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#1 of 13 Old 07-26-2012, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay so here is the back story. My husband and I have three children together. He had a child from a previous relationship. We now have legal/Primary Physical Custody of my stepson. The only contact he is allowed to have with his biomother is through supervised visitaiton. My husband and I met with the guardian ad lightem today, and she told us that the person they have appointed to supervise her visitations with the children, (she has three all contact needs to be supervised), the person monitoring the visitations has had to redirect her many times to get her to pay attention to any of them, and to do anything with them. The guardain ad lightem told us that if this continues they will more than likely move to a TPR. Now I know this is a little premature, to be thinking of this, but if you knew her you would all know that she is not going to improve because she doesn't care. This woman doesn't even deserve the title of PARENT. What steps would I have to take after the TPR is done to legally adopt him? And yes I know what all I'm going to hear on here, Oh it's premature to be thinking of this, He's not really your own child, I understand all that. I just want information to be prepared for what I will be facing when the time comes. I don't mean next week, I don't mean tomorrow, just whenever it happens for me, if it works out that way. And yes I know what I'm doing and I have put alot of thought into this. He has been living with my family permanetly for the past six months and his biomom has done nothing to get any of the children back. She won't complete her parenting classes, she won't go to counseling, she won't get a stable place to live without living with her parents/another relative, she won't even pay attention to the kids at the visitations, i think you all get the point. And I know I'm not his biomom, but you don't see her giving him a bath every night of the week, you don't see her waking up with him in the middle of the night when he had a nightmare that her exboyfriend came back and beat the crap out of him again, she's not there when he falls and gets hurt, she's not there to get him tucked into bed at night, she's not there when he's crying and upset because of everything he has been through, she's not trying to get him into counseling and play therapy, she won't even give us his birth certificate or social security card to get him medical insurance, who do you think is dealing with the headache of trying to replace those? My husband and I are. So yes I know what I'm doing. No I don't have a whole lot of expierience parenting little boys, but I have a 10 month old baby boy so I have to learn sometime. :). I got this. I just need to know how I would go about adoption. Thank  You in advance for your help.

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#2 of 13 Old 07-26-2012, 03:39 PM
 
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My ex husband adopted my oldest, ten years ago. Things might be a lot different now. You can have a lawyer draw up all the relevant paperwork, and schedule a court date for you, I don't know how much that costs. I lived in a town with a law school at the time, and I went to their library and asked to see an adoption packet. I was able to copy all the relevant forms, fill them out, and then take them to the courthouse with me. I was also down there on several occasions, just asking questions about the process. They couldn't tell me much, and I'm sure I drove them crazy, but I got it all figured out! As far as her father, he agreed to give up his rights- I think we had to send him a certified letter, and basically they announced over the PA system that the adoption would go down unless he came in to stop it.

 

You might try googling "family law" for your state- my state has a website with tons of information for these kinds of legal issues, plus packets that you can buy with all the forms and instructions. I wish I'd had that then!

 

Good luck, I hope DSS has a real forever mom soon!
 


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#3 of 13 Old 07-26-2012, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank You! I will talk to my lawyer and see where I can get information from that way I am educated on the subject just in case things do go this way. Which i am really hoping they go they way that is best for him, I'm not at all being selfish about it.I don't want it to come across like I am. I will call the local library too and see what materials they have on it, and the local college may have a law program too but I'm not sure. I know our local courthouse has a law library too I may just have to get ahold of my babysitter and take a trip over that way I can have time to look through it kid free so I can concentrate lol.

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My ex husband adopted my oldest, ten years ago. Things might be a lot different now. You can have a lawyer draw up all the relevant paperwork, and schedule a court date for you, I don't know how much that costs. I lived in a town with a law school at the time, and I went to their library and asked to see an adoption packet. I was able to copy all the relevant forms, fill them out, and then take them to the courthouse with me. I was also down there on several occasions, just asking questions about the process. They couldn't tell me much, and I'm sure I drove them crazy, but I got it all figured out! As far as her father, he agreed to give up his rights- I think we had to send him a certified letter, and basically they announced over the PA system that the adoption would go down unless he came in to stop it.

 

You might try googling "family law" for your state- my state has a website with tons of information for these kinds of legal issues, plus packets that you can buy with all the forms and instructions. I wish I'd had that then!

 

Good luck, I hope DSS has a real forever mom soon!
 

