Raye - posted on 02/08/2016 ( 6 moms have responded )
Ok, so this just happened to me this past week... I am a step-mom. My step-kids are in counseling, and their dad takes them. His job was sending him out of town during the time of their appointment, and he needed someone else to take them. I offered (and even scheduled off work to go). But the day before the appointment (Wednesday), he made arrangements with their mother to take them. The kids had both had a fever, and (although they were feeling better) the school forbids them from attending if they've had a fever within 24 hours. So, they would be with her for the day, and she said she would take them to the session. She also asked my husband to make an appointment for the doctor's office, and she would take them to get checked for the flu. He said he would call first thing in the morning, and make an appointment, and let her know when to take them in.
So, Thursday morning he calls the doctor, makes the appointment, then calls his ex... no answer. He keeps calling and calling, and calls her live-in boyfriend, neither one answers. Finally, he takes off work, goes to her house, knocks on the door, wakes them up, and HE takes the kids to that appointment, then takes them back to their mother's (not flu, which we already guessed would be the case, but SHE wanted the appointment and he was trying to look out for the kids and keep peace with their mom). Since he was still going out of town, she was still supposed to take them to the afternoon counseling session.... Well, she didn't because she had "too much going on". UGH!!!
I had a feeling that their mom would flake out and not take them. I'm sure my husband also had a feeling she would flake out, too. But she had the kids in her "care" for the day. So, how are we supposed to handle these type of situations without pissing her off and taking away her "privileges" of increased visitation and flexible schedule?
Here's what I mean by that.... My husband has primary custody and she's supposed to get one evening a week and every other weekend, but because her work schedule (as a waitress/bartender) is such that she makes more money by working on the weekend, they have a personal agreement for her visitation. I know, I know, they should go back to court! You don't have to tell me. But he's afraid she will try to take 50/50 or full custody and that would be worse for the kids because of her neglect. I have a list of 80 occurrences where she's bailed on them or otherwise flaked out over the last two years (on average, that's once every 9 days), and that's only the stuff that I know about. I'm sure there's been more that my husband hasn't told me about.
Further example of her neglect... In addition to her job, she is also taking college classes... maintaining a 4.0, and tutoring complete strangers (I think for extra credit). Good for her for wanting to better herself, right? Sure, EXCEPT... she "doesn't have time to deal with" making sure her own kids' homework is done. They keep missing assignments from days she has them, and then she punishes them for low grades. Sometimes she brings them home when they have a big project due (usually due the next day) because she "can't" help them. But even though my husband has offered to stop by and review their homework so she can still have her visitation time, she has refused. I could go on and on with examples of her not doing right by her kids.
I feel so bad for these poor kids, and so helpless because I have no power in these situations. I think my husband feels like he doesn't have any power without starting a court battle. So it's hard to know what to do (besides go to court, because he doesn't want to push it to that). So, I guess rant over. If you made it to this point, thanks for reading.