staying home with kids

mom2emall

So I am struggling with a decision. My dh and I have talked about me staying home next year instead of working. We have pretty much decided I will stay home next year.

Our youngest will only be in 1/2 day kindergarten in the fall. I am a teacher and love teaching, but HATE the district I have been working in. I have stayed there because I am comfortable, been there for a few years and love most of the staff. But it is an hour drive for me now and the district is changing for the worst in my opinion. No matter what, after this year I was going to look for employment in a district closer to home.

This year has been tough with me working so far, getting off work and then driving to pick up the youngest from my in-laws, then driving to 2 different schools to pick the kids up from the afterschool programs. I only have to do this 3X a week, the other 2 days my dh is home. And on the weekends I am home. But those 3 days are HE**. We get home with enough time for dinner, homework, showers, and bed. With my ss being in 1/2 day kindergarten next year there is no guarantee that he will get morning kindergarten. And if that happens he will not be able to go to my in-laws house and we will need to find care for him 1/2 days.

We have discussed me staying home next year and just subbing on my dh's days off. This way I can see what districts close to home I may want to work in full-time.

The problems is that we mentioned that I will be staying home to some family members and they look at us like we are insane! They act like it is unheard of for a mom of 3 to stay home?? I know their opinion does not matter, we need to do what is right for us. But did any of you who had a career and chose to stay home with your kids for a while get the same attitudes from people about it?

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kathline

I stay home. When my birth kids were young, I had them in daycare. My a** was draggin all the time, I could never catch up with work or home things, and my house was a mess. I was tired all the time. I hired someone to do the cleaning

When my now ex and I added it all up I was bringing home, after taxes, childcare, and housecleaning help, a whopping five hundred dollars a month. It wasnt worth it in any way, so I quit. People at the time thought I was nuts, and roundly critisized me.

I worked full time after my divorce, until my remarriage. My husband and I decided at that time, that it was more valuable for me to be at home, taking care of things there, than chasing dollars. IT means we dont have a lot for extras, but our house is a calm restful place, and when my husband ( a scientist with a high pressure job) is at home, he can relax rather than have to attend to chores.

THe persons most upset about this are his ex wife and her new husband. His ex wife makes 22k per year as an LPN. Her husband makes 90k as a government employee. She pays 8k in daycare for after school only care, because she insists on using a particular care centre ( daycare is available after school at the kids school for five dollars a day, but she wont let them go there)Another 4k in taxes, and the woman takes home 10k per year, for full time work. She does ALL the housework, ALL the childcare for her kids and her husbands kids when they are there, and holds down a full time job. She hates the fact that I dont work, but doesnt want to give up the money.

I went to work for a month last year to get some extra for something I wanted to buy that wasnt in the budget. It was the most stressful month of our marriage, for husband and me, and for all the kids. We all agreed, never again. The world is a much better place when one person is home. Depending which side of the issue someone is on, they see a spouse at home as a luxury...or a sacrifice.

FOr what its worth, I think you and your husband have made a great decision and it will pay off with a happier calmer home, and more content kids.

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dirtdiva

It sounds like you have a good plan. I really like the idea of you subbing in districts closer to your home. Your reasons are solid and your husband is backing you. The time you will have with the children will be well worth it. Is it hard to get a teaching job in your area? Good luck. I am happy for you and I love your plan!
Please don't feel guilty staying home to take care of your family! And another thing, you will be working! You'll be subbing 3 days a week.

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imamommy

I see staying at home as a luxury and a sacrifice.

Luxury: The kids have a parent there all the time, chores can get done, the working parent shouldn't have to worry about chores on time off, as Kathline said.

Sacrifice: Unless the working parent makes a lot of money, the family might struggle financially and do without more than a two parent household. The stay at home parent is also sacrificing their career (or potential career) as others that continue to advance in their career while the stay at home parent might find it difficult to re-enter the work force after staying at home for a period of time.

I think it's great if you can stay home and it doesn't matter what others think.

However, if you have kids, you should be contributing to their support (unless all your kids are from your husband that is working). I mean, if you have kids with an ex, whether they live with you or not, both parents should work. It would be unfair to an ex that is paying child support if the child support were to be increased because the other parent quit working and decided to be a stay at home mom. It's also unfair if the parent that is paying child support quits and stays home and then asks for child support to be lowered because they are not working. If there are no changes in the support amount when one quits (and the amount is based on what they were making before they quit), then I see no problem. I'd only see a problem with a CP quitting to get more support or a NCP quitting to pay less. IMHO

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theotherside

On the one hand, my staying home with my children for the five or six years I did so was the best thing for them. On the other, it was the worst mistake I ever made, career-wise. By the time I went back to work, my skills were out of date and that, combined with my age, made it very difficult to get a job in my field. I wish I had never given up my secure, reasonably high paying job. Had I known that I would be almost the sole support of my children, I never would have. I would be earning at least 50% more than I am earning now.

BTW, after school daycare (in the school) in my area, for kids who go to school until 3, is $250 a month. I have no idea what it must be for kids in kindergarten. When I was working I didn't net very much after daycare, but in retrospect it was a worthwhile investment, one that I should never have given up.

Of course, in some fields you don't get out of date as fast as others. In this economy, however, I would be afraid of giving up my job for fear that it would be years before I found another one as good.

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mom2emall

Thanks for all your advice.

Katheline: My dh is looking forward to me being home. I usually have summers off and my dh loves the summers because I take care of all the household chores and he actually gets to spend his days off relaxing with me and the kids. I agree, we will have to give up some things for me to stay home but I am looking forward to being able to help with things in my childrens schools (field trips, class parties, etc.) and also being able to sub and get an idea about schools I might like to work in close to home.

IMA,
I had not even thought of taking my ex to court for more cs! I would not do that.

TOS,
I do see your point. Each year I am home is a year behind I will be on the salary scale. I am hoping that staying home for one year will not hurt me career wise very much!

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kkny

Mom2emall,

I cant imagine taking one year off would make a big deal careerwize. Actually, I think you should look around, are you better off getting a masters or additional certification? to help with job search in a year or two?

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mom_of_4

I think that is great idea. I can't imagine why someone would critisize you for taking some time to stay at home check out the districts and getting more time with your kids. I wish I could stay at home even if just for a year or two. Right now, my Dh is more than likely about to become a stay at home dad. It just makes sense... I make more money than he does and it will cost us more to have my dd in daycare than for him to just be at home and take care of her.

don't worry about others reactions it sounds like the best idea for your family.

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mom2emall

KKNY,

I am certified in a few areas, which helped a lot when I found my current position a few years back. I would love to get my masters, but we just do not have the money to do so right now. And I would need to be working while getting my masters because I need to do some things in the classroom for the masters program I want. So, it may be a little while before I can go get my masters. But, I am excited about looking around.

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newgardenelf

I made the decision to take a year off after my son became ill and we actually have more money now. We used to eat out often, drycleaning, clothes, house cleaner, change in tax bracket, etc. Our family is calmer and happier. Also I have been able to do some seasonal and part time jobs which are really fun and have lots of perks.

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cawfecup

Mom2 ... I am a SAHSM... yes friends and family said I was nutz... to give up my job for someone else's kids. I liked my job I worked with good people for a good company great benefits. But a month after we got married ... hubby took a job where he wouldn't be able to get to his kids when they needed him ... he would be traveling all over New England. So we sat and thought about putting them in daycare (mom wasn't paying support at the time not that she pays a lot) but we worked the numbers out ... it was better that I stay home and be available for the kids and save the $300+ a week for daycare. If I stayed working who would stay with them on sick days.. blah blah blah.

The only thing I wish I had done was sub work ... or limited part time ... I had no social interactions, it was all kids all the time.

I just started a part-time job last week just to get out of the house everyday for a "real" reason.

I have been home for 2 years... was just about ready to go out of my mind .... filled out apps everywhere looking for something that didn't conflict with the kids schedules too much.... so if you can stay home most of the time and work when needed ... if you can afford it do it. Instead of juggling kids here and there to work ...

The stability it provided my family with me being home outweighed the benefits of working.

Like today the 3 of them are home sick 2 with fevers the 3rd with stomach bug... :(. NO juggling, no worrying about who would take the day off ... and tomorrow same thing 2 will be home again tomorrow (fevers).

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theotherside

"I mean, if you have kids with an ex, whether they live with you or not, both parents should work."

I don't necessarily agree with this statement. If while married the parents agreed that one would stay home with the children, why should the other parent get to decide to desert his or her family and then force the SAHP to go back to work as well? It is obviously even harder to work as a single parent than it is in an intact family with two working parents. At least when there are two parents at home, they can trade off staying home with the kids when they are sick, and one could work 7-3 while the other worked 10-6, for instance.

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kkny

I think the "if you have kids with an ex, whether they live with you or not, both parents should work" is consistent with only SMs are allowed to be SAHP. I think it depends on a number of factors (are children in school, how healthy are they), etc.

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mom_of_4

I think you want to read only Sms are allowed to be SAHP and further your own anti sm agenda in your head ... but that is just me.

And, although I support mom2emall choosing to stay at home. I certainly don't support the idea that after a divorce you should be able to continue to stay at home and I dont know live off your ex wife or husband... You absolutely should get off your butt and take care of yourself and your children with or without help. (This is not to say that TOS doesnt or didnt it is a generic "you")

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kkny

Momof4, If you are saying that after divorce mom has to work and so does Ima, doesnt that mean by simple logic that only SM has right to stay home.

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mom_of_4

no actually, by simple logic I could accurately see about a dozem different situations where by what I said and what Ima said (because please note she clarified what she said as it relates to child support and I clarified what I said by sitting at home being supported by ex husband)... And parent could easily decide along with new spouse or magical windfall of money this is what I want to do...stay at home... but I dont think that the ex or the children should have to hoist the weight of that decision...

IE:

Don't expect your ex to support YOU after divorce, expect him/her to CONTRIBUTE to the support of your children

if you and new husband or wife decides that you should stay home dont expect child support to increase from ex or your obligation to your child to decrease

that is what is being said...

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kkny

Just so I understand you. If there is a child under 2, and Dad has never spent much time with child, and makes a very good living, mom should either go back to work, or child should go live with dad and SM. I dont think that is right. If dad can afford SAHSM, he can afford SAH mom to his children.

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imamommy

I wrote that because children are entitled to be supported by both parents. When the parents are married, they can decide to have one stay at home. If they get divorced and they agree to have one stay home while the other supports them, then that's their business. If they don't agree, then it's tough. Sorry you ladies don't agree but if your husband stayed married to you and said, 'honey, you need to get a job.', would you have said, 'nope.' I'm assuming that you can be a stay at home mom when you are married because the man that's working has agreed to support you. If he leaves (or dies, or becomes disabled), then yes, it's tough... you gotta work. You have kids and they have the right to be supported by both parents. Whether you like it or not.

I wasn't suggesting that OP was thinking about quitting her job to up the support, but I do know that it happens. NCP's quit (or work less) to pay less (as in TOS's case) and CP's sometimes quit (or work less) to get a higher amount. Of course every situation is different and having toddlers or young kids isn't the same as school aged or teens. Daycare costs have to be considered.

A SM that has no kids of her own to support.. well, why can't she stay home if the husband wants her there to take care of his kids (assuming he's the custodial parent)? If that's the case, then providing childcare & household duties is her job. It's no different than a wife in an intact family staying home. (and even if he is NCP, as in KKNY's situation, if he is willing to support her and let her stay home by the pool all day, that's HIS business.)

