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

(minimum 6 characters)

BD Unavailable during his visitation

Posted by   + Show Post

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
Replies (21-22):
by Member on Dec. 18, 2017 at 12:04 AM
Have things gotten a bit better for you? Has your DH started to listen to what you are saying you can and can't do?
by 2Sexy4MyStoma on Dec. 18, 2017 at 1:24 PM
The thing that jumped out to me was SD regardless of her age should not be put in a situation to ask her mom to consider changing the visitation schedule.

Your dh is using the same ridiculous guilt line so many dad's use when their wife or GF is being used as a baby sitter. From someone who has btdt you need to shut that shit down today so you know if you want to continue in this family or not.

Things are not going to change unless your dh makes changes.

Quoting dancewithJoy:

Thanks @jules2boys! I really enjoyed your feedback/advice and questions. 

He is a reader but lately probably wouldn't have time for it. 

I like the suggestion to write down my expectations and discuss. When dating and prior to getting married and having our 2nd baby, he was always here during his visitation as he had her on his days off and so he was very involved and always here when she was occassionaly he'd have to work but it wouldn't be more than a few hours and if it was she would go back to BM. 

There have been conversations with SD about what she wants to do. SD mentions to us here when we are together that she wants one week here, one week with her mom and switching like that. BM says she says something different when she talked to her about the visitation arrangement. 

She acts out, doesn't listen when she's with me and dad is at work. We have a pretty good relationship with BM and even tonight have a text going where BF and BM mention their disappointment with how she acts when she is with me while he is working.

I have scheduling conflicts I have every Friday night because I have a class and it gets out 15 minutes after her gymnastics class and so I have to leave her waiting because BM and her husband won't help out and pick her up because it is my DH's 'possession' and since he's at work, I have to rush across town and hope to make it by 6:30 since anything after 6:30 we could be charged something rediculous like $5 for ever minute after 6:30 (I can't remember exact $ anount) also on Monday's I have to leave work early because I have to make sure I have enough time to make it through traffic and pick up all the kids from 2 different locations. 

Prior to moving in & marrying him - he only had her on his days off so he was very involved and hands on dad which was great. We talked about how that would always be the case. He was all about his kid and wanted to be a good dad. 

My honest response when he told me the new schedule - burst into tears, are you serious? (I just had baby #2 like a week prior) and had an 18 month old, couldn't even drive and wasn't sure I could handle it all. I suggest other options to them that gave me more support with DH work schedule. But BM didn't like it and she wasn't going back to planning around an inconsistent work schedule (and I understand that - it is hard, kids need consistency)  but I never felt like my DH took my feelings into consideration. HIs response was I already agreed to this with BM so we 'have to' now his excuse is 'it is CO'

Can you say it is your visitation when you are not there for it? When he tells me he doesn't want to lose time, I just tilt my head and say, you mean lose time you aren't here for it? What are you losing when you are working?

He too has a hard time managing the 3 kids alone when I get an hour or two to go out. Typically when I come home and he has been alone with the kids he's had half a bottle of wine and the kids are running around like crazy and there are toys all over the place and every room is a mess, he is either watching TV and has a movie on for the kids in the playroom that none of them are actually watching or he has fallen asleep and the middle child has found a marker or lotion and it is all over her and the wall and her bed. If he's in a good mood, he will be watching a movie or tv with the kids and cuddling with, talk to them.  But unfortunately those good moods are few and far between lately. 

I think for a long time he was so worried about how BM would react and not being able to see his daughter, he always listened to what she decided over what I could do. When visitation changed, it didn't even occur to him to confirm the changes were ok. BM tonight suggested making a change and because of everything I have been talking to him about and asking him to communicate with me about, his response was - I need some time to talk it over with my wife and will get back to you. 

So while I think there is a lot of messed up stuff that I have put up and a lot more to work through I feel like with that response maybe we are getting somewhere. I just don't know any step moms and never really knew expectations as they definitely seemed to change after marriage without discussion.  

Hopefully that make sense.

Quoting jules2boys:

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.  :)  

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.  

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)