. This is all we needed to keep her in check and the boys were much safer when she knew that her actions were going to be questioned. There are other options other than supervised. You just need to find a good lawyer that knows what can be done in your area.
    layh41407

    Answer by layh41407 at 8:51 AM on Apr. 3, 2011

  • Very true but what shes talking about wouldnt require counseling either. My ex bad mouthed me non stop and questioned my son non stop when he had him. He had my son convinced of all sorts of things. We went to court so many times I lost count. Documentation is really the best answer and than maybe a judge or a mediator would have good suggestions as well. I know I plan to go back to mediation over the summer with my sons dad. He and I can never agree on anything, and the mediator usually does help in that way.
    gemgem

    Answer by gemgem at 8:55 AM on Apr. 3, 2011

  • Document, document, document. Also look into "Parental Alienation Syndrome" because if/when this goes to court that may be the basis of your case. Otherwise as difficult as this mother is, keep doing what you're doing, being nice on your part to get along for the sake of the child and I am sure that is a very trying thing for your patience.
    LoveBuggsMommie

    Answer by LoveBuggsMommie at 8:59 AM on Apr. 3, 2011

  • The paperwork already says No smoking in closed areas with the child present. It also says no one of the oppsite sex of the parent is surpose to be there on visitation. At the moment we have all the proof we need, examples being text messages the BM has sent to the Mother in Law, recorded phone converstations, doctors visits after we get her back, etc. My DH wants to take her back to court, the only thing that He, Mother in Law, and I are afraid of is the BM acting worse then now. When BM starts her stuff, it affects SD alot. Her mood and temperiment changes. She is very young, younger then 5, and she doesn't really understand alot of what is going on. BM has moved 13 times in the 2 year period since court. She has no job, no car, the only thing she has is food stamps. SD has adjusted well to BM's moving, but, she hates everyone fighting. How do we explain to her why mommy is, as SD puts it, "mad?"
    dustbunni

    Comment by dustbunni (original poster) at 6:58 PM on Apr. 3, 2011

  • So sad, I am sorry that your DS has been put in this situation. I don't have any great advise to add but I bumped you.
    hotelmom123

    Answer by hotelmom123 at 3:24 PM on Apr. 4, 2011

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