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

(minimum 6 characters)

Stepmom Central Stepmom Central

Laundry list of gripes.

Posted by on Feb. 11, 2013 at 5:58 AM
  • 13 Replies

I just want outside opinions on the things myself and my husband have to go through with his exwife.  It seems like we get trapped in a bubble.  Can't always see the non crazy. Haha. 


Some background.  My husband has full custody of his 4 y/o daughter.  She sees her mom on the weekend, for one day.  This is her choice, she could see her two days a week and her one day weekend, but she chooses not to (fine by us).  She has three kids with 3 different dads.  Has lost both of those children because of neglect both physical neglect and educational (not having fitting clothes or not wearing shoes to school, she failed to get them into school).  She lied to my husband about these kids, made herself all normal looking and got him to marry and have a kid with her.  Then fell to pieces.  My husband divorced her quickly, and took his child.  He and I are raising her and our own son together as a family. I've been with my husband and K since she was 2.  I've always told K that I am not her real mom, and that I'm not trying to replace her.  She calls me Emmy for extra mom, plus my name starts with an M.  My son calls me Mommy and K wants to too, so sometimes it's ok. 


Gripe #1.  She regularly fails to miss her pick up time.  She picks up K at school on fridays, but regularly misses this time and only tells my husband 20 minutes before the end of K's schoolday.  Then K cries because she does want to see her mom.  It's awful that she doesn't understand how much she lets her own daughter down.  I just want to protect her from that.  Is there anything we can do?


Gripe #2:  When she goes there she comes back super hungry, tired and smelly.  She's only there for a day! I don't understand how hard it is to feed an always hungry child.  We've asked if she eats and her mom says she does eat.  But we're not so sure. She comes home usually asleep from her moms, and always wakes up crying that she is hungry.  We give her food, but no amount helps, she still says she's hungry.   She doesn't have a bedtime there, we assume she only eats junk food which is why she's so hungry all of the time and tired.  We know she doesn't clean because of the way she "kept house" when she was living with my husband.  Not sure what we can do here either.


Gripe #3: K has said she wanted to stay at her mom's because she can do whatever she wants there, and there are no rules and no school.  We've tried to explain to her that if she stayed at her mom's full time she would still have to go to school.  Will she ever learn that bedtimes and school and eating good food are good for her? We're not the bad guys.


Gripe #4:  The ex's new boyfriend who is living with her is bipolar and off meds most times.  In the past he has scared K, and punished her for things she couldn't help, like falling down, or stepping on his foot.  She still likes it there for whatever reason.   He has two daughters of his own, one was taken when she was younger, one still lives with him.  She is 4 also, but severely developmentally delayed.  She talks in one word phrases and doesn't go to school at all.  I think she stays in that house all day.  When K is there, K starts talking like that.  She loses everything she's learned, like how to write her name.  It takes a few days for all of that to come back.  It's really sad because K is so smart.  Apparently, the little girl D, told K she was going to punch her.  K is very scared of her.  But she still wants to go back every friday.  Not sure what to do. 


Are these normal gripes for a stepparent dealing with an ex?  Sorry for rambling and venting. 


Any help would be nice.



by on Feb. 11, 2013 at 5:58 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
Lslk
by on Feb. 11, 2013 at 6:44 AM

Gripe #1 - Can you change the pick up time so that BM can pick her up at your house? At least that would ensure that SD will be picked up with no last minute wondering. I don't think you will ever be able to protect your SD from BM letting her down. SD will eventually learn that she can not trust her BM. My DD knows that she cannot trust her BD because of issues like these as well.

Gripe #2 - I wouldn't trust BM telling you the truth about any of this because of her history. Maybe call CPS and put in a complaint about this and ask them what you can do.

Gripe #3 - This is normal when you have one parent that wants to be the good/ fun parent. This may even get worse as SD gets older. Try to be patient with her as she is only 4 and tell her that she needs to stay with you guys because you are looking out for her well being. As I said before, my DD has learned that eating healthy, going to bed at a proper time and going to school are all for her well being. I have always drilled this into her. Know at the age of 12 she is very conscious about this.

