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Would you be insulted? And a second question...

Posted by on May. 24, 2013 at 9:41 AM
  • 13 Replies
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Okay, I'm going to try and be brief.

For those who don't know, I'm not a SM, my DH is an SD, but I am the BM. I'm here to get advice on facilitating a good relationship between DD and her new SM (as of this weekend I believe).

Long story short, ex was abusive to me and I left. When I did he checked out. My DH stepped in and stepped up and literally raised DD. Ex is involved when his family wants him to be, but that's it. Now that he's getting married and getting a SS himself, his family is telling his to "drop the past and enjoy the new family". Yeah...

I've known ex's new wife as long as he has. The time I knew her in person I didn't like her. She hit on my DH knowing we were together, going out in a blaze of glory with the comment of "I can show you a good time in bed" 3 days after our wedding at work while I was standing there. Needless to say, I stopped associating with her. She was a big partier back then, but from what I can tell, she's done quite a bit of growing up.

Ex has seen DD 33 days in 2 years. He rarely calls her, though he's texting me all the time. She has no idea who he is. He's wanting her to spend the whole summer and that's not going to happen. She's 3 years old and he's a complete stranger. But I am willing to send her for 2 weeks.

However he's impossible to get answers from and due to finances I need to plan trips, especially cross country trips now that he's a day's drive away. She and I have talked alot in the past couple of weeks, and she's taken a true interest in Chloe. I also feel like the 2 of us have a good relationship now.

Obviously I don't want to cross my bounds, I'm happy to have her as a co-parent as long as she's open to being one. I don't expect her to be THE mom, but I do hope she will be the motherly figure to DD when she's there and that she will be an active participant in all parts of her care (including discipline, ex and I are on the same page about everything when it comes to parenting except his drinking around her, so I have no issues knowing what discipline goes on and such). However, with ex's, lack of interest I should say, in actually planning for her to visit, would I be overstepping if I chose to speak with her about these things? From a SMs POV I mean. Obviously I'll have to figure out if he has issues, though I doubt he will because he likes everyone else doing it all for him (I always plan his trips to get her, his trips home from that point, etc).

I don't want to seem like I'm forcing DD on her, I won't push it if they're not interested. Frankly, if he chooses to take his family's advice and drop DD and focus on his new family, it wouldn't even phase DD. DH has been raising her since infancy and even ex knows she sees him as daddy (her choosing, we've taught her who ex is, but he's still a complete stranger by his own choices). But when he talks about DD visiting for summers and such, I'm willing to let it happen, as long as theres some communication from someone lol.

Okay, so that was question 1.

Question 2, has anyone ever done a change of venue to a new state? I don't have a lawyer right now and my courts won't go any further than telling me I need to file a motion. Neither one of us live in (or anywhere NEAR) our old state. Plus the judge had an obvious bias (I actually have proof on that one but my lawyer at the time sucked and I was a pushover) and I would prefer not to deal with her. We've lived in our current state for a year and a half, own a home, have a stable job, I'm in college...it's pretty obvious we're not going anywhere. I'm just wondering if anyone has advice on what kind of motion I need to file to move it here so he can do a skype in with us and we can rework the parenting plan so he does have more visitation (if he wants it).


ETA: I should clarify....ex is now military as of last year. So for those wondering why I would send her that far away and why he cannot come here, technically our CO as of right now states he sees her during his military leave and any other visits throughout the year are at my discretion. This was because he showed a history of leaving her with unsafe people (his SM and his SS who caused her to have injuries and illnesses that she wouldn't have had if she were properly cared for).

He can't come here whenever because he isn't able to travel that far from his base. The summer visit isn't a CO visit, he wants her during his short leave in August as well, but asked for 5 weeks in the summer that I'm not willing to give. When he takes her on his leave it's 8 days to 2 weeks long (well 10 days technically, his leave is 2 weeks). The difference between his leave and this visit is she on his leave she is around his BM who she knows well and is comfortable with, and going where he is stationed there is no family around.

by on May. 24, 2013 at 9:41 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Derdriu
by Gold Member on May. 24, 2013 at 9:47 AM
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I can't answer Question 2.

