When one parent doesn't have transportation - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-08-2008, 01:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
Flor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: California
Posts: 5,119
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Simple version-- the custody agreement says NCP does most of the driving, but her car is always having issues-- breaks not working, no oil, boyfriend using it, sounds funny, or she doesn't have license, insurance, etc. It happens a lot. We end up driving dss, but it's a lot of work. Sure, I don't want her driving dss in an unsafe car, but sometimes the stories aren't quite believable. What do you do?
Flor is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 01-08-2008, 12:02 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,639
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If it is something that happens frequently, I would say that it is not your problem. She needs to invest in a working vehicle for herself.

If it is a once in a while thing (which has happened to us with DSD's mom), then no big deal, we do the driving.

love.gif

pinksprklybarefoot is offline  
Old 01-08-2008, 03:01 PM
 
anitaj71's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Wet Coast
Posts: 912
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
MY dhs' ex has been trying to make excuses lately and asking dh to drive/pick up kids ( she's supposed to do the driving) so far he hasn't. He refuses to make it his problem.
anitaj71 is offline  
Old 01-08-2008, 06:27 PM
 
Earthly_Joys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Virginia
Posts: 258
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When we attempted to work out a visitation agreement with DSD's mom (she has no custodial/visitation rights) last summer we included that she needed to drive to our city. She lived an hour away. We agreed that the meeting place could be a nuetral place that she could pick but it had to be in the city we live, close to our home. We also put in the agreement that if DSD's mom ever had unsupervised visitation she would need to do all of the transporting and it would need to be in a seatbelt in a safe/weight appropriate car seat that she provides or DSD would not be going.

I think it was such a big deal for us because it meant that she would be making an obvious effort. If she'd like to see her kids then I think she needs to stop with the excuses and invest in a working/safe car. I know some people probably think that is harsh because some people do not have the finances to go out and just buy a car. The point is she needs to work something out. Those are her children and she needs to go the extra mile, literally. Whether she is borrowing a car, saving up to buy a 1000 dollar car right off the lot, financing a newer or more expensive car...It is her responsibility. Saying she can't make it repeatedly because of the car is like saying she does not want to see her children in my opinion.
Earthly_Joys is offline  
Old 01-08-2008, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
Flor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: California
Posts: 5,119
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
That is how I feel, Earthly Joys. Seriously, if it was once in a while, no problem. But it is at least once a week. Many times we can't bring him until 8 o'clock at night so that isn't much of a visit for him. We've never done the same to her. If my car wasn't working, I'd borrow, ride a bus, figure it out. Sometimes the stories don't fit, either . I feel like she's making excuses and being lazy.
Flor is offline  
Old 01-08-2008, 07:37 PM
 
sunflowers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,062
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Reading some of these posts make me feel like I'm being walked all over by dd's NCP. Seriously. I think I need to start taking a harder line when it comes to changing visit days & driving.

It was my understanding that as the CP the greater "burden" falls to me to facilitate a relationship between dd and her NCP. If that means rescheduling the visitsevery 2 weeks and doing the driving when his car is broken down (which happened very recently), then that is wht needs to be done.

I'm not sure where to draw the line. I'll be
sunflowers is offline  
Old 01-08-2008, 07:45 PM
 
courtenay_e's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: In my own little piece of paradise
Posts: 8,111
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
My dad and his wife played that game for a while. My mom talked to her dad, who is a lawyer, and he said that she should start charging mileage. As in, "Sure, Chuck, I'll drop them off...when I get there you'll owe me $4.00 for gas and wear and tear, and another $5.00 for my time" It only happened a couple of times, then they got the point.

Mama to two awesome kids. Wife to a wonderful, attached, loving husband. I love my job-- I'm a Midwife, Doula and Childbirth Educator, Classes forming now!

courtenay_e is offline  
Old 01-09-2008, 12:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
Flor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: California
Posts: 5,119
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunflowers View Post
Reading some of these posts make me feel like I'm being walked all over by dd's NCP. Seriously. I think I need to start taking a harder line when it comes to changing visit days & driving.

