Dealing with his ex's restrictions

newwithkids

I have been with my husband for over a year now and have built a very close and stong relationship with his three children. Since this has become very evident to the kids mom she has become increasingly more and more hostile in regards to my involvement with the children. Just recently she has made some very restrictive demands on my husband in regards to communication with the kids when they are at her house such as; they are no longer allowed to talk to me when my husband calls the kids to say goodnight as she feels this is interferring with her time with her kids, my husband is now only allowed to call them one time daily (where it used to be once after school to see how their day went and once before their bed time at 9 PM) and that call must be made prior to 8 PM (one minute later and she now turns all phones off, including the one he has provided for the kids). It has gone so far as my stepdaughter was excited to tell me about an event that happened at school and so when my husband called to say goodnight asked if she could talk to me. As he handed me the phone and she started telling me her event, I spoke only a couple of words before my stepdaughter literally said, "wait.....hang on one second....." and the phone was hung up. We tried to call back and all phones were turned off and we received a ranting letter from the kids mom telling my husband not to break her rules or she will not allow any phone calls during her time.

I just do not know how to deal with a person this bitter and unsecure. We can see the kids misery in feeling torn and have tried to communicate with her and ask her to please take a step back and ask herself if what she is doing is really best for the children or just her being selfish, but this was to no avail.

Any suggestions?????

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stargazzer

i would keep a journal of event's like this and print all the emails. this may escalate to the point your husband may have to go to court. journals are accepted in court.

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kkny

Stargazer,

I dont understand, are you proposing that Dad complain one phone call a day isnt enough, or that Stepmom is entitled to speak to kids. One of the judges in my district said to an atttorney "Do I have to give your client the stepparent lecture?" -- meaning except in very unusual situations, stepparents dont have visitation rights, etc.

IMO, stepmoms should be the ones to step back.

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cindy_pond

KK..do you think the stepmoms should be the ones to step back if the stepkids really want to talk with her? It seems the children want her in their lives and the adults should let them speak with her if they want to. A divorce situation is hard enough on them. The Biomom seems to be using the situation to get back at the ex's wife. No matter who is perceived at fault, the children should speak with her. After all, she is part of their family. They must be so confused with all these loyalty issues. They are the ones who suffer in the end.

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kkny

OP has been with her DH for just one year. IMHO, she should be less agressive. And I doubt, unless mom is a drug/alcholic etc, that judge is going to demand SM phone calls. So I dont understand why Stargaser is telling OP to document.

In SMs mind, she is loved by children etc., but given she has only been with DH for a year -- she is pushing things.

There might be situations where I might be sympathetic to SM phone calls, but this is pushing it.

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mom2emall

I think that if the child asked to talk to her sm then it was wrong of the bm to grab and turn off the phone. That is hurting the child and what good parent would hurt their child to get even with their ex?

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imamommy

I agree with KKNY if the child does not wish to speak to a stepparent, they should not be forced. It isn't the stepparents right to speak to the child. However, it IS the child's right to have a relationship with the stepparent (and anyone else they love) if they want. If the child WANTS to speak to anyone... stepparent, aunts, uncles, cousins, family friends, etc. they should be allowed to UNLESS there is a specific reason not to.. such as that person says bad things about their parent or there is something inappropriate, etc. The courts are recognizing more and more that stepparents are involved and while legally, the rights are lacking.. the Judge in our case admonished SD's mom for having a problem with me being in her daughter's life. The Judge praised my involvement and I wonder what BM would say now, if we ever went before the Judge again. She walked away from her child and left her in my primary care AFTER she tried to convince a court that I placed her child in danger and that I was 'overstepping', etc. What I think gets skewed in people's mind is 'parental rights'... it should not be the parents rights as much as it should be the CHILD'S rights. The children have a right to be loved by as many people as possible and to feel loved and secure. Any insecure parent that gets in the way of that is, in my opinion, a terrible parent that is putting their own needs above their children!

Okay, stepping off my soap box.

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kkny

Ima, as a I recall, you have a long relationship with your SD, and the mother has issues. As I have alsways said, SM covers a lot of ground.

I had a former babysitter call asking for myDD. She had left on next the best of terms, and I told her no to speak to DD -- she could talk to me or nada.

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imamommy

What does 'long relationship' mean? Time has passed? I was with my exBF for almost 7 years parenting his kids. I wasn't even a stepparent but if I call & they WANT to talk to me, they should have a right to. Of course I have no right to call and demand to talk to them... and it doesn't matter how long or how in depth the relationship is/was. Marriage or no marriage... 7 years or 7 months. If there is a relationship that the child will benefit from, why would a parent want to deny their child? Even from a babysitter!

When you say you told her you or nada, well that comes off as a bit controlling if she left on good terms and there is really no good reason for her not to be allowed to maintain a relationship/friendship with your daughter. I feel sorry for your daughter after reading that.

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cindy_pond

well I don't think any child should be FORCED to talk with anyone either. It just seems sad to me that the mom knowing that the child wanted to speak with her stepmother pulled the phone out of her hand and hung it up...imagine how the child must have felt. Believe me, I'm a stepmom but also a biomom and I can imagine how it feels as a mom to have some other woman step in and be deemed important and mom like to my children. Especially if the biomom didn't want the divorce in the first place... It must hurt a lot!! In saying that though, I wouldn't stop my own daughter from speaking to her step mom if she really wanted to. I couldn't do it to her.

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kkny

I meant to say she left on not the best of terms. NOt horrible, jus tnot great. Ima, you are one of hte most controlling people around. I certainly have the right to at least try to keep people I have issues with away from my DD.

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believer

I am probably going to catch a lot of heat for this but......I think 2 phone calls every day for the kids is a lot and then having to pass the phone off to SM also is a lot to expect. Especially at bedtime.

It is great that a father would want to be so involved in their kids lives and that is not what I'm talking about really. It would be the calls at bedtime every night that I think could have the possibility of upsetting a schedule.

I can see also where a BM might be a bit jealous or feel that SM is interfering and prolonging things on the phone.

I know that I am coming from a place where my ex seldom called his kids. I am the type also that gets tired of the phone ringing no matter who it is so it could just be me. I don't have a BM to consider this time around with my SD10 but if her biograndmother or sister were to call her twice a day, once being before bed it would become bothersome to me. I'm irritated by those things, like I said.

It might be that BM just would like her house to seem like her house once in awhile without ex and his wife involved everyday. Like I said though, I have never dealt with a dad that was that involved. Certainly not a SM and I don't mean to criticize the ones that want to be involved. It would be difficult for me to handle 2 calls a day.

A pretty apologetic message huh!

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believer

Oh and just to clarify....I would not condone hanging up on someone.

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stargazzer

I am saying i think her requests are bizarre and that things might get worse in the future. he should be able to call his chilren anytime, no restrictions.

i read the post and thought it was the mom that hung up the phone not the child.

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mom_of_2.5

I guess I can't help but throw my 2 cents in here. At the moment I am so annoyed with my DD13, who I haven't seen for 3 days-she's been at Dad's. So, we go to the mall and the entire time she's texting her SM. Who she was just with for three days! Can I please get 5 minutes of your attention? Grrr....So, 5 years ago, I probably would have turned off all my phones and refused to let her talk to her SM too. It was an instinct I guess, I didn't like her SM because she burst on the scene, having no kids of her own so no experience as a mother and she acted as if she was better to be my DD's mom than I. She stepped on toes alot, cutting her hair, having her shave her legs before I wanted her to, she sends her emails saying things to the effect of "just hang in there 2 more days..see you Friday" like she just has to survive here until she gets to paradise there on Friday. I am not proud of my insecurity or jelousy of my daughters relationship with her SM, but I'll be honest about it.

Time changes everything. I dislike her SM less and less as goes on. I have learned to appreciate her as a person. She has since had a baby girl of her own and gained some life experience. My DD calls her almost everyday, they text, and email and I don't mind so much anymore.

The point of my message is....if it's only been a year...hang in there it will (probably) get better. As a BM, a year in I still REALLY disliked SM...took probably 2 1/2 years to get the boundaries set and to tollerant of her.

For me, it was never an issue of wanting my Ex back, it was more having my mommy toes stepped on. Anymore, SM doesn't do things that bother me so much as it irritates me that my DD can't peel herself away from texting SM to spend an hour at the mall with me.

Someday, the BM you're dealing with will exhaust herself trying to "control all contact" and she'll throw in the towel. Just give it time.

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kkny

I think there is a difference between dad should be able to call whenever he wants, and dad calls once a day and wants more.

If mom has told SM or Dad no calls from SM -- she may be out of options.

If Dad is calling once a day, that sounds like enough to me. SM should use dad's time for communication with kids.

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ashley1979

KKNY - Wasn't it you that said that non-custodial SMs should take more of a "favorite aunt" role?

Using that, what is wrong with a child wanting to tell their "favorite aunt" about an event at school? My DS calls my sister about every great thing that happens with him. My FSD calls her own aunt all the time, even when she's here.

I have a similar story as Mom_of_2.5 in regards to X's GF. She's not a SM (they probably won't ever get married), but DS loves her and tells her so all the time. As a matter of fact, she is the second person he texted after he got his phone the day after Christmas; even after just having spent over a week and that very morning with her and X. You know what? It used to bother me that he loved her so much. She did the same things Mom_of_2.5 said above.

But YOU changed my viewpoint on that. YES! You did! I appreciated your view on SMs acting more like favorite aunt's than EOW mothers. I have taken that stance with my FSD with some success (it's slow-going since she's here so little) and I see X's GF that way. And I would never tell DS he couldn't call his aunt or even uncles when something great happens to him, so I wouldn't restrict his access to her, either. Now, if he didn't want to talk to her, that would be a different story. I wouldn't make him, but then again if he had a different relationship with her, she wouldn't be calling.

And I certainly would never make him hang up on an adult. How disrespectful is that?

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kkny

Ashley.

I cant imagine an aunt calling as much as the OP would like, especially if her Sister or SIL had asked her not to. SM isnt just about rights, as some would think, its about responsilities. If my sister wants to talk to my DD, she usually mentions it to me first.

Ashely -- your not a SM if you say FSD.

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colleenoz

For someone who ripped a SM a new one because she had (I think valid) objections to BM calling on Dad's time and insisting on talking literally for hours into the night, I think your objections to BD wanting two short conversations and you thinking one only is adequate is a little inconsistent, kkny. But inconsistency isn't a new thing for you.
I also think it's a bit of a stretch interpreting the OP's only statement regarding her phone conversation with her SD: " my stepdaughter was excited to tell me about an event that happened at school and ... asked if she could talk to me" to "calling as much as the OP would like" as you put it.

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finedreams

I remember that SMs complained that Bms call after 7Pm or 8Pm or during dinner time or after bed time etc.

If that's the rule for Bms, same rules should apply for SMs or dads. no calling after 8PM sounds very reasonable. it is too close to bed time.

I also think that one phone call daily is more than enough. who has the time to be on the phone more than once a day?

I also remember how Sms here complained that Bms interfer with dad's time calling more than once a day. if that's what SMs think is approriate, then same rule should be good for SMs and dads. no excessive calling on moms time. once a day sounds enough.

I also remember SMs were saying they don't pick up the phone in case of excessive calling. then BMs should do the same. not picking up the phone when calls become disruptive for a family life.

and not like it is relevant. But ashley is not even engaged (according to her own words) so why she considers herself FSM I am not sure.

as about aunts, if I would start calling my niece more than once a day and after 8Pm, which is close to bed time, I bet you it would be disruptive. she wouldn't be allowed to be that much on the phone.