With regard to Question 1, I wouldn't not pursue visitation plans with the SM.  She may be perfectly content for the moment to act as middleman and play co-parent, but it is very important that both of you realize 1) she should not be middleman, and 2) she is not co-parent.  The raising of your daughter is between you and your ex.  SM can and should co-parent with him within their home, but it is his job to co-parent with you.  And I wouldn't try to force that if he won't.  I also wouldn't bend over backwards trying to make last-minute plans if he can't get his crap together to give you some answers.  Give him a deadline to get back with you about the plans, and be done with it.

leegirl_jm
by Platinum Member on May. 24, 2013 at 9:49 AM
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Your DD doesn't know BF so I think 2 weeks with him at this stage is too much and frankly a bad idea. She will now get to know him and get emotionally involved with someone who is contemplating dropping her to go on to a 'new family'. I think you are risking your DD some emotional hurt her or more emotional hurt.

TheQueenOfChaos
by Member on May. 24, 2013 at 9:55 AM
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Bending over backwards is part of why I want a new modification.

Basically when we went from JC to me having FC the modification said "whenever you go on leave you can have her". He only half follows this as he only takes her half the time (if at all). He claims they won't tell him about his leave until the week before. Now I'm ex military myself, and I can call BS on this easily, but my CO states I MUST give her to him on his leave and I MUST provide half transportation, and there are no length of times for him having to notify me in advance.

When I pick her up it's worse. He tells me the day before, usually 3 days before his leave ends, that he's dropping her off 10 hours from my home.

As for her being the middleman, yeah that's what I was concerned about. I didn't want her to feel like she HAD to be.

By co-parent, it was another thing that isn't expected of her, just something that I would hope she knows wouldn't bother me. I do want all of us to be on the same page with raising DD, I know at this point, the 3 of us are. That's pretty much because if ex deviates from DDs schedule or discipline in any way, she's absolute hell for him and he can't handle it. So he basically asks what we do at home and he does it there. But I don't want her to feel like she can't communicate her own concerns or issues with me you know? To me, she plays a great role in my DDs life. I know my own SM played a great role in mine (though my own BM was an abusive hag) and I don't want her to have to walk on eggshells or anything.

Quoting Derdriu:

I can't answer Question 2.

With regard to Question 1, I wouldn't not pursue visitation plans with the SM.  She may be perfectly content for the moment to act as middleman and play co-parent, but it is very important that both of you realize 1) she should not be middleman, and 2) she is not co-parent.  The raising of your daughter is between you and your ex.  SM can and should co-parent with him within their home, but it is his job to co-parent with you.  And I wouldn't try to force that if he won't.  I also wouldn't bend over backwards trying to make last-minute plans if he can't get his crap together to give you some answers.  Give him a deadline to get back with you about the plans, and be done with it.


TheQueenOfChaos
by Member on May. 24, 2013 at 9:57 AM

8 days to 2 weeks is what he usually gets on his leave. That's why I said 2 weeks over the summer. He takes her on his leave now (he's military). He spent the 8 months before his leave ignoring her though. And he still barely calls her.

But I see your point.

I wonder if for the first few times planning my own trip to an area close by would be better?

Quoting leegirl_jm:

Your DD doesn't know BF so I think 2 weeks with him at this stage is too much and frankly a bad idea. She will now get to know him and get emotionally involved with someone who is contemplating dropping her to go on to a 'new family'. I think you are risking your DD some emotional hurt her or more emotional hurt.


Birdseed
by Gold Member on May. 24, 2013 at 10:12 AM

I really can't advise on you Question 2 because I'm not an attorney.  That said, what I DO know is that if it's CO'd visitation and you deny BF access, he could file regarding contempt.  It would be much wiser IMHO for you to consult an attorney and try to get a modification done.  You don't have to have an attorney to file for a modification, but given that you don't live in your "home state" anymore, it might make things a lot easier for you to have a local attorney able to advise you and/or work on your behalf.

As far as Question 1 and SM...

First, I think it's pretty awesome that you're trying to be open minded about things.  But the risk of having too open a mind is that your brains can fall right out!  LOL  I would encourage you to take baby steps in developing a relationship with SM in the BM/SM roles to avoid getting taken advantage of and to avoid creating a situation that could potentially muddy the waters with regards to your modification.

If you really want to pursue the modification, then I would think that keeping things more as is would be beneficial for making the case.

Further, it sounds like your ex will be getting sufficient pressure from his family and his new wife to pursue a relationship with your DD.  I don't think you need to try to circumvent him to facilitate something that he's not even interested in at this time.

