Co-Parenting Advice and Outrageous Expectations.

[deleted account] ( 4 moms have responded )

Hi,

I am the stepmother of a wonderful 6-year-old boy. Let's call him E. His father and I have been married for three years. My husband and E's mother were never married (or actually in a relationship). My husband has been a willing participant in E's life since conception - paying child support, seeing E daily, and even helping out with E's older brother when needed. We now have 50/50 custody. We moved within a mile of E's mother to keep the community the same. We get along decently, have regular "family" meetings, and are more or less on the same page.

Until E got sick the other day. He was with his mom when he started throwing up in the store before school. She sent us a text with an update, said they were in the store, but heading home, then demanded (and I really mean demand) that my husband leave home to go and buy her ginger ale, juice, popsicles, and medication. I couldn't believe it! Had she asked, we would have considered (although to be frank, even though we have 50/50 custody, we overpay child support each month, as she is only working part-time). However, she demanded. We advised she could drop him at our place while she ran to the store, but she ignored that.

The next day, when we picked E up, he started yelling at us that we don't care about him because we couldn't buy groceries for his mom. We were appalled. We never speak ill of her, and assumed that went both ways.

Is this normal co-parenting or are E's mother's expectations outrageous?

4 Comments

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Jodi - posted on 05/08/2015

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Unless it's in the court orders, she doesn't have the right to demand anything.

Is the child allergic to dogs or something? What was her reasoning on that one?

[deleted account]

Thank you for two varying opinions. I am trying to keep an open mind. Unfortunately, this is not the first time she has tried to make demands of us. (Last week she told us we weren't allowed to have a dog in our home). To my knowledge this is the first time she's spoken to E about anything.

It's been a long road to get to where we are and I really don't want to damage it. I respect her as a person and E's mother, but have a hard time with her interjections into our family life.

Jodi - posted on 05/08/2015

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I would say that she was distressed about the child and let it get the better of her. I don't think her "demanding" for your husband to go to the store was about herself or wanting your husband to pay for it (you mentioned child support being part of the issue), but rather, she couldn't take a vomiting child to the store, didn't want to take a vomiting child a mile in the car to your house, and basically just wanted to keep him at home. Although you and your husband were upset by the demanding rather than asking, you could have perhaps also handled this better and recognised that those things she needed were for a sick child.....HIS sick child. She did need them.

It was wrong of her to speak about it to the child, but she had a right to feel the way she did.

Raye - posted on 05/08/2015

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It seems that E's mother was over-reacting, and she was not smart to discuss the details with the boy and get him upset. She may have been really concerned for E and let her emotions get the best of her. If this is an isolated incident, then you should chalk it up to stress and move past it. If she continues to get demanding, not coming to an agreement on things, and badmouthing the boy's father to him, then you need to talk it out and get back on the same page. Your husband pays support, and pays for the child's needs while in his care, it's up to the mother to pay for the child's needs while in her care. Hopefully this won't escalate into a pissing match. You could just explain to E that he has been misinformed about what happened and that you do care for him and want him to be well.

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