Gripe #4 - Are you taking SD's word over BM and her BF? This sounds to me like SD only wants to be there because she can do whatever she wants. All kids learn that they can get BM and BD fighting with things like these. I wonder if that is what SD is doing here. It doesn't make sense for SD to want to live with them but then complain about what happens there, and this is normal. I think most kids of divorce go through a stage like this. You just have to be strong and not let the little things get to you so that you are fighting with BM over this stuff. As far as the Bipolar issue goes. I would definitely look into this but I'm not sure if you would need to talk to CPS or someone else.

whatIknownow
by Ruby Member on Feb. 11, 2013 at 8:07 AM



Quoting dande.lion00:

Gripe #1.  She regularly fails to miss her pick up time.  She picks up K at school on fridays, but regularly misses this time and only tells my husband 20 minutes before the end of K's schoolday.  Then K cries because she does want to see her mom.  It's awful that she doesn't understand how much she lets her own daughter down.  I just want to protect her from that.  Is there anything we can do?

Change the pick-up shedule so that she picks up K from your house instead of the school. This way you don't have to deal with last minute changes which are frustrating. I had to make a similar change when my ex-husband was unpredictable in the way you describe. So I would modify the pick-up location or time to reduce the impact of the lateness as much as possible.

Gripe #2:  When she goes there she comes back super hungry, tired and smelly.  She's only there for a day! I don't understand how hard it is to feed an always hungry child.  We've asked if she eats and her mom says she does eat.  But we're not so sure. She comes home usually asleep from her moms, and always wakes up crying that she is hungry.  We give her food, but no amount helps, she still says she's hungry.   She doesn't have a bedtime there, we assume she only eats junk food which is why she's so hungry all of the time and tired.  We know she doesn't clean because of the way she "kept house" when she was living with my husband.  Not sure what we can do here either.

if you giver her food but "no amount helps", then it's not really hunger that is bothering her. It's something else. Not sure what. 

Coming home smelly - well, we delt with that with both my ex and my DH's ex... what can you do. Give her a bath and don't worry about it. I know it's hard to just let it go, but really that is all you can do.

Gripe #3: K has said she wanted to stay at her mom's because she can do whatever she wants there, and there are no rules and no school.  We've tried to explain to her that if she stayed at her mom's full time she would still have to go to school.  Will she ever learn that bedtimes and school and eating good food are good for her? We're not the bad guys.

You don't need to explain to her why she doesn't live with her mom. You are not the "bad guys." Of course kids want to live where there are no rules and it's always the weekend. who wouldn't? I would not engage in a conversation about "if she stayed at her mom's full time..." I'd say, it's great that you have fun with your mom, and leave it at that.


Gripe #4:  The ex's new boyfriend who is living with her is bipolar and off meds most times.  In the past he has scared K, and punished her for things she couldn't help, like falling down, or stepping on his foot.  She still likes it there for whatever reason.   He has two daughters of his own, one was taken when she was younger, one still lives with him.  She is 4 also, but severely developmentally delayed.  She talks in one word phrases and doesn't go to school at all.  I think she stays in that house all day.  When K is there, K starts talking like that.  She loses everything she's learned, like how to write her name.  It takes a few days for all of that to come back.  It's really sad because K is so smart.  Apparently, the little girl D, told K she was going to punch her.  K is very scared of her.  But she still wants to go back every friday.  Not sure what to do. 

Did K tell you that the boyfriend punished her for no reason? I am suspicious about the truth there... all kids will say it was "for no reason." Chances are you're not getting the full story from K.

I really don't think spending one day a week in a house with a child who can't write is going to make K forget everything she learns in the other 6 days. I would not worry about this.


Are these normal gripes for a stepparent dealing with an ex?  Sorry for rambling and venting. 

Yes, I think they are normal gripes.


