Is my step children's mother being selfish or.....

Mommabird - posted on 12/30/2014 ( 34 moms have responded )

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Sorry if this ends up a little lengthy, but in order for anyone to give advice on this subject its best to get all necessary facts first.
Some of you may already know from a few of my previous posts and comments that my husband and I separated for 9 mths and reconciled in May of 2013. During our separation he had a one night stand(on New Years Eve) and she became pregnant with twins. They were born Sept 2013. We all attempted to make the best of the situation and be adults about it. We've all been getting along(except one argument that only lasted a week) and everything was agreed upon regarding her custody and his visitation, and what he pays in child support. No lawyers, no paperwork. First she agreed that when they turned 1 she would give him joint custody with rotating weeks and no child support, if things were still going good. Their 1st birthday came and everything had been going smoothly, no issues, but she changed her mind. Said she wasnt ready for them to be gone a whole week at a time yet. Ok...so we kept what we had which was every other weekend and Wed-fri on the opposite week. Almost half the time already but he's still paying her child support. We let it go and left it at that. Ok theyre 15 mths now and we've had them 3 days a week and every holiday besides mothers day this whole time. Well my husbands schedule changed at work after Christmas which made him work opposite weekends he was working. Which means the weekends theyre here he's working 12 hr shifts and they only see him 6 hours out of the whole 3 days theyre here. So he asked if she would switch weekends so he had more time with them. She said No. She has a 6 yr old that goes to his dads on the same weekend and she would "rather keep it the same so that she has a weekend to herself to regain her sanity from work and kids"...Im quoting her exact words. To me, it seems a little selfish. It seems like her alone time is more important than the girls spending time with their daddy. Thats parenthood! You sacrifice a little ME time for your children's benefit. Am I just overreacting,? My husband has the same view as I do and he's planning on sitting down with her and trying to come to some kind of compromise. but I dont see her changing her schedule...

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Ev - posted on 12/30/2014

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I agree with Jodi on this. He needs to take it to court and get it set in stone with the judge. By them coming to an agreement like they did without court and so on, it allowed her to change her mind on things at the last minute. He needs to show her that he is not going to be walked on. I would suggest he go for that agreed one week on and off with the twins. He deserved the chance to have time with his kids. And she needs to learn she does not have control over them and that they are not pawns. Because they will be the ones to hurt the most.

Jodi - posted on 12/30/2014

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I can see her point. When you are a single parent, it can be very difficult never getting a break from you children. I went 3 years barely having a break (except when I was at work) because my son's father couldn't take my son overnight, ever. It was hard going. At least when you are married or have a partner, you can get that break by handing over to your partner for a while, but a single parent NEVER gets that unless the children can go with someone else (in this case, the other biological parent, in my case, my parents occasionally gave me a break if they were in town). If this time is the only time her son goes to see his dad, then I can totally understand how she feels. If you've never been a single parent to very young children, it could be difficult to understand just how important that break is to being able to be a good parent to your children.

Perhaps you guys could work on a compromise whereby she still gets some of her weekend to herself?

Dove - posted on 01/02/2015

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The only thing he can do is take it to court. Granted, he may end up paying more support... but it's a small price to pay to ensure the kids get to see their father.

Mommabird - posted on 12/30/2014

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I know it probably seems harsh. But to me....we've ignored her bad parenting on occasion, stayed out of it after she told us her boyfriend was abusive, let her dictate when we get them and when we dont, paid her money even though legally he doesnt have to. Im starting to agree with a few of the ladies here...she's taking advantage of our calm demeanor and denying him quality time with his kids. Its time to get serious and stop focusing on playing nice so we dont make her mad. It will be put in writing so there is a plan to stick to and no wishy washy last minute change of plans.
Thank all of you for your insight.

Michelle - posted on 12/30/2014

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In my opinion trying to control her future relationships is too much. I know a lot of people put that in their divorce paperwork but seriously, that's very unfair.
Your husband needs to get a lawyer and they will know the best way to go.

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Mommabird - posted on 01/14/2015

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Thanks Erin.
Things keep popping up and making it more complicated but we'll handle things when the time comes. Found out a few more things she's neglecting to do as their mother, so more things added to our list when we do go to court.

Mommabird - posted on 01/05/2015

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We understand that. We have to get financially ready before we can do that though...unfortunately.Thank you all for your advice and wisdom :)

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/05/2015

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Without formal court orders in place, she can do anything she damn well pleases. This is why everyone is telling you to get formal orders.

Mommabird - posted on 01/02/2015

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She texted him right after I dropped the girls off and said she will let him have them Wed-Sun every other week, he will have 2 of those days off to spend time with them. Its less days than what we had but at least its on days he will have time to spend with them. Its better than none I guess. We will still have a lawyer draw up paperwork on our current agreements just so its in writing and she cant take it away if she gets mad.

