How do you answer? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#31 of 42 Old 04-03-2008, 05:23 PM
 
mama41's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,058
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by angilyn View Post
Good for your college students though, however, they were not in our situation.
No, I don't believe they were, custodywise; I believe they were married, but I don't know what number marriage those marriages might have been (there was one widower with mostly-grown children). They were by and large bankrupt, though, and you could tell they were deeply ashamed of it. The farm crises are still not over.

As for college, increasingly there are online courses available -- I know there are good colleges in Texas that provide a lot of online instruction, but of course for online schools you can go anywhere. Increasingly "real" colleges are doing online courses, which is good, because then you don't risk losing your investment when a shady operation shuts down, and your degree means something in the end. (If I do a PhD, it will almost certainly be remote.) Federal loans do not take prior debt into account, so they're available regardless of credit history, and financial-hardship deferments are available for the payback. So don't give up there.
mama41 is offline  
#32 of 42 Old 04-03-2008, 09:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
aricha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,166
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't disagree with a lot of what was said... if a father were to pick up and move 3000 miles away for no good reason with no thought to anyone else and no notice, then breeze into town now and again, unpredictibly, without notice and expect that the child be pulled from her normal life and schedule here and there at his convenience so he can spend time with her on his schedule with no regard for anyone else...well, I would absolutely agree that the custodial parent should step up and help to provide some stability for the child and set some boundaries in order to do so. In fact, reading the post as though I am reading about someone else's situation, I find a lot I agree with.

So I only disagree in that the same logic applied to this fictional irresponsible flake of a father is being applied to our extremely different situation or any number of other extremely different situations. Again, I'm not going to contradict all the individual details that make this fictional situation so different from our real one, or go quote every post that makes an inaccurate assumption and set the record straight... suffice it to say that the characters and history of this fictional scenario that we seem to be examining doesn't even begin to resemble those of the people and histories actually involved in my step-daughters life. You're just going to have to trust me on that one, I guess.

As for what we are teaching our children through our own actions, that's a difference in parenting styles and the values that are important in our individual families, as well as probably experience and personal histories. If my parents come to town, they accompany the kids to their activities and lessons, take them out on special dates, pick them up from school early... heck, my father-in-law lives 20 minutes away but doesn't see the kids very often... if he wants to see the kids I say, by all means, pick them up from school and take them out for the day... they'll love it! But I have a different personality, a different history, a different temperment, a different family, a different set of values than others... and I am raising kids with different temperments, different histories, and different family situations than others. So the choices I make for them are going to be different than the choices other people make, and I can absolutely respect that... just so long as they can refrain from judging me for teaching my children the values and perspective that are important to me.

So as far as that goes, we are all different people raising different children in different situations, and our perspectives and choices are going to be different... That doesn't make one person's way "right" and one person's way "wrong"... more likely it makes one way "right" for one person's situation and a totally different way "right" for someone else's.

Parenting four little monkeys (11, 8, 6, and 4) with the love of my life. Making it up as I go.
aricha is offline  
#33 of 42 Old 04-03-2008, 10:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
aricha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,166
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Okay, after hearing a story today from my husband, I will just share that from my step-daughter's perspective, her father did not move away and leave her. When we moved out here, she came with us. As far as she is concerned she moved to Vermont last summer and goes back to California to go to school. She lives in two places, just like she always has... in her words "sometimes I live in Vermont and sometimes I live in California." HE didn't move away, SHE moved, too.

When she heard that a California classmate was moving to New Hampshire at the end of the school year she told him "I moved last summer, too! Maybe I'll see you when I go to my house to Vermont." She wasn't totally sure why he wasn't going to be in her class next year though because "you can live in New Hampshire and still be in my class. That's what I do."

Man, I love that kid!