Any help would be nice.

sorry the bulk of my advice seems to be "don't worry about it," maybe you will think that is not helpful, but that's really my advice.




pdxmum
by Platinum Member on Feb. 11, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Is she really there for one day a week?  Does she spend the night?

MamaMoopsie
by Bronze Member on Feb. 11, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Sorry that your SD is going through this and that you and DH are dealing with the backlash.

Gripe #1: Explain to BM (and this should be your DH doing the talking, not you) that if she can't plan appropriately and pick SD up on time then she will need to give up that time with SD. Is this court ordered visitation?

You can't completely protect SD from the hurt of her mommy. My SD's mom moved to another state just before SD was supposed to start kindergarten. She and DH modified custody so that BM got SD every summer and for alternating Christmas/Spring Breaks of each school year. Well, for the first summer BM was supposed to have SD she called to tell SD she wasn't going to take her after all (she hadn't seen her since Christmas). When SD said "But I want to see you Mommy," her mother's response was "I just don't have time for you!" and then she got off the phone. It broke SD's heart. I knew I couldn't protect her, but I tried my best anyway and comforted her the best that I could, but she's now almost 10 years old and still regularly hurt by her mother but is realizing the truth. Her gut instinct now is to protect her mother by not blaming her. That means a lot of her hurt and anger comes back on us.

Gripe #2: You're probably absolutely right about the junk food. SD is the same way when she comes back from staying with her mom. However, she's gotten better over the years. She now naturally chooses to eat healthy foods and will request healthy meals while with her mom and grandmother (her mom lives with SD's grandmother). So, yes, eventually your SD will probably start wanting healthier foods. The bed time is still something we're working on when it comes to her BM. They let her go to bed whenever she wants and then wonder why she's grumpy the next morning when her body naturally wakes her up at 7AM.

Gripe #3: It's completely natural for a child to want to stay with the parent who will let them do anything they want. My SD loves staying with her BM because there she is an only child and they spoil her rotten and she doesn't have to watch how she behaves and how she influences her little sisters (she has three little sisters here). When she makes these comments to me I just nod and say "I can understand why you'd want to go there, but we'd sure miss you." or something along those lines.

Gripe #4: This one scares me. My SD's mom is bipolar and her meds stopped helping her over this last Christmas break and she was very hateful to SD and from what I've been told (and this is all second hand from SD) she said things about how having a child is just too much damn work and she didn't know why she ever wanted a kid. The grandmother realized how bad it was getting and sent SD back to us early.

Do you know if your state has any laws about being off medication? In California you can be jailed for it, or so I was told. If you are scared for your SD, you need to go ahead and take BM back to court--I know it costs money, but her safety is worth it--and file for even more limited visitation with BM.

SassyMom25
by Silver Member on Feb. 11, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Gripe1: Request that BM let you know ahead of time that she will not be getting SD, like 12-24 hours not last minute.

Gripe2: Could you possibly send SD with a snack so you know she has something to eat. Otherwise, this isn't really something you can control so you will just have to deal, mainly cause it is only one day.

Gripe3: Every kid does this at some point. SD just has to know that the parents make the decisions and she needs to go to school and have a bedtime.

Gripe4: Maybe keep a record of what you are being told by SD. Unfortunately, there isn't much that can be done until something happens. I do wonder though how the bf has kept custody of one child but lost the other one. Maybe call CPS and ask some 'what ifs'?

lnr187
by on Feb. 11, 2013 at 2:50 PM

 Gripe #1. She regularly fails to miss her pick up time. She picks up K at school on fridays, but regularly misses this time and only tells my husband 20 minutes before the end of K's schoolday. Then K cries because she does want to see her mom. It's awful that she doesn't understand how much she lets her own daughter down. I just want to protect her from that. Is there anything we can do?

i would make adjustments to the schedule. tell bm that she can get sd at your house at 5pm, or whatever works for you and bm.  also, if you can avoid it, don't tell sd that it's friday. this way she'll never be let down when bm doesn't show. we had to do this with ss. unfortunately the school does the days of the week, so sometimes he caught on, but not always. also, you might be able to say "well it's not her friday to have you" or something like that. in our situation, bm gets ss 3 wknds each mo, but ss can't keep track how many times he's gone. so when he asks, we just say "it's not her day".