IMHO, the breadwinner has to agree. It's not really up to the person staying home to decide independently. The breadwinner is the one agreeing to support the person staying home, so when he decides he no longer wants to support you to stay at home, then it's time to get a job. Whether it happens at divorce or while still married.... TOUGH

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doodleboo

The point is to kepe the children cared for. If the CP can't keep their head above water without a ton of support from the NCP then they are in fact unfit.

You can't rely on anyone to help raise your children. I don't mean that the NCP SHOULDN'T help, I'm just saying you should not be soul dependent on it. Ever heard of dead beat moms and dads? You have to be able to support your own child....just in case. The CP should deff. get a job if she or HE can't swing it without the help of child support. The ex shouldn't be paying to tote your weight as well as the children.

Mom2...if your hubby supports you and you think you can swing it I say go for it. The kids will love having you at home for that year. Do what you guys feel is right. I wish I could stay home but I have to help financially support my two step daughters because biomom doesn't work.

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mom2emall

Doodleboo,

In my situation the bm does not pay any support either. My biochild lives with us and is in school full-day. The only one that is home is my youngest stepchild. It is because we need care for him that I am going to stay home. If he was older and in school full-days then this would not be an issue.

I think I will enjoy being home for a while though and am looking forward to it.

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doodleboo

I hope it all works out and you guys have a great year together. What an awesome time to bond one on one with your child:)

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kkny

Well fortunately thats for the courts to decide. But from reading these posts, I can see how a lot of tension developes -- becasue it seems to me SMs want more than courts will allow. As to Dads SO, I can see writing on wall, dad has been transferring more assets into DDs name.

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doodleboo

I'm confused. Tell me what I )SM's) want more of that the courts will allow again because my husband has custody of his children and their mother doesn't give us a red cent to help raise the girls because she is the one not working.

I'm just a wee bit confused about that whole statement. The steps get NOTHING. We give time, money, love and patience and get nothing but the love of the children back. I don't know about the other step's here but that's all in this world I want.

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imamommy

ha doodleboo, I couldn't agree MORE! My husband has custody of his daughter and her mom hasn't paid a penny either. Not to mention, if we send her in nice clothes, she comes back in rags. But she's taking her BF's daughter shopping.. isn't that nice? Ya know... a little girl bonding and spending money that could be used for her own kids.... while we comfort daughter that misses her mom and I use my money to buy her what she needs.

We also give our time, money, love and patience for her, but I'm not allowed to get the love of the child back. If she lets on to her mom, that she even likes me, she is reprimanded and reminded that "SHE IS NOT YOUR MOM, I AM!". I do get the love and appreciation from my husband for all I do and the hope that someday my step daughter will see that she is loved and cared for. (I'm pretty sure she knows it now, but she's got such a strong loyalty to her mom)

and KKNY, I agree.. it's for the courts to decide. If they agree that the husband has to continue to support his ex wife indefinitely because they agreed to it during the marriage, then so be it. But it's not for the ex wife to decide. When we went to court, I was perfectly happy with whatever the court decided as far as child support for my step daughter was concerned. I even told my husband that if it was more than he could pay from his salary (because of his premarital debt), then I would help him or pay it myself. No, it's not my obligation but I was tired of hearing a mother use her child to control the father by telling him if he didn't do what she wanted, she was going to take his child away from him. Now isn't that a loving mom? Who is she thinking of? Herself or her child?

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theotherside

"IMHO, the breadwinner has to agree. It's not really up to the person staying home to decide independently."

It is not for the "breadwinner" to decide independently either. If they were still married, it is, or should be, a joint decision, and any change to that needs to be a joint decision as well. There is no reason that divorce, when due to the actions of the NCP, should be an excuse for the NCP to force the SAHP to go back to work.

The "breadwinner" is not "supporting" the SAHP while she or he sits around and eats bon-bons all day. I worked harder as a SAHM than I have ever worked at any job. If you had to pay someone else to do all the tasks the average SAHP performs, most people would not be able to afford it. The problem with working is that you have to do almost all of the things the SAHM does, but in fewer hours.

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imamommy

First TOS, you don't have to tell me how hard it is to be a single parent. Been there, done that! (with no child support or every other weekend off) KKNY said, "If dad can afford SAHSM, he can afford SAH mom to his children." and I was responding to that. I interpreted that to mean that she is saying that if mom is a SAHM while they are married and then they divorce, she should continue to be a SAHM while exH pays for it. (or if he wants to support his new girlfriend or wife, he should also continue to support her) and I said that it don't work that way, both must agree to it. Neither one can decide independently, but if the breadwinner no longer wants to be the sole support, whether they get divorced or stay married, then the stay at home person should get a job. That's life... grown ups work. You don't have to work as long as you have someone willing to support you. When they no longer want to support you, then you have to work if you are a grown up. It doesn't matter if they decide to end the marriage of if they decide they don't want to work as much or that they don't like being the only one working... it doesn't matter WHY. Didn't you read where I wrote: "when he decides he no longer wants to support you to stay at home, then it's time to get a job. Whether it happens at divorce or while still married.... TOUGH"

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helpwiththis

I think of staying at home with your kids as a privilege. I never got the chance and wish I could do it. But in my career it would have hurt me tremendously to take years off not to mention the fact that financially I could not ever afford it. Even now dh and I really could not afford to stay home unless we sold a vehicle or moved to a cheaper home.

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norcalgirl78

As an SD and future-SM, I would like to applaud families that work together and make decisions to benefit the family as a whole. OP, if you and your husband make the decision that you will stay home next year, then that's what it is, and it doesn't matter what anyone else says.

Although my SM and father did not marry until I was 22, SM/GF came into my life at age 14. She was and continues to be an extremely materialistic person. She could not have cared less about spending money on her two sons, but if I were thirsty she would sooner turn the car around and take me home to drink before she would buy me a bottled water while out and about. Her selfish behavior and over-pinching of pennies when the steps were involved made me feel like the quintessential red-headed stepchild. It is not an issue of budget - it was an issue of "mine" and "theirs" with her. (BTW, she was very generous during holidays buying lavish gifts for my brother and I...with my dad's credit card, until he cut her off, now it's back to the way it used to be.)

What my SM failed to realize all those years is that kids don't stay kids forever. They grow up, and they remember who was there for them and who was not. My mother and my father were the ones who accepted me unconditionally, gave me support and encouragement. Not her - and not because she was the GF/SM. It's because she is who she is. Now she wants to visit me when I live abroad, brag to her friends about my international career and personal successes, have me pay her way on outings because I make more money than she does, when all along she was smirking in anticipation of my failure. I never would have even been thinking this way if she hadn't made *money* a federal issue. But with her it is - I've traveled halfway across the country to have lunch with the woman and my stepbrother and she will make a point to pay for him and stick me for my own bill!

But she has taught me some valuable lessons, and I will do my best to not repeat her mistakes with my BFs lovely 2 DDs. ...I swear, I really don't have a huge chip on my shoulder, I just find it amazing that she could be so stingy about a couple of bucks when the family ties are what last (or don't) in the end. I guess step-situation or not, with reasonable kids and a little luck, you get out of it what you put in.

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theotherside

""when he decides he no longer wants to support you to stay at home, then it's time to get a job. Whether it happens at divorce or while still married.... TOUGH""

I disagree with that statement, whether the parents are still married or divorced. The person who is working outside the home does not get to decide unilaterally that he (or she) wants the other person to go back to work. Both parties get input into such a decision. If you are a SAHP, no one is "supporting" you - the person who is working outside the home is paying for housing, food, etc., in exchange for the services you are providing - child care, taxi driving, tutoring, housekeeping, cooking, manager of social/medical/financial affairs, etc. Very few SAHP's are sitting around the house from 9-5 doing nothing.

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imamommy

Response Plan A:

Well, I guess KKNY is wrong when she says that dad is supporting GF. After all, GF might be providing household services: housekeeping, cooking, giving all her attention to her man.

Response Plan B:

I didn't say a SAHP is sitting around doing nothing, but if they are not bringing income into the home, then the person that is bringing the money into the home IS supporting everyone. That doesn't mean it isn't in exchange for services. The breadwinner can ask the SAHP to get a job and help if he/she no longer wants to be the only source of income. Only a selfish or lazy person would refuse to pull their own weight if asked. It's one thing to stay home for a good reason, such as child care and the cost of working would be more than one might make, but to simply refuse because you are used to not working and expect to get to stay home because it was agreed upon in the past, well things change. That's life, it's not predictable. You have to go with the flow and if times are hard and the breadwinner says, 'I can't do it alone anymore, I need your help', then would you say, 'sorry, you said I can stay home' and not budge while you go into foreclosure?

What input are you talking about TOS? A SAHP's right to refuse to get a job because they were told a few years ago that they could stay home. I think the decision to be a SAHP is a joint decision because the person staying home has to agree to give up career opportunities and the breadwinner has to agree to be the sole financial support for the family. But when it comes to going back to both people working, how is it a mutual decision... it should be agreed upon unless the SAHP refuses.

Perhaps you can explain it to me... I'm confused. Unless you have a trust fund or someone willing to support you, don't all grown ups have to work?

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newgardenelf

the difficulty with a SAH parent is after the divorce it may not be possible for one person to support two homes and it is often not possible for the parent working outside the home to have quality time with the children if they must work more to sustain a lifestyle they had before. DH worked 50-60 hours a week when he was married and his EX stayed home. When they divorced he changed careers to have a flexible schedule and work less so he could be a parent with 50/50 time. EX was furious that she had to find a job. (of course she is also the one who had an affair and left so he wasn't very interested in supporting her and her new BF)
But I do feel sorry for great parents who get stuck having EOW and paying huge child support just because they are the only parent working outside the home.

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ceph

Chiming in late here:
Sucks to what other people think! Other people generally have no idea what's best for you and your family. So, somewhat ironically, my opinion is that you should disregard everyone else's opinions and do what YOU and DH want!

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kkny

Ima, Dad has no children at his home, not even EOW. His SO is not a SAHP. She is SAHSO.

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cawfecup

So dad doesn't get to decide "unilaterally" if mom should go back to work ... but its ok for him "unilaterally" give the go ahead for a party at his home?

IMA... the foreclosure thing kills me ... my hubby works with a guy who works 70+ hours per week at 2 jobs and is looking for a 3rd, while his wife stays home, youngest is 15, they are losing their home and she "refuses" to go to work because he told her 12 years ago she wouldn't have to work again. ... sad. But she keeps telling the 15 yr old to get a job, and their 19 yr old moved out rather than pay "room and board".

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mom_of_4

that is just ridiculous... you are about to lose your home and your husband is already working 2 jobs at 70+ hours a week and you refuse to get a job. What a lazy....

If that were me I would tell her fairly bluntly either you get a job while we are in this marriage or you get a job as a divorcee, in order to support yourself. I would not be able to even remotely handle that.

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imamommy

Well, even a SAHSO might be earning her keep in other ways... like I said, housekeeping, cooking, stroking his ego... I didn't say she was doing any child care, taxi driving, tutoring, or anything else that involves children. Doesn't mean she does nothing for it. Maybe he appreciates a good tan.

Why is it that it's okay (in TOS's book) that a mom stays home but you give SAHP's a hard time? (or is it only SAHSM's?) I thought you were on the same team... Is there finally something you guys disagree on????

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mom_of_4

a tan among other things...

