Priorities

mom2emall

As I have posted before my skids bm lives across the country and goes through spurts of not contacting the kids for a month or so at a time to spurts of calling weekly. Right now she has been in a weekly calling spurt (due to the oldest telling her grandma how she hated her bm because she does not care about them and never calls--since then bm has been calling regularly for the past few weeks) Anyways, I posted a while back about the bm asking us to order school pics for the kids (totalling over $100) and then sending us a check that bounced. That was months ago and she never made good on the check. So not only did we get stuck with pictures we did not even want, but we also paid a bounce fee for her bouncing a check when we deposited it in our account! And she has never paid any cs or helped with any school costs (so it was even more irritating!!)

Anyways, she called today to see how sd's party went. I answered the phone and since no kids were in the room I asked her when she planned on paying us back for the pictures she ordered. She gave me a sob story about no money and her bf losing his job (which they moved across the country a year ago because he was joining the army...so that must have been a lie!)

She never sent sd a card or present. Today she told sd she was going to buy them all (my 3 skids) valentines for them to hand out at school and mail them.

My question is why spend your money on valentines that only cost a few dollars a box and then pay just as much to ship them? She could pay for the pictures she ordered that we still have!!

It just pisses me off that she does not help support them in any way (because she keeps having more kids and crying poor---well then perhaps she should stop getting pregnant everytime she has a newborn baby!) but then she buys them halloween costumes when they tell her I already bought them costumes and now she wants to send them valentines! Why not send them something they need instead? Or maybe offer to pay for school registration? Or band lessons? Or winter coats and gloves and hats, Or ANYTHING USEFUL!

My dh told me that we can't do anything about it so there is no point in being mad, and I know he is right. But for some reason it just burns my buns when she plays "hero" by buying junk when we get stuck with buying all the boring necessities they don't remember.

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helpwiththis

I can see why your upset. My sd's mom does not do much for her either and it gets frustrating! I mean, how can someone give birth and then just pass off her responsibilities like that but pop in an out as she wants? I guess you have to look at the valentines as something you did not have to buy and let it go. It sucks that she takes the fun stuff away from you, but my friends and family always tell me that years from now who had it better.....the sm who had the joy of seeing the skid each day and being close to them, or the bm who barely has a relationship with her child? In the grand scheme of things your sd is going to remember the person who was always there for her and that she could count on, she will not remember the person who never spent time with her but sent her $2.00 box of Valentines and a halloween costume once a year.

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sylviatexas1

"My dh told me that we can't do anything about it so there is no point in being mad, and I know he is right."

Hubs *is* right, & his ex is now living in your head rent-free.

I might be tempted to turn the hot check over to the district attorney...
don't know if I'd actually do it, but I'd be tempted.

& I'm pretty sure I'd tell her that I was going to do it.

You also can tell her to save her money (or send it to the children't father to put toward her hot check), that you already have Valentines for the kids & that hers would just go to a homeless or women's shelter.

& the next time photos are made, just let her know how to order them from the school.

Let this go;
appreciate it as a message/gift/lesson that you must keep your guard up & be alert to keep her from getting into a position where she can make trouble or raise your blood pressure in future.

I wish you the best.

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mom2emall

Thanks for your advice. I do not think we will be handing over the check to the DA. I have gone to her bank to try cashing it there and they say the account is still open, but there was not enough money to cash the check at that time. So, I guess I will leave the returned check in my purse and whenever I happen to pass a branch of her bank and have some time I can try to cash it.

I was in the store with the kids this morning and let my son pick out his valentines. The girls saw some valentines they really wanted and I reminded them that their mom said she was buying them valentines. So, the oldest asked to use my cell and see if she bought them already. She called and bm said she had not bought them yet, so the girls told bm they found ones they wanted and were getting them today. My ss told bm that she could still buy the ones she had told him about because they did not have ones he liked at the store today.

As far as pictures go....well I am not going to tell the kids let her know when school pics are again. If they bring it up to her on their own and she sends money in time then so be it, but I am not being any part of it. And I am not going to go out of my way to download pics on the kids computer anymore for them to e-mail to their mom. Usually I download pics on my computer and then will download them from my camera onto theirs as well. I will just change my settings to erase the camera when they are finished downloading so I "can't" download to theirs. Since I use my laptop for work the kids have never been allowed to use it I do not see them even asking to e-mail from mine.

And now I am letting it go!

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bookworm_2007

Wow...can't say I blame you mom2emall. That would get old after awhile...the BM making promises to do this and do that...then flaking out on it.

If she is living clear across the country and you are the one taking care of and raising her kids....then I would not worry with contacting her or sending her anything at all. Period. If her idea of being a BM is sending valentine's for the kids...then that is just pathetic. If she wants to be a BM to them she needs to make a heck of a lot more effort than that.

Don't let it get you rattled though...like the other posters said...they will remember who was there for them growing up and that is what you have to focus on.

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gooseegg

hey, i can totally relate. now BM is only 500 miles away, but her principals are the same. In fact to give you a classic example, SD wears glasses, and for her bday last year, BM doesnt send her a card or anything, waits for a month later and sends her cheap sunglasses, that she cant wear and socks! so, your feeling like well maybe she has no money right? Well, get this, she sends a friend of my husband an expensive present for their new baby, AND gets all new linens for BM's bedroom.....talk about a selfish woman! then we get to pay ALL medical, dental, living expenses, and anything else we need to, just so that BM of hers can spend all her money on herself!!!

Its so irritating, and the only thing that keeps me from going nuts about it is that ONE DAY the SD will wake up and see that her BM is a selfish person!

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lonepiper

"Its so irritating, and the only thing that keeps me from going nuts about it is that ONE DAY the SD will wake up and see that her BM is a selfish person!"

I thought this once too, but then I saw the light of realization in my stepdaughters' eyes. It is crushing.

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helpwiththis

"If her idea of being a BM is sending valentine's for the kids...then that is just pathetic."

I agree with that bookworm! It is crazy how these mom's pass the buck when it comes to raising their children, but then want to play "mommy" when it is convenient (like holidays). While the realization they will someday come to will hurt them, there is nothing you can do to prevent it. All you can do is be there to pick up the pieces, which it sounds like your used to doing anyways when bm fails them.

I can not imagine life without my dd! It would just about kill me for her to live anywhere but with me. And to willingly just get up and go without her...well that takes a messed up individual to do something like that!

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theotherside

But fathers do that all the time, and then get treated as if they are father of the year if they actually see their kids EOW. I can't imagine life without my kids either, but I don't see why women are held to a different standard than are men.

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mom2emall

I think that people think of moms as being more maternal, since they go through nine months of carrying a child and then delivering a child. So, when a mom does not do her part in raising her child people see that as worse than a man. I think that men that walk away from their responsibilities are just as bad.

Now, a dad who has his child EOW, pays support, and is involved in their life is not bad. In some states EOW for a dad is normal. And if the parents do not live very close to eachother the joint custody does not work.

My bio childs dad sees him EOW and one night a week. Plus, he attends sporting events and some school functions and pays cs as well as some extra expenses. I feel that he is doing his part, as we do not live close enough to share custody. Plus, I do not think that I would like my son living one week with me and the next with his dad.

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imamommy

I don't think it's about moms being held to a different standard per se. I agree with mom2 that women are usually the ones thought to be nurturers (although my sister definitely doesn't fit that mold) and we are the ones to go through pregnancy/birth and usually the ones that care for the baby in his/her formative years. There is usually more opportunity to bond. (not always, just usually as it's been pointed out here several times that mothers have custody 90-95% of the time)

In my opinion, there is no distinction between mothers and fathers. If a parent is not going to be actively involved in their child's life, then what right do they have to tell a step parent to be uninvolved? I'm not referring to parents that are involved and interested in parenting, even if they only see their children every other weekend. But in my case, BM doesn't call during the week to talk to her DD. She doesn't ask DH how she's doing in school (in fact she doesn't even know her DD's teacher's name). She may visit her three weekends a month (and even then, she has begun canceling on us), but she isn't actively involved or seemingly interested in how her DD is doing. When she lived nearby, I backed away and let her plan/schedule things, even on DH's weeks. We took SD to things her mom planned out on his time. The problems arise when she refuses to do things for her DD but then I do them and she gets mad. A BM can't have it both ways. My kids fathers were not involved at all with them and if they had called me out of the blue and told me they didn't want their child in a particular sport or activity, I would have told him to take a flying leap. You can't walk away and have no responsibility for your children and then think you have the right to say how they are raised when it's convenient for you. The rights and responsibilities of parenting go hand in hand. If you choose to allow your uninvolved parent, tell you how to raise your children, that's your choice, but an uninvolved father is no different than an uninvolved mother. IMO

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theotherside

But many fathers, including those who see the children EOW and for dinner during the week, did "willingly just get up and go without her"/them. I agree that it is horrible to do that, but fathers do it all the time, and still claim they are great fathers as long as they pay child support and exercise visitation.

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baby_roses

Just because father's claim they are still great fathers because they pay support and exercise visitation, doesn't make it true. They are probably in denial or tell themselves that so they won't feel guilty. Just as it doesn't mean a is parent involved just because they see their children once in a while. I can go to the zoo every week and feed the animals but that doesn't mean that I'm involved in the care of the animals at the zoo. I guess if I send a check regularly, I'm a little more involved than just a visitor on the weekends, but not much more.

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mom2emall

In many custody issues one parent gets more time with the child than the other. IMO if the other parent holds up to their visitation, calls the child regularly, knows what is going on in the childs life, helps support them financially, and is involved in the childs activities they can still be a good parent.

My complaint is about a ncp who moves across the country because her bf is more important than her kids. Then she does not contribute to her kid financially and cries poor all the time and then she has more kids and acts like we should not expect anything from her because of that. She tells my skids that she didn't call because she was tired from taking care of the new baby, etc. She is pretty useless if you ask me. My skids have gone long periods of time without even knowing a phone number for their bm! If she was a guy I would think it was just as bad.

I just wonder what she says to people about not having her kids???? What could she possible say to justify that???

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theotherside

I think a lot of people would consider someone an involved father if the kids visited three weekends a month, whether or not he called during the week.

I think it would be better for the children if neither parent were allowed to move far from where they both lived together, unless both parents agreed to move. It is not right that the NCP can move wherever he wants, and the child is forced to spend a significant amount of time away from home. If the NCP has EOW visitation, the child misses lots of weekend activities, and if the NCP lives farther away and sees the child for six weeks in the summer, the child will probably be resentful that he or she is forced to be away from his or her friends all summer, especially as a teenager. It is not uncommon for visitation to cease entirely when the child is a teenager and the NCP is far away.

imamommy,

I don't understand why the 911-calling child can't continue to take Tae Kwon Do lessons like her sister. I thought it was the mother who moved far away, not the father.

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mom2emall

I have to say I always found it funny that the parent with custody of the child has to get permission from the court to move far away...but the ncp can move wherever he/she choses. It would be nice if the ncp was forced to stay living closeby and have a relationship with their child, but on the other hand if they would rather move far away and not be part of their childs life then maybe the child is better off with them gone.