Parenting four little monkeys (11, 8, 6, and 4) with the love of my life. Making it up as I go.
aricha is offline  
#34 of 42 Old 04-03-2008, 11:18 PM
 
Flor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: California
Posts: 5,279
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When I was a rookie stepmom (dh has full custody) I really did feel "Well, it wasn't my choice so why should I have to bend/accomodate/etc." "She decided to do X so why should I have to do Y?" Why? Because of dss. I had to be honest with myself about the importance of routine. I talked it, but I had to be honest. If grandma wanted to take the kids out to pizza would I let dss miss karate? Yes. If my best friend was visiting and all wanted to go out to dinner would I let dss stay up a little on a school night? Yes. If my dad wanted to pick dss up from school and take him to McDonalds would I let dss do his homework at a later time? Yes. If my parents wanted to take us to Disneyland would I let dss miss a day or two of school? Yes. So why did I feel so put out when his mother had a surprise extra day in town and wanted to pick up dss after school? Why did I suddenly feel like routine and stability were the most important thing in a childs life, especially a child like dss who had had such an unstable babyhood. . . well, you can figure that out, I'm sure. When dss spends more time with with his mom, he's a happier kid. Not happy like he got chocolate cake for dinner, but happier like more content, more stable, more calm, more sure of himself, more loved-- even though she's a flake and addict. It isn't my business to teach her a lesson. I think it is ok to show dss that we make accomadations for our families. That it's ok to go out of your way for a loved one. I don't want to be a doormat, but I think you can bend and go with the flow without being a doormat.
Flor is offline  
#35 of 42 Old 04-03-2008, 11:33 PM
 
PoppyMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: In my own delusions.
Posts: 3,305
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I have been reading Flor's posts since long before she was Flor and I always take great inspiration and comfort from them. I still really think you should write a manual.
PoppyMama is offline  
#36 of 42 Old 04-04-2008, 12:07 PM
 
violet_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flor View Post
When I was a rookie stepmom (dh has full custody) I really did feel "Well, it wasn't my choice so why should I have to bend/accomodate/etc." "She decided to do X so why should I have to do Y?" Why? Because of dss. I had to be honest with myself about the importance of routine. I talked it, but I had to be honest. If grandma wanted to take the kids out to pizza would I let dss miss karate? Yes. If my best friend was visiting and all wanted to go out to dinner would I let dss stay up a little on a school night? Yes. If my dad wanted to pick dss up from school and take him to McDonalds would I let dss do his homework at a later time? Yes. If my parents wanted to take us to Disneyland would I let dss miss a day or two of school? Yes. So why did I feel so put out when his mother had a surprise extra day in town and wanted to pick up dss after school? Why did I suddenly feel like routine and stability were the most important thing in a childs life, especially a child like dss who had had such an unstable babyhood. . . well, you can figure that out, I'm sure. When dss spends more time with with his mom, he's a happier kid. Not happy like he got chocolate cake for dinner, but happier like more content, more stable, more calm, more sure of himself, more loved-- even though she's a flake and addict. It isn't my business to teach her a lesson. I think it is ok to show dss that we make accomadations for our families. That it's ok to go out of your way for a loved one. I don't want to be a doormat, but I think you can bend and go with the flow without being a doormat.
I completely agree with this. And, at least in our case, we don't really take the kids out of their routine anyway. If we're in town and it's time to go to soccer practice or dance class, we take them. We don't take them out of class early and we do get them to bed on time. Routines can be kept even with visitors.

Also, I try to think of it this way: Even now, as an adult, with a life and things to do and a routine and stability and independence, if either of my parents came to town for any reason and I couldn't see them, or could only see them for two hours over a few days, I'd be furious! I imagine that's going to be magnified for a small child.

violet_ is offline  
#37 of 42 Old 04-04-2008, 01:16 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,742
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well put, Flor.

love.gif

pinksprklybarefoot is offline  
#38 of 42 Old 04-04-2008, 04:40 PM
 
mama41's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,058
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Flor et al,

You must consider that your husband's ex has a very different history with him than you have. What you may view as "bending" may, in the context of their shared history, be "doormat". You must also keep in mind that you're not in a position to judge whether or not that's reasonable.

