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#1 of 35 Old 03-06-2007, 01:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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A little background- DH has 2 kids from a previous marriage (12 and 14), they live with their mom and we all get along fine. DH and I have been together for 11.5 years, married for 10.5 so I have always been step mom. His son has MAJOR aggression issues (yelling, screaming, irrational behavior, physical violence) , his mom didn't do anything about it until last year, now he has all these DX- oppositional difiance disorder, ADHD, etc... on major meds etc. His step dad is a control freak and eggs him on as do his half siblings there. And BM (bio-mom) is often all talk no action. Their whole family is in counseling. Back in dec BM called and asked if he could come live with us in Jan. I was not very comfortable with the situation- new baby coming and all but, agreed as his Dh's son, my only stipulations were he be allowed to unschool with our family and we stop paying child support. The school part was OK, but DH got mad that I mentioned $- well we can't afford to add a 12 yo boy to our family and still pay her CS!. In addition, the reality of the situation is- *I* would be his primary caregiver as DH is here very little. Well of course, he never came b/c BM is all talk.

FF- tonight she called and asked if he could come live here after school is out. Normally both Sk's come for 4 weeks in the summer- she wants him here all summer- 8 weeks. Dh got all excited and started talking about all the summer camps and baseball we could sign him up for (never mind he was just squaking about $$ for odd's piano lessons) and I said it's fine if he lives here but since again *I* will be doing ALL the extra work, I am not interested in driving him all over town with 4 other kids, and I didn't want to talk about it until after the baby comes and then only if it was really going to happen.

DH got all irritated and said "fine I won't work all summer" or something equally stupid... and acted like I was being unreasonable, am I? I think I am being very open minded about letting a physically violent preteen in my hosue with a 3 little kids & new baby but maybe I am not?? I am overwhelmed with the thought of 4 kids- let alone adding another one who has problems...
Opinions?
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#2 of 35 Old 03-07-2007, 12:41 PM
 
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I too have 2 step dc visit in the summer, though it's only for 2 weeks. My biggest challenge is entertaining teens and young dc at the same time.

I'm assuming you live far enough apart that the teens won't be able to "hang" with their friends when they visit you. Ideally sending them a "day camp" would help. My dsd have never enjoyed being around my dd (part jealousy and part just don't want to be around young dc, they take care of their younger siblings a lot)

I keep them as happy as possible with free access to a cell phone during me "free hours " 6pm-6am. They also sleep till after noon so dd and I have our time in the morning. We also try to rent a game system for them to play (as they stay up all night)

assuming your 2 dc play well together, maybe a membership to a local pool or rec center might give them a place to hang out.

Can you trust the older dc? I would need help just to deal with the 4 younger dc. Ideally you have a swing set in your large back yard and can set up a small kiddie pool.
best of luck

mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
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#3 of 35 Old 03-09-2007, 03:24 PM
 
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You are the one that will have to make changes and be the primary caregiver. You need to sit down and have your husband understand that you may love his son BUT you can not make all the sacrifices! Make a plan for how he will get to the activities. I don't get how bm's can still get cs when the kid is with the other parent for extended periods of time ie summer or christmas visits. We do all the transportation, pay all the extras and still pay her $ when she doesn't even have the kids... sorry just my rant!
I would set up a time, maybe a walk or go out for coffee with out kids and have a good talk. Plan out what you want to say and what points you want as priorities. Make sure he understands that even though this is exciting it has to work for the whole family!
Good luck!
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#4 of 35 Old 03-10-2007, 11:57 PM
 
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It seems that this issue comes up here frequently-- the dh is soooo happy to get the kids for the summer. . . .then goes off to work and leaves stepmom alone with all the kids, all the adjustments, all the issues! You do not sound unreasonalbe to me. What is dh's plan. What will he do with the child? What time will he allot?
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#5 of 35 Old 03-11-2007, 12:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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He will have NO plan- he never does.
OTOH I do have a plan- it is- I will not be enrolling DSS in ANYTHING It will be ALL on DH- which means it will not get done. I take that back- we have a park and rec where ds can walk/bike- DH can enroll him in anything there b/c he can get there on his own, If Dh chooses to sign him up for anything else- he'll have to figure out the logistics- which CAN be me- if it works in MY schedule.
I feel better seeing as no one here thinks I am being unreasonable about this.
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#6 of 35 Old 03-16-2007, 07:25 PM
 
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I feel better seeing as no one here thinks I am being unreasonable about this.
I didn't post because I didn't want to say anything that might be construed as mean. However, after reading this post, I have to state for the record that I think you're being quite unreasonable, and I feel very sorry for your stepson (because of his entire situation--not because of you--his home life sounds awful). I hope you can take this in the spirit it's meant, which is one of concern.