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imamommy

An involved parent is one that is "involved". Merely seeing a child on weekends when it's convenient for the parent is not the same as spending every weekend that they are allowed to with the child. It doesn't matter if it's a father or a mother. If a NCP visits as much as they are allowed (not canceling parenting time) and keeps up with what's going on with their child, either by talking to teachers, doctors, the child or the child's CP, then yes, they are involved, even if they don't call during the week. If they spend every weekend or every other weekend with their child but don't know anything because they don't ask the child about their life or don't show an interest in things like progress in school, activities, friends, etc.. That is not an involved parent. My SD's mom didn't know what her shoe size was and she had her DD right there with her. She calls DH to ask him when all she has to do is remove her shoes and look (or take her to a store to be measured). She doesn't know her teacher's name or that she's doing better in school, unless we tell her. She sure doesn't ask about it. That's not an involved parent.

I agree, parents should not be allowed to move away from their children, especially without telling the other parent ahead of time. SD's mom had shared custody so they both had equal time. She should have, at the very least, told DH she was moving but she didn't. She told him, after she had already moved. She chose to be the NCP and she chose to become uninvolved. The child is the one suffering.

and she can't go to tae kwon do because her tae kwon do studio is an hour away from our home. Her BM was living about 45 minutes away from us when they had every other week. SD was going to school a few blocks from where her mom lived. DH works in that area so he commutes the hour to work and on his weeks, he would drive SD to her school in the morning and I would go pick her up every day (on his weeks). When BM moved three and a half hours north, there was no reason to keep her in that school. Neither of them lived in that school district anymore so we put her in school near us (a much better school). Since BM left her other DD with her grandma, she has stayed in the same school and grandma takes her to the tae kwon do studio for lessons. Tae kwon do was something that BM was into and wanted to do with her daughters (and she dated several of the guys there as well) and I used to take SD to her lessons on DH's weeks when I would pick her up from school over there, hang out in town until her lesson, wait for her lesson to be over and bring her home. I stopped taking her when BM caused a scene with me and tried to provoke me into fighting her. BM continued to take her on her weeks until she moved away and I am not going to drive SD there three nights a week (which is a two hour round trip drive for a 40 minute lesson)

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justnotmartha

"I can go to the zoo every week and feed the animals but that doesn't mean that I'm involved in the care of the animals at the zoo."

I love this analogy, baby roses. :-)

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theotherside

mom2emall,

Unfortunately, moving far away often just results in major disruption for the child. My daughter had a friend who had to travel a third of the way across the country every summer to spend the summer with the NCP. And what do you do about your dog, your cat, your rabbits, your guinea pig, etc., when you go off for several months (obviously your CP takes care of them, but that is sad for the child and the animal (well, maybe the guinea pig and rabbit don't care much).

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kathline

ITs just as often that the parent who does have custody, is the one who moves away. About half of all states have a presumption that a custodial parent should be allowed to move, even without a good reason.

I know in my husbands case, his ex wife immediately moved with the children, a 14 hour return trip drive from husband, the week after the divorce was final. Arkansas does not restrict mobility of a custodial parent; furthermore, Arkansas at that time (mid to late 90's) also followed the "tender years" doctrine, which preferred the mother in custody arrangements.

The fact that she moved meant he rarely got to see his children for a few years, because she was always too busy to meet him halfway as the divorce decree ordered, and he didnt have enough vacation time to go all the way to new orleans to p[ck them up and drive them all the way back.

To top it all off, she b*tched constantly at that time about him not being there to help raise the kids.

So, what about custodial parents who move? There are several on this board, who subsequently complain about the non custodial parents lack of involvment. I think in those cases, perhaps people should be asking what they have done to foster a climate in which the non custodial parent doesnt feel necessary or welcome, or where there is a lot of anger between ex spouses because the children have been moved away.

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sylviatexas1

"But fathers do that all the time, and then get treated as if they are father of the year if they actually see their kids EOW. I can't imagine life without my kids either, but I don't see why women are held to a different standard than are men."

I've wondered that for about 30 years...

Even when mothers or stepmothers are praising the fathers' involvement, their own involvement sounds more intense.

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imamommy

My step daughter's mom was married for a year when her first husband filed for divorce. Within a couple of weeks of being ordered to share custody (exchanging every three or four days), she packed up and moved four hours away and took the child with her. He tried to get the court to either make her move back or give him custody. He lost. and the truth is, his daughter lost the opportunity of having a dad that really wanted to be in her life. (she's now 12 and living with grandma because her mom moved another three and half hrs away when she met new BF) I think it is a coincidence that she moved just after they were court ordered to share custody of her daughter with DH. (she hadn't even met this new guy yet). The sad part that I see, and I don't know all the details, but the girls father seemed to be very interested in being a part of her life but after 11 years of mom making it hard for him to see her often, he isn't very involved (although he sends the support like clockwork), so now that mom has abandoned her, he hasn't jumped in to take his daughter. I find that very sad for the daughter. Of course, I don't know if the daughter doesn't want to live with her dad or if it's the dad that doesn't want to get his daughter. The mom has certainly played a part in distancing their relationship and in my opinion, that is going to negatively affect her child, probably for the rest of her life.

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mom2emall

Well, I had let it all go. Then, she called today to let the kids know she was mailing their package. Seems she bought the girls both Valentines shirts and hair stuff. She bought the boy a Valentines shirt and hat. She said she bought each of them a toy and made goodie bags for them to give out at school!!!! And the kicker is that she said she bought a gold chain and charm for my sd's b-day next month and will be sending that with the package!

So, I just could not let it go. She can not afford the pictures she ordered and now she is not just sending cheap valentines, but a bunch of other junk they don't need. They need to go to school...why not help pay those costs? They need clothes and shoes...why not help pay those costs? So, I sent her an e-mail saying that the kids told me about the package she is sending and I am assuming that if she has the money to buy all that stuff she can now pay for the pictures she ordered months ago that she chose and was fully aware of the price. I told her that we will be expecting a money order, since we already payed bounce fees on one bad check she sent us. I also forwarded the e-mail to both her parents.

I know that I could have let it go, but if she can buy the kids all this useless junk they don't need then she should pay her debts. She has never payed any of her marital debts, my dh got stuck with those because it was hurting his credit. Seems credit companies do not care about court orders.

I feel better for sending the e-mail. I doubt she will pay, but at least I got it off my chest and hopefully her parents will get on her case about it. AFter the kids complain to their grandparents about things with their mom she changes for a little while.

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imamommy

As far as the pictures go, I would forget it and write it off. She probably gets a kick out of making you mad about it. If she really wanted their pictures, she would find the money to get them. Every time you bring it up, she probably enjoys getting a rise out of you.

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organic_maria

Tos "I can't imagine life without my kids either, but I don't see why women are held to a different standard than are men."

I think that woman are held to a different standard because we have given birth to these children. Carried 9 months +, sacraficed are bodies and are souls to bear children. It is soooooo rare to see a man care for ones own child as a mother will ever do. I'm sorry if other people disagree but i've watched and learned from others and i have seen most men live day to day, dont think of the future and depend on their wives for the thinking and caring. IT is like having another child in the house.
How many have you people seen a man care for a child as a woman does? Yes there are the rare ones out there but lets be frank here!!! Who does the dishes, the laundry, the taking care of the bills , the organization of activities and homework for the kids in yoru household? Whether they are your biokids or stepkids who does it?
I'ld like to hear some responses on this. It would be interesting to hear.
Because my sk biomom is not a total loser. She cares for her kids and she is involved. My hubby on the other hand doesn't get involved for several reasons.
1. the money, the distance, the cash is high for gas and in the end of the pay he doesnt have much after paying extracurricular actitivities.
2. eh's been austed out by biomom, ex for the first few years , so now he feels why bother...
3. His personality. He doesn't want to get involved. He feels no connection so he doesn't make the effort. Its wrong to do that...but i can't change his mind and i have given up
He is the typical father...waits for the woman to do all...i'm the one who does activities with all the kids...not him..i have to ask! even with our own son!
and i am the one who saves for school for our son...if it was up to him he would eat the moeny every month!
I've asked him to open accounts for his kids..he refuses...

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theotherside

"Who does the dishes, the laundry, the taking care of the bills , the organization of activities and homework for the kids in yoru household? "

When I was married, my H did maybe a third of the dishes, at least half the laundry, half the bills, almost all of the cooking, more than half of the grocery shopping, and half of getting the kids to and from school/daycare when I was working. I did do most of the organization of activities/homework and most of the cleaning. He planned the home repair/building activities and we did most of them together. My exH was perfectly competent, which is one of the reasons it annoys me when his current wife tries to take over.

Both of my parents worked full-time. My memory is that my father did most of the laundry, half of the cooking, almost all of the grocery shopping and half of getting me to and from school/daycare, and half of the cleaning. My mother did the organization and paid the bills. I pretty much did my homework by myself.

"i have seen most men live day to day, dont think of the future and depend on their wives for the thinking and caring. IT is like having another child in the house."

If this is the case, what is the point of getting married, even the first time?

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imamommy

Marriage is a partnership and it's really up to the partners how they want to divide the duties. In my opinion, it is something that changes over time, unless you get stuck in one routine. If one works more, the other probably does more around the house. If they both work about the same, they take the chores/duties that work best for the situation. If a guy chooses to rely on his wife for things he can do himself (and perhaps enjoys being taken care of) and the wife enjoys taking care of her man, then what's the big deal? She may not see him as having another child in the house. I think every relationship is different and as long as the players are happy in it, who cares?

I think the point Maria is making has more to do with women being the ones that carry & give birth to the children, so it's only logical that they might be more connected. As we hear about mother's that abandon their babies & children, we have to face the fact that not all mother's feel that bond with their children the same.

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theotherside

"If a guy chooses to rely on his wife for things he can do himself (and perhaps enjoys being taken care of) and the wife enjoys taking care of her man, then what's the big deal?"

Substitute "mother" for "wife" in that sentence, and the guy would be called a momma's boy and would not be respected.

I think it is a poor role model for the children, who grow up thinking men are incompetent.

While women have more of a physical connection with their babies, all good men ARE very connected to their children. I don't think the "typical" father expects or wants the mother to "do it all" - good fathers certainly don't. Fathers SHOULD be nurturing.

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ceph

I agree TOS.
Women taking care of their husbands is a terrible example to set for kids! It gives girls a lack of respect for their fathers, it gives boys a false sense of privilege, it gives girls a false sense of responsibility, it gives boys a lack of respect for their mothers.
Now, if it's a real partnership and the kids see both adults taking care of each other, then I'm all for it, but I think it has to go both ways.

It CAN only go one way if you have an ~extremely~ open dialog about gender roles, feminism, hegemonic masculinities, and so on, so your kids really understand that "mom does this stuff for dad because she really enjoys it, not because it's her job as a woman"... But, IMO, only a tiny tiny sliver or a fraction of people can actually have that sort of pedagogical relationship with their kids.

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imamommy

In my relationship, I do a lot of things for my husband that he could do for himself, because I like to. I don't worry that the kids are going to lose respect for him because of it. I guess if he was doing nothing and I worked & took care of the finances and house, they might. We both were single parents for a while and our kids saw us in the role of doing everything that mom & dad's do, so they know that we can do it all if we want or need to. I don't think it's a good example that BM shows her daughter by not knowing how to cook or doing domestic things (she's a terrible housekeeper) and she also doesn't work, so she can't claim to be a 'working' woman. (Working girl sounded wrong... lol) I'm not in support of a guy that 'expects' a woman to take care of him, but TOS, according to you, your exH did a lot when he was married. He set a good example for his kids. Now that he's remarried and older, maybe he enjoys being pampered and letting his wife do things for him, even though he knows how. Why does it annoy you? If he likes it or even if he doesn't, it's his business. He is married to her and what they do in their marriage shouldn't annoy you. Especially after nine years.