It really annoys me when people apply different rules to moms and dads, Bms and Sms.

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newwithkids

Just to clarify a few things regarding this situation; first my husband (only him) has always called the kids directly after school, prior to them even getting home, and he is calling atleast and hour prior to bedtime and we never talked with the kids more than 12 minutes between the two of us. These new restrictions have only been put in place since I have become very close with the kids. For those of you who have been saying a year isn't long enough: I would just like you to say the same thing about a child developing a relationship with an uncle or aunt who has married your sibling........ Why is it that just because I have the SM title, it somehow changes the way things are handled. Kids will accept people into their live and love them at their own rate. I have always let them progress at their own rates and never forced a thing. I do realize how it must hurt BM to have another women in the kids lives that they love, talk about, and care for and want to share stories with BM. However it does not and will not change the fact that I am here long term and she is only causing the children anguish. It is the children that should be considered here and we as adults should be able to set our egos aside and do what is in the best interest for the children. My husband and I have always and will always include the BM in the best light. Not because this is the way we are feeling about her actions but because this is what is best for the children. They should never feel as though they can not share with us thing they experience with BM just as they should not feel the same at BM house. I sure you have all heard the saying that it takes a village to raise a child. Involvement with positive, caring, and loving adults in a childs life can only strength their growth.

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weed30 St. Louis


.
. .
(that was for kkny)

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finedreams

newwiththekids, you might know that you are there to stay and you are good for the kids etc. But BM might not know that. all she might be seeing is that new SM is calling on mom's time and tries to talk to kids when they are having family time with MOM. and one year is really not long enough...

who is the custodial parent and how often do you see the kids? if it is only once a month let's say or kids live far away, it might be necessary for you personally to tlak to them to build a relationship. but if they see you more often, what is your particular need to talk to them daily or even more than daily? it seems a bit excessive.

i am very lenient and never placed any limits on my X. we didn't really have any rules for phone calls or visits. but even for me, more than daily seems excessive. if he would start calling DD more than once daily and put SM on the phone every time he calls (when DD was minor) it would just be strange.

kids have certain routine at night and what could be that important to discuss that often? not like anything new happened between 4PM and 8PM. did he start calling that often when you got in the picture? or he always called that much?

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newwithkids

finedream,

absolutely nothing has changed as far a communication except for the fact that I talked to them when he would call before bed and say good night.

We have the kids 5 days on, two off, two days on, and then 5 off. They have joint custody, she has physical, and all decisions are to be made by the two of them.

We realize the kids have a routine and that is why we have not a problem with calling them long before they go to bed. It is her request that he call prior to 8 PM. He is very close and involved with his children and this is a routine the kids have been used to since their divorce. For things to be changing now is just another interruption to what they know as normal.

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kkny

Gee, if any of the SMs here had mom and her DH calling twice a day it would be b***h, b***h,b***h.

Shoe on other foot.

New, you dont know the routine at her house, maybe she is working longer, maybe the kids have more homework. Ima always says what goes on at SM/Dads house isnt mom's business. I guess it doesnt go both ways.

Your DH has fair access to his kids. So I still dont understand why stargazer says document, but go ahead. Document etc. Go to court.

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imamommy

It isn't a BM vs BD issue. The custodial parent should make up the rules regarding telephone usage in their home. My DH doesn't call his daughter on weekends she's with mom because it's MOM's time... however if she's there for a week, it's a different story. He'll go Friday - Sunday without calling but if it's longer, he misses her a lot and wants to talk to her. He still feels he's intruding on MOM's time so he keeps it short.

Now, I don't think I've complained about BM calling too much, but when she does call... it is during dinner or after SD's bedtime or while she's getting ready for bed. It is disruptive in OUR situation because SD ends up crying or having an attitude after talking to her mom. There are issues going on in OUR situation that don't apply to others, so it's not comparable. (SD also asks to talk to her mom's BF when her mom calls... she also asks to talk to the dogs and anyone else that's there so she can stay on the phone longer because she MISSES her mom and wants to keep the call going. We would never think of telling her to hang up or get off the phone, even though it's ridiculous to listen to her talk to the dogs while we are paying long distance charges for it because SHE calls her mom, her mom doesn't call her) Of course, even with her prolonging the calls, the average call is about 10 minutes. BM is usually trying to end the call after 2-3 minutes or sooner. (she promises to call her back in 30 minutes but SD has figured out she never calls back)

In OP's situation, the BM was fine with dad calling after school and at bedtime (as a routine) UNTIL she finds out OP is involved, now the phones are shut off at a certain time, the phone is hung up in the middle of a conversation and it's all of a sudden NOT okay for dad to call twice. We can all argue about OUR situations and what we think is right or wrong, but OP wants advice for HER situation. I don't see her getting it when the bickering begins and this is getting turned into a SM vs BM or BD vs BM situation.

OP, in your situation I would back off during the phone calls and respect BM. As someone else mentioned earlier, she is jealous and insecure... she may fear losing her daughter's affection to you... she may fear you will be seen as the 'cool' SM and she's the uncool mom... whatever. She shouldn't be worried about it because nobody will ever have the mother/child bond she has and a mother can never be replaced. It might help if you talk to her (BM) but depending on her personality and/or how she feels about you, it might help or it might make things worse. All you can do is what you feel is right since you know her and we don't. My SD's mom has gotten angry and yelled at me that I am not her daughter's mom and I told her 'of course I'm not, you are.' I am not trying to be her mom but I want to get along with her. She lives with us and I have to do 'mom' things for her and her mom hates when SD goes to her happy & excited over anything to do with me. It really puts a damper on my relationship with her since it has progressively gotten worse as she is being loyal to her mom. The only person it's hurting is SD since she (BM) isn't being a mom to her and won't let me have that relationship with her either. In your situation, it's different because she doesn't live with you and her mom is being her mom, so you might get better results by backing away for a while and giving BM time to see you are not a threat and you only want what's best for her child. (and that you are going to stick around, not be gone next week)

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kkny

Ima,

I have no doubt most adolescents would regards my Xs SO as more cool then me. It doesnt mean I am jealous. I am happy with my values. Doesnt mean I want this woman having any unsuperovised contact with my DD.

I think there is always a possibility that the mom just doesnt like OP or her values. We are not there. We dont know.

In any event, I stand by my advice of back off and deal with it.

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imamommy

kk, it isn't about YOU and your ex's SO. You are entitled to your opinion, I even agreed that OP should back off and deal with it. Didn't you read my entire post? (read the last paragraph!) I also mentioned that none of us knows the BM in OP's situation as well, so I even agree with you there. Only OP knows her situation and how BM in her case will respond (or at least her DH should know his ex that well, but who knows?)

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kkny

Gee Ima, I guess you're the only one allowed to discuss your situation -- which you have brought up.

And your earlier post did say that mom have been afraid of being the uncool one.

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imamommy

well, you can discuss your situation but it seemed that you were taking other people's opinions as personally to your situation. How you feel about your ex's SO being involved is not comparable to all other BM's, myself included... because yes, I am a BM to my three grown kids. (and I have been there, done that with my oldest son's SM who WAS involved in his life very much)

and yes, I think many custodial moms (step or bio) might feel like they are seen as the 'uncool' mom since they are more likely implementing rules and restrictions while the 'other mom' may be all about having fun and being cool. I know in my situation, BM wants to be the fun, cool mom. I am the step mom that has to enforce rules and make sure homework is done and that she dresses properly and washes her hands to not get sick. I guess I nag more since her mom lets her do all she wants & she comes home sick and guess who has to sit in the doctor's office, stop for soup & 7 up, and take care of her when she gets sick? But, again that is MY situation, not OP's (or yours) and I don't think every BM wants to be the cool mom that lets their kids do whatever they want and lets their kids get sick. That is only in MY situation that I can say that. The general statements about all SM's is really getting old.

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kkny

And the generalizations here about moms being jealous and insecure are getting old too, but guess what, everyone has the right to say what they want. Even suggesting SM document this -- that Dad only gets to call twice a day, at pre-agreed times, and SM cant get on the phone -- presumably to take to court.

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imamommy

An NCP can document and take to court an issue where they are being denied access to their child. SP may not have a claim & the court may not give SP any rights, but refusing to let a parent talk to kids because a SP gets on the phone during a call may form an opinion in the Judge's mind as to who is acting in the best interests of the child and who is not. It could also backfire on the parent that puts a SM on the phone too, depending on the Judge and the laws in each state. If it were me, I would save any letters BM wrote to BD that show her reasoning or rationale on stopping his calls or denying his calls. The court may be inclined to realize that a stepparent is a part of the child's life and even though a stepparent does not have 'legal rights', courts are going to look at what is best for the child and having one parent attacking the other parent or stepparent can send a message to the court that they are not acting in the child's best interest, UNLESS they have a valid reason. A valid reason does not mean that the whore slept with my husband and I don't want that slut around my kids... the court only cares about the impact to the children, not the ex.

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imamommy

and as to a generalization about mom's being jealous & insecure, nobody is faulting a mom for feeling that way when a new woman enters a child's life. It's a natural feeling, in my opinion. Other mom's here have admitted that, I have admitted that it was hard for me with my son's step mom. Nobody says YOU are jealous or insecure... but if you were, it would probably be thought of as a normal first reaction. What is not normal, is to harbor those feelings (for years) and act in a way that eventually hurts or destroys your child's chance to have a relationship with someone that could love them (and whom they might love as well)

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kkny

Ima,

OP is allowing her X, who has 50/50 2 calls a day. Seems pretty fair to me. But yes, encourage her to go for it.

Ima, the question I am pointing out is not whether the mom might be justified in being insecure, but maybe she isnt. Maybe she doesnt like OP or OPs values.

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kkny

You are recommending that SM save letters that mom writes to her child? What is SM doing reading those letters? Oh I forgot in IMAWORLD, no one but SMs have any rights to privacy.

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imamommy

no, dad should save letters his ex writes to him if they tell him he can't talk to kids because SM gets on the phone.

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imamommy

OP said:

"we received a ranting letter from the kids mom telling my husband not to break her rules or she will not allow any phone calls during her time."

I suggest SAVING that letter for future problems, especially if it ends up in court. I'm not suggesting SM push it into court but it appears to be the direction it will go if BM keeps denying dad phone access.

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kkny

BM hasn't yet denied her X access. She has made reasonable rules. And dad has the children half the time.

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justnotmartha

((undoing the wad in the panties)))

Okay then. Back to business.

What does their parenting agreement say about phone contact? Are there times specified or any restrictions? If not, she has the ability to request DH not call after a certain time, but no ability to set it as the letter of the law. She also does not have the ability to restrict who the kids speak to, assuming of course no harm is done through these conversations.

That said, I see you have two options. One, let her play this out and hope she grows up. Assuming the kids are old enough to "get it" I would speak to them when they are next over and explain that you would love to speak to them on the phone but their mother is preventing that contact - and even contact with their dad - if you do speak. Let them know that because you don't want to come between them and their dad you are going to step back and stay off the phone, but you want them to know that you are thinking about them each day and wish you could speak. Perhaps you can even come up with a code word dad can say to them - "Newwithkids likes cauliflower!" - that they know means you love them and are thinking of them. Maybe with little bit of time will calm mom down and you will get past this.

OR, option two.

Take that ridiculous letter to your attorney and ask for a modification that specifies the minimum amount of contact allowed and provides for step parents to communicate via phone, letters, emails, texts, etc. Make sure it goes for both sides so that it is fair and even. I don't think you will have much trouble being awarded that.