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#4 of 13 Old 07-29-2012, 08:38 PM
 
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For what it's worth. I don't think there is a single thing wrong with what you are asking. You aren't trying to take a child from his parent-- the courts are making a decision about whether or not his mother is able to provide reasonable care for him. It sounds to me like you want to step up to provide stability to a child you love when the court has decided that, no matter how much support and time they offer, his mother isn't able to fulfill even the minimum of care required. From your description, it looks like you are hoping to offer permanence to a child who has, essentially, lost a parent so that he grows up with the security he hasn't ever really had. You want to offer him a legal guarantee that he belongs with you and that you aren't going to walk away from him. And wanting to prepare ahead of time doesn't sound like a fault, it sounds like you want to have the information you need to make the best decision possible when the time comes.


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#5 of 13 Old 07-31-2012, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you! You said that the way I wanted to but at the time It was so hectic here I couldn't find the words. He has been through so much already and he is only four. It's not fair that any child should have to deal with the things both him and his two brothers have had to. I'm not trying at all to take him away from his mother, although, I will admit that I am secretly hoping the courts will do this, but that is not out of being selfish either, it is because I know if they don't do something she is just going to put them through something like that all over agian. They have been scarred for the rest of thier lives from what she has already done, they don't need anymore of that BS. Wheather it goes that way for me or not, I want him to know I am not going to walk out of his life. There is a little bit of an issue we are having though that I am not sure how to go about dealing with. He has like no attachment to either my husband or I at all. We have been trying really hard to work on it with him but we are still making no progress three months later. He is supposed to be getting play therapy, that I got in place for him but I haven't heard anything back from our caseworker about it at all, I was going to call her again today and ask but it got hectic and I forgot. I am calling her tomorrow morning though. I understand his perspective though, He went from being in a home and having thre crap beat out of him and his brother's all the time, to a foster home where he knew nobody was only there a month and a half, and then moved in with us, and now he has two sisters yelling his name and wanting to play with him all the time, he has a baby brother crawling around that is intrested in everything he is doing. Four children four and under and it only being me at home all the time is quite hectic. I'm just trying to figure out ways to help make him feel more secure and good about where he is at. But I don't understand something about his behavior. When it is only myself or my husband and I at home with our children he acts miserable, just pissed off and miserable, but as soon as somoene is here he gets all hyper and acts like he loves it here with us and then as soon as they leave his behavior goes right back to where it was before. I'm hoping his play therapy will help with this, if they ever get it to him, it seems they are taking thier sweet time, when they shouldn't be.

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For what it's worth. I don't think there is a single thing wrong with what you are asking. You aren't trying to take a child from his parent-- the courts are making a decision about whether or not his mother is able to provide reasonable care for him. It sounds to me like you want to step up to provide stability to a child you love when the court has decided that, no matter how much support and time they offer, his mother isn't able to fulfill even the minimum of care required. From your description, it looks like you are hoping to offer permanence to a child who has, essentially, lost a parent so that he grows up with the security he hasn't ever really had. You want to offer him a legal guarantee that he belongs with you and that you aren't going to walk away from him. And wanting to prepare ahead of time doesn't sound like a fault, it sounds like you want to have the information you need to make the best decision possible when the time comes.

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#6 of 13 Old 08-04-2012, 10:39 AM
 
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When it is only myself or my husband and I at home with our children he acts miserable, just pissed off and miserable, but as soon as somoene is here he gets all hyper and acts like he loves it here with us and then as soon as they leave his behavior goes right back to where it was before.

I'm sure a therapist will have more insight about this than I do, but to me this looks like a strong sign that he does trust you guys and feel at home. Any kid that has been through a traumatic experience learns quickly how to cover up his feelings and deal. The hard part is being able to relax enough to let down their "happy face" guard, and feel the devastation inside. Even kids in a happy, stable, nonabusive family will act like angels for other people, and let their bratty side fly at home with mom and dad. With kids who have been traumatized, this is intensified.

 

Also, and I know this from personal experience with my step kids, all kids are wired to love their mom- it's how we all survive childhood, after all- and ironically, kids with abusive parents love their parents to the point of hero worship a lot of the time. So I wouldn't be surprised if being removed from his mom was just as traumatic for him as it would be for your kids to be taken from your home and never returned. I'll bet he's trying very hard to make sure visitors see a perfect family situation, so he won't be removed from your home.

 

The poor little guy sounds like he has some very deep scars, and I'm really hoping, now that you describe how he is feeling, that you get permanent custody. Don't worry that your house is too hectic. If he seems like the kind of person that likes his alone time, you can arrange a space for him. The main thing that will heal him is having years go by in a consistently loving, sane home, where everyone follows a certain standard of behavior, ie, no-one's allowed to hit, scream in each other's faces, etc. And you eat all three meals at regular intervals, and go to bed with a routine at the same approximate time every night. I think a predictable routine is very soothing for a little kid, and can restore his faith in the safety of his world.