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serenity_now_2007

Sorry, just had to chime in here. I'm kinda doubting that kkny's ex's SAHSO lifts a finger to do any housework or, well, ALMOST anything (wink wink). I'm familiar with the type. I could be wrong, but I doubt it. And if so, I'm sorry, it makes her "services" consist of nothing more (and probably even less) than those of a prostitute. Which is all fine & good for that man and that woman, but where it ceases to be a private business arrangement b/n the two of them and starts becoming an expense for others, is when funds start to get denied THE KIDS for important things (often at the whining, manipulative insistence of a woman of that sort). Not luxuries or toys, but important things like health care, basic costs of living, and ---imho--- college expenses.

ANYONE on this board ---male or female, bio-parent or step, custodial or non-custodial--- would be rightfully outraged and livid if told that there was something important their child was being denied (or child was told to pay for themselves) b/c ex feels more obliged to spend money on a full-time hooker.

Sounds like a pretty harsh way of putting it, but it's true, and NO ONE assesses this type of situation with more acuity than the child, no matter how young. So, a woman like that (who contributes NOTHING, to ANYONE, and then complains about what the children are getting) can whine about not being given toys and "proper respect" all she wants ---and she may even get the outward display of both, for a while--- but she shouldn't be surprised to find out one day that the kids despise her. After all, their college fund (or whatever) went to foot the bill for her "services".

Thankfully, this type of woman is in a small minority. It sounds like most of the women on here believe in more-or-less equal, give-and-take partnerships between two responsible adults, which I'm very glad to hear.

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doodleboo

To all of you who think it is OK for CP to stay at home and try and get more support out of the NCP, Does that go for the Step's as well? I mean, in Mom2's case it isn't her Bio child she is staying home to raise but her income I am so so SO sure contributed to raising these children. So, that being said, should dad be able to drag BioMom to court for more support. Mom2 staying home WILL effect the children financially.

What is good for the goose after all...Keep in mind if we are talking about the best interest of the children like you guys claim the fact that this parent is a Step shouldn't matter.

Where does it end? Do you see my point at all? If you have children and you can not afford to stay home without the help of outside support, get thine behind to work! You could find so many grey areas in this that it is mind boggling so just work for weeping out loud. If you and your spouse can afford it, that is terrific. If you are single, sorry sister. That's life. Most of us have to work. My situation just happens to be that I am a step to two children that my husband and I get no support for. I can't NOT work, For me, like for so many others, it isn't an option.

I can deal with reality. I do what I have to do to keep MY girls cared for. It doesn't bother me. I love them so I do it....Isn't that part of being a parent? Sacrifice, hard work and doing without? I would never tell an Ex " Hey. I want to stay home but you are going to have to give me more money." EW EW EW. What ever happened to pride? I would never go to Biomom demanding money either. I want nothing from her except to actually pick up her children when she promises them that she will.

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helpwiththis

I have seen wealthier men keep their wives at home instead of out working. My grandfather never made my grandmother work. When they divorced he fully supporter her still. She never had a job. And when he remarried his new wife never worked and my dad and his siblings were grown and out of the home. My grandpa just liked having his wife at home. She kept the house immaculate, often hosted huge dinner parties where she homecooked the whole menu, and accommodated out of town guests. So she did a lot even though she was not bringing in a paycheck or raising children. And they traveled a lot, he liked her accompanying him on business trips. If she worked she would not have been able to do those things for him.

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mom_of_4

I think I can safely say that everyone on this board has little to no respect or whatever for that women or women like that. But, then again it is not our decision and yet again although I have no use for people like that I will say that it is not her responsibility to make sure bf kids are not doing without... It is dad's responsibility and I have even less respect for a man (or anyone) who would allow anyone to come between them and their children and their children getting what they need and deserve.

**Humorous memory** Back in the day I was hanging out with a few guys friends of mine as we were taking a break studying for a final... And the guys ended up getting on a tangent about how all women were basically prostitutes. You take a girl on a date pay for her dinner movie whatever to get what you want at the end of the night which is little better than flat out paying a hooker to provide whatever "services" you may be requesting. Obviously this caused quite the debate... but the above entry reminded me about that and thought I would share it made me laugh to think about that debate. :-)

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imamommy

It's insulting to refer to her as little more than a hooker. That's like implying that childless women are nothing more than a prostitute because they don't produce them a child??? or what about couples that choose to have no children.... what an insulting thing to say.

As for denying the child necessities, that is squarely on the parent, not the parent's spouse or SO. If the child isn't getting their needs met because daddy has a GF, it's still daddy's fault, not the GF. If daddy is providing what he is supposed to (legally or by agreement), then what he does with the rest of his money is NOBODY's business. Even the ex wife who sticks her nose in his business and thinks she or her child, deserve more than what the courts say they are entitled to. It would be different if he is taking lavish vacations & supporting others while NOT paying his obligations to her, but as long as he is doing what he is supposed to, it's nobody's business. (and BTW, it's guys that have to deal with an ex wife that hounds him like that, that are more likely to stay away or mark their calendars for the day that it will all end.)

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colleen777

Most women would be mortified if they knew what men think of them as a whole.

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doodleboo

That's really great that your grandfather could do that. Would your Grandfather have continued paying for your Grandmother to stay home if they had divorced though?

I think thats the question everyone is arguing about. Is it right for an Ex to demand more child support so they can stay home with the child(ren) or she should she/he have to get a job like the majority of the worlds population? Is it fair to expect somone to support two seperate households while the ex isn't working?

What is your input?

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serenity_now_2007

Helpwiththis, two key things in your grandma's situation:

1. "She kept the house immaculate, often hosted huge dinner parties where she homecooked the whole menu." That's DOING something, that's contributing. I have a lot of respect for stay-at-home spouses who handle things. SOMETHING. ANYTHING. And housework is no small thing! Even w/o kids. I'm talking about women who literally don't lift a finger, let alone in contributing to the raising of the kids but to do a darn thing in the house. But then they expect to be able to dictate what Dad should & shouldn't be spending on his own children. This leads me to the next crucial distinction:

2. I doubt your grandmother would have interfered with or made herself a constant impediment to your grandfather trying to take care of his normal financial obligations to his children as their father. If she did do that, that's where I'd have a problem.

My main point in all this being that the arrangements between a husband and wife about who works and who doesn't, or who contributes to what, *are their own business*... UP TO AND UNTIL the point that the bio-parent would start bailing out of his/her duties to provide for his/her children. Or the point at which the stay-at-home spouse or whatever starts raising a stink about money being spent on the children. If that bio-parent cannot afford to BOTH properly take care of his/her children AND be able to keep the new spouse from having to go get a job, something's got to change on either the bio-parent's part or the new spouse's part. No one should live above their means, which would include the scenario of a man indulging in the luxury of foregoing a second income from his wife (or girlfriend)if he can't afford to take care of BOTH wife and children properly. That's where I see there's often BIG problems. And it's ONLY a problem, in my opinion, when the woman who does NOTHING (not even for husband but especially not for children) starts interfering with a man's duties and responsibilities to provide for his children. Again, not provide *expensive toys* and luxuries for his children, but important things that a decent parent provides.

Mom_of_4 & Ima: I think you're right that the responsibility falls on Dad and that focusing on GF can be a distracting defense mechanism, she's an easy target for anger in this situation. It's just that too often GF *makes herself* the target by insisting it's all about her. When she actively inserts herself into the equation, actively insists that bio-Dad not pay for xyz thing the kid needs which most all parents would pay for (again we're not talking about luxuries.) Yes, when he listens to that crap, the fault is his. But when she's an active agent in that, it's pretty hard not to be angry with her too.

Ima, yes, the "hooker" label is a bit harsh and perhaps it is insulting. But it's only meant to apply to the sort of selfish, useless woman discussed above, who literally contributes NOTHING to anyone... besides her body, in exchange for material goods, and who keeps on wanting to get paid over & over, and who comes between a man and his family (i.e. his children). I don't know what else to call that, sorry.

[btw, I am childless, with no plans to have kids anytime soon, and I don't think I'm a prostitute! So my labelling this type of woman has nothing to do with her ability to birth children.]

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colleen777

I am curious to know what is a grandfather's obligation to his children as their father?

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serenity_now_2007

Doodleboo, you raise a good question: "Is it fair to expect somone to support two seperate households while the ex isn't working?" Admittedly, a tough one to answer. I guess, strictly speaking, the general answer would be that anyone who is able to work, who has no impediments to work, should be working. Where it may get complicated is when incomes on anyone's part are either super-low or super-high... Like if someone's totally unemployable or knee-deep in debt for the rest of their life... or, conversely, there is so much money that nobody even HAS to work. Clearly this can raise all kinds of thorny fairness issues, on all sides, no matter what the letter of the CS law or agreement says, there will be resentments nonetheless. Nodody is thrilled about paying out money to a former spouse. But in the end, it's about what is working or isn't as far as the KIDS & their needs. It's about all parties involved making damn sure that no decisions or expenditures are being made that interfere with the child's ability to have a decent, happy life with the basic needs & comforts provided. Whether it's an ex, an SP, a GF, an SK, the DH, or even the kid him/herself, if anyone's spongeing excessively without having *any* responsibilities to do or contribute anything, that person imho needs to step up the plate some more. (Yes, I'm including kids who have no chores, no jobs, or who don't contribute to their own college expenses, etc.)

Not everyone is employable, for whatever reason (disease, inexperience, age, past record, lack of skills, etc). And not everyone NEEDS to work (if there is enough to go around to adequately take care of everybody). There are other ways to pull one's weight and contribute something beyond one's own glorious presence or the stroking of... egos. A stay-at-home custodial parent does plenty, it's a HARD job. And a stay-at-home spouse with no kids who does housework, cooking, errands, appointments, etc. is also contributing.

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serenity_now_2007

Colleen asked: "I am curious to know what is a grandfather's obligation to his children as their father?"

Same as any father's obligations to his children. "Grandfather" just happens to be his relationship to helpwiththis. If you're asking me do I think grandfather has obligation to *grandchildren*: probably not legally, probably some ethically, depending on circumstances. I was mainly talking about a man (who in this case happens to be helpwiththis's grandfather) being able to take care of a SAHW as well as his children (one of which, in this case, happens to be a parent to helpwiththis).

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imamommy

"it's only meant to apply to the sort of selfish, useless woman discussed above, who literally contributes NOTHING to anyone... besides her body, in exchange for material goods, and who keeps on wanting to get paid over & over, and who comes between a man and his family (i.e. his children)."

Well, I'm glad you cleared that up.. but it sounds as if you are judging someone you don't even know. KKNY hasn't complained that her exH doesn't provide for their daughter, she just resents that he has a GF that lays by the pool all day. She has mentioned that the GF would like respect and I think it's safe to assume, most of us agree, she doesn't deserve respect because she had an affair with a married man. But the blame for the break up of a marriage when infidelity is concerned, still falls on the shoulders of the married person. Whether the other man or woman knew they were married, the married person is the one that spoke and made vows to their spouse.

I know you'd like to defend KKNY's position that her exH's GF is 'one of those' women, but you really don't know anything about her. She might be, but just as they (KKNY & TOS) have told me, she's not here to give her side of anything. I would reserve judgment, just as they don't want to have an opinion on any of the BM's that the SM's talk about. If my SD's mom deserves the benefit of the doubt, then I guess so does kkny's ex's GF. She might be a lovely person.

