Originally Posted by JSMa
DH is on the same page.
He was livid that his ex even asked and told her no way DSD is going to miss the shower for her little sister.
But DSD's Mom is trying to guilt us into letting her go... just like some of the responses here... so really... I want to know what they would do if it was not a "step" situation. Because right now I'm feeling that just because we're the "other" family it doesn't matter.... and maybe that is part hormonal.
Just what does "trying to guilt you into letting her go" entail exactly? And how much of that involves your DSD? Does your DSD even know the content of that email?
Because while I can see huge potential for inappropriate custodial-mom behavior in this regard, and while I agree that the shower takes precedence over the party (for many reasons, including "previous engagement"), I can also see a situation where no matter what the custodial mom does, she's the bad guy in the eyes of the NCPs.
My daughter is in K. She gets birthday invitations directly in her locker at school or in the mail addressed to her. And even if I intercept them before she gets them, she still knows about them because all the kids in her class talk extensively about their upcoming parties. I cannot (sometimes I really wish I could) hide those invitations from her.
When one fell during her dad's time this summer, I had to deal with the fallout of telling her "no, can't go to that one, we'll be in France". At which time, she cried very heart-broken, bitter tears about missing the party and then said "I know family is more important than parties" (proud mom moment). She was crushed (in that 5-year-old-crushed-but-recovers-fast kind of way).
At least I had geography and 4000 miles to make the decision for us, and didn't have to make the call of "do I inform her dad of the invitation and let him decide or just say no first". And was quick enough on my feet to have checked the date before reading the whole invitation to her (there was going to be live pony rides and that detail I kept from her, but once she can read I won't be able to hide details like that anymore).
It was heartbreaking. But at least it was an easy call--no, we'll be out of town.
That said, what would I have been supposed to do if we lived in the same town or close enough that she could go to birthday parties for her friends during her dad's time?
Say, "no, you can't go because it's your dad's weekend"? No good: I'd be accused of making the dad into the bad guy.
Say, "it's your dad's weekend. You have to ask him." or "I'm not sure, I'll ask your dad about it"? Neither is good: again, I could easily be accused of setting him up to be the bad guy. Because I can't know for certain what he has planned, and he could very well have something planned that I don't know about. Or forgot about, because quite frankly I'm not my ex's social secretary anymore.
Say, "sure. I'll tell your dad he's gonna miss his time."? No good. Probably the worst of the lot. Family is more important than friends' birthday parties--especially her father.
Say 'no' and leave it at that and not even tell her father about the invitation? No good either: she does have a social life that goes beyond her parents and that would be excluding her father from a fatherly role in her social life. It's his time, and therefore his decision as to whether or not to allow her to go. Even if I'm 100% certain I know what he'll say, I don't think that gives me the right to make the decision for him.
So, tell me, what am I supposed to say and do exactly?
I'm not saying the mom in your specific situation is not being inappropriate or difficult or whatever. She very well could be. But she could also simply be trying to do her best in a confusing situation.
What would you have wanted her to say?