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#7 of 13 Old 08-05-2012, 12:14 PM
 
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You sound defensive, so I'd like to reassure you that there should be no need, here.  You're not the first step-mom in this forum who is doing most or all of the actual work of mothering your step-child and who feels mystified by the ways the biomom seems to be falling down on the job.  Generally, I hope you find that people here are happier to know a child has someone who cares enough to mother him; than they are judgmental, or defensive of the biological mother for the sake of biology alone.

 

If you married this man and he already had a child, the most right thing you can do is to welcome his child into your home as one of your own.  It's actually pretty complicated when the biomom IS involved, because you're torn between not wanting to shortchange your step-child (wanting to treat him like he's one of your own kids, when he's with you); and trying not to undermine or overshadow his primary "mother" relationship, which may be with someone you don't like, trust or approve of.  Quite the tightrope!  So while I'm sure it's heart-wrenching to watch his relationship with his mother dwindle away to nothingness - and infuriating, trying to grasp how his mother could be willing to let that happen - in the long run, it sounds like you will have a much more clear-cut role, effectively being the ONLY mother figure in his life.  You won't have to make any apologies, or feel like you're stepping on anyone's toes, when you slip up and call him your "son" and forget the "step", or refer to yourself and your husband as his "parents", leaving off the linguistic complications of the whole truth.

 

If this little boy winds up with no other mother (legally and practically), what could be better than for you to adopt him?  And what could be better than you having thought it out in advance, and being sure and prepared, when the time comes?  thumb.gif

 

(As far as your actual legal question, I don't know anything about step-parent adoption, only that once mom's parental rights are terminated, legally nothing should stand in the way.  I know people who've done it, and none of them described it as traumatic.  Hopefully, some of the other responders addressed this better than I can.)


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#8 of 13 Old 08-05-2012, 06:27 PM
 
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One of my family members recently adopted a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder of RAD and your stepson is really showing some red flags for it. The faked sort of stage behavior and chaotic background with no stable person to attach to and trust sound alarming. Please get get him evaluated for it as soon as possible!

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#9 of 13 Old 08-06-2012, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't mean to sound defensive. And I apologize if I did. It is just been so hard lately. Every time I turn around we are being reported to Children Services. This time it was because someone claimed my house is dirty and disgusting. I have four kids 4 and under... and I am one person.. so yeah it's messy most of the time, but it's normal little kid mess, like toys, baby wipes, clean diapers they were trying to put on baby dolls, etc. Then we have his ex threatening us with more court battles, visitation schedules being changed last minute from five minutes away to twenty minutes away. My husband and I haven't been getting along very well with all the stress, it seems like it's really testing our relationship. His biomom isn't supposed to be anywhere near him outside of her supervised time, and yet she showed up at the dr, starting crap with me there. And of course it being hot, I was tired, Cranky and had just drove for 2 1/2 hours, with fighting kids behind me nonetheless lol. I didn't take her crap and put her in her place in the waiting room in front of an audience. I told the caseworker that was here today that she was there at the Dr. and she did not seem too happy about it at all, and my husband and I's lawyer is pretty mad about it too. It's not that she was there that pissed me off. It's that he told her he wanted a toy, and instead of her telling him that he would have to ask me or his dad, she promised him one after his appointment. The only money I had on me was for gas, and for lunch. That was the only money my husband had given me before we left because we were not planning on a toy shopping trip with the kids eating Burger King. Which was apparently better than a toy since we hardly ever eat fast food. Then he told his biomom that he wanted to see her at work. She once again gave him false hope of seeing her after work, Where she works is a good hour and a half out of my way to get home on top of another 2 1/2 hour drive back, and well it would be qualified as unsupervised time so it didn't happen. When we got home he was fine for about an hour, then my huband went to bed because it was almost 7 pm when I got home. He had been up since three that morning and had two of the kids here with him all day so he was worn out anyway. As soon as he went to bed son started crying and was hysterical. I talked him through it and he told me what was wrong. He was upset and hurt because he didn't get to see her at work like she promised. She knows she's doing this crap to him every single friggin time she sees him and yet she keeps frikin doin it! Ohh it infuriates me. If my daughter asks me for something I don't give fake promises. I say Yes or No. Or not today or not right now, or yes in just a few minutes i have to do this first. Nobody should give a four year old child an empty promise. That hurts him more than anything. Today we were also referred to this Steps thing to have a homemaker come here I think it's like once a week I don't know I didn't ask I don't want it anyway. If I couldn't handle my job as a parent I wouldn't have had kids, I don't need someone to come in here and tell me how to clean my house! That is ridiculous! If they want to come here everyday and clean it for me.. they are more than welcome though :).

