or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Blended and Step Family Parenting › Really? You really want us to call at 3 a.m. if your kid misses you?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Really? You really want us to call at 3 a.m. if your kid misses you? - Page 2

post #21 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunshineJ View Post
I'd let her call. For one thing if the custodial agreement specifically states unlimited phone access then she could take you to court for contempt on that one. But also to this day I know that if I wake up at 3 am from a bad dream and feel compelled to call my mom, she will welcome that call - and I turned 40 this year!
The custodial agreement doesn't actually say anything about "immediate" phone access--it says "reasonable" phone access. (Yeah, I looked.) The only "immediate access to the other parent" is in case of "serious emergency or death in the family." I suppose people can differ about what constitutes a serious emergency (does an ER trip for croup qualify?), but I don't think anyone would say this qualifies.

So we're OK there. (That and I can't imagine a family court judge actually entertaining a contempt motion for a 3 a.m. tantrum. There's a mandatory mediation clause in just about every custody plan in WI, so that's where it would end up.)

I'm still wondering, though...the request to call Mom, at the time, didn't seem like a particularly coherent request. It was delivered a single time, sandwiched between all the other demands and moans. Why does that request get elevated? If we'd called, Mom wouldn't have answered (as we found out)... and SD would have probably woken up for much longer, freaked out that we couldn't reach Mom, and Mom probably would have complained that we're incapable of soothing a simple nightmare.

To be sure, we'll be calling each and every time there is a request now, until we're told otherwise. Which, if history dictates, will be right after the next time there is a middle-of-the-night call.

I'm 34 and I think my mom would freak if I called her at 3 a.m., but that's just how my family is. Between about 10 pm and 8 am, unexpected phone calls are either because someone has died or someone is dying.




Sigh....I think I'm just getting tired of feeling like we have to anticipate and work around SD's mom's random freakouts (because everyone who chimed in about the freakout seems to agree that SD's mom's voice mail screed was out of line). That seems to be the bigger issue here, really. We're gearing up to TTC and I'm shuddering to think what's going to happen if/when we actually do have a child together. Will I end up parenting my child according to how it'll get back to my SD's mom?

Ugh. I think I need to go to bed and stop obsessing.

Thanks, everyone.
post #22 of 39
I wouldn't give Mom a call at 3 am.

I agree with a few PP's that it would set a bad precedent for calling all the time.

Plus, you know your kids. DH and I have noticed a trend with DSD... the only time she starts bringing up missing her Mom is when she is in trouble for breaking rules, or whatever.

In regards to waking in the night... I think it's important to bond and show that you are there for the child... not just call up Mom. How will the Father ever get the bond if he just calls Mom everytime it gets hard?

I think Proto had an interesting question... how many would call Dad at 3 am if the child woke crying for Dad?


Proto... yay for TTC! I think it is really important now to think about the way you want to parent in your house. Don't let Mom of your DSD set the ground at YOUR house for YOUR family. Good Luck!!
post #23 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post

Plus, you know your kids. DH and I have noticed a trend with DSD... the only time she starts bringing up missing her Mom is when she is in trouble for breaking rules, or whatever.
This happens on occasion during wakeful hours, though as SD has gotten older, the objection's become more articulate: "My MOM lets me do X. You're mean."

I remember hearing reports of screaming for Daddy in the middle of the night at Mom's house. We NEVER got middle-of-the-night phone calls. Again, I think people are mostly secure in their own parenting (and if they're not, they do things like post here or ask their friends/relatives rather than throwing fits at their exes), so SD's mom decided (rightly) she could handle it.

(And, thanks, JSMa!)
post #24 of 39
Yeah, the do as I say, not as I do. We know that one allll too well.

Except for the fact that it might result in a difficult night for you, I'd say let her take a few 3 am phone calls, she'll probably not demand them of you later on. But then, given that she seems to be in the mode of just venting, do what makes your life sane.
post #25 of 39
Well, it used to drive me crazy that my ex would let my daughter call me all the time when she was with him. If she "missed me", rather than dealing with it, he'd let her call me and there's absolutely nothing I could do to make it better and it just dragged things out. Over time, I think we've developed a much better method. I am much more available when she is with her dad. I proactively call or skype at a time when she's likely to be happy (e.g., not bedtime) and talk to her and check in. This allows her to feel connected. But her dad also does not let her just call me every time she says she misses me. It works out a lot better. If there were a true emergency, I would want him to call me. And if she was absolutely inconsolable and it was his judgment that she actually NEEDED me then I'd be fine with and want him to call. But if it's his judgment that they can get through it, then I prefer them to work it out.

I think it takes a lot of mistrust to think that your kid's parent would deliberately keep your child in need from you. I think the mom was being unfair.
post #26 of 39
She apologized without confrontation and realizes she was out of line so I would let it go we all have our moments and I think it's pretty good she realized hers and let your dh know.