This boy is your husband's child. Your husband, and you because you chose to marry a man who had children already, both have responsibilities to this child that equal those you have to any other child in the house. It makes no difference if his mother isn't "stepping up." Take the high road. Sure, it's infuriating, and I can understand the financial worries, but it's important for your stepson to know that he is not begrudged a place in his father's family, or his father's home. I understand that it's extra work, but presumably this man did not spring his children on you after marriage--you were aware of their existence.

Again, I would say take the high road. Don't make it a question of money. Try to work on your issues with your stepson, because he belongs in his father's family--your family--as much as in his mother's.
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#7 of 35 Old 03-17-2007, 03:34 AM
 
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If the stepson lives with you, wouldn't the support be reduced or bio mom have to pay for him?

He is your DH's son and you took that on when you married him. He has every right to live with his father. I have no doubt you love him, and that it will be hard for everyone but the kids shouldn't suffer because DH has a new family.

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If Dh chooses to sign him up for anything else- he'll have to figure out the logistics- which CAN be me- if it works in MY schedule.
I feel better seeing as no one here thinks I am being unreasonable about this.
Shouldn't you be figuring it out together? It's not that I think you are being unreasonable, I can imagine 5 or 6 kids will be overwhelming this summer. I just get the impression that you have your kids with DH and he has "his" to figure out. I apologuze if I am wrong.
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#8 of 35 Old 03-17-2007, 08:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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If the stepson lives with you, wouldn't the support be reduced or bio mom have to pay for him?
He is your DH's son and you took that on when you married him. He has every right to live with his father. I have no doubt you love him, and that it will be hard for everyone but the kids shouldn't suffer because DH has a new family.
Shouldn't you be figuring it out together? It's not that I think you are being unreasonable, I can imagine 5 or 6 kids will be overwhelming this summer. I just get the impression that you have your kids with DH and he has "his" to figure out. I apologuze if I am wrong.

A CS reduction would have to go through the courts and that costs $$ for us and BM would probably fight it as she like her $$ and b/c she has said since it may be a temporary change she wants to leave things as they are meaning we can have him live with us but she still wants CS payments

Yes, in theory we should be figuring it out together, but the reality of life is DH is FT law student, working as a law clerk PT and training for a marathon. He will say he can help, but he can't/won't. He gets up at 4:30 and leaves to go trian and returns at 6 PM. I've been down this road before with him, he feels guilty as a long distance dad, so he has some wierd idea that showing his older kids (not ours together) love means lots of activities, then he is gone when those activities happen so I shoulder the burden alone.

I should also add for clarification in case I wasn't clear before, DS actually living with us is NOT big the issue ( I do have $$ concerns but that's not the big thing), it's DH signing him up for baseball, basketball, summer camps etc and then ME having to drive all over town.

We are an unschooling family, we hang out, we play we do things together- my 2 girls have gymnastics, but is it at a time thats works for ALL of us. I am happy to have DSS in an activitiy that works in with everyone elses, just NOT willing to sacrifice our lifestyle to *keep DSS busy* and FWIW, I think dss would be FAR happier just hanging out with us and playing games than being shuffled around to 10 different camps. Oh and DH is always telling me to slow down, let the kids enjoys life, yet he doesn't feel taht way about his older 2.

Anyway, I think my original point was I did not sign up to be a single step parent - which is what I am every summer - so since I am the one who will have 90% of the responsibility, I should have most of the say in what is going to happen when my SK's are here WRT the driving, camps and impact it will have on the 4 other kids too. I am not willing to spend all of limited budget and time on my DSS- it needs to work for all of us. Does that make sense?
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#9 of 35 Old 03-17-2007, 09:27 AM
 
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I mostly agree with Individuation on this one. With the caveat that I think it's important that all the responsibility for daily care not be shoved on you, I think your husband needs to take as much responsibility as possible when he is not doing his paid work.
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#10 of 35 Old 03-17-2007, 09:46 AM
 
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I
This boy is your husband's child. Your husband, and you because you chose to marry a man who had children already, both have responsibilities to this child that equal those you have to any other child in the house. It makes no difference if his mother isn't "stepping up." Take the high road. Sure, it's infuriating, and I can understand the financial worries, but it's important for your stepson to know that he is not begrudged a place in his father's family, or his father's home. I understand that it's extra work, but presumably this man did not spring his children on you after marriage--you were aware of their existence.
:

This is a child - a child that is hurting and needs to find his place. I imagine it's painful for him to visit his father and his new family. Be kind, gentle and sympathetic - he didn't ask for this situation - you did. You knew your dh has children.
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#11 of 35 Old 03-17-2007, 09:51 AM
 
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Can you try to turn it around in your mind and vow to make this little boy's summer as much fun as you can? He's a child, and he didnt choose this arrangement.