It was my understanding that as the CP the greater "burden" falls to me to facilitate a relationship between dd and her NCP. If that means rescheduling the visitsevery 2 weeks and doing the driving when his car is broken down (which happened very recently), then that is wht needs to be done.

I'm not sure where to draw the line. I'll be

If the car broke down every once in a while, it'd be fine, I guess, though I'd prefer her find a ride. But, it is seriously weekly. And sometimes she'll say the car has no oil and she doesn't have money to get any til Friday, then we get there and the car is gone because her boyfriend had to run errands. Other times she was telling us she didn't have insurance and it turned out her license was suspended for DUI. So, I never know what the real story is.

As far as rescheduling, dss is 12 now and unless it interfers with some plan we have, we don't really mind too much. We try to be flexible. Usually she just cancels rather than trades days so it isn't really a problem for us.
Flor is offline  
Old 01-09-2008, 07:28 AM
 
flapjack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: England, easily locatable by Google
Posts: 13,495
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This is, frankly, one of the reasons why I hate my ex- because he left me 13k in debt and I couldn't afford to keep a car on the road, then started trying to bully me into joint transportation. I'm sorry to say this, but I think you do exactly what you say you're going to do, no more, no less. That way you end up feeling like you have some integrity, which can never be a bad thing.

Earthly Joys, I'm probably missing something here but why would you insist she buys a new car seat rather than using yours? : I don't get it. My guys are on boosters now, but on the rare occasions when daddy wanted to see them when they were both in car seats then we just swapped car seats between the cars :

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
flapjack is offline  
Old 01-09-2008, 02:14 PM
 
Individuation's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Babymooning...
Posts: 1,865
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I drive my daughter to and from her dad's house. I wouldn't think of asking for gas money. Of course, I'm a mindful driver, and I'd rather she's not in a car with anyone but me. It's my choice... but it does mean that visits get scheduled a bit more at my convenience.
Individuation is offline  
Old 01-09-2008, 03:01 PM
 
Earthly_Joys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Virginia
Posts: 258
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hmm. Maybe for us it's a bit different. We don't have a pleasant visitation schedule set up. DSD's mom says she wants to see her and then doesn't show up or call for another two months. She provides nothing...she is not there for her emotionally, physically, or financially. When we wrote up that agreement we were trying to encourage a better relationship between all of us BUT she needed to prove herself to us that she was willing to do what it took to see DSD. Asking her to go to walmart and buy a $15.00 booster seat is not a stretch. Considering she's never spent even as much as one dollar on DSD. In turn for her making a little bit of effort to see DSD we went out of our way to help her. We let her pick dates and times. We bent our schedule so she was able to see DSD (not that she ever once even showed up). We got a freaking Y membership because she asked us to because she wanted to see DSD there. She has not seen her there once. It's a give and take relationship for us at this point. After 7 years of inconsistency and not being there my DH put his foot down. His ex wife has constantly played the victim in every situation. She lives too far, she's too broke, her other kid's don't feel like getting in the car, her phone broke..oh her cell is broken too, my kid's sick but then that kid calls DSD and tells her all about the movie they went and saw on that day that she was supposed to be soooo sick. If you think me asking for her to buy her own car seat is bad...then you're really going to think it's horrible that I suggested she trade in her car for one that would accommodate more people. Considering she went out and bought a brand new car during all of this that only seats 4 people. Hmm, her DD1, her DD2, and her DS 3 plus her. Where is DSD supposed to sit? Anyway, I'm getting off the point of the thread. I just wanted to answer your question.

I wish DSD's mom had a more active role in her life. However, legally she does not have to be a part of it or do anything at all. She occasionally calls crying saying she wants to see DSD. Her mom likes to call and yell at me about how DSD's mom is too afraid to call her and blah blah blah. What am I supposed to do?? I REFUSE to be the one that does all the work. I'm already raising this child (whom I love) as my own...I'm doing everything I do all day long for HER..why should I also live to support DSD's mother who cannot decide if she's interested or not. Let's face it...if she really wanted to be a part of DSD's life she would have bought the carseat. Where there is a will, there is a way.