Michelle - posted on 01/02/2015

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I'm with Evelyn, she has shown that she will do anything to get her own way. Your husband needs to get the visitation in writing.
You do realize that child support and visitation are 2 separate issues and if she wants to get more support then she needs to take him to court as a separate issue.
He could even organize mediation to see if they can come to an arrangement there and have it all in writing first. It's not legally binding but sometimes that's all that's needed. If she then plays games he can take her to court and use the mediation papers as a backup to what he wants and that she originally agreed to.

Ev - posted on 01/02/2015

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I would still have him take it to court no matter how she gets about it. This is not a matter of working it out between you all because it sounds like she might just go back to holding off again or wanting things just so to appease her own life. I can not stress it enough....get those court orders.

Mommabird - posted on 01/02/2015

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I completely agree Evelyn. Its hard for me to stay out of it when she's the one calling or texting ME about everything instead of him. So I sent him a text a while ago telling him to text her asking for Wed-Sun every other week. He will have off Wed and Thurs to spend with them. He called on break a minute ago and said SHE AGREED to it! Apparently the girls crying when I left earlier made her realize how much they love us and being with us. I feel a bit of relief now. Even though now we will have to go a week and a half before seeing them each time at least they will have time with their daddy :)

Ev - posted on 01/02/2015

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I know this really bites you but your husband is the one that has to get this going and get it done. You can support him all you want to. He will need it. But this is going to be between them.

Mommabird - posted on 01/02/2015

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My heart is broken for the two girls right now. Its really not fair to them, all this conflict. I really wish there was a way to resolve this peacefully with their mother.
I just returned from taking them home to their mother, daddy is at work. I gave her the child support as she signed the receipt and we took the girls inside. As each of us sat the girls down, I told them bye bye, and as I opened the door to go out both of them started crying. I turned around and they were both looking at me with the saddest faces. I just walked out and shut the door. I hated leaving and them crying but what was i supposed to do? She's the Mom and I didnt want to upset her more by staying and trying to comfort them so they would stop crying. I honestly hope she realizes how much I love those girls and stops being so selfish, and thinks about THEM for once.

Mommabird - posted on 01/02/2015

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@Shawnn...he does pay child support...even though hes not ordered to. And we agreed to keep paying that amount if she would just give him equal time. She wont do that. If he gets more time, she wants more money. We have 4x the bills she has because she has the luxury of living with her parents and no bills. Only money she has to spend is buying diapers and clothes. She gets food stamps, WIC and medicaid for her. We pay for their insurance, yet she refuses to take them to the dr when theyve had a cough for 2 weeks. Shes got it made and doesnt plan on changing that.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/02/2015

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He should be contributing to support any way, Charlotte. Get the court orders in place, and figure out what else needs to be done to handle the support obligation.

Mommabird - posted on 01/02/2015

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We're still thinking about it. If we go to court to ask for joint/ shared care he will be paying child support by the charts, which coincidentally we know its 240 a week. We cant afford that. If we could afford it that would be a great exchange...240 week for EQUAL time.
I was under the impression joint/ shared care resulted in no support by either party...I was informed thats not necessarily true. Its a 50/50 chance that since his income is 3 times what hers is he will still have to pay even if he has equal physical custody

Jodi - posted on 01/02/2015

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I hope he said "see you in court". Good luck Charlotte. Definitely time to talk to a lawyer.

Mommabird - posted on 01/02/2015

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Update: Im very sad, upset and frustrated. I would like for everyone to pray for us and the two children involved. Their mother stated today (after ignoring our calls and texts the last two days while we had the girls) she is not giving up her free weekend and is not adding any days to what we already have. so therefore my husband will be working everyday they will be here. He will only be able to spend 2 hours with them each day theyre here. In her opinion its better than none.

Erin - posted on 12/31/2014

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I'm so sorry you and H are going through this. It's a sticky situation for sure. I'll be praying for wisdom for you guys to know how to handle it. Best of luck to you!

#2015MyYear
#Livn'ItUpInCO

Mommabird - posted on 12/30/2014

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Ok so my last two questions regarding getting paperwork started....would it be wrong if he requested there be no overnight male company unless married or a family member? And also, should we let her know what were doing or wait until its filed? Im not sure which way to go on these two decisions. My husband doesnt know what to do either.

Reason for the first question is simply because she had a boyfriend up until last month and she confided in us about him being verbally abusive to her. We suggested finding a better man for her and the girls. She stayed with him until her father found out and shut it down and threatened to put him in jail. She hasnt had very good judgment with men and my husband is worried another man will come along who's the same way and be around the girls...but this time she wont confide in us so we wouldnt have a clue it was going on..

Michelle - posted on 12/30/2014

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Like we have said, don't just come to an agreement with her, go to court and get it all in writing. That way she can't dictate what happens.
In regards to child support with shared care it's as simple as nothing has to be paid. Where I am, even though we do 50/50 shared care the support is worked out as if we are both paying support to each other based on out income and the parent with the higher income pays a small amount to the other.
We don't actually pay it but if she went through the courts to get support that's how it would be worked out.

