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

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 39 Old 11-02-2009, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
ProtoLawyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,968
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm thinking this is reaction to us getting married and not anything actually rational...

But my SD was up at 3 a.m. on Sunday for whatever reason (spooked from Halloween, too much candy, nightmare?). My husband and I alternated with her until she fell asleep.

As happens at 3 a.m., a recurring theme seemed to be "I miss my mommy, can you put me in a taxi and send me to my mommy? I'll get my car seat." (Other recurring 3 a.m. themes: My closet is haunted, my fish are trying to talk to me, nothing is real except for me and the dog and maybe our next-door neighbor but you and Daddy are fake.)

She asked if she could call her mommy...we said she could call in the morning but her mom was sleeping. SD fell asleep without incident a bit later.

Apparently, SD told her mom about missing her and about how Mean Daddy would not put her in a taxi or let her call on the car ride home, because we were treated to Yet Another Nasty Voicemail when we got home. (She called our house, knowing we wouldn't be there. Lovely.) "Our parenting plan calls for IMMEDIATE phone access upon request of our child. How can I trust you to let me know if she's in the hospital--or even take her to the hospital in the first place?"

Really?

Does she really want a non-emergency call at 3 a.m.? (If there was something life-threatening or otherwise major involved, of course we would call no matter what the time.)

Something tells me if we had called at 3 a.m., there would have been a nasty e-mail complaining about how we (or really, my husband) need to handle these minor crises ourselves.

So...when is a crisis enough of a crisis for you to call the other parent at an otherwise inopportune time?

And, separately...any tips for dealing with an ex who's having trouble accepting a marriage or other moving-on? (I am not basing my thoughts solely on this incident--there have been plenty of other signals.)

Thanks!

ProtoLawyer (the now-actual lawyer, this isn't legal advice,  please don't take legal advice from some anonymous yahoo on the Internet)
Spouse (the political geek) * Stepdaughter (the artist) * and introducing...the Baby (um, he's a baby? He likes shiny things).
ProtoLawyer is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 39 Old 11-02-2009, 02:23 PM
 
Molliejo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 1,797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
No advice, just an UGH.

mom to sam arlo (5), olive loretta (3)....and twin girls Annie and Ramona Jean, born 3/10.

Molliejo is offline  
#3 of 39 Old 11-02-2009, 03:18 PM
 
tanyam926's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 1,508
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't know the personality of your dsd's mom but if I were the mom I would have wanted her to call me if she wanted to, even at 3 a.m.

I would not however, have been as upset about it as she sounds but it sounds like there are underlying issues that make this incident a bigger deal than it should be.

Good luck fiinding a middle ground.

Wife to dh, Mommy to ds1 12/2002, ds2 9/2005, and ds3 9/2008.
tanyam926 is offline  
#4 of 39 Old 11-02-2009, 03:25 PM
 
GoBecGo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,405
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Um, let your DSD call her next 3am-awakening and see how she likes it...?

Ultimately, i'm a mum, and yes, if my DD REALLY wanted to call me at 3am i wouldn't blame my XP for letting her. And i let DD call him at any and all rational hours but discourage her from doing so before about 10am (he gets up later than us) and after what would normally be her bedtime, but then she lives mostly with me and i kind of expect her to be able o deal with her "everyday" life without emotional crises she needs to call her dad about.

I would totally let this one go. If your DSD wants to call mom at 3am, let her. You're up anyway and if she complains you can say "well, you said you thought we should let her, so we did".

WRT your other query about exes having trouble when their ex moves on/remarries...my experience was that time and time alone helped.
GoBecGo is offline  
#5 of 39 Old 11-02-2009, 03:31 PM
 
APToddlerMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,130
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I would truly want my child to be able to call me at 3 am or any other time he wanted to talk to me or missed me.

All I can say is that it is *really* tough for kids to have to deal with divorce/remarriage and I'd be as gentle as possible with your stepdaughter (and her mother who may be crazy, but of course she still loves her and will most definitely sense it if you have strong negative feelings about her). good luck.
APToddlerMama is offline  
#6 of 39 Old 11-02-2009, 03:36 PM
 
greenemami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: PA
Posts: 1,783
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
See, the problem with letting her call at 3 am, at least with my dsd, woudl be that it actually makes the problem worse. When dsd used to get upset and call her mom, her hysterics would increase and she would continue to freak out for the duration of the phone call and well afterwards, and mom probably would be begged to come over and see her, which would then drag it out for that much longer. If we gently encouarged her to wait until morning, she would probably fall asleep and then forget all about it by morning (this has n't actually happened to us at that time, but this siw hat happens at bedtime/during the day)

From the perspective of being a mom versus stepmom, yes I woudl want dd to be able to call me no matter what the hour if she needed me, and I want her to know that is an option. Yes, I would probably want to run to the rescue and woudl be angry if my dd was told she could not call me. But, in a divorce situation, it is not quite that easy. I don't have a court order saying she gets EOW at grandma's, you know?