In Flor's case I believe there is an agreement for transportation and her DSS's mom is breaking it. So in that case she isn't doing what she agreed to do.
Earthly_Joys is offline  
Old 01-10-2008, 12:56 PM
 
flapjack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: England, easily locatable by Google
Posts: 13,495
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ah, EJ, I get it. Yep, we have one of those parents in our family too. I just figured that in terms of actually getting the UAV off his backside and into a working relationship with his sons, letting him use our car seats was a non-issue Then again, my boys came to the sad conclusion at 5 and 3 that he actually didn't care about them very much, so Proving anything is no longer an issue, at least not to me.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
flapjack is offline  
Old 01-10-2008, 05:00 PM
 
Earthly_Joys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Virginia
Posts: 258
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I reread my response, Flapjack and I just want to apologize. I sound a tad bit hostile. Sorry!! it's not you or the question you asked...It's me. I'm beginning to have an attitude problem with anything that surrounds DSD's mother.

I picked up paperwork recently for child support. So I'm in kind of a : mood lately. Again, I apologize for being hostile with my response!
Earthly_Joys is offline  
Old 01-10-2008, 06:01 PM
 
flapjack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: England, easily locatable by Google
Posts: 13,495
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
BTDT The reason we originally filed for child support through the government rather than trying for an informal arrangement was because two months after getting a new job my ex had neither committed to a date to see his children nor paid a penny to them His loss... he just doesn't get how totally kick-ass awesome his boys are.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
flapjack is offline  
Old 01-11-2008, 07:45 PM
 
aricha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,131
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Flor,
I think my response would be, "I'm sorry you can't make it to pick her up. Is there a better time today, or do you want to reschedule for a different day altogether?" Alternately, I would see if you could change the agreement and calculate the cost of transportation into child support. I would probably want to try the first one, then the second one if her response to the first was to just not see her daughter.

You can't change another person's behavior, but you CAN change your response to it. And they won't change their own behavior unless what they are doing stops working for them.

Parenting four little monkeys (11, 8, 6, and 4) with the love of my life. Making it up as I go.
aricha is offline  
Old 01-11-2008, 10:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
Flor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: California
Posts: 5,119
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
[QUOTE=aricha;10256006]Flor,
I think my response would be, "I'm sorry you can't make it to pick her up. Is there a better time today, or do you want to reschedule for a different day altogether?" Alternately, I would see if you could change the agreement and calculate the cost of transportation into child support. I would probably want to try the first one, then the second one if her response to the first was to just not see her daughter.

You can't change another person's behavior, but you CAN change your response to it. And they won't change their own behavior unless what they are doing stops working for them.[/QUOTE]
My bolding. I totally agree with this, and that's what I'm torn about. I feel like she never has to pull it together because we fix it, on the other hand, if we just say no, and dss doesn't see his mom much, is that success? My first response is what you suggested, "That's too bad, do you want to pick him up later. . ." but then I know dss would say, "Why can't you just drive me to my mom's?" I don't have a good answer. I'm teaching her a lesson? It's not my problem?
Flor is offline  
Old 01-11-2008, 10:25 PM
 
LoveOhm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: In Writing Mode!
Posts: 1,891
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunflowers View Post
Reading some of these posts make me feel like I'm being walked all over by dd's NCP. Seriously. I think I need to start taking a harder line when it comes to changing visit days & driving.

It was my understanding that as the CP the greater "burden" falls to me to facilitate a relationship between dd and her NCP. If that means rescheduling the visitsevery 2 weeks and doing the driving when his car is broken down (which happened very recently), then that is wht needs to be done.

I'm not sure where to draw the line. I'll be
I want my dd to have as much as a relationship as possible with her father so I am willing to do whatever I need to do for my dd to have that. I have not be faced with the driving delima personally but the scheduling things I can 100% relate to. Rearranging and adjusting is normal when you have an open visitation arrangement. That arrangement does not work well for every family but given the options I still think it is best for us!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flor View Post
My bolding. I totally agree with this, and that's what I'm torn about. I feel like she never has to pull it together because we fix it, on the other hand, if we just say no, and dss doesn't see his mom much, is that success? My first response is what you suggested, "That's too bad, do you want to pick him up later. . ." but then I know dss would say, "Why can't you just drive me to my mom's?" I don't have a good answer. I'm teaching her a lesson? It's not my problem?
Flor I understand that you feel the NCP is taking advantage but I also seem to recall another post where you mentioned the NCP has limited income resources and that she does not really do for herself.... maybe instead of being annoyed you should look at readjusting the parenting agreement with the driving being done by DH...? And the NCP splitting the cost or paying for gas.

