Is this "normal"? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 01-07-2007, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DSD stays with us for her whole Christmas vacation. We have had her for 2 weeks today. Shes also with us for the whole summer, Spring break, mid-winter break, Thanksgiving break...all of the school breaks. Most of these are week long visits or longer.

Is it completely normal for a mother (or father if hes the custodial parent) to not call or make any kind of contact while your step child is with you? When she is with her mom, I make an effort to call about once a week to let her know we are thinking of her, miss her, to get an update about school and about life in general. I cannot imagine going more than a few days without talking to my son so I dont know how she can go 2 weeks - a month without talking to her dd, kwim?

On the flip side, dsd doesnt ever mention her mom in an "I miss her" sense. The only time she says anything is when we wont buy her something ("Okay...Ill just tell mom to buy it when I go back.")

Maybe Im naive, but I just dont understand it. How do a mother and her child not seem interested in each other when they arent together?
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#2 of 24 Old 01-07-2007, 01:44 PM
 
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I have been told not too... that it interferes with his parenting time. :

The only time it really bothers me is when he has them for more than four days... (not very often)
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#3 of 24 Old 01-07-2007, 01:48 PM
 
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I can't imagine not talking to my son for that long. I call every day that he is gone and when he is with me he talks to his dad almost daily. My son is 2 and spends 14 nights a month with his dad. Have you asked your DSD if she'd like to talk to her mom?
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#4 of 24 Old 01-07-2007, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I ask her at least once a day if she wants to call her and she usually (95% of the time) says no. Another thing is that BM is on my Yahoo messenger list and shes on every evening/night. She never asks about her.
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#5 of 24 Old 01-07-2007, 11:37 PM
 
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Our girls are kind of the same way. If they're here and I have to call their mom for one reason or another, she'll ask to talk to them, but doesn't usually call out of the blue. The only time she does is if I've taken them out of state by myself, and then we call every night. Every once in a while they'll want to call her while they're here, and vice versa, but generally they're so busy doing one thing or another that they just don't.

That said, we have yet to have them for an entire week at a time. It's one night a week and every other weekend, and only I've only taken them on two week long vacations in the last three years. Hopefully this summer we'll be allowed to alternate weeks with bio mom, at which point I'm sure we'll make more phone calls.

Clear as mud?

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#6 of 24 Old 01-08-2007, 03:14 AM
 
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How old? Dss lives with us but doesn't like phonecalls from his mom when he's here, or from us when he's there. Actually, it used to upset him. He was ok with his mom gone until she called. He was ok visiting her until dh called. I think he likes to keep things separated. If we call him when he's over there (or even when he goes to visit MIL, now that I think about it) he'll barely talk to us. I'm fine. We didn't really do anything today.
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#7 of 24 Old 01-08-2007, 09:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Flor, shes 8. I can see your point. I guess my bigger question is how her mom can see me online (we talk regularly unless dsd is here with us, then nothing) or call to set up a time for pick up and not ask about her.

The thing is, this isnt just a couple of days that shes with us. Its anywhere from 1-8 weeks straight. I just cant imagine going that long without talking to her and she isnt my biological dd.
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#8 of 24 Old 01-08-2007, 09:24 PM
 
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WOW. I couldnt imagine NOT calling my ds, who is 13. He lives with his dad mon-fri and he comes here every other weekend, once a week, and all the holidays/breaks. When he isnt here, I call about 4 times a day sometimes, or he will call me!I help with homework over the phone, sort problems, and help with disclipline problems. I am very involved, even if I am not there. I couldnt imagine that. I guess maybe they arent that close? I dunno?

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#9 of 24 Old 01-10-2007, 02:18 PM
 
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BM has no custody rights or visitation to DSD BUT DSD does spend a lot of time at my parents house. Normally one week a month during the summer and she spends several nights in a row over thanksgiving, Christmas, and spring break. My mom has asked us to limit the calls we make to Angelica (DSD). She says that Angelica will be just fine and having a great time and if we call it tends to make her miss us. We do however call my mom/dad every other day and ask how it's going. We make sure she has the right clothes for the weather, if they have enough medicine, what her overall attitude has been like. Hmm maybe I'm too clingy . So, No, I do not think it is normal to have no contact at all. I would think they would at least check in with you to make sure everything is okay.

