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#31 of 40 Old 12-04-2006, 11:04 AM
 
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Especially since your dc are older, I would think you stand a good chance of coming out of court with a decision in your favor.

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#32 of 40 Old 12-04-2006, 12:03 PM
 
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To the OP, please go to court to revisit his visitation rights/schedule. Your children are being abused on the visits and that needs to stop right now.
ITA! Oh mama, your post made me so sad for your children and you. Please let your children know that you understand how terrible this is by doing everything you can to fix this. You can't make their father be a good man but you can let your children know they ARE important by being their staunchest advocate. I can't fathom treating children (or anyone) like that.:
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#33 of 40 Old 12-04-2006, 01:53 PM
 
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I'm not condoning the step or ex's behavior but the fact that two of the girls are vegetarians does bring this into a new light and I think it would be helpful to have put that in your original post. Why is it the stepmom's responsibility to make sure the girls eat and not the ex's? Are the girls "rejecting" the food that is offered them without you or them offering help/insight into what they can eat?

If your teens are going to be vegetarians and spend much of their time with non-vegetarian family members they would probably be better served by learning coping techniques rather than engaging in she said/she drama said with the stepmom. Perhaps they can plan their own meals to bring with them in a cooler, or offer to cook for the family during their visit (veggie options of course), or suggest fast food places/menus that abide by their vegetarianism.
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#34 of 40 Old 12-04-2006, 02:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by KentuckyDoulaMama View Post
Here's another classic example....two of my dd's are vegetarian and have been for 1 & 3 years now. She rarely makes sure there are proper, balanced meals for them while they are there. Or just makes sure there is bagged lettuce in the fridge and then she can claim there is food for them...who wants salad all the time?
Not too long ago my 15yo dd went with stepmother & half siblings to stepmothers parents home in a different town....when dd got home she was starving and told me that there was nothing, nothing she could eat. These people know she is a vegetarian. But they are all big hunters and think its wrong, ect...
I was mad that stepmother didnt make sure my dd ate all day long. I called ex and told him about it..
I didn't see this before. IMO, your ex is both defending his wife, and using her as a fall guy. While there's no excuse for her behaviour, it's your ex, not his wife, who is failing in his responsibility to his children. Get on his case and don't even bring up his wife. It's his job to make sure that his children are properly cared for.

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#35 of 40 Old 12-04-2006, 03:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by McFeelings View Post
I'm not condoning the step or ex's behavior but the fact that two of the girls are vegetarians does bring this into a new light and I think it would be helpful to have put that in your original post. Why is it the stepmom's responsibility to make sure the girls eat and not the ex's? Are the girls "rejecting" the food that is offered them without you or them offering help/insight into what they can eat?

If your teens are going to be vegetarians and spend much of their time with non-vegetarian family members they would probably be better served by learning coping techniques rather than engaging in she said/she drama said with the stepmom. Perhaps they can plan their own meals to bring with them in a cooler, or offer to cook for the family during their visit (veggie options of course), or suggest fast food places/menus that abide by their vegetarianism.
I dont think it really brings it into a "whole new light."
There are things they eat at McD's

Salads
big Macs without meat, add tomato
fries
ect...

Its not just the stepmoms responsibility. However these situations tend to occur much more often than when they are all together with their father along. I have been a stepmom for 12 years and would never act like this, and two of MY stepkids have special diets (due to Crohns and spina bifida related health probs) It IS my responsibility when I have them to make sure they are fed properly.
I never said it was the stepmoms responsibility, but the stepmom does the meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking, not their dad.
Obviously it is HIS ultimate responsibility, yet she is in charge of everything.
The dont "reject" things offered to them, as things aren't offered to them, thats the whole point.

I have given her three veggie cookbooks, I forward her recipes quite often that are both cheap & easy for both veg & nonveg, have tried to teach the kids "how to cope" and be flexible, and fend for themselves as much as possible.
But thats difficult to do when they are stuck there all weekend with no way to get themselves food.

I really dont think its their/my responsibility to bring their own food two nights a week and every other weekend. I do occassionally send down things like frozen veggie burgers, ect when I have extra so they can be kept in the freezer there.
I've made veg things before and sent them down to have stepmom make negative remarks about the food to the kids.

Ex and his wife are well aware of the fast food options available, this is not a new thing.
She just doesnt agree with vegetarianism and so most of the time she doesnt provide proper food for them....it doesnt matter to her.
And the treating of my kids as total second class citizens extends beyond these fast food issues.
As a stepmom I would never treat kids like this.
She's just a sneaky, manipulative b*tch, plain and simple.
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#36 of 40 Old 12-04-2006, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I didn't see this before. IMO, your ex is both defending his wife, and using her as a fall guy. While there's no excuse for her behaviour, it's your ex, not his wife, who is failing in his responsibility to his children. Get on his case and don't even bring up his wife. It's his job to make sure that his children are properly cared for.
Right.
It IS his job/responsibility.
But how do I not bring the wife into it, when the situation revolves around her?
How would I tell him about the fast food incident without involving her, since she's the one involved?
Obviously there are many more issues here other than the McD's incidents...the problems are that ex wont hear of anything "bad" about his wife or even any concerns I have about the kids even if not directly related to the wife. He blows up immediately, scream and cusses, gets irrational, ect...then takes it out on the kids the next time he talks to them. :
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#37 of 40 Old 12-04-2006, 03:52 PM
 
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You know... as a step-mom, I agree that that is WRONG and that you have every right to be upset. It is possible that the step-mom has some control issues over money and I'm just not sure what you can do about that, those are her issues. You can make an attempt at suggesting to your ex that perhaps if they keep seperate finances that HE should foot the bill for the food for your DDs and if they don't have seperate finances that they SHOULD! He's probably going to get royally screwed by that woman eventually.