Earthy Joys ~ I think your situation is very different and that I would do the same thing you are doing given the position you are in.

"There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way and not starting." - Buddha.
LoveOhm is offline  
Old 01-12-2008, 05:31 PM
 
aricha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,131
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Flor,
It was the same struggle we had (different frustration, same struggle)... eventually we had to look at the big picture and the long term. In the moment it is easier and more comfortable to give in to the manipulative behavior because you don't like the immediate consequence of what will happen if you don't. But in the long term, it is better to have drawn the line and made the boundaries clear. For us it was really difficult in the short term but positive in the long term. There are still struggles, but different ones, and we are by now pretty accomplished at handling them... and we are much better at looking at the big picture than we were before.

We were lucky to be drawing those lines when my step-daughter was too young to really feel their effects. The chances are good that the first couple times she won't come... it has always worked for her before, so it will take a couple times for her to realize that it is not working anymore. Chances are good that when she realizes what worked before isn't working anymore, she will try something else that you don't like. But if you set the boundary, are clear about it, and stick to it, she will hopefully find a solution to get what she wants without crossing your line. It still might not be the ideal solution, but it will be a compromise that you can both live with.

So, maybe you can get creative and think of some options for things you are planning on doing right after he is supposed to get picked up so that you DO have a reason you can't drive him. You know your stepson and situation better than I do, so I can't really make a suggestion... but I guess my point is that the important thing is drawing the line and sticking to it... hopefully you won't have to do it for too long.

Parenting four little monkeys (11, 8, 6, and 4) with the love of my life. Making it up as I go.
aricha is offline  
Old 01-13-2008, 01:16 AM
 
Nature's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: In Aspieville
Posts: 5,964
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When my ex had dd, and now that I have dd... the driving arrangement is the same. We both try to split equal pick up and drop offs, but if something happens then we try to accommodate each other.

I really feel so much time goes into fighting about things like this, that it takes away from what the focus is supposed to be. I want my dd to have a relationship with her father. So if his truck breaks down, then I'm going to try to find a way to get her to see him. Likewise, if my car breaks down (and I'll fully admit mine is a POS and is broken more than my ex's is.) then he picks up the slack. We don't charge each other gas money or time. And we don't with hold visitation either. To me, that just seems petty and pretty hurtful to the children involved.

If you have the means to help out, then help out.

treehugger.gifAutistic pagan mama with five kiddos on the spectrum, learning through living life. autismribbon.gif  computergeek2.gif

Nature is offline  
Old 01-13-2008, 01:18 PM
 
aricha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,131
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature View Post

If you have the means to help out, then help out.
It sounded to me like this was a difference between helping out and being taken advantage of. It sounded to me like it happened all the time. I certainly wouldn't advocate denying visitation or being inflexible if there was a legitimate and/or occasional need. We have certainly changed pick-up and drop-off arrangements when the other parent had a need, and I have offered to do driving that was not technically my responsibility because it made sense given the situation. But I have been on the recieving end of manipulation with someone who knew that ultimately we would continue to do what was right by my step-daughter, and took advantage of that. So I am speaking to that experience and my reading of the original question and situation.

Sorry, I guess I'm feeling defensive because I feel (inadvertantly) accused of advocating inflexibility and not doing everything possible in helping the NCP maintain a relationship with their child... which I am definitely not. I am just advocating step-mothers setting boundaries when needed and giving suggestions on dealing with manipulative behavior based on my own situation and experience.