Anyway, so I guess I can see both sides here-and I think you handled it well with your dsd. While dsd is thankfully past this point (of crying for mom, etc.) I did generally find that talking to/seeing her mom made the situation worse rather than better. Good luck dealing with all of this and congrats on your marriage!

Single mama namaste.gif to dd dust.gifand ds fencing.gif, loving my dsd always reading.gif .
greenemami is online now  
#7 of 39 Old 11-02-2009, 03:39 PM
 
lvngmm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 45
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I can only say I agree with you.

I think being able to handle those minor things in the household she's at (at that time) without calling the other parent actually helps the child.

We have a similar situation. My SD's mom calls every time there is any minor conflict at any hour of the day/night. We, instead, like to be able to resolve the conflict ourselves. She's never said she misses her mom, but she has said: "I want my mommy" when we say "no" to something or sometimes when she hurts herself. Apparently she does the same at her mom's (referring to her daddy) but the mom has SD call her dad right away.

We have another recurring situation: my SD uses her special blanket to sleep. One time, her mom forgot to pack it, and she kept asking us to call her so she could bring it over. We helped her go to sleep without it, and it was really good in terms of us getting closer as a family and for her to see that we can provide that affection she needs (especially at bedtime or in the middle of the night.) When the same thing happened in reverse, her mom called us late at night requesting that we bring the blanket because she wanted a smooth bedtime. The thing that bothers me most is that the mom typically doesn't call on her own, to see if that's even possible. She has SD cry to her daddy on the phone. This, of course, kills him, especially because sometimes he can't do anything about it at the time.
lvngmm is offline  
#8 of 39 Old 11-02-2009, 03:48 PM
 
HollyBearsMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: nomans land
Posts: 6,006
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think there is nothing wrong with honoring the request to call home. Maybe if she felt safe/secure that she *could* she wouldn't need to anymore.

Sounds like you have bigger issues with the bio mom.....

Pardon me while I puke.gif

HollyBearsMom is offline  
#9 of 39 Old 11-02-2009, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
ProtoLawyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,968
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
And...as it turns out, this was moot. Mom wasn't even home at 3 a.m.! She was crashing at a friend's house after she had a few too many at a Halloween party. So she wouldn't have gotten the phone call anyway, which possibly would have made SD worry more.

She admitted the nasty message on the voice mail was the product of her own exhaustion and a hangover and we got an apology (well, my husband did via email). She still wants a call at 3 a.m. next time, which we will honor (and I suspect that'll be the last time she asks for a 3 a.m. call unless it's a true emergency).

So there's that.

Thanks for your insights...we've been living together for more than three years, so this isn't a new transition for SD or anything. Yeah, getting married can be a stressor on kids even if nothing substantive changes...

We made the judgment call not to call at 3 a.m. in part because of the other delirium--she wanted a taxi ride, was afraid of her fish. It was all coming out rapid-fire because she was beyond exhausted. We also thought she was half-awake (which was apparently not quite right, as she remembered everything the next day) and, as PPs have put it, a call to Mom would have made things worse. We've noticed that bedtime calls to either parent can go very poorly, if the words "I miss you" come out of anyone's mouth. So we try to make calls earlier. I don't think a middle-of-the-night call would help her calm down.

Given what I know of SD's mom I can't help but get this feeling that no matter what we do will be wrong (at least in the short-term). SD ended up in the ER at 2 a.m. once a few years ago due to asthma-complicated croup, and we found out a day later when she updated her Livejournal. So she didn't think SD's trip to the ER was worthy of even a daytime telephone call or e-mail.

SD has also figured out that "tattling" on the other parent(s)/me can be a lot of fun--whether there is truth to what she's saying or not, it gets attention. ("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." We get interesting dispatches about her Mom, too.) So, we've got that to work on as well.

ProtoLawyer (the now-actual lawyer, this isn't legal advice,  please don't take legal advice from some anonymous yahoo on the Internet)
Spouse (the political geek) * Stepdaughter (the artist) * and introducing...the Baby (um, he's a baby? He likes shiny things).
ProtoLawyer is offline  
#10 of 39 Old 11-02-2009, 04:23 PM
 
mammastar2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 2,690
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Children may well vary, but for us it would have been a complete disaster letting a stepkid call their mom at 3 am. Rather than helping them feel safer and more secure, it would have led to a long and increasingly hysterical conversation about how much they missed each other, and either having to bundle her back up and take her to her mother's at 4 am, confirming for her that she's unable to safely and happily make it through the night at dad's, or to us having to try to put her back together after she got off the phone with mom, possibly sobbing or about to vomit.