IMHO, I think two calls may be a little much, but if there is a president set mom can't really argue that it is too much now that it involves you. BUT - mom needs to be able to call twice a day when the kids are with you, too.

Good luck, keep us posted.

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kkny

I have trouble beleiving any parenting plan allows a 50/50 parent to call twice a day when the children are with another parent. If it allows "reasonable" calls, I have trouble beleiving that is more than one a day, if that.

As to precedential value, I am not certain what that will mean, but many parents will say any SM, GP etc time comes out of that parents time -- ie on the 50% of the time the children are with dad, they can also see his relatives. In a 50/50 arrangement, there is plenty of time to accomodate that.

Newwithkids -- do you have children of your own? How often does your X call them?

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stargazzer

i am a firm believer that step mom's should leave discipline up to the dad, it worked for me. BUT i did,not have small children in my care while my husband was at work. i still believe i would have done it the same way unless the child became combative and tried to hurt me. i also heard a judge bawl out a step mom, he told her to back off, it was none of her business, it was between the mom and dad.

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imamommy

This is a little off topic but I guess what irks me about EITHER parent b!tching about 'their' time... it makes the kid seem like a possession. (ie. the trophy is at MY house this week, you can't look at it!)

It would be nice if we all remember that the kids didn't ask to be born. The kids didn't ask to be in a divorce/co-parenting situation. When the parents bicker over my time, are they really thinking about the child's feelings? I agree that there are inconvenient times for the other parent to call, meal time or time when the kids are busy with a routine... that should be respected by the other parent. But, the kids should have access to both parents.. I've even heard of dads going to tuck kids in every night. If a parent wants to be THAT involved, it's only good for the kid, even if mom doesn't necessarily want that 'intrusion' in her home. It might be chalked up to part of being the CP. Now, I might be wrong about that, in my case it would be nice if BM wanted to be more involved in her daughter's life... it would be annoying to me if she wanted to drop in every night (or call) but it would sure make SD feel better about the whole situation.

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kkny

Ima, everyone wants involved parents, but this situation doesnt seem like one where Dad is getting shut out. 50/50 custody and two phone calls a day on the other days, and a slight change in timing of one? No one can know the routine is at the other home, this seems fair.

I think there may situtations whre dad isnt being given fair time, but this seems OK to me. I just think SM is pushing to hard. In my book, shes not the mom, and has to step back.

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colleenoz

Reading for comprehension, guys. Now BM is allowing only ONE call a day and it's not the SM doing the calling, it's the Dad. It's not the SM asking to talk to the child, it's the child asking to talk to the SM.

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kkny

One phone call a day is still a lot for 50/50. And as to child asking for SM, what is this another SM who listens in on phone calls? Does it happen every time? Suggest to SM she tell her DH then next time it happens he tell SD that they can talk live in a couple of days.

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organic_maria

Wow..sounds like my hubbies ex wife.
And after 8 years of her doing this to her kids, Let me tell you some honest advice. THIS BIOMOM IS DIGGING A DEEEEEP WHOLE BETWEEN HERSELF AND HER CHILDREN.
This teaches a child
1. jealousy
2. selfishness
3. inconsideration towards other human beings
4. disrespect.
There is nothing you can do about it Newwithkids. Nothing. As long as thier mother acts like a selfish child of 3 years old. ANd yes i'm calling anyone who behaves in thsi manner a selfish bratty child of an adult , they only destroy their kids.
I'm living proof of this! i've watched BMdo this to her kids for 8 years.
You know what they say about her. Oh she's very jealous and they put their heads down. They even stated once totheir father they wish i was their mom.
Its an awful thing to do to achild. Treat them as property and tell them they cannot have a relationship with anyone.
I've todl my stepkids that my relationship with them is between them and has nothing todo with their mother or father. Its a separate relationship in some cases and a package deal with their dad.
I'm a stepchild as well. I've had 2 stepmothers to deal with and many stepbrothers and stepsisters as well. i've seen both ends of the fence and whenever an adult parent does this , it only destroys the child at hand.
So , its not the stepmom in this case that shoudl stepback. Its the mohter of these children that has to ACCEPT that her kids have a new relationship and for the BENEFIT of the child psychie and upbringing she should work together with her exhubby and his wife to form a HEALTHY BALANCED RELATIONSHIP.
I understand if she sets boundaries such as.
1. Parent night interviews reserved for only both parents and not their significant others.
2. Making parental decisions between both bioparents.
etc..etc.
This is phone calls and its her daughter trying to relay something exciting. THe exact scenario you described happend to me timeless times with SD. After a while she would stay silent even with ehr dad.
She is now bitter and resentful because of this towards both her parents and she even states she can't wait to be 18....Go figure what she'll do then eh?
I'm so tired of hearing things like this. THis phone call BS has to stop.
The only adive i can give you is tell you husband to keep phoning as many times as he likes for his kids. He should sit down with his ex and tell her he will continue to phone as previous. That you should not talk to the kids during those hours because it bothers her and she winds up hurtin gher kids.
The time they come over, spend as much time as possible wiht them and dont back down in your space.
You cannto control what she does in her house but she cannot control your house either.
She is hurting her kids with her own insecurities so unfortunately, have a family meeting with all the kids and state that mommy doesn't like me talking to you on the phone when you are at her house. Make it very clear with the entire family .
And yes, i would record everything. Because if she does this with phones what else will she do.
Parental alienation from their dad is not acceptable and actually where i'm from , its now an issue where mothers can lose custody of their kids if they continue to cut communications from dad for whatever reason.

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pseudo_mom

As you can see neww/kids BM's get very territorial. It doesn't matter what their child wants its what they want. And they will go to any means to accomplish this. I missed if you said how old your SC are ... but next time you see them just be honest and tell them their mom doesn't want you to talk to them from her home so next time they want to tell you something have them write it down and give it to you next time. Rather than piss your mom off we will give her her way and we can save our talks for ___________.

I am a SM whose SC cannot fart without calling their mom to tell her what it smells like. Because they are craving her attention when they are with her all they do is fight holler and scream at each other but mom on the phone is sweet as pie.

My SS's call me from mom's all the time(the only thing cell phones are good for) but my hubby has custody of them so its a different situation.

But on the other hand my SD will stay on the phone for hours with her mom while she is with us ... I mean hours not minutes and its several hours long conversations. And yes it interfers with "dad's time".

And dad calling two times a day to talk to his kids .... once afterschool and once at bedtime... (sarcasm intended) my god what an abusive father to be interested in how his kids day went and to say goodnight how dare he interupt mom's routine with two 10 minute phone calls. I am sure he is doing it just to piss his ex off he can't really be interested in how his kids are doing on a daily basis.

My ex called my kids every day afterschool and before bed at night never thought anything of it. When we were together he would call them from work afterschool too and at bedtime would go in and say good night the only that changed was he would call instead of doing it in person. My kids also talked with their SM if they had something to say or ask her. There was no competition I was their mom afterall and not going anywhere.

My DS16 lives with his dad and I call him afterschool and about 9ish every night guess thats horrible.

So just let the kids know mom doesn't like it someday she may not care but today she does so until she doesn't lets just wait till I see you to tell me about your days.

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finedreams

we have no ways of knowing how SKs behave after SM's phone conversations. maybe they start acting hyper, maybe they get upset, maybe they refuse listen to mom who knows? maybe SM and dad think that their phone calls are positive, but in reality if children listen twice a day how dad is missing them they might feel guilty, upset etc.

kids cannot be wiht both parents so constant phone calls only remind them how they miss other parent. it is possible after they hang up, they act out wiht mom just out of guilt.

we do not know how these constant phone calls interfer wiht children's well being. i am yet to see how SMs here would enjoy BM's phone calls twice a day. most even determine in court that BMs are not allowed to call more than XYZ, and yet they think Sms should call as much as they want. AGAIN double standard...

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finedreams

how old are SKs? for example pseudo talks 16-year-old. well it is different from 8-year-old for example. different routine wiht homework, going to bed, in general behaving etc.

I also want to know when SKs are with OP, does mom and mom's husband call twice a day?

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eandhl

I must say I took the OP as BD's call was within BM's limits and the child asked to speak to SM to relate an event. Now if the mom feels it is to upsetting for children to talk to SM why doesn't she explain that to BD. Just hanging up the phone because she spoke to SM isn't good.
BM has the right to set times to call and even restricting to 2 calls daily as enough but I disagree hanging the phone up on child without explanation. This is clearly an involved dad and it would be so much better for the children if the adults could all get along.

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finedreams

I agree that hanging up is impolite. as about turning the phones off, I always keep cell phone on for emergency, but I often turn landline off in the evening. Otherwise my evenings will be all full of telemarketers or unnecessary calls. what kind of emergency dad and Sm had that they had to keep on trying to reach SKs.

i agree that dad is entitled to speak to kids, it is up to moms and dads to figure out how often is appropriate (for young children). But i don't think stepparents are entitled to speak to SKs daily. maybe it is OK for them to do so, but there is no such entitlement.

also we do not know why SKs want to talk to SM in the evening. maybe because it is more fun that doing homework, eating broccoli, taking a shower, brushing their teeth or whatever other boring stuff mom tells them to do at 8PM.

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finedreams

"I think 2 phone calls every day for the kids is a lot and then having to pass the phone off to SM also is a lot to expect. Especially at bedtime."

"It might be that BM just would like her house to seem like her house once in awhile without ex and his wife involved everyday."

exactly my point. and, believer, my X is involved father and always called reguraly and yet two phone calls a day with SM on the phone would be kind of strange. who has the time to call that much unless one does not work? and what is there new to say twice a day?

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mom_of_4

I will start by saying that Bm is handling this all wrong. Cutting off the phone in mid conversation ... shutting off all the phones... etc etc But, have you and DH really listened to what she is saying. IMO you have every right (I am sure the choice of words will upset some people but whatever) to talk to step kids along with DH or even call them if you need to. But, two phone calls a day every day is alot. And, I can tell you phone calls from an ex are exhausting. I would not appreciate it if the kids bm called every single day twice a day... it is just a lot. And on top of just the phone call we have to deal with the "are you okay mom... are you sad" (because she seems to call when her social life isnt going the way she planned these days)... or the run to mommy because they dont like what is going on... which always leads to the long conversation with dh and bm of what happened why it happened ... all leading to her sage advice of how we should crack the whip... or listening to the argument of who gets the phone next.... ugh like I said exhausting.

At minimum it disrupts the time that mom and kid have together. A phone call once a day or once every so often should be plenty to say I love you and what is going on. Also the availability of the children to call the other parent at each parents home. If DH is missing his children this much maybe its not the phone calls that should be looked at but the amount of time that the custody order is allowing him with his children.

I would talk to bm (or rather DH should) and say something to the extent of I am not sure I was really considering your feelings in this matter but I understand that calling twice a day is a little much for you to handle however shutting off the phones or ending phone concerstaions mid way through is unacceptable. What if there was an emergency .... what if something important happened... there should always be exceptions to rules like this. Maybe if you tell her you would like to see it from her point of view than it might help things along better... I would put my foot down on telling the children they cant talk to sm is unacceptable... it does nothing but hurt the childnren and foster resentment on both sides.

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kkny

I guess it is not clear to me what emergency there could be to necessitate a call from the parent who has doesnt have the children. I can imagine emergency calls from the parent who does have the child. The X is allowing reasonable phone calls from dad. He has 50/50 custody -- that should be plenty of bonding time.

