Stressed out over my boyfriends daughters mom. Please advise.

Alison - posted on 02/23/2013 ( 16 moms have responded )

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I never thought about asking for help but I'm exhausted. I have a wonderful boyfriend. He is 30 and I am 27. We have been together a year and a half. I have 2 daughters. He has 1. We didnt kmow about his daughter until 6 months after we met. Long story. I will spare the details. His daughter is 2. My problem. His babys mom is lazy and doesnt work but asks for money nonstop. We send child support and pick the daughter up and take her home. She lives about 100 miles away. About 50 dollars in gas every 2 weeks. I am making myself sick over all of this. I am beginning to resent my boyfriend and his daughter. I dont know why I am feeling like this. I feel like a horrible person because he is so good to my children. My 3 year old thinks she is his. I am good to his daughter, who couldn't love a baby. But I'm mad and sad at the same time. Why do I have to bust my butt to take care of my kids and his while his babys mama sit on hers all day living off of us and her grand parents? I know we should send child support, I get that. I'm a mom too. But why do I feel this way? I just want to cry.

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Angela - posted on 02/25/2013

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Alison, I don't know this woman and I feel sorry for your situation. However, as someone who spent about 15 years as a single parent, living on benefit money - I must speak out ....

I had decent qualifications & credentials. I went to college, I even have a degree. And I applied for jobs non-stop. I attended lots of job interviews (although many jobs I applied for I didn't even get shortlisted to attend interview!). I just kept on trying and I had no luck - except for 2 or 3 times over the years when I got part-time temporary jobs - which I took.

And I got nothing from my ex-husband.

The close proximity of where she lives to several places where there is potential employment is no guarantee she'll be hired. Of course, she might not even be trying!

We also live in a contradictory culture.

On the one hand, there is the importance of working for a living, setting a good example to your children, as you have spoken about yourself - the culture which I would have also gladly adhered to if only I'd been given the opportunity.

On the other hand you have traditional values that say a mother ought to be at home with her children - especially when they're small.

So whichever route a young mother chooses (assuming she gets the opportunity to choose - I didn't!!) she will be vilified for her choice by the camp that takes the opposite point of view.

I have a friend who is raising 3 children with her partner. His responsibilities to 2 children from a previous relationship have been a thorn in her flesh as long as she can remember. It also causes a lot of difficulty and conflict with her mother-in-law - who says to her at the end of every argument "You knew before you even started your relationship with him that he had 2 children ...."

In your case though, you DIDN'T know he had a child from a previous relationship - indeed, neither did he! And for that, you have my heartfelt sympathy.

Kristi - posted on 02/24/2013

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Just out of curiousity and the fact that my 2nd husband is currently a single dad with no help whatsoever from his son's mother...if there is no paper work and your boyfriend doesn't think his daughter is being well cared for, why take her back to her mother's at all? I know that might sound cold but if you're the ones caring for and providing for her, why shouldn't she live with you.

Do you have bank statements or Western Union receipts showing that he's been sending money and how much since he found out? In Nebraska, when my friend went through a custody hearing, her ex filed on her and she couldn't afford an attorney so she was appointed one. I don't know if that's the case every where or not but you could find out and then force her to file on you.

What was her reason for not telling your boyfriend about his daughter for 2 years and then all of a sudden deciding to let him know?

Jodi - posted on 02/24/2013

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I can understand that if you are under financial stress that you would be aggravated. But it is probably misdirected. The child is 2, and sometimes, going back to work before a child is at school is more costly than staying at home with them. But I do understand. My husband's ex didn't work for years and years, and we busted our butts to support the family. I even had two miscarriages while I was stressing out over work and finances and how we would pay everything while she didn't work. Even now, her income is minimal, and yet my step son is 13.....honey, my youngest is 7 and I work full time these days. It isn't our job to support you. It is only our job to support my husband's son 50%. You are supposed to kick in the other 50%....

So yes, I do understand the frustration, but I also know, after 10 years, that it is what it is.

Having said that, get court orders, and make sure you bring up the distance and the cost of contact. In Australia, that is often taken into consideration.

And follow up on child support for your children. You are entitled to it. It would help you immensely and take some of the financial pressure off. After all, it isn't your new partner's job to support you children (even though he chooses to), their father should be making some level of contribution.

Again, however, I do understand the dilemmas here. My ex may as well be paying nothing in Child Support with the $30 a month he is required to pay. My husband and I are the ones to support my son (the $30 a month about covers the phone credit he ends up using to stay in touch with his dad, which pretty much renders it useless in the grand scheme of things.....).

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Dove - posted on 02/24/2013

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Sorry. I'm sure you know your situation much better than I do. I'm just going to drop this because the more I read and post the more agitated I get.

Good luck with it all!

Alison - posted on 02/24/2013

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Well, I dont know too many people that come out and say they are worthless. But, I'm not her ex and I have no reason to make anything up about her. I asked for help and advice about how to cope with my issues. And so many wonderful people gave me ideas and helped me figure out exactly why I felt this way. I guess morals run differently in all people. And if her mom is going to be a bad example there, all we can do is set good ones here. And yes, she told my b/f the reason she doesnt work is because she doesnt have a car. But if the man paying child support said that, he would go to jail. I didnt want to be mean and put everything on the table, but I guess I had to. There is a strip of restaurants and store about a block from her grannys trailer park.

Dove - posted on 02/24/2013

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So you have access to her medical records?

Is she neglecting or abusing the child or is your biggest issue with the mom that she isn't working (you know.... so is available to her child).

I'm sorry. Perhaps she is just as bad as you say. I'm just coming from the side of an ex who has made similar claims about me as a mother and they are 100% not true, so.... unless you've heard the truth directly from the mother that she is lazy and just not interested in working..... I'm on her side.