The decision to be a SAH anything is up to the people in their home and yes, it should never be to the detriment of the children. In KKNY's case, she brags about her list of things she's adding to all the time to make her exH pay as she is very angry & bitter that he has a GF that she doesn't think works. (although she has admitted the GF may be a consultant and has an income)

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colleen777

What makes you think she isn't doing anything? Did you plant a cam in house or on her person? Otherwise, what makes you think she is doing nothing?

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serenity_now_2007

"What makes you think she isn't doing anything? Did you plant a cam in house or on her person? Otherwise, what makes you think she is doing nothing?"

I'm basing my opinion on the facts as they've been stated (GF lays by the pool all day; doesn't work, thus can't contribute financially; presumably if DH is rich enough to afford this kind of set-up for GF, he probably has a maid come in and do cleaning... but that's a guess)--- but if there's other facts or evidence to indicate what this woman IS doing to contribute to anyone/anything, I'd like to hear it.

"KKNY hasn't complained that her exH doesn't provide for their daughter..."

I think that's largely due to the fact that kkny was smart enough to make sure that was taken care of legally. I strongly suspect that if she hadn't made sure to get this done, things could be much worse. As it is, I'm willing to bet that GF is actively trying to figure out how she can get around the legal agreements one way or the other, and I won't be surprised to hear that her last resort method is to try and start crap b/n DH and DD to alienate them. If GF can't get around the legal agreements, I don't expect her to stick around too much longer than it takes her to figure out there's no way around them.

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imamommy

wow serenity, that's a lot of assumptions and judgments...

"if there's other facts or evidence to indicate what this woman IS doing to contribute to anyone/anything, I'd like to hear it."

Maybe the fact that she's still there is an indication she's making her man happy. If she's not making him happy, then it's HIS business, not KKNY's.

and if she made sure her daughter was legally taken care of, what business of it is hers, what he does now??? You, yourself said "My main point in all this being that the arrangements between a husband and wife about who works and who doesn't, or who contributes to what, *are their own business*... UP TO AND UNTIL the point that the bio-parent would start bailing out of his/her duties to provide for his/her children. Or the point at which the stay-at-home spouse or whatever starts raising a stink about money being spent on the children."

It's not really fair for you to assume that the GF 'might' try to get around legal agreements. What do you base THAT assumption on??? the fact that she's one of 'those' women?? and again, how do you know?

But, based upon KKNY's own statements here, she admits the GF may have an income as a consultant (which is why she can lay by the pool (how kkny is so sure this is true, I don't know.. is she stalking her?)) She has said many times that her agreement is that exH pays for certain things but when she gets irritated with something a SM says on here, she says she's going to add such and such to her list. I think that's being vindictive or retaliatory. Why is exH being punished??? Then, wonder why he doesn't spend much time with his daughter... gee, her mom's a witch. (but it's easier to blame the GF) It's unfair to the child and he shouldn't let that keep him from seeing his child, but many men do rather walk away from children when the child's mother is so damn difficult, they choose the easy path. Sad for those kids. He gets no brownie points for that either. But it's true.

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colleen777

Where I come from someone just saying something is so, doesn't make it so. Moreover, it most certainly wouldn't qualify as a fact. Where I come from that is called pretending.

How can any of us come up with facts and evidence? EVIDENCE? lmfao!!! But, based on no facts or evidence you seem to have come up with a whole bunch of conclusions er? opinions. What do you call that when people do that?

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imamommy

"If GF can't get around the legal agreements, I don't expect her to stick around too much longer than it takes her to figure out there's no way around them."

This sounds too much like it's first hand opinion.....

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serenity_now_2007

We hear opinions, first-hand accounts all the time on these boards... The bratty SK's, the bitter ex-wives, the greedy Sm's, the abusive SF's, the witchy MILs...

...and none of us are present in any of those situations...

Guess we all just selectively perceive and apply our own experiences... Some things ring "truer" to some folks, same things might sound like crazy lies to others... soem things it's admittedly hard to not strike a nerve, hence there is bound to be an over-emotionalized bias here & there...

I try to take what people say about their situations at face value. Sometimes, I guess, I have doubts if it's true, or if all was meant as it was perceived... But I try to respond to people's descriptions of their situations with the details given.

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imamommy

I can't speak for anyone else, but when I write about my SD's mom, it's from incidents where I am present or I have first hand knowledge from an adult, not a child. When she calls to cancel a weekend, I hear the voice message or can read the email or text message. I can testify to my SD crying about it because I AM there. I can make an assumption that BM is not sick but then it is more than an assumption when her BF's exW tells me that she saw them at a baseball game.

Some assumptions can be made based on the actions/inactions of the other person. If they are based in fact. When a person that says their child doesn't visit the other parent on a regular basis, they don't have regular contact, the child meets dad for dinner in a restaurant, etc. then how can you assume to know anything that goes on in their house? My kid's don't visit their fathers. I can't assume very much about their lives, I rarely speak to them. I can assume even less about their wives.

The difference is, the opinions that are from first hand accounts are not the same as your opinion of someone you don't know, just based on your experiences with your dad's wife. You are right, opinions are perceived by the readers have more to do with the reader's beliefs and personal experiences and if you want to comment on your situation and if you feel your dad's wife is little more than a prostitute that is looking for a way around legal agreements, then that's fine. But, how can you comment on kkny's ex's GF without any first hand knowledge and assume she's not much more than a hooker and not a nice lady like yourself? (since being childless alone doesn't make one a hooker)

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serenity_now_2007

"But, how can you comment on kkny's ex's GF without any first hand knowledge...?"

So, ummmm, how can any of us comment on anything posted here by or about anyone?

After all, YOU may, for example, have your SD's mom's voice on a recording, but *I* don't... How do I know you're not making that up? How do I know you even exist and aren't just a figment of my imagination? Should we all collectively institute a new policy where ---BEFORE anyone comments on the stated circumstances of anyone else's lives--- we need to voyage into their house and into the houses of every single person they reference in their descriptions, photograph everything, take prints, walk a mile in their shoes?

Ima, you are one of the most opinionated people on here. Not knocking that at all, because so am I. Nothing wrong with having an opinion! But really, you can't sit here and act like today, and my posts about kkny's ex's GF are, like, the first and only time someone on here has EVER let their own experiences influence what they say, or has done a bit of inductive reasoning wherein they interpolate various probabilities beyond/between the variables given.

Not saying you personally have said the following, but, for example, how many times has x instance of normal behaviour of a 5-year-old who whines for a candy bar at the grocery store (or whatever) been almost instantaneously interpolated as:

"That child is manipulating you b/c her BM has poisoned her against you so she knows she can get away with playing her parents for all they can get. And your DH obviously has no respect for you because he is allowing his daughter to completely trample over your rights. If you don't put a stop to this right now, she will be running your house by sundown."

etc., etc....

We're all human, we all have emotions and occasional biases... You're right to point them out, and I don't fault you for doing so regarding me and mine. It's educational, and we should all strive to avoid the trap. But it's not fair to single anyone out for doing what we all occasionally do...

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colleen777

I have impressions about tons of things, online, offline, dreams, television whatever.

I would however not be so stupid as to say, suggest, allude that any of my impressions are fact or evidence. My impressions are my impressions. That is all they are. And that is all yours are too.

I single out everyone equally. Don't play that silly little girls game that if you don't get support for what you say you won't say it. Say it because you believe it, whether or not a single other person agrees with you.

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imamommy

Your post about kkny's GF were not based on anything anyone said... maybe based on your own experience with 'someone like that' but how can you disregard the facts that contradict your point, and only go with the ones that support it? Ignore that the exH IS doing everything he is supposed to do in financially supporting his child... so using your own words, you say it's nobody's business what their arrangement is if the child is being provided for. Then why is it kkny's business if he has a GF that sunbathes all day long? It's not. But then you call her a hooker without any more facts than kkny is not happy she exists? The father has chosen to not see his child, but does that automatically mean it's the GF's fault? Is she 'coming between them'? or is that your perception based on YOUR experience with your dad? You've ignored additional facts that have been given... things like:

1) the girlfriend might work as a consultant, she likely has an income.. so exH is not really supporting her.
2) her job as a consultant, likely allows her the freedom & flexibility to sunbathe during the day.
3) kkny has admitted that when a SM writes something that bothers her, she adds on to the list of things she's going to make her exH pay for.

and I'd like to apologize to OP for this stupid tangent. Theotherside commented that SAHP's DO work. They work in the home. KKNY has been very critical of SAHM/SAHSM's and then she said: "If dad can afford SAHSM, he can afford SAH mom to his children." which implies that she thinks if dad can let his GF or new wife stay home, the ex wife should get to stay home to and be supported by dad.

Maybe I'm confused about where KKNY stands on it??? Does it matter whether there are kids or not? Can't a childless person stay home without being considered a 'hooker'? I'm sure that there are some wonderful wives out there, that have wealthy husbands that hire a maid and the wife shops all day or volunteers or gets her nails done. Is she a whore or a lucky lady? Does it matter if she is wife #1,2, or 8? Does it matter how old she is?? I mean, what are the rules here to call someone a whore?

BTW, my SD's mom contributes NOTHING, lives rent free & her BF and first husband support her. What do you call that?

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dotz_gw

Colleen, Most women would be mortified if they knew what men think of them as a hole... Why, what have you heard about me???????LOLOLOL

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theotherside

ima,

Most SAHP are absolutely pulling their own weight. If the parent working outside the home had to pay for the services provided, he or she wouldn't generally net much. Of course the decision to continue to stay home or to return to work needs to be a joint one, whether they are still married or not.

There is no reason why the person who chose to divorce should be able to use the "two households are more expensive than one" excuse to force the SAHP to go back to work, against his or her will. Even assuming there is actually an additional household (and not just the same number of households, with the party who had the affair now living in his or her SO's house), if the party who is now complaining about two households being more expensive was so worried about that, he or she shouldn't have gotten divorced.

cawfecup,

In an intact family, the parents would presumably make decisions jointly that related to their children. Even then, a child should not have to ask both parents for permission. If one parent says ok, then it is logical for the child to assume that it is ok with both. And I think adult children should be able to have visitors/parties in their home if they want to, as long as they don't cause any damage/do anything illegal/clean up the house as needed.

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imamommy

I'm not disagreeing with you, but suppose your husband that is the sole support was injured or killed, you'd have to get a job (unless he provided enough disability or life insurance). Well, it's sad when a marriage ends and I'm sure it's more painful when it's because of an affair, but that doesn't mean that the spurned person can 'punish' the bad guy forever. Change is a part of life. Not much lasts forever. Unfortunately, we don't get to choose the circumstances of our lives sometimes. Your husband had an affair. My children's father's ran when the stick turned blue. My SD's mom moved away & won't pay for anything. It's not fair. It would be very nice to tell SD's mom, "you had this child, you made a decision to be a mom to her and be in her life. You can't move away with your new BF. You have to stay. That's what you signed up for when you gave birth to her." But, life don't work that way.

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kkny

Ima, just like you say your SDs mom goes to college, thats how I think my Xs SO does consulting. With ""s. Serenity, I think you are correct, when teh SO couldnt figure out a way to break contracts, she starting with the drunken phone calls. And between my wanting DD taken care of, and I suspect X thinking that this marriage wasnt going to be a finanical partnership, it is not what she hoped for.

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theotherside

"you had this child, you made a decision to be a mom to her and be in her life. You can't move away with your new BF. You have to stay. That's what you signed up for when you gave birth to her."

Yes, parents who have an affair, or who move away from their children, SHOULD be punished for the rest of their lives. Absolutely.