It is not up to parent who has child to justify her schedule or let X micro manage. As Ima says, what goes on in one home is not up for discussion in other, absent abuse, neglect issues. Dad is to be allowed reasonable access to child, and he appears to have such.

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mom_of_4

I missed the post of 50/50...

there could be a million reasons why the phones should not be shut off...

dad got into an accident bm needs to be notified to prep kids and perhaps maybe exchange day was the next day

something special happened and you are excited to tell kids

just realized that sally jo left her project sitting on the kitchen table ... quick call do I need to get this to you or can it wait.

and those are just a few off the top of my head.

"It is not up to parent who has child to justify her schedule or let X micro manage."

perhaps this isnt in response to what I wrote but I dont really understand what this means

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finedreams

that's what i was trying to say all along mom of 4. of course dad's phone calls are great. SM talking to children is prefectly fine etc. But two phone calls a day is A LOT.

it is intrusive in the evenings when mom is having her family time with her children. even if they are just having evening conversations about who knows what. Interrupting this time twice a day on a regular basis is A LOT and is not necessary. it is a big family, 3 kids. busy household and probably very busy routine. there is no need to inetrrupt this routine more than once a day or maybe even every other day is OK.

and it is true that if dad cannot be wihtout talking to children for few hours, then maybe he should request more visitations.

I also do not believe it is SM's place to tell BM what is good for her children. I wonder if OP has her own children and when she has family time wiht them or getting them ready for bed, how much she appreciates her X and SM calling twice a day and interfering.

and so true, KKNY, what kind of emergency? if dad has emergency situation why would he needs his X to get involved? makes me wonder...

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mom_of_4

I changed that to rather DH in my post...

DH has tried to get me to talk to bm on more than one occasion... I always tell him I didnt marry her so I dont have to deal with her you do.

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nikemama

My DH and his kids talk MANY times a day. When the kids are at our house she calls them MANY times a day. The kids get Texts from her boyfriend sometimes. I have been with DH a year now too. It does get on your nerves sometimes expecally when you feel like they are picking for information about what is going on at YOUR House. I called SD to ask if I could wear a pair of her ear rings that my mother had bought her. Her Mother was in the background wanting to know where we were going that I needed her earrings and where my kids were that we were going out to eat and when my kids would be back. It was like SD had an echo BEFORE she asked me questions. That almost makes you laugh cause you know what she is doing. She couldn't stand it that DH and I had no kids and we were going out. We normally have 4 boys full time so it as awesome and SD didn't seem upet to be her moms spy.

Also when SS first moved in with us, she was demanding he call her before school, after school and before bed everyday. Being a 13 year old boy he would forget then she would get mad and tell SS that he must not love her anymore she would keep on til he was crying. It got to where we could hardly get him to call her at all. I finally sent her an email telling her what she was doing to him. That if she didn't stop she was going to ruin her relationship with him. She was MAD at me like nobodies business but it really helped. I told her that my oldest son (15) would not have any contact with his dad because of the way he acted and if she kept it up she would have that kind of future. It doesn't really matter what she thinks of me at this point. I treat the kids as best as I can, I try not to take away from the time they get with their dad, I make sure that they know I love them. I don't talk bad about her no matter what I think to anyone except DH in private. The night we were driving and she had SS crying like a baby SHE needed to be hung up on but DH didn't do it. If I hadn't been driving I might have but boy would that have caused a stink. I know she reads my emails to the kids because she sent me a mad email about my looking forward to SS moving in with us. Telling me I have no idea what living with SS would be like. I ended up telling her that I am a mother of THREE sons and I understand her feelings but he would be perfectly fine.

Unless your really trying to stir the pot you just need to support the kids where you can and let her hang herself with her own jealousness. Sounds like she will cause the kids feel hurt that she is taking something special away from them by blocking you and limiting dad. Just do the best you can and it will work out.

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newwithkids

I appreciate all the oppinions and advice which has been posted.

To clarify again..... a few things. My husband has been calling his children twice a day since he and his ex split over 2 1/2 years ago and his ex thought it was a good idea just until late. As for the times he speaks to them. The after school call is before BM even gets home and the second is prior to 8 PM, at her request.

As for me speaking to them..... I spoke to the kids just enough to see how their days went in school (follow up on any homework, test, projects, sports, etc.) that my husband and I had been helping them with and to say a quick good night.

For those of you that posted concern in regards to SM's having no right to speak to the children because it is on BM time. I guess I could understand this if BM was cutting off conversations with all. However she doesn't stop the kids from talking with their friends, BM relatives, BM friends, etc. Is this really matter of intruding on BM time with the kids?????? Or a control issue?

As for how I would feel if she called the kids in the same frequency; we have encouraged her to do so as we both feel that daily contact with BM and BD is extremely important so that the kids feel daily connection with both parents. However as long as I have known my husband and the kids, BM NEVER calls the kids. BD will have the kids call BM just before bed to say good night. Why she doesn't call is beyond me. I personally could not go 5 days without communicating with my kids.

As for the, "What kind of emergency" comment. Are you kidding me! God forbid that something ever does happen however should something happen to BD, grandparents, aunt, uncle (you get the picture) I am sure the kids will appreciate hearing about it a day or two later. I guess it is just incredibly hard for me to think that people could be so selfish.

As for my involvement; I have backed off and hope that BM can some day soon realize she will only end up hurting her relationship with her children by showing such anger toward her ex and I. I hope she realizing that some day she too will meet someone and possibly marry; at which time I wonder if she would like my husband to react to the kids SD in this same way. I just don't think she is capable (because of her rage) of taking the step back from the situation and do what is in the best interest of the children right now. God willing, hopefully soon!

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kkny

Momof 4,

It means if these calls are interrupting home work time, clean up time, etc, gee maybe thats why the kids would rather talk to SM or anyone, and the mom doesnt have to justify her schedule to DH or whomever. And if dad doesnt want phone disconnected, he should go with the reasonable approach.

I too would like to know if OP has any children, and how much her X calls.

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kkny

Newwithkids,

Do you have children of your own? How often does dad call them?

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newwithkids

kkny,

I have two children and BD and I decided to have a very open relationship when it come to the kids. As I stated above I and my husband both feel it is VERY crucial to keep the kids lives as steady and normal as possible, considering our situation. If BD happens to call during a time which we are having family time (dinner, homework, movie, games, etc.) the kids will tell him they will call him when we are through. We have never had a problem like the one which has cropped up.

The difficulty I am having with my husband ex is not the understanding of how it feels to have a new female mother figure in her kids lives, but rather the fact that she is unable/unwilling to look and she that this is a possitive for her children. After all who can say too much love, support, caring, etc. could ever be a negative thing.

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kkny

Maybe she thinks her way, of having the kids call the other parent once at bed time is the best way. Allows for more consistency with the parent they are with? Why is it only your way is the right way.

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justnotmartha

Gawd KK - it's been that way for YEARS. If his way was a problem, I think it would have come up by now. Him moving on when she has not, and the fact that the kids like 'her replacement' is the problem. It's insecurity. It's not acting out after calls, it's not a change in schedule, it's not the way the wind is blowing. It's insecurity, selfishness and immaturity. It's feeling that your kids are your possession rather than their own beings with their own wants and feelings.

I don't see where everyone gets off with all this talk of 'his time' and 'her time'. What about THE KID'S time? What about THEIR wants? What about THEIR feelings? Who do you think they resent when the phone is ripped from their hands - step mom? Hell no. Trust me, as my SD is living proof of what happens when parents behave exactly like this. They end up with 13 year old daughters who call them selfish, spoiled and immature - to their face when they pull that crap. They have kids who resent the hell out of them for not being able to put their own insecurities aside and think of their children first. They have kids who say to their step moms "I know you and my mom don't get along, but I really appreciate you not dragging me into it like my mom does."

SD is at her mom's tonight for visitation, and as I've been typing I've received over 20 texts from her asking for advice on her boy problems and homework. Why isn't she discussing them with her mom who is right downstairs? I'll let you figure that one out, KK . . .

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finedreams

"However she doesn't stop the kids from talking with their friends, BM relatives, BM friends, etc"

gee, how do you know who people talk to in a privacy of their homes? it seems to me that OP is a bit on a controlling side. it is really not anyone's business who BM lets kids to talk to on her time in her house. she does not need to justify that. maybe she thinks that their conversations with other relatives or friends are more productive. who knows? and who cares? how do you know who calls them and what they talk about? How is it even your business?

"I spoke to the kids just enough to see how their days went in school (follow up on any homework, test, projects, sports, etc.)" you call to follow up on their homework when they are at moms? Ouch. I simply see no reasons for SM to call kids on mom's time to find out about their homework. this is getting kind of bizzare now. sounds a bit controlling.

nobody said SMs have no right to speak to children. of course they have rights, but there are not entitled, it is not the rule that daily talks have to take place.

And maybe BM does not call because she respects relationship that children develop wiht their father apart from her, respects that it is dad's home and kids need to have relationship with their dad without mom's presence on a daily basis.

If mom and dad would be able to be present in their life together every day, then they would still be married. but they are not. so kids need their own time with dad and their own time with mom. also kids might get hyperactive, upset, sad, etc after talking to the other parent. maybe they are upset after talking to dad, who knows. maybe she made a very concious decision to let dad to have his time with kids. maybe she does not want to be in control what is going on in dad's home (including checking up on their homework LOL). maybe mom respects dad's household and wants the same from dad and dad's wife.

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finedreams

JNM, your DH has custody and mom is not much in the picture. as I remember you and DH are raising SKs. It makes a big difference. In OP's situation mom is in the picture and can check up on their homework just fine. SM did not raise them, she is new. you cannot compare your situation. maybe we should just listen to specific situations instead of comparing to ours. everyone has different circumstances.

BTW mom has physical custody. I am always confused about custodies. does it mean kids live with her full time or what. so how do they have 50/50? why are decisions joined if she has custody?

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justnotmartha

Good grief. She asked if they finished homework - likely something started at her home. She didn't ask her skids to pick their favorite parent. She didn't ask what mom was doing and how much she makes a year. We aren't talking about Government secrets here.

OP is controlling?? Someone is going to have to stitch up my gut - I just busted it open. Mom RIPS THE PHONE FROM HER DAUGHTER SO SHE DOESN'T TALK TO HER STEP MOM WHEN THE DAUGHTER REQUESTED THE CONVERSATION AND THE SM IS CONTROLLING. That is priceless. I think I've finally heard it all.

I'm going to get a drink now. This has officially gone off the deep end.

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justnotmartha

Mom is around - she's with her OEW and there tonight. She calls once or twice a week, usually. But, because of her actions she and her mom are not nearly as close as they could and should be. SD loves her mom, but does not respect her. There are many similarities in my situation and OP's - I have been right where she is before DH got custody. It's years down the road now, and I can tell OP what she is likely in for.

FWIW, I'm a little confused on this one, too. I don't get a primary physical if it's 50/50.

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kkny

JNM, I dont think it is that easy to tell what OPs situation really is, other than her DH has the kidds 50/50 and can call at least once a day. I dont think anyone said anything about a phone being ripped out. maybe mom said -- werent you supposed to finish your homeowkr, etc. We dont know. I dont understand why OP cant be happy with the 50/50 and let it go at that. As to children being possessions, you're right, they are not. Which also means that Dad cant assign his rights in them. Just becuase your DH ended up with custody, doesnt mean OP's dh will -- OP may be better off backing off. With the level of involvment and control she shows, I doubt that will happen.

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pseudo_mom

Primary Physical means: they use mom's address !!! for school drs. etc. they have to have a mailing address.