If you need to work with your dh about the sharing of parenting, make it an overall issue - sharing the parenting of all the children, not just this one. Your ss is not an addition, he's a part of the family. He is a different age, and he has different needs. Your dh needs to step up for all the kids.

You knew that your dh had children, and although it might be tough, your obligation is to them as much as it is to your bio kids. I would have thought that if you change your mindset and stop seeing it as driving your ss all over town, and more as an act of love, it won't seem as stressful to you. That's what it's about, having a larger family, no matter who is your bio and who is your step kid. They all have needs, and all those needs need addressing with a willing heart.

HTH. I mean it gently, but I do think that you need to step back and look at it from another angle.
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#12 of 35 Old 03-17-2007, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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:

This is a child - a child that is hurting and needs to find his place. I imagine it's painful for him to visit his father and his new family. Be kind, gentle and sympathetic - he didn't ask for this situation - you did. You knew your dh has children.
Fiar enough, but we are NOT new to him, I've been his step mom since he was a year old and for the 1st 4 years live 2 blocks away. And really it's not about DSS - it's mostly about DH's involvement or lack thereof and how it all falls on me.
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#13 of 35 Old 03-17-2007, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Can you try to turn it around in your mind and vow to make this little boy's summer as much fun as you can? He's a child, and he didnt choose this arrangement....

You knew that your dh had children, and although it might be tough, your obligation is to them as much as it is to your bio kids. I would have thought that if you change your mindset and stop seeing it as driving your ss all over town, and more as an act of love, it won't seem as stressful to you. That's what it's about, having a larger family, no matter who is your bio and who is your step kid. They all have needs, and all those needs need addressing with a willing heart.

HTH. I mean it gently, but I do think that you need to step back and look at it from another angle.
Maybe- but if I wouldn't run my biological kids all over town (which I don;t and wouldn't) why should it be different for him? And FTR DSS is NOT asking for all this - it's DH who wants all the camps etc. And YES I have asked Dh to talk with DSS about his wishes, he just forgets
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#14 of 35 Old 03-17-2007, 10:35 AM
 
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Anyway, I think my original point was I did not sign up to be a single step parent - which is what I am every summer - so since I am the one who will have 90% of the responsibility, I should have most of the say in what is going to happen when my SK's are here WRT the driving, camps and impact it will have on the 4 other kids too. I am not willing to spend all of limited budget and time on my DSS- it needs to work for all of us. Does that make sense?
Absolutely... There's is absolutely NO reason that the happiness of your own children should suffer to make sure DSS has a wonderful summer. When you don't have a ton of money or time, there is only so much you can do beyond your every day needs and tasks and to add another child to that mix and then be expected to provide extras that the other children don't have is just silly.

I treat my step children no differently then my own children. If DS is doing a sport or fun activity, I try to include my step-children if possible and get them involved in something as well. But I'm not going to go out and find something special JUST for DSS or DSD to do just because I want him to have more fun here. I treat them as part of my current household. If THEY ask to do a sport or activity that is reasonable and falls into our schedule and budget well, Of course I will let them but I'm not going out of my way to afford it or schedule it anymore then I would for DS and eventually DD.

We do not have a good relationship with the bio-mom so if we don't do tons with them, we aren't doing enough..... If we try to do a lot of fun stuff with them, then we're "Disneyland parents" so no matter what we do, we lose so we do what works for us and fits into our lives well.

That being said, I do think that you should try to make it fun for DSS as much as you would for your own children. 12 year olds still enjoy going to the playground, playing in a pool, anything that your younger do for fun, most 12 year olds still enjoy so just include him.... that's the most important thing, that he feel INCLUDED. Not special, just included. 12 year olds are smart, and if he's treated differently then the rest of the family he will still see that and feel like he's still not really "one of you" because he's being treated "special" not like one of the family, as he should be. KWIM?