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imamommy

I know my SD's mom goes to college because she testified so in the deposition and in court. I've never seen it, but I have heard her tell DH that she can't take SD to tae kwon do because she is going to be at college. It's not an assumption at all.. it's facts. (I also listened to the judge admonish her for ten minutes because she has called herself a student for years without doing anything to further/finish her education or get a career. She's in no better place than she was seven years ago when they broke up. She chooses to be unemployed and depend on others, instead of providing for herself and her children. She's a deadbeat and you just can't say it...lmao. Just because it doesn't fit YOUR agenda.. after all, she's a BM.)

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ceph

Wow, TOS... That's a lot of spite and anger.

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kkny

I think Ima has a lot of anger, and I did say she should be asked to contribute. Excuse me for a different vocabulary.

And I assume Xs SO doesnt really have a consulting business. X says she pays for own food. Wow, thats impressive.

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ceph

KK said: "X says she pays for own food. Wow, thats impressive."

LOL. She must be exhausted to have to earn her own grocery money! I'm surprised she finds time out of her busy poolside lounging schedule to write the cheques! :)
She sounds like such a waste of time and space. I can see why you'd find her frustrating.

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kkny

Actually I find her more amusing than frustating. But now that she is apparently getting frustated it is a little scary.

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imamommy

"I think Ima has a lot of anger, and I did say she should be asked to contribute. Excuse me for a different vocabulary."

No, I'm not angry. I find it amusing that you can't call a deadbeat a deadbeat, just because she happens to be a BM. Every month, she is sent a very formally written notice that shows every appointment her daughter has had in the prior month, the total cost and her half. (Which is anywhere from $10-$80 per month) She's in counseling BECAUSE her mom left and she FEELS abandoned. The one time DH verbally asked her why she hasn't paid, she said that she lets him keep the child support that he was ordered to pay her (before she moved) so he should be using THAT for her daughter's expenses. She thinks she's doing us a favor by not 'making' him pay her. Little does she know the papers have already been filed...

Perhaps if your exH quit his job and hid all his money and assets to avoid paying you anymore, you might nicely ask him to contribute. And then if he said, 'sorry, I have no money' you will just accept it and get a second job. Hmmm

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kkny

If he quit, he would have to give up his eye candy. So I doubt it. And then, we would just have to liquidate his other holdings. He has worked long enough to max out his pension, so that wont change. But thats my life.

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cawfecup

I want my hooker pay!! how much do they make an hour?

Mom's unemployment runs out next week ... so she told hubby she was taking him back to court to get the CS waived until she gets a job.... more on this tomorrow.

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dotz_gw

Yes, if parent has an affair or moves away, they should be punished for the rest of their lives........Geez, if you kill somebody , you get out in say 30 years or so.......Affair on par with, say murder??????

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theotherside

Yeah, it is pretty close. Not to mention that if you kill someone and actually do get out in 30 years ( as opposed to life in prison or the death penalty), you have a felony record that follows you for the rest of your life. I would guess that most people who have been jailed for felonies of whatever kind do feel like they are being punished for the rest of their lives. Certainly people with records involving drugs are - makes it impossible to get some jobs, get college loans, etc. Are you saying having an affair and abandoning your children is less bad than possession of marijuana?

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imamommy

possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor in most places, unless you have a lot of it, then it's not simple possession, it's possession with intent to sell or trafficking.

Yes, I think an affair is bad, and so is abandoning you child. Doing both is much worse. But how exactly to you punish someone for the rest of their life? How do you do that without punishing yourself for the rest of your life? and your children???

As the victim of a crime, I could say that the perpetrator should be punished, he should have a record, he should never be allowed to harm someone else ever again. If I had spent the last twenty years or thirty years, trying to make the people that hurt me 'pay' for their crimes, then I would not have moved on and found the joy in my life. I would have spent all that time, reliving the pain. I would have spent all my energy focused on the worse things that have ever happened to me, instead of on the best things, which are my kids. As long as you hold onto the pain, you can't truly feel joy. As I let go of bad things that happened in my past, I feel free. I can smile and focus on myself, not what the other person is doing. My kids have a happy mom, not a mom that is bitter and angry about what was done to me.

The other day, my daughter's father called me. He says he has been trying to call my daughter, but she won't answer her phone. She won't call him back. He asked me if I can talk to her. If I can convince her to call him. Then he asked me if I will call him every once in a while to tell him how she's doing. Well, I guess I could have told him that he's getting what he deserves, but I didn't. I guess I could have rubbed his face in it, that he abandoned her before she was born and what does he want from me? I could be bitter that I had to raise her myself without his help and laugh in his face to make him feel worse. I didn't. I don't enjoy his pain, because I know his pain is derived from the pain my daughter is going through. She is hurting because she can't trust the man that told her he would call her but didn't. He told her he wanted to see her and then moved away and didn't see her again. He's lied to her, when he told her that the reason he hasn't seen her is because his kids would be upset. Then she found out his kids didn't even know about her. He is suffering the consequences of his actions. Does he deserve it? Yep, he made his choices over the years. Do I get any satisfaction to know he is now suffering??? Nope, I feel sad that my daughter is rejecting a dad that now wants to be a part of her life. I have wanted him to be a part of her life for eighteen years, and while over the years, I have felt angry toward him for not having a relationship with her and resentful that he left me to do this alone, while he was raising his other children with his wife, I cannot feel anything but sad now.

I don't know what good it does for you to hold onto your anger for what your ex-husband did to you theotherside, but that's your business. As angry as I get over my SD's mom leaving and not seeing or calling her like she should, it is sad to me that she is destroying her relationship with her own child and may someday be in the same boat as my daughter's father. And I won't necessarily feel sad for her, but I already feel sad for her daughter. When I look at what my daughter is going through, it feels like I can look into the future and see what my step daughter is going to go through someday... it may actually be much worse for my step daughter because her mom disappoints her frequently on a regular basis.

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mom2emall

"Posted by theotherside (My Page) on Wed, Mar 26, 08 at 20:23

"you had this child, you made a decision to be a mom to her and be in her life. You can't move away with your new BF. You have to stay. That's what you signed up for when you gave birth to her."
Yes, parents who have an affair, or who move away from their children, SHOULD be punished for the rest of their lives. Absolutely. "
TOS,

So since my dh's ex had an affair and then moved away from her kids how should she be punished??

Should we tell them what a piece of useless waste she is? Should we change all phone numbers so she can not call? Should we bribe them to not visit her this summer? Please do tell how we should "punish" her.

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sylviatexas1

Aside from the fact that anybody who sells his or her time could be called a whore (like they say, lawyers are the biggest whores of all!), it makes me flinch to hear a woman call another woman a whore.

If any woman has sex with a man & the man does something nice for her, she's vulnerable to this name-calling.
(but if he doesn't do anything nice for you, then why...).

but if a man uses a woman for sex, what name do you call him?

ps:

about the grandmother who stayed home & didn't have a paying job:
I don't know how old she would be today, but until after WWII, *most* women, almost all of them, stayed home.

1.
Caring for home & family was a full-time, physically demanding job.

2.
Women couldn't get good jobs, & the jobs they could get didn't pay.

Even as recently as the 1970's, there was a sort of catch phrase about this; it was called the pink-collar, hmmm, something. jungle? ghetto? can't recall offhand.
It referred to the preponderance of women in low-level, poorly-paying service jobs.

3.
Any man who "let" his wife work outside the home would have been shamed.

A woman who married 30, 40, 50 years ago had a much different set of expectations & opportunities, or lack thereof, than we do today.

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ceph

It's "pink collar ghetto"

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dotz_gw

Sylvia, the guy whos name you re looking for....Its called the American Pigalo.....My Dhs X has one of those.......

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theotherside

mom2emall,

I assume you aren't serious, since those things you mentioned would actually punish the children.

I don't think you should be allowed to move away from your children. And I think anyone who has an affair and leaves their family should be required to pay enough child and spousal support to make sure that their family lives at least as well as they did when intact. If that means that the person who had the affair has to live at a much lower level than previously, tough.

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imamommy

Why TOS, are you saying that it would punish the child to learn what a piece of useless waste she is? But, it's different if you are telling your children that their father is an adulterer.... hmmm HYPOCRISY

Sure, changing the phone number or trying to bribe a child to not want to see the other parent is punishing the child, but so is being so bitter, angry and vindictive toward an ex, that the ex would rather give up seeing his child than to deal with their mother. Poisoning the children by telling them that their father is to blame for the divorce by having an affair, they're entitled to know.. right? And being spiteful to his new partner in front of your kids so they won't like her either... remind them that she doesn't deserve any respect... remind them that she's not entitled to a relationship with them... remind them that daddy chose to leave for his other woman and left you behind... make him live in a studio slum apartment, or better yet on someone's couch so he can pay to keep you in the lifestyle you had before... make him get another job if he isn't paying enough... keep a list of things you are going to make him pay later on too... and make sure it's all iron clad and legal. make sure you tell the kids not to worry, they can go to school wherever they want, no worries, daddy is paying for it... heck, remind the kids they deserve the best if dad is paying for it... might as well. I'm sure telling the kids those things won't make them feel bad for dad. They won't feel guilty. because everyone knows, kids don't blame themselves for everything.

Refusing to let go of the past is punishing your children, even if you don't say a word. They know what you think and how you feel. They are sponges that soak up every word, tone of voice, body language and they put it together so if you think you are fooling them, you are only fooling yourself. Throw blame around, it doesn't matter who's at fault, if you hang onto it, you are punishing your children.

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theotherside

No, learning what a useless piece of waste someone is, if true, is not punishing a child, though that is an insult rather than a matter of record. As you said, changing the phone number/bribing the child is punishing the child.

If children love their parent only because they don't know who they really are, then they do not love the real person. My children love their father, or not (and I think at least most of them do), not some facade of their father.

Honesty is NEVER the wrong course of action. But someone who reads her SD's letters to her mother wouldn't understand that concept.

Your last paragraph simply refutes your own argument. If your children know what you are really thinking and feeling, then they know exactly how you feel about their three fathers, and have always known.

The children who blame themselves are the ones who have not been told the reasons for divorce. No child who knows his or her parent left for another woman/man, or for the bottle, or the next hit, blames himself.

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colleen777

How do you figure TOS? Honesty? What a very hard word to describe. But let's just look at adultery. First, do you think all remarriages are adultery?

When you tell your children the reason your marriage failed was only because your ex had an affair with another woman is that honest? Don't you think that brand of judgment you parade around as honesty would breed fear in children?

All they can see is, look at mother, she was/is a perfect saint, albeit self-proclaimed, and she was deserted by dad. The same thing will likely happen to me because it doesn't matter how "good" you are you will be left. OR I will desert my family because my dad did and I have his genes in me.

That is very creepy to me tos.


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theotherside

Of course not all remarriages are adultery. Just marriage to a person with whom you were having an affair while married to a previous spouse.

Yes, my exH left because of his affair. I believe the affair was because of his depression. My exH told me himself that as of a few months before the affair began, he had no plans to leave the marriage.

Would you prefer that I invent some other reason for their father leaving?

They may, in fact, worry that it doesn't matter how "good" you are, your spouse could still leave. Because it is true. Do you have some magic formula that would guarantee that your husband (or wife) never leaves? I am sure there are millions of women out there who would like to hear it - women whose husbands left while they were undergoing chemo for breast cancer, while they were pregnant, after losing a child, after a business failure, after their husband's parents died in a car crash, after their husband's alcoholism took over his life, after their husband went through a midlife crisis - or after a thousand other stressful life events.