On the calling question...I would think it would make the situation worse and I would talk to her about fully waking up and making calls increasing dsd's anxiety. I wouldn't make the call unless dsd was fully awake and repeating the request.
post #27 of 39
I think your assessment is probably correct and this freakout is more about the wedding than the 3AM call. My DSS's mom had lots of freakouts when we got married and even more when we had DS, but then things got lots, lots better. No freakout during pregnancy/birth of DD and DSS's mom even will occasionally have all the kids hang out at her house and if six year ago you told me this would be our situation I would have said it was impossible.

Good Luck TTC. I think parent both kids at your house how you want and don't let the freakout from DSD's mom affect you.
post #28 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamakaikai View Post
If I had to be apart from my dd, I would want to know and trust that there would be no barriers between her reaching out to me when she needed it. I would have been really upset too if my dd was still talking about how her feelings were hurt that she couldn't call me. Next time, let her call.
post #29 of 39
if my kid wanted to call me at 3am i would want them to have access to do it.

I would however remind them that they will get to see me the next day and it is ok to go back to sleep. It's not like I'd jump up and go pick them up unless something horrendous was going on.
post #30 of 39
Yeah, I too would like to know that my child could call me whenver they wanted to.

Think of it this way...you're TTC... if you have a child and then (hopefully not) get divorced, you wouldn't like to know your little one was crying for you in the middle of the night and no one let her call you. It sounds like things were smoothed over and that you did in fact agree that if it happens again, you'd call the mom, so I think that's cool. Kids go through stages, and it's got to be tough navigating two households with two sets of rules, no matter how "used" to it the child is.

I'm divorced, and my son's never cried for his father at night, but if he did - although I'm not fond of my ex - I certainly would let him call. As long as it's not a constant thing, which would have to be addressed, it doesn't hurt to honor a kid's wishes. Sometimes kids want Mom and Dad, even if they do live in separate homes, and that's natural enough.
post #31 of 39
Thread Starter 
But at the time, it didn't even seem my SD *was* crying for mom or truly asking to call her. She was crying a whole bunch of stuff, one of which was for mom. Let's face it: "Nobody in the world is real/my fish are trying to get me/I can't live anywhere because Mom's house will catch fire and this house is too old" is hardly coherent. To us, at the time, it seemed she was laundry listing.

I guess we misjudged, but yeah, a peep for "mommy" in the middle of the night is going to get Mom a phone call, and I guess we'll deal with the fallout of her flipping out more if Mom doesn't answer. (I guess we saw this kind of like some MDC moms do nightweaning--being comforted by a loving father, even if the child would prefer to nurse with Mom, is OK. If it escalates beyond a certain point, then yes, Mom should intervene, but if the child can settle with Dad, let her. Which is what happened.)

She went through a long phase of screaming for "mommy" when things didn't go her way (and she did the same for "daddy" at Mom's house--and, as toddlers/preschoolers do, "not her way" could be something as simple as finding out the red socks were in the washer and no, we were not going to fish them out and somehow dry them in the next 10 seconds). No, we didn't call mommy every time--we'd have been on the phone a dozen times a day, and Mom very quickly (and rightly) would have assumed that Dad couldn't handle tantrums.

Usually, SD's mom doesn't want to be bothered about anything (and see: no phone call to us for an ER visit!), unless we don't tell her, in which case, she wants to be informed about everything. Recent battles: (1) No, don't call to find out the dosing requirements of the medication; I told you them already and you're her DAD, you should KNOW THESE THINGS (even though I am fully aware you have medically documented short-term memory loss). (2) But YES you should have called me at work to find out whether I wanted SD, who is 7 and has her own tastes or opinions, to have pink or purple snow boots this year.
post #32 of 39
I guess I disagree with most here. If my sons wanted to call me at 3 am when they were with their dad, and he let them, I would be highly irritated. Not because I don't love my kids and I don't want to be there for them, but because it is my ex's job to deal with what comes up when he has them. Yes my kids will miss me, and I miss them dearly, but frankly, their father is just as capable of dealing with them. Of course, it might be a little different if it were a really young child, but even there, I would hope my ex would have done the same thing "you can call your mom in the morning".

I also see my step son doing stuff like this all the time. He could care less about calling his mother for weeks and weeks, but the moment he is in trouble, or isn't getting what he wants, he is crying to call her and wants to talk to her and see her. It is a total manipulation thing and we don't let that happen. My DH and I always remind him he has to finish out his punishment FIRST then he can call her. Or if it is in the middle of the night, he has to sleep first, stop throwing his fit, then if he still wants to talk to her in the AM he can.

So I guess I would have totally done the same thing as the OP and would have wanted the same thing done if it were my boys wanting to call me at 3 am.
post #33 of 39
I'm sorry, I'm still stuck on:
"Proto, do you like Froot Loops?" "No, I don't like things that sweet in the morning." "Well, my MOMMY gives me Froot Loops and I'm going to tell her you think she feeds me bad food."