Gripe #2: When she goes there she comes back super hungry, tired and smelly. She's only there for a day! I don't understand how hard it is to feed an always hungry child. We've asked if she eats and her mom says she does eat. But we're not so sure. She comes home usually asleep from her moms, and always wakes up crying that she is hungry. We give her food, but no amount helps, she still says she's hungry. She doesn't have a bedtime there, we assume she only eats junk food which is why she's so hungry all of the time and tired. We know she doesn't clean because of the way she "kept house" when she was living with my husband. Not sure what we can do here either.

not a whole lot you can do here. ss comes back basically the same way... thirsty, tired, and filthy. all you can do is fix it when sd comes home. let he nap on the drive home. give her a bath, wash her clothes, and feed her extra. i wouldn't say anything to bm about it. nothing will change and it'll just cause problems.


Gripe #3: K has said she wanted to stay at her mom's because she can do whatever she wants there, and there are no rules and no school. We've tried to explain to her that if she stayed at her mom's full time she would still have to go to school. Will she ever learn that bedtimes and school and eating good food are good for her? We're not the bad guys.

we go through this as well. again, not much you can do. it's true, she has no rules, not bedtime, and no school. but it is what it is. when she's older, she'll understand. ss is starting to understand and he's 5 1/2.


 

Gripe #4: The ex's new boyfriend who is living with her is bipolar and off meds most times. In the past he has scared K, and punished her for things she couldn't help, like falling down, or stepping on his foot. She still likes it there for whatever reason. He has two daughters of his own, one was taken when she was younger, one still lives with him. She is 4 also, but severely developmentally delayed. She talks in one word phrases and doesn't go to school at all. I think she stays in that house all day. When K is there, K starts talking like that. She loses everything she's learned, like how to write her name. It takes a few days for all of that to come back. It's really sad because K is so smart. Apparently, the little girl D, told K she was going to punch her. K is very scared of her. But she still wants to go back every friday. Not sure what to do.

i don't really know what to tell you about this one. if they choose to disipline for things that you don't agree with, that's their right. as long as they aren't abusing sd, then i wouldn't worry too much. if it really bothered her, she wouldn't want to do. as for acting like D, she's just doing it for the attention. she's probably talking like a little girl because she can get away with it. she's not forgetting how to write her name, she's just being lazy about it.

Are these normal gripes for a stepparent dealing with an ex? Sorry for rambling and venting.

these are 100% normal! i have all the same gripes in one way or another. it's frustrating, no doubt, but if there truely is nothing you can do about it, don't stress. just continue to help dh raise sd as you two agree for your home, and let bm have her "fun" weekend time.

lnr187
by on Feb. 11, 2013 at 2:51 PM

 also, document everything. just keep records of when bm shows up or not, and what time. record what sd tells you about bm and her boyfriend and the other kids. if you nevr need it, you'll have it.

dande.lion00
by on Feb. 11, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Yes, Friday she gets her around 6 pm and then we get her 6 pm Saturday.

pdxmum
by Platinum Member on Feb. 11, 2013 at 7:25 PM


Then change pickup location to reduce the impact on your family and ignore everything else.  One day a week is not enough to damage the child and cause her to regress.  You are too focused on demonizing BM.

Quoting dande.lion00:

Yes, Friday she gets her around 6 pm and then we get her 6 pm Saturday.



viv212
by Bronze Member on Feb. 11, 2013 at 8:12 PM
Sorry that you are dealing with a sucky BM. Her house sounds very unstable. I hope there's no drug use or abuse going on her house- from which you described, that's what I'm picking up on.

Here's a bump for you.
Posted on the NEW 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)