My children are well aware that genes alone do not control your destiny. My grandfather was an alcoholic and left his family. My uncle was an alcoholic as well. My father had to go to work to help support his siblings at 16. My father, on the other hand, rarely touched alcohol, and he told me he had never once been drunk, even as a sailor in his youth. You may not be able to control your genes, but you can control what your do with them.

My children may not be able to prevent having their spouse leave, but I hope that if anything good has come out of this experience, it will be that THEY will never have an affair, and THEY will never desert their children.

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colleen777

So why did he leave the marriage and for so long? Is he still depressed? Did you tell the children he suffers from depression and that that also runs in families? What role did you play in his depression? Is depression controllable like you think alcoholism is?

Not everyone in the family will be alcoholic or have the gene that predisposes them to alcoholism. Does this make them morally stronger people, or better people?

We are much more creatures driven by our physical bodies, genetics and hormones than we care to admit to.

You do not KNOW they will never have an affair, and you do not KNOW they will never desert their children. Noone can know the future. What happens if one of them also suffers from depression?

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sylviatexas1

so ex can marry anyone as long as it's not the one with whom he had an affair, but if he marries the one with whom he had an affair, then it's adultery?

so he's divorced except with relation to the person with whom he had the affair, & in that case he's still married to you?

how you gonna get that one onto the law books?

divorce means it's over;
whatever an ex does after the divorce, no matter who he sleeps with or marries, it's not adultery.

It's over.

You are not married, he is not married, the marriage is terminated.

It's over.

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imamommy

theotherside, rest assured that my children don't see me pining away for any of their father's. They also don't hear me (and never have) say a negative thing about them. With respect to my oldest one, I'm sure he knows how I feel and he knows what his father has told him. He doesn't know how he was conceived. He knows that he is loved and when I learned of being pregnant with him, I never doubted wanting him. I have never told him that his father did this or did that. He could see with his own eyes what kind of person his father is. He could see what kind of person I am. Would it do any good to tell him what his father did?

As for my two younger children, I was angry being left. It was hard and I got frustrated, having small children and being alone. But, I focused on moving forward. By the time they were toddlers, I didn't think about them much at all, I was no longer angry. I wasn't living my life in pain, being the victim that was left. I didn't tell them that my life is harder because their father isn't here or because I wasn't getting any child support. I didn't tell them the details of what happened between their father's and me.

Reminding them that their father did this or did that, and keeping the pain alive, well that punishes them. As for my children knowing how I feel, they do and always have. I don't have any ill feelings toward them. I did at one time and those feelings are long gone. They know that I have moved on and even my middle son asked me why I'm not angry at his dad... my daughter can't understand why I'm not supporting her decision to cut her dad out of her life. My kids know that I have forgiven and moved on.

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colleen777

"Of course not all remarriages are adultery. Just marriage to a person with whom you were having an affair while married to a previous spouse."

Do you still think/feel you are married to your ex tos?

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cawfecup

But then that would make him still married to his first wife .... TOS is a second wife.

Wonder if depression caused him to leave his first wife too.

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colleen777

My goodness! While checking out the belief of a remarriage as being adultery, I guess in some circles it is considered that. Difference is ALL divorce and remarriage is considered adultery, not just those involving an affair.

From Southern Mennonite Conference:

Divorce/remarriage is sin. We must never forget that. The New Testament makes it unmistakably clear that a person who leaves a marriage partner and marries another lives in a state of adultery (Matthew 19:3-9; Mark 10:2-12; Luke 16:18; Romans 7:2,3). The doctrine is concisely stated as follows: "Whoso ever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery" (Mark 10:11, 12). The verb tense "committeth" is present-progressive which indicates continuous action. This should settle once for all that divorce/remarriage/adultery is not just a one time act but a continuous state of adultery and will exclude one from the kingdom of God (I Corinthians 6:9, 10).

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dotz_gw

Colleen, moving this from...Staying home with kids...I think some Baptist sects believe the same thing you quoted from the Mennonites...And I have felt the brunt of it, from my SS and his new Baptist in laws...I guess they feel divorce is OK, but remarriage is not, until your ex is deceased.....SS s BM is not remarried, living in sin, so to speak(with a minor child in the house)with a formerly jobless homeless felon, and they are OK with that.....Me, married by a minister, totally shunned....At least with Catholics,you know where you stand, you just get excommunicated until (if you choose to) get an annulment, and then you re back in the fold...Go figure.....

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sieryn

mom2 -- good for you. Getting the opportunity to stay home with your children (step or not!) is a blessing. I wish you the best and to hell with what others think! Might have already been said I don't know, I scrolled through the drama but you'll never look down the road and think gee I wish I spent less time with my kids and more time at the office!

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theotherside

I am aware of the beliefs of Mennonites re remarriage. However, I am not Mennonite, nor Baptist, nor Catholic so it is not relevant.

I do not believe in no-fault divorce. My state, and many others, has fault-based as well as no-fault divorce. Had I wanted to, I could have filed for divorce on the basis of adultery. I believe that unless the divorce is fault-based, or both parties have agreed to divorce, it is not morally valid, and affair-based marriages are never valid. My exH filed a no-fault divorce, which I never agreed to. So yes, I believe that morally he is still married to me, until if and when I agree to the divorce.

imamommy,

IMO, you should support your daughter if she wants to cut her father out of her life - or if she doesn't. It is her decision, and you should support it.

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imamommy

"IMO, you should support your daughter if she wants to cut her father out of her life"

I expected you would say that....

If you choose to portray yourself a victim, the one that was cheated on, reminding your kids that you didn't want the divorce, believing that you are still married and willing to take him back... likely blaming his wife for him not seeing them and if not for her, you'd all still be one big happy family... that's your choice.

If I choose to be forgiving and try to teach forgiveness to my children, it's none of YOUR business. I don't support cutting him off because I know how much she wanted him in her life. I know that she is hurt & angry but deep down, she wants him in her life. She's afraid he might hurt her again. Why would I support her in holding onto that pain, the way you hold onto your pain? Yes, it is her choice but she's young and whether they can work things out or not, remains to be seen. It may not, and I can't change it, but I won't support a child cutting off her father. When she's grown and matures, and if she still feels that way, then maybe I will feel differently. For now, she's in counseling to help her sort out her feelings.

Maybe you'd benefit from some counseling yourself...

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imamommy

Gee TOS, does that mean when SD was angry at her mom for leaving and writing "I hate mom" notes, she should have been supported in hating her mom???

You really are a piece of work or something else.

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doodleboo

No, learning what a useless piece of waste someone is, if true, is not punishing a child, though that is an insult rather than a matter of record.

It is obvious that you know nothing about how a child's mind works. I work with children for the Florida Early Learning Coalition and the top thing the experts say NOT to do is talk bad about the child(ren)'s other parent in front of them.

It is confusing to younger children, causes them to feel guilt and in the end will make the child resent the parent doing the trash talking not matter what the situation.

I would NEVER tell the girls what a pile of S* their mother is. She IS still their mother and they love her.I will not LIE for her but there is no reason to indulge kids with the nasty details of why the relationship tanked except for your own satisaction and/or hidden agenda.

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theotherside

I think I have a fairly strong academic background in child development, not to mention almost thirty years of child raising experience.

The "experts" also say that you should never lie to your children.

I would never raise my children in an atmosphere of elephants in the living room, family secrets, and "white" lies. That would benefit no one.

How on earth do you "know" how your daughter feels deep down? That is rather presumptuous.

Yes, if your SD says she hates her mom, you should not try to tell her that she doesn't. That doesn't mean you should say, "Of course you do; anyone with half a brain would hate her."

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ceph

I actually semi-agree with TOS in this: Yes, if your SD says she hates her mom, you should not try to tell her that she doesn't. That doesn't mean you should say, "Of course you do; anyone with half a brain would hate her."

To say the latter would be destructive to everyone's relationships and generally unfeeling.
The say the former invalidates her feelings.

I think my vote would be to say something along the lines of "I know your feelings are hurt and that you're really angry at your mom right now, but it's not good to say things like that about family members. Words that harsh are hard to take back and usually make things worse in the long run. Maybe when you talk about Mom, you should try to say why you're upset and how it makes you feel, instead of that you hate her."

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imamommy

Not lying to your children is not the same as telling them the 'truth' as YOU see it. What if you tell your children the 'truth' that dad had an affair. Then your exH could tell them HIS 'truth' that you were lousy in bed. or that he couldn't take living with you anymore because you made life unbearable. or whatever else he might have felt as HIS truth.

So, do tell... how would you support a child hating their other parent??? If not through words, then how??

and I do know how my daughter feels 'deep down' because she has talked to me. She has TOLD me that she's afraid of him hurting her. She was making plans to see him in May but has backed out and stopped taking his calls. She's told me why. I've also told him why. That's why she started going to counseling. I don't 'presume' anything. I communicate.

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imamommy

Basically, what we told her is that it's okay to be angry. Her counselor added that anyone in her position would be angry. We didn't 'invalidate' her feelings but we certainly don't feel that it's our place to support a child that 'hates' because children (of any age) go through a variety of feelings that often, they don't even understand. They say things they don't necessarily mean when they are hurt.

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theotherside

You support a child (or an adult) but not invalidating their feelings, by not telling them that the don't/shouldn't really hate whomever. Of course your daughter is afraid he will hurt her - that fear is certainly not unreasonable. Maybe refusing to take his phone calls is the smart thing to do. I don't know how you can jump from the statement that she is afraid he will hurt her to the assumption that she really wants him in her life. Maybe she doesn't want him in her life if she has to spend that life waiting for him to hurt her again. She is 17 (right?), and it is her decision.

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doodleboo

TOS

There is a HUGE difference between telling the truth and indulging details. You know this. My girls are 4. I'm not telling them their mother has more important things to do than see them or that she tried to kill herself when she was 20 or that she has a drug dependancy.

Thats why we have custody. The BioMom is (gasp) an unfit parent. When the girls get old enough to understand they will figure it out. I am not going to drop that kindof bomb on two four year old little girls. I don't care how crazy,jealous or nasty that woman gets. She unfortunatly is my girls mother and they STILL love her. Proof that just because you CAN have children doesn't mean you DESERVE to.

It frustrates me to no end how the girls love her sooo much and she is totally not worthy but still I would NEVER call mommy out infront of the girls. It would very much hurt them and I (being a good MOTHER) would never do anything that I know would hurt them.

I didn't need my degree to figure out that talking trash about mommy hurts the babies. That's more than I can say for Bio Mom because she sure talks trash about me.

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theotherside

"You" shouldn't be telling the girls anything. Their father should be, in words they can understand (I assume they would not understand the words "drug dependency"). If she is addicted to drugs, that has a definite impact on her relationship with them, and they should know about her addiction.

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mistihayes

I don't think anyone should tell a 4 year old that their mother is a druggy. I think it should be told when the child is old enough to understand what drug dependency is. Doodleboo, you sound like a very caring mom to your girls, yes, you earned that Mom title. I can tell you love them in your writing. I think they are so lucky to have you in their lives, just as you are to have them.

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doodleboo

Two four year olds should be explained to that there mother is fighting a drug addiction? They wouldn't understand. They would question BM and then she would throw a TANTRUM that we told them. They will be told when we decide they are old enough to understand and not in a way that is "giving them the truth" about their mother.

As far as me not telling them anything, My husband calls these girls our children. The girls come mostly to me with questions they ever have mainly because they view me as a nuetral. I'm a female figure they can connect with.