Violet, it is not responsible to intimate to a child that she might see you outside the times specified in a custodial agreement until the other parent has agreed. Particularly if it's going to be a big deal. You risk setting the child up for major disappointment, and you also risk unfairly turning the other parent into the bad guy.

That's why I won't ask my XH to give up his visitation when my father visits, and why I won't volunteer his time. It's a little thing called respect. I'm fully cognizant of the visitation schedule, and I can plan our time with my father around XH's visitation.

It works the other way, too. Dd and I went on a short trip recently, and she missed her dad so much she wanted to stay over at his place for two nights instead of one. I told her that it was all right with me but only if he wasn't busy, and that I could not say yes for him, and she could not beg if he said no. As it happened, he was busy, and that was that.

aricha, I'm glad your dsd views the situation that way. That's got to help considerably. Now: Try thinking about what sort of reinforcement she must get at home to maintain that view, considering that she's five and has gone months wihtout seeing you. Consider that there is still probably quite a bit of day-to-day fallout in which she just misses you guys terribly -- fallout which her mother must handle and live with. Consider also that her mother has had to change her life considerably in response to your actions on behalf of your own children, whatever your motivation. (I am sure she believed her running off with the child, years ago, was also justified.)

Perhaps, given all that, you can let go of the idea that she's behaved shockingly, and owed it to your dh and her daughter to say "yes" to whatever custody exceptions were convenient for your dh the week he was in town for court. Forest, trees.
mama41 is offline  
#39 of 42 Old 04-04-2008, 05:43 PM
 
violet_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama41 View Post
Flor et al,

Violet, it is not responsible to intimate to a child that she might see you outside the times specified in a custodial agreement until the other parent has agreed. Particularly if it's going to be a big deal. You risk setting the child up for major disappointment, and you also risk unfairly turning the other parent into the bad guy.
I totally agree, and this is (I think) the heart of aricha's original question. I read her question as asking how NOT to intimate that she might see you when she knows you're in town. As in, Mom allows him, say, 2 hours Monday and 2 hours Wednesday. Well, after Monday, she definitely knows Dad is in town, and is asking to spend the night, and asking to see him on Tuesday, for example. Aricha's question as I read it was what can they tell DSD so they are not blaming Mom or setting DSD up to feel ignored.

violet_ is offline  
#40 of 42 Old 04-04-2008, 11:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
aricha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,166
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Mama41, clearly our view of the situation is far too different to see it from one anothers' perspective. I am having trouble considering things from the perspective you are offering because there are too many assumptions that are incorrect and phrasing that paints a very different picture than what is, in fact, real... so much so that I can't get past them to find what may very well be wisdom and truth in what you are saying. And I don't believe that any more I have to say will give you a more accurate picture of the situation or even persuade you that your picture may be inaccurate.

So I thank you and everyone else for the conversation and for the opportunity to examine my beliefs and apply other people's experiences and ideas to my situation. When I posted my question I was looking for help with a specific question and had no idea that it would lead where it did. I found a lot of opinions that I agree with and a lot that I don't, but I stuck with it because I thought it was important to deal with the issues it was bringing up rather than to shut out opinions I didn't agree with. At this point I feel like, at least for me, it has gone as far as it is going to go and I have little more to be gained from continuing this thread any longer.

So, with that. I will see you on another thread! I think I'll stick to giving advice for a while rather than asking for it

Parenting four little monkeys (11, 8, 6, and 4) with the love of my life. Making it up as I go.
aricha is offline  
#41 of 42 Old 04-09-2008, 01:27 PM
 
SimpleJoys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Somewhere out there
Posts: 399
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It is too bad that aricha has to feel the way she does in the post above. I hope she can get and give advice in the future without feeling so put upon and misunderstood. I enjoy her postings and get a lot from them. So hugs to you, Op, and also congrats for trying to make clear your situation as I think you did very well in explaining that all people/families have different motivations, different reasons for doing what we do, and not all situations are the same.
SimpleJoys is offline  
#42 of 42 Old 04-10-2008, 05:36 AM
 
momsadvice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Beautiful Florida
Posts: 139
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
:
momsadvice is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may 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