Alison - posted on 02/24/2013

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She lives on 300 a month because she lives with her grandparents. She is perfectly healthy. And if she were trying to work or even go to school I dont think I would be so mad. But has a free house, free utilities, free phone from the government, free food, free insurance, and gets 300 a month to support her cigarette habit. and has no motivation. I have 2 kids and work my butt off, why, because I want my children to have good morals, ethics, and realize that things dont come free in life... (for most of us). And I dont think there is anything wrong with accepting help if you need it but being lazy shouldn't qualify. I guess my issue is that the baby deserves better than what the mom is doing. I want her to grow up with the same values as we have and give herself a chance. I think I have figured out my problem (with yalls help of coursr). Thank you all.

Angela - posted on 02/24/2013

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Does your partner know beyond doubt that this child is biologically his? You say she (the mother) cheated with numerous men behind her husband's back.

I don't know the set-up in the US but in the UK, a lot of single mothers on benefit who are estranged from their children's fathers are happy to receive some level of child support from their child's father - but they like this to be an unofficial cash-in-hand sum. As soon as it goes "official", the amount they get from their ex is subtracted from the benefit they receive - so financially they are no better off! I've even heard lawyers advise women who live on benefits that they should ask their ex-partners to pay child support in food, clothing & shoes (so no money changes hands) rather than in cash - that way it can't affect the money they receive from the taxpayer.

If the US is anything like the UK, the child's mother's interests are best served by having an unofficial arrangement.

If she's been unfaithful to her husband with more than one guy, how many others may she have an "unofficial child support arrangement" with?

Dove - posted on 02/24/2013

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Oh... I'm not saying he's not paying enough.... he very well may be paying MORE than enough. I just know that diapers, clothes, meds, etc.... don't pay the bills, so if she's not working... how does SHE live on only $300/month. ;)

Kristi - posted on 02/24/2013

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Children are very resilient. I know from personal experience. I do see where Dove is coming from but if he is providing all those other things too, he is providing well over $300/month. Which technically, he has not been ordered to pay. The amount he has to pay is based on his income so we don't know how much $300/month plus all the extras is to him. My daughter's father only has to pay $50/month. He makes $14/hour. He pays for nothing.

I generally advocate for the mother but in this case, based on what you've said, it sounds like you could provide a more stable, traditional home for her. It is obvious he wants to be a father as he stepped up as soon as he found out she was his child.

I do agree with with Dove about seeking help from a therapist. You'll be able to vent and she'll be able to provide you with positive ways to channel your feelings. It's a safe place to let everything out so you won't have to bottle it up and/or inadvertently take it out on your boyfriend.

Dove - posted on 02/24/2013

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Do you know why she doesn't work from her own mouth? Or are you making assumptions about her? Has she said she doesn't WANT to work.... or is it because it would cost more than it is worth for her to work? Or is there another issue that you could be unaware of?

If she is only receiving $300/month from you guys and she doesn't work.... how is she paying rent, buying food, gas, ANYTHING....? $300 sure doesn't go very far these days.

Perhaps counseling could help you get over this resentment you have towards this woman... because if you stay with her daughter's father.... you've got a lifetime of this and your feelings, while understandable to a point, are not healthy and could very well destroy you... your relationship with your SO... and his child's emotional well being.... since half of her comes from this woman you can't stand.

Alison - posted on 02/24/2013

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Kristi, we do keep all of the money orders we send her. On top of sending 300 a month, we buy clothes, diapers, medicine, ect. We dont keep her because she is so young. I know as a mom of a 3 year old that it is scary for babies to be away from their routine too long. I dont know that she is actually not treated good. She seems ok. The reason we didnt know about her is because her mom was actually married to another man at the time the baby was conceived. My boyfriend didnt know she was married. Anyway, her husband found out that she had been cheating with multiple men and asked for a paternity test when they got divorced when the baby was only 1 year old. So, since she turned out to be my boyfriends daughter, we have been taking care of her. I know this sounds like a soap opera...but this is our life. We have a very loving relationship, he is a good man and father. I just really dislike his daughters mom. I am almost angry with her.

Alison - posted on 02/23/2013

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My youngest, not at all...and my oldest, sometimes. I think child support is owed to moms. I just dont know why I'm so aggrivated with this.

Alison - posted on 02/23/2013

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No, nothing is court ordered. I know we need to do that, but we dont have the money yet. It seems as though noone is willing to help a dad. But we should have extra money when we get our income tax back. It is a top priority. We are not poor, but not well to do by any means. I know its none of my concern whether or not the mom works, but it still bothers me. I dont understand worthless women who dont try and help themselves. Especially those with kids. My issue is I dont know how to more or less get over it. Like I said, I have 2 daughters of my own. I dont get why I am so nutty about all of this. I feel like the only person in the world that is dealing with this and I just cant figure it out alone. I feel so tense my body is actually starting to hurt.

Dove - posted on 02/23/2013

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Is the child support amount court ordered? Have custody and visitation been decided by the court?

If not... you should encourage your boyfriend to file through the court system, so that everything is on paper and legal. If it's not court ordered and she takes it to court.... he can be held liable for all 'back support' unless he has solid evidence of all that he has already paid.

Bottom line though.... whether or not she works is none of your business or concern.... or his. All that should matter is that the girl is well taken care of and if she isn't.... he should petition the court for more custody/visitation. Child support is the right of the child whether the mom works full time or not at all. All that should matter to you and your boyfriend is the well being of the child.

I don't blame you for having issues with this as you both didn't know about the child when the relationship started, but.... she's his kid either way and this is her mother.... so I hope and suggest you all find a way to make this work.

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