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BD Unavailable during his visitation

Posted by on Dec. 4, 2017 at 3:25 AM
  • 20 Replies

I need some advice. DH is working 90% of his visitation time while his daughter is with us for his weekends and his additional overnight day. His work days are inconsistent and there are several times where because of his work schedule he doesn't see his daughter and she doesn't see him during the visitation. She is always disappointed when I pick her up because she isn't getting to see her dad. I try to spin it to tell her it is time with her dads family and her little sisters, but it isn't the same and she doesn't really buy in. SD is 9 and her sisters are 2 and 3.   I feel a lot of pressure and stress out about being a step mom because I am the one who sees her disappointment and has to push all of that aside and carry us all through the rest of the night, weekend, etc. But the reaction makes me feel insecure. When DH is around, the days go by better bc SD is getting time with dad and family and i have someone sharing the parenting with me. 

Before we got married DH and BM agreed to days where he was off. They would look at his monthly schedule adn decide which days would be his. Then after we were married he agreed to everyother weekend and Monday visitation in court order, yet he and the BM knew that his schedule wouldn't leave him home and available for all of these days. He didn't talk to me about it, I wasn't involved in the agreement because the lawyer he was working with didn't want me there. (red flags.. i know) I work full time over 40 hours but since I have the consistent 'typical' work schedule, I am expected by him and BM to fulfill his court order visitation because he is working. I am struggling right now even as mom to my own bio kids and have asked my DH for help in easing some of my stress and he doesn't seem to understand why I would need him at home during his visitation. 

This is hard for me to put out here and I feel very vulnerable asking for advice but I really don't know what to do or if I am in the wrong. I would just think as a dad you would have to be there for your visitation time

Being a step mom is new to me and even though my parents divorced when I was little, they never remarried so I never had a personal experience with it. I guess understanding my role is something I need to do.

Does anyone know of any good books or did you and DHs talk through roles and expectations?

THanks for any advice you have!

by on Dec. 4, 2017 at 3:25 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Leigh84
by Gold Member on Dec. 4, 2017 at 7:47 AM
7 moms liked this
Why would dh and bm agree to that schedule when both of them knew he wouldn’t be able to be there for a lot of his visitation? That doesn’t make sense to me. It seems that sd is the one who is suffering for it b/c she is missing out on time w/her dad. As a sm it is not your responsibility to pick up the parents slack. It seems the way they did things before worked better for sd and made more sense. I would speak to dh about that and encourage him to talk to bm about doing visitation the way it was before.
codysara
by Platinum Member on Dec. 4, 2017 at 8:29 AM
3 moms liked this
This really sums up everything. I agree completely.

Quoting Leigh84: Why would dh and bm agree to that schedule when both of them knew he wouldn’t be able to be there for a lot of his visitation? That doesn’t make sense to me. It seems that sd is the one who is suffering for it b/c she is missing out on time w/her dad. As a sm it is not your responsibility to pick up the parents slack. It seems the way they did things before worked better for sd and made more sense. I would speak to dh about that and encourage him to talk to bm about doing visitation the way it was before.
WickedPissah
by 2Sexy4MyStoma on Dec. 4, 2017 at 10:03 AM
Bump
jules2boys
by Platinum Member on Dec. 4, 2017 at 12:37 PM
2 moms liked this

Welcome to the group. I am a BM, not a SM, but my boys (15 and 19) have had a SM for 12 years now. 

I agree with Leigh as well.  Your SD9 is the one suffering here, because she wants (and rightfully so) to spend time with her dad, not his wife, not the babies, but her dad.  

That said, having lived with the chaotic schedule (BFs schedule changes often), my boys wanted and needed consistency long ago; well, ODS did, YDS was too young to notice or care when it became a problem for ODS).  We had a schedule in the CO but we didn't really abide by it, we made adjustments, seemingly 'all the time'.  ODS finally had a meltdown (and he isn't my kid prone to them) about it because he could never make plans of his own with friend because dads schedule would change, often.  It drove him crazy.  It drove me crazy from the beginning but I followed it thinking I was doing what was right for my boys, to make sure they saw him.  Reality was, we were still at BFs whim and it was awful.  We did it for 3+ years but after that, I said enough.  If BF couldn't have the boys on his scheduled time, he would forfeit it.  No make up time anymore (we spent more time 'making up time' than actually taking the time he was assigned in the CO, a CO HE wrote himself, based on his schedule).  IF he wanted them outside of the CO'd time, he had to give me notice, and IF their schedule was free, he took them (I didn't withhold them 'just because'), but we were all tired of living by BFs whim (his wasn't always 'work related', and sometimes it was requested work schedule changes for something 'else', therefore the boys (and I) suffered).  

