Needing to vent about lazy, selfish bio-mom!

Raye - posted on 02/08/2016 ( 6 moms have responded )

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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.

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Raye - posted on 02/16/2016

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Drew (8 y/o) already voices his displeasure about going over there, except when his mom's BF's sons will be there for him to play with. Stella (11 y/o) internalizes more and it's hard to know her feelings. I think she's still holding out hope for her mom to change.

Michelle - posted on 02/15/2016

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It all sounds so frustrating Raye. I'm sorry I don't have any good advice for you. Hopefully the children will realize what she's like as they get older and won't want to spend as much time with her.
When I was 16 I decided I didn't want to live with my Mum anymore and went to live with Dad. Back then it was just a given that the children would stay with Mum and Dad got every 2nd weekend.
I still have a strained relationship with my Mum but put my own feeling aside for my children. She is the only Grandparent they have in the same country. The joy of marrying foreigners!!!!

Raye - posted on 02/15/2016

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Update: Bio-mom lets Stella go on a Girl Scout camping trip, even though she had been out of school for being sick. Stella comes back, is more sick. My husband takes her to the Dr. (again), and gets antibiotics, because now they think it might be strep. Bio-mom doesn't give her the antibiotics. Here's hoping she hasn't created a resistant strain... :(

Raye - posted on 02/09/2016

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Sometimes I feel like my husband is setting the bio-mom up to fail by asking her to be responsible when we both know she won't be. I even asked him one time if that's what he was doing. He said no. I understand that he would want to give her first opportunity to handle some things. She's their mom. But she consistently fails them, and he STILL tries to give her those responsibilities. It's not like she's going to learn from it or try to get better, because she doesn't. She should be an adult and flat out say that she can't/won't do it when there's still time to have other arrangements made. But she doesn't. It's just very frustrating.

MaryAnn - posted on 02/08/2016

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I wouldn't suggest taking "privileges", but instead responsibilities. When your sks have appointments- they should go. Would it be inconvenient in the future to have him pick them up, or appoint you to do so and then bring them back to hers? I wouldn't worry about thr court battles. If your husband is allowing her privileges she isnt entitled to by law- with the stipulation that if she doesnt care for them, he can... I'm no judge, but that's reasonable, responsible, and accomodating.
You know I know the plight, and I am just throwing an idea out there. I understand it isnt your power to wield, and I just want to remind you- you are NOT alone. Step mom'ing is HARD, I'm sending you my hugs. You DO have power in your home, so if at all possible... Keep those responsibilities there. You are doing your best, and if you arent getting that acknowledgement there, I want to make sure you get it here.
EDITED for poor word choice.

Michelle - posted on 02/08/2016

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I would say your husband needs to go back to court. If you have proof of her not having the children when it's her turn then I doubt she'll get custody.
Other than that, I don't have any advice. It sounds like you are doing everything you can. Maybe let your husband know that if he has to go away and there are appointments then let you take them. That way he will know that they will go.

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