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theotherside

It annoys me when she treats him like he is incompetent - why, because I love him and I hate to see him treated that way, and when the organizational stuff involves my children, I value his opinion, but hers is irrelevant. I can tell it annoys him when he is talking to me on the phone and she keeps butting in to tell him what to say. If my kids spouses tried to run everything and make all the decisions, I would be just as annoyed.

As far as I know, she doesn't "pamper" him - that's not an issue. He does all the cooking (for which I don't blame her - he is a great cook). He is a lot healthier than she is, so I would imagine he does a lot of the household stuff that involves physical labor.

Why does it bother you that the girl's mother doesn't cook or do domestic things? Is it setting a terrible example if the mother doesn't re-roof the house or fix the plumbing? Is it setting a terrible example if the BF doesn't cook or do domestic things?

It doesn't particularly bother me that I am not a good cook. Anyone who can read can cook well enough to avoid starvation. It does bother me that I can not fix the plumbing, the electrical wiring, or build a shed anywhere near as well as my exH could. I can shingle a roof, tile a floor, and replace a countertop. Yes, I do think I am setting a bad example when I had to hire someone to finish hooking up a sink to the water pipes (it was a different size from the previous one).

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finedreams

tos, I agree with iammommy why does it bother you that your X is taken care off by his new wife? I do not care what my X does with his partners. As about doing stuff for others... I can cook for myself but my BF likes to cook so he cooks 99% of the time and he likes packing lunches for me every day. He just likes it and he cooks better than me. And the way he packs lunches reminds me of my grandpa (I know it doesn't sound right lol) because he packed for whole family. But I like to do stuff for BF, I do laundry, I clean, aye etc. I like it. His X didn't do much for him or the girls. Nobody did his laundry or clean the house. He is very appreciative of anything I do because he was never pampered by a woman. It took him some time to get used to a woman doing somehting for him. i was single most of my life so i have no experience with being pampered either and I like it too. What's wrong with that? My mom cooked and cleaned and we didn't lose respect for her and my brother grew up to be a good man. My dad did phsycially demanding jobs in the house.

How is that setting up a bad example not being able to hook up a sink? I am a small woman with tiny hands and am not a plumber. I can't even lift a sink let alone hook it. So what? DD respects me just as much.

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imamommy

TOS, I didn't say it bothers me what BM does. I said it isn't a good example that she 1) doesn't work. She relies on everyone else to financially support her. (and she can't use working as an excuse to not doing domestic chores) 2) she is a terrible housekeeper, so the kids have learned to live in a messy house. Sure, that's her business and nobody has ever told her anything about it, as long as it doesn't affect SD's health. 3) She's doesn't cook so all her meals are pre-packaged junk or eating out. Her kids aren't learning how to cook and maybe they will learn from someone else, sD loves to help me cook but it pisses off her mom. Why's that? Doesn't she want her DD to learn to cook? or maybe she just has a problem with me teaching her. hmmm, I wonder. Again, that's her business but it's caused weight problems for SD and that's why I think it's a bad example. Again, we don't tell her how to live her life, it's her business and it doesn't annoy us, we just live our life and try to show SD what it's like to live in a clean house, with a routine, and how to cook & fix things. (and of course we also hope she develops a work ethic from our example so she doesn't go from man to man when she grows up, depending on someone else to take care of her.)

And it is setting a bad example if she allows her house to fall into disrepair. I don't think she needs to re-roof or do her own plumbing, but it's important to teach children to take care of things and not let it go. If that means hiring someone, then as long as the job gets done, who cares?

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theotherside

finedreams, she doesn't take care of him, she orders him around. not at all the same thing. She treats him like he is incapable of forming his own sentences.

ima,

I care. I don't want my kids to grow up thinking women can't do home repair, which is why it is annoying to me if I can't. I don't expect to be able to rewire my whole house (my exH probably wouldn't tackle that either) but I should be able to do anything a "typical" guy could do if I am going to be a good role model. God knows I don't want them to think that there is such a thing as "women's work."

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imamommy

That's fine if you care about those things, fixing stuff around the house. I'm a good role model because I'm hard working, I am honest, I volunteer in my community, I pay my bills (on time), I put my family first, and if my toilet breaks, I call a plumber.

and as for your ex husband and his wife, it's not really your business if she bosses him around or makes him wear a leash around his neck. He married her. He's stayed married to her for nine years. That's his problem. If he doesn't like how she treats him, then it's up to HIM to be annoyed or do something about it. After so long, you shouldn't care what they do in their marriage. Don't you want to move on?

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theotherside

Aside from the fact that they haven't actually been married anywhere near 9 years, of course I care how my exH is treated. I will always care about him. What the heck is your definition of "moving on" anyway - no longer caring whether the man you spent most of your adult life with lives or dies? Pretending that a quarter of a century of your life and his didn't exist? Pretending that he no longer exists? Life doesn't work that way.

If your daughter or sons married and were abused by their spouses, would you not care what happened in their marriages, because it is up to them to do something about it? For that matter, if your best friend or your second cousin were mistreated or abused, wouldn't you care? Geez, I would care a little even if we were talking about a couple of perfect strangers. Actually, I would care a great deal if my first boyfriend were being treated that way, and I haven't seen him since I was 20, and I probably wouldn't recognize him if I bumped into him.

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imamommy

Are you trying to give me a chuckle? Cause you did. I didn't know we are talking about life & death here. Or that he's being abused. I thought you just thought she was bossy.

lmao

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theotherside

If it were a woman who was being treated like that by her husband, most of you would say it was emotional abuse, and pretty much everyone would agree it was mistreatment. You don't stand there and talk over your spouse as he tries to hold a conversation. You certainly don't tell your spouse he can't have his children visit. Most of you who complain about your stepchildren would be happy to have my kids visit. They don't say mean things to her, they don't steal her belongings, they don't ask her how much she sold her house for - apparently the worse thing they did is not say hello first when she walks in the room - or maybe it was when they walked in the room - she has a rule for that, and apparently it involves them always speaking first. When they were little she complained that their visits were disruptive to the peace and quiet of her household - well, duh, what do you expect when four young kids visit?

You weren't there in the counselor's office as my exH was trying to fight back the tears without much success. She even contacted the counselor and told him what he was allowed to talk about with my exH and me. If any of you who are mothers were told by your current husbands that your biological children were not welcome in your home, wouldn't you consider that abusive? Sure, he should stand up to her - I am sure that several of you would recommend divorce in those circumstances if it were a woman in that situation, but like many women he may very well feel trapped financially, especially since all she would have to do is say the word and he'd be out of a job as well as homeless. He has always been terrified of being jobless and of being poor, almost to the point of phobia, as long as I have known him, and she plays off that fear.

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mom2emall

TOS,

Your WAY too involved in your ex's personal life. He is your ex. Perhaps it is time for you to get a life of your own.........

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kkny

Mom2emall,

TOS has a life of her own. She has quite a few children (I forget how many), seems to be doing a good job on her own with them, and works full time. That to me is a pretty full life.

If you are on your second marriage, how long did your first last, and how long is it over? I think until you have walked in someone elses shoes, you dont undertsand.

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imamommy

If he feels so trapped and she would take him back, he wouldn't be homeless. Seems he would rather be 'trapped' than go back to his exW. I'm puzzled by the facts that TOS gives, she paints a picture of a pathetic shell of a man, yet says she loves him and would take him back. He's trapped in a horrible situation and is unhappy but chooses to stay over going back to the woman that loves him just as he is. I don't get it. Makes NO sense.

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mom2emall

kkny,

I was never married to my sons father. We were high school sweethearts and I got pregnant when we were in college. (we had been together 3 years when I got pregnant) He proposed when I found out I was pregnant, but I felt that since marriage never came up in a serious conversation prior to my pregnancy then we could wait to get married. After our child was born my ex began to drink a lot and go out with his friends every night, leaving me home with the baby by myself. I tried to talk to him, but he pretty much told me to deal with it and this was just how it was going to be. So, after I had enough I left and never looked back. I was young and had a baby, so it was especially hard. I did not date for at least a year afterwards because I was hurt. Eventually I got on with my life. I finished college and began my career, focused on working out and raising my son. Then met my dh and have been married to him quite a few years.

I do understand that TOS was with her exh for much longer, but there comes a time where it is unhealthy to still be so wrapped up in his life. I would say that after a year or two she needs to stop worrying about him and worry about herself. (from what I have read it seems like they have been apart many years) His marriage is not her problem (or business) and she should not be so involved in his marital problems. Obviously he is not so concerned about her life, or he would still be married to her instead of married to another woman he left her for. I am sure he knows that she would take him back, and he has not bitten on the offer. That should tell her to move on and stop seeming so desperate!!! Because that is how she comes across on this board---desperate! And I imagine that in real life she comes across more than desperate where he is concerned. My advice...get some self esteem and move on with your life. Date, exercise, find new hobbies, do anything but concerning yourself with your exH and his wifes relationship!

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kkny

Mom2emall, I dont know that TOS doesnt exercise have hobbies etc.

I dont think you and Ima understand where first wife had long term marriage which was freely entereed into, etc.

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finedreams

I don't get it. I do care if my X would get sick or something serious would happen to him but why would i care if his wife bosses him around? He might like it for all i know. Some men liked to be bossed around. who knows. I sometimes wish i have ability to boss men around, sometimes i am too nice. hahaha I was frustrated when X left his wife because it effected DD and her brother, but other than that what do i care who bosses him around IF IT IS HIS CHOICE? TOS it is your X's choice to be with that woman.

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mom2emall

"I dont think you and Ima understand where first wife had long term marriage which was freely entereed into, etc."

Thats funny! My dh did not freely enter into his marriage with first wife. If I would have married my ex it would have only been because of my pregnancy...so I did not marry! This marriage we both freely entered into! Nothing was forcing us to enter into this marriage! We love eachother and WANTED to marry.

Just like TOS's ex and your ex WANTED to cheat AND LEAVE you for another woman! They were not forced into leaving, they WANTED TO!

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finedreams

TOS his wife sounds bad, but it does say a lot about him that he is willing to sacrifice his children to make her happy.

And no he is not trapped, he chooses to stay with her because HE WANTS to. It doesn't matter if he wants to because of her money or because of long blond hair or whatever, it is his choice nonetheless. I know it sucks thaT he left or that his wife is so nasty, but it is still his choice to let himself and his children to be bossed by her.

I would just try not to think about it, and frankly, he is the one to blame for not having nice realtionship with his children. It does not matter what SM says, he had to insist on having kids over. Who cares what she says. Well apparently he does, so let him go.

And why would you take him back makes no sense to me. He doesn't sound like a good catch to me at all. Not to say that i didn't stuck with wrong men in my life, I sure did, but I do try to move on in a reasonable amount of time. I think you stuck for too long.