Anyway, it's so hard being a step-parent... there's just not enough support out there for us! (((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))

Jeri, Natural lovin' Mama to Elijah (9.29.03), Eden (10.2.06), and a little one lost along the way (1/12)., Step-monster to Shelby (18) and Stephen (16). Celebrating 12 years together with my soul-mate, Eric. Hoping for a rainbow1284.gif someday! 
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#15 of 35 Old 03-17-2007, 11:17 AM
 
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It sounds like daycamp would be a way for him to get social interaction and not be in your hair tho, no? And your partner can't very well take him if he is working days. I think it's a fair expectation that you would take him.

It doesn't have to be an us or him thing, IMO. This is another child in your family. You can surely as a family find a way to include him and his needs in your circle, no?
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#16 of 35 Old 03-17-2007, 01:16 PM
 
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I see this as a marital issue, not a step parenting issue.

It's sometimes easier to focus on kids doing things instead of dealing with husbands, but I don't think this issue will ever really be solved until you and your husband discuss his involvement in the family, especially as you are bringing additional children into the mix.

Having children is both a joy and responsibility. It sounds like your husband needs to rethink his outside obligations so he can parent the children he has helped bring into this world.
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#17 of 35 Old 03-17-2007, 01:18 PM
 
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It sounds like your husband needs to rethink his outside obligations so he can parent the children he has helped bring into this world.
Fair enough. IMO tho paid employment *is* a way of helping parent, if the income is used to support the family.
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#18 of 35 Old 03-17-2007, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It sounds like daycamp would be a way for him to get social interaction and not be in your hair tho, no? And your partner can't very well take him if he is working days. I think it's a fair expectation that you would take him.

It doesn't have to be an us or him thing, IMO. This is another child in your family. You can surely as a family find a way to include him and his needs in your circle, no?
True and if DSS was/is set on one camp/ activitiy, just like my bio kids I would do my best to accomodate him- it's the multiple camps/activities Dh is suggesting that I feel is over the top, KWIM?
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#19 of 35 Old 03-17-2007, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Absolutely... There's is absolutely NO reason that the happiness of your own children should suffer to make sure DSS has a wonderful summer. When you don't have a ton of money or time, there is only so much you can do beyond your every day needs and tasks and to add another child to that mix and then be expected to provide extras that the other children don't have is just silly.

I treat my step children no differently then my own children. If DS is doing a sport or fun activity, I try to include my step-children if possible and get them involved in something as well. But I'm not going to go out and find something special JUST for DSS or DSD to do just because I want him to have more fun here. I treat them as part of my current household. If THEY ask to do a sport or activity that is reasonable and falls into our schedule and budget well, Of course I will let them but I'm not going out of my way to afford it or schedule it anymore then I would for DS and eventually DD.
...
That being said, I do think that you should try to make it fun for DSS as much as you would for your own children. 12 year olds still enjoy going to the playground, playing in a pool, anything that your younger do for fun, most 12 year olds still enjoy so just include him.... that's the most important thing, that he feel INCLUDED. Not special, just included. 12 year olds are smart, and if he's treated differently then the rest of the family he will still see that and feel like he's still not really "one of you" because he's being treated "special" not like one of the family, as he should be. KWIM?

Anyway, it's so hard being a step-parent... there's just not enough support out there for us! (((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))
You said it better than I did
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#20 of 35 Old 03-17-2007, 01:41 PM
 
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True and if DSS was/is set on one camp/ activitiy, just like my bio kids I would do my best to accomodate him- it's the multiple camps/activities Dh is suggesting that I feel is over the top, KWIM?
Yes, that seems fair to me.
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#21 of 35 Old 03-17-2007, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I see this as a marital issue, not a step parenting issue.

It's sometimes easier to focus on kids doing things instead of dealing with husbands, but I don't think this issue will ever really be solved until you and your husband discuss his involvement in the family, especially as you are bringing additional children into the mix.

Having children is both a joy and responsibility. It sounds like your husband needs to rethink his outside obligations so he can parent the children he has helped bring into this world.

nak (baby was born thursady!)
It is a marital issue, as we disagree, but also a parenting issue as DH wants to make sure dss & dsd get lots while they are with us (read- alleviate his guilt for not being there for them daily) but doesn't/can't assume the responsibility for making that happen.

i think i really need to remind him of how we treat the kids in our home- and make that our baseline.

i wish he would rethink his outside obligations/choices but that i believe needs to come from his desires not mine. guilting or forcing him into a change would not be very productive IMO for us as a couple.
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#22 of 35 Old 03-17-2007, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Fair enough. IMO tho paid employment *is* a way of helping parent, if the income is used to support the family.
nak
yes, as i sah with the kids this is true for us. and i have willingly assumed most of th hh responsibilities, but with that i feel i have more say in the day to day activities as i am responsible for them.
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#23 of 35 Old 03-17-2007, 02:24 PM
 
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True and if DSS was/is set on one camp/ activitiy, just like my bio kids I would do my best to accomodate him- it's the multiple camps/activities Dh is suggesting that I feel is over the top, KWIM?
Agreed, and thanks for clarifying.