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#10 of 24 Old 01-17-2007, 11:26 PM
 
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Ya, I would call that strange since they are apart for so long. My dsd's biomom at least calls me to check on her dd once a day and usually talks to dd, but not always because if it is only a few days, talking to her momma is hard on her. But a long time like a week or a summer? very odd.
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#11 of 24 Old 01-18-2007, 12:11 AM
 
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I think it is really strange. My skids are with their Mom on weekends and supposedly 3 weeks during the year. When they take their three weeks, DH does call to touch base. When we went to Vietnam last fall, he emailed. But we don't contact them over the weekend. It seems excessive.

Maybe that is how their BM feels? Like she gets them for so much of the year that the few times they are with you guys it would be excessive for her to constantly interrupt? There are courts that believe it is better to not interrupt the ebb and flow of routine parenting time.

But I still think it's weird. Just playing devil's advocate I get antsy when my boys are with their Dad more than an hour and they have NEVER spent the night with him. So I'm the wrong one to ask.

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#12 of 24 Old 01-18-2007, 12:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Mamanicki, I am in total agreement that calling on the weekends would maybe be excessive. I was more concerned about the 2 weeks for Christmas, week for Spring and mid-winter break and 3 months for Summer vacations.
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#13 of 24 Old 01-18-2007, 01:51 PM
 
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Without a doubt, I think not having any contact all summer is excessive. The weeks are questionable.

Maybe she is one of those incredibly selfish out-of-sight, out-of-mind types.

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#14 of 24 Old 01-18-2007, 11:32 PM
 
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If DSD does not seem unhappy about not talking to her mother, I would not be concerned.

I spent up to 8 weeks at a time in the summer with my Dad growing up, and almost never talked to my mother on the phone during that time. Especially on visits of 2 weeks or less she didn't call, and I was fine with that. In fact, I really disliked having to talk with one parent on the phone while at the other's house. Partly I was just a very independent child and never felt homesick. Partly I think it felt like having to rehash my life for the other parent's benefit - I was happy just to live in the present and didn't feel the need to talk about what I'd been up to. Partly I felt weird talking about my activities at one house with the other parent because it felt kind of as if my parents were checking up on each other through me - I felt like it was not my mom's business to know what things I did with my dad and vice versa.

My situation may be different because my parents had a very nasty divorce and custody battles, and lived very far away from each other. Therefore it seemed easiest and most natural to keep the two homes completely separate. But it could be that your DSD feels similarly, ie, that she is just happy being part of your home while she is there and doesn't feel the need to involve her mother when she is with you.
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#15 of 24 Old 01-23-2007, 09:09 PM
 
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This is normal in my experience with DSD. It is kind of surprising to me, too. She spends most of her time at her mom's house with random weekends and holidays with us. Her mom rarely (never) calls or even asks about her when I drop her off. I can't imagine being like this I had to do the old swithcheroo with ds (thank the goddess I do not-it would make me a wreck), but it seems to work for them. I think sometimes that talking to her mom everyday would make it harder in some respects, a constant reminder that she is away.
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#16 of 24 Old 01-24-2007, 10:51 AM
 
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MY DD wont talk to her DAD, she will ALWAYS talk to me when I call for her, but she never wants to talk to him. Sad, but I never have the issue and I always call her every other day till she comes back to me. I dont know how any parent can do it.
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#17 of 24 Old 01-24-2007, 11:56 AM
 
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My daughter never wants to talk to her dad when she is here and only rarely to me when she is there. She has to dissassociate herself from each of us just to get through the seperation. Our situation is very tense because her dad is constantly trying to take custody from me. When things were healthier, she talked to each of us all the time. I do go up to a week without calling. Not that I don't miss her. Her not being here kills me. But, not calling makes it easier for her to get through it. Also, she never asks to call me because she feels that it would upset her dad and sm. They wouldn't come out and tell her no, but they don't do a good job of hiding their feelings about me.
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#18 of 24 Old 01-26-2007, 03:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boobybunny View Post
I have been told not too... that it interferes with his parenting time. :