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imamommy

My parents were married for 18 years and they have been divorced for almost 25 years. My dad moved on. He met my step mom and married her & they have been married over 20 years. My dad cares what happens to my mom, he hopes she is healthy and happy in her life. He doesn't think about her on a daily basis and worry if her boyfriend is treating her right. But when she needed surgery, he was right there with the family, concerned for her well being. If she became homeless, he would probably rent her a house, he wouldn't invite her to live with him because he's moved on. (of course she also has four children that would help her too)

Then you have my mom. She has NOT moved on. For as long as my dad has been married to his wife, my mom has asked how she treats him. She doesn't realize that he was happy with his wife. My dad would take trips with my step mom and my mom would tell us that 'she just drags your dad everywhere, he never liked to travel when we were married.' and one day, i asked my dad if he likes traveling. He said that he loved going to new places but when he was married to my mom, they would get into the car to go somewhere and at the drop of the hat, mom would say 'stop the car, I'm not going.' and we'd stay home. I guess mom didn't like to travel so dad didn't get to. I'm guessing that when you are in a long term marriage, you adjust to doing things that your spouse likes or avoid things they don't like. I do that in my current marriage. I love to go out dancing at nightclubs. My husband can't dance. I'm not going to go out without him so I don't do that anymore. If I became single again, I might go back to dancing. If I remarried, I might marry someone that liked to go dancing too. Every marriage is different and just because one marriage, a person does things one way, it doesn't mean that in their heart, they don't ever want to do things differently. Or maybe the new person in their life brings out their youthful side or settles them down.

I completely understand where a wife has a long term marriage which was freely entered into and being married for ten, twenty or even thirty years, does not mean that you spend the rest of your life in self pity because he has moved on. That is what my mom has done and I find it very sad to see a 60+ year old that could live another 25 years or more and be so unhappy with her life. If my step mom were to die tomorrow (which I pray would happen), I would encourage my dad if he wanted to meet someone else. He's already told us that he probably won't marry again, but he deserves to have the love and companionship of someone in his life. I wish my mom would do the same.

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theotherside

I doubt if my exH has a clue about whether I would take him back - and I am sure that he is well aware that at least some of his children would not accept him back into their lives. I think it is humorous that you think I am somehow too involved in his life - I spend at least half an hour a year talking to him.

And in addition to my six kids, I am involved in five volunteer organizations, work full-time plus, and take my kids to activities between four and seven days a week. Oh, and after my H left, I went back to school and got another degree. But I am just sitting around...

And I think it is sad that ima would give up an activity that she enjoyed so much just because her current husband is not interested. I would think that he would be able to compromise and go dancing with her occasionally.

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imamommy

Don't feel sad for me TOS, my husband had never been on a cruise and it was something I enjoyed doing before I met him. He's been on three cruises with me since we met and he's always looking forward to the next one. As much as I enjoyed dancing, I was hit on constantly and it's inappropriate for me to go out without him. He doesn't know how to dance and believe me, he's tried because he knows how much I enjoy it. I'm not interested in dancing with other men while my husband stands there watching and I sure wouldn't go out alone, so it's a small sacrifice to being with the most wonderful man I've ever met. And before I met him, I had never been quad riding but he was into that and I love it. I guess any one of my ex's could criticize that he's putting me in danger on a quad because I wasn't a risk taker in any of my previous relationships, but I ride with my husband now and I absolutely love it.

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theotherside

I think it is fine to add additional activities or hobbies to your life because your spouse enjoys them, but I don't think it right to eliminate any that your really enjoy entirely. You could always do something like take dancing lessons together. Or something like line dancing, where it is mostly women anyway (at least in my part of the country) and you don't actually dance with anyone.

As a single parent, how did you afford cruises?

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finedreams

Dancing is tricky. If it is so important in your life then you probably should look for a person who also like to dance. My BF doesn't dance, hates dancing, is awful at dancing, when he is on a dance floor people move away to avoid collision, people point at him lol He dances with me at the parties, and if we go to a place where people dance, he dances with me to make me happy, but he will never go to dance classes or make dancing a regular activity for us. I do jazzersize that kind of substitues my need for dancing. But I won't go to dance by myself. At the same time BF likes biking. I hate it. he asked many times. I am not willing to bike, I am just not. Well biking is not the same as dancing. He does it by himself. Sometimes you have to give up things and take up new stuff. I know I am not married, but I still think my example is relevant. You have to look at the priorities. If i would have to give up art, I wouldn't stay in a relationship. But i can give up dancing, not a biggy for me. You have to see what is more important. TOS you X pretty much gave up his kids because of his new marriage, this I find unacceptable, but giving up dancing is not a big deal.

Not my business but i actually also wonder about cruises. I could never afford much travelling, and I only had to raise one kid. With 3 kids with no child support I wonder how can people manage check to check.

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mom_of_4

I have done virtually the same thing as Ima... I LOVE to go out to a club and dance so much that we leave no longer looking cute but all sweaty and rejuvenated... However, my DH does NOT dance. So, overtime I really don't go dancing to much anymore. And to be honest it is not something he has ever asked me to give up it is out of respect. When he offers to go out so I can dance... he will try to dance with me and then usually stand on the side and tell me to go dance have fun.. but I can't/don't want to dance with some random guy that is going to inevitably try to hit on me... I don't want to watch girls hitting on him so I don't put myself in the position to do the same... besides the point of us going out is so both of us have fun.. not just me...So, now it is mostly limited to the rare occasions that the girls can get together and then guys hang off to the side watching out for us...

It's not about giving up something ... it's about reprioritizing what is important... I love to dance... I love my DH... yep DH wins out.

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finedreams

we actually discussed once how we would we feel about each other dancing with other people. Not like we would, but it was one of those "getting to know each other boundaries" discussion. We both admitted that we would feel bad seeing each other dancing with other people. I mean in a circle at the wedding or something like that is fine but one- on- one dance, no. Unless I dance with my father or something like that.

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mom_of_4

exactly dancing is another world all together (as far as giving things up)... it can be a very close sensual experiance and not one very many guys would appreciate watching their girl experience with someone else. Nor would I want to watch my DH experiance with some other girl.

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imamommy

Wow, you are the first person to ask me how I could afford cruises.... (pardon me for commenting that it sounds like something an ex would ask) but I worked and saved my money. I took my first cruise, just after 9/11 when the travel industry was hurting from the tragedy. It was probably the lowest prices I've ever seen but there are certain months that it's cheaper. It helps that I live near the port (well, a half days drive, so no flying involved) and I'm frugal. I've gone for as little as $400.00 for a weekend (alone) and as much as $3000.00 for a week (with the three kids). Before I got married, I had virtually no credit card debt, and I paid for most of my trips with cash. (I used my credit card on the week long trip with the kids)

Believe me when I say that my financial situation was much better before I got married. Yes, I struggled when my kids were young, but the few years before I met my husband, things got better- after I started my company. (My husband's company actually sponsored one of our trips a couple of months before our wedding. They flew us from California to Florida for a week long cruise to the Bahamas.)

And I am not into line dancing. I don't like country music very much and it really doesn't bother me at all if I don't go anymore. DH has offered to take dance lessons but it's not really that important to me. Traveling is much more important and I wouldn't be willing to give it up. That was a source of conflict early on, I enjoy road trips. He can't stand not having a detailed itinerary. I would pack a bag, get in my car and go. No plans, no set destination, just go. That drove him crazy. For me, it was an adventure but he likes to know everything that is going to happen and plan it to death. So, now we compromise. Instead of 'playing it by ear', I use my navigation to choose an interesting sounding destination, someplace we've never been and it still sort of feels like an adventure... we never know what we will find when we get there, and he knows we aren't going to get lost and it tells him how long it will take to get there, etc. The only thing he worries about now, is where we will stay. So, I joined the best western club & carry a catalog of all their hotels. (the navigation also has a feature that tells us where hotels are)

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finedreams

I never liked to dance with men I do not know or am not close to. I always felt uncomfortable with that. When I was very young maybe, but not now.

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theotherside

It is inconceivable to me how a single parent can raise several (or more) children and still have much disposable income. Even if you are a doctor or lawyer, the child care would kill you. The average rent here for a place big enough to hold several kids is around $2000, so if you say 25% of your income should go toward housing, that means you have to earn $8000 a month, or $96,000 a year. I don't know too many people without professional degrees who earn that much. And after paying another $500 or so a week in child care, there wouldn't be that much left over.

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finedreams

I have to agree with TOS. I am puzzled. Even people with professional degress often do not make that much. I know I don't. I never had much left over and I still have debt, plus huge graduate loan to pay. It seems strange how can someone afford expensive vacations being single with kids, no matter how frugal one is. Unless someone else besides X helps like parents, or siblings or grandparents.

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imamommy

I didn't have childcare expense.. they were teenagers. I own my own company and do very well. I'm not going to share my income here, since I don't even discuss it with my kids. and TOS, It's a little intrusive for you to try to calculate my income based on the average rent where you live. I struggled when I worked for social services but I had great benefits (vacation pay, sick pay & retirement, as well as health insurance). I now run my company from a home office and that eliminates a lot of overhead. I just wish I had the courage to quit my job and start my own company when the kids were younger. (my current job has much more flexibility in schedule)

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theotherside

I am not trying to estimate your income. I just find it hard to believe that it would have been possible for you to support three preschoolers with only a G.E.D. and no child support for at least two of them (I have forgotten whether you mentioned anything about child support for the oldest). There is no way you could have made enough money to support them while paying for child care for three kids. I am sure you are leaving something out, like perhaps that someone was paying your rent for you, or babysitting for your kids for free - that is fine if you don't want to mention it, but it is misleading to imply that you managed without child support, with the implication being that if you did it others could too. And I doubt that anyone could afford a three grand vacation while raising three kids on their own on the notoriously low pay in social services.

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mom2emall

People do file taxes each year, and many single moms get quite a bit of money back. At least 3,000 at times. So who is to say that was not the vacation fund each year?

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kkny

Mom2emall -- Tax refunds are your own money. I think people should estimate withholding. But in any event, my values would be to put a refund to retirement or college savings.

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mom2emall

Tax refunds are your own money, but there is also earned income credit and quite a few write-offs. I also allowed more to be withheld from my checks so I would get more back at tax time. I figured I would not miss it so much coming out of my check a little at a time and then I would get more back at once. That was my "fun money" and still is. My dh and I both have retirement plans through our jobs, and we have accounts set up for our kids that we put money into. When we get this years tax check we will bank some and have fun with the rest!

My theory....you can't use your money when your dead (and we see what problems it can cause with familys contesting wills) so we should enjoy it while we can!

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theotherside

If you are a single parent with several children and a mediocre paying job, there is no such thing as fun money.

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kkny

Gee Mom2emall, I guess your situation has changed in the last month.

Posted by mom2emall (My Page) on Tue, Jan 1, 08 at 0:33

So lets look at my situation. My dh and I both work full-time jobs and have lots of bills, as do most people with 4 kids. He gets no cs for his 3, and what I get for my 1 is laughable. Each month we do not get to put much into savings. So, we know that when our kids go to college we will be unable to contribute much. It would be great if their NCP's could pay for college, but seeing as we get little financial help from my ex and none from my dh's ex I doubt that they will be paying for college. In both of our custody agreements there is no privisions about college. So what would you suggest we do when college time comes for all 4 kids? We can not possibly pay for each of them to attend college.

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imamommy

"I am not trying to estimate your income. I just find it hard to believe that it would have been possible for you to support three preschoolers with only a G.E.D. and no child support for at least two of them (I have forgotten whether you mentioned anything about child support for the oldest). There is no way you could have made enough money to support them while paying for child care for three kids. I am sure you are leaving something out, like perhaps that someone was paying your rent for you, or babysitting for your kids for free - that is fine if you don't want to mention it, but it is misleading to imply that you managed without child support, with the implication being that if you did it others could too. And I doubt that anyone could afford a three grand vacation while raising three kids on their own on the notoriously low pay in social services."

Not that I need to explain it to you, but I have no reason to lie and nothing to hide. (my email address on here can be used to find me on myspace) On the other hand, there's a lot of things you say that make NO sense, but whatever!

