Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Stepmom Central Stepmom Central

They want to come home....

Posted by   + Show Post

    If you read my posts at the beginning of the summer you know that my skids have been with BM who lives out of state for almost a month now. For the past two weeks my SD10 has been asking my DH to bring her home early but we wanted her to have more time with BM. I just spoke with BM last night and she sounded like she was extremely frustrated, she told me the sooner the kids come home the better because things just arn't going well over there. My SD told me that she only wants two things for her birthday (which is in mid-July) a new bike and to come home. SS8 is also ready to come back. Basically the reason for all this is that BM has 3 stepkids along with her 3 kids right now, they are all supposed to stay for the whole summer. My oldest SD is 12 and has autism and she is supposed to stay with BM after the summer since we had decided to have her live there next school year. BM's skids are 7,9 and 17, the 17 yr old lives with them full time. So my SD10 and her SD9 have to share a room at her house but my SD cannot stand her stepsister, they fight constantly and my SS is also beginning to fight wih her. BM is totally stressed out having 6 kids in the house and she told me last night that since the kids have been leaving food around the house they now have mice. She also says that they can barely afford to feed all 8 people living in the house.

So my question is this. DH and I will both be out of town for work-related things in the beginning of July. The earliest the kids can come back is the 15th of July. But if they come back then they would have to fly home which we did not plan on because usually we meet BM half way. At the beginning of the summer we had driven the kids all the way to BM's house (9 hour drive) as a favor but we expected she would drive the majority of the way back. BM says she cannot afford to help pay the plane tickets but that she will pay us back for half if we purchase them. The only other option is to wait until the end of the summer when were able to meet her halfway. Were just not sure what to do at this point though. Technically, BM should be the one paying for most of the plane tickets because we drove them but I doubt she would be willing to pay us back more then half. What would you do in this situation?

by on Jun. 29, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Replies (31-38):
rocknmom85
by Silver Member on Jun. 29, 2012 at 3:58 PM

Thanks, I will have to talk to dh more about it and see what he thinks. He can be kind of stubborn about certain things and does not really understand bipolar that much (BM was diagnosed after they divorced). He has seen BM in pretty bad shape before but he thinks he should not interfere with her vistation time unless it's an emergency. Also, he is already going through a lot right now taking care of his Dad who is really sick so the situation with BM does not register as being a big deal to him right now. We will have to see what he ways, the other factor is that DH and I will both be out of town for business for a week so we would have to find someone to watch the kids. That may not seem like a big deal but i honestly can't think of anyone who is available. We will see...

Quoting 10yrsapart9505:

Each persons episode is different.  My exh was never curled up in a ball.  He was scary erratic, physical and explosive, manipulative, mean and just psychotic.  Not knowing much about her types of episodes would terrify me.  I am extremely happy to read that she is medicated and asked her dr to increase her dosages when she realized she was heading in a bad direction.  That's a really good thing.  But knowing that she has called you and said that she's anxious and thinks the kids should come home is a HUGE red flag.  Her saying that she can stick it out for a while if need be is only her way of being nice.  It doesn't mean she means that she can actually do it.  The way I see it is that she's actually asking for help/release from the strenuous situation. Its not like you arent allowing her to see the kids.  I honestly would go get them.  They know somethings not right, she knows she's not feeling right.  Why keep letting the pot boil...ya know? 

Quoting rocknmom85:

No worries, I appreciate your perspective. I actually have been exposed to bipolar episodes when I was a teenager, my best friends mom was bipolar. I have seen her at her lows where she is curled up in a ball and also when she was delusional an paranoid and thought her daughter and I were out to get her. One time she grabbed us and locked us in my friends bedroom and was yelling and throwing things, we had to sneak out the window. I admit, it was a kind of scary at times and my it still affect my friend to this day. The thing is, she is their mother, we cannot keep them apart forever and don't want to. BM is not as severe as my friends mom as far as I know. I am just conflicted,  maybe I am in denial a bit but I can't help but think that it can't be THAT bad. Afterall, the kids have seen DH and I upset before and it did not scar them. I like hearing your opinion though, since you have experience with a family member being bipolar. Do you think we should take them back now no matter what?

Quoting 10yrsapart9505:

I am not trying to be rude, but have you yourself been subjected to an "episode" from someone with this type of illness?  Im asking becuase if you have...then i believe you would understand how crucial it is to defuse a potential situation before it gets too far.  You are 9 hours away from them...there is no getting to them "right away". 