So, yeah, as a mother I absolutely would have no problem with my child calling me at 3 am. However, as a stepparent who's been in the opposite situation, there are times where going with that desire is simply not in the child's interest.

It sounds like you're in a situation where whatever you pick is wrong. So, go on and use your own best judgment, don't worry about picking the right thing, since there isn't one in dealing with her mom.
mammastar2 is offline  
#11 of 39 Old 11-02-2009, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
ProtoLawyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,968
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post
All I can say is that it is *really* tough for kids to have to deal with divorce/remarriage and I'd be as gentle as possible with your stepdaughter (and her mother who may be crazy, but of course she still loves her and will most definitely sense it if you have strong negative feelings about her). good luck.
For the record, I don't have strong negative feelings about her or her role or her job as mother--she's a good mom and does generally have the best interest of her daughter at heart.

I do have strong negative feelings about the possibility of every parenting decision my husband makes getting rained on in similar fashion--it's a walking-on-eggshells thing that's been hard to deal with. It's escalated of late (which does make sense).

ProtoLawyer (the now-actual lawyer, this isn't legal advice,  please don't take legal advice from some anonymous yahoo on the Internet)
Spouse (the political geek) * Stepdaughter (the artist) * and introducing...the Baby (um, he's a baby? He likes shiny things).
ProtoLawyer is offline  
#12 of 39 Old 11-02-2009, 04:41 PM
 
MissMaegie'sMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Eating a bowl of soup
Posts: 387
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtoLawyer View Post
I'm thinking this is reaction to us getting married and not anything actually rational...

But my SD was up at 3 a.m. on Sunday for whatever reason (spooked from Halloween, too much candy, nightmare?). My husband and I alternated with her until she fell asleep.

As happens at 3 a.m., a recurring theme seemed to be "I miss my mommy, can you put me in a taxi and send me to my mommy? I'll get my car seat." (Other recurring 3 a.m. themes: My closet is haunted, my fish are trying to talk to me, nothing is real except for me and the dog and maybe our next-door neighbor but you and Daddy are fake.)

She asked if she could call her mommy...we said she could call in the morning but her mom was sleeping. SD fell asleep without incident a bit later.

Apparently, SD told her mom about missing her and about how Mean Daddy would not put her in a taxi or let her call on the car ride home, because we were treated to Yet Another Nasty Voicemail when we got home. (She called our house, knowing we wouldn't be there. Lovely.) "Our parenting plan calls for IMMEDIATE phone access upon request of our child. How can I trust you to let me know if she's in the hospital--or even take her to the hospital in the first place?"

Really?

Does she really want a non-emergency call at 3 a.m.? (If there was something life-threatening or otherwise major involved, of course we would call no matter what the time.)

Something tells me if we had called at 3 a.m., there would have been a nasty e-mail complaining about how we (or really, my husband) need to handle these minor crises ourselves.

So...when is a crisis enough of a crisis for you to call the other parent at an otherwise inopportune time?

And, separately...any tips for dealing with an ex who's having trouble accepting a marriage or other moving-on? (I am not basing my thoughts solely on this incident--there have been plenty of other signals.)

Thanks!
Voting for "Give the ex a call next time it happens, even it it's 3 a.m."

If your DH's ex shares custody of their daughter with him, then she ought to be okay with however he chooses to handle your DSD's middle-of-the-night concerns. But that's just my opinion. IMHO, a true crisis where I'd expect a 3 a.m. call would be a medical emergency where a trip to the ER is warranted. Otherwise, I'd prefer to be notifed in the morning. Even if there had been a bad nightmare. Even if she had strep throat and had to go to urgent care. If my kid's in the care of her dad for the night, then I'm going to have faith that he'll care for her.

But I'm not the ex in this case, so I'd honor her wishes and call her anytime DSD wants her mom, even at 3 a.m. After a few wake-up calls, I'll bet your DH's ex will eventually change her mind about what warrants a middle-of-the-night call.

About me: I  caffix.giftreehugger.gifcold.gifknit.gifphotosmile2.gif, and read.gif. Oh, and I'm dizzy.gif with love.gif for DH and DCx3!
 