Parenting four little monkeys (11, 8, 6, and 4) with the love of my life. Making it up as I go.
aricha is offline  
Old 01-13-2008, 02:29 PM
 
Nature's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: In Aspieville
Posts: 5,964
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by aricha View Post
It sounded to me like this was a difference between helping out and being taken advantage of. It sounded to me like it happened all the time. I certainly wouldn't advocate denying visitation or being inflexible if there was a legitimate and/or occasional need. We have certainly changed pick-up and drop-off arrangements when the other parent had a need, and I have offered to do driving that was not technically my responsibility because it made sense given the situation. But I have been on the recieving end of manipulation with someone who knew that ultimately we would continue to do what was right by my step-daughter, and took advantage of that. So I am speaking to that experience and my reading of the original question and situation.

Sorry, I guess I'm feeling defensive because I feel (inadvertantly) accused of advocating inflexibility and not doing everything possible in helping the NCP maintain a relationship with their child... which I am definitely not. I am just advocating step-mothers setting boundaries when needed and giving suggestions on dealing with manipulative behavior based on my own situation and experience.
I think that sometimes because of relationships, and past issues.. it can be difficult to view a situation for what it is. I've seen the word manipulation used on this forum a lot, and in my experience I think its overused. Often, probably because families feel defensive. Step mothers feel defensive, and left out.

Blended parenting is hard. Doubly hard when there is drama brought into the picture. It should be about the kids, and only about the kids.

As I said in my post, I often don't have a working car. It isn't that I don't try very hard to have one, but I really don't have the money to buy brand new or even make the repairs in a timely manner. I can't just work extra hard and work extra hours. I'm on SSDI. I'd love to have a brand new working car, but its just not possible at all.

For a few years my ex husband was a jerk about it. He was a jerk because he got pressure from his new wife to stop falling for my manipulation. So for two years I borrowed money when I couldn't afford gas or repairs. My two children at home went without clothes and food because I needed to fix my car so I could see my oldest daughter. Once we went without electricity for awhile because that was the only place we could take repair money out of. I made those sacrifices so that my oldest didn't have to suffer. But gosh, it would have been nice for my other kids to not have to suffer too. They don't deserve that. Under normal circumstances, I can keep a roof over their head and food on the table. But when my car costs 900 to repair and I just don't have it.. but I know it will crush my oldest not to see me.. I'm left with little other choice.

It would have been nice if my ex husband had used his brain and not been so caught up in his new wife that he couldn't think for himself and realize that he was only hurting our daughter by being this way. His new wife did a good job at making sure that I couldn't "manipulate" him. She did a great job at making sure that he was as horrible as he could be towards me. He couldn't even speak to me civilly because she didn't like that. She wanted him to hate me. Or at least pretend to. That made her feel better, and more important. What she didn't realize is that it wasn't about me, or about her. But only about our daughter.

When his new wife left, he went back to being himself. Someone I most certainly don't want to still be married to.. but a human being at least. And guess what? He started acting kinder. Nicer. Understanding. Helpful. If I can't pick her up, then we don't stress about it. He helps me find a way, or brings her himself. And when something comes up on his end, I try my best to help him out as well. After years, we can finally CO-PARENT! Because there is no one else that is getting in our way. My husband certainly doesn't get involved with drama in the way that my ex's new wife did. As far as my dh is concerned, he loves his step daughter.. but my ex and I are the ones that need to work things out and come to agreements. He can be involved without feeling the need to make my ex disappear.

My point is, in my experience... its the outside influence of the step parent that caused all the problems and introduced the word "manipulate" into the situation to begin with. I am the mother, and was for years the non custodial parent. And I heard the word manipulate a lot used in reference to me, when I have never done anything of the sort. So all my experience surrounding this is about the stepmother making drama for herself and reading into situations that she has absolutely no idea about, because of her own insecurity and jealousy issues.

And before anyone throws things at me, I'm sure everyone has a different story, and by all means this is not meant to be a blanket statement post. We all have our own opinions on things, and are coming from different places in our past and present. You are all individual parents and step parents, just as I am.

I just explained why I think the way I do. Because I'm coming from the total opposite other side.

treehugger.gifAutistic pagan mama with five kiddos on the spectrum, learning through living life. autismribbon.gif  computergeek2.gif

Nature is offline  
Old 01-13-2008, 05:03 PM
 
harmony1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I agree that if this is a chronic thing, which it does seem to be, with her making constant excuses to boot, that you ought to put your foot down. It doesn't sound like she has the same integrity or priorities as Nature here, for instance. If you have previously given her the benefit of the doubt, and attempted to believe in the stretched reasoning behind those excuses such as the ones you gave examples of, and your gut still says she is being untruthful, then she probably is.