The only time it really bothers me is when he has them for more than four days... (not very often)
I haven't been explicitly told not to, but it is not encouraged. It's rare that they have been gone more than 2-3 day, though. He almost never calls them when they are home, even though he doesn't see them for 12 days at a time.
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#19 of 24 Old 01-30-2007, 07:39 PM
 
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My two oldest boys used to spend every 2nd weekend with their dad and I didn't call, I kind of felt like those two nights were his time

but now we live a five hour drive away and he sees them for 4days to a week at a time, and its not very often (his choice) I do call now, just because the visits are so out of the ordinary, its not like going to visit their "other house" because A) he has roomates B) often he doesn't even have them at his house, but at an aunts or his sisters.
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#20 of 24 Old 02-12-2007, 05:12 PM
 
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I call about once a week when she's with them for 6 weeks in summer, and I get her EO weekend during that time. Otherwise I don't call, it interferes with their family time. It makes her miss home more if I call.

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#21 of 24 Old 02-13-2007, 12:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess what Im thinking about more is the fact that she doesnt call and ask about her. I can see how talking to biomom might make it harder to be away, but when her mom sees me online daily or almost daily and never so much as asks if everythings going okay...I dont know, I just dont know how she does it.

Also, we have no problems. Our relationship with biomom is very friendly. There have never been problems. When we lived in the same town, we attended family functions on a regular basis.
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#22 of 24 Old 02-13-2007, 12:11 AM
 
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This confuses the heck out of me too. When dd's dad was local, he would go two weeks between visits, and wouldn't call in between. We were usually on msn at the same time a lot, and he rarely ever asked how she was doing. He's out of the province now, and still only calls maybe once a week.

When he is in town, he usually only takes her for one night at a time, and I still call to say goodnight to her when she's with him. Not that I worry that she isn't well taken care of. I actually just like to phone and hear that she's having fun.

We also have a really friendly relationship (we even take dd out together sometimes when he's in town) so it's not that he's just trying to avoid talking to me, as when he does call to talk to dd, he and I usually end up chatting for a good while about non-parenting stuff.

The only thing I can think of is that he would consider phoning and "checking up on her" to be insulting to me, like he had to make sure I was taking good care of her or something And he has said before that he never worries about her when he's away because he knows I'm a great mother, but I just don't understand how he can go that long without talking to her. It would drive me insane!
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#23 of 24 Old 02-13-2007, 12:22 PM
 
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Bf's 4 yo dd's mother calls him quite a bit to talk (when they are getting along it is almost every day), but she is a big phone person and I think it is more her talking about her personal life to him than them talking about dd. She seldom talks to dd when she is here.

Bf calls to talk to dd about every other day when she is at her mothers, though. I am guessing that he is just in the habit of doing so from before (when dd was only with us on weekends instead of 1/2 time). Her mother never established that habit when dd was with us on weekends, so it probably doesn't occur to her to call.

If dd asks to call her mother (pretty rarely), bf always lets her. The one exception to this is that if she is upset and crying, he waits for her to calm down first. I think he figures it would be unnecessarily worrisome for dd's mother to only get calls from an upset dd (especially if the upset is of the "I want ice cream" variety).

About once a month and some holidays we have dd's 1/2 sister (10 yo). She does not call her mother and her mother doesn't call her. But we usually only have her for a few days at a time.

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#24 of 24 Old 03-17-2007, 07:48 PM
 
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I think it's fine. I was a single mom for almost five years and traveled with my job. I would usually call my ds once every 2-3 days while he was with his dad and his grandma. Last summer, he stayed with my mother for a month and it was very hard. I called him the first few days, but it was upsetting him more by my calling, that we decided it best for me not to call until the following week. It was hard for me, but it actually helped him get into the routine they had and not long for me. Once that week passed, I called him every 2-3 days like I normally would. Since he was used to that frequency and I always reassured him I was going to see him soon or I was coming back, he didn't see a big deal about needing to talk to me everyday and me vice versa. The weekends he stays with his dad on our normal schedule, I don't call at all.
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