From OP:
"It has gone so far as my stepdaughter was excited to tell me about an event that happened at school and so when my husband called to say goodnight asked if she could talk to me. As he handed me the phone and she started telling me her event, I spoke only a couple of words before my stepdaughter literally said, "wait.....hang on one second....." and the phone was hung up. We tried to call back and all phones were turned off and we received a ranting letter from the kids mom telling my husband not to break her rules or she will not allow any phone calls during her time. "

Does that answer your comment KKNY? if you can make assumptions like maybe she had to do homework maybe one could assume mom "ripped the phone from her kids hand" and hung up the phone then unplugged to "control" her kids so they couldn't contact on her time .....

I know if my hubby did that BM would have sent the cops here. (because she has)

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imamommy

What if the child WANTS to talk to mom and dad everyday???? Why is 2 short phone calls too much? Once after school, once at bedtime is reasonable. If it isn't interfering with daily routine (sounds like it was part of the routine), what's the big deal? OH YEAH!!! SM got on the phone and dared to talk to mom's property!

I'm gonna need a drink too!!! This is ridiculous to say the least.

You know, my SD's mom rants & raves about how SD is "HER" daughter and I am not her mom. The last time she picked her up (because DH pretty much forced her), she got to my house early and at 1:56 she sent me a text "Its 2 where r u with my child?". I was a few minutes away and as soon as we pulled up, SD ran to say hi to her and instead of hugs and kisses, she yelled at SD to hurry up so they can leave because it's HER TIME. I felt so sad for her. She had been so excited to see her mom and when she ran into the house to change (she has to wear her 'moms' clothes per her mom), she was apologizing to me and told me she is going to tell her mom it's her fault we were late. We had been Christmas shopping for her dad's gift. We were there at 2:02! Geez, 2 minutes late. (of course, is it HER child when she needs to see the doctor and mom doesn't want to take her or pay for it? Is it HER child when she has a conference at school but mom doesn't feel like going? Is it HER child when she is in sports and wants mom to come root for her but mom doesn't have the time... cuz she's too busy with BF's kids sports? Is it HER child only when it's convenient for HER to be mom and lay claim on being the mom?)

50/50 is fine. It's ideal. But, can you honestly say kkny that if your daughter were to spend every other week at her dad's house, you would go that whole week without calling her? Or would you like her dad to limit you to one call a day? or would you like him to restrict what time and how long you could talk? What if she had something exciting to tell you (& your SO if you have one) and he hangs up because he doesn't like her talking if your SO is on the phone with you. I know that I would not want to go a week without talking to my kids, whether they are at dad's or camp or anywhere. I would miss them and want to say goodnight and see how they are doing, any parent would.

My SD frequently asks to be on speaker phone with her mom and mom's BF. She puts our phone on speaker too. So what? It's none of OUR business! Anyhow, why is it okay for mom in OP's situation to even know who the daughter is talking to? How does she know OP is talking to her? Is she listening to her conversation? What about HER privacy? I guess it's only wrong if SM violates privacy?

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justnotmartha

KK, I'm starting to wonder if you really see the words you think you are writing.

DH and his ex had a working situation for 2 years. Enter SM, and all bets are off. Hmmm. Wonder why?
I think 2 calls every day is a bit much, but that isn't my call to make. It's also not mom's call to decide she can just change the status quo because she is feeling a bit threatened.

DH 'ended up' with custody because he was the better suited parent - it was obvious to a psychiatrist, a custody evaluator and a judge. Why, you might ask, was it obvious? Because mom pulled crap just like this mom is - controlling, insecure, spiteful behavior. I could recite the paragraphs about actions JUST LIKE THIS MOTHER'S from the evaluations and the reasons they were harmful. I was actually praised for having a healthy relationship with my NCSD and applauded for my level of involvement - before we got custody. It was commendable that SD wanted to speak to me on the phone, and mommy dearest was admonished for prohibiting that. What is seen as controlling to the insecure can be seen as seen as involved to the secure. Guess it's all in the eye of the beholder.

Mom would be better served by backing off before she ruins her relationship with her kids, as she is actually strengthening their relationship with their step mom. It's funny how the insecure can drive their kids to the very people they fear, isn't it?

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kkny

There's a difference, Ima, between going a week without calling, which no one is suggesting, and every day.

And no one knows WHY SD wants to talk to SM. Is is to avoid chores, etc? We dont know. Why is it SMs want to micro manage life at moms, and yet the reverse is outragsous. Give it up, let mom run her house. JNM, things change, kids get more homework, overuse phones etc. It happens.

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mom1sm2

I can see that two phone calls a day may be a bit much, but I think it really depends on the family. Also, if it is causing a problem with one parent than I think even if it is upseting to the other side you just have to let that go and enjoy your once a day call.

As far as the SM not being able to talk briefly with the SD I think that is bogus. I can see if she did not want to talk to SM or did not have time etc. If it is a case where there is something else that is going on or the child needs to do something why did the BM not get on the phone and say that? I often tell my DH just to say hi to SS if he has company, homework, is watching a movie or what have you. I see no reason why OP would not be fine with that if that were the case. It seems as though SD wanted to talk with her about something and mom intruded in that relationship. I am sorry, but she has no right to treat SM like that or her DD like that. Ultimately, she is just showing a very insecure side of herself to her daughter. It seems that she is trying to prevent them from having a close relationship and that will hurt DD, BM, and their relationship in the end. SMs do have rights. They have the right to be treated with respect just as any other human being. Hanging up on somebody is not at all respectful. If there were a valid reason that SM could not talk with SD than it seems it would have been stated. Even if SD hung up the phone why would she do that when she wanted to talk to SM?

KKNY what does this mean:

"SM should use dad's time for communication with kids."

Are you saying that instead of talking with SKs on the phone they should wait to talk to SKs until they arrive at dad's house or that they should talk to SM on the phone when dad calls and at no other time?

Unless a relationship is harmful to a child does either parent really have the right to interfere in any relationship that their child has with someone?

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kkny

Are you really suggesting that a parent doesnt have the right to direct a child's life. I keep forgetting, only SMs have the right to try to direct a child's life -- to tell them now is the time to study, now is the time to do homework, get off the phone. And that only SMs should not be micromanaged as to how life in their house is conducted. If I just remember the rule that only SMs are perfect and just do what they want.

If it has been communicated to SM to stop that phone calls, it is not rude to hang up on her.

I am suggesting that it would be best for SM and any other of dads relatives to communicate with the kids during Dads time.

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mom1sm2

KKNY

I am saying that there are going to be plenty of people in a child or teen's life that either of the parents may not be crazy about, but if they are causing no harm or are not bad people a parent should not try to cut that person out. For example friends or relatives. I do not care for my FIL, but I would not keep my kids from seeing or communicating with him. This is just my opinion.

"I keep forgetting, only SMs have the right to try to direct a child's life -- to tell them now is the time to study, now is the time to do homework, get off the phone. And that only SMs should not be micromanaged as to how life in their house is conducted. If I just remember the rule that only SMs are perfect and just do what they want."

Dont play this BS card with me. I have never said this nor do I think it. You need to get over your SM hang up. We are not all evil homewreckers.

Furthermore, it is rude to hang up on people ecspecially family. If something needed to be done or the call was inappropriate the BM should have had the b@lls to stand behind her new rule and tell the evil SM she cannot speak to SD rather than hanging up or having SD hang up.

SMs and other relatives of dad should be able to call a kid and say happy birthday or how was your day or whatever. You and the BM in this situation need to get over yourselves.

Dad's time, Mom's time jeez what about the kid's time. Children are not objects to be passed around.

I may not be the biggest fan of my SS's mom, but I am way glad you are not her KKNY you are controlling beyond all get out.

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kkny

I agree with you, children are not to be passed around. Just because SM is Dads current wife doesnt give her the right to encourage SD to call daily.

Just like all SMs may not be evil, not all moms are irresponsbile. Most moms are just trying to do their best by their kids. This dad has very reasonable access.

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nivea

Honestly, I see both sides. One, hanging up is just rude...

But I'm quite similar to Believer and Mom of 4, I really dislike phones. They are disruptive in my household. Between work and being a single mom to only 1 child, I can't imagine having to force 2 daily phone calls into our night routine.

I think BM in this case is probably similar to us as she doesn't call when the children are with Dad. She probably got used to the status quo with Dad, but adding SM into the nightly phone call does double the time and length of the calls. And being a single mom with 3 kids that is probably disruptive to the established schedule. With just 1 kid I KNOW how an extra 10 minutes throws DD off her schedule and how much of a pain in the a$$ it is to get her back on. I couldn't imagine having to deal with 3 kids...lol.

And as KKNY said, its not like this Dad and SM don't see the kids often. They do. SM has plenty of time to bond.

But honestly, after writing a book here...I do wonder why this is even an issue LOL. BM requested SM not do it and SM insists...why push the issue? To me, it's a reasonable request and as I explained above she might have valid reasons, ontop of I think a lot of stepparents newly in blended situations try to force their way into a lot of stuff with the kids and their spouse, but the kids still do need one on one time with the spouse that remarried and BM in this situation may be recognizing that and that is another reason to request just Dad on the phone. Not everything has to include the new stepparent and in fact, most of the advice out there to about blending includes this.

Oh and asking about homework, well I think it is kind of weird for this specific situation. I mean the 3 children have two active parents here, long before SM was around and who both presumably with 50/50 are quite active with homework. It's not like SM is a custodial one or the only mother figure, I would not really consider that her place to ask if it is done. Of course it is different if it is a project she helped them with or something, but as a normal question to ask...weird. **I am assuming she is a normal BM here as OP hasn't stated otherwise**

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eandhl

The one thing I mentioned before and I think some people are getting ---- The call was made by dad during a time BM set up for allowing phone calls from BD, child asked to speak to SM and BM hung up. Controlling and rude for sure unless child didn't want to speak to SM or was upset about call.
If there was a SM insisting on calling daily, upsetting child yes mom would have every right to stop it. It does not appear to be the case for OP.

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finedreams

well if SM is that upset not being able to talk to hubby's kids twice a day when they are at moms, maybe she should go to a judge and argue it in court. I'd like to hear what judge says. it is pointless to argue about it here, we cannot fix the problem. Mom finds it intrusive, SM disagress. Let's see what judge says.

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imamommy

I don't think it's weird to ask about homework per se. If the kid is working on a project for school and SM has been helping on dad's time, no harm in saying "how'd you do?" or "How's it coming along?", I didn't take OP to be saying that she is taking charge of telling the child "Now, have you done your homework?" as if she is making sure it's getting done as a parent should do. If that is the case, SM should not be doing that but what was said probably hasn't or won't be told here with 100% accuracy... it's from one perspective.

It's already been said by others (and myself) that the best approach would be for SM to back off & not get on the phone. I didn't take it that SM is calling SD on a separate call, but that dad put SM on the phone during his call. Since mom has a problem with it, I would respect her wishes for the time being. Maybe she needs time to get used to SM being in her DD's life. It should be explained to the kids that SM wants to talk but will respect mom's wishes and wait until she sees them on dad's time.

It's pointless to argue whether one call is enough, two calls is too much or if they will see the other parent next week anyways. Each situation is different and we've heard horror stories of kids being on the phone for hours and parents never calling the kids and either of those is bad for the child... what's best for the child is finding what works best for them. I guess what sticks out most in OP's situation is that dad was and has been calling his kids on this routine for years and all of a sudden, SM is on scene (or getting 'too close' to kids) and BM yanks the phone or changes the routine. That isn't fair to the kids that are used to those calls. If schedules are an issue, it's just as easy to have the kids call dad at their convenience. If he doesn't answer or can't talk (or won't make the time to talk) then there isn't anything BM can do about that. But, I don't think OP is 'pushing the issue', she came here for our thoughts and advice. It sounds like she wants answers before she does anything that might make things worse with BM. Of course, I could be wrong about that but that is MY perception.