The visitation agreement is there to protect all of you. If she honestly is not making the effort to follow it, it truly is not your problem. It's hers. How very sad for her.
harmony1 is offline  
Old 01-13-2008, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
Flor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: California
Posts: 5,119
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It is at least once a week and sometimes more. I don't trust her, which is part of the problem. She is has bipolar disorder which is often untreated and she is an addict. She lies about the littlest things --
(small example-- calls and says she's going to the grocery store so can I take dss to her house instead of her picking him up. I'm a bit confused cuz her house is 10 miles away but the grocery store is by my house so I say can I just drop him off at the grocery store and he can meet you there? She kinda pauses and back tracks and says never mind. She says she'll just pick him up 2 hours late. Ok. So she calls 2 hours later from her boyfriends house-- the guy she is cheating on her live-in boyfriend with-- and says she's ready to come get dss now). Ugg. Just skip the story and say you'll pick him up later!

I understand Nature's story. I really am not the one to introduce the idea of "manipulation" here, as I said she has bipolar disorder and is an addict. She is a manipulator, that's part of her condition as I understand it. I'm often the go-between because dh really wants nothing to do with her. I remind him that it is important for dss to have a relationship with both parents. Dh really thought she was too harmful and toxic. I really try to just help out regardless of the reason, but I guess I'm having two issues.

1. I think she is lying about her car not working at least half the time.

2. Dh and I work. What happens is that dss comes home from school at 4:30 after he's walked home from the busstop. He says, I guess my mom can't pick me up can you take me? I've started dinner so we wait till dh gets home. Dh has worked 10 hours and wants to eat. Then he finally takes dss around 7. She doesn't work.

I don't know where the "line" is between being helpful and being a sucker.

We can't alter child support because she's on SSI so has no obligation.
Flor is offline  
Old 01-13-2008, 07:29 PM
 
thismama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Nursing the revolution
Posts: 12,099
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature View Post
If you have the means to help out, then help out.
Yes. It's easy to say what you *would* do if you didn't have a reliable vehicle, but the reality is that it's easier said than done, I have lived without a vehicle for extended periods so I know this firsthand. My daughter's father does not drive; I do. Our custody agreement says we each are responsible for half the transportation, but reality is I do pickups and dropoffs because it would be a PITA for him to take two busses each way when I could just hop in my car and be to his place in ten minutes.

I think a little consideration goes a really long way in working out a good relationship in co-parenting children, and to me it is worth doing most of the driving if it is easier for you than the other parent to do so.
thismama is offline  
Old 01-13-2008, 08:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
Flor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: California
Posts: 5,119
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
Yes. It's easy to say what you *would* do if you didn't have a reliable vehicle, but the reality is that it's easier said than done, I have lived without a vehicle for extended periods so I know this firsthand. My daughter's father does not drive; I do. Our custody agreement says we each are responsible for half the transportation, but reality is I do pickups and dropoffs because it would be a PITA for him to take two busses each way when I could just hop in my car and be to his place in ten minutes.

I think a little consideration goes a really long way in working out a good relationship in co-parenting children, and to me it is worth doing most of the driving if it is easier for you than the other parent to do so.
I agree, but I don't know if it really is easier for one parent or the other. I think she's not being truthful about everything.

I'm not trying to bore you all with the details. It came to our attention recently that eventhough we'd thought she'd been in recovery for the last few years, she was still drinking during visitiation and was using meth (I assume not during visitaiton). We were shocked that she'd been able to do this without us noticing anything was wrong. I realized that many times when were are just "helping out" by driving or rescheduling or when her boyfriend leaves work to p/u dss it was because she was drinking/high. Her boyfriend covers for her and we thought we were just being nice. We went back to mediation, rewrote court papers, etc. and she is supposed to be clean now, but I do feel like something more than her car is going down these last few months. I probably won't be able to shake that feeling. When it is a once in a while car problem, I feel fine helping out. When it is several weeks of car's not working (but boyfriends driving it), and has to rescedule because of appointment, sick, emergency, forgot to pick him up, all in a row, it sounds like something more. I can't know for sure.