Mommabird - posted on 12/30/2014

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See, thats where were different than her. We want equal time. They already think Im momma, they still call me momma even though we've been teaching them to call me ChaCha(short for Charlotte). They still call me momma, and I assume its because Im with them alot. I only work 2 days a week, she works 5. I work at night, she works days. Most of their time is spent with Nana(her mom) or me. Because daddy works 12 hr shifts with 3 days off a week. I made up a calendar to show her what we want. If we had them like Fri-Fri every other week they still get 4 days with daddy being off work. She still gets her weekend alone. We'll see if she agrees. Although I doubt it because then she wont get child support because of the equal time...

Ev - posted on 12/30/2014

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Okay, I get the picture that you have them about half the month from the list you posted. I get you guys do not want to make her mad but she is threatening parental alienation by doing this and he does have a right to take it to court and get the visitation and custody settled there instead of going on her word alone that its going to be one way forever or work out other things later on by word of mouth. That allows her to change it up. Court orders do not allow her to do that. He needs to go to court and file for custody, visits, and child support. That is the only way he is going to get across to her that she can not walk on him. She is using the kids as pawns. And in doing so she thinks she has control of the situation. Once its in the court under a judge's eyes, it will be different let me tell you that from experience.

To answer your question about who hurts the most: The children do. Its not about the parents and step parents and anyone else that is in the picture. The kids suffer the most because they are being used to hold things over one of the parents. They are not items to be used to gain what is wanted and that is exactly what their mom is doing. I would suggest dad go for full custody and child support from mom because she keeps on threatening to take the time away that he has without a court order as it is.

Mommabird - posted on 12/30/2014

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Also forgot to add...we're so afraid she will take away time we have now if we piss her off. She said before she's being generous by giving him the extra wed-fri. So she can take that away and then whos hurting? The girls dont see their daddy much, and let me tell you they are attached to daddy so bad they cling to him and turn away from her when she tries hugging or kissing them when she drops them off. I honestly think he spends more time with them than she does. Thats why were so upset about her not caring if they spend time with him instead of me

Mommabird - posted on 12/30/2014

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I looked at my calendar, I keep track of when we have them.
December we had them 14 days out of 30 and we get them tomorrow too.
November we had them 13 out of 30 days.
October we had them 13 out of 31 days.
September we had them 13 out of 30.
Thats pretty much the average, you get the picture.
And in the beginning he was giving her 150 week and we had them every other weekend. After 6 months we asked for more time and less money and thats when she added the every other wed-fri and asked for 75 week. So right now we have them 2 days short of half the time and hes still giving her 75 week. We dont want to piss her off so without paperwork she can take whatever she wants and he cant do anything about it. So I think Im going to convince him to file for joint/shared custody, no child support, he keeps insurance on them, we still buy their clothes, diapers, anything they need while theyre here. And I have a question...is it strange for him to ask for no overnight male company unless married or family member?

Jodi - posted on 12/30/2014

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Oh, well if she gets her breaks because she lives with her parents, that's different. I have MUCH less sympathy for her situation, LOL. In that case, I'd take it to court and get what was agreed upon originally. I'd also get the child support reviewed based on how often you guys have the kids.

Mommabird - posted on 12/30/2014

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And i just thought of something, well my sons girlfriend mentioned it and it made me think...Im going to let him handle the situation and keep out of it because I have my own personal frustration with this situation. I realized Im a little angry because she expects me to be the one juggling 4 kids by myself for 75% of the time they will be here when she refuses to do it for one day. We've asked her if she was planning on getting her own place and she said "No, i cant handle 3 kids by myself right now, maybe when they get a little older."

Mommabird - posted on 12/30/2014

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Thank you for your suggestions. We will keep them in mind and suggest them to her. Re: Jodi's comment...She lives with her parents and neither of them work. Theyve been known to watch the kids while she goes out when its her weekend so its possible to have them watch the girls if she needs a night out on opposite weekends.
Yes she is a single parent and Yes Ive been a single parent before, so I do know how stressful it is. She NEVER has her 3 kids by herself though, her parents are always there to help on a daily basis. When the girls are here and my husband is at work Im caring for 4 children by myself, so I do know stressful. My husband and I have not had one single night without kids for a year and a half. We'd like to, but its not likely because every night he has off work we have 4 kids and noone wants to watch 4 kids. Plus his time with the kids is more important than pawning them off on someone to have free time. Im racking my brain to figure out a way it can work for everyone but Im drawing a blank, thats why Im here :)

Michelle - posted on 12/30/2014

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Then your husband should take her to court and get the orders in writing. While he's there he should ask for the shared care that she is denying.
My ex just got a new job and he has to work every 2nd weekend and it happened to be the weekend he had the children, needless to say we just swapped. It wasn't a big deal. I have also done 50/50 shared care for over 9 years so I know that for it to really work the communication needs to be there.

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