First of all, I didn't have a GED. I went back to adult school when I only had my first son and finished with a high school diploma. I worked minimum wage jobs (fast food mostly) when my kids were babies and my kids were 1, 2 & 4 when I moved in with my ex BF. (the one I lived with for seven years) I went to college but didn't graduate. I also went to a private business college. I also worked in a department store while I was going to college. I didn't have childcare because my ex was a deputy and he worked graveyard most of the time. I went to school in the mornings and worked in the afternoon. When I came home, he went to work. We worked around each other's schedules and his ex wife's mother also lived with us. She worked but also helped take care of the kids. When I went to work for social services, the kids were all in school. We had child care for them after school only. When I left my ex, my youngest was 9 years old, the boys were 10 & 13. They went after school to the recreation center, until 4:30 when I got off work. The next year, I had to go on disability and was home most of the year because I had to have a few surgeries. I resigned when my daughter was 13 and moved to where I live now and I started my own company.

I took my kids on a few trips when I was with my ex. We took the kids to Disneyland a few times, other amusement parks, etc. I took my first cruise in 2001 but didn't take my kids on one until a few years ago. When the kids were very small, the best I could do is taking them to the park for picnics.

and no, I didn't get any child support. It was ordered but I guess I could have used any extra money I had to hire a lawyer to make the deadbeats pay me, but I chose to use it on my kids and let the arrears build up. There was a period of time that my oldest son's father sued for me to pay him and because I was the only one working (he never worked on the books), I was ordered to pay him a small amount. I was never late once and I never resented one penny I paid. Perhaps I should resent that I paid the guy that owed ME, but it was for my son and that's how I had to think about it. (I did get irked when my son chipped a tooth while at his dad's and they called me to pay the $25 deductible. I paid it and I was also the one that was providing insurance through my job.)

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mom2emall

No KKNY, my situation has not changed. We have always had retirement plans through our jobs where a minimal amount is taken from each check and our employers match it. And we have always had savings accounts for the kids. When they get $ from relatives for b-days, Christmas, etc. we always put the $ in the bank unless they really want/need something. And when we have a little extra $ we put it in their accounts. It is not much, but something is better than nothing. I never claimed my financial situation changed. But I do feel that we work hard and are entitled to spend tax $ on a vacation!

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imamommy

and the three grand cruise vacation was taken after I was self employed and making more than I did at social services. I also had paid off most of my debt (medical bills from my surgeries) before I resigned. My husband on the other hand, had a lot of debt he was paying off, some of it was from his ex that stole from him and so, the trips we have gone on, I have paid for because I have more spendable money than he does, even though we make close to the same. (It's hard to say because mine fluctuates as it's self employment, his fluctuates because he's on commissions) That is why his ex wanted my income included to calculate the child support she hoped to get, but was disappointed when it didn't happen.

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cawfecup

Mom ...I guess its ok their mom doesn't pay support but you're supposed to put away your tax money to put "her" 3 children through college?????? I would be filing for support tomorrow and put that into a college fund before I spent my tax money on college fund.

Ima ... do not justify where your money comes from atleast you can be very proud of where you came from to where you are now ... instead of hoping your ex would come back but his controlling wife won't let him. Worrying about your ex who is too busy with his wife dragging him to the mall to buy him fancy shirts you know he doesn't like and "such".

Newflash ...not everyone can afford college funds or vacations never mind an au pair!!!

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kkny

Cawfe,

Newsflash -- I have an auapir becasue my hours at work require it -- and yes I work outside the home

and yes, my values would be to put money for college ahead of a cruise or other fun stuff.

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theotherside

And I can't afford college (but I send them anyway) or vacations. Or an au pair, for that matter, but because I work close to home I get my kids wherever they need to go, or my friends and neighbors do. It's a trade-off though because I could earn more if I worked in the city, but then I would be gone from home longer.

ima,

I understand how you managed when you were living with your exBF, but it is inconceivable to me that you could have worked full-time or even part-time at minimum wage jobs and still been able to pay for child care for a 1, 2, and 4 year old - or an infant, 1, and 3 year old, or an infant and a two year old, or a two year old for that matter.

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kkny

I have an aupair so I can leave for work at 6:30 for a high paying job in the city. I can minimize time away from DD while she is awake, but I need someone to drive her to shcool (no buses where we live) and help if she is out sick, needs to go to doctor. And Cawfe, since you dont work outside the home at all (and have only school age children), it seems strange to me that you are critizing me for having an aupair. I have no one esle to help with childcare, and can make substantially more by using aupair.

And if my DDs college and my retirement were on track for being fully funded (not just "starting an account") I would not be taking a cruise, or using any tax refund for a cruise.

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cawfecup

You give SM's grief about taking kids to the doctors???? and you have your au pair do it!!!!

Well then I guess I am an free au pair to 4 school age children because when they are sick, and need to stay I am here and need to go the doctors I do it ... :)

more free time to dwell on your ex

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imamommy

lol, cawfe.. I'm a free au pair that pays for the doctor visits too....lmao

theotherside, it's inconceivable to me that you are REAL. I don't have to explain myself to you and I don't care what you think. I find it hard to believe you have two graduate degrees when you say you got married young and had five kids. As a SAHM, how did you go to school? How did you afford it with five kids? Why do you buy a home that is $300,000 if you are a single parent and living at poverty level? Why don't you just rent so you won't be so financially strapped? I don't want you to answer ANY of my questions, because I don't really care.

and it's ridiculous to me that someone that has an au pair for a child that is (in my state at least) old enough to drive herself to school.

What a great laugh the two of you have given me this morning.......

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mom2emall

Well the way I look at it is even if we put away each years tax money into 4 accounts that would still not be enough to pay each childs college expenses. As far as retirement funds, we are okay on that end because of work programs set up.

So, IMO it is important to give the kids wonderful childhood memories instead of stressing over every penny. We can pay our monthly bills. We have already realized that the kids are not getting their college fully paid from us, they will have to get some scholarships and loans. Maybe their NCP's will help them with college since we help them with everything else!

From my childhood guess what I remember most from my times with my dad.......besides day to day stuff I will always remember the family vacations we took! It was always so much fun being with my whole family and relaxing on vacations. I want to give our kids the same memories!

(maybe some of the $ we save from my dh and I working opposite shifts so we don't need an aupair is what we are able to put into savings for college!!) And you say its better to stay single until the kids are older! Looks like this is a bonus for being married!

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kkny

Since you titled this priorities, I guess it is OK for SMs and dads to take vacations, not pay for college, etc, but not moms. Again, thanks for the education.

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mom2emall

Well, like I said my monthly bills are paid. We are not taking vacations instead of paying our mortgage or buying food. We work our butts off and deserve time to relax on a nice vacations. We raise 4 kids full-time. We are not EOW parents! We are lucky to get a childless night out once every few months!

My problem with BM is she contributes NOTHING financially, and very little emotionally to raising her kids. Then she went and had 2 more kids and uses that as her reason for not affording the three she already had. Even before she had 2 more she did not pay for the three she had and would say she just did not have any money. Then she orders pictures and bounces the check for them. But, in the meantime she sends them JUNK in the mail that was USELESS. So yes, she should contribute to her kids schooling or other expenses before she goes and buys useless stuff that they will use a few times (if that) and toss aside!

Why should all the financial responsibility for my skids fall on me and dh while bm does whatever she wants?

And then I have dumba**es like you saying how she can do or say what she wants because she had sex, carried a child for 9 months, gave birth, and then decided she was not happy and ran off with the first guy that paid attention to her!

Explain to me why you condone that behavior but talk crap to me for taking a vacation when I don't have enough money in the bank to send 4 kids to college!! I do not know many people who have enough money set aside when their kids are 12 and under to fully pay for their college. That must be something you and your wealthy collegues discuss as your aupairs are raising your children!

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cawfecup

Here's the kicker mom2 .... the au pair ... is for a 15 yr old.

My 15 yr old ... would flip out if I had to pay someone "to watch" him while I was away from home.

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kkny

Well excuse me, Cawfe, every SM here bashes moms who dont work outside the home, and I have no other reliable way to get DD to school.

of course you dont have an aupair -- last you told us you dont work outside the home.

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theotherside

"I find it hard to believe you have two graduate degrees when you say you got married young and had five kids. As a SAHM, how did you go to school? How did you afford it with five kids? Why do you buy a home that is $300,000 if you are a single parent and living at poverty level? Why don't you just rent so you won't be so financially strapped? I don't want you to answer ANY of my questions, because I don't really care."

I am going to answer your questions anyway. I have six kids, not five, btw. I got my first graduate degree before I had any children, and my first child was born when I was in my mid-twenties, not particularly young, but not old either. As I said in a previous post, somewhere, I worked at least part-time for most of my marriage. I got my second graduate degree after my husband left. I paid for it with educational loans, and I was working almost full-time. I bought a house because a) I wanted to give my children stability and not have to move if the lease ran out and my landlord wanted to sell and b) because the going rent was only about $200 less than the mortgage, and after taking into account tax deductions, it makes more financial sense to own. I qualified for a mortgage larger than I could afford based on traditional ratios because my credit is excellent. Any more questions?

Obviously there is something about your child care or living arrangements in between the time your children were born and you started living with your ex long-term boyfriend that you don't want to share - that is fine, but it is misleading to imply that it is possible to support three toddlers so close together in age while working minimum wage jobs, without child support, and while living on your own.

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imamommy

kkny, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?????

"Since you titled this priorities, I guess it is OK for SMs and dads to take vacations, not pay for college, etc, but not moms. Again, thanks for the education."

More judgmental hypocrisy from the so called "bio mom" representatives. I get the third degree because I say that I took vacations with my kids (TOS is the one saying 'it's inconceivable that I could afford to do so' and you are the one saying "I would not be taking a cruise, or using any tax refund for a cruise.") so it's implied that when a single mom goes on vacation, she's wrong??? That money should be put in a college fund so she can whine to her kids that she can't take them on vacation because their father isn't paying enough!! Oh, let me go back to making my list....

It is okay for SMs and dads to go on vacation if they want to, but it's also okay for moms to also if they want. If you choose to save it all for college, THAT'S YOUR CHOICE. In my opinion, if the kids want to go to college, they can get good grades in HS and apply for scholarships and grants. They can take out a loan. They can work part time. and if they are in college, I can use the extra money that I might have and help them instead of going on vacation. But when they are kids, I agree 100% with mom2emall, they are only kids for a while and those memories will be treasured forever. Unless you want your kids to be materialistic and only care about money & status, they should also know that the most important thing in life is family. Spending time with family should come first. There are all sorts of options for college that are more affordable than others., unless you are too much of snob.

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cawfecup

If hubby and the ex wife could afford to pay for an au pair or any kind of day care for their children I would be working or when they are old enough to carefor themselves alone a couple hours a day.

But I will not work to put "their" children in daycare... I "refuse" to work and pay for daycare for them... So as long as they need someone to watch them afterschool or when their parents can afford daycare I will stay home.