MissMaegie'sMama is offline  
#13 of 39 Old 11-02-2009, 05:35 PM
 
violet_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,166
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammastar2 View Post
Children may well vary, but for us it would have been a complete disaster letting a stepkid call their mom at 3 am. Rather than helping them feel safer and more secure, it would have led to a long and increasingly hysterical conversation about how much they missed each other, and either having to bundle her back up and take her to her mother's at 4 am, confirming for her that she's unable to safely and happily make it through the night at dad's, or to us having to try to put her back together after she got off the phone with mom, possibly sobbing or about to vomit.

So, yeah, as a mother I absolutely would have no problem with my child calling me at 3 am. However, as a stepparent who's been in the opposite situation, there are times where going with that desire is simply not in the child's interest.

It sounds like you're in a situation where whatever you pick is wrong. So, go on and use your own best judgment, don't worry about picking the right thing, since there isn't one in dealing with her mom.
This exactly! Especially the last sentence.

We've had similar situations, and nothing is improved by letting them call the mother and get hysterical. Truly. Just use your judgment.

One thing I will add is it can become a tactic of the child. If they know they can always call the mom, then they will try it whenever scolded or otherwise uncomfortable. This is also not helpful. Obviously, during normal circumstances they should be allowed to call whenever they want, but there are times when a parent has to exercise judgment, which is exactly what you did.

violet_ is offline  
#14 of 39 Old 11-02-2009, 08:21 PM
 
VocalMinority's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: surrounded by testosterone
Posts: 1,302
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
I think you're right: if Mom is inclined to seek reasons to complain about you; or to build herself up as a parent by criticizing you and your partner; or if it plagues her that she has no control over her daughter's time with you guys, this is one issue where she can indulge herself no matter what you do:
* Of course it's silly for her to imagine that your not calling her for a 3am tantrum means you wouldn't call her about an ER visit. But if she wants to believe she can't trust you guys, this makes her feel justified.
* If, in future, you do let your SD call at 3am and Mom feels annoyed about it, she can grouse about your lack of consideration.
* On the other hand, if she's lonely and relishes feeling needed at 3am, she can stay up after the call and fret about the trauma of her poor daughter being forced to be away from her, and she can reassure herself that she is more essential to your SD's sense of security than you guys are.

Blech. You can't fix any of that, if it goes on, so just do what you think is right. For some kids, calling mom in the middle of the night might help. If your instinct is that it would be counterproductive to getting YOUR particular child back to sleep, then follow your instinct.

Also: I know the frustration of trying to co-parent with someone who thinks she's entitled to know everything that goes on with the child immediately, but does not feel obligated to share information with you. That just stinks. Sorry!

One woman in a house full of men:  my soul mate:    or... twin sons:(HS seniors) ... step-son:  (a sophomore) ... our little man:   (a first grader) ... and there is another female in the house, after all:  our
VocalMinority is online now  
#15 of 39 Old 11-02-2009, 10:04 PM
 
Ceinwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: The cold, crazy north
Posts: 2,599
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hey ProtoLawyer! As a custodial parent (where my ex has our girls every second weekend, etc.) I fall in the category of 'it would only make our dd freak out more to talk to me' - we've btdt.

My ex asked me if I actually did want him to let dd call me, but I threw the ball back in his court - did he want her to? would it help him? or dd? or make it worse? We found that while neither one of us liked the idea of dd crying for me, it helped their bond to work through any night issues together.

Obviously, our relationship is such that he has and will call me over fevers, unexpected night terrors, totally unconsolable dd (we have an almost seven and almost two year old)... but the latter hasn't occured yet.

Full time working mom to two bright and busy little girls! treehugger.gif
Ceinwen is offline  
#16 of 39 Old 11-02-2009, 10:35 PM
 
mama2mygirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,858
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Right after our baby was born, my 6 year old went to a Daisy Scout sleepover. I told her scout leader to let her call me no matter what time it was. There was no call and I was amazed. A couple weeks later, dd told me she cried and cried and the troup leader held her hand.
I was FURIOUS that I didn't get a call. I wouldn't have cared what time it was.

:Mama to 2 :
mama2mygirl is offline  
#17 of 39 Old 11-02-2009, 10:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
ProtoLawyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,968
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama2mygirl View Post
Right after our baby was born, my 6 year old went to a Daisy Scout sleepover. I told her scout leader to let her call me no matter what time it was. There was no call and I was amazed. A couple weeks later, dd told me she cried and cried and the troup leader held her hand.
I was FURIOUS that I didn't get a call. I wouldn't have cared what time it was.
I could see why you'd be angry...this is a one-off sleepover, with non-family, in probably a strange location--the scout leaders don't know your daughter well, don't know when she's really freaked out versus just needs a few minutes to settle, etc. When my SD has gone to a sleepover, we've given the parents similar instructions (and we were told by both parents and kiddo alike that she was up most of the night telling ghost stories and saying bad words and giggling).