 

 

I really don't mean to sound defensive on here though, I didn't mean to come across like that. It has been so stressful here... I can't even explain it.

 

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Originally Posted by VocalMinority View Post

You sound defensive, so I'd like to reassure you that there should be no need, here.  You're not the first step-mom in this forum who is doing most or all of the actual work of mothering your step-child and who feels mystified by the ways the biomom seems to be falling down on the job.  Generally, I hope you find that people here are happier to know a child has someone who cares enough to mother him; than they are judgmental, or defensive of the biological mother for the sake of biology alone.

 

If you married this man and he already had a child, the most right thing you can do is to welcome his child into your home as one of your own.  It's actually pretty complicated when the biomom IS involved, because you're torn between not wanting to shortchange your step-child (wanting to treat him like he's one of your own kids, when he's with you); and trying not to undermine or overshadow his primary "mother" relationship, which may be with someone you don't like, trust or approve of.  Quite the tightrope!  So while I'm sure it's heart-wrenching to watch his relationship with his mother dwindle away to nothingness - and infuriating, trying to grasp how his mother could be willing to let that happen - in the long run, it sounds like you will have a much more clear-cut role, effectively being the ONLY mother figure in his life.  You won't have to make any apologies, or feel like you're stepping on anyone's toes, when you slip up and call him your "son" and forget the "step", or refer to yourself and your husband as his "parents", leaving off the linguistic complications of the whole truth.

 

If this little boy winds up with no other mother (legally and practically), what could be better than for you to adopt him?  And what could be better than you having thought it out in advance, and being sure and prepared, when the time comes?  thumb.gif

 

(As far as your actual legal question, I don't know anything about step-parent adoption, only that once mom's parental rights are terminated, legally nothing should stand in the way.  I know people who've done it, and none of them described it as traumatic.  Hopefully, some of the other responders addressed this better than I can.)

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#10 of 13 Old 08-06-2012, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I will definately look that up and let the therapist know about it when they finally get here. I understand why he is having a hard time trusting people, especially with everything that he has been through it just seems like the past six months no matter how much I try and how much I am trying to talk to him and trying so hard to get somewhere with him it just doesn't work. I don't know what else to do.

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One of my family members recently adopted a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder of RAD and your stepson is really showing some red flags for it. The faked sort of stage behavior and chaotic background with no stable person to attach to and trust sound alarming. Please get get him evaluated for it as soon as possible!

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#11 of 13 Old 08-07-2012, 01:54 PM
 
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I can't imagine what you must be going through right now! Who keeps calling CPS on you? That alone is enough stress without traumatized kids and an angry ex wife constantly trying to make life miserable for you. goodvibes.gifHere's some virtual support from me! I wish I could take your kids out to the park for a few hours though!
 


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#12 of 13 Old 08-08-2012, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It is very difficult. I'm not sure who keeps calling, but it's frustrating because it seems like most days thats all I do is clean up after the munchkins. They make normal I call it "Little Kid Messes" Toys, diapers they got into that they try to put on their baby dolls, baby wipes (they clean everything with them, and yes literally everything lol) books, my almost 2 year old daughter figured out she could bang her sippy cups on the floor and the spill proof thing will pop out and she can dump her drinks all over, just normal stuff, the kitchen floor is normally kinda dirty during the day as I cannot mop it with a baby crawling around so he can slide in it and fall on his face, ouch I can just imagine how bad that would hurt. The homemaking program they wanted to refer us to is like in home parenting classes, i think I've got that covered I do 90% of the parenting they are still alive and fine so I must be doing something right, cooking I've been cooking since I was ten I am almost 24 I think I got that covered. Planning meals ahead of time I tried that once and then when I would look at the calendar and see what i had planned took an hour and a half in the oven on a 90 degree day, I changed my mind real quick and made something else that was quicker, I know I'm not the only person in the world guilty of that, haha. The stuff they want to come and do with my husband and I is ridiculous. He works odd hours overnight, but on his days off I go get his paycheck, pay bills, grocery shop etc, so he will have a couple kids here with him. It's not like he needs parenting classes either, I can leave all four kiddos here with him, in fact I have! If I couldn't trust him to be alone with a child, I wouldn't have married him nor would I have had children with him. It's ridiculous how his ex is the one that lost all three of her children and we have done nothing wrong and yet we are treated like the criminals. The only messes I do not clean up are my husband's soda cans and dishes he leaves all over our computer desk because, I'm not his maid and I already have four children to clean up after, when he realizes how gross it is, HE cleans it. Although being a man that mainly means he throws everything yes including garbage into the kitchen sink but hey for a person of the male gender I'm happy it gets to the kitchen! I just don't understand why people keep calling CPS. My discipline method is gentle, redirection, distraction, it's not like we beat the crap out of our kids. I don't go to the extreme and scrub the toilet every single day of the week, or scrub the bathtub everyday. But those are done every two weeks or once a month depending on how much time I have and how tired I am. I don't understand where they are getting this stuff. Is my home completely clutter free and organized? Yes, but only in my dreams while I am sleeping. I'm not going to rearange my whole house and neatly organize everything when I know it will only stay that way for an hour at the most. LOL!