*IF* SM contacts you about making arrangements, you might just tell her, "Ya know, I'd really like to coordinate this and make it happen, but I need a little more organization and planning ahead.  If you can help with that, I'd really appreciate it."  (if that's how you actually feel.)

But ultimately, your DD is not SM's responsibility and I don't think I'd pursue anything just yet.  Especially if you're wanting to do the modification. 


whatIknownow
by Ruby Member on May. 24, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Honestly I don't think I would send my 3yo child to spend 2 weeks with a stranger on the other side of the country. I would allow him to see her, if he came to my area.

If your ex is disinterested in the visit, why are you pursuing it? I would let it drop until he personally showed interest. 

TheQueenOfChaos
by Member on May. 24, 2013 at 11:33 AM

He's pushing me to let her stay the entire summer all of a sudden. But aside from telling me he wants her to come to his house for 5 weeks, he doesn't make any plans for any kind of visiting.

I already told him 5 weeks wasn't going to happen. Unfortunately he gets 8 days to 2 weeks every single time he goes on leave, which is why I'm comfortable with him taking her for that time. That being said, she's always around his BM (the only family member of his that I trust and someone who keeps regular contact with my DD) so this is a very different situation.

He can't come to see her whenever because when he's not on leave he can only go so far from his base.

Quoting whatIknownow:

Honestly I don't think I would send my 3yo child to spend 2 weeks with a stranger on the other side of the country. I would allow him to see her, if he came to my area.

If your ex is disinterested in the visit, why are you pursuing it? I would let it drop until he personally showed interest. 


Birdseed
by Gold Member on May. 24, 2013 at 11:38 AM
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5 weeks out of nothing is not reasonable IMHO.  She's 3.

He doesn't even realize what he's asking.  My guess?  If you agreed to it (and I wouldn't), you'd have a kiddo back home with you in a week.  3YOs are not "easy".  He doesn't have a flipping clue what he's trying to sign up for and it's clearly not coming from HIM but from pressure from others.

I swear.  If it weren't for concerns for your DD's safety and care, I'd say send her on over and see how he handles it.  I wouldn't wish a 3YO on most people.  They can be hell on wheels! 

Not saying your kiddo is a bad kid, just saying that the age can be a challenge.  

TheQueenOfChaos
by Member on May. 24, 2013 at 11:42 AM

LMAO he called me 2 days into her last visit "how do I make her eat??"

She was throwing a HUGE screaming match in the background. I really wanted to say good luck and hang up the phone. You're right, he has NO clue. I get calls daily with "why don't you do _____ with her" when he has her, because apparently normal 3 year old tantrums mean she's not disciplined.

Of course then she comes home behaving like a spoiled brat too. Ugh.

Quoting Birdseed:

5 weeks out of nothing is not reasonable IMHO.  She's 3.

He doesn't even realize what he's asking.  My guess?  If you agreed to it (and I wouldn't), you'd have a kiddo back home with you in a week.  3YOs are not "easy".  He doesn't have a flipping clue what he's trying to sign up for and it's clearly not coming from HIM but from pressure from others.

I swear.  If it weren't for concerns for your DD's safety and care, I'd say send her on over and see how he handles it.  I wouldn't wish a 3YO on most people.  They can be hell on wheels! 

Not saying your kiddo is a bad kid, just saying that the age can be a challenge.  


ChelseNichole
by Chelse on May. 24, 2013 at 11:42 AM

 I somewhat disagree. If BM is ok with coparenting with SM...and SM is on board too...I see no reason why they cant have this type of relationship?

Sometimes I'm the middle man too as BM often says she would rather talk to me then SO.

Quoting Derdriu:

I can't answer Question 2.

With regard to Question 1, I wouldn't not pursue visitation plans with the SM.  She may be perfectly content for the moment to act as middleman and play co-parent, but it is very important that both of you realize 1) she should not be middleman, and 2) she is not co-parent.  The raising of your daughter is between you and your ex.  SM can and should co-parent with him within their home, but it is his job to co-parent with you.  And I wouldn't try to force that if he won't.  I also wouldn't bend over backwards trying to make last-minute plans if he can't get his crap together to give you some answers.  Give him a deadline to get back with you about the plans, and be done with it.

 

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