I know that you know this, but i think you should be reminded that, while kids are resilient in most situations, they dont forget disturbing images of their parents or terrifying things they hear coming from their parents mouths while not in their right minds. 

Quoting rocknmom85:

Absolutely not. I guess it depends on what you define as "urgent" though. BM has never been physically abusive to the kids or not taken care of their basic needs. I think BM would call us if she was on the brink of being hospitalized and we would get the kids right away. BM has been pretty open with us this summer about the struggles she is having due to her bipolar, I have been pleasantly surprised at how amicable she has been leaving herself vulnerable. Her husband also is there to help make sure the situation does not get out of hand. Trust me, I want to do what's best but I think kids are resilient enough to get through some rough patches in life.

Quoting 10yrsapart9505:

" I just don't think it is at the point where it is that urgent. "  The way i see it is that theres absolutely no reason to let it get "that" urgent.  kwim?? 


 

Quoting rocknmom85:

I get that and you make a good point. I guess I just don't think it is at the point where it is that urgent. BM said the sooner the better but that she can tough it out for awhile if neccessary.

Quoting placename:

It's one thing for the kids to be asking to come home because they are unhappy and you give in. It's a completely different thing when an adult says I can't handle the situation and I'm in over my head. My SD's BM has mental issues. If she ever said she was overwhelmed my SD would be home the next day, no questions asked. I would rather her be safe and spoiled than to be called to the hospital for some reason.

 

 

 

 

 

 


MyBigFam6
by on Jun. 29, 2012 at 3:59 PM
Yea that opens up another can of worms to looks at. I mean there's different styles of bipolar and stressors can trigger various reactions from explosion to isolation.


Quoting Sunivondea:

It's ok. She didnt mention it in this thread. I just remember from some if her previous posts.



Quoting MyBigFam6:

Okay my bad I didn't catch that she actually had a mental health issue I'm sorry.






Quoting Sunivondea:

Exactly. I know it kinda sucks for the kids, but as they get older it will become easier to educate them on her illness. It's not her fault. At least she is reaching out to you and dh for help instead of being neglegiant or abusive. I think you and your husband will do what's best for the kids.







Quoting rocknmom85:

That is exactly why were considering it. We do not want her to end up back in the hospital from a mental breakdown esspecially if my autistic SD is going to stay with her, I caan't imagine what would happen then. I get that she is their mom and should be able to handle things, but when you add mental illness into the picture it's not as straightforward.





Quoting Sunivondea:

Normally I would say, they are HER kids she either deals with them or pays their way home.

But I know she has been having some mental health issues. So it might be best if you just fly them home and cut your losses.







Posted on CafeMom Mobile
10yrsapart9505
by on Jun. 29, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Well good luck. I certainly hope that things turn out for the best. :) 

Quoting rocknmom85:

Thanks, I will have to talk to dh more about it and see what he thinks. He can be kind of stubborn about certain things and does not really understand bipolar that much (BM was diagnosed after they divorced). He has seen BM in pretty bad shape before but he thinks he should not interfere with her vistation time unless it's an emergency. Also, he is already going through a lot right now taking care of his Dad who is really sick so the situation with BM does not register as being a big deal to him right now. We will have to see what he ways, the other factor is that DH and I will both be out of town for business for a week so we would have to find someone to watch the kids. That may not seem like a big deal but i honestly can't think of anyone who is available. We will see...

Quoting 10yrsapart9505:

Each persons episode is different.  My exh was never curled up in a ball.  He was scary erratic, physical and explosive, manipulative, mean and just psychotic.  Not knowing much about her types of episodes would terrify me.  I am extremely happy to read that she is medicated and asked her dr to increase her dosages when she realized she was heading in a bad direction.  That's a really good thing.  But knowing that she has called you and said that she's anxious and thinks the kids should come home is a HUGE red flag.  Her saying that she can stick it out for a while if need be is only her way of being nice.  It doesn't mean she means that she can actually do it.  The way I see it is that she's actually asking for help/release from the strenuous situation. Its not like you arent allowing her to see the kids.  I honestly would go get them.  They know somethings not right, she knows she's not feeling right.  Why keep letting the pot boil...ya know? 