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Originally Posted by singin'intherain View Post

I can't imagine what you must be going through right now! Who keeps calling CPS on you? That alone is enough stress without traumatized kids and an angry ex wife constantly trying to make life miserable for you. goodvibes.gifHere's some virtual support from me! I wish I could take your kids out to the park for a few hours though!
 

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#13 of 13 Old 08-28-2012, 06:48 PM
 
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I don't mean to sound defensive. And I apologize if I did. It is just been so hard lately. Every time I turn around we are being reported to Children Services. This time it was because someone claimed my house is dirty and disgusting. I have four kids 4 and under... and I am one person.. so yeah it's messy most of the time, but it's normal little kid mess, like toys, baby wipes, clean diapers they were trying to put on baby dolls, etc. Then we have his ex threatening us with more court battles, visitation schedules being changed last minute from five minutes away to twenty minutes away. My husband and I haven't been getting along very well with all the stress, it seems like it's really testing our relationship. His biomom isn't supposed to be anywhere near him outside of her supervised time, and yet she showed up at the dr, starting crap with me there. And of course it being hot, I was tired, Cranky and had just drove for 2 1/2 hours, with fighting kids behind me nonetheless lol. I didn't take her crap and put her in her place in the waiting room in front of an audience. I told the caseworker that was here today that she was there at the Dr. and she did not seem too happy about it at all, and my husband and I's lawyer is pretty mad about it too. It's not that she was there that pissed me off. It's that he told her he wanted a toy, and instead of her telling him that he would have to ask me or his dad, she promised him one after his appointment. The only money I had on me was for gas, and for lunch. That was the only money my husband had given me before we left because we were not planning on a toy shopping trip with the kids eating Burger King. Which was apparently better than a toy since we hardly ever eat fast food. Then he told his biomom that he wanted to see her at work. She once again gave him false hope of seeing her after work, Where she works is a good hour and a half out of my way to get home on top of another 2 1/2 hour drive back, and well it would be qualified as unsupervised time so it didn't happen. When we got home he was fine for about an hour, then my huband went to bed because it was almost 7 pm when I got home. He had been up since three that morning and had two of the kids here with him all day so he was worn out anyway. As soon as he went to bed son started crying and was hysterical. I talked him through it and he told me what was wrong. He was upset and hurt because he didn't get to see her at work like she promised. She knows she's doing this crap to him every single friggin time she sees him and yet she keeps frikin doin it! Ohh it infuriates me. If my daughter asks me for something I don't give fake promises. I say Yes or No. Or not today or not right now, or yes in just a few minutes i have to do this first. Nobody should give a four year old child an empty promise. That hurts him more than anything. Today we were also referred to this Steps thing to have a homemaker come here I think it's like once a week I don't know I didn't ask I don't want it anyway. If I couldn't handle my job as a parent I wouldn't have had kids, I don't need someone to come in here and tell me how to clean my house! That is ridiculous! If they want to come here everyday and clean it for me.. they are more than welcome though :).

 

 

I really don't mean to sound defensive on here though, I didn't mean to come across like that. It has been so stressful here... I can't even explain it.

 

hug2.gifSo, so sorry!  Yuck!  Funny how having an ex to go to court with suddenly shifts the baseline expectation of your parenting and home from normal to perfect.  How many parents with multiple little kids at home wouldn't be in trouble, if someone inspected their house?  Hope you're hanging in there.


One woman in a house full of men:  my soul mate:  partners.gif  orfencing.gif... twin sons:lurk.giflurk.gif(HS juniors) ... step-son: guitar.gif (a freshman) ... our little man: kid.gif  (a kindergartener) ... and there is another female in the house, after all:  ourdog2.gif. 
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