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finedreams

excellent post nivea. agree with everything. i trully hope SM listens to it and makes some adjustments.
and yes I also have only one kid and i cannot imagine having routine interrupted twice a day especially with such unneccesary things like phone calls about homework. BTW this is by far the funniest thing I heard in a long time. But with 3 kids...forget it.

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justnotmartha

Could some of you please put down the crack pipe and learn to read?

This d@mn SM is not controlling anything. Her skid asked to talk to her. Should dad have said 'I'm sorry sweetie, but your mommy doesn't let you talk to her?' How would that have made mom look, and how do you think mom would have reacted?

She's not dictating homework from another house. She's making conversation to show her skids she's involved in their lives. She's speaking to them on their level.
"unneccesary things like phone calls about homework." HA. It's called communicating with your kids. It's called involvement. Whether 2 calls is too much or not is not for us to say, but it worked for them for TWO years.

OP's post was not asking how to make mom do what she wanted. It was how to deal with a mom who is so insecure. Get off her freaking case. Way to scare away another new member.

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pseudo_mom

OP Don't worry BM will drive her kids to a point of being sneaky and manipulative that they will defy her at any chance they get and contact you whether she likes it or not.

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kkny

JNM,

The phone calls with DAD worked. We dont know what changed. Maybe kids changed -- they do. Maybe mom just doesnt like SM or her values. We dont know. Doesnt mean she is insecure.

As to "It's called communicating with your kids" - there not the SMs kids.

She's received a lot of advice, starting with document and head for court.

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mom1sm2

KKNY

"I agree with you, children are not to be passed around. Just because SM is Dads current wife doesnt give her the right to encourage SD to call daily."

I agree, however, it does not appear that SD was encouraged to call, but rather wanted to talk to SM. That is all I am saying. If anything I am more concerned with how the BM is coming across to her daughter and if this is truly the example she wants to set. BTW the current wife thing is kind of a low blow.
"Just like all SMs may not be evil, not all moms are irresponsbile."

I totally agree with this. In fact, I think most all moms do their best and do a great job.

"Most moms are just trying to do their best by their kids. This dad has very reasonable access."

I agree with this as well. I think most all parents try their best or at least the ones I know do. Even though I do not always agree with my SS's mom or the things that she does I think she is a loving and caring mother. I feel the same way about almost all the BMs I know. It does seem as though dad has plenty of access here. I am not personally arguing that.

My only arguement was if the dad calls within the time that mom wishes and SD wants to talk with SM or SM wants to talk with daughter what is the big deal. Both bio parents should encourage a great relationship between their children and the SP. It seems that the hang up occured when they called during "unapproved" time and I guess I can see the point, but how fair is it for either parent to just create a new rule for the other parent and not try to communicate with them before doing so. As a NCSP, and being married to the NCP, I have seen this happen often where BM calls dad and says this is when you will see your son and this here is a new rule and so on. It is hard to deal with, but if it is not detrimental to the kids and it is what the other parents feel strongly about you just have to go with it. In our house we have a saying about BM: Sometimes you just have to let the baby have its bottle.

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nivea

I think everyone with kids here absolutely knows that just because one thing worked for awhile with your kid(s) doesn't mean that it will always will. What works for a 5 year old won't work for a 15 yr old...etc etc. To say BM should continue doing it or is wrong/insecure for stopping because she always did in the past is just bizarre to me. Things change, kids change, crap happens. I think a lot of people with different value systems than others LOVE to search for a correct term for the foreign value system..i.e. insecure/controlling..what have you. When it is just plain ole different systems.

And, most people here who are having some success blending also know that certain issues just aren't worth it. If anything, we all know that, barring abuse, the #1 rule is to stand clear of the other parents household and respect their rules, their time. None of this is life or death or will severly impact anything in OP's situation. Not a hill to die on.

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justnotmartha

But what didn't happen here was mom talking with dad to explain the reasonable changes and why the calls should change. What happened was Skids wanting involvement with their SM, mom cutting them off at the knees and sending out some crazy letter outlining HER rules for contact with HER kids, not THEIR kids. Good system yesterday, bad system today? Sorry, not buying it.

If mom had handled anything here with a level of maturity that showed she was doing this in the best interest of their kids I would completely agree. She didn't. She got pissy, territorial and reacted out of spite. Her kids will suffer for it.

This isn't really about this one issue. It's about how this entire relationship will proceed if mom continues to act like this. If mom doesn't like SM's 'values' she needs to address that with dad and find a way to resolve the situation with the smallest amount of pain for the kids. Somehow I don't think 'Follow my rules or you can't talk to your kids' is a real mature, secure way of handling that.

Yay mom!

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kkny

Excuse me, I am one mom who doesnt like Dad's SO's values -- including her calling me when she is clearly inebriated. Not all SMs are perfect. Mabye mom didnt handle it the best, but maybe dad and sm are pushing her buttons. Just because my DD wants to call someone doesnt mean its the right thing or the right time or place.

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nivea

JNM, my impression was that Mom changed the rules before the incident with hanging up on SM. Of course I do not agree with how Mom handled it, hanging up on someone is just plain rude. But I also do not agree with Dads handling either or SM's complaining about Moms restrictions in her own house, lol.

And I do agree with you, but will add on it is up to *every* adult to watch their actions to continue either a good coparenting relationship with the other parent or with their children. Dad probably should have rethought putting SM on the phone every night, SM probably should have rethought that, BM should have some more patience...it's hardly ever just one-sided.

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mom1sm2

Why should SM rethink getting on the phone with SK I just do not get that? If is because of the phone calls every day I can see that. I personally would not call my kid or SK every day, but that is just me. We talk to my SS about once or twice a week and it seems plenty. However, I think this is an individual thing. Also, mom's restrictions at her house are directly affecting BD, kids, and SM. I personally think that twice a day is a bit much, but it would have been better if mom would have talked with dad about the frequency of calls and that it was a problem for her rather than making rules for dad that affect him. Who knows maybe she did tell them and they did not listen and she imposed the rule!

Also, KKNY mentioned dad's relatives talking with the children on his time. So, where would that put a sibling. For instance what if my DD (SS's half sister) wanted to talk with him. Under that rule would she then have to wait to talk with him on "dad's time?"

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nivea

"Who knows maybe she did tell them and they did not listen and she imposed the rule!"

Thats what I'm guessing.

I think SM and Dad should have rethought the nightly phone calls with both because 1)big mistake to force stepparent into every situation with kids and bio parent. 2) 2 daily phone calls is a lot. 3) they have 50/50. 4) there are 3 kids and they know routines and schedules are a must as they have the kids 50/50

I could go on and on, but the point is that it is not just one person that makes or breaks the situation.

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newwithkids

I am amazed how peoples view of words can be soooooooo stretched. Again I feel like I need to clarify so much of what I have said. When BM hung up the phone on me we had not a clue she had a problem with me speaking to the kids. (As a side clarification; we do know from SD that BM ripped the phone from her, w/no explanation, and hung it up). The time I spent on the phone with the kids was no longer than if BD was talking to them on his own and ONLY on the call prior to bed. SD asked to talk to me because she was excited to share with me an event at school she knew I would be dying to hear the results.

The kids are not trying to talk to us longer to try to get out of homework, chores, etc. and if they were we would be first to tell them to finish with their responsiblities and call us when they finish. Or for that fact, if BM had the maturity to get on the phone and explain that they are right in the middle of ANYTHING again we wouldn't have a problem apologizing and asking her to have them call us when they are through.

As for the assumption that I am somehow taking charge of the kids life....... LOL When I was speaking of the homework, projects, sports, etc.; the reminder for everyone is that I said, "Follow up", meaning these are things my husband and I have been directly involved with when the kids have been with us, NOT asking the kids if they are doing things at their mom's house. We have been very up front with the kids in this matter. The kids know that they have two sets of rules. One at our house and one at their other parents home.

As for BM allowing the kids to talk to others and, "how is that any of my business". Well it is none of my business and not my concern. The only reason I brought this up is my SS did not understand why he could talk to BG, BU, BA, friends, etc. and not me. You see the thing you missed in all of that is that AGAIN; these kids didn't ask to be born, they didn't ask to be in the middle of a divorce, and they certainly don't understand circumstantial restrictions.

As a personal note: KKNY,

That crack after, "Communicating with there kids", "They're not SM kids". I just hope I never become so hardened as to say, "Nope, they're not my kids", because you obviously have shown a real problem with SM's however I have always and will always feel that when I married my skids dad I also married them and actually asked for their blessing. I love them as I love my own. I really hope you can take a closer look as how positive SM's can be in childrens lives and soften your heart because kids don't ever benefit from your BM RULE oppinion.

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newwithkids

Just a note:
I do not talk to the kids at night since the ranting letters we received. However, it has not improved BM hostility towards us. She now does not even communicated, talk, with BD and has now resorted to sending messages through the children.

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kkny

Newwithkids, just how do you know that the kids are not tyring to get out of homework, etc? Becuase they tell you? The mom shouldnt have to justity life at her house.

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finedreams

"unneccesary things like phone calls about homework." HA. It's called communicating with your kids. It's called involvement. "

just to clarufy...these aren't her kids.

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kkny

"I have always and will always feel that when I married my skids dad I also married them "

You are not married to the skids. I think statements like this indicate you are overstepping boundaries. Possibly statements like irritate the mother. I really think you need to step back.

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finedreams

exactly. you have no clue if kids are trying to get out of their obligations are not. my DD is in college and grown but she was home for Christams break, some of her classes are a year long so she did have assignements to do over the break. guess what, every time she remembered about it, she would come wiht something else urgent to do and yes on some occassions it was: let's call to XYZ and talk about ABC for half an hour. And she does not even like to talk on the phone under normal circumstances!!! DD is grown and is a good student so of course it is not a problem if she does that, I was just lauighing wiht her about her work avoidance. but it is very different wiht minor children. of course they would rather talk on the phone then do whatever else like maybe brushing their teeth.

and yes no one knows what is going on in mom's house. maybe rules had to be changed because kids are older and refuse to listen to moms aftre talking to dad, maybe there is more homework maybe who knows what.

probably mom stopped communicating because dad does not listen and keeps pushing and now SM is involved in every step and is pushing too. who knows maybe mom got frustrated. some X husbands could be a pain.

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imamommy

Our wedding (and many others do) included a ceremony with our children. We made vows to the children. It might 'irritate' a parent to have an involved stepparent... as I've said, I didn't necessarily like that my son's step mom was as involved as she was (he was told to call her mamalisa). But, he is not a piece of property that I owned and my hurt grown up feelings were not as important as his little boy feelings if he wanted to call her mama, or if he wanted to talk to her or if he wanted her to be involved with his life. As for me liking her or agreeing with her morals or values, I don't have to like her or her values. If she is being good to my son, that's all I need to worry about. If she isn't, then I have a say in it.

It's funny how there are sometimes different rules. My SD's mom feels it's 'overstepping' for me to do anything fun with her daughter where her daughter might enjoy spending time with me. (I'm sure it isn't jealousy) But, she thinks it's perfectly fine to tell her kids (and her BF's kids) to call her BF Dad and her Mom when they are all there... who's pretending to be a 'real' family?