We don't do the whole "These are my kids you stay out of it" in our home. I treat them as my own becase I love them and I fill ALL the parental roles for them since their mother is in and out of the picture due to her issues.

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doodleboo

I have grown sooo attached to this girls in the past few years that its almost scary. It IS totally scary to care so much for a person that if something ever happened to them you don't know if you could survive.

Thats why it honestly hurts my heart when ever mom pulls her stunts. I don't think she can help it though. She is sick and struggling which obviously is why we have the girls. I still cant help but want to slap her and scream SNAP OUT OF IT WOMAN! YOU HAVE TWO GIRLS WHO LOVE AND NEED YOU!!!! It is beyond frustrating.

In the end all you can do is love them, be there for them and hope they turn out all right despite the drama. I'd hate for these girls to wind up jadded.

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mistihayes

If anything ever happened to me & my DH, I would pray that he would find someone as special as you to help him with our children. My little girl's Dad had a wonderful gf & I appreciated her much more than I did him. She encouraged his participation in my little girl's life. He was an idiot for not marrying her. I think there is a special place in Heaven for those who care for children, not just theirs of their womb, but like SM/SD or foster parents. Good ones ofcourse! Not those wicked ones.

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mom2emall

""You" shouldn't be telling the girls anything. Their father should be, in words they can understand (I assume they would not understand the words "drug dependency"). If she is addicted to drugs, that has a definite impact on her relationship with them, and they should know about her addiction. "

Besides the fact that it is ridiculous to tell 4 year olds about drug addictions, why would it matter which parent told them? The dad, or the woman they know as mom?

I love how bm's on here like TOS just cringe when they hear of a stepmom having a say in a childs life. Do they not see the word MOM in stepMOM? If stepparents were not supposed to act as parents then why do they have the word PARENT in the title? I agree a stepparents involvement depends on how often they see the child. In the case of stepparents whose stepchildren live with them, I see no difference between that stepparents role and the role of a parent. And if a ncp choses not to be an active part in their childs life through calls and visitation, well then it is only natural that the stepparent would have more say in the childs life than the ncp who choses not to be involved.

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theotherside

And why when you hear the word "wicked" do you immediately think of the word "stepmother?" Just because a word or phrase exists doesn't imply any "shoulds."

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of stepmother is merely:

"the wife of one's father when distinct from one's natural or legal mother"

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stepmother

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imamommy

that can also be interpreted to mean that the only thing it means is to make a distinction between a legal/natural mother and a non legal or non natural mother. Both are MOTHERS.

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imamommy

"And why when you hear the word "wicked" do you immediately think of the word "stepmother?"

really? When I hear the word wicked, I've begun to think "those trolls on GardenWeb that represent self righteous BM's.. and all the self righteous BM's they represent."

I'm thinking the phrase 'wicked stepmother' was created by a bitter, angry, insecure and jealous ex wife/BM or a stepchild that had a truly or perceived bad stepmother. (although I choose not to spend my time researching such nonsense as the origin of the phrase 'wicked stepmother') However, those of us that are biological mothers that have children that had step mother don't necessarily think all stepmothers are wicked. There are 'wicked' people. Some of those wicked people are stepmothers, but some are biological mothers and some aren't even mothers at all. (oh, and some are men too)

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theotherside

I am not sure how you would interpret Merriam-Webster's definition in any other way than that a stepmother is the wife of the father, when the wife of the father is not the mother of his children (i.e. when distinct from). There is nothing in that definition that implies that a stepmother is anything more than the wife of the father.

I suspect that the phrase "wicked stepmother" was created by a stepchild with a horrid stepmother - or multiple such children. It is certainly a phrase that everyone is familiar with, that has been around since long before any of us was born.

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doodleboo

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of stepmother is merely:

"the wife of one's father when distinct from one's natural or legal mother"

Heres Merriam-Websters definition of Parent:

1 a: one that begets or brings forth offspring b: a person who brings up and cares for another

I would say I am "caring" for these children.

The biological act of having children does not a mother make TOS. I am sorry. I am living the prime example. Blowing noses, wiping butts, cleaning up vomit and kissing boo boo's makes you a parent. Mother to me means YOU HAD SEX. Give you a cookie. Now show me what you can do in actually RAISING this child.

You hear stories of Biomothers drowing thier kids in tubs and sending them down the river in a car due to post-partum more than you hear about "evil stepmothers" hurting the children.

Explain that one. Apparently all Biological Mothers do not make for good parents. Again I think it depends on the people involved and the personalities as well. In my case Biomom is crazy. Diagnosed crazy not just me saying so. I think you are bitter TOS and the fact that you make such generalizations as the whole juvenile "evil stepmother" statement just proves it.

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cawfecup

When I hear the word "wicked" I think of the skit on SNL with the characters from Boston.

A long drawn out wiiiiicked ... rather funny if I do say so myself....

TOS admit when you are wrong maybe people would have a little more respect for you.....

TOS??? its ok to bash NCP parent and alienate them from their children, tell your children all of NCP's faults ... as long as the NCP is a MALE but if its a FEMALE "mums" the word (pun intended). We get it BM's can do no wrong only BD's can suffer from depression and need to have affairs not BM's .... BD's are the only reason marriages fail has nothing to do with BM's all BM's should be hailed as saints BD's are the devil reincarnated we get it.

BD evil
SM evil
BM angels...

Everyone understand??

No matter what your SC ask of you your response should be "go ask your parent" .... when your SC are distraught over the one parent being absent you must say "go see your other parent" never console a hurt child just push them away....

TOS if you drop dead where will your child at home end up? Living with their dad and SM? Good thing you have fostered a good relationship with their father that in the event something happens to you she will have a safe warm environment to go to... GOOD JOB!!!

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theotherside

"You hear stories of Biomothers drowing thier kids in tubs and sending them down the river in a car due to post-partum more than you hear about "evil stepmothers" hurting the children."

Actually, I am not sure that is true. Can you direct me to a site with statistics on that? If it were true, an obvious reason would be that there are far more children, especially young ones, living with their biological mothers than with stepmothers. There is evidence that the risk of being harmed /sexually abused/killed by a stepfather/mother's boyfriend is far higher than the risk of being harmed etc. by one's own father.

I can't say what the court's would do, but if I drop dead I hope that my youngest would end up living with one of her adult sisters.

No, actually I believe it is right for the biological parents to tell children the truth, regardless of whether the CP is male or female.

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cawfecup

So all of our husbands/BFs should sit the children down and tell them directly what a loser their mothers are????

What good would that do?

What benefit could it possibly bring to the table?

and

Then the NCP should sit the children down and explain their version of what happend?

You cannot be serious?

Do you profit from therapy?

Stocks in a psychiatrists office?

Do you work for a therapist?

Are you making sure there is a supply and demand factor so you keep getting a paycheck?

I knew you would say your adult child would take over where you left off..... (see how it works colleen!!! easy as pie)

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mom2emall

TOS is just an evil ex-wife. She talks out of her a$$ on her most of the time. She wants to put down sm's at all costs. Whatever! I am more of a mom to my skids than their bm is. They look at me as their mother. They introduce me as "mom", not "stepmom" to their friends. I am their mom.

The bm in this case gave birth and moved on. Her fault, not mine! I am just the one doing all the mothering. When the kids grow up who do you think they will come to for advice on raising their own kids? The lady who picked up and ran or the woman who took care of them?

TOS I feel so sorry for your children that your views destroyed their relationship with their father. Just because he left you for someone less depressing does not mean he can't still be a good dad.

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imamommy

"I can't say what the court's would do, but if I drop dead I hope that my youngest would end up living with one of her adult sisters."

Thanks TOS, now I can see how you 'support' cutting off the other parent. I'll bet you have it in writing... Nice!!!

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kkny

Ima, come on. Her X has cut off contact with all his children accept one. And that one he has an occasional meal with. Somewhat like my situation, except only one child. I have said that if I died, my DD wouLD have to go to boarding school.

She is not the one cutting off. He left her and the children, with the blessing and support of his wife.

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imamommy

From what I gather, the youngest is probably the child dad is still seeing... even if it's an occasional dinner. That's not abandonment, right? He still has contact and therefore a relationship with his child. (or is it only mom's that keep up minimal contact that are considered 'still involved'?) It seems that the rest of TOS's kids are legally adults, even if they are still dependent on her for college or whatnot. And why is the fact that TOS's ex's wife supports him (if it's even true) in leaving his children, being used to support her in cutting off her youngest? If it were any one of us, she'd say that we need to stay the hell out of it and leave dad to his relationship with his child. and it seems that if he is taking the child for an occasional meal, he hasn't cut off his relationship.

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helpwiththis

Yes I see the double standard. Biodads who don't come around often are awful and children should be told all their awful truths. BM's do not have to come around often because they are bm's. If the do pop in once a year or so they have the right to make all important decisions. And those pesky sm's who raise the kids should just sit back and enjoy the ride! Even though they may be the ones raising the stepchildren they are not entitled to any opinions or voice. SM's should be seen and not heard. Right? BM's are not to blame if they are not around for their child. It must be someone elses fault if they are not around.

Guess I am keeping bm's spot warm as mom in case she ever feels like sitting in on her daughters life! HAHA

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theotherside

Actually, what I said is that he sees the kids who are still home once a week for dinner. The one child he allows to visit is not one of the ones still at home.

How am I cutting him off from anyone?

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imamommy

If he's the father, then if anything should happen to you, he should have his children. Why wouldn't you want that? You don't want your children to be raised by their father, you prefer to burden an older sibling that has their own life? It's not their responsibility to finish yours & your exH's job. IMO, that's worse than however 'controlling' you think I am. I'd never schlepp my responsibility onto my older kid to raise my younger one, even if they agreed to or offered to. That's pretty selfish, I think.

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ceph

About custody of minor children....
I'm the youngest by 8 years. My parents had some close family friends as my guardians in case anything happened to them when I was a kid. When I was about 14, the husband developed major health problems and my parents decided that (if anything happened to them) the friends wouldn't need the extra burden of a freshly orphaned teenager. My oldest brother was 26, so they asked him and his girlfriend (now wife) if he could be my guardian in case of catastrophe.
I think this was a pretty good choice on my parents' part to choose an older sibling, rather than aging grandparents or other family friends.

Ima, I'm curious - who was child custody willed to if something had happened to you while your kids were minors?

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theotherside

My oldest children don't regard it as a burden. They very much want to raise the youngest if I were to die. There is a large age difference, almost twice the difference between Ceph and her brother.

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helenar

Ima, it sounds to me like TOSs wouldnt object to any of his children not staying with him.

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theotherside

Why would I think it a good idea for him to raise our youngest when he (or his wife) can't even stand having the child around for a weekend - and yet all her teachers, our neighbors, etc. tell me what a sweet child she is. She is the "easiest" child I have in a lot of ways, in spite of the difficulties that result from her learning disabilities. One of my older kids once said that when she had kids, she hoped they were just like her. I asked if she meant just like her but without the learning disabilities, and she said, no, even with the learning disabilities that would be fine. She doesn't remember having her father live at home, and he barely knows her. His current wife has seen her about once a year for an hour or two since the last time she visited her father, which I think was in 2004. Why would you think that would be the best environment for her, and why would you assume that he would even want to raise her?

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sylviatexas1

In Texas, if the custodial parent dies, the non-custodial parent automatically gets custody (& sometimes uses that as leverage with the other survivors/heirs).