So, at this point, I'm still driving him.
Flor is offline  
Old 01-13-2008, 09:41 PM
 
Nature's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: In Aspieville
Posts: 5,964
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sounds to me like maybe your issues really aren't about the transportation at all?

treehugger.gifAutistic pagan mama with five kiddos on the spectrum, learning through living life. autismribbon.gif  computergeek2.gif

Nature is offline  
Old 01-14-2008, 12:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
Flor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: California
Posts: 5,119
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yeah, funny you should say that. I thought when I first posted that it was just a custody question. But, I think it has to do with "being helpful" and being lied to. I think my life's philosophy was, at one time, just help anyone who says they need it. I think addicts are another story, though. I have to decide for myself when I stop helping just because someone says they need help and when I start to feel like I'm enabling and being taken advantage of. I just went to the grocery store and I saw her driving around. But, relistically, I don't think confronting her is helpful so I think I'll just keep driving dss and hoping for the best. Oddly enough, posting here sometimes helps me work out the bigger issues for myself.
Flor is offline  
Old 01-14-2008, 11:42 AM
 
Earthly_Joys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Virginia
Posts: 258
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think there are two separate issues here. When it's an occasional thing no one seems to mind. When the parent has a very real reason why they can't manage then no one seems to mind. People are only minding when the parent goes to great lengths to be unaccountable, lie, and not help with transportation at all. Which is reasonable...both parties need to make an effort. If the mom in Flor's situation can't make it because her car REALLY isn't working then she needs to be honest and tell them that. She can give them an idea of when she's hoping to get it fixed and she can nicely ask them to help with transportation until then. Calling two hours late with reasons that don't even make sense is just disrespectful.



It is really great that so many of you will do anything to facilitate a relationship with your children's parent. I don't see what we do as blocking a relationship. It has been so many years (7) since DSD's mother has had consistent involvement in her life. I've only been in DSD's life for 4 years. This pattern of not being there and showing up for a day and then not being there for another year was started long before I was around. I suppose it sounds like I'm defending myself but I don't feel defensive. I think the way DH and I have worked things out is completely logical. It is hugely damaging to DSD to have her mother in and out of her life. Most of the time it is an out of sight - out of mind issue for DSD. Because when she does think about her it doesn't change anything...she just gets upset because she doesn't understand why her mother won't be there for her. At this point of us it's all about boundaries and not crossing the line. If DSD's mom would step up to the plate and show the slightest bit of interest then we'd bend over backwards to make DSD available to her BUT not without some limits and direction.
Earthly_Joys is offline  
Old 01-14-2008, 02:38 PM
 
courtenay_e's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: In my own little piece of paradise
Posts: 8,111
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
I guess, with your last post, that perhaps you should consider it this way: maybe you're just making life easier for your STEP-CHILD. Forget about how you are enabling the parent (because you may very well be!), and think about how it makes your step child's life just a little easier in a quite difficult situation. That MAY make it a little easier to swallow!?

Mama to two awesome kids. Wife to a wonderful, attached, loving husband. I love my job-- I'm a Midwife, Doula and Childbirth Educator, Classes forming now!

courtenay_e is offline  
Old 01-14-2008, 02:45 PM
 
Oriole's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: by the ocean, lakes and mountains
Posts: 4,199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm a little jealous of everyone's replies... : It seems that everyone's expectations that both parties will do their part for driving. Ugh... Not!

We do 100% of transportation, to and from. Always. 45 mins to pick up, 45 mins back. 45 mins to drop off, and then 45 mins back. Almost 40 miles on Friday just for pick up drive. Almost 40 miles on Sunday, for the drop off drive...

Financially we are in a worse spot than dp's ex, so it's not a "pick up the the slack when needed" drive. It's our choice as a way to see DSD without facing arguing, and dragging DSD through confrontations that can be avoided.

I like our talks on the way though, I wonder if DSD will think back on these rides with fond memories. Over 200 miles a month with gas and wear and tear on our cars is worth it... right?

New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
Oriole is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

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

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