We deal with the vegetarian issue at our house as well. SD has decided that she is vegetarian and won't eat anything that "used to have a face". While I refuse to cook meals especially for her, as we have other people in the house with various nutritional and diet needs, I DO make sure that there is plenty on the table for her to eat and she is always welcome to help herself to any of the variety of vegetarian freindly foods we have in the house. On nights where we have "you pick" (you pick whatever you want and cook it yourself with help from dad and I) she has stuff like veggie-meatballs or mushroom burgers, etc. When we go out to eat she is happy to pick whatever she likes off the menu and either ask for no meat or picks the meat off and gives it to DH. Your ex is lucky that your DDs aren't as fiesty as my DH's kids, she would raise a HUGE stink about being treated like that and rightly so!

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She just doesnt agree with vegetarianism and so most of the time she doesnt provide proper food for them....it doesnt matter to her.
As for THIS comment. Oh MY! I don't agree with my SD's vegetarianism either (because it is an uniformed choice and she has little knowledge and understanding of how to maintain a balanced protein/vitamin/mineral profile in her diet and is making no effort to learn and the chioce is made partly because BM is partly vegetarian (long story) but mostly because she has caved to peer pressure) but not feeding them at all or feeding them stuff that is borderline harmful is NOT a solution to that! We did try to discuss her choice initially and she reported to her mother that we were picking on her and basically making her life difficult when really we were trying to understand WHY (it was months later that it became clear that it was a peer pressure problem) and to help her understand that you can't just NOT eat meat and be healthy. DH teases her about it, usually offering her bacon or something but it is all in fun and she still laughs at it or rolls her eyes in that special 10yo way , so she knows he's just joking.

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#38 of 40 Old 12-04-2006, 04:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by KentuckyDoulaMama View Post
Right.
It IS his job/responsibility.
But how do I not bring the wife into it, when the situation revolves around her?
How would I tell him about the fast food incident without involving her, since she's the one involved?
Obviously there are many more issues here other than the McD's incidents...the problems are that ex wont hear of anything "bad" about his wife or even any concerns I have about the kids even if not directly related to the wife. He blows up immediately, scream and cusses, gets irrational, ect...then takes it out on the kids the next time he talks to them. :
Okay - I'm winging it, because my ex isn't re-married, and doesn't see ds1, anyway.

But...I'd take it back to court. See if you can have it legally put on him to be present and to ensure that his children are fed properly - that is, she is not their legal guardian. she does not have access rights, and she is not to have the children unless he is physically present. There's absolutely no reason why she should be able to treat your kids this way, and if your ex isn't going to look after his kids of his own volition...get the courts involved. I have to assume that court-ordered visitation is a big part of why this situation exists in the first place.

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#39 of 40 Old 12-04-2006, 04:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
See if you can have it legally put on him to be present and to ensure that his children are fed properly - that is, she is not their legal guardian. she does not have access rights, and she is not to have the children unless he is physically present.
Sounds like it is a problem when he IS present anyways, so this isn't going to work. I would think a better approach might be to ask him to forgo the weekend visitation in exchange for afternoon visitation on those weekends and an extra evening a week or something, basically cutting out meal-time with him. It is certainly not an ideal situation, but explain it really well to him that unless he can assure you that your children are being fed properly and not treated differently than the rest of the family there then he is not welcome to have them. Would it work to have HIM come to your house for a sit-down discussion with you and your girls (and another competent adult present)?

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#40 of 40 Old 12-04-2006, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all of the replies.

Its just very frustrating all the way around and its made worse by the fact that my kids will get it all taken out on them in one way or the other whenever I try to bring up a concern because they get into trouble for telling or "making up stories." :

I've tried in the past several times, to write him a letter or and email and guess what, SHE is always the one to respond - never him.

So I can bring up my concerns, get screamed at, have my kids get into trouble with them and still nothing will change. BTDT many times over the years. They just deny there is any problems and deny anything my kids say.

My kids are afraid of to cause trouble and so just suffer silently.
I was talking to my 11yo about the fast food issues since its happened several times now and she was crying and begged me not to tell ex because then she would be in trouble. She walks on egg shells there and trieds to be the perfect kid when with them.
And the court thing....well, I'd really, really like to but #1 - we have absolutely $0 dollars for an attny anytime in the forseeable future and #2 - I'm afraid to put my kids in the middle and make them feel like they are telling on their dad, and causing trouble.

Its just a mess...a whole big mess.

I wish they would move far, far away.
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