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finedreams

if the other parent has a spouse or SO who openly dislikes stepchildren and treats them wrong, why would you want your children to be raised in that environement? maybe to go there EOW is managable but to be there 24/7? why would anyone wish that to their children?

if TOS's X is married to a woman who doesn't treat his children nice, why would TOW want her child to be raised there?

when DD was a minor if my X would have anyone in his life who mistreated or openly disliked DD, i would want her to be raised by my brother's family or grandparents on either side. Luckily X didn't have crazy wives and I didn't die.

especially if a child has LD, she shouldn't be in such negative environment. Just because one is a parent, it doesn't mean he/she is the best person to raise children. some parents are precisely the worst people for children to be around. that's why some children are raised by other family members.

by this logic children should stay with abusive and neglectful people just beacuse they gave birth.

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finedreams

espcially if the other parent does not want to raise children why would anyone want their children to stay with that parent permanently? makes no sense. and on top of it the other parent has a spouse who also doesn't want to raise any children, why on earth would you insist that in case of your death your children go to these people? makes no sense to me.

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finedreams

"If he's the father, then if anything should happen to you, he should have his children."

why? just because he happened to be bioparent? doesn't seem like good enough reason. what about parents who do not even know their children or barely know them? how about your children's fathers, are they the best choice for your children to be around 24/7? doesn't seem so to me. i bet you, there are some other people in your life who would be way better for your kids (when they were minors of course).

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kathline

Like it or not, LEGALLY, the other parent will get the kids if the first parent dies, barring abuse. In every state, parents have first rights to a child.

So Ima is perfectly correct in stating that if TOS dies, her husband will get the remaining children. Now, TOS' ex may not WANT the child, but he is entitled to make that choice, by law.

What TOS wants, after she is dead, isnt going to matter. Its not HER child, its THEIR child. He has every right to take the child and raise it if he wishes.

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oh_my

I know I don't like it that legally, if I die, my poor DD may have to go live with her father, whom she hasn't seen at all in two years. It scares the crap out of me, the thought of my DD being ripped from her family and going to live with strangers. Sometimes the legal rights of parents are just absurd. If I had treated DD the same as her father has all these years, she certainly would have become a ward of the state by now.

Nevertheless, I went to a lawyer and drew up a will leaving her to the custody of my sister and her husband should anything ever happen to me. The lawyer said that this absolutely is not legally enforceable, but that due to his excessive abcense, if my sister got to court and filed for custody, and her dad didn't show up to object, it could work, and that the court would take into consideration his prior involvement. I also willed that any inheritance she may be entitled to would be put in a trust so that even if he got custody of her, she would not come with money. He would have to ask the executor of the trust for money for expenses. My thinking was that if she didn't come with any money, he probably wouldn't want her.

Now that I'm married, I have changed my will to leave her to my husband, and the attorney said that it is very likely that the courts would not take her from the man who's been raising her as her father to give her to the father who doesn't even bother to see her. My husband knows that if I should pass, God forbid, that he is not to grieve me or make arrangements for my funeral, but he is to get to family court immediately and petition to be her guardian.

I don't know the intricate details of TOS's situation, but I certainly understand how one would not want their child to be placed in the custody of people who, regardless of their biological connection to the child, are strangers. It scares me to death. If nothing else, all I want out of my life is to simply live another nine years so that it never becomes an issue!!

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oh_my

Now that I think about it, there is more than one side to the issue.

SD's BM has told DH that should she pass away, she expects him to allow her parents to have custody of SD and that she has a will to that effect.

DH finds this absurd as he has always been very involved in SD's life. Our house is her home and her family too, just as with BM. Of course DH would allow SD to spend time with BM's family if BM were gone, but there is really no good reason that she shouldn't be in the custody of DH, so obviously she would be. BM's parents are very supportive of DH's relationship with SD, and we just don't see them actually making it an issue should something ever happen to BM.

The bigger concern in this scenario is if something should happen to my DH. I fear that in that case SD would probably never see her sisters again. I wouldn't put it past BM to cut of DH's family, including me, sisters, Gma and Gpa, completely. We would probably only we SD on occassions when BM needed free babysitting, which quickly won't be a need any longer as SD's getting older.

I just hope EVERYBODY lives a long, happy life and that NOBODY dies prematurely!!!

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imamommy

Finedreams & TOS,

Your argument is as ridiculous as saying,'I don't like how my child is treated there, so the other parent has no rights' and guess what? YOU (AS CP) DON'T MAKE THAT DECISION. A COURT DOES!!! If something had happened to me when my kids were minors? yep, their father they had never met would have had first crack at taking them. Did I think about it? YES. Did it worry me? YES. But, that's the way it is. They are the father, they have the right. Until a court decides they are unfit, they should be allowed to raise their child, if they want. If they don't want, then sure you should be able to suggest the second choice, but then again, if he objects (with good reason) and wants someone of his choosing, he'll probably get it. After all, your dead and he isn't. He's also the parent with equal rights as you. It may not be 'fair' but children are not property that is owned by one party.

and finedreams, it's too bad if you don't like how the other parent's spouse or SO treats your child.... unless they are abusive and a court agrees to terminate his rights or orders the spouse or SO to not be around the child, then it's up to the child's parent to protect the child. If my DH thinks his ex's new BF is mean to his daughter, he can say something, but it's ultimately up to the mother that is with the boyfriend to make sure the boyfriend treats her daughter well. If she fails to do that, then she should lose her child. And again, it for a COURT to decide. Not the other parent.

I think it's been said here before that if the CP (father) dies, the child can't stay with the stepmother. If the mother is a piece of garbage and unstable, the stepmother would be the logical choice to continue raising the child. But, it's been pointed out many times that the stepmother has no rights. Well, now you are saying it's okay to let your adult child or your sister or someone other than the other parent raise the child because YOU don't like the other parent's spouse or YOU think they treat the child bad. YOU must be a GOD? YOU must think YOU have all the almighty power to decide such things???

That is why I've told my kids many times to choose very carefully, the person they will marry and/or have children with. Especially having children with.

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cawfecup

And if that happens where your children end up with a relative/stranger that is not their parent.... you have a whole other blended family situation....

But then they would be getting bashed for taking responsibility for a child that wasn't their own they should just give them back to the parent anyway. And not have to worry about how they raise someone else's child.

My oldest SD is 18 but before that she was "willed" to her grandmother.... her mother who hasn't had any contact with her in 10 years could have legally been entitled to her and her trust fund. No matter what hubby said.

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oh_my

Cawfe, just because you're legally "entitled" to custody doesn't mean you'ld win and get it. I suspect that a judge wouldn't have given custody to a mother who hasn't contacted her child in 10 years unless there was no other family memeber stepping forward to take responsibility.

Why wasn't SD "willed" to you, instead of GM?

In my state, after you've been married a year, you can do a stepparent adoption without the consent of the bioparent if the NCP has had no contact and/OR paid no child support regarding the child for one year. However, the no contact rule is very strict, such as one Christmas card a year counts as contact. If the child's over the age of 14, you also need the child's consent to the stepparrent adoption.

It's true, you can't control what happens to your children when you're gone, but you sure can try to provide provisions for their well-being.

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cawfecup

We got married she was 16 1/2 I just assumed nothing would happen to hubby in a year and a half, lucky I was right :)

... GM has the means to provide, I didn't/don't have a real job and being the "new" SM I don't think it would have been my place to jump in and take her away from arrangements hubby and his mom had prior to my arrival. Not really something we discussed with regards to that SD... the younger ones, one of the first phone calls would have been/will be to mom to come get them.

Hubby and I have had the discussion of what ifs... he says you realize she would probably continue to pay support to you just not to have them 7 days a week.... She couldn't afford to pay the support I would be asking.

He even has it in a court order if either parent has a hospital stay of longer than 24 hours the other parent is responsible for the children until that parent is released from the hospital and 72 hours to recouperate before the children resume visitation schedule.

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finedreams

I never said that the other parent has no legal rights. And I don't remember TOS saying that her X has no rights to raise children or that she will prevent her child from being raised by her X. She said that she WOULD WANT her child to be raised by somebody who is better in parenting. And I said that if my X and his wife would be bad parents (luckily it is not the case) I WOULD WANT my child raised by my brother or grandparents because they are good parents. I never said anything about courts or legal system. I said what WOULD BE BETTER for a child and same said TOS. Her older children apparently are better guardians than X and SM.

Unfortunatelly what courts decide is not always the best for children though.

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finedreams

BTW there are cases when grandparents or siblings filed for custody after CP's death and if NCP was nonexisatnt they had a pretty good chance of getting custody. So it is not always the case when children must be raised by nonexistant parent. Luckily some involved family members could get the kids. It is not easy to enforce but it could be done. Plus uninvolved parents often give custody up and don't fight for it. I suspect that both TOS's X and his wife would be more than happy for someone else raising children.

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kkny

I think in many cases non-existent parents will only fight if there is money involved (like social security, life insurance, etc).

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imamommy

finedreams, that may be all true, but the bottom line is, it's NOT up to one parent to decide the other is nonexistent or unfit. It wasn't up to me to say my kids' father's shouldn't get the opportunity to raise their kid if something happened to me. Of course I wouldn't want my kid to be sent to a parent they never knew. But, it wasn't MY choice. If you suspect TOS's exH and his wife would be more than happy for someone else to raise the child, then it would be up to him to decline taking his child at that time. It's not up to anyone else. Regardless of what you think about the courts, that they don't always get it right, that's irrelevant. There are laws for a reason and the law gives parents certain rights, whether you like it or not, whether you agree with it or not. I agree that if other people petition the court for custody and the NCP is non existent or doesn't 'want' the child, then they would likely get custody. But again, it's NOT up to the CP.

As for the child to be 'willed' to a grandparent, I doubt that it would be upheld if the NCP wanted to resume being the parent. (if their parental rights are terminated prior to the CP's death, or they've already been found to be unfit by a court, then that might be different) When I was a single parent, I had a power of attorney for my sister to make decisions for my kids upon my death. However, if any of their fathers were found or came forward, then they would have had the right to their child, over and above my sister. And quite honestly, while they didn't stick around or pay support, none of them are so terrible that I'd feel the need to keep them from stepping up if they choose to.

Has anyone considered that perhaps TOS makes her ex's life so difficult and that is why he stays away or doesn't see his kids? If she were out of the picture, perhaps he would be happy to spend more time with his kids. He would no longer have someone poisoning his kids against him, reminding them of his affair, which I'm sure affects how they feel about him, which in turn, affects how they treat him, which likely leads to how he feels about them and how they feel about him.

Yes, they are armed with the 'truth', but I'm sure that all my babbling is just speculation and that them knowing the truth about daddy isn't having an impact on their relationship with him. I'm sure they haven't chosen sides. and I'm sure this has nothing to do with wanting to 'punish' him for the rest of his life.

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finedreams

perhaps TOS made her X's life difficult but perhaps your DH made his X's life difficult. And maybe you contributed to it as well. And that's why she stays away and moved far. Well of course i don't believe it because I trust what you are sharing here is truth. i don't think that your DH or you made BM's life H**ll or that you are withholding the truth. So why would you assume TOS made his life difficult and refuses to admit it? give her a break.

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finedreams

if a stepmother is the one majorly involved in child's life while bioparent is nonexistant then of course it would be prefrable for children to stay with stepparent. but in situations discussed here stepparent is uninvolved up to the point of not knowing her stepkids (TOS's story) so of course other family members are way more appropriate in this case.

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