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finedreams

I just remember when DD was in 6-7th grade whenever she didn't like my rules she wanted to call grandma. Not X, X would reenforce my rules, but grandma. every time. "i am going to call grandma" because whatever she didn't like. she hoped garndma would get her out of whatever mess she got in. lol lol It didn't work because grandma would support my decisions. But DD tried.

maybe that's what SKs do, who knows.

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finedreams

so you married the SKs. and if you get divorced, would you divorce them too? this just does not make any sense.

ima your situation is irrelevant. you are raising SD full time. OP does not. and in her situation BM is involved. you keep bringing your situation to every topic, but it is a totally different story.

of course it is great to have nice stepparent. however involvement by itself does not mean much. if there is a serious conflict of values occur such as criminal activities, domestic abuse, violence, substance abuse etc it is our obligation to watch over our kids. i think it is immature to let whoever in children's lives just because they marry the parent. in some cases no involvement is better than involvement. marrying does not automatically means becoming a parent. it takes more than that.

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newwithkids

A comment such as that kkny does not surprise me coming from you. As far as your writing you feel as though us SM's should be seen and not heard. What you have failed to realize is that we are in these childrens lives 50% of the time. Sharing in the day to days, emotions, bumps, problems, etc. I am a very intelligent person and am well aware these kids have one BM and one BD however I will continue to love them as if they are one of mine. To do any differently would be to underestimate the intelligence of the kids and their ability to know the difference.

Again I am there solely for the kids and their dad. Whatever BM decides to do in her home is strictly her right and I have NEVER disputed that fact. I am just trying to make sure that communication between BM and BD stay open for the childrens sake.

How do we know what the kids are saying is true?????? Did you really say this....... Ever heard of, "What ya doin?" Watchin TV..... Plus two of the three children have no homework, ever and none of them have any chores at their BM house. I am really starting to think you do no have any constructive advise besides back off because you can see no place in a childs life for a SM. Sad!!!!

Also FYI, when it comes to decisions that should be made collectively between BM and BD in regards to the kids, FYI I am hands off as is my husband hand off with my ex and I in decisions we make with our kids.

Do you not think a blended family is a really family? I am starting to wonder??????

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imamommy

FD, I was not so much talking about my situation as much as I think it's ironic when a mom has different rules for dad than for herself, whether she's CP or NCP.

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kkny

You can make vows to a child, such as I will always be kind, fair etc. You are not married to a child. Marriage, as least in every state I know, is between 2 people, and can be terminated. X has every right to leave. Marriage is exclusive. Parenthoold can not ealily be terminated. I think saying things to children like I married you too, can result in the mom thinking this woman as no boundaries, I will have to make certain there are boudnaries.

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ashley1979

The most telling parts of this post are:

1. that BD provides a phone for his kids so that he can communicate freely with them, and

2. BM hung up the phone on SM after SD specifically asked to speak to SM

3. These phone calls were not interrupting the children's routine; they WERE the routine

Really, there is no good or reasonable reason in Heaven or on Earth that an adult should hang up the phone on another person's call without at least explaining to the person on the other end why the phone call is being terminated.

For instance, let's say a 13 y/o girl is being contacted by an 18 y/o non-related boy. Don't we all agree that something inappropriate is probably going on there? If the parent of the girl wanted to terminate the phone call, said parent should get on the phone and say something to the effect of "I do not appreciate you contacting my daughter and if you contact her again in any way I will press charges against you" and then hang up. That way there is a clear understanding of what the rules are and the parent now can say they have asked the boy to not call again.

If KKNY and FD's theories about interrupting the routine were correct, there would be no good reason for BM to have been so rude. It would make no sense. What would make sense would be BM getting on the phone and telling SM "Hey, I just asked her to go clean up her room; can she talk to you about this tomorrow?" Simple and to the point and everyone has a clear understanding.

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kkny

Ashley, I dont think moms have to ask permssion from SM -- moms house is moms house. Routines change.

And I suspect OP has really overstepped with the " I married the kids" and set up these boundary definitions issues.

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happynewyear1

Funny! The dad could be there every day and night while they were together but now if he calls to many times its a problem? This lady should be happy the dad calls as much as he does. At least he cares. I am curious if he pays child support to her? Yeah, I know it 50/50 but the system is a mess. One man paying $400.00 a month while another pays $25.00 a month is messed up.

You know what makes me shake my head in wonder? Ladies (mom's) who want men (dad's) to support the kid and spend time with the kid ON THEIR TERMS. Or how about the parents of these kids who remarry and the new spouse has to support them, take care of them while they visit and all that other BS but dont you DARE tell the kids what to do YOU ARE NOT THE PARENT!!! Not in my house babe!

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mom_of_4

Seriously, are we now tearing apart the poor woman because she had the kindness and foresight to consider the childrens feelings ask for their blessing and include them with the marriage commitment. What nonsense!!! Perhaps sm is overly involved for the comfort of bm... but really the only thing that she is currently illustrating is her own frustration and down right immaturity by acting the way she is now. Any mom worth her own salt wont worry about if sm is asking about hm (something I do all of the time btw) or talking to kid or any of the above. Any mom worth her salt would know that she is mom and the fact is she will always be mom and no one can take that place. This mom wouldnt be worried about such things as the new wife saying I made a commitment to you kids as well... etc etc.... this mom would be happy and relieved that dad didnt end up with some trash of a women who makes her kids lives a living hell. My guess is she is resentful because dad has finally really moved on and upset and insecure about her own world right now and is lashing out at the easiest target... the new woman that her ex husband and kids now love. It is not difficult to see why this would be hard on her. It is unacceptable to place the kids in the middle however.

jnm had a good response ... tell the kids something to the extent of mom said sm is not allowed to talk on the phone with you... I do not understand her reasoning for this but we have to respect moms wishes...in the meantime remember that this does not change our relationship (from sm) and if you want for added comfort .... here is a journal that you can take with you... if you feel like there is something you want to tell me about and you will forget just write it down and that way you can remind yourself later.

As far as communicating through the kids... we called bm every single time and said something to the extent (after talking over and over again about discussing things between adults not though the kids) for example sally said you are going to pick up the kids at 7 on sunday since you did not talk to me about this I will assume this is not the case until I hear from you directly... we will be ready at x time like usual.... eventually it forced her to communicate with us instead of the kids. Whenever the kids would come and say well mom and bf said x... we would tell them that is adult business and I am sorry you mother discussed it with you but we will not...it is not appropriate. On occasion we had to break down and explain some things to them... bf telling the kids that dh was trying to get him sent to jail (the most ludacris thing in the world)

kk
"Ashley, I dont think moms have to ask permssion from SM -- moms house is moms house. Routines change"

for someone who spouts from the etiquette books all of the time I would think basic common courtesy would be to get on the phone exactly as ashley mentioned... it has nothing to do with sm vs bm but rather basic human decency and being polite.

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kkny

The problem is not that OP was considerate of the children's feelings, the problem is she overstepped. Instead of saying I will care, etc., she says she considers herself married to the children. This is ridiculous -- If I say I am married to someone the clear implication is that I dont consider them married to anyone else. Sounds to me like she gave the appearance of wanting to push mom out of the picture.

OP seems a little overinvolved and controlling.

But go ahead, advise her to docement. My guess is mom will bring to court the SM being married to the kids, SM will bring the hangup and the judge will say a pox on everyone, standard visitation -- Dad gets reasonable phone call, Mom must allow it, and SM gets the SM lecture.

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imamommy

"the judge will say a pox on everyone, standard visitation -- Dad gets reasonable phone call, Mom must allow it, and SM gets the SM lecture."

yeah, in kkland... now wake up!

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newwithkids

kkny,

I AM Not literally married to the children. You really need to get a grip with your insecurities regarding SM. If you have read any of my post you would have the understanding that the furthest thing from my agenda is to EVER try to take moms place. Pathetic!!!!!!!!!

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kkny

Of course, everyone knows she isnt married to the kids, but when she says things like that, it more than implies she is the one and only -- isnt that what marriage is about?

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mom1sm2

Good grief this is getting ridiculous.

Newwithkids, dont even waste your time or energy trying to explain anything to KKNY she is not a SM and finds it fun to rattle all of us with her nonsense.

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justnotmartha

no - she was trying to convey that when she married dad she 'married' the kids as well - they were a package deal and she willingly and knowingly accepted that. OP isn't like some moms we get through here who can't understand why they aren't more important to their new DH than his kids. You jump on any little thing you can you try to piss on this SM KK, and it's getting past pathetic. You are better than this - are you just in a funk the last few days?

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imamommy

goes back to your damned if you do, damned if you don't!

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kkny

No, I am trying to explain why the children's mother may feel she must impose boundaries. But "Newwithkids" - a screen name which speaks volumes, go ahead, with your plans.

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pseudo_mom

SM = wrong no matter what "we" do

BM = always right no matter what "they" do

If this OP had posted about how she couldn't understand why her SD's BM was pissed off because OP wouldn't talk to SD on the phone ...KKNY would try to prove the point that BM knows best right or wrong a BM always does "what is best for HER children".

"Married him and the kids knowing it was a package deal"

You didn't marry the kids ...
poor kids didn't get a choice
You knew he had kids when you married him ...
poor kids didn't get a choice

As you can see there is no reasoning with the unreasonable.

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cindy_pond

But doesn't a biomom really know what's best for her children?..I think I know what's best for my children and I think my stepchildren's mom knows what's best for her children...we may not agree on things but then again I think that's ok. My childrens stepmother would never think of being intrusive beyond what my wishes are. She's a gem and they are lucky to have her. In this case the OP wants something that maybe the biomom isn't ready to give. I don't know all of the details which is what makes this forum sometimes a little skewed. Maybe in time the biomom will adjust to her daughter wanting another mother figure in her life...if it were me and that was my daugher, I wouldn't grab a phone and hang up...I would speak with my ex and his wife and try and discuss what I wanted on my time with my children.. it could be simple if people would let it.

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imamommy

kk, you are entitled to explain why you think she may be imposing boundaries... but when I said what I thought (that she is imposing boundaries because she is jealous & insecure and/or treating her kids as if they are her personal property), you took it personally and defended the position that not all BM's are jealous & insecure. I agree, not all BM's are, but some are. Heck, I was not insecure as a mom but it still didn't feel great to see my son calling another woman mom. I think that's NORMAL. But, I never told him he couldn't or that he couldn't love her or that she couldn't be a part of his life.. as long as he wasn't being harmed.

What makes you think you know more than anyone else here, what is in the mind of the BM in OP's situation? You have argued with just about everyone here and have twisted words to fit your argument. I have to agree with JNM, you must be having a really bad week or something. Sorry if you are, but we are all entitled to our own view point.

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kkny

Ima, thank you for your concern, I am having a great week. As to my twisting words, I dont think I could have dreamed up with "Newwithkids" said.

Some moms may be insecure, but a SM telling a child, I am getting married to you, with its implied exclusivity, may only make it worse.

There is a world of difference between vowing to always be kind and fair, and to be married.

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imamommy

If exclusivity is merely implied, then does it really exist? In my opinion, when I married my husband and his daughter (a package deal & I made vows to her to treat her as my own), it does not mean (to me or to her) that my relationship with her is exclusive. It doesn't imply anything, I straight up told her that I love her and will treat her as if she were my child. In other words, I will not treat her like a redheaded stepchild or like an outsider... she is part of our family. It doesn't remove her from her mom's family, it ADDS her to another family.. more people to love her. (and if her dad and I divorced, it does not mean I have to 'divorce' her. If she is grown, she will make her own decision on continuing a relationship with me. If she isn't grown, she will be able to make that decision when she grows up.)