However, a major difference in our situation and yours is, SM has NEVER kept the boys if BF wasn't going to be there.  In the beginning, she didn't even keep them if she sent him out to the store to pick something up, he had to take them along.  I didn't have a problem with this, they went to see HIM, not her, and (eventually) not their kids (the boys half-sisters).  He didn't have a problem with it (that I ever heard about, and back then, I'm sure I'd have heard about it), and as far as I know, she didn't have a problem with it either.  I never would have agreed to her taking his place in visitation anyway (as much as CA courts would have allowed me to have a say in it anyway) but he and I, at least then, agreed that the boys were there to see HIM.  (they actually saw him more once we were separated/divorced than they did when we were married/living together, as he was 'assigned' the time to be with them instead of avoiding his family).  

I'm sure there are some books out there but I've not had to look up this stuff in a long while, so I couldn't recommend anything 'today'.  Is DH a reader?  A book won't help if he's not willing to read it in the first place.  :)  

My suggestion would be to write down YOUR expectations.  Perhaps break them down into things you 'put your foot down on', and 'things you're willing to negotiate on', and then 'things you don't mind at all'.  So, example (off the top of my head, NOT suggesting this for you personally): I don't mind watching SD9 if you have to run out to the store at 9pm, while it's time for the kids to go to bed/be getting into bed, but if you go to the store before 7pm, take SD9 with you.  Or, better yet, ASK her if she'd like to stay home or go with you (some one on one time could be nice, even for a 15 minute trip to the store).  However, if you have a scheduled shift during 4+ hours of her stay, she needs to go back to BMs home.

Again, it's an example of a way to present it to DH, NOT suggesting that what I said above is what you should tell him.  

Has anyone (particularly BF or BM) sat down and asked SD9 what SHE wants to do?  Does she mind being with you?  Is the issue that she's not comfortable being alone with you and the younger kids or that you aren't comfortable?  What was discussed, between you and DH, prior to you moving in and marrying him, about his child?  When he and BM changed the schedule, what was your response?  Did you remain silent so they both thought you were ok with this as well?  Did you protest and he told you to 'suck it up'?  I'm curious (not judging, just curious).  Have you asked BF, or even BM if you and she are on speaking terms, for suggestions on how to feel less 'overwhelmed' when you have your SD solely?  Does BF ever have your two little ones AND SD alone, on his own?  If not, perhaps it's time he did, so HE could get a sense of what it's like for you.  If he does, observe him/them and see if you could pick up some pointers for helping you feel less stressed about having SD9 around too.  IF you want that responsibility.  If not, you need to speak up to BF.  While marrying him did make you a SM, your first priority is his WIFE, or it should have been.  Anything further should have been discussed and agreed upon between the two of you.  

I think you may hear some varied responses to this topic.  Many on here have handled it in different ways, but also consider their 'time' as SM (not just how long they've been a SM but how much time the child in question spends in their home, compared to the time you're expected to spend with your SD).   

dancewithJoy
by New Member on Dec. 4, 2017 at 6:26 PM

Yes, I agree with you. SD is the one suffering here. She wants time with her dad. 

I don't know why they did the schedule this way assuming that I would be the 'fill in' for dad and that was ok.  

The way it worked before worked better for our family and everyone was a lot happier except BM. She wanted to come up with a consistent schedule because of school and it was easier for her schedule too. 

DH hates confrontation and will never initiate conversations about change, he basically lets BM call all shots and tells me to suck it up and stop acting like SD is a burden. (this response breaks my heart)

BM is unwilling to change visitation or take her daughter when DH is working because she is catching up on her work, having date nights and other 'to do's'  when I have my SD and DH is at work. DH says 'he doesn't want to lose a day' but he isn't the one home.  

