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Looking for other's opinions

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
(even if I don't agree :LOL )

My son's other mother (yes, he's my son although I didn't give birth to him.) is very inconsistent in visiting or contacting him. He's 3 years 5 months old and she moved 5 hours away from him just before he turned two and handed the mothering reins to me. Yes, she actually asked me to take care of him. She moved on with her life in another state, met a man, got pregnant, got married and is due in a few months. She has spent time with C all of about 5 times since her move...mostly just for a weekend but once for a week. Several times she never showed up for planned visits. Twice, my DH called her the night before and she had to rush to make plans since she forgot she was going to be visiting him. She has not seen him since March (weekend visit)....she called today and wants C to go down to her state for 10 days...some of which will involve more traveling to another state to get to her baby shower. My beef is obviously she is using him to show off to her new in-laws. Typical of past behavior (such as asking DH for her son's SSN to get a bigger base home thru the military/her new DH's job . So, my beef aside....she hardly ever calls (maybe every 6 weeks), never sends anything (clothes, money, cards, pictures) and she seems only interested in C when she needs to use him.

We are getting mixed messages from 3 different therapist over this time. One will say no biggie, he should be allowed to see her whenever. One says get her "rights" taken away and yet another will say minimize his visits with her.
I say...if she was more consistent and showed constant interest, then I'd be alot less protective of C from his own mother. My DH can never make up his mind and so relies on everyone else to make the decision (like me in this instance ). You know what, I dont know what I'm really asking here...how about what's been your experience? will C suffer from this in the long run or in the long run is it ok for him to have this kind of relationship with his mother. what would happen if this was in your family.
post #2 of 8
Having been thru this as well, I would say no to the visit. Her first visit since march and in another state? I think thats a little much for the little guy.


That being said, if the other parent isnt abusive, then they should have a relationship. Some flakiness on the other parent can be countered with the love and support from the custodial parent. (like what you are doing now )

But I would make it on our terms until they showed an actual interest and effort.
post #3 of 8
I've seen this with my niece and my sister's ex. My sister FINALLY wised up about long, sporadic visits. Especially since in her case her DD was returned filthy, lousy, and once w/ blisters from shoes and no socks.

Sis's ex has five stepkids, and apparently doesn't usually want to be bothered with his own. Sis is in Kuwait, and DN is w/ my mom, who will NOT allow any kind of unsupervised visits (all he's entitled to anyway). And there's fat chance he'll show up for a supervised visit.

If she was some other noncustodial relative (grandmother, aunt), who wanted your DS to come visit, would you be okay w/ it? If the answer is "not until he's older", I'd say you should say no. But there's no arguing it's a tough call.
post #4 of 8
Well, when my younger stepdaughter had just turned 4, she had a wonderful 6 week visit with us, on the other side of the country....

BUT (and it's a big one!) my husband has been the most consistent parent possible in terms of contact - when we still lived in the same city, he was never so much as a minute late picking her up or dropping her off, saw her every week, volunteered at her preschool, etc, and since we've moved he's called at the court-appointed time every week to talk, sent letters and pictures...you get the picture.

If your son's contact with his other mom has been as inconsistent as you say - and missed visits does sound fishy - AND he hasn't seen her in 6 months, I agree that 10 days out of state may be too much for him.

I don't know about cutting off contact, though. I think in general that it's better to keep the door open to contact. I wouldn't get my child's hopes up about scheduled visits that may be cancelled, but I'd facilitate them and speak positively of the other parent. Over time, if you're the consistent, reliable one in his life, he'll know, but he'll also be grateful that you let him make his own judgments.
post #5 of 8
My son is 6 and still doesnt stay over at his fathers, I will allow this when contact is more regular and consistent.
I can imagine it must be a hard decision especially as this is your sons real mother, but putting that aside this is a person who isnt a big part of his life so I dont think its unreasonable for you to say no to going cross-country.
What is your legal position in this? Do you think if you tried put something legal and binding in place she would be spitefull and go for full custody, what I mean is while it can be a good thing going to court might have a bad outcome for you.
Good Luck.
post #6 of 8
My daughter is four and up until a year or so ago I have been under the assumption that she needed to grow up knowing her father as little girls tend to gain a lot of confidence from their daddies. But then I started to realize that his inconcistency would probably have a negative effect on her confidence, and in turn make her wary of men in some way.... well you know there is a lot of psychology involved, but in short, I felt that with the way he was (Only seeing her when it was convenient for him, etc.) it was probably in her best interest to cut off visits. Besides, since he has his license revoked, I had to do all the driving. Hell, I left the guy for the same reason that he was too dependent on me, so I had to stop enabling his behavior for fear that my daughter would learn it was okay. As a side note, he stopped paying child support (another reason I stopped taking her to him) and had to do 15 days in jail. He has been out for two weeks and has not contacted us as of yet.

Anyway, I would say no if it were my ex asking me for my DD for 10 days. I would tell him that he obviously can go up to 5 months without seeing her (which her has, and only lives 15 minutes away!) but that I could not possibly go more than 24 hours without her. That is the feelings of a real mother.
post #7 of 8
Dss could not stay over with his mom till he was 5 almost 6, he needed his main caregiver, his dad, at night. At 6, his mom took him for a week, and it was devestating to him, he missed his dad so much that he freaked out the next time his mom came to visit (she lived out of town). He is now 10, and the longest he is ever away from his dad is an occasional 3 nights toghether in the summer, but in general, he goes with is mom for one night at a time (she's in town now). Think of it not as time with mom, which sounds nice, but time away from dad and stepmom. There were a lot of discussions going on this summer on this site about little ones who go to see the noncustodial parents for the summer, and how SAD they are to be away from home. It is really hard on them. If there is anything you can do to stop such a long visit, do it. Short, frequent visits are great.
post #8 of 8
As I noted above, I really think the keys are the child's own particular personality, and consistency of contact. There are many children who do very well with extended visits, and there are some who do not, period, or who do not for a particular reason that you can work on. It may be that your child's other mother's inconsistent attitude to contact in the past would make such an extended visit difficult. If she is actually willing to work on that with you, maybe a trip like this is something that will work fine in the future.
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