Quoting rocknmom85:

No worries, I appreciate your perspective. I actually have been exposed to bipolar episodes when I was a teenager, my best friends mom was bipolar. I have seen her at her lows where she is curled up in a ball and also when she was delusional an paranoid and thought her daughter and I were out to get her. One time she grabbed us and locked us in my friends bedroom and was yelling and throwing things, we had to sneak out the window. I admit, it was a kind of scary at times and my it still affect my friend to this day. The thing is, she is their mother, we cannot keep them apart forever and don't want to. BM is not as severe as my friends mom as far as I know. I am just conflicted,  maybe I am in denial a bit but I can't help but think that it can't be THAT bad. Afterall, the kids have seen DH and I upset before and it did not scar them. I like hearing your opinion though, since you have experience with a family member being bipolar. Do you think we should take them back now no matter what?

Quoting 10yrsapart9505:

I am not trying to be rude, but have you yourself been subjected to an "episode" from someone with this type of illness?  Im asking becuase if you have...then i believe you would understand how crucial it is to defuse a potential situation before it gets too far.  You are 9 hours away from them...there is no getting to them "right away". 

I know that you know this, but i think you should be reminded that, while kids are resilient in most situations, they dont forget disturbing images of their parents or terrifying things they hear coming from their parents mouths while not in their right minds. 

Quoting rocknmom85:

Absolutely not. I guess it depends on what you define as "urgent" though. BM has never been physically abusive to the kids or not taken care of their basic needs. I think BM would call us if she was on the brink of being hospitalized and we would get the kids right away. BM has been pretty open with us this summer about the struggles she is having due to her bipolar, I have been pleasantly surprised at how amicable she has been leaving herself vulnerable. Her husband also is there to help make sure the situation does not get out of hand. Trust me, I want to do what's best but I think kids are resilient enough to get through some rough patches in life.

Quoting 10yrsapart9505:

" I just don't think it is at the point where it is that urgent. "  The way i see it is that theres absolutely no reason to let it get "that" urgent.  kwim?? 


 

Quoting rocknmom85:

I get that and you make a good point. I guess I just don't think it is at the point where it is that urgent. BM said the sooner the better but that she can tough it out for awhile if neccessary.

Quoting placename:

It's one thing for the kids to be asking to come home because they are unhappy and you give in. It's a completely different thing when an adult says I can't handle the situation and I'm in over my head. My SD's BM has mental issues. If she ever said she was overwhelmed my SD would be home the next day, no questions asked. I would rather her be safe and spoiled than to be called to the hospital for some reason.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


rocknmom85
by Silver Member on Jun. 29, 2012 at 4:15 PM

I have sympathy for her too, even though I know she sometimes sets herself up to be in tough situations. It's hard.

Quoting MyBigFam6:

I completely sympathetic to that. I can understand how it must feel in her shoes, that is a lot to tackle. Is she medicated? If she's not in the state of.mania she could.be cycling through blame. That's usually when its time for someone to step in and give her a break for a little while. She does need to learn how to handle them all but when your bipolar its tough to just be thrown into any situation. Even if you bring.it along yourself.


Quoting rocknmom85:

No worries, I didn't mention it in the OP because sometimes people on here think that SM's often say that BM is bipolar as an insult or exaggeration. I didn't want to go there. In our case it is a real diagnosis that she has been hospitalized for several times. That is why the stress that I mentioned in the OP is not something she is able to handle when her emotions get the best of her. She does try, but I could hear it in her voice that she wanted to to just run away from the situation.


Quoting MyBigFam6:

Okay my bad I didn't catch that she actually had a mental health issue I'm sorry.



Quoting Sunivondea:

Exactly. I know it kinda sucks for the kids, but as they get older it will become easier to educate them on her illness. It's not her fault. At least she is reaching out to you and dh for help instead of being neglegiant or abusive. I think you and your husband will do what's best for the kids.




Quoting rocknmom85:


That is exactly why were considering it. We do not want her to end up back in the hospital from a mental breakdown esspecially if my autistic SD is going to stay with her, I caan't imagine what would happen then. I get that she is their mom and should be able to handle things, but when you add mental illness into the picture it's not as straightforward.




Quoting Sunivondea:

Normally I would say, they are HER kids she either deals with them or pays their way home.

But I know she has been having some mental health issues. So it might be best if you just fly them home and cut your losses.