Quoting Leigh84: Why would dh and bm agree to that schedule when both of them knew he wouldn’t be able to be there for a lot of his visitation? That doesn’t make sense to me. It seems that sd is the one who is suffering for it b/c she is missing out on time w/her dad. As a sm it is not your responsibility to pick up the parents slack. It seems the way they did things before worked better for sd and made more sense. I would speak to dh about that and encourage him to talk to bm about doing visitation the way it was before.


mischele
by Bronze Member on Dec. 4, 2017 at 6:53 PM
1 mom liked this
I’d make myself unavailable. I had to slid that to my dh and bm. They thought since I was off by 2 that I should have ss. That went on for a year and told them I’m not his mom and they need to parent. I just made plans and was out for pick ups and drop offs.
DDDaysh
by Bronze Member on Dec. 4, 2017 at 8:57 PM
In most places you could simply refuse to pick up SD, but that might cause CS to increase.

I can understand them changing the schedule if it was around the time SD started school though. The flexibility that works with daycare or Pre-K often doesn't work when the child goes to school. They just need more structure.

What is it that your husband does for a living? Perhaps it's time for him to change jobs or even careers to one that is more father friendly.


Quoting dancewithJoy:

Yes, I agree with you. SD is the one suffering here. She wants time with her dad. 

I don't know why they did the schedule this way assuming that I would be the 'fill in' for dad and that was ok.  

The way it worked before worked better for our family and everyone was a lot happier except BM. She wanted to come up with a consistent schedule because of school and it was easier for her schedule too. 

DH hates confrontation and will never initiate conversations about change, he basically lets BM call all shots and tells me to suck it up and stop acting like SD is a burden. (this response breaks my heart)

BM is unwilling to change visitation or take her daughter when DH is working because she is catching up on her work, having date nights and other 'to do's'  when I have my SD and DH is at work. DH says 'he doesn't want to lose a day' but he isn't the one home.  

Quoting Leigh84: Why would dh and bm agree to that schedule when both of them knew he wouldn’t be able to be there for a lot of his visitation? That doesn’t make sense to me. It seems that sd is the one who is suffering for it b/c she is missing out on time w/her dad. As a sm it is not your responsibility to pick up the parents slack. It seems the way they did things before worked better for sd and made more sense. I would speak to dh about that and encourage him to talk to bm about doing visitation the way it was before.

lovingladyo4
by New Member on Dec. 4, 2017 at 11:16 PM

".............doesn't seem to understand......" (Quoting your words about your husband) There is a dangerous disconnect in the statement!!!.

Is that his way of saying "get-a-grip and toughen up for me so I don't have to carry the weight of my own responsibility"?

Hopefully, and I repeat hopefully, your husband is fully aware of the burden this is on you, but because he can't, or won't do anything about it, it's easier to dump it back onto you, and make you feel guilty for not carrying his weight.

This is messed up in my opinion. Where is his loyalty and support of you???? He is in denial if he thinks this can be overlooked. You are a team together, and when one hurts, the other should feel the pain. If they don't, something is terribly wrong.

God's plan for marriage includes compromise, putting the other's needs ahead of our own. Can he freely, without reservation, be able to admit he is doing that for you???


dancewithJoy
by New Member on Dec. 4, 2017 at 11:25 PM

:) ok, good so other people have experienced this and said no. I may try this out

Quoting mischele: I’d make myself unavailable. I had to slid that to my dh and bm. They thought since I was off by 2 that I should have ss. That went on for a year and told them I’m not his mom and they need to parent. I just made plans and was out for pick ups and drop offs.


dancewithJoy
by New Member on Dec. 4, 2017 at 11:34 PM

I agree with you. DH and I have a lot to work through. 

and yes, I think it is easier to dump it on me than come to the realization that maybe he doesn't want to be a full -part time dad. He is putting his job over family and I'm realizing as much as we talked in the beginning about that changing, it isn't. 

But it has been very hard to understand why he isn't understanding and supportive of me and my needs as well as his daughers needs. she needs/wants/ deserves her dad during his visitation.   

Quoting lovingladyo4:

".............doesn't seem to understand......" There is a dangerous disconnect in the statemen!!!!.

Is that his way of saying "get-a-grip and toughen up for me so I don't have to carry the weight of my own responsibility"?

Your husband is most likely fully aware of the burden this is on you, but because he can't, or won't do anything about it, it's easier to dump it back onto you, and make you feel guilty for not carrying the weight.

This is messed up in my opinion. Where is his loyalty and support of you???? He is in denial if he thinks this can be overlooked. You are a team together, and when one hurts, the other should feel the pain. if they don't, something is terribly wrong.

God's plan for marriage includes compromise, putting the ther's needs ahead of our own. Can he freely, without reservation, be able to admit he is doing that for you???



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