It would be selfish of me to work and bank my paycheck don't ya think? but they are NOT MY KIDS ... why should I pay for their afterschool daycare... :)

And as far as my SM vision lets me see ... its only the BM's who don't have custody who the SM's complain about not working. No one is knocking you for working ... but how dare you knock mom2 and Ima for working and being able to budget their money to go on vacation with their SC in tow... Not like they are dropping them off at BM's and saying off we go see you in a week. They are taking the children with them. They have their SC full time... they are not EOW SMs ... Married people do whatever it takes to make sure the children are taken care of ... whether or not they are "yours, mine and ours". Just because we are SM's doesn't exclude us from worrying about what the kids are doing afterschool, who they will be with, where they will be.... as mom's (we have all given birth so that makes us moms) those are the things we work out on a daily basis. Same as you... you have an au pair to care for your daughter. We are two parent families no need for an au pair.

And about college educations ...most would do whatever it takes to put their child through college if they wanted to go ... not because they are "entitled" to go... My 18SD dropped out of community college after 6 weeks... so dad should keep paying for her to go?

My 22 DD has been in college for 4 years and pays for herself and with scholarships! I think she is more entitled to college money than the SD but what do I know afterall I am just a SAHSM.

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kkny

You are the one knocking me for having an aupair -- and yet I have no other way to reliabley get DD to school, etc.

So I guess what you are saying is the mom has to work (unlike you) and somehow arrange for kids to get to school.

You on the other hand are a SAHM, so I guess you can take a holier than thow atitiude about anyone who works.

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imamommy

Cawfe isn't a SAHM, she's a SAHSM. Those are NOT her kids. Why should she pay for childcare for her step kids? It's their parent's responsibility and if they can't afford it, she is doing both of them a favor by staying home to care for them. If she weren't there, the parent's WOULD have to arrange and pay for child care. How the hell is that 'holier than thou attitude'?

I knock my SD's BM because she has NEVER worked. She lived with her mom & her mom worked & supported her and her kids while she collected child support and used it to party. Now she is living with her BF and still not working, she has NO kids with her and I juggle work and taking care of her child. Meanwhile, she is still collecting child support and doesn't even have a child with her. in fact, she told DH on Friday that he owes her support since she moved. He is in the process of changing the order so she will have to pay but right now, she hasn't given him a cent in five months... and she expects HIM to pay her like she still has her daughter with her half time. She must be using her free time to think of ways to make DH pay her more... She has a list too I guess.

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kkny

I thought some of Cawfes kids were hers also. Her holier than thow is making fun of me for having an aupair.

I see it dammen if you work, dammend if you dont.

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cawfecup

One of the five living here is mine ... he is 15

Hubby's oldest is 18

The 3 youngest who would need daycare are ... 12 10 and 9.

Yes it is damned is you stay home, damned if you don't.

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finedreams

what's wrong with having an aupair? DD attended school outside the district so there was no transportation. For the last few years my brother drove her on the way to work and then when my nephew started riving they drove together to the same school. Luckily me and my brother live few blocks from each other. I couldn't drive her because of my work shedule, i work an hour away opposite direction from her school. If my bother wouldn't live close by, I would have to loook for car pool or hire someone. What do you expect kkny to do, someone needs to get DD to school and home. Not everybody can afford to stay home and drive their kids everywhere, people do have to work to pay the bills. especially divorced women.

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imamommy

fine, there's probably nothing wrong with having an au pair. But don't you think it's a little hypocritical that she criticizes a step mom that takes a step child to a doctor visit (she thinks the dad should leave work and take his own child) because it's 'overstepping bounds' but she pays someone to do it for her?

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helpwiththis

Good point IMA. How come it is okay for kkny to hire someone to drive her dd around, cook, and take her to dr. appts but then when a sm has to do these things when a dad is at work it is an issue? And the dad should be expected to stay home from work and do all for his kids?

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finedreams

I don't think anyone objects SMs taking stepchildren to a doctor. I think objection was in regards to doing so without parental concent or such. i wouldn't want anybody (unauthorized) taking DD (when she was minor) to a doctor. If parents (if they are in the picture) agree then what difference does it make who drives them to doctors? i had my parents, my grandparents, my brother, my sister-in-law helping me to get DD to appointments, i couldn't afford quitting my job so i can drive her to every appointment. kkny might not have family around so she hires someone. But decision who is driving who is still made by parents.

I suspect kkny finds a doctor that DD needs, makes appointment, sets everything up and then just asks somebody to drive DD there while she works (so she can pay the bills and have health insurance to pay for a doctor!). I think it is very different because au-pair or a nanny doesn't pretend to be anything more than that.

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helpwiththis

KKNY has made comments before that the dad should do those things, not the sm. And now she is saying that she has someone do it for her.....so it is a double standard. A bm can delegate a task to someone else because she has to work, but if a dad delegates to the sm because he has to work they are wrong and it in not a sm's place to take child to the doctor because legally sm's have no rights. That is why people are giving kkny a hard time about her au pair taking dd to dr. appts.

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theotherside

I think it has more to do with who makes the decision to take the child to the doctor. I assume the au pair does not actually go into the examining room with kkny's daughter, or discuss anything with the doctor.

Personally, it would never occur to me to have anyone take my children to the doctor other than myself or my husband, except in the case of dire emergency, in which case the school etc. is authorized to obtain medical care.

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kkny

I have no problem with anyone reasonable taking a 15 year old. I do have a problem with a teacher, doctor, etc discussing confidential informatin with other than parent. I also think if parent cant take child, they should give other parent opportunity to do so. Trust me, my X isnt taking child anywhere. And too often I read here about SMs resentful about being chauffer. And I suspect Dad is trying to cut down on CS by having SM being unpaid child care provider. It seems to me that Dads wanting custody has increased as CS has been enforced.

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cawfecup

CS goes up when children are enrolled in daycare :)

So I am saving both parents money by being a SAHSM. Mom's support doesn't go up and dad has more money to spend on childrens extras mom refuses to pay. Like medicine or extras cirricular activities she signs them up for.

So if both parents are busy its ok for me to take them to the doctors? (which is what I said all along!)

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theotherside

"CS goes up when children are enrolled in daycare :)"

Not in my state, it doesn't.

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justnotmartha

sure does in mine - one of the first factors considered.

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imamommy

"And too often I read here about SMs resentful about being chauffer. And I suspect Dad is trying to cut down on CS by having SM being unpaid child care provider. It seems to me that Dads wanting custody has increased as CS has been enforced."

I am resentful.. absolutely correct KKNY. I'm resentful that the mother of my husband's child, gave up custody to live a life of childless bliss with her new love interest and now I am the one picking up the slack SHE created. No, I don't think I should blame my husband, he was blindsided along with me.

Don't get me wrong, we are happy to have his daughter here and I don't mind doing things for her. I didn't mind when it was my husband's week and I did things while he was working. I wouldn't mind it now, my husband appreciates that I do so much for his daughter. I love her because she is part of him and I hope in time, we form our own bond and relationship. That may never happen because, even though she chose to run off and leave her daughter, she is filled with a hatred for me. I haven't quite figured out why. After all, if my husband had won custody, I could understand her hostility toward me. But I was here when she left and she knew that if she left, I would be caring for her daughter. She is so insecure as a mother and jealous that somebody else is doing 'her' job, even though she doesn't want to. As a mother, I can't imagine what she wants for her daughter. She's so blinded by her anger and resentment toward me. So, yes I resent that she could leave and hate me for trying to give her daughter a happy home life and childhood.

And to be honest, I hate that I resent her for leaving. I should be glad she isn't in our lives daily but I can't be happy because it breaks my heart to see her daughter so sad.

So, I'd like to tell you what you can do with your theory on Dad's just wanting to cut down on child support, but I am going to take the high road on that one. (and just for your information, when BM tried to take DH to court to get a higher support using MY income and DH did have concerns he wouldn't be able to pay it, I told him that I would get another job if we needed to. Supporting a child is a top priority to me so what does that do to your theory? BTW, it may be a coincidence but BM gave up custody shortly after she didn't get the huge support order she wanted. Could it be that a BM didn't think keeping her child was worth it?)

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finedreams

i have to agree with tos on taking children to a doctor and actually going in the room with them and listening to confidential info. i do not object X doing so, of course. We had arrangements that X always took care of DD's dental needs and he still does even when she is grown. Finansially and also finding appriopriate dentist or orthodontist for her. He, not SM. All other situations had to be authorized by me. All her other medical needs were and still are addressed by me. same with school counselor or other similar professionals. Only me or X. No, i wouldn't want SM to go to a doctor, psychologist, whoever with DD and discuss anything there or obtain confidential info. absolutelly not. only I or X could do it or somebody that we both agreed would be appropriate. As about just driving her to appt this is not a big deal.

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finedreams

DD went to a school psychologist for some time when she was in 11th grade. School psychologist shared with me what was dicussed because DD didn't object to it. Under no circumstances would i want anyone else, including SM, go to a school psychologist and get confidential info about DD or even talk about DD at her school. Absolutelly not. And yet so many SMs here claim to do so, like talking to SKs' therapists etc. I am not the kind of BM who is against SMs at all. But this is not something I would want SMs to do with my kid. This is confidential.

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ceph

I can see where you're coming from about that you wouldn't want your daughter's SM to be involved at DD's therapist... but I'm just wondering what your feelings on it would be if the situation had been a bit different and DD said "It would be good if my therapist spoke to SM because it would help her better understand me" or the therapist said "I see that there are some troubles between DD and SM. I'd like for the two of them to come in together and we'll talk about the relationship"

I realize this wasn't the case for you, but hypothetically, would you be OK with SM being involved at the therapist's if DD and the therapist both thought it would be a good thing?

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kathline

In Louisiana, child care expenses MUST be added to the basic support obligation. In Arkansas, and many other states, as well as all the Canadian provinces, it MAY be added as an after expense at the judges discretion.

The daycare in Louisiana is to be paid according to the proportioate amount of each parents income. THus my husband pays 80 percent of the kids daycare.

Of course, the ex takes advantage of that by keeping a 12 year old in after care that costs seven hundred dollars a month, when its available at the school for five dollars a day. Oh well. In other places, it must be both reasonable, and necessary.

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imamommy

If both parent's are involved in their children's lives, that would be ideal, that the parent's would deal with doctors, therapists, and school stuff.

Her therapist talks to me more than DH because he's at work and I'm the one taking her. The therapist would be happy to talk to BM and has even tried to get her to come to a session, but she's canceled and doesn't even inquire about her daughter's progress. The only comment BM has made is demanding to know what is said during SD's sessions and if it's about her? I drop off SD and pick her up. Every once in a while, the therapist will talk a little while making the next appointment and she will always ask SD if it's okay to tell me certain things. DH or I will call the therapist if we have any concerns and let her know so she can explore if there is really a problem. We don't make that call in front of SD because we want her to open up to her therapist. BM has the same ability to give her concerns to the therapist but her only concern is that she looks bad. (and quite frankly, she does. She left her child & the therapist has been there every step of the way, listening to SD talk about her feelings. So, I guess BM's worry that she'll look bad is based in the fact that she did something to make herself look bad. Not because WE had to say anything.)

and taking a teenager to the doctor is not the same as taking an 8 year old. When I take her to the doctor, of course I am going to sit in the room. I'm going to be the one that hears the instructions from the doctor, so they can be followed. I'm going to be the one that gives the doctor all the information he needs (if I can). and I do the same for my kids that are 17 & 18. They want me there, so of course I am going to be there for them. (and if BM needs the information on medication, I can give it to her too)

I agree that the other parent should have the first option of taking their child to these things. I doubt any EOW step parent's take their stepchildren to appointments (on the weekend?). It's the step parents that are 'raising' these children because dad has custody and in most cases, it's because the mom has left or isn't being a good parent. If the other parent is around, they should be given the option, but what happens when they don't take that option?