My stepdaughter has been alive for about 2600 days and nights. She has probably spent 600 of those nights with her father and me during the last three years, and more than that with just him before I came along--in fact, he was a SAHD for awhile before he and his ex split six years ago. He has plenty of experience helping her sleep, consoling her, and determining whether something is really wrong. This is apples-to-oranges, I think.

She also wasn't begging to call mom relentlessly or anything--it was one of several recurring themes for the 20-30 minutes we were dealing with it. But it got reported back to her mom nonetheless.

I do have to ask: How many Moms here would call Dad at 3 a.m. if their kid started with "I want my Daddy! I miss my Daddy! Please put me on the bus to my Daddy!"? I suspect it isn't a whole lot. People tend to trust their own parenting, and trust that they have the resources to cope with a meltdown.

ProtoLawyer (the now-actual lawyer, this isn't legal advice,  please don't take legal advice from some anonymous yahoo on the Internet)
Spouse (the political geek) * Stepdaughter (the artist) * and introducing...the Baby (um, he's a baby? He likes shiny things).
ProtoLawyer is offline  
#18 of 39 Old 11-02-2009, 10:54 PM
 
mamakaikai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: canada
Posts: 855
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.

SAHM to DD 03/08 & DD 06/10 made with love with my DP
 
mamakaikai is offline  
#19 of 39 Old 11-02-2009, 11:43 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,639
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I asked DH for his take on this situation. We have a 50/50 split.

He said that he was pretty sure that neither he nor DSD's mom would want to receive or permit the 3 AM phone call. For a few reasons:

1) It would just make her more hysterical. Sometimes, she just gets into a mode where she wants to be upset about something, and no matter what you do, she will just get more upset.

2) The parent that was called at 3 AM would probably be thinking, "Come on, this is your parenting time. You get to talk her down."

3) This sets up a dangerous precedent. If it happened once, she would want to make phone calls every time she awoke in the middle of the night.

We are definitely in a "You can call in the morning" camp.

love.gif

pinksprklybarefoot is offline  
#20 of 39 Old 11-03-2009, 12:03 AM
 
SunshineJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: In transition
Posts: 1,789
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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!
SunshineJ is offline  
#21 of 39 Old 11-03-2009, 01:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
ProtoLawyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,968
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.

ProtoLawyer (the now-actual lawyer, this isn't legal advice,  please don't take legal advice from some anonymous yahoo on the Internet)
Spouse (the political geek) * Stepdaughter (the artist) * and introducing...the Baby (um, he's a baby? He likes shiny things).
ProtoLawyer is offline  
#22 of 39 Old 11-03-2009, 09:59 AM
 
Phoenix~Mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
Posts: 5,230
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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!!

ribbonpurple.gif  Proud Single Mama, Birth & Postpartum Doula

Student, Aspiring CNM 
treehugger.gif  DD ~ 1/7/09   shamrocksmile.gif  DS ~ 9/22/10

Phoenix~Mama is offline  
#23 of 39 Old 11-03-2009, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
ProtoLawyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,968
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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!)

ProtoLawyer (the now-actual lawyer, this isn't legal advice,  please don't take legal advice from some anonymous yahoo on the Internet)
Spouse (the political geek) * Stepdaughter (the artist) * and introducing...the Baby (um, he's a baby? He likes shiny things).
ProtoLawyer is offline  
#24 of 39 Old 11-03-2009, 04:40 PM
 
Teenytoona's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 3,831
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.

signature currently in transition
Teenytoona is offline  
#25 of 39 Old 11-03-2009, 04:46 PM
 
bronxmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 708
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
bronxmom is offline  
#26 of 39 Old 11-03-2009, 06:14 PM
 
PoppyMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: In my own delusions.
Posts: 3,126
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
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.
PoppyMama is offline  
#27 of 39 Old 11-03-2009, 08:51 PM
 
myra_mcgray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 282
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.

Baby Mama, Law Student, Milk Maker:
Mom-type to DSS 10/12/03, Mom to DS 10/05/06 and DD 11/03/08.
myra_mcgray is offline  
#28 of 39 Old 11-03-2009, 11:02 PM
 
rzberrymom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,702
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
rzberrymom is offline  
#29 of 39 Old 11-04-2009, 07:05 PM
 
Yoshua's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Where I am
Posts: 3,010
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.

Partner to :Jessica(??) papa to Jake(7) and : Kaiya (2)
Yoshua is offline  
#30 of 39 Old 11-09-2009, 01:17 PM
 
MissLotus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 3,110
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
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.
MissLotus is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off