Oh my. I would be afraid to open my mouth in front of this child! She's a tough one to be around. I must be out of shape when it comes to this stuff. FWIW, I think you guys handled it the right way. The phone call could have led to getting that car seat out and it could have turned into a real interesting night/morning. Also, if you think the ex isn't too accepting of your marriage, wait until the (maybe) new baby comes along. Good luck on all counts!
post #34 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappiMomof4 View Post
I'm sorry, I'm still stuck on:
"Proto, do you like Froot Loops?" "No, I don't like things that sweet in the morning." "Well, my MOMMY gives me Froot Loops and I'm going to tell her you think she feeds me bad food."

Oh my. I would be afraid to open my mouth in front of this child! She's a tough one to be around. I must be out of shape when it comes to this stuff. FWIW, I think you guys handled it the right way. The phone call could have led to getting that car seat out and it could have turned into a real interesting night/morning. Also, if you think the ex isn't too accepting of your marriage, wait until the (maybe) new baby comes along. Good luck on all counts!
Heh. This one, I don't actually worry about too much. It's annoying and needs to be dealt with, but it happens on both sides, and after the first few back-and-forth exchanges ("what do you MEAN you didn't feed her dinner but you did feed her ice cream and then she puked it all up and you didn't tell me?" "um, she had a grilled cheese, tomato soup with orzo, and three green beans, and there was no vomiting. Or ice cream."), everybody realized she was doing it on purpose.

What's interesting is that my husband's ex actually likes me personally--or, at least, has acknowledged to me that she trusts me with her daughter and is glad I'm around to provide stability. But, yeah, milestones can be tough--heck, I was a bit weirded out when my ex got married, even though by that point I had happily repartnered and our respective stepkids played together. I know that a new baby won't be pleasant for her--she really wanted more children, but she's almost 40, very single, and, from what I understand, in no position financially/emotionally to have or adopt a child by herself. So she's grieving that, and if I have a baby with her ex, it'll rub salt in the wound.

I'm obviously not going to refrain from trying for a baby to spare her feelings, but as with the wedding, I'll try to be respectful of her feelings and not rub it in. I stayed largely out of the way these last few months, and my husband's wedding-related communications with his ex were simply informational: "I wanted you to hear it from me before you heard it from SD or mutual friends; we're getting married." "If you're OK with it, I'd like to pick up SD a bit early that Friday so she can see her grandparents when they come in." I suspect it'll be the same if/when I get pregnant...
post #35 of 39
to me, I would want to investigate why she thinks you and daddy are fake and everything else except her and mommy and the dog are fake.

That is going a bit over board and extreme for what appears to be a young child.
post #36 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunshineJ View Post
I'd let her call. For one thing if the custodial agreement specifically states unlimited phone access then she could take you to court for contempt on that one. But also to this day I know that if I wake up at 3 am from a bad dream and feel compelled to call my mom, she will welcome that call - and I turned 40 this year!
awww. I love this.


I think I would take the original situation on a case-by-case basis. If you can tell the kiddo is half-asleep and a suggestion to call in the morning will pacify her, then why risk hysteria from calling Mom (this is what always happened with my DD). On the other hand, as the Mom being potentially called, I hate the idea of the kiddo being told no if she REALLY needs to hear my voice and/or if I can help her feel better. Bottom line: I'm unconditionally available 24/7 to my daughter, but I do trust my ex's judgment as far as what will result in the least upset to DD.
post #37 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverWillow View Post
Bottom line: I'm unconditionally available 24/7 to my daughter, but I do trust my ex's judgment as far as what will result in the least upset to DD.
Sigh. I wish this is what we/my husband had.

His ex doesn't trust his judgment about anything, it seems (she's actually told me she trusts me more than she does him)...and for no good reason I can tell, other than the not-being-able-to-see-it-with-her-own-eyes thing (which I do understand can be a very powerful thing)--their parenting differences are just parenting differences, and nothing that materially affects safety or health or anything.
post #38 of 39
My mom totally enabled me and I was quite a difficult SD to have. Then I grew up and had no idea how to handle a situation without manipulation or lying. I always used all four (my parents and their spouses) against eachother. Now I am married with a dd of my own, and my husband is wonderful to his dsd (my dd) but I recognize that I put all of my parents, through .

So, this little thing dsd has with telling mom when things don't go her way needs to be addressed w/ her mom as well and everyone should sit down with your dsd now (plenty old enough at 7 yrs) and talk about how this type of behavior will not get her what she wants. But then the lines of communication needs to be open between your DH's X and the both of you so that she does not continue. Trust me, I suffered greatly as a result of being allowed to manipulate.

Good luck!
post #39 of 39
I would want my child to call me at whatever time s/he wants no matter what time it is. It is my job and responsibility to be available to my child no matter what whether s/he is home with me, at grandma's, or at a sleep over, etc.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Blended and Step Family Parenting › Really? You really want us to call at 3 a.m. if your kid misses you?