I was the one that went to SD's school conference. BM told DH that she had scheduled a separate conference and when we got there, the teacher said only one conference for SD was made, ours. BM never even asked for her report card. We sent her a copy and we give her copies of everything (school bulletins & field trip info) but she doesn't ever show an interest. She hasn't been to one school function this year, except back to school night. She went to that so she could tell us she had moved with her BF. If SD brings home some of her work that needs to be redone over the weekend, we have to stay up with her on Sunday to get it done, BM doesn't think she should have to spend her weekend helping SD do home work. She thinks her time is for having fun.

and Ceph, I believe if a therapist is involved because of issues relating to the divorce or step family, all the adults in the child's life should be involved too, even if they are not married. That doesn't mean attending every session, but they should not be excluded. (and I'm not talking about a casual BF/GF, but more serious relationship that may lead to marriage) If you exclude step parent's or potential step parent's, then those issues will never get resolved and a potential step parent should know exactly what they are getting into. Excluding them until they are actually married and then including them in problems they may not have known existed (because they were kept in the dark) would probably create more problems.

As far as confidentiality, a therapist isn't going to discuss with ANYONE something the child doesn't agree to. In your case, you are an involved parent but if your BF had a young child and their mother was gone (deceased or not involved), would you expect your BF to do everything for the child? (ie. leave work for all appointments? stay home when his child is ill? etc.)

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justnotmartha

I have attended all but one of my SD's visits with her counselor. Mom has come to a few, but only if specifically requested. There has never been a question that I would be involved, and I'm sure a lot of that is due to my DH being the CP, in addition to my SD seeing me as "mom." She has never questioned my involvement in anything because I'm only STEPmom. Maybe because I lead her Girl Scouts, coach her cheerleading, am president of her PTA, coach her dancing, etc. I think I have demonstrated my dedication to her life and she feels that I hold a place equal to her bio-parents in it. Her stepdad, on the other hand, is persona non grata and she does not want him involved with anything.

Teachers, counselors, friend's parents all come to me first. Not because I throw myself out there, but because they see who is a parent and who gave birth.

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mom2emall

I go to all my skids dr. appts (mostly because my husband is at work at that time) and dentist appointments. I went to the last round of parent/teacher conferences alone because my dh had to work and we could not reschedule for a time around his work schedule. I am the one who organzies most friend activities with the skids and takes care of driving. In my situation, where I am around 100% of the time and their mom sees them for a few weeks once a year it would be silly for important info to be kept from me! I have helped my dh make important medical decisions with skids regarding medications, braces, etc.

However, I could see the point of a ncp's spouse not needing to be present at dr/therapist appts. Though, I can't imagine that a spouse would keep everything confidential from a spouse regarding the kids. Especially if the stepparent spends time with skid during regular visitation.

justnotmartha.........I like your point about "they see who is a parent and who gave birth". In many situations on here the two(giving birth and parenting) do not go together unfortunately!

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theotherside

"BF had a young child and their mother was gone (deceased or not involved), would you expect your BF to do everything for the child? (ie. leave work for all appointments? stay home when his child is ill? etc."

I would expect that. I do, as do almost all single mothers of young children.

My exH's current wife once came to a team meeting - and she hadn't seen the relevant child more than once or twice in the previous year. She hasn't attended any since, for which the school is grateful, since otherwise they would have to schedule separate meetings for my exH and myself.

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mom2emall

"I would expect that. I do, as do almost all single mothers of young children. "

so than you must object to kkny having someone watch her dd when sick and take her to dr.'s appointment tos??

I have more sick days than my dh, and he makes more per day than I do, so when a kid is sick I am usually the one staying home from work.

And why TOS would the school have to schedule seperate meetings for you and your exh if he brought his wife along? Very immature!!!

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theotherside

What difference does it make if he makes more per day? How few sick days does he have, anyway? I currently have close to 500 hours of sick leave accumulated, after working in my current position for about six years, and I am a single parent, so I am the one who always stays home if the kids are sick or takes them to the doctor. Perhaps your husband's kids get sick more often, and if so I am sorry to hear that, but my kids usually miss only a few days a year.

I don't think the au pair is in charge of "watching" her daughter when she is sick - I thought she was mostly there to drive her places. A fifteen year old with a bad cold doesn't need watching - if she were very ill, that would be a different story, but I imagine kkny would stay home in that case, au pair or not.

There is no reason for me to discuss my child's educational issues with someone who might not recognize her if she bumped into her on the street. Her martial arts instructor, our next door neighbor, her adult siblings, and probably several other people would be in a better position to provide input at a team meeting, and no one considered inviting them.

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imamommy

Gosh, when I was a single parent, I considered signing up the kids for Big Brother's/Big Sister's, and I put them in Boy/Girl Scouts, Little League, Karate and dance class and it was all in the hopes that they would have plenty of positive male & female role models in their lives. It would have been wonderful if their father's had been more involved, but since they weren't, it would have been equally wonderful for them to have surrogates to help care for them. It isn't about pawning off responsibility to others necessarily, but the child knowing that several people love and care for them.

As far as attending appointments or school events, it seems to be okay to have a paid person do those things but not someone that actually cares about the child. A good, loving parent (single, married, divorced or remarried) should want their child(ren) to have the largest group of people that love their child or are involved in their child's life.

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theotherside

I have friends/teachers/relatives who care about my children and take them places (not doctor's appts though, I have always done that myself). My husband's current wife dislikes my children (except for one - see, I pointed that out again), barely knows them, and has never even met the older ones. She has no reason to attend my child's team meeting.

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cawfecup

Sick days ... my husband gets ONE sick day per year ... that's it just the one... so every day he takes off to take a kid to an appt. he loses a days pay ..

And one week vacation per year.... which he "saves" as going to court days... so in 3 years he has not had a vacation because he has to save those days to go to court every 3-5 months

He was basically a SAHD until ex left ... she made over $100,000 a year. He worked his schedule around the kids while she was the major bread winner.

And the children are not ill ... but they do get sick many times per year.

TOS you're right she doesn't because she is uninvolved but if your children lived with her full-time and she wasn't involved you would be having a cow too. Can't win.

The only people who question me taking the children to the doctors are on here... no one else even blinks an eye about it.

I am taking them to the allergist I am not authorizing a lobotomy.

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finedreams

your understanding of involved parents might ve different from mine. i don't consider a parent who sees his/her children EW, EOW, once a month, 3 months out of the year etc uninvolved parent. I consider it NCP. So I don't think that mom who sees a kid EOW is uninvolved. Not heavily involved definitelly but not "abandoned" a child kind of mom. So the fact that my X lives very far away geographically doesn't make him less of a parent and doesn't make any other man to go and discuss DD's private matters. My BF would drive DD to appt but he wouldn't start saying that my X abandoned a kid and now BF is a parent. excuse me, but no.

As about the fact that therapist cannot talk to BM...Therapist, psychologist etc couldn't talk to DD's dad either due to a distance, but it doesn't mean therapist will have to talk to my partners. Therapist talked to me. same with dentist or orthodontist that X took care of. I could never talk to her dentist because it is on my X's location but it doesn't m,ean that any other people needed to go and sicuss her dental issues. X did that. My point is that if one parent is unavailable, there is another parent. If SD's therapist needs to talk to a parent and mom is not there for a moment, then there is a dad. if both parents unexistant then there is a different story...

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finedreams

I mentioned that DD went to see a psychologist at some point. Just to clarify that sometimes lol people's desire to see a psychologist is nothing to do with family or stepmoms or parents or whatever else. There is more to life that talking about SMs. lol And frankly at teenage age boys/girls have private matters that are nobody else's business sometimes not even parents' and definitelly not SM s'.

As about 8 year old "authorizing" therapists to talk to SMs. You kidding right? 8 year old child doesn't have understanding what needs to be discussed with whom.

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mom2emall

"Posted by kkny (My Page) on Sun, Feb 3, 08 at 11:02

I have an aupair so I can leave for work at 6:30 for a high paying job in the city. I can minimize time away from DD while she is awake, but I need someone to drive her to shcool (no buses where we live) and help if she is out sick, needs to go to doctor "

SEE TOS....KKNY does not have to call off work, she pays someone to "help" if her daughter is sick or needs to go to the doctor. My dh does not have to pay me, I willingly do it!!! So if you don't jump on KKNY for keeping her "high paying job" by having an au pair take care of her child at times why do you jump on me for doing things while my dh works since his job is higher paying than mine? And he does not even get 1/3 of the sick days I get a year. As for the kids getting sick a lot, well the children rarely get sick but when they do I am the one to stay home. The oldest has braces and has orthadontist appts. regularly (which I take her to right after work, while my dh is at his job).

Since the bm in the picture lives across the country we can not exactly call her and ask her to take off work to watch the kids (OH WAIT SHE DOES NOT EVEN HAVE A JOB.....)
so I AM THE MOM HERE and why should it matter to you that I take off work instead of my dh? When will you accept that the bm in this situation in uninvolved and the kids and my dh consider me their mom? It makes no difference who does what in our home, WE ARE BOTH THE PARENTS!!!!!!!!!

Sorry you can not get over the whole part where the exwife gave birth to the kids....but thats about all she did for these kids! If you want to talk about raising them and mothering them I did all that....which is a heck of a lot more work then giving birth and then running away a few years later to be with some joe shmoe!

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kkny

Mom2emall,

If you are saying you do what my aupair does, you are no more a parent than she is (and she is a delightful responsible young woman). She accepts that I am the parent, and she is very helpful, but not for one minute would she say she is the mom.

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cawfecup

You missed the whole point.... playing semantics... you pay someone to do what we do.

No your Au pair is not a parent but we are ... thats why we have the title step parents.

Its not au pairent.

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kkny

It is "STEPparent" Ok, not parent, except in very unusual situations you have no more legal rights than my aupair.

And mom2emall was saying she does what my aupair does

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finedreams

it is not semanthics. doing something for the kid like driving to appt, babysitting, cooking meals etc doesn't necesarilly make one a parent. if you divorce your DH you stop being a parent pretty much the next day, but we've been through this discussion before.

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cawfecup

No I don't stop being a parent I do have my own children I just stop "parenting" his children.

The whole point was giving others grief for taking children to appts. but kkny has her au pair do it and thats ok, but we take them and get grief why is ok for her au pair to take children to appts but its not ok for SP to take children... I will remind you we have the children full-time.

If I had legal rights to them would they be obligated to pay off my parents debt with any future inheritences???

Ok define what a parent is??? what makes a parent a parent

This should be interesting... :)

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mom_of_4

it is being overly technical and picking out only what she wrote on that specific entry.... when we all know from previous posts that mom2emall is essentially mom... Bio mom chose to leave her kids and mom2emall does everything for her kids... as she has stated over and over again... even her kids consider her more of a mom than bio mom... and the only person's fault that is is bio mom for making the decisions that she has made. And I sincerely doubt that especially in this situation even if there was a divorce the mom2emall would stop being a parental figure to those kids... I am quite certain that mom2emall could write a list a mile long of what she does for her kids in only a weeks time frame... but that would be ridiculous.

I think it comes down to the same arguement ... giving birth or donating semen does not make you a parent in makes you an incubator or a donor. It is everything that comes after that that makes you a parent ... a mommy a daddy.