If you think a SM telling a child that she married dad & child may make it worse because BM will see it's 'implied exclusivity', then that only supports my theory that the BM is insecure. Does she really think she can be replaced and shut out because another woman makes vows to her child? I knew my son was my son and loved me (and I was his mom & couldn't be replaced) no matter what he called his SM or no matter how close he got to her. (and I didn't 'like' her or like her values) If she had a 'marriage' ceremony & told him she married him as well as his dad, then it wouldn't change that I am his mom and nothing is ever going to change that. I don't think I would like it much but I know I wouldn't have told her she can't say that to him and I wouldn't have yanked the phone out of his hand so he can't talk to her. Sure, it would sting when he would tell me all the fun he had with his 'other mom' but I would smile & tell him I'm so happy for him because it sure the hell was better than him coming home & telling me how mean she is to him or how unhappy he is at his dad's house. That would have caused ME more grief than accepting that he had another woman in his life that loved him.

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newwithkids

im,

thank you so for for being a voice of reason. kk's perversion of the truth in regards to my wanting to somehow replace BM or shove her out of the picture is just another example of kk's close minded/one sided thought process. I am really feel badly for her as she must have had quite a tramatic past experience with her ex's love. It really is dishearting to read her bitterness.

The bottom line is I love these kids and will provide only the best for them. BM will hopefully realize this sooner than later. We, my husband and I, have decided to continue to love and support the kids in the same manner as always with hopes that with more time BM will see past her feelings of hurt and anger and see that loving me, my kids, and the strong family we have doesn't not take away from her love for them or their love for her. She is their mom.

mom_of_4,

thank you so much for your insite on, "communicating through the kids". I explained what you and your husband did when your kids BM tried doing this and my husband thought it was a great idea. This way we hope it takes away from the kids feeling so torn. He said when they relay a message from BM he is just going to explain to them that this is something your mom and I need to discussion and I will give her a call so we can discuss it further. I will let you know how it goes. Thanks again :)

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finedreams

I think if you tell children that when you marry them when you marry their dad, sends them a very wrong message.

in unfortunate circumtances if that marriage ends, kids would think you terminate your marriage wiht them not only wiht their dad.

it puts way too much pressure on the children. they know that marriages end because mom and dad are no longer together. they would feel anxious about being married to SM. too much for children to comprehend.

also in intact family are parents married to their children? I don't think so. i certainly am not married to DD. and I doubt anyone of you feels married to their biochildren. so why is it OK to say such thing to stepkids?

and yes I'd like to hear judge's reaction to a statement that SM married DH's kids.

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finedreams

ashley i agreed that hanging up the phone was rude. I never said otherwise.

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imamommy

"yes I'd like to hear judge's reaction to a statement that SM married DH's kids."

When BM and DH were in their custody trial (before BM moved away), she had printed out my myspace page that had a photo of our wedding ceremony where the kids were a part of the ceremony & she showed where I wrote "my daughters are involved in karate" and she whined to the court that I was calling HER daughter my own because I didn't specify my daughter & my step daughter. The Judge admonished her and praised my involvement. I can get you the transcripts if you really want to know his exact words... but he had quite a lot of nice things to say to me and not much nice to say about BM... she stormed out of the courtroom.

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kkny

Did you say you were marrried to the kids?

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loladoon

Her feelings about the one phone call a day are not unusual to me. I have a problem with my ex husband calling late at night and I do tell him that anything past 8:30 PM is too late for a kid..he's in bed or very nearly in bed at that time.

You should not talk to your SKs when they are at her house. You love them and they know that. They can catch-up with you when they get back. My ex husband is allowed reasonable phone access to our child, but if he were to re-marry, his wife would not. I wouldn't mind if my son asked to talk to a SM, but it would bug me if a SM talked to him on a daily basis. Visitation rights, etc are for the bio parent.

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kkny

Ima,

Taken it its entirety, your children's mother may have shown herself to be less than responsible and the judge may have reacted accordingly.

Unless I missed it, here "Newwithkids" stepchildren's mothers hasnt shown to be irresponsible, and is allowing reasonable access.

Different situations. I am not convinced that NWK's step's mother is insecure -- she may just be concerned that NWK doesnt respect boudaries. In any event, the solution would be the same, for NWK to back down for the time being.

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imamommy

This is the photo she objected to, showing us having the kids as part of the ceremony.



She was upset that we were calling ourselves a family.

Then she got angry at this:

"My daughters are involved in Karate & Girl Scouts (I'm a leader)."

At the time, she and DH had 50/50 week on/week off split. She wasn't nearly as irresponsible in the courts eyes as she would be seen now. At the time, she presented herself as an involved mother that volunteered at the school and was active in her kids' lives, with tae kwon do and school stuff. I'd LOVE to see what the Judge would say to her today. But, that's another issue for another thread maybe.

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imamommy

and KK, I love how you keep saying "your children's mother"...

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kkny

There is a big difference between calling yourselves a family, and saying you have married the steps. It is unfathmable to me that anyone would not see it.

I don't condone putting pictures of children on the internet.

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imamommy

she objected to our including HER daughter in OUR ceremony, me making vows to HER daughter, and that we became a 'family' as the minister announced our family at the end of the ceremony. (she also requested to view our video that had the entire ceremony on it, so she also heard the entire ceremony)

Of course she has no problem with her daughter calling her BF dad or her BF's kids calling her mom, even though she is still married to someone else altogether. But, she is BM. Guess that means she gets to make up the rules and she's always right.

She objected to me putting pictures from a family cruise we took that included her daughter on myspace, but she has pictures of her daughter on HER myspace. I guess it's only objectionable to her to put pictures of her daughter on the internet, if it's not her doing it. (PS. dad approved the pictures I put up)

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kkny

No it doesnt mean what she has done was right, and I know she has annoyed you on many occassions. But that doesnt make with New with Kids did right either. I assume your vows were on the order to love to be kind, etc. Nothing wrong with that. As to becoming part of family, many of us are part of various families. I would have hoped your DH would have spoken with you to minister re wordings. Whether or not dad approved putting up pics, I still dont think it is a good idea.

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imamommy

Not sure what you think OP did wrong. She took the phone from her husband when her SC asked to talk to her and when BM (who must have been listening to her DD's conversation) heard her talking to SM, she took the phone and hung it up. THAT IS WRONG! That is the action of an insecure and/or jealous person. If she had ANY other reason, or if she were more mature, she would have taken the phone and told SM WHY she was ending the call and/or called her ex and told him if she has a problem with SM getting on the phone. She acted CHILDISH and IMMATURE and RUDE. That was not the actions of a loving, concerned mother. Sorry.. but if you think that's how a mature, loving & concerned parent acts, then I sorely feel sorry for your child.

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kkny

She told the kids she was marrying them. She established herelf as someone who doesnt respect boundaries. That means the others in her life, including the mother, have to.

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imamommy

What OP said was:

"I have always and will always feel that when I married my skids dad I also married them and actually asked for their blessing."

How is that construed into her telling the kids she is marrying them? How does that establish her as someone that doesn't respect boundaries? She has repeatedly stated that she is not mom, not trying to be mom, wants to avoid stepping on mom's toes, etc. I also take it that she wrote on this forum for advice so she can avoid making things worse with mom and possibly find ways to make situation with mom better. That is hardly pushing boundaries and needing mom to place boundaries and put her in her place. That's really a stretch and your position really doesn't hold any water.

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finedreams

ima your involvement wiht SD is commandable and judge recognized it correctly. But I do not remember you ever saying that you are married to SD. And I do not think you said in court either. It wouldn't make any sense. That's my point.

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imamommy

OP never said she told kids she was married to kids. It would probably sound silly to tell a child "I am married to you" but it's not silly to say "when I married your dad, I married you too" as it is a package deal. That is what is being conveyed. I tell my SD that my relationship with her has nothing to do with her mom or her dad. It is OUR relationship and it is what WE make it.

I never said in court that I married her daughter, she brought photos of our wedding and objected to us including her daughter in it. The point is that the court recognized my involvement as a good thing and BM was seen as jealous & insecure because she objected to all the nice things I do for her daughter. She was more worried that I was trying to be a mom to her daughter instead of realizing that I am being good to her daughter and not one of those stepmothers that wishes the first kids didn't exist and mistreating her daughter. She is entitled to her opinion but my point is that mom can make up rules in her house, dad makes his own rules. That includes phone use, which is why I said before that OP should respect mom's rule. (even though it should be up to dad to let SM get on the phone during his calls.. mom shouldn't be listening to her DD's conversations with dad, so she shouldn't even know her DD is talking to SM)

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ashley1979

Cindy - You said:

"But doesn't a biomom really know what's best for her children?.."

And KKNY said something similar before your post.

I just want to say that not all BMs have the best interest of their kids in mind. There are a lot of very selfish mothers out there that view children as posessions or weapons.

OKTSSIMH's BM is very much that way. She does whatever she does in order to get her way depending on her objective at the moment. And her objectives are pretty varied and change very quickly.

I could give tons of instances, but the best one was when I busted OKTSSIMH in a lie. I talked to her about lying one day, just casually and not even really about her. I was talking about lying in general and how it hurts people. So she felt guilty, I guess, and went home and told BM she wasn't going to lie to GIMMSD anymore (BM's told GIMMSD this). BM wanted to know the conversation I had with her and she didn't want to tell her. In order to get her to open up, BM said "well....did you know that your dad would rather go to (Ashley's son's name)'s games than your events". Of course, that's not true and never was (both BM and OKTSSIMH neglected to tell us what time we were supposed to be there after much asking and then wouldn't answer the phone that morning). Basically BM didn't mind hurting her own DD just to get info out of her. And in the process hurt her dad and her relationship with my DS. Purely selfish motive.

I could go on and on with tons of examples, but I won't bore you.

Sometimes we all just have to face it that there really are some bad moms out there that may be masquerading around as good moms.

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kkny

Ashley, what I have been trying to say is absent neglect or abuse each parent has the right to run his household as he sees fit. You cant micromanage the other house without running the risk of annoying people, which if you call twice a day, can be intrusive.

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ashley1979

I totally understand what you're saying. It's the very reason I call very seldom when DS is with X. I get accused of intruding on HIS time if I call even once. I called on Christmas and never talked to DS. X never gave him the message I called. So I went a week without talking to DS and didn't even talk to him on Christmas.

That doesn't mean all BMs knows what's best for her child(ren) or even has good intentions.

I can tell that you are a great and attentive mom who loves her DD very much and has gone to great lengths to protect her. But you can't look at everyone through the filter of you. It's not an accurate picture.

DH calling twice a day can be with good intentions or selfish intentions. Either way.

You could apply the same logic to DH and say "But doesn't a biodad know what's best for his children?" and you'd get a resounding "NO" from a lot of people on this forum.

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kkny

You're very kind. I wish my DDs dad would call her twice a day. I doubt he does. I do not monitor any calls before 10 PM. Those after that I tell the caller too late. Depending on caller, and I tired I am the caller may not appreciate my tone of voice.

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cindy_pond

ashley, when I wrote "doesn't a biomom know what's best for her children", I meant it from my own frame of reference...which is all I have and all I can control. We can't control other peoples behavior or change their intentions or motivations toward their children. What they do May be wrong when it comes to their children...but I can't control that...no one is perfect and nothing is ideal and all we have control over is ourselves.

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