 



 



TempestRayne
by Donna on Jun. 29, 2012 at 6:45 PM

Do you feel the kids are in real danger? Do you seriously think that there is a chance that she honestly cannot afford to feed them? Or that she emotionally cannot handle having them there? If so, you should go get them, and this is coming from a mom who is also bipolar-as a real diagnosis. I do better than most, but I am not ashamed to step up and say that I am having problems, and I need help.  I would be concerned about your autistic SD the  most, autism is a tricky thing, my older boy is autistic, and I am big on keeping on the top of my game because having him can easily overwhelm me, not to mention my younger son who has a heart defect.Also, not being adequately cared for can cause an autistic child to regress, so can stress.

 I think you should go get them. Ad then talk to BM about adjusting the visitation schedule so that she only has one of your step children at a time, so maybe she doesn't get as overwhelmed? It is just a suggestion.

rocknmom85
by Silver Member on Jun. 29, 2012 at 8:36 PM

Thank you for that information, sometimes it can be hard to tell if BM really is reaching out for help or if she is just having a rough few days. I think part of it is her not wanting us to think less of her as a mom if she asks to get the kids early. Which is why DH and I have both told her that were are not looking for reasons to keep the kids away from her at all, so she doesn't have be afraid to ask for help. It's still hard though I understand that, no one likes to make themselves vulnerable. Anyway, we are going to talk to BM again today to gauge how things are going and if we need to pick up the kids even sooner then mid-July. 

Quoting TempestRayne:

Do you feel the kids are in real danger? Do you seriously think that there is a chance that she honestly cannot afford to feed them? Or that she emotionally cannot handle having them there? If so, you should go get them, and this is coming from a mom who is also bipolar-as a real diagnosis. I do better than most, but I am not ashamed to step up and say that I am having problems, and I need help.  I would be concerned about your autistic SD the  most, autism is a tricky thing, my older boy is autistic, and I am big on keeping on the top of my game because having him can easily overwhelm me, not to mention my younger son who has a heart defect.Also, not being adequately cared for can cause an autistic child to regress, so can stress.

 I think you should go get them. Ad then talk to BM about adjusting the visitation schedule so that she only has one of your step children at a time, so maybe she doesn't get as overwhelmed? It is just a suggestion.


MyBigFam6
by on Jun. 30, 2012 at 9:03 AM
Well she sets her self up BC she means well


Quoting rocknmom85:

I have sympathy for her too, even though I know she sometimes sets herself up to be in tough situations. It's hard.


Quoting MyBigFam6:

I completely sympathetic to that. I can understand how it must feel in her shoes, that is a lot to tackle. Is she medicated? If she's not in the state of.mania she could.be cycling through blame. That's usually when its time for someone to step in and give her a break for a little while. She does need to learn how to handle them all but when your bipolar its tough to just be thrown into any situation. Even if you bring.it along yourself.



Quoting rocknmom85:


No worries, I didn't mention it in the OP because sometimes people on here think that SM's often say that BM is bipolar as an insult or exaggeration. I didn't want to go there. In our case it is a real diagnosis that she has been hospitalized for several times. That is why the stress that I mentioned in the OP is not something she is able to handle when her emotions get the best of her. She does try, but I could hear it in her voice that she wanted to to just run away from the situation.



Quoting MyBigFam6:

Okay my bad I didn't catch that she actually had a mental health issue I'm sorry.




Quoting Sunivondea:

Exactly. I know it kinda sucks for the kids, but as they get older it will become easier to educate them on her illness. It's not her fault. At least she is reaching out to you and dh for help instead of being neglegiant or abusive. I think you and your husband will do what's best for the kids.





Quoting rocknmom85:



That is exactly why were considering it. We do not want her to end up back in the hospital from a mental breakdown esspecially if my autistic SD is going to stay with her, I caan't imagine what would happen then. I get that she is their mom and should be able to handle things, but when you add mental illness into the picture it's not as straightforward.





Quoting Sunivondea:

Normally I would say, they are HER kids she either deals with them or pays their way home.

But I know she has been having some mental health issues. So it might be best if you just fly them home and cut your losses.




 




 





Posted on CafeMom Mobile
boysmom5
by Bronze Member on Jun. 30, 2012 at 10:05 AM
I have to agree with this.


Quoting lilangilyn:

Honestly, I would leave the kids there until the time is up. BM is their mother and she needs to learn how to handle all the different situations in the home, including two young girls who are not getting along, the mice, and the whole not beeing able to feed all 8 people. She needs to handle it, not you and your DH.


Also, if you let them come home, you are setting a precendent for the kid, that everytime things are not to their liking they can abandon one parent to go to the other. It will get much worse as teenagers if they are allowed to do this now.


Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)