Can you tell your DH that, as the person who will be responsible for all the kids this summer, you need to be able to plan things that they all can do together, or that (like the day camp) work for the whole family?

Another thought, if he might be living near you for the school year, is to find out what summer program most of the local kids are in, and stick with a couple of those. That way he'd know people, would possibly make friends, and you might be able to meet mothers of similarly-aged boys.

I really didn't mean to jump down your throat on this one, I think the story of his biomom and stepdad struck a chord with me.
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#24 of 35 Old 03-17-2007, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Agreed, and thanks for clarifying.
I really didn't mean to jump down your throat on this one, I think the story of his biomom and stepdad struck a chord with me.
oh you didn't- I can here looking for different perspectives- and that's what I wanted and got.
Thanks
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#25 of 35 Old 03-17-2007, 03:41 PM
 
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Fair enough. IMO tho paid employment *is* a way of helping parent, if the income is used to support the family.
Absolutely. I' worked my entire life as a parent because I believe that being able to support my kids is a pretty basic responsibility.

But this man has brought several kids into the world. Having outside interests, like marathoning, that chew up huge parts of your off hours is probably a luxury he can't enjoy at this moment because of his early choices to bring these kids into the world.
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#26 of 35 Old 03-17-2007, 03:46 PM
 
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Absolutely. I' worked my entire life as a parent because I believe that being able to support my kids is a pretty basic responsibility.

But this man has brought several kids into the world. Having outside interests, like marathoning, that chew up huge parts of your off hours is probably a luxury he can't enjoy at this moment because of his early choices to bring these kids into the world.
Yup, I agree. I missed the part about the marathoning. Totally agree.
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#27 of 35 Old 03-18-2007, 10:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Individuation View Post
Agreed, and thanks for clarifying.

Can you tell your DH that, as the person who will be responsible for all the kids this summer, you need to be able to plan things that they all can do together, or that (like the day camp) work for the whole family?
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It seems reasonable to me that the person home during the day should be in charge or scheduling (or not scheduling) the children's days. I can't imagine signing up dss or ds for karate then telling dh that he has to take them. But, I'd sign them up if I was planning to take them. I don't think you are being an unreasonable stepmom. If my spouse is planning multiple activities for any of the kids, he better plan on transporting them some of the time! My dh is the custodial parent and I still think he parents from guilt a lot of the time: guilt that dss doesn't have both his parents in one house, that he had a difficult period of childhood, that he goes back and forth.
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#28 of 35 Old 03-19-2007, 09:13 AM
 
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I don't think that you are being unreasonable. It is fine and dandy for DH to want this and that, since he will not be there to do the actual work involved. Yes, I know he is the provider for your family, but running a marathon is not necessary to pay the bills. You just don't get the luxury of doing extra things when you have a family sometimes. Especially when you have children from a previous marriage. I think it is highly unfair to leave all of the parenting and work to you, yet he gets to dictate what is to happen? Nope. Don't think so. The SKs should be more important than running a marathon.

IMO, if he wants you to do the bulk of the work involved with the SKs, and you do it, the least he can do is to give up his hobbies and spend that time with his children.
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#29 of 35 Old 03-19-2007, 10:16 AM
 
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I think you are being realistic. Has anyone discussed trying this on a small scale (maybe in the summer), to see how it will be. I hope everything works out. By the way, My ex and I work everything out through mediation and never go to court. If you agree then there is no need. In our case, it's a free county service.

Good Luck.

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#30 of 35 Old 03-19-2007, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think you are being realistic. Has anyone discussed trying this on a small scale (maybe in the summer), to see how it will be. I hope everything works out. By the way, My ex and I work everything out through mediation and never go to court. If you agree then there is no need. In our case, it's a free county service.

Good Luck.
Are you on the sme state? Dh and his X are in different states- so I would assume if that service is available he'd have to go there? The original divorce is from where we live, but all the modifications went though the state she's in now b/c we lived there at that time, then moved back to our original state.
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