And BTW.. I have taken my kids to doctors appointments, dentist appointments... you name it I have done it. And for some of the same reasons... my job is fairly flexible... I get way more PTO time than he does so I can afford to take time off... and if it came down to it I could work from home if I had to on a specific day. Also, BM in our situation is famous for making an appointment and then declaring we have to take them because she can't even though DH told her the times he would be available and it doesnt even remotely coincide with those times... so it is either I take them to the appointment or the cancellation/no show (because it is always at the last minute) fee is charged to us ... because guess what it is our insurance. At this point because she has done it so many times I usually just plan on having to take them and that way I am not rushing at the last minute.

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imamommy

Involved- Knows what's going on in the child's life. Calls to find out if the child is okay or at least answers the phone when called by the child. Goes to school conferences and events or at least asks for the progress report/report card & shows an interest in what the child is doing.

Uninvolved- Absent. Doesn't call. Rarely visits. Doesn't really know what's going on in the child's life. Doesn't inquire about school, health or extra curricular activities the child is involved in. May spend time with the child but not involved in much more than having fun. Doesn't help with homework during visits, leaves that for CP/SP.

I don't think my stepdaughter's mom is completely uninvolved but she isn't here day to day to do anything for her daughter. She sits three hours away with her new boyfriend, demanding that we do things her way and threatens us with court if DH says no. My husband doesn't have ANY sick pay. He gets a low hourly wage but works for commissions. If he misses a day here or there (and he works an hour away so even a short doctor visit means he could miss half a day's work), he doesn't get paid at all when he's not there.

and I didn't say an 8 year old 'authorizes' her therapist to talk to SM. I said that the therapist won't discuss what SD says in her sessions without her permission. Her counseling is 'confidential' and what is said is not discussed unless the counselor feels there is something reportable. Otherwise, SD is assured that her sessions are confidential so she will feel comfortable talking freely. If the counselor wants to tell me, DH, BM or anyone else (it's usually me because I pick her up), then she'll ask SD, do you mind if I tell SM what you told me? She doesn't break her confidentiality. The therapist doesn't discuss everything that is said. And BM doesn't want to meet with her therapist because she found out on the first visit, where she coached SD into saying she wanted to live with BM, the the therapist knew SD was being coached. If BM can't manipulate the situation, she backs off. BM has no interest in helping or guiding her daughter through the trauma of her leaving.

And I don't know how you define abandonment, but when a parent has their child every other week and calling during the weeks they don't have her, and all of a sudden, without any warning, packs up and moves several hours away and is no longer there every other week and doesn't call at all, and doesn't answer her phone or write back when she sends a letter, I think most young children would feel abandoned. Especially a young girl that is close to her mother. Especially after the mother had been telling the little girl for months that she wanted her to live with her and that daddy is trying to take you away and I won't let that happen. Then a month later, she leaves. I call that abandonment. That's more of an abandonment than my kids that were left and NEVER saw their father's. At least the father's didn't come into their lives, build a bond & hope and then leave and shatter their world. My kids were abandoned but they don't know what it feels like to be left and I think that's much worse. It's harder to miss something you never had than to lose something you want more than anything.

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finedreams

both parents cannot be there doing things day to day for their chidlren, unless of course they live together. so it is expected that one parent will not be there day to day.

as about your BM, she does sound crazy but you change your story about her. you tell us how much crap SD brings home, all this sexual stuff, etc then it means SD goes there right? and you discuss all this with other BM how kids are treated in BM's and BF's house. you wanted to report Bm to CPS for abuse. there can't be any abuse if SD never goes there. so which one is it? is SD there EW or she is almost never there. If she is almost never there you can't say she learns bad stuff from BM. You contradict yourself depends on what is discussion about.

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mom2emall

"Posted by kkny (My Page) on Wed, Feb 6, 08 at 9:30

Mom2emall,
If you are saying you do what my aupair does, you are no more a parent than she is (and she is a delightful responsible young woman). She accepts that I am the parent, and she is very helpful, but not for one minute would she say she is the mom. "

My point, KKNY, was to TOS. My point was that TOs has no problem with a BM hiring someone to take dd places and take care of dd becasue bm has to work. But, then TOS has an issue with sm's doing those things for skids because dad has to work. Double standard! If my dh only had kids eow and he worked all weekend then I could see the problem. But, as you know that is not the situation.

As far as your aupair, obviously she would not try to be your dd's mom.....your home with your dd each day! My situation is VERY different from yours. As hard as it may be to imagine, the bm in this situation chose to not "mother" her children and left that job. I came along and fell in love with the whole package (dh and kids) and picked up bm's slack. Her fault....I did not cause this.

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imamommy

"as about your BM, she does sound crazy but you change your story about her. you tell us how much crap SD brings home, all this sexual stuff, etc then it means SD goes there right? and you discuss all this with other BM how kids are treated in BM's and BF's house. you wanted to report Bm to CPS for abuse. there can't be any abuse if SD never goes there. so which one is it? is SD there EW or she is almost never there. If she is almost never there you can't say she learns bad stuff from BM. You contradict yourself depends on what is discussion about."

How am I contradicting myself? I have said she goes to BM's the first three Weekends of each month. I've said that "I don't think my stepdaughter's mom is completely uninvolved" because she does see her. She doesn't call her during the week. She doesn't answer her phone when SD calls her. She doesn't think it's important for her to do well in school apparently (as evidenced by her doing her daughter's work last year so she didn't know any of her math concepts this year and was way behind. She also takes her out of school early whenever it suits her, and last year, she would let her stay home or pick her up early for no reason. And this year, if SD brings homework to BM's on Friday that needs to be done over the weekend, BM tells her to do it when she goes home because it interferes with 'their' time.) BM doesn't inquire about how SD is doing in counseling or in any other activities she's involved in. I'm not saying she's completely uninvolved, but she chose to move away. She knows my husband has worked in the same place for 20 years and that by leaving the area, that I would be taking on the responsibilities for her daughter, including taking her to doctor appointments, counseling, school, and extra curricular activities. Yet, for the last five months, she's constantly been hostile toward me, yelling at me that I am not her child's mother and I'm keeping her from her 'baby' because I won't ask how high when she barks JUMP! But, if you want to say that because she plays 'disneyland mama' a few weekends a month, that it makes her an involved parent that has the right to criticize my involvement, then I have to respectfully disagree with you. She is not what I consider an involved parent. Sorry. (and I found out today that if BM and her BF have plans on their weekends, they drop off the kids with her BF's parents, so they aren't even spending 'their' time with the kids. Nice huh?)

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theotherside

kkny's au pair drives her daughter to appointments - that is a lot different from accompanying her to appointments, sitting in the room, talking to the doctor, etc. You could hire a taxi to take your child to an appointment, but that wouldn't make the taxi driver a parental figure.

And I think homework DOES take away from family time. A lot of assigned homework is just busy work, and often does nothing to increase the children's knowledge. I would much rather they be playing outside, having a conversation with me or their siblings, or reading a book.

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finedreams

I am surprised third grade teachers assign homework for the weekend. It is weird. But in any case three weekends a month is a normal NCP arrangement. Many NCP parents do not call during the week. She might not be a perfect mom, she obviously is not, but who is? It is wrong to pick a kid up early, agree. But three wekends a month is a reasonable arrangement for NCP. When I and X still lived in geographically reasonable proximity, DD went to dad EW. It never occured to me to make her take her homework with her. It didn't make X a bad parent. If i have her 5 days a week and he had her only 2 days, why would she waste that precious time doing homework? Your BM does sound crazy but you don't have to make her sound even more crazy than she is.

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imamommy

kkny, your child is probably old enough to see a doctor alone, although when I was 17 and pregnant, I could see my ob/gyn alone for pregnancy related care but not see a doctor for a cold without a parent's consent. If she is old enough to give the doctor the information he needs and to understand the doctor's instructions, then that's not the same as an 8 year old. My husband would have to take unpaid time from work to take her and when her mom lived nearby, she would take her since she didn't work. Now that she's gone, I take her. (and I pay for it as well, BM never sends a dime) IMO, if she doesn't want me taking her daughter to the doctor, she can bring her happy ass down here and take her herself. It makes no difference to me. I'm doing it because she left. (Besides, she didn't complain about me taking her as long as I paid for it. Maybe that makes it okay?)

and she isn't 'assigned' homework on the weekends. She brings home her folder for the week and is supposed to make corrections on the pages where the teacher writes 'correct' or 'redo'. Sometimes, she doesn't have any but when she does, it wouldn't take BM fifteen minutes to help her with. The only reason it's a problem is we pick her up at six on Sunday and have a long drive home. If BM doesn't feed her dinner, we usually have to stop to eat and usually get home after nine o'clock. SD is really tired when she gets home and takes her shower & goes to bed. If she has work to correct, the only option is to keep her up later to finish it or get her up early to work on it before school.

and fine, I'm not trying to make her sound crazier than she is. I'm in disbelief at the things she's been doing. She plants SD in front of the TV while she takes long showers with her BF. Couldn't she put her at the kitchen table to do her homework while she takes her long showers with BF? I guess now she's badmouthing her BF's ex wife to their kids. It just keeps getting worse.

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finedreams

why kkny's 16 year ols is old enough to go see a doctor alone (first of all how is she going to get there without a car?) and yet you needed parental concent? No, she is not old enough at age 16 plus she is on her parents' health insurance. Plus you don't know what kind of doctors her DD needs to see. DD was nervous to go to ob/gyn the first time even if she was old enough, it is not a particularly comforting trip for a young lady.

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finedreams

why kkny's 16 year ols is old enough to go see a doctor alone and yet you needed parental concent? She isn't seeing a doctor for pregnancy so she most definitelly needs a concent. Plus how is she going to get to a doctor without a car? Not every kid has a car at age 16. Mine didn't and actually still doesn't. No, she is not old enough at age 16 plus she is on her parents' health insurance.

I think that if you pay attention to every little thing that the other parent does, you are going to get an ulcer. I have learned to let X just be X. As DD comments re:weird X's behavior: dad is just being dad. You really don't need to always worry what BM does with BF. I mean there is a reasonable concern, but this is way too much especially in regards to showers. DD never in 16 years of growing up in a divorced family told me when her dad takes showers and with who. And I wouldn't care to know. And I wouldn't want somebody to judge that I put my DD in front of TV while i did something else. You bet in 20 years of her life I did put her in front of TV so i can get a break. So what? You clearly dislike BM a LOT, and you say she hates you but I think it is mutual. You seem to be in her business a lot, even calling her boyfriend's exwife. I can't see my X's wife calling my BF's x-wife to discuss what DD does when she is with me. You bet I would dislike her activelly should that ever occur. I think that maybe by stepping aside a bit you would improve a situation.

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imamommy

Oh forget it. I'm tired of being misunderstood and having to explain what I mean. Are you trying to start an argument?

1. KKNY said her daughter is 15. 16, not much different. She has an au pair. I didn't mean get herself there 'alone', I meant go into the room w/ doctor alone. I would trust a 15-16 year old to understand the doctor's instructions, I wouldn't trust an 8 year old. TOS pointed out that "kkny's au pair drives her daughter to appointments - that is a lot different from accompanying her to appointments, sitting in the room, talking to the doctor, etc. You could hire a taxi to take your child to an appointment, but that wouldn't make the taxi driver a parental figure."

That's fine if you are talking about a teenager, but not when talking about an 8 year old.

2. If the au pair takes her, I assume KKNY gives consent at some point. I wasn't suggesting she go to an ob/gyn alone. I was only pointing out that by law, (in my state at least) I didn't need consent to get pregnancy related care, but I did have to have